Ras Abu Soma to Abu Minqar Island, Hurghada
5.00 am start on Sunday, 17th May and motored away from Ras Abu Soma on a glassy sea heading North to Hurghada.
Very pleasant motor up the coast in pretty unbelievable conditions, gentle breeze from the East and flat sea (maybe the weather forecast was right!).
We were amazed at the huge concrete jungle that spread South of Hurghada with enormous holiday resorts (currently empty) lining the coast. As we got closer to Hurghada we passed the Giftun Islands and narrowly missed getting a long rope off a dive buoy wrapped around the propeller. Normally these Islands would be mobbed with tourist and dive boats taking visitors out to snorkle and dive the reefs surrounding them but today it was eerily empty!
We anchored off Abu Minqar Island with the protection of a long sand spit and jumped into the crystal clear sea to cool off.
The plan originally had been to spend some time visiting a few of the Giftun Islands and kill some time here while we waited for the Suez Canal to re-open after a 6 day holiday during which time the small vessels office would be closed for end of Ramadan. We also wanted to know that we would be able to get into a Cyprus Port as Ports were not due to re-open after lockdown until 1st June. After checking the latest weather forecasts it appeared we would be having a period (up to a week) of very calm weather so after a lot of discussion it was agreed we would instead use this to get as far North as we could to prevent the heavy beat to windward in up to 40 knot winds that is the norm for the Strait of Gubal and Gulf of Suez areas.