Red Sea - day 14 Egypt - anchored at Gezirat Wadi Gamal

St Barbara's Web Diary
Peter & Sue Goldsmith
Wed 2 Apr 2008 11:48
24:39.55N 35:09.04E

12.00 2nd April

We did carry on through the night, although we now wish we had stopped. The
wind did not move in our favour and we spent a slow and uncomforatable night
motor sailing. At first light we anchored here in clear blue water although
with some coral heads visible. Chef delivered an egg and bacon breakfast and
we now gather our strength for the last push to Port Ghalib and the much
awaited marina. 1158 miles from Aden. As you can read below the Second Mate
clearly has too much time on his hands. As for the First Mate - still
asleep, what a crew!

We are regularly asked for photographs, however the cost of sending via
satellite phone is prohibitive. We have to wait until we have internet
access ashore. Coming soon.

1st Mate, Cook. (Sam) zzzzzzzzzzzz

2nd Mate (Peter2)
Yesterday's sailing was exciting, a hard bash as the sea became more and
more bouncy and interesting for someone supposedly out on their first 'trip
round the bay'. When I look out towards the horizon the waves and the sea
looks pretty reasonable, when you look back to the rise and fall of waves
close to the yacht and our pitch and roll on them, it seems the opposite.
The yacht just carries on responding to what passes and is clearly quite
used to this. Watching the crash of waves together with the tops ripped off
into bouquets of spray, Sam and I were reminded of pastel seascape paintings
by a Japanese artist that neither of us could name, but it was easy to see
his or her inspiration and I will look it up on my return. (Answers on an
email postcard for those of you who know). Last night was very dark, with
the exception of some dive boats and land, which for once was relatively
close. The moon did not appear until gone 0300hrs and then it was only the
thinnest trace. The stars in the sky were the brightest I have seen and were
one of the things I have most looked forward to seeing. I had two thoughts:
The first was that ever since humankind deigned to travel, we have used the
stars to navigate the way. Despite the able assistance of the GPS, I decided
to give this a go, plotting the southern star and identifying a trajectory
through the milky way by which we might be guided. Forget it, its a mess up
there, the're all over the place with no rhyme or reason. The moment you're
settled on one thing a whole lot more are turned on and mess up the sky
completely. Then the moon ships up and turns loads more off! Get yourself a
good map, that's my advice!

The second, and perhaps more sensible thought, was that the heavens on a
dark night are just amazing. As we sailed, the milky way stretched
diagonally across the sky at our stern and gradually moved across toward our
port side. The stars were overhead in their billions and stretched down to
just above the horizon. We often talk about the stars above, but if its dark
enough they can be seen in every direction. I cannot imagine there are many
places in England where such a sight can still be seen. When I've sat on the
top of mountains in the Peak District the amber bleed from Manchester and
Sheffield almost join together in stopping the night. It used to be dark
but, the sad thing is that we've traded all this for patios lighting, street
lights and petrol forecourts. I wish there was an easy way of turning this
back so that future generations might know just what the stars are like in
their own back garden. Gosh its easy to get carried away when your not
holding onto the seat in order to punch out a few cursory sentences, this
being at anchor has gone to my head!

A ha! the final push to Port Ghalib lies ahead. Hopefully the weather
forecasting is accurate and the wind drops to make this a quick passage we
all need to get down to the shops, the pavement cafes and forecourts. I'm
sure I can see the lights just over the horizon!