I started a discussion some time ago regarding this route
....I say this time in either direction.
Going through the Suez canal
was great, the sailing down the Red Sea although blustery was no problem and most Ports
were very welcoming. Mohamed in Egypt
and another Mohamed in Sudan were VERY helpful.
A word of warning:
On reaching Eritrea Massawa I was hoping to change crews and everything was arranged except the visas for the incoming crew which were delayed by over a month. I was assured that there would be no problems as I had applied ages before.The reason for this delay was they had their independence celebrations which no one mentioned until the visas were rejected! I was stranded in over 40% on my yacht for just under 4 weeks! This was not a pleasant experience as the beaurocracy in Eritrea is unbelievable. No ATMs no way of getting extra money
is absolutely exorbitant. Cool drinks (also very expensive) and most supplies were very difficult to obtain They only wanted American dollars! (Which you can't get...)
Fate played an interesting trick on me finally, as my health
deteriorated I lost
over 20 Kgs, (I was not heavy to begin with) in desperation I booked my flight home as I was warned against medical
attention in Massawa. You cannot travel even on public transport without a permit
which can take at least a day to procure. Two amazing gentlemen took pity on me and helped me get to Asmara, without them I would have had to take a public bus,I won't mention names. On arriving home I was admitted straight into hospital and was operated on for appendic which burst, had an abcess and the start of septasimia.
I am now back on the boat
, the second lot of visas were approved for the crew and myself, also messed about with yet another holiday but given with a smile!
I am fully recovered and back on my boat
Please be warned when in Eritrea check public holidays and be prepared. I though I was......
There are some amazing people in Massawa, especially the people who looked after my boat in the interim, one who was totally deaf and dumb, but what an amazing sailor and person, he knows those channels like the back of his hands.
I hope this post might help someone avoid any of the hassles I had.
Hopefully the rest will be plain sailing and good winds.