Red Sea - day 5 Leaving Massawa

St Barbara's Web Diary
Peter & Sue Goldsmith
Mon 24 Mar 2008 09:41
15:51N 39:27E

12.00 24th March

Recap on the last 24 hours: After a very pleasant full night's sleep at
anchor in the harbour, with a cool breeze blowing through the yacht, we
rested well. Yesterday after breakfast Peter set about some maintenance
whilst Sam and I went ashore. Busier being quite early morning, but still
very hot. Shopping for provisions proved interesting - we tried three or
four small shops, all very friendly and helpful, quite apologetic that they
had no bread and could not suggest where we might find some. All the shops
had potatoes and onions, the very things we already had. We got some
tomatoes but nothing green at all. What was available to us was what the
local people had, and this wasn't very much. We bought some biscuits and
bananas and along with some water, that was it. Of course, it would have
been wise to do the exploring before the shopping, but no worries, in the
heat of an African sun we wandered around with rucksacks on our backs and
took in the scenes.

When we returned to the yacht Sam set about making some bread, which smelt
and tasted excellent. We dined on fish pie and sat talking watching harbour
life drift by.

This morning we were up sharpish and Peter visited Immigration for
permission to leave. Whilst moored alongside the dock a very large timber
boat, with high bows and stern and a semi-circular shear moored up. This
looked like many of the fishing boats but was larger. Once alongside it was
obvious that this boat was to transport a herd of cattle that were waiting
on the dock. The cattle owner came to speak with us and said they were
destined for the Yemen, the other side of the Red Sea. Another man explained
that they would be craned into the hold, three at a time in a sling. He said
that it wasn't good and a more modern ship with proper access for livestock
would be better, nevertheless, this was the plan and this was life going on
in Eritrea. It would have been good to get some photos but the port
authorities do not allow it, so a discrete shot as we left from afar is the
best to be done.

With stamps in our passports and a cursory check of the boat by a very
pleasant and helpful immigration officer - one can only assume for extra
passengers, we were set for sea.
PS Hope everyone is well at home. Our mobiles picked up signals but we were
not allowed access top make calls. Will try as soon as possible. Onward now
towards the Sudan.