START OF THE RED SEA
Friday 23 February, 2007
After 24 hours of sailing we anchored of the Hanish islands, which belong to Yemen located at the bottom of the Red Sea. The island was barren and looked very hostile. There were some natives on shore yelling and hollering. Obviously none of us speak Arabic (well not fluently), but I can guarantee they were not shouting “welcome to Yemen and have a nice day!” This area is still a fragile political zone and often patrolled by the military. Fortunately we timed our departure well, as just after we left we were chased by a boat wanting us to return to the island – no doubt to pay some “cruising fee”!!! – By this time the sea was getting quite rough and they seemed to have lost their enthusiasm to follow us.
We are at this moment in time surfing down a 4 metre wave in 20 to 25 knot of breeze sailing up the Red Sea, with only the jib out – not ideal sailing conditions. We are pleased Ken and Derrick are onboard to help out, not only with the sailing, but keeping a good look out as there are so many merchant ships about.
We enjoyed our stay in Djibouti, although we left on a bit of a sour note . The last night we were there someone got onto the boat (no mean task as we are anchored off the nearest land by at least half a mile) and stole about $150 cash and two mobile phones and the Ipod, while we were asleep. As someone pointed out it could have been worse as they could have slashed our throats!!!