6.24.2006

Aloha Captain Koo,                                               

 

            Four months since the last log update. Time rockets along when underway a lot. I have sent a file of photos that should now be in your hands. We had a light wind passage the 1440 miles from Male, Maldives to Salalah, Oman motor sailing much of the way. 

            We left as planned  the morning of February 26 with the new dingy aboard. I didn’t even check it out before sailing, because I feared bad news and was restless. We expected a broad reach all the way, and got it when there was wind. This was a beautiful trip. We had great wind some of the time and then it would die leaving a glassy sea that made for very nice swimming. Twice the sea was so flat we did some swimming in the Indian Ocean. It is as blue as rumored.

            Even Bronwyn ( a real water baby) got a bit freaked in 2000 feet of very clear water. The idea that “something” may be looking up at you brings up some primal fear, a little like dark rooms do in a strange house. The water was wonderful anyway. We did the trip in 8 ½ pleasant days, doing about 150 hours of motoring or motor sailing on the way.

 

            The nighttime temperatures are much cooler now as we get farther from the tropics. A day out we had radio contact with a coalition warship. There are seven in the area to make life difficult for pirates. The ships do not identify by country name, but the radio operator accents heard were likely English, US and Italian.  The only allowed anchorage at Salalah is in the back of a large commercial port.

            We entered Oman at Salalah at a very large container shipping harbor. Oman is a very busy place. We did a quick two-day look around this stark, sandy country, which is only 1% potentially arable. The ranking people dress in traditional style and live very well. The country has one of the highest standards of living on the Arabian Peninsula. Not too long ago their lives were Bedouin-nomadic. Wealth has changed that.

            This is a common stop for cruising yachts, known for good provisioning and quality fuel. It was known for simple entry and clearance procedures.  That changed just before we arrived. Where the country had held passports and issued a free shore pass at no charge that was good for 4 days, the powers had decided to require visas and the whole mess. The worker bees were without a clue as to implementation of the new rules and so the 3-day stay was filled with trying to find out how to satisfy the officials, who were very nice people though confused.

            We were happy to leave after 3 days. The provisioning was good. The procedure to buy diesel was almost impossibly complex. I got a great haircut. We liked the local chow. The scenery was nice if you like rock and sand. For another outlook, here is some of the newsletter home from crew Bronwyn Munro.

 

            “We're now in that beauuuuutiful part of the world called the Middle East.  It's just lovely.  No not that bad really.  We just spent about three days in Oman stocking up on fuel & provisions.  Oman seems to specialize in rocks, dirt & camels.  Super stark & dry (actually reminded me of home!)  The place has a dramatic coastline sheer cliff faces & inland it's either rocky desert or seriously steep rocky mountains.  The houses are all those massive square, whitewashed deals with small windows (looking a lot like O'Malley in Canberra!). 

            “We spent a day trying to check out the town of Salalah but it was not so easy as everything closes between 1 & 4 pm.  The place was a ghost town during those hours & kind of creepy walking around, felt like it was the middle of the night.  Their range in shops were pretty weird, walking along the street they would be 'hairdresser', 'foodstuffs & luxuries', 'tailor', 'fruit & vegetables', over and over again.  Sometimes there would be four hairdressers next to each other with a couple across the road or some equally ridiculous combination but it was predominately just those same four kinds of shops, bizarre. 

            “We had also gotten used to being able to get someone to drive us around for a day for some negligible amount of money but it was a rude surprise to find that it is 2.6 Oman rials to a US$ & everything was really expensive.  It seems to be a really affluent place.  Generally it's a clean place with good roads & everything is pretty modern, so unlike SE Asia.  From what we managed to delve into the food it was good & very similar to Lebanese.  

            “I don't think any fun is allowed in Oman, & they seem pretty strict on the Muslim attire.  Men all dress in those white smock thingies called dishdashies with a hat (or teatowel) & women in all black with only a slit to see out of.  They actually look pretty spooky.  Some women cover their face completely & just try to see through their veil.  Imagine living your life like that!

            “Anyhoo, that night we went out with a few people from other yachts (there's usually up to about 20 yachts en route to the Red Sea in Salalah harbor this time of year) to a place known as the Oasis, or the expats club.  & what an oasis it was - felt like walking into an Aussie RSL & was so good to be able to have some sneaky beers despite being immersed in Islam.  Was a lovely break to the drought that I thought would last a couple months til Egypt - that would be some thirsty stuff. 

            “The next day we hired a car & played tourist.  Apparently Oman's main attraction is its lush environment & misty mountains…… hmm well we didn't really see any evidence of that but apparently it happens in August with the rain.  Other than that there's a few different ruins including the Queen of Sheba's palace.  We were bad tourists & satisfied ourselves with looking at the pictures instead (it's just too freakin hot to be walking around in the desert) & took a drive through the mountains & along the coast.  It's some pretty crazy scenery with these incredibly steep rocky mountains & cliffs dropping away into the sea.

 

            “That's about all I have for you I think.  We're now about a day into the five day sail to Djibouti, Africa through the Gulf of Aden & a lovely little stretch of water known as 'Pirate Alley' bordered by those friendly, harmonious countries Somalia & Yemen.  We were trying to keep in a convoy with a few other boats for this leg with the theory of safety in numbers I guess.  It worked for a little while until the wind picked up from nothing to a whopping 10 knots & it was too hard not to overtake them. 

            “It's just a bit tricky to stay together when we go about 2 knots an hour faster than them.  There are some ships cruising around called Coalition Warships, made up of US, English, French & German navy that have the primary interest of combating piracy, so it's nice to know there's someone out there looking out for us.  We're not too worried, not much you can do but get down low & go go go (or something like that) & just take it as it comes. 

            “Alright cool that's enough.  Hope you're all good, if you never hear from me again it's because the pirates got me but I love you very much.”

 

            Just before we left Oman, the head clogged up and quit. We had completed the clearance procedure and really didn’t want to repeat it. I did get the problem fixed, but borrowed a plunger (plumber’s friend) from another boat, Tsolo from Seattle, who left before I could return it. After a night at sea we were contacted by radio and asked how we could return the plunger, critical to relieving frequent galley sink drain problems.

            We are sailing to Djubuti 770 miles up the North African coast, and the last stop before the Red Sea entrance, called the Gates of Sorrow. Ominous!  Then it’s to Aden, Yemen, home of the terrorist attack on the US Cole a few years back. We decided to heave to and wait for Tsolo to catch up. Tying the plunger to a light line we approached Tsolo from astern and tossed the plunger aboard, first try. As we bore off, they slipped the line. Mission accomplished! Plunger rescue, complete!

 

Pirates?

 

            To avoid the Somalia coast area, we sailed more to the Yemen side of the gulf and ran into Djubuti on a course more perpendicular to the coast. The trip was 5 days of light wind sailing and motor sailing. We had coalition war ship contact daily and no pirate problems. The same has been true for all yachts this year. Piracy activity has been limited pretty much to shipping. In the last 30 years, some yachts have been robbed. At least one was fired upon, but there have been no injuries or deaths. The small risk does add salt to flavor the adventure however.

            Djubuti was French Somaliland until "independence" about 20 years ago. There is still a French military presence and while we were there yachts were bothered by drug affected off duty French sailors begging money.  Complaints were made to the Navy that resulted in arrests.

            Djubuti looks like it was once a nice place. Clearly there has been little maintenance since independence. The poverty is pretty extreme. People on the streets seemed to feel hopeless. Really the only nice building was the president's palace. For Djubutians, independence didn't look like a good deal.

 

            Departing Djubuti March 16 we headed to Massawa, Eritrea, 390 miles into the Red Sea with desert anchorages along the way. First we passed through Bab El Manded, the 11 mile wide "Gates of Sorrow" where the Red Sea starts, ending at the top of the Gulf of Suez at the canal entrance, 1240 miles away.

            There are few settlements along the way. The land is timeless desert and reef islands. The sea is very salty and clear, fed by no rivers. The wind blows light from the south and strong from the north creating strong headwinds and often-miserable choppy seas. So, the strategy is to stop at one of the many quiet anchorages and wait for calm or southerly breeze, then go like mad and make miles before the next serious headwinds.

            We did this with four stops until Massawa, where my crew were leaving, arriving the 21st. Eritrea is a welcoming and interesting country considering it emerged from a 30 year civil war with Ethiopia recently. The war took over 75,000 lives on each side.  Massawa, which has been an important port since Egyptian times lacks few buildings that are not seriously damaged by rockets, bombs and shells. Through much rubble, you can see interesting architecture from the Turkish colonial and more recent period when the area was Italian Somaliland up to the end of WW II. 

 

            The people seem to be happy, hard working and optimistic about the future. I took a 3-day trip to the capitol city Asmara with folks from two other boats by rental van. Asmara is a large colonial city located at 7000 feet. It was little damaged in the war and still has a strong Italian design influence though all the Italians left in 1947 with independence.

            On the long drive up to 7000 feet we passed through desert, where the only people were nomads living in camel-skin tents as had there ancestors; to mountain agriculture areas where wine grapes and olives are grown; to the city. We did a bit of touring and shopping.  People were dressed well, in western fashion; really the first I had seen since Singapore.

            While there I arranged to meet two pals from Vail, Colorado at Luxor in Egypt who will cruise with me to Turkey. First we attempted to have them travel to Eritrea or Sudan but the Visa requirements were onerous. The new plan is that I  single-hand Jubilant in company with friends on two other boats, the 750 miles to moor the boat at Port Ghalib, Egypt.

 

            We left Massawa  March 28 and arrived Suarkin, Sudan 4 days and 350 miles later with three overnight stops to rest. Suarkin Harbor is another ancient trading port mentioned by Ptolemy in his writings during the second century. Most of the town is ruins due to time, poverty or another civil war.

            Sudan, the largest country in Africa has had civil war off and on since the 1950s. Most of the fighting has been in the south, but Suarkin has been hit a few times. It is a wonderful harbor, but there the luxury ends. There is no public power, no running water, one small restaurant, and Mohammed.

            Mohammed the local entrepreneur was able to get me diesel delivered to the boat at less than $2 per gallon and 2 cases of diet coke. He has been doing these services for 15 years and seems to be the most prosperous guy around. The normal tedious bureaucracy expected in Arab countries was hardly noticed, due to Mohammed.

            The poverty and desolation it this Islamic state is difficult to imagine, but Mohammed made it all seem safe, orderly and convenient. He is a phenomenon. After hand stitching a ripped mainsail seam and completing a little other maintenance, our trio of Jubilant, Elita I (Australia), and Goylee (Swedan), headed off on April 4 for Port Ghalib Marina in Egypt, 420 miles off. This was a tough trip. 420 miles took 10

days.

 

            The first stop, Khor Shinab, was a harbor back in the desert with no signs of life. The scenery is grand but Death Valley is cozy by comparison. We spent 3 days there, waiting for the wind to quit howling and climbing a rocky mountain. No vegetation at all and no life. Two days underway later, it was so rough that the others boats were making

less than 2 knots and turned back to a spot called Ras Banas.

            I was doing a little better, so continued on to my first anchorage in Egypt, a small bay called Sharm Luli, where I waited for two days for the 30-knot winds to die. I had visits from some Navy guys who "like Americans".  It was a nice spot but too windy to leave the boat and go ashore.

            After one more stop, I made Port Ghalib and secured the boat to a wall adjacent to a luxury hotel and swimming pool. First marina since Thailand. I washed and washed and washed the boat. The three yachts traveling together again rented a van for the long trip to Luxor. It is required to travel in convoy since terrorists slaughtered a bunch of Swiss tourists a few years back. This slows the trip, but may make it safer.

 

            I met pals Wink Davis and Bill Hubbard at the hotel in Luxor after a long ½ day trip. Luxor has been a tourist destination for at least 150 years, and we joined in for two days. This is the place where the valley tombs are for Kings and Queens. There are also two temples, restored more or less that most impressed us. They date in the 2500-3000 BC period. We visited the Luxor temple at night and the Karnak temple the next day.

            The Karnak Temple was so large that St Peter's Square at the Vatican could be contained within it. Check out the pictures. When not touristing we loafed in the sun at the hotel and watched the Nile go by. Shortly after leaving Luxor, we left the Valley of the Nile and had only sand and rock to see all the way to the coast.

            We left Port Ghalib on April 21 on a short overnight to Ras Abu Soma where we did a little diving, filled with cheap Red Sea fuel, and waited 3 days for the wind to give us a break. A day run took us to Endeavor Harbor near Abu Tig Marina and at the entrance to the Gulf of Suez.

            Incredibly, the wind came around to the southeast giving us great sailing the last 171 miles to the Canal where we moored in the yacht anchorage for Suez City and the staging area for the Suez Canal. It took a 1-½ days to pay fees, do paperwork and be scheduled to go through the canal.

 

            We did a couple of visits into Suez City, reputed to be a dump.  Actually we found it to be an interesting place. We had a couple of great meals using taxi driver recommendations and resupplied foodstuffs.

            The Canal reaches 80 miles from Suez City to Port Said on the Mediterranean Sea. Yachts must do the trip in two days, stopping at Issmalia about 1/3 of the way for a night. A separate pilot must be aboard each way and they are notorious for begging backeesh  and being abusive. I felt the passage would be a great experience, if not congenial.

            We started the morning of May1 behind a convoy of big ships that stopped often the first 10 miles or so. Our pilot was a nice seeming guy who didn't seem to have a clue about boat handling, so we steered while he chattered on a radio. The canal is a ditch through the desert making for no scenery as the dredge tailings are piled on both sides blocking any view other than the armed soldiers that line the entire way.

            We arrived the Yacht Club at Issmalia after 8 hours to make 30 miles. I had a near war with the pilot who insisted he should moor the boat using the Arabic shouting technique. I got rid of him.

            We had a nice dinner in a pretty town, became pals with the police chief (who loves Americans) and hit the sack. At 5:30 am we had a visit from the next pilot. I was outraged, but wrong. This guy was an angel who had enough seniority to allow us to leave early, 5 hours ahead of the yacht convoy, and run against the shipping traffic at the edge of the canal. As a result we were clear of Port Said early in the afternoon and sailing to Israel's Ashkelon Marina 130 miles away, having a great sail all night.

            Bill and Wink were feeling a little mal de mere so it was nice to get tied up and cleared into the country by early afternoon.

 

            We stayed in Israel only two days to leave time for Wink and Bill to see a little of Cyprus and Turkey before heading home. We spent a day in the old city of Jerusalem. It didn't feel so old after Luxor, but was pretty moving nonetheless.

            We visited with a Palestinian storeowner, prayed at the Wailing Wall and walked our legs off. It was a great day. It is hard to be less than impressed with Israel. In the marina we noticed a regular booming sound and asked about it. Apparently an Arab group regularly fires rockets from a part of the Gaza that Israel turned over.

            The Israelis track the rockets and fire shells at the launch sites. I asked an American Jewish guy who lives there on a boat how often the firing happens. He said, "I don't know", I have been here 7 years and just don't listen any more". It is a very unusual place.

 

            We had another overnight of motor sailing to Limmasol Marina on Cyprus 200 miles away. After a day of resting we bussed into the mountains near the village of Platres. The area is a pine forest, which smelled like home after all my tropical time. We did some hiking back and forth across a small river and enjoyed the scenery. The next day we went to Paphos and visited Aphrodite's birthplace. The pictures prove that we actually exercise.

 

            On the morning of May 11 we were back to sea for the 190 mile jump to Kemer Marina, near Antalya Turkey. To arrive this coast is very impressive. The rugged mountains jump right out of the sea, which is Aegean blue. There was still some snow in the high valleys even though the daytime weather was in the 80s at sea level.

            The marina was pretty jammed up with an 80 boat cruising rally called the Eastern Mediterranean Rally, but we were shoe horned in. and moved to a great spot when the rally left two days later. My pals checked on air travel 3 days out when they needed to be in Athens and found none available except for 2 am on the 12th. So they left in the middle of the night. Adios muchachos.

            I spent 10 days here relaxing and doing some boat projects. I ran into some friends from the Northwest and Fiji that kept things interesting. This is a great place where I would happily keep the boat for the coming winter but for my itchy feet.

 

            May 22nd I headed out, harbor hopping around the bottom of Turkey and up to Bodrum. The pictures tell the story. This is fabulous cruising country. I understand it is much busier in season, starting in July. Now it is wonderful. It was easy to find solitude.     When I had enough, a bay with good beach restaurants was always nearby. Most anchorages have ruins from the ancient Greek period and before. There are good repair facilities at Kemer, Marmaris and Bodrum with lots of small yards in between. The Turkish people have all been very welcoming even though there has been some overaggressive touting. If I was planning two years or more in the Med, Turkey should get most of a year. I haven't done any land travel, but hear great things from those who have.

            From Budrum, where the castle with crusader grafitti alone would have been worth the trip, I crossed 12 miles to Kos, the first large Greek Island north of Rhodes… More about Greece later.

 

Denny

 

 

 

June 9, 2006

When you came to Fiji I must have misjudged my coffee filter needs. I ran out off your #6 Melita filters in Egypt. Probably Wink's fault. On arrival in Turkey, the boat next door had a woman aboard I had spent some time with in Thailand. She had some #4 Melitas that she gave me and I made do. Later I found more #4 filters, but no #6 as you brought. When I make coffee in the am, I work my very ass off pouring water over and over. I can be a committed sort, but this was getting to be too much. I was considering begging you to come to the Med, now Greece, with more #6

filters, far too precious to send through the mails.

 

Well I got lucky and managed to get a butch of calcium build up in my left shoulder. It hurt a lot. It gets difficult sailing with one arm. So, when I stopped at the Greek island, Kos (very nice place by the way) I actually broke down and went to a Doc, anticipating surgery with a possible trip to the states to bankrupt Medicare. As it turns out, I will be here about 5 days doing Cortisone shots and daily physical therapy. The treatment seems to be working.  I am much better on the second day. BUT, THE GOOD NEWS. The store in the marina has #6 Melita filters. My morning schedule is restored, and YOU don't need to run off

to the MED. I am sure you wouldn't like it here. The girls actually sit on the beach without bikini tops. You would have complained to the officials I am sure.

 

It looks like I will move west in 3 days. The plan is Greece in June, the Adriatic in July and maybe August; parking the boat at Dubrovnik in the fall. Alternately, I will continue through Italy, Sicily et al, as little of France as possible to put the boat in Barcelona in the fall. I expect I will start an Atlantic crossing in December of 2007. You are, of course, welcome at any time with or without Melita filters.

 

Turkey was great. The scenery is really spectacular. But, Greece is Europe. Even though it costs more here, the flavor of people, food, cleanliness and stores with real stuff in them, seems pretty nice. There also are no Mosques with loud speakers calling the faithful to prayer at 0530.

 

Love, Denny

 

 

June 4, 2006

Tonight I am anchored in an unusually cool place. It is a breakwater protected bay at the end of the Dorian Promontory, an peninsula of Turkey that projects toward Greece and has Greek islands close by to the north, south and west.  There are few people. This bay and the breakwater were Knidos, one on the six cities of the Dorian trading confederacy around 6-700 BC. It was a prosperous city. You can see the theater and temple ruins as well as foundations of hundreds of other buildings.  Some of the breakwater that protects the bay dates from then. The scientist Eudoxos of Knidos was a 4th century BC astronomer and mathematician and considered a founding father of Greek geometry. He lived here and in his declining years, built an observatory here and spent his time mapping the night sky. The place was known then for its naked statue of Aphrodite by Praxiteles, one of the greatest Greek sculptors of the 4th century BC. The statue was one of the first of a naked woman, only male statues being nude until this time.

 

There is not even a fishing village here now and for the last few hundred years. The spot is very windy and desolate. I barbecued some lamb and am settling down for the night. Special place.

 

Love, Denny

 

 

May 18, 2006

Here is a shot at your land touring question.

 

We did do some land touring. I had trips inland in Oman and Eritrea earlier. Met Wink and Bill in Luxor which has been THE Egyptian tourist spot for over 150 years.  valleys of the Kings and Queens are pretty fabulous, but it was terribly hot and stuffy, loaded with tourists and guides. We gave up after a couple of hours. The temples were Really great. We went to the Luxor Temple at night. Bill, the world most understated soul, just kept saying---cool. The carvings and writings are all over 3500 years old and well preserved. Not very rainy there. The

Karnak Temple restoration we saw the second day and were really wowed. The temple is so large that it could contain St Peters Square inside. Again, everything is well preserved. Luxor was ancient Thebes, the capitol of ancient Egypt. I had no desire to fight with the 19 million people in Cairo to see the Pyramids. Probably a good decision.

 

During the stop in Israel we did a day in Jerusalem. It is, of course, loaded with tourists.  It is hard to get a feel for the place due to all the activity around. I did do a bit of praying at the west wall as millions have. It was pretty moving. Even Wink did, and he wins a prize for being irreligious. We met some Muslims who have had a high end rug and collectable store there since way before there was an Israel. It is in the center of the old city. After tea we left and Wink read his

business card. The address is "Second Station". His BUILDING is the Second Station of the cross. Wink choked up!!

 

On Cyprus we did a couple of trips. I walked my stubby legs off following the two mountaineers through pine forest and over a river about 30 times. The next day we went to Paphos, the mythical birth place of Aphrodite. It is a small harbor. Kind of over developed for English tourists. I has expected that Cyprus would be in the pits economically since the Turks forced a takeover of part of the country. It turns out that the took less than 1/4. Tourism seemed to be booming. Condos and villas seemed to be selling at a bit over half of US prices. It is a nice island, but the coastal areas are desert and I have had enough of that.

 

Hope I answered your questions ok. I am enjoying the week in Turkey, but haven't left Kemer and the harbor yet. Boat projects ya know.

 

Love, Denny

 

 

4.11.06

Dear OleBuddypalfriendo, Salaam al haykum,

 

This time I have no requests. Just felt like checking in. I am in a very safe, though boring, bay called Sharm Luli. I came in here after a very wet and lumpy night of trying to make headway under power into 24-30 knots and 7-8 foot squarish seas. The boats I was near turned back, but I hung in for another 20 miles and made it in here. Yesterday and last night made for some fantastic sleep time, sans dreams. Next stop is Port Ghalib, just 65 miles away. I will let the seas lay down a bit and make that leg tomorrow. So today, I feel like "don't F with me, I'm tough".  Arrg!

 

Last night was really the first nasty weather of the entire Indian Ocean and Red Sea trip. I am now back on your side of the Tropic of Capricorn. It is noticeably cooler at night. When I jump in the water it is much more salty. The Red Sea evaporates faster than it mixes with the Indian Ocean and has no all year rivers. The water is cool to my thin blooded body. In that there is rarely a cloud, the sun is pretty intense in the days, so the awning is welcome. Yesterday, I was visiting with a local fisherman. I showed him my business/boat card which has a picture of the boat taken at San Juanico anchorage on the Baja. He knows this coast intimately, and was trying to read the mountain profile to understand

where the picture was taken. That best explains what this looks like. Baja Mexico without the big cactus. On the other hand, people have been anchoring in these spots since 3000+ BC. It may even look more primitive now than then.

 

When I get to Port Ghalib, I will email the name of a hotel in Luxor, so stay tuned.

 

Ma salaama, Denny ben Morgan

 

4.10.06

Howdy Kids,

 I feel the pirate question is history. There are 7 Coalition Warships on station between Slalah, Oman and Sudan. Lots of boats try the convoy deal from Oman through the Red Sea entrance. That is a pretty long passage to do that. I ran alone with lights off in the "old" high risk area and felt a bit nuts doing so. I have had nice treatment, have been welcomed as an American, and always show the flag.

 

I had favorable or light winds for all the Indian Ocean passages until after Eritrea. Since then, the afternoon sea breeze can run up to 20 knots on top of the common northerlies. Sooo, I try to do day hops, but when the wind dies or goes to the south, it is hard not to make tracks. That is what we are doing now after sitting in a marsa for 4 days waiting for wind shift. I really haven't sailed since entering the sea.

 

The area is interesting, historically. It looks like Palm Springs must have been like before irrigation and money, but with a beach. I have not been able to do much diving because of the need to make tracks when the wind backs off.

 

Best, Denny

 

4.6.06

Howdy, Well, here I sits in a marsa anchorage called Khor Shin Ab watching the wind blow. This is one of the Marsas along the north Sudan and Egyptian coasts. The Red Sea has a nasty habit of blowing like stink when there is low pressure over the central Red Sea and a high to the north. That is what is happening today and for the next couple of days. I have 32 knots over the deck at anchor now. It would be fun going south, but Suez is north as is Port Ghalib (260 miles) where I plan to leave the boat to meet you. No problem. Lots of time. A marsa is a reef

anchorage that links to a desert- enclosed bay. This is a great one. I am anchored in a pocket, completely surrounded by desert, that I reached after 1/2 hour of wandering through deep channels. Ashore looks a bit like parts of the Baja that we visited except that there is nothing green, no people, no camels, no ruins et no nada ashore except for stark desert rock mountains and sand. More yachts keep arriving seeking shelter. With this morning's additions we have seven, all listening to the wind blow and anchored on long scope.

 

I really have not had this, blown in, condition since the trip up the coast of Queensland a year ago. I don't like it. Pretty isolating. I guess I will bounce over to a friends boat and bum a coffee and some socializing.

 

Love, Denny

 

4.5.06

 

I am cruising up the coast of Sudan now on the way to Port Ghalib Marina

in Egypt.  Sudan looks like Palm Springs before irrigation, but with an

ocean. My last stop was a port called Suarkin. It was the last active

slave trading market in Africa, retiring from that business after WW II.

It was a major trading and shipping port before 2000 BC. Now there are

some nice Nubian (big black) poor people there with lots of camels and

goats wandering around. Wink and another Vail friend are meeting me at

Port Ghalib on the 18th and will be on the boat a month, through the

eastern Med. The rest of the summer will be Med cruising. I expect to

leave the boat in Barcellona for the winter and check out the Spanish

talent. A month of skiing and home for Xmas might be in order before the

grandsons divorce me.

 

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