Port of Massawa
Hey all! Hope this finds everyone well, where ever you may be. We enjoyed Shumma Island so much we ended up staying an extra few days to explore the reef and land. We had a nice afternoon of shell collecting followed by a wonderful Thai inspired dinner of fresh fish on the S/V My Chance. Early the next morning, when the wind is supposed to be as strong, we all went to the reef to snorkel. Steve (from s/v Shiraz) and Alim (from s/v My Chance) speared us a bunch of Grouper for a delicious dinner. Now we are hooked. It is so delectable, almost like lobster. It just melts in your mouth.
We awoke this morning to light rain and the wind already up to 15 knots blowing from the direction we wanted to go. While dancing around the boat in our underwear singing 'I felt the rain down in Africa', we were back and forth deciding to leave today or not. Around 9am the winds died. A meeting was held between the boats to whether to leave or not. So leave we did.
It was a 30 mile sail to our current location of Massawa, Eritrea. With the hook down, the boys are off checking us in.
I have really been looking forward to this stop. It is just so remote and exotic. Not a place you will find many people have been to. We plan to take an trip inland to Asmara, maybe pick up our Egyptian visas, and just soak it all in, this being our first official landfall in Africa.
Brief History Lesson 1:
Eritrea has been dominated throughout the years by Ethiopia, Egyptians, Turks, Italians and the British. The Italians named it Eritrea in the 19th century. The Italians were defeated during WWII in 1941. The British took over, until 1952 when without the citizens being asked, they handed the country over to the Ethiopians.
When the Eritreans voted themselves out of existence and become just a province the Eritrean, the Eritean Liberation Front was formed. This was the beginning of three decades of war, drought, and famine for both Ethiopia and Eritrea.
In 1974 the Soviet Union took military control over Ethiopia. They continued the war against the Eritrean rebels. Peace talks began in 1989, and in 1993 a UN referendum led to an independent Eritrea. This however did not stop the fighting with Ethiopia. They fought for two more years over a stinking piece of land.
This is probably more than you wanted to know, and I'll probably have part two of the history lesson after we go to shore and explore. So stay tuned.
Amy and Tom
09 April 2008