Red Sea - day 1

St Barbara's Web Diary
Peter & Sue Goldsmith
Thu 20 Mar 2008 09:11

13:04N 43:02E

12.00 20th March

At first light this morning (0600 local) we passed through the narrrow
straights that mark the southern entrance to the Red Sea. The night had
passed peacefully and apart from a short period with very little wind early
on we have been sailing well with wind and current in our favour.

We have crossed the main shipping lanes and are heading up north west
towards Eritrea with some 260 miles to go to our destination. All settling
in well and Sam on fine form with a tasty dinner last night. The cabin boy
has been up most of the night enjoying the new experience under a full moon.
Long may it continue, although the boats ahead seem to be experiencing less
favourable winds. We will enjoy the sailing while it lasts.

Peter2's part two.

Isn't it funny how when you get a tune in your head you hum it for hours.
Ever since we left Aden I've had two. The first is a little worrying, its a
theme tune to a children's programme from when I was a boy, the liltting
melody from Robinson Crusoe! The second is still in the charts and is just
the little boy in me, the hook line is 'Oh my God I can't believe it I've
never been this far away from home'. What a wonderful 24 hours we've had.
Having set sail about this time yesterday we had a great afternoon with a
chance to learn a bit about sailing and getting a feel for the rock and roll
of the boat. About an hour before sunset a full moon came up and illuminated
the night beautifully, visibility was good and it was great learning how to
keep watch, spotting and tracking shipping and fishing boats. I was so awake
with it I only slept for a couple of hours and and was up again about 4am. I
was a little worried about trying to sleep but it was like being in the
hammock in the garden - a little more lively at times but still relaxing.

An hour or two before dawn the moon set and for as while the sky was filled
with more stars than breaths in a lifetime, with the milky way overhead. As
dawn broke we were approaching the Straits of Babel (well Bab el Mandeb for
accuracy) and we watched the moon set over the Red Sea then the sun rise
over the Indian Ocean. If only you could bottle times like these.

Sailing today, across the shipping lanes towards the African Coast, a brief
sight of land and now sailing up towards our next port - perhaps two days
away. Shipping is the only change to the horizon in any direction.