Red Sea - day 19 Egypt - Port Ghalib
12.00 6th April
The weather window opened and the boats that were here when we arrived left
in the afternoon as the wind dropped. The window will close tonight as the
wind is forecast to rise again and our permits arrived too late. We ar
elikely to be here until Thursday. But we have fueled (at 10 pence per
litre!) and watered and will use the time to clean and check everything. We
thought of using the time to visit Luxor and Aswan but decided to leave it
until we get further north and have more choice. The crew have not been idle
though, as you can read.
So I have finally dived in the Red Sea! I spent yesterday out on one of the
boats from the resort. Never spent so much on a dive but think it was fully
worth it. We headed out south about an hours trip from the harbour to a reef
called 'Marsa Shoni Sarya' Meaning bay of spices or something, well the
spices are all gone and it looked a lot like desert to me! Anyway had two
superb dives with a buffet Egyptian lunch in between. The coral life is
superb and vis was fantastic as good as everyone says it is. The highlights
of fish life were a group of three spotted eagle rays which were beautifully
graceful as well as a couple of turtles and the usual suspects of lion fish
morays etc I hope to do some more further up the coast but from what I have
seen I can recommend Red Sea diving to anyone. Was a lumpy trip back to the
harbour as all the other yachts were leaving, with just Albert 2 and us left
behind waiting on ships papers. Heress second mate with the full daily
We are waiting now for a weather opportunity to set sail. Whilst we have
just had a couple of days when the wind would have been good the port
authority were unable to process our cruising permits so we could not leave.
Now we have them it is too late as the wind is set to rise and stay high for
a few days. So we sit it out! The marina is sheltered and comfortable but it
is all unreal with no sense of the real Egypt.
Today Sam and I crossed the desert/building site into La-la Land and
wandered, we bought a pack of chewy bars which cost 50 Egyptian pounds (five
GDP) - a bit expensive but hey, I'm on holiday. We then walked out of the
'harbour village' up into the area where all the building is taking place,
where there is a small grocer's shop serving the local workers. We bought
two litres of milk, a litre of fruit juice, box of breakfast cereal, four
chicken breasts, some flour, a tin of beans, three packs of pitta bread and
a choc-ice each. This came to 111 Egyptian pounds, what a difference!
There's a risk of becoming paranoid as you walk around this place.
Everywhere there are security guards, cleaners and other service workers. It
feels like you are subject of surveillance every step of the way. This
morning I said to Sam that it was interesting that almost everyone is male.
Within 50 metres two woman had appeared, nonchalantly walking along or
tending to something. I'm beginning to think they are listening to us as
well! Beam me up Scottie.