My few days in Eritrea
(Translated by Laszlo Kapitany)
2009.04.11 (day 931)
Eritrean soldiers (National Service) get 140 nakfas per month, the port Security Guard gets 400, the Harbor Chief, Port Captain etc. 2000 nakfas. (1 USD=30 nakfas on the black market). The locals are not allowed to possess or exchange dollars under severe penalties, yet almost everybody does it. The communists forbid doing a lot of things, (like sorcery), and people must obtain permit for many things, a very bureaucratic country. Foreigners can’t use mobile telephones and must have permit to take videos.
Tied up next to Alexandro’s 98-ft steel catamaran (an Italian yachtsman who makes his living making movies), so that I can reach and again secure my loosened radar reflector from his mast. Also fixed the broken conductor of my mast light.
Bought 48 liters of benzin (gasoline, petrol/tr) in the morning (more expensive than in Yemen of course), also re-filled the water bottles. Interneting in town was cheap, 60 nakfas/hour, but very slow. I can’t send pictures and videos from here. Sorry!
Went to Mahuita’s for lunch and coffee, then we had a siesta. P.m. ‘netting again, then browsed at the local hardware store.
Dinner at a local eatery for 40 nakfas (1.1 USD). The Eritrean kitchen is interesting, but not my favorite.
Later went to the local disco with Mahuita. Interesting experience The disco resembles the culture houses of the ‘60s. Three kinds of drinks are available:
1. Bottled water (20 cents US), 90% of the people drink it because it’s the cheapest.
2. Uzo (anisette liquor) or Gin (60 – 90 cents) only a few people drink it.
3. Heineken, 4 USD, only the occasional tourists drink that one.
A few places serve local wine, but it’s expensive. We drank Uzo and Mahuita became totally smashed.
The disco waiters wore gray uniform and, uniform tablecloths, etc everywhere. There was an older jukebox on the stage and they danced there as well, fairly low key. Only locals were there except myself. Mahuita’s dance was quite - perhaps too - provocative…Everybody is watching us, a longhaired and long matted bearded white in a funny polo-shirt with a pretty, fairly loaded local gal :-) 80% of the music was local with an occasional English number. The disco closes at dawn, but we left around 2.
2009.04.12. (day 932)
3.5 million people live in Eritrea, of those 3 million are soldiers! (27% of the budget is military). Seemingly everybody agrees with the system, but a few young people do criticize the government and the party. Had some interesting talks with some. Tilo, a composer for example, works in Sudan because of his financial difficulties. Everybody gets free food in Eritrea, there’s hardly any need to spend money on anything, yet many work in Sudan, also many settle there...
Imperial palace on the beach, has been empty for 16 years with no hope of refurbishing. 80% of the buildings show war damage. The Great Bank Building, next to the harbor entrance, is just a great wreck, almost unrecognizable. There’s hardly anything left of the statue in the main square. Every building is more or less ruined, showing hits by bullets.
P.m.: looking around town, shopping, Internet.
Prices: $1 US = 30 nakfas
8 eggs $1
0.5 kg bananas $1. Prices of vegetables are similar. Sweets, like dates and cookies are cheap!
The Communist Party’s propaganda claims that Ethiopia is preparing to attack, therefore the country has been under emergency conditions for several years. Nearly all members of the government are military heroes of the previous war. The Prime Minister swaps them occasionally. He is the undisputed boss.
Had dinner and coffee in Mahuita’s bar in the evening. Many young persons coming and going, it’s Sunday and more people are around. A few bars have TV, the locals sit around to watch them in the evenings.
Later chatted with Paul. He’s an engineer, working at a resort on a nearby island. Basically he was talking about life of the “brotherhood”, as to how the locals are living it. Their feeling is very strong about it. Everybody is into politics, it’s unavoidable tonight as well.
Left the cabin door open for airing and a local cat jumped on the ship at night and ate most of my cookies.
Eritrea (Massawa) – Sudan (Suakin)
(260nm, 10 days)
2009.04.13 (day 933)
08LT checked out. It was free and I didn’t have to buy a visa.
Breakfast: dates and cookies the cat left.
A.m.: rope work, packing.
10LT turned off the motor. Bf.1-2 SE, ¾ wind, speed about 2 knots.
Lunch: canned eggs, onion, tomato and Eritrea-n bread, that’s round, flat and good tasting. It’s hot.
P.m. Reading and listening to the radio. The wind calmed by evening, so anchored at Dahlak Bank between Shekh el Buls and Harat Is.
18:30LT POS(16-02.5N 039-25.5E)
Depth: 6m sand and coral. Paid out 10m chain and 30m line.
2009.04.14 (day 934)
1002 mB, 38°, Bf.0-1 S, proceeding slowly at 1-2 kts. Heading toward Difnein Island.
Breakfast: Vitamin C, salad with (yesterday’s canned quail eggs) and bread. Weak winds all day.
P.m.: reading and BBC. The temperature is above 40°C, getting warmer daily.
12:30UTC. POS(16-21N 039-20E), 14.292 MHz radio: HA5CAR, HA5HS, YO2AAG, HA7MO Laci, Karcsi (5,5)
Favorable S-SE winds for a day and a half, then shifting to NW and strengthening.
Almost caught a fish in the evening but it was too large and tore the hook off.
Sailing peacefully in weak Bf.0-1 SE winds all evening.
Dinner: spaghetti. Weak winds all night, passed calmly with little sleep.
2009.04.15 (day 935)
1005 mB, 32°, Bf.0-1 SE, Sailing 2 kts northward.
Breakfast: Vitamin C, dinner leftovers.
Chart from now on: 62270 replacing 62290.
Tied new hook on the leader and fishing again today.
09LT: wind increasing, Bf.1-2S, making 2-3 kts on 330°. Reading then patching sails (while underway).
Lunch: dates, salad with eggs and bread.
12:30UTC POS(17-22N 038-59E) radio 14.292MHz: HA5CAR(5,9), HA5HS(5,9), YO2AAG, HA5APK,, YU7CK(5,7), Géza, YU7ZK.
Forecast: tomorrow still SE then NW-N slight stronger. Evening: wind weakened shifting to NW. Tacking.
A larger fish tore the leader again after 23LT.
2009.04.16 (day 936)
1010 mB, 30°, Bf.3.NNW then later Bf.3 N.
9 hours of tacking took me 2nm closer to my goal. Quartering and slowed down by short, choppy head seas.
P.M.: reading and drank lemon water.
Dinner: canned beans, bread and onion.
NW winds strengthening, wet going. Waves spill into the cockpit, even in the cabin. Caught a cold overnight and my back started aching.
2009.04.17 (day 937)
A.m.: wind slightly weakens and turns NE. Tacking all day.
12:30UTC: POS(18-00N 038-51E).
Radio: 14.292 MHz:HA5CAR(5,9); HA5HS95,8); YO2BF, Oszkár, Temesvár.
Melamphryum (21-21N 37-01E) couldn’t hear me on the radio.
After a few days of N winds a bit of E, SE winds again.
Everything is shaking, windy going, quartering. It’s hot in the cabin, there’s no air. The cockpit is windy and wet. Sand everywhere, the coast isn’t visible of course. Water dripping into the cabin by the roof.
My speed is 3-4 knots, but barely making headway into the right direction.
17:20LT POS(18-00.09N 38-25.80E), anchored by Gazirat Iri in mud and sand. Depth 5m.
Ptelemaic Theron settlement on the beach, established in 264 B.C. This area used to be good hunting grounds by the climate has changed. Dolphins are swimming in the bay.
Trying to get well. Chamomile tea, ginseng, Ben Gay patch on my back, the ointment hasn’t helped much so far. Tylenol against pain, Paspanguwa: coriander, ginger, pathpadagam, Katuwelbaton, Ela-batu, Vishnu Kranthiya, Veniwelgeta, black pepper.
2009.04.18 (day 938)
1009 mB, 35°
Feeling a little better though my nose is still dripping and my back is aching. Multi vitamins and Tylenol.
Breakfast: noodles with vegetables, dates. Had no dinner last night because I was tired. Had chamomile tea only.
A.m.: resting, reading, conserving my energy.
I must leave, because the authorities don’t like yachts anchoring here. It’s too close to the border! I’m in Sudan already!
A.M.: motored over to Khor Nawarat to anchor, no problem. Anchored at the NW part of Gazeirat Kalafiyya
(7m, sand). POS(18-14.58N 038-20.45E).
Swam to the beach and walked about a little. Swam and snorkeled more because of my backache. Beautiful place! Many different kinds of birds and underwater world. Red Sea islands are mostly void of vegetation.
12:30UTC Radio 14.292 MHz: HA5CAR(5,9); HA5HS(5,9); YO2AAG(5,7); HA0MO, Laci, Hajdúdorog (5,9); HA5ALE, Barna – I couldn’t hear him but he heard me. Wind forecast: Easterly during the next few days, perhaps weak N-NW at night.
P.m.: short swim to the beach again, later thoroughly cleaned the ship’s bottom. Meanwhile dolphins kept swimming near CARINA.
Dinner: Masala Papada (Indonesian), hot sauce and soup.
Finished reading Phyllis Krystal’s Sai Baba the Ultimate Experience today.
My back was aching so much at night that I had to take painkillers to sleep.
2009.04.19 (day 939)
1005 mB, 30-32°, Bf.1-2 S –> SE ->E
06LT: departure, brief motoring among the shoals, then sailing, 2-3kts.
Breakfast: muesli (AUS), oasis pastry (Eritrea)
13:30LT anchored near the southern part of Dar Ah Teras Island. Anchored on reef, the depth is only 2-3 meters in places, hooked into a rock.
12:30UTC 14.292MHz radio: HA5CAR; HA5HS; YU7GL(5,9), Topolya, Lajos; HA8LQF(4,7), Józsi, Magyarbánhegyes
Forecast E-SE Bf.2-3 next few days
Read today Annette Noonntil’s The Body is the Barometer of the Soul. I should get cured completely!
P.m. Snorkeling – a wonderful place.
The anchorage isn’t sheltered and the ship is rolling, not too comfortable.
Dinner: appalam fried in oil (Indonesian)
2009.04.20 (day 940)
1012 mB, Bf.1 N
Departure 0600LT after sunrise. A fishing boat anchored nearby overnight, so I had to maneuver around it in addition to the shoals.
Breakfast: muesli, dates, multi vitamin.
Treating my back with ointment.
A.m.: the wind has died, turned on the motor. The next anchorage is still far away.
Fried griddle cakes for lunch.
12:30UTC POS(18-41N 37-45E) 14.202 MHz radio: HA5CAR (5,9), HA5HS (5,9), HA8DN (5,9), Laci, Szeged, HA0NA – couldn’t hear him, HA8VA (5,9).
Wind forecast for next few days: weak E-ly, sometimes stronger in the afternoon.
13:20UTC anchored at Trinkitat POS(18-40.76N 37-45.03E)
There’s a military base nearby, they’re watching me through binoculars for a long time.
Dinner: griddle cakes, liver pate, onion, chili, canned green beans.
16:00UTC radio 14.292MHz – time trial. HA5CAR (5,7), HA5HS (5,9), band very noisy!
Evening: reading and listening to BBC. Only brief listening, the radio uses a lot of power.
2009.04.21 (day 941)
1010 mB, 20°, Bf.1 N
0600LT: Motored out of Trinkitat ‘Harbor’ bay at sunrise.
Later motored between Sumar Is., Cagle Is. and among a few shoals toward the Shubuk channel.
A.m. :the wind has died.
Breakfast: couscous, dried fish, onion, chili, green beans.
A.m.: patching main sail, using CARMYFIX, CH-43, GLUE 5440 (bought in Eritrea) since yesterday, instead of contact cement.
09LT anchored near the southern part of Long Is. (11m, sand). Snorkeling, walking on the island and lagoon which is full of birds.
10LT departure, motoring – still no wind.
Passed Dabulat Is., Shab Simbel, Jez Durwara, Abu Terrda…
Calm, hot and back ache. Also using back-patch, perhaps it’ll help.
.1-2 around noon – sailing again.
Route: Shab Kurne, - Shab Maras – Sham Lakham – El Makglas – Marsa Esh Sheikh, this is the narrow Shubuk Channel, visibly well marked with buoys.
12:30UTCF POS(18-53N 37-26E). Radio 14.292 MHz HA5CAR(5,9) HA5HS(5,9), couldn’t hear YO2AAG.
Forecast weakening winds for the next few days.
16:15LT anchored at MARSA ESH SHEIKM IBRAHIM. POS(18-52.6N 37-25.0E)
Snorkeling, this place isn’t so beautiful.
Dinner: potato salad, noodles, dried fish, dried crab.
This is a small fishing settlement, a few tent-like hovels made mostly of trash. A few small fishing boats and two larger ones with outboard.
Some are fishing with throw-net, others walk deep onto the reef with their nets at ebb-tide. The tall mountains of Sudan appear in the background. The nearby main road is busy with noisy heavy traffic.
Finally managed to sleep well today!
2009.04.22 (day 942)
“Pleasure and action makes the hours seem short”. Shakespeare
1010 mB, 28°, calm
0700LT departed with engine.
It was rather cold at dawn, had to use the blanket! First in a long time.
Breakfast: multi-vitamin, water with lemon, oasis pastry.
Reading and navigating among the shoals. Dolphins escorting me, the distance is only 16nm. Weak NE wind around noon.
The harbor entrance and the channel leading to the town are well marked with buoys.
13LT: tied up in the harbor. No one speaks English. Found the right office in 30 minutes, where they told me to get in touch with the agent. Called him by phone and moved to anchorage in the small bay next to the harbor. There are 3 yachts there already, but there is enough room. 2 more yachts came not long after me.
Naturally there are some acquaintances among them. The agent promised a dinghy and brought it out too. Graham from Silver Heel gave me a pump, so I blew out and repaired the holes right quick.
Mohamed’s expenses: $20 harbor fee, $20 Customs, $30 Agent fee, $30 shore pass. Not too cheap, but cheaper that the ‘check-in’ at Port Sudan.
P.m.: checking solar panel connection, sealing in the bow with silicone, laundry.
Dinner on the beach for 60 cents. Much and filling. The usual eateries serve cream of bean soup, salad, flat bread (a tasty Sudanese bread I like). There is no Internet in town, so I must goo to Port Sudan ASAP.
My few days in Suakin.
2009.04.23 (day 943)
1 USD = 2.3 Sudanese pounds in the bank, 2.5-3 on the black market.
Morning: re-filling empty water bottles, fuel purchase (36l, 0.9 USD / liter)
Walked around the old town that has been under renovation for years. Progress seems to be very slow because of the cost. Then a walk about the market place and bused to Port Sudan (1 hr, 2.5 pounds). Looking for internet places where I can be all night tomorrow. They agreed with some difficulty, to all night interneting for 20 pounds ($7). Otherwise everything closes around 22-24 hours. Shall return here tomorrow.
Lunch and dinner 2-3 pounds, very tasty. There are many eateries with great selection.
Looking around town: parks, port, churches, market place.
Purchasing food for the voyage, no great selection.
Evening: bused back to Suakin.
Morning: checked out the marketplace in Suakin, looks medieval to me.
Lunch 1.5 Sudanese pounds. Bused to Port Sudan to Internet.
Afternoon: Internet, uploading pictures and videos. Their generator stops at times – power failure. The whole thing goes even slower. Had tea with Daniel, an Ethiopian youth and he introduced me to some interesting people. I like these Sudanese teahouses. Returned to the Internet café to upload pictures and videos in an all night session.
2009.04.25 (day 945)
Power failed at 5 a.m. Alone in the locked Internet Café. Lied down to sleep on the floor, even the mosquitoes didn’t bother me.
The owner woke me up at 7 and invited me for tea. I managed to upload the pictures and videos but was unable to finish the yacht log. Next time…
A 1 pound Sudanese breakfast by the marketplace, then bused back to Suakin.
Lunch: 3 pounds by the Suakin marketplace.
Shopping: 2kg onions, ½ kg tomatoes, ½ kg eggplant, ¼ kg lemons, dates and peanuts, not a cheap place. Helped the son of one of the business owners with his English composition homework. A text-interpretation exercise :-)
Later visited the local Museum (10 Sudanese pounds), then collected my passport from the agent and received sailing permit until Egypt.
P.M.: coffee in the Belgian sailboat Grey Donkey. Eric, his wife, son and a dog have been sailing for 3-4 years, so far visiting Europe and Northern Africa. They’ll continue from here in a few months toward Asia via the Indian Ocean. The son is getting his education in the ship, his mother being the teacher. He takes his exams in Belgium at the end of the year. Their ship is 25 years old, they worked on it for 3 years and it looks pretty good.
Dinner on the beach.
Has been a commercial center since 10th century. It was the last slave trading location in the world, ceasing at the end of WW2.
Sudan (Suakin) – Egypt, (Marsa Girid)
10 days, 260nm.
2009.04.26 (day 946)
1008 mB, 30-35°, Bf.4-5 N.
0700LT: departure. Motoring with main sail. My sails are being torn in the strong wind - motoring only.
1200LT anchored (10m, sand) at Marsa Ata POS( 19-17.37N 37-19.71E). A rather narrow entrance into the marsa (marsa = bay in Arabic), good visibility is important here as well.
P.m.: snorkeling by the reef.
Lunch: cream of eggplant, Sudanese bread.
1230UTC radio 14.292MHz HA5CAR, YO2AAG, YO5ALI Miklós, Nagyvárad, (5,8); YO7GL(5,9), Lajos, Tolya.
P.m.: coffee in Silver Heel II. Dinner: noodles.
Evening: reading, listening to BBC.
2009.04.27 (day 947)
0900LT 8.101 MHz Red Sea Net, some 10 ships checked in today.
A.m.: snorkeling by the reef and walk on the beach. There are very many flamingoes here. Many rays, perch and other types of fish underwater, a good diving place.
1230UTC 14.292MHz radio HA5HS.
Wind forecast: weakening from tomorrow – therefore departure tomorrow!
P.m.: coffee in the yacht Graptolite
Evening: reading and BBC.
2009.04.28 (day 948)
A fellow yachtsman’s webpage Graptolite S/Y: www.graptolie.eu
1002 mB, 30-35°.
Departed before 06LT, motor + sail.
Breakfast: dinner leftovers. Bf.2-3 NW
Motoring until Port Sudan (narrow channel with shoals, no room to maneuver). Many large ships before Port Sudan, but light traffic.
Lunch: soup, peanut butter (AUS) and pastry (Eritrea).
1440LT Sanganeb Reef POS(19-44.07N 037-26.71E). There is another yacht and a diving boat here still leaving enough room for CARINA.
1230UTC 14.292MHz HA5CAR; HA5HS; YO2AAG(5,8); HA2RX(5,9) Lóri; YO2PCY Gréti; YO5OED Feri; YO5ALI; HA5TGY, Gyuri, Bp – couldn’t hear him.
Forecast for the next few days: NW-N-NE 15 knots.
P.m.: cocktail party in the yacht Vanana, Rob and his wife sailed from the USA 14 years ago.
Dinner: canned beans.
2009,04.29 (day 949)
Continued motoring in the morning. Stomach ache. Perhaps yesterday’s beans or food in the Sudanese restaurants? No breakfast.
8.101 MHz Red Sea Net. Listened only, didn’t transmit.
11LT POS(19-56.82N 37-24.23E) tied to a buoy at Shab Rumi.
The Cousteau Project took place here, they say it’s a diver’s Mecca. Jacques Cousteau lived and filmed under water here for weeks.
Alfred Hennebohl, fellow diver of Cousteau died here in 1977.
Two diving boats are anchored next to me then Graptolite also anchored in 25m. Her anchor got stuck and was freed with some difficulty.
The captain of one of the diving boats visited me and asked if I needed anything. We had a nice chat about coming weather and good diving places. Then a fishing boat came alongside and asked for cigarettes :-)
Lunch: instant soup. Brief snorkeling.
1230UTC 14.292 MHz HA5CAR, HA5HS, couldn’t hear YO2AAG. Forecast NW-N-NE, not too strong.
I’m sick again. Upset stomach and fever.
1630LT continued the voyage.
P.m.: NE wind, sailing north making 2-3 knots toward the north
Evening: took Tylenol for my fever.
Weakening wind, Bf.1-2. At dawn: calm. Motoring toward Taila Island.
2009.04.30 (day 950)
1010 mB, 30-38°, Bf.1 N
Breakfast: biscuits with garlic, multi-vitamin, energy tablets, water with lemon.
A.m.: sorting water jugs-, vegetables and fruits. New map: 62250.
Took some Leopedium for my upset stomach.
Lunch: boiled potatoes, ginger tea.
1530 anchored south of Taila Is. POS(20-38.09N 37-13.49E)
1230UTC HA5CAR(5,9), HA5HS(5,9), YO2AAG, YU2BF, Oszkár. Forecast Bf.3-4 Northerly winds.
Snorkeling and walking on the beach.
P.m.: reading and BBC.
Dinner: boiled potatoes.
2009.05.01 (day 951)
Birds in the Red Sea marsas (bays) and islands: Marabon Storks, African Skimmers, Egrets, Ibis, Spoonbills, Ospreys, Flamingos.
1005 mB, 28°
Morning: strong north wind over 20 kts, so delaying departure (also better for my illness).
There are no eggs, I left them at the Suakin marketplace.
09LT Red Sea Net, everybody has 20 kt headwinds in the vicinityl
A.m.: listening to BBC. A two masted charter yacht anchored next to me. Later some friendly fishermen came asking for cigarettes but got biscuits only. They gave me a fish. Later snorkeling and walking on the beach. Met with the crew of a large charter ship, chatted some.
Lunch: fried fish with rice. Snorkeled again.
1230UTC 14.292 MHz > 14.288 MHz HA5CAR(5,9), HA5HS(5,9), YO2AAG(5,8). Wind forecast weakening in a few days but stays northerly.
P.m.: reading, listening to BBC and VOA.
Yesterday at dawn I heard Hungarian broadcast on 6150 kHz for 2 hours. (Radio Budapest?).
The neighboring charter ship caught a barracuda and gave it to me. Thank you!
Later Marco, 26 year old Italian crew and the other, Sudanese crew member came over. We chatted some and they brought some useful presents: hooks, leaders and other fishing gear, mask, cookies and beer. Thank you! Their webpage: www.aigosub.com
They gave me route ideas, where better to sail and interesting sights.
2009.05.02 (day 952)
1010 mB, 30-32°, Bf.3 N-NW
0620LT departure - motoring.
0900LT 8.101 MHz Red Sea Net.
0930LT Passing Marsa Inkeifal, today’s goal is Mesharifa Is., across from Muhammad Qol. The charter ship’s crew recommended it and they should know. Marko told me that you can dig small and tasty fishes out of the sand.
P.m.: charging pencil batteries, BBC.
1230UTC 14.292 MHz radio: HA5CAR(5,9); YO2AAG; G0UEN Károly (5,9); HA5MG/MM Gyuri on Lake Balaton sailing in Tihany narrows; HA6NM Laci, Balassagyarmat; HA7JZ(5,8); YO2MFM Gyuri, Arad (5,9)
Evening: reading and BBC.
1010 mB, 27°, had to wear a T-shirt in the morning.
Bf.1 NW-W -> motor sailing, 3.5 knot speed through the channel full of shoals. A well buoyed channel, but good visibility is still important!
0800LT wind weakening and shifting northerly
Took Karesz’ and Rudis advice for stomachache: a shot of Arrack (Sri Lanka liquor) before going to bed and one just after getting up. It helped! :-)
0900LT 8.101 MHz Red Sea Net. Weak SE winds expected everywhere from tomorrow.
A.m.: sorting foods, some cookies got worms – threw them away, checking bilge water, cleaning compartments.
0800LT Shab Felix
1000LT Ras Abu
1330LT Shab Qumeira
Had to motor after only 2 hours sailing in the morning. – wind became NW. Afternoon veered to NE, able to sail again, I don’t have to use the motor! Later easterly, ¾ sailing.
1230UTC POS(21-17N 37-07E). Khor Shinab’s entrance now only 5.6 nm.
Late afternoon the wind weakens.
Evening: anchored POS(21-20.93N 037-06.6E) 6m, sand + coral. Just before sunset, inner bay of Khor Shinab.(1830LT)
Dinner: pasta with preserves and cinnamon.
The evening and morning arrack shots helped my stomach.
Khor Shinab: Quoin sand hill (59m) by the marsa. Could climb-, but will skip it. According to many yachters, this marsa is the largest and most beautiful in the area. The scenery, the color of the sand, also a pleasant snorkeling place.
2009.05.04 (day 954)
There are things in the Islamic culture more humane compared to western or other cultures. I have observed that the poor get free food at every local eatery. The rich always give to the beggar.
Departure 20 minutes before sunrise. Motoring from the marsa in Bf.0-1 winds. Met a rowing fishing boat in the middle of the marsa. Gave them a line and towed them. Also gave them biscuits and chocolates.
Of course every fisherman wants cigarettes :-). They’re fishing at dawn by the reef.
0730LT passing by Marsa Halak.
0900LT 8.101 MHz Red Sea Net, nobody has wind, the weak S-SE wind could last ‘til tomorrow.
0930LT passing Marsa Abu Imama.
Breakfast: leftovers, multi vitamin.
Bf.3 SE winds from 10 -> sailing at 3-4 knots on track.
1100LT passing MARSA GAFATIR
1130LT passing MARSA WASA
Continuous steering with full following wind.
1230LT passing MARSA HAMISAT.
Lunch: biscuits with garlic, lemon water.
1320LT Khor Abu Asal
1350LT MARSA RIBDA
1410LT Khor al Marob
1230UTC POS(21-55N, 36-53E) 14.292 MHz HA5CAR(5,9); HA5HS(5,9); YO2AAG(5,7); YO5AJR(5,3), Miklós, Nagybánya. Forecast: stronger northerlies from tomorrow – not good news.
17LT MARSA Umbeila, anchored (4m, mud). POS(21-58.52N 36-51.82E). The border is at 22°N, the border crossing buildings are visible from here. The coast is desert, there are a few camels on the beach.
All marsas look like about this . Greens and trees are scarce.
2009.05.05 (day 955)
1001 mB, 35° at noon.
06LT departure. “Galloping” in Bf.3 SSE winds until 08LT, then briefly weaker winds turned northerly! I was hoping it comes later, but it came earlier.
Taking shortcuts as possible, Elba Reef, Tutano Reef, Qubbat’s Reef, rounded from the inside.
Having no accurate maps, constantly watching for shoals.
Elba Reef: good anchorage and diving place. The sunken ship Laranzo is here.
Qubatt Is. and Tutana Reef: good for diving, you can not obtain diving permit for here. They say the USA has a spy plane base here (Jebel Elba) monitoring Sudan.
Breakfast: multi vitamin, biscuits, garlic, dhali crackers (Indonesian).
9LT 8.101 MHz Red Sea Net. Ships in the north experiencing 25-30 knot headwinds it’s coming toward me already. End of the “weather window” (the favorable S-E wind or calm). Lasted only 2 days.
0930LT Bf.4 NNW – headwind.
I’m 14nm from my goal, decided to use the engine to avoid the approaching stronger Bf.6 headwind.
The railing on the port side of cockpit broke but I didn’t fall off :-)
Passing Marsa Halaib where the Egyptian Navy has a major base and you can anchor only in case of emergency. Before there was Harsa Shellat, but it’s a very small bay and isn’t protected against strong winds.
Lunch: meatballs in tomato sauce (canned in Hungary) and biscuits.
Headwind gradually increasing, could be 25 or 30 kts Everything is wet, the seas are spilling into the cockpit. The next anchorage is MARSA GIRID. Sailed the last 10 nm near Gez el Dibia Island. The waves are smaller but must watch out for nearby shoals.
1630LT arrived at MARSA GIRID POS(22-24.22N 36-25.34E)
The narrow entrance to the marsa is buoyed, though visibility was poor. Sailors from the warship at the end of the pier waved me to proceed over there, so I did. This is the Egyptian Navy. Nice people, the commander, a captain and the chief engineer speak English. They asked for the ship’s papers and my passport. Just routine check. Perhaps I can buy food and fuel here. Small quantities of water are free.
They told me that a month ago there were 11 yachts in this small place. I tied up at the nearest buoy, will have to stay here for the next few days waiting for favorable winds.
I couldn’t radio today it was wet going out there.
This port, Suakin el Qudim or Aidheb (Suakin the Old one), used to be much busier a few hundred years ago. In the 13th century it used to be the meeting point of the caravans heading for the Nile.
Dinner: soup, egg plant, vinete-cream (eggplant) and biscuits.
My week MARSA GIRID, Egyptian Navy base.
2009.05.06 (day 956)
Breakfast: liver paste, biscuits, onion.
A.m.: strong NW wind.
Checked the motor, cleaning, changed sparkplugs, secured the lower point of the radar reflector, general cleaning, food inspection, some biscuits have worms, drying clothes.
Lunch: Dhali crackers.
Abdarahmen, the young captain from the warship came over around 11, and we talked about ships and sailing. He too sails, races in a 470. Lives in Cairo with his wife and two daughters. His schedule: 15 days at the base, one week at home.
Gave him a list of foods I needed. Not allowed to go ashore – which is slightly annoying – but keeping busy with chores around the ship.
Battery: 13V, the solar panel is charging well.
1230UTC 14.292 MHz: HA5CAR(5,9), HA5HS(5,9), YO2AAG(5,8); HA5CDM(5,6) Attila, Bp. The weather is forecast to stay the same for the next few days. Using rum for my stomach ache, the message from the shores of Tisza river is “ a small amount of hard liquor is remedy, large amounts are medicine” :-)
P.m.: washing lines, railing repairs.
Abdarahmen rowed over and bought the foods, vegetables/fruits/powdered milk/eggs 6USD. He stayed until evening, we had tea and chatted about life in Egypt. His rank is presently captain, but could be admiral by age 51. Used to sail in Alexandria in 470s also racing of course. Told me about the good Egyptian diving spots and about the nightlife.
The pencil batteries overheated and are ruined, I noticed it too late. Must buy new ones, the GPS uses them.
Dinner: noodles, boiled eggs, vegetables.
2009.05.07 (day 957)
8.101 MHz Red Sea Net, spoke with Graham, Silver Heel, north of me, they’re experiencing over 30 kt winds. Martyn measured 45 knot winds. Strong winds today everywhere and will stay so for the next few days.
Today read Dewi Morgan’s: The Seeds of Peace.
Chores for today: organizing ropes, sleeping sewing, securing pole, etc.
I finally have time for CARINA, that I had very little of so far.
A.m.: baking bread with sesame seeds. Had it for lunch with green salad.
P.m.: checked the main bolt in the rudder, cleaned the battery terminals and sprayed them with WD-40.
1230UTC radio: HA5CAR(5,9); HA5HS(5,9); YO2AAG(5,9); YO5ALI(5,6), Miklós, Nagyvárad; YO5OED(5,5), Feri, Nagyvárad; YO5PCY? Gréti, Nagyvárad(5,6)
P.m.: gluing things around the ship.
Evening: reading, listening to BBC/VOA
2009.05.08 (day 958)
8.101 MHz Red Sea Net, windy everywhere, over 30 knots NW.
A.m.: packing things away, cleaning the forward starboard compartment, rust proofing knives and tools, gluing. Fixed my bunk: transferred foods from the port- to the starboard coffin bunk to give my legs more room.
P.m.: laundry, washed out the valise, fuel transfers, packing garbage away.
1230UTC 14.292 MHz HA5CAR(5,9); HA5HS(5,9); YO2AAG. Forecast strong winds and rain for the next few days. Snorkeled after the radio schedule at the nearby coral reef. There are many fishes, squid etc. not a bad place!
Commander Mohamed came over and brought me 10l fuel for free, but there won’t be anymore. I told him that wasn’t enough. Perhaps he could bring some more later. He also brought me some water.
Supper: rice, canned fish, dried crab, tomato salad.
Evening: reading and BBC.
2009.05.09 (day 959)
A.m.: tightened bolts in the mast base mount, were quite loose. Must check these minimally every half-year.
A.m.: green tea and multi vitamin.
8.101 MHz Red Sea Net the neighboring ships report 30 kt NW winds. Propagation was not good today, heard a few yachts only.
Later replaced the Henry Lloyd matrices with new ones on the side of the ship, then killed cockroaches with chalk.
Lunch: my own griddlecake with tomato/green salad while listening to BBC.
P.m.: checking the bow-compartment, packing things away – found a small leak again, will be sealing tomorrow! Cleaned the compartment under the portside forward bunk.
Secured the antenna coax connector again, perhaps that’s why reception was noisy the last few days.
1230UTC 14.292 MHz HA5HS(5,9); YO2AAG (Bobby was very weak today).
Dinner: scrambled eggs, the local eggs are very small and very tasty.
2009.05.10 (day 960)
Morning at 08LT 8.101 MHz talked with Silver Heel , Graham said that the wind should weaken to 20 knots from tomorrow then perhaps even more. Winds stronger during the day, weakening at night.
A.m.: cleaned and secured starboard cabinet, glued table with polyester.
Lunch: soup, dumplings and bulgur, fried pork patties (Bipoint), tomato.
1230UTC 14.292 MHz HA5HS(5,9); YO2AAG
Winds still strong today but forecast to weaken tomorrow. Finally could be taking off!
P.m.: dark clouds and rain. My first rain in the Red Sea after a month and a half.
There wasn’t much rain, the ship didn’t really get washed off, only got muddy :-) (sand and water).
After some three months, finished reading today Sanaya Roman & Duane Parker’s Opening to Channel.
Dinner: lunch leftovers.
Abdarahmen came over tonight, the war exercise has ended. Brought some gift biscuits and we had tea.
Talked about Egyptian culture and good anchorages nearby.
2009.05.11 (day 961)
Cool in the morning, 22° and I’m cold. Drank some hot menta tea.
Breakfast: last night’s leftovers and multi vitamin.
8.101 MHz Red Sea Net, heard a few ships only: Silver Heel II, Full Change, Graptolite, Sahula, Traveller.
A.m.: reading and listening to BBC. Later sealing on deck with silicone.
According to Egyptian fishermen’s lore: if the weather is fine on Sunday, then the weather will be fine all next week (weaker winds and smaller seas)
P.m.: rained again.
1230UTC 14.292 MHz HA5CAR; HA5HS; YO2AAG
Forecast weakening to 15-20 kts NW-N-NE next few days
P.m.: snorkeling at the nearby reef.
Abdarahmen came over the my ship, brought some food, tomatoes, eggs, onions, bread, chicken, battery for the GPS (everday – not the best). Paid 12USD for these.
Dinner: half a roast chicken!
2009.05.12 (day 962)
A.m.: adjusted the rig and mast, cleaned the ship ‘s hull
8LT: 8.101 MHz Red Sea Net heard a few ships only, weakly.
Lunch: half a roast chicken and Egyptian bread.
P.m.: snorkeling and hull cleaning.
1230UTC 14.292 MHz HA5HS(5,9), YO2AAG(5,8)
Forecast: weakening winds to 15 knots from NW-N-NE
Commander Ahmed came over and brought 25l fuel for $20. Not cheap.
I got all necessities and the weather looks OK too. Will depart tomorrow.
Evening: VOA choice program, then listened to BBC.
Dinner: leftover chicken and bread.
(210 nm, 8 days)
2009.05.13 (day 963)
1010 mB, 30°, Bf.3 W in the morning.
Breakfast: multi vitamin, plain Egyptian bread.
0930LT Wind veering northerly, exited the ’shoaly’ passage, my direction is NW from here over open waters. Full headwinds. Quartering.
1300LT wind N Bf.3-4, making 2-3 kts on 060°
1230UTC 14.292 MHz POS(22-45N 36-43E) HA5CAR; HA5HS; YO2AAG.
Forecast for next few days: NW-N-NE 13-15 kts, which, in reality could mean 20 kts here. Will be wet and rough going with a lot of quartering.
P.m.: wind weakening – motored a few hours.
Evening: changing tack to 270, speed 2-3 knots
15-16UTC listened to VOA
Dinner: noodles with eggs and vegetables.
At night: the usual brief naps and reading. Have to watch the ship traffic, the wind weakens and quartering.
01LT a large ship didn’t give right of way, I had to maneuver.
2009.05.14 (day 964)
1010 mB, 28-30°, Bf.3-4 NW
08LT 8.101 MHz Red Sea Net – heard nobody. The wind veering northerly after 8.
Breakfast: multi vitamin, noodles with preserves.
Finished reading: Jonathan Safran Foer’s: Everything is illuminated..
My speed is 2 knots in counter current. It’s sometimes possible in these parts.
Lunch: sardines with noodles and vegetables.
12LT Passing by Geziret Zabargad and Rocky Island.
1230UTC POS(23-32N 36-07E) 14.292MHz HA5CAR(5,9); HA5HS; YO2AAG; YO2MFM Gyuri, Arad; HA5MQ(5,9) Lajos, Gyömrő; HA7JZ Zoli, Jásztelek.
Wind forecast for the next few days NW mornings and NE afternoons/evenings, stronger in daytime.
Dinner: dumpling soup
New chart from today: 62230
18LT wind veering and weakening. So motor + sails for a few hours at night.
2009.05.15 (day 965)
Famous ship’s pilots and divers of the first half of 20. Century: Renato Marchesan, Ernesto Leoni.
Shoals are named after them in the area.
1010 mB, 25°, Bf. 4 NW – sailing 2-3 knots on 050, later 270°
Breakfast: multi vitamin, Halawa, chocolate, biscuits.
The vessel is steered mainly by autopilot, works well with quartering.
A.m.: reading, BBC.
The seas are spilling in and greatly slowing me down.
08LT 8.101 MHz Red Sea Net, barely heard them, 25-30 knot NW winds north of Hurghada.
Anchored early afternoon by RAS Baniyas (8m, coral + rocks). POS(23-53.6N 35-46.9E)
This place was earlier called Cape Nose.
1230UTC 14.292 MHz radio: HA5CAR(5,9); HA5HS(5,9); YO2AAG(5,8); HA5OV(5,5), Péter, Bp.; HA7JZ, Zoli; HA5TGY Gyuri – couldn’t hear him.
Forecast strong NW-NE winds for next few days weaker in evenings.
Later snorkeling and walk on the beach.
Dinner: noodles, vegetables, dried fish, canned beef.
Fishermen are working on the beach, putting out a net near the island for the night.
2009.05.16 (day 966)
1010 mB, 28°, Bf.2 NW
06LT: departure. Weighing anchor wasn’t simple, had to enter the water to unhook the anchor and rope from around the coral. Early morning snorkeling - my favorite.
Breakfast: multi vitamin, dinner leftovers.
Would like to sail to Fury Shoal today. Strengthening headwinds and motoring. Distance 17 nm.
Fury was the vessel’s name that first reported these shoals to the East India Company in the early 1800s. There are two good anchorages: by Dolphin Reef and by Abu Galawa and the whole place good for diving. (There’s a large sunken tanker near the shoal from the 1940s).
They have found old amphorae under water near Dolphin Reef (Sataya), so the place was known to sailors in the old days as well.
Lunch: something Indonesian.
12LT anchored in POS(24-09.7N, 35-41.5E)
Snorkeled for an hour but the water is colder here already. Usually do it in swimming trunks and mask. Good place, saw several tortoises.
P.m.: patching main sail.
1230UTC 14.292 MHz: HA5CAR(5,9); HA5HS(5,9); YO2AAG(5,7); YO2MFM(5,7),Gyuri, Arad; HA8AR(5,8), Pali, Békéscsaba. We also made contact 2.5 years ago from the Atlantic; HA0LG(5,9),Tóni, also had contact with him 2.5 years ago from the Mediterranean.
Contact with HA5MG/MM (5,9), Gyuri, on board a 26-foot JAN boat on Lake Balaton. 25°C on the ‘Balchi’ and Bf.1-2 pleasant breeze, they’re near the Tihany narrows. Good place!
HA7JZ; HA8CQF(4,8); HA5CDM(5,8), Attila, who, a few days ago was sending from his truck but alas I couldn’t hear him then.
Dinner: rice, noodles, boiled eggs, dried fish, salad.
2009.05.17 (day 967)
1010 mB, 25°, Bf.1 NW headwind.
05LT departure a few minutes after sunrise, many shoals in the vicinity, need the daylight. Motoring.
Route: Shab Claude – Abu Galawa – Habili Hamada – Marsa Wadi Lahami.
All good diving places, yet I have to go on!
Breakfast: multi vitamin, dinner leftovers, tea.
- sorting greens
- shortened the mail sail down-haul – broke earlier
- 8.101 Red Sea Net, heard a few ships only, but didn’t hear most
- patching main sail
- battery 12.8V
Hoisted main sail after motoring. Wind 330°, my heading is 290
Met about 20 diving boats today.
Lunch: rice, vegetables, liver paste, dates (only fruit on the ship in weeks) .
P.m.: NNWly, dead headwind - motoring among the shoals.
Passed Ras Qulan settlement, then dropped the hook at the southern part of Greater Mahabi Is., next to Lesser Mahabis Is.
1230LT POS(24-18.85N, 35-23.09E)
Snorkeling, walked on the island, then rope work, sail patching.
1230UTC 14.292 MHz HA5CAR; HA5HS; YO2AAG; - couldn’t hear HA5KY.
Forecast next few days: weakening headwinds, could turn E-SE perhaps.
The beach with hotels is 2-3 miles from the island, kite surfers on the beach. On the island only birds and I.
Dinner: Kerala Pappadom.
Evening: reading, BBC.
2009.05.18 (day 968)
1010 mB, 28°, Bf.0-1 NW
05LT weighing anchor, the anchorline got caught in coral, dove to free it. Everything is OK, departure and motoring. Passing through a narrow, shoal studded passage next to the Greater- and Lesser Mahabis Islands. Depth is only 3m at times, corals are visible. Sometimes proceeding at 1 kt because of it. Good exercise.
Breakfast: leftovers and multi vitamin.
The goal is Abu el Ghosun where – according to the Red Sea Pilot – fuel can be bought. Theoretically the 70 liters on hand should be enough. Could be I just want to stop for ice cream :-)
A seagull is following. I throw him date seeds, which he is able to catch from the water. We’re playing. Playing here is different from that in civilization.
07LT passed Gez Showari and Gez Siyul.
08LT 8.101 MHz Red Sea Net. Heard many sailboats and spoke with Kathy. Exchanged positions and fuel buying possibilities. Nobody knows anything, they all use diesel and have large tanks :-)
1130LT tied up at Abu el Ghosun. A truck is standing on the large pier so I moved to the neighboring small pier, where a father and son are fishing. Kev Havlak? Tamam? Semak? Hababa? And so we kept on talking.
I said I wanted to buy gasoline and the father replied: Quarantine. “Check-in Port Ghalib” this is an emergency and I came for help. He said OK, showed me where to buy fuel. 28l cost 40 LP (Egyptian pounds) also bought tomato paste 3LP and fig preserves 4LP. Take-out lunch cost 2.5LP (50¢ US). Thick bean soup with 10 Egyptian breads.
1230 resumed voyage.
1230UTC POS(24-37N 35-10E). 14.292 MHz radio: HA5CAR; HA5HS; YO2AAG; couldn’t hear HA5CA; YO6OAF Béla, Csíkszereda; couldn’t hear HA5TCY.
Forecast for following days: weak winds in the morning, stronger during the day, weakening again in the evening, NE-E-SE. In reality the wind was weak, mostly NW and sometimes NE.
1530 tied up at a buoy (HEPCA) at Gez Wadi, Gimal Island. POS(24-38.62N 035-10.51E)
HEPCA (Hurghada Environmental Protection and Conservation Association) buoy is anchored here, so the vessels don’t damage the corals when anchoring. More than 500 buoys are secured along the Egyptian coast for this reason.
Snorkeling and walk on the island. Talked with the local fishermen. Unfortunately there’s a lot of garbage on the island, carried over here by the wind and seas.
Dinner: spaghetti. Evening: reading, BBC and VOA
2009.05.19 (day 969)
1008 mB, 25-30° (22° at dawn nowadays!).
0430LT: departure. Bf.0-1 W wind, motored between the shoals since before sunrise.
Wind strengthening to NW Bf.3 in an hour.- dead headwind – what’s going to happen here? How long will this keep up? Then weakens again after ½ an hour, but stays NW headwind.
Passed Sharm Luli, Ras Baghdadi, the coastal hotels. Shab Ghadeira (shoals, good diving places).
Increasingly more trash in the sea and on the islands as I’m moving north. More tourists and ‘civilization’.
Breakfast: multi vitamin, dinner leftovers.
Patched and hoisted the main sail.
08LT 8.101 MHz Red Sea Net, Brianna Kathy comes in good today. Vessels: Vantana; Full Charge; Silver Heel ;, Graptolite; Zantana. Some are in the Suez Canal, others in the Gulf of Suez, Hurghada, Port Ghalib, Sudan, all within about 600 nm. Stronger winds northward.
Ten o’clock snack: Egyptian bread smeared with fig preserves, lemon water.
Bf.0-1 NW, sea glassy, motoring.
11LT Samadai Reef, tied up at a buoy, then a motorboat came and chased me away: National Park, must get permission first at Marsa Alamba. The boat bumps CARINA and my toe. Bleeding heavily but no bones broke. Will probably lose the nail. It was an accident, they’re sorry. No problem. Continued my voyage.
This place is famous for it’s dolphins, many visit here and you can swim with them.
13LT-14LT: anchoring. (14m, sand) by Erg Marsa Alam (next to Shab Marsa Alam, good diving place).-
Snorkeling, many beautiful corals and fishes. POS(25-04N 34-36E)
People in the neighboring diving boats are asking:
- Where did you come from? How long at sea? Where are you going?
Many questions and they’re taking pictures.
The spectacle is interesting and makes one think :-)
1230UTC POS(25-05N 34-55E) 14.292 MHz. HA5CAR; HA5HS; YO2AAG. Very noisy today at first, could hardly hear the Hungarian Circle, then lost hem completely. Noise is over 9, I don’t know why!
Dolphins were escorting me for quite a while before Marsa Tarafi.
1740LT (Before sunset) anchored at Marsa Tarafi. POS(25-12.3N 34-48.5E)
The 2001 Red Sea Pilot indicates a Military Base and water/fuel tanks here.
The 2009 reality: 2 hotels, sandy beach with deck chairs. They must have found this to be better business.
Anchored (3m, mud), bow anchor: 10m chain, 15m rope; stern anchor: (12kg four flue) 10m chain, 15m rope.
There is a coral bench 15 meters behind me, that’s why I put out the stern anchor (the wind usually shifts during the night).
Dove to check the anchors, the bottom and the corals. A dolphin swam by me, we almost collided!
Dinner: noodles, dried fish, green salad. Then reading and BBC.
2009.05.20 (day 970)
1005 mB, 30-32°, Bf.0 E later NE Bf.1-2, now I can use the sails, but before motored.
05LT departure at sunrise, couldn’t do it earlier because there are many shoals and need daylight for a safe exit. It’s calm, no seas, so motoring at an average of 4 knots (3-4 knots are optimal).
07LT tied to a buoy at Ernesto Reef and snorkeled for 40 minutes. Beautiful place!
08LT 8.101 MHz Red Sea Net, heard 4-5 ships today, all of them well. Kathy, the leading vessel is at Elba Reef, Sudan’s northern border. Silver Heel II already at Hurghada.
A.m.: cleaning, hull washing, preparation for the arrival.
Breakfast and lunch: multi vitamin, boiled eggs, biscuits and salad.
1130: arrived at Port Ghalib.
Waited outside for 2 hours for visa, sailing permit etc.
Paid $85 total. Sailing permit in Egyptian waters for one month $40; visa for a month: $15; agent’s fees, port check-in etc, $30.
Moved over to the giant marina with Ali on deck. There will be room for 1,200 ships when construction is finished. Tied up next to another Hungarian yacht, the Melamphyrum. There are 3 yachts in the marine and 2 of those are Hungarian. There’s nobody on the other yachts right now.
Took a ride into town in the free water taxi, went to the marina office and gave a presentation to the manager about my voyage. The Blue Water Rally and the Vasco da Gama Rally both stopped here, but otherwise very few yachts stop here, many more diving boats and super yachts do stop however.
Fee for me: $6/day, $36/week, but would be cheaper if I stayed longer, (which I won’t do). They didn’t raise the fees for yachts since 2002. Their greatest problem is lack of space-utilization, the yacht people simply don’t call here. According to plans: the marina will be filled in 10 years :-)
Went over to the Grand Café in the afternoon, the Wifi is free if you consume something. Coffee $2, then two beers for the price of one during Happy Hour ($6). After 6 hours of ‘neting they started to ‘look’ me out of the place.
After midnight Abu installed the marina’s larger connector on my 220V cable (I didn’t have such). Then he prayed and recited from the Koran. Afterwards he told me about his culture. Interesting.
He remembers the names of his father, grandfather, great grandfather, great-great grandfather…great-great-great great grandfather, going back 50 generations, 1500 years!!! There are beautiful things in the Arab culture, which, if appear miraculous to European eyes, well, this is it!
He chanted me from the Koran, they always sing it the same way and the basic theme is always the same. God has 99 names, so it’s varied.
He’s a real good man, (same age as mine), later came out to the ship to help. He’s going to get married in 3 months. To get married here: you have to have a house, $4,000 and a steady job, so he can provide for his family. The wife doesn’t take a job, and wears a mask in public.
At night: watching a movie on the laptop. Pride – a movie about racism in the 70’s in parts of the USA and how it has changed through sports.
My few days in Port Ghalib.
2009.05.221 (day 971)
A.m.: writing log, selecting pictures. I’m writing the log on paper and now typing it in. I can’t run the laptop while underway because it uses too much power.
Went to a nearby hotel to check the price of visiting Luxor for a day. It costs $100, which is too much for me at the present, so alas I’m not going to Luxor.
I don’t care to stop at Hurghada either, I was there 6 years ago and it’s noisy and expensive.
Route planning: which way am I going? Suez is my next port, though many anchoring and snorkeling will take place before that.
Ali came over to CARINA for tea and we talked for a few hours. He owns a nice house here and has a 23 year-old girlfriend. They’re planning to get married next year. He’s 27 and works at the marina, takes care of the affairs of yachts. There are 3 yachts in the marina and the other two are presently unoccupied. I have nothing more to be taken care of, so it’s a fairly calm workplace :-)
P.m.: went shopping at the nearby store: not too cheap. Finally ate some ice cream!
Evening: drank some refreshments in Friday and Interneted a few hours (free Wifi).
2009.05.22 (day 972)
Writing log and planning route.
P.m.: walked on the hotel’s beach. There is also a nice coral reef.
Evening: watching movie in the ship.
2009.05.23 (day 973)
A.m.: writing my log and selecting pictures.
P.m.: walked in the Marine Village.
Battery: 13.4V fully charged.
Evening: a few hours of Interneting at the Grand Café and a beer at Happy Hour.
2009.05.24 (day 974)
A.m.: refilling water supply (130l); checking the outboard motor and changing sparkplugs.
P.m.: writing log, writing article for Vitorlázás Magazin, laundry.
Evening: Interneting at the Friday
2009.05.25 (day 975)
A.m.: did nothing useful :-) Mhran came over and gave him a shopping list he’ll buy tonight and bring over tomorrow. We had tea and talked about Egyptian culture.
P.m.: walked over to the marina, where I talked with Mr. Jamil, a radio operator, about tomorrow’s weather. There is a radio room in the tower that’s pleasantly furnished. Then shopping at the far store for dinner. Hitchhiked back from there :-)
Evening: Interneting :-)free Wifi) at a nearby café.