16 April 2008

Khor Nawarat, Sudan

Anchored at Shatira Inlet
Khor Nawarat

764 Miles to the Suez Canal!!

Camels off the bow!! We just arrived to where we are currently anchored just before sunset at our first stop in Sudan after an overnight 150 mile passage. And there is a camel standing on a sand dune on the beach right in front of Sandpiper.

As we arrived in the channel, Sandpiper was surrounded by bottle nose dolphins who escorted us into the anchorage. We left Sheikh el Abu Island at 8am yesterday along with our small sailing fleet of SV My Chance and SV Shiraz. We all attempted to sail this passage, but winds were very light, and we had to maintain 5 knots or we would not make this anchorage where are currently anchored before sunset. So there was much motoring by all.

We are all trying to conserve as much fuel as possible. So all boats motor sailed with low engine RPM's in order to maintain at least 5 knots. We did get a 30 knot following wind this afternoon that had the 'Piper racing along at 8 knots right into the anchorage.

There were many reefs, shoals, and islands along this 150 mile route with many course changes along the way making for a interesting passage. One thing about the waters in the Red Sea is there is tons of sea life everywhere. We and the other boats have been fishing most the time we are sailing, and we have all been catching fish. Yesterday, I threw a hook out at soon as Sandpiper's anchor was up, and we hooked a Travaili. I threw back as I did not want it to die. Then I looked it up in our fish book only to find out that it was a 3 out of 4 stars eating fish. After that we hooked a Bonito (yuk), a 4-foot Barracuda (yuk), 3-foot shark (yuk), 2 small barracuda (yuk x 2) which we threw back, and one large Spanish Mackerel. That was the one fish we wanted to keep, but he spit out the hook as soon as we got him alongside.

In all the poor countries we have sailed, they all have all types of fishing boats all over the place. But as poor as Eritrea is, and with fish all over the place just waiting to be caught, there is nobody to come out and catch them. I do not know why this is, but all they would need is a small sailing craft like the locals use in Indonesia use. Then they would have boat loads of fish.

Check out where the Piper is anchored using the Google Earth program and you should be able to get a good look at all the reefs surrounding us and what we had to pass through to get into this bay. Maybe you will get lucky and see a camel as well.

I once again praise our C-Map world charts that we have been using for the last 2 years. They have been dead on accurate. These charts even had a detailed harbor chart of this very remote bay in Sudan, I would have second thoughts about entering this anchorage without them as there as many reefs to pass through. C-map world charts are what 100% of the boats out here are using, and I am always amazed that for a DVD with all the charts of the world, that even the most remote stops that we go to are accurately charted.

Tomorrow's plan is to get to leave at first light, along with SV Shiraz and SV My Chance for a 50 mile hop up the coast to our next anchorage. We are hoping to arrive at before sunset. We are now at a point in the Red Sea where the southerly winds fade away and we start bucking the northerly winds all the way to the Suez Canal. So any day from now on that we are not motoring against the wind is a huge bonus for us.

More in 24,
Tom and Amy

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