A morning scrubbing the weed off the bottom and an afternoon relaxing over beers with Tim and Chris on Reckless of Hamble was a good day's rest at Sheik Riyah Harbour. On Friday (16th November) we got up early and had to motor sail to reach the other side of the Gulf in good time. For once the winds were light. We went in for the night at an anchorage on South Qeisum, one of the many islands lying off the coast here at the southern end of the Gulf of Suez (at this point called the Straits of Gubal). We are now almost in the Red Sea.
From South Qeisum it was just a short hop on Saturday to Endeavour Harbour, a well sheltered anchorage on a nearby island called Tawila. Here we had a rendevous with most of the other rally boats, except a few that have gone into the Gulf of Aqaba. The idea was that we should all catch fish and have a barbecue ashore. Only some were successful but fortunately the fishermen in the harbour were more than happy to sell us some lovely fresh squid and no one went hungry.
The islands here are low-lying with reefs all around them, making for very good snorkelling and diving. There are lots of interesting wrecks to dive to if you are so inclined. Paul and I have contented ourselves with continuing to scrub the bottom. We only have one snorkel and flippers between us so it's a slow process. Also it seems that as soon as we've cleared a section of the hull the weed starts growing back!
most of the rally fleet in Endeavour Harbour
Once we get to our next marina destination we plan to buy more equipment so we can join the others on some snorkelling expeditions. On Sunday we managed to borrow equipment off others so we could have a diving lesson. We did our first dive in the sea, going down to 7 metres below the boat. It was a bit scary but David our teacher is very good. In a day or two we're hoping to go to nearby Abu Tig marina to hire some equipment and have more lessons, leading to our open water qualification.
The last 10 days has been a test of our self-sufficiency as we've not been able to go ashore and re-provision. So far we've managed quite well and the wind turbine in particular has been proving a good investment. The stronger winds day and night mean that we can run the watermaker (reverse osmosis desalination plant for those more technically minded), pc, lights and so on without worrying about running down the batteries. The downside of course is that it feels chillier, especially at night, when we have to snuggle under our duvets.