Worm's-eye view of the 1963/4 Imperial College survey of the Abu Dhabi littoral
with Christopher Kendall (X), Sir Patrick Skipwith (Paddy), and Godfrey Butler (God)
and brief interventions by Douglas (Doug) Shearman, Graham Evans, and Nick Page
being a diary kept more or less regularly by Robin Waddell, frequently unsure of where we were, or whither we were going, or what was happening, or sometimes which way was up,
so writing down more or less everything to be on the safe side. Not always rivetingly interesting in every detail, but who then knew what was going be important afterwards ? Never
intended for other eyes anyway, it has only recently (May 2017) resurfaced, like a fly trapped in amber, a relic of raw youth and a vanishing culture and landscape, and the final gasp of
British imperial sway.
I've always wondered just how much geologising went according to plan, and how much was simply off the cuff and impromptu. But it was ultimately grist to the academic mill anyway.
I've also always marvelled at how much hospitality was provided on our arrival, and on our way to and from all the various locations. We did rather take it very much for granted.
Throughout our stay, I was bemused by the to-ings and fro-ings of our boat and Landrover(s) between the town of Abu Dhabi and the settlements of Tarif, Mirfa, and Jebel Dhanna, 
and the waste of time this represented. Even today, by the coastal E11 highway, Tarif, Mirfa and Jebel Dhanna are respectively 119 km (74 miles), 163 km (101 miles) and 257 km (160 miles)
west of Abu Dhabi city. Back then there was just a trail, much of it inland, punctures were frequent and breakdowns inevitable. Soft sand, exposed rock, and mud, were further hazards, 
depending on the weather.
Both X and I, despite our accustomed health, strength and stamina, plus psychological fortitude and resilience, suffered constant relapses into sickness, weakness and weariness.
All in all, it was a miracle that anything of value was achieved. But it was, and I for one would not have missed it for the world.
Page hyperlinks will be to page-images plus (perhaps, eventually) electronic transcripts including maps and photographs.
Scanned in Monochrome Text mode for greatest legibility; some pages torn out for reasons unknown (as scrap paper, or from embarrassment).
Glossary - People
 = /www.ornaverum.org/web/dev/Family/Waddells/Robin Waddell/Abu Dhabi/Abu Dhabi diary Summary/RW Glossary - People.htm
Glossary - Places
 = /www.ornaverum.org/web/dev/Family/Waddells/Robin Waddell/Abu Dhabi/Abu Dhabi diary summary/RW Glossary - Places.htm
Glossary - Organisations
 = /www.ornaverum.org/web/dev/Family/Waddells/Robin Waddell/Abu Dhabi/Abu Dhabi diary summary/RW Glossary - Organisations.htm
Glossary - Petro-Power-Politics
 = /www.ornaverum.org/web/dev/Family/Waddells/Robin Waddell/Abu Dhabi/Abu Dhabi diary summary/RW Glossary - Petro-Power-Politics.htm
Glossary - Arabic words & phrases
 = /www.ornaverum.org/web/dev/Family/Waddells/Robin Waddell/Abu Dhabi/Abu Dhabi diary summary//RW Glossary - Arabic words & phrases.htm
Year Month Week DOW DOM Page Summary
             
1963 Dec 1 Fri 27 missing X, Paddy & I : BEA flight from London postponed (fog). Airport hotel.
      Sat 28 2 BEA flight from London (to Rome, then, via other airlines, Beirut, Kuwait) to Bahrein. Sleep in airport, fraternise with locals (really nice people).
      Sun 29 3 We meet Bill Clarke and Sayid Tariq. Meet Alastair. Visit Mrs Page. Gulf Aviation flight to Abu Dhabi. Met by Colin Dwyer. Feeling v ill. Sleep in hotel. 
           
    2 Mon  30 4 We meet Chris Willey (Waddell connection). Move our stuff (in Tarish' jeep) to his barasti. Sleep at Mike Egan.
      Tue 31 5 Feeling much worse. New Years Eve party at Willies. Sleep at barasti.
1964 Jan   Wed 1 6 No sign of hospitality. We visit Tarrish house to meet wife and family. Meet Boustead. To Bhojerat's. Load food on boat
      Thu 2 7 X & I meet Sultan (younger son of Sheikh Shakhput), admire de-luxe yacht. To ADMA, PO, ADPC, Bill Clarke, Bhojerat's, cable office. God  arrives. 
      Fri 3 8 To Grey Mac, hitch boat trailer to LandRover, Alastair hoists boat into water from jetty. Trip to nearby island. Diarrhoea and vomiting on return. 
      "     Taken to Willey's. To bed, no food
      Sat 4 9 X's pills helpful. Stay in bed. No food.
      Sun 5 10 Stay in bed. No food.
           
    3 Mon  6 11 Abu Dhabi flooded. Get up briefly, supper of boiled rice and boiled bacon.
      Tue 7 12 Out and about in afternoon.
      Wed 8 13 Out and about in aftenoon. Echo sounder to Wireless company, but still not working. God unwell. 
      Thu 9 14 To a local island by boat, echo sounder back to Ken. Doug (Shearman) arrives.
      Fri 10 15 To another local island in boat. God & Doug geologise.
      Sat 11 16 Collect winch from ADMA. Boat engine packs up. To stay with Boustead. Argument between us & Doug about Van den Platz accusations.
      Sun 12 17 Staying with Boustead. Echo sounder still not working. Heavy rain out in boat. Echosounder to Ken.
           
    4 Mon  13 18 Staying with Boustead. Boat back onto trailer. Visit Blueshirt to hire Dodge PowerWagon. Gets trailer across 100yd soft sand
      Tue 14 19 Staying with Boustead. Boat to jetty.
      Wed 15 20 Leave Boustead. Pack boat with supplies, X and I set off to Tarif. Reach Abu al Abeiyad, aground for night.
      Thu 16 21 Boat afloat again. Maze of channels through Abu al Abeiyad, arrive Tarif. Meet Paddy, God & Doug plus Arber & Ali. Camp in tent with stores.
      Fri 17 22 X & Paddy to sabkha, God & Doug geologise, I swing compass. Paddy & Ali to Jebel Dhanna by LR. X & I reswing compass (!).
      Sat 18 23 Paddy & Arber leave for Jebel Dhanna, return later after 2 LR's pack up. X, Paddy & I by boat to Mirfa, Meet TOS officers Archie and Peter. We camp 
      "     overnight on island opposite Khusaifa.
      Sun 19 24 We head for Jebel Dhanna. Weather worsens dramatically. High wind, heavy sea, coastal fog. Anchor boat inland, sabkha flooded.
           
    5 Mon  20 25 Dry-out clothes, blankets, sleeping bags; keep warm(ish); hunker down with books and booze. Flood receding.
      Tue 21 26 High & dry. Gulf Aviation plane flies past early on; later, RAF (Sharjah) Beverley parachutes canister of water, rations, survival kit. Later still, returns
      "     to parachute 3 inflatable dinghies in canisters - one bursts and inflates - plus message that TOS rescue party coming overland. Paddy v unwell.
      Wed 22 27 Paddy starts digging trench to channel. Gulf Aviation drops message that TOS are stuck. 4 American oilmen arrive in 4 LR's, bringing emergency
      "     supplies of coffee, sandwiches, cigarettes & whisky. Gulf Aviation drop birthday message from X's mother. Paddy returns with Americans, X & I 
      "     continue digging trench.
      Thu 23 28 X & I continue trench. Archie arrives in LR, with 3 Arab soldiers - other TOS LR's and Scammell truck still stuck. They take away unwanted dinghies
      "     etc. Paddy & Bill Ashe arrive in 2 LR's, bring vital whisky, beer, cigarettes and fruit. They leave separately, Paddy back to Tarif.
      Fri 24 29 X & I finish trench, then geologise to summit of local jebel and back.
      Sat 25 30 Long day geologising to local headland and back.
      Sun 26 31 Refloat boat down to channel, off to Jebel Dhanna. Quartered with EBC. Eat biggest meal of my life ever.
           
    6 Mon  27 32 Doug & Paddy arrive in LR. Furious argument between X and Doug (re accusation of drunken behaviour by us on Gulf Aviation flight to Abu Dhabi).
      "     Leaving boat behind, all set off in LR for Mirfa. Stop overnight at police post, argument continuing. Sleep in a barasti.
      Tue 28 33 Arrive in Mirfa, meet Ali. Doug to Tarif with letters plus sitrep to discuss with Brian Light. Returns with good news : Gulf accusations now dismissed as
      "     baseless. To TOS camp with bottle of brandy, but Archie & Co attitude offhand.
      Wed 29 34 Paddy wants to scrap field work, just have holiday. He drives X & me past "Shipwreck Point",  LR engine firing on only 3 clinders. Make camp.
      Thu 30 missing Paddy departs in LR
      Fri 31 36 Much geologising, sample collecting, exciting new theory emerges re fresh-water oölites !
  Feb   Sat 1 37 More geologising.
      Sun 2 38 Paddy returns in LR, we all head for Mirfa.
             
    7 Mon  3 39 To Abu Dhabi, via Tarif where meet Brian Light (all now evidently OK). See 3 mighty Scammell trucks stuck in mud. LR puncture. Boustead waves.
      "     Unload in AC shed, our new base. Doug & God turn up later.
      Tue 4 40 Doug, God, X & I geologise in area behind Muqta. 
      Wed 5 41 Acute diarrhoea. Nothing else happens anyway.
      Thu 6 42 Doug returns to UK. LR under repair in suq. Paddy drinks 19 cans of beer.
      Fri 7 43 Nick Page turns up at shed, asks us to lunch. LR fixed. Load LR and all (inc Paddy & God) to Mirfa, but X's new radio malfunctions.
      Sat 8 44 Paddy, I & Ali back to Tarif in LR. Collect letters then back to Mirfa. All (not Ali) set off for Raselaish. LR puncture. Wot crappy tyres. Excavate cave
      "     in side of wadi for accommodation. Paddy back to Tarif in LR.
      Sun 9 45 Lengthy geologising : X, God & I.
           
    8 Mon  10 46 Lengthy geologising : X, God & I. X has acute diarrhoea.
      Tue 11 47 More geologising, but intense heat, totally exhausting us and disorganising us.
      Wed 12 48 More geologising, but intense heat, totally exhausting us and disorganising us.
      Thu 13 missing  
      Fri 14 50 Pack up, break camp, wait all day for Paddy to collect us. He arrives 7:45 pm. We visit Archie at Mirfa TOS, v friendly. We camp somewhere.
      Sat 15 51 Paddy & God to Tarif in LR, return mid-afternoon with Nick Page. God & Ali to Harmija in LR. Paddy off somewhere (else) in LR (?).
      Sun 16 52 X, I and Nick geologise in morning. X v unwell in afternoon with diarrhoea
           
    9 Mon  17 53 Uneventful geologising across sabkha. Expecting Paddy to return.
      Tue 18 54 Morning geologising, afternoon sunbathing. Paddy returns in LR mid-evening, LR has been v troublesome, he very depressed. 
      "     We all return to Mirfa, LR puncture en route.
      Wed 19 55 We all set off in LR to Abu Dhabi, dropping Nick off at Tarif, 3 punctures en route. Thumb lift from passing Dodge, Paddy staying with LR. Dodge gets
      "     puncture, veers wildly off road. Boustead gives us lift rest of way to Abu Dhabi. Graham Evans has arrived. Paddy adamant about return to UK.
      Thu 20 56 blank [I inactive all day].
      Fri 21 57 X & Paddy to palace for audience with Sheikh Shakhput, but he runs out of time.
      Sat 22 58 X & Paddy off to boat in LR. Paddy, God & I to suq for LR repairs. Lunch with Boustead. Collect LR. Tricky encounter with Arab wanting to present 
      "     God & me with hunting knife in silver sheath inlaid with gold. Nick Page invites us all to supper.
      Sun 23 59 blank [Chris, I & Nick collect boat from somewhere, Jebel Dhanna perhaps, sleep in it overnight]
           
    10 Mon  24 60 Wake to find boat underway. Rendezvous with Paddy at Tarif. Set off back to Abu Dhabi, anchoring at Rodaim for swimming. Wade ashore to see 
      "     Ted Bates at GGC, discuss faulty LR pump, dead radio & echosounder. Pump fixed, so unload boat onto LR and back to Mirfa.
      "     I can't understand what goes on after that, doesn't seem to make sense geographically.
      Tue 25 missing Maybe this is when X & Paddy have audience with Sheikh Shakhput
      Wed 26 62 Awake with agonising abdominal pain. Paddy returns to UK. I to Suq for excruciating injection in stomach, but very effective.
      Thu 27 63 With Nick to meet Danish archaeologists on local island of Umm al Nar, to see burial mounds from the "Time of Ignorance" 3000 years ago.
      "     God to airport in LR to meet Ray Murray. Backwards and forwards to Muqta in LR or Paige's Dodge. Dinner with Pages. Ray v amusing.
      Fri 28 65 X, God I with Ray to sabkha, peering at anhydrite. To hotel for dinner, courtesy of Ray, who succumbs to diarrhoea halfway through.
      Sat 29 64 V odd day. Early morning with Nick to Municipality for chitty (why ?). Off at 7:15 am by taxi to Tarif, dense mist, sandstorm, top speed, jolts & bounces
      "     all the way. Then hang around for midday charter plane, 8 top geologists. Off halfway to Mirfa, where X & God deliver commentary while I & Nick
      "     dig trenches to reveal anhydrite, massive enthusiasm from top chaps. Back to Tarif for their return plane. Us all back to Mirfa in taxi, then God back
      "     to Abu Dhabi in taxi; X, I & Nick tidy up, overnight in tent.
  Mar   Sun 1 66 Load boat with tents etc, then X, I and Nick off in boat to Rodaim. Porpoises ! Wade ashore to GGC, beer & sandwiches with Sarkis. "Bullshit Bert"
      "     arrives, talks and drinks incessantly, but then drives us to Mirfa (leaving boat, shimal) - but why ? Drinks half our whisky, Ali drives him back to Tarif.
           
    11 Mon  2 67 Bullshit Bert arrives early and drinks the other half, then drives us back to GGC in Tarif, where we board boat. X with dead echosounder to IAL. 
      "     Then by boat back to Mirfa - why ?
      Tue 3 68 To island of Salala, dead echosounder, dead radio, geologise all day, then back to Mirfa.
      Wed 4 69 To Salala again, geologised, samples of sand & coral. To Juneina, more marine sampling. Return to Mirfa, fried fish with Adrian.
      Thu 5 70 Nick leaves. Breakfast with Bedu. Boat won't start. Hitch-hiking to and from between Mirfa & Tarif.
      Fri 6 71 Khansaheb mechanic eventually fixes engine.
      Sat 7 72 I very busy all day, X very sick, but much geologising. Back to Mirfa, Ali brings supper of fried fish from Bedu woman
      Sun 8 73 Feeling v poorly, 1/2 hour cranking engine, then X, I & Ali to Tarif. Try to locate echosounder, not yet repaired. Supper in coolie camp.
           
    12 Mon  9 74 X still very sick. Breakfast in coolie camp. Thick fog. Back to Mirfa. X & I packed samples.
      Tue 10 75 Radio dies again. X & I to Shipwreck Point by late afternoon, wonderful marine life en route. Sleep on board.
      Wed 11 76 Dense fog. By compass to Bazam al Gharbi for mangrove pictures, but colour camera has died. Geologising, then to Marawa, pack
      "     samples. I feel very ill, strange intense deams.
      Thu 12 77 Still v unwell; high winds & huge sea make sampling v difficult. Beach boat, improvise tent. X excited by high-quality mangrove swamp.
      Fri 13 78 Off early to see mouth of mangrove creek. I break tiller link to rudder, steer with feet. Later I fall overboard, levitate back in view of possible sharks.
      "     On to Mirfa, X ashore to telegraph Rodaim (why ?). Eat with Bedu, terrible headache.
      Sat 14 79 Off round outside of Abu al Abayad, take becalmed dhow in tow, aged naukhada, on to Abu Dhabi.  Run boat ashore at new jetty. Still feeling rotten.
      Sun 15 80 X & God to Mirfa to collect Ali and rest of stores. I check boat to see safely aground at jetty.
           
    13 Mon  16 81 Whole day spent packing samples & equipment, and tidying shed.
      Tue 17 82 X, God & I to Dubai by ADMA taxi. Taxi to Sharjah. Party at TOS officer's mess, celebrating new CO, afloat in vodka cocktails etc. Taxi to Fishing Club,
      "     (drinking den for OR's), whisky galore, black-out, dim recollection of being dragged outside then scrap with NCO.
      Wed 18 83 Wake bemused in military hospital (was brought in unconscious after scrap). V queasy, PA plays You'll Never Walk Alone over and over all day, ugh.
      Thu 19 84 X, God & I to Dubai, TOS Landrover, then Agency bodyguard in taxi to Abu Dhabi.
      Fri 20 85 Broken nose examined by Agency doctor, then organise ADMA flight to Bahrein. Dinner with Boustead, TOS CO and Sheikh Zaid; Gallipoli campaign
      "     discussed, on which I'm unexpectedly well-informed. Boustead offers me job at 150 rupees/month, reluctantly decline.
      Sat 21 86 ADMA flight to Bahrein, stay at BP Guesthouse.
      Sun 22 87 See consultant at hospital, nose operation under general anaesthetic.
           
    14 Mon  23 88 Eyes checked at hospital. Consultant OK's the post-operative nose as functional.
      Tue 24 89 Return via Das to Abu Dhabi. Finish wrapping loose tubes & squeezing samples, for transport to UK.
      Wed 25 90 Finish squeezing samples for transport home. X & God work out the accounts. I get £50 for 12 weeks' work, pretty good.
      Thu 26 91 Field work with God. Return boat equipment to shed.
      remaining pages missing