Ismailia has been a fantastically relaxing stop. The town itself seems a lot more peaceful than Suez and is well stocked with all the essentials - a decent supermarket (though still no bacon), a wonderful fruit/veg/meat market with mounds of strawberries, numerous Internet cafés, good cheap restaurants, stunning patissaries and the invaluable wide range of wedding dress shops. I spent my time repairing and cleaning Kika, including a couple of trips up the mast with the hose to clean off the Red Sea sand and salt. The lines are pliable once again and the boat well-stocked, including my first strawberries since New Zealand. As well as enjoying my time with Lasse, the the marina slowly filled up with other boats I've met up the Red Sea, including Rino, Vagabond Virgin and Kristiane as well as a couple of boats from the French fleet.
One of the oddities of Ismailia is the need to show your passport with Egyptian visa to the guards on the gate every time you venture into town. The guards also act to stop subsidised Egyptian filling-station diesel being brought back into the marina. However with no diesel available within the compound, I'm not sure if there is a legal way of obtaining fuel. One boat managed to bribe the guards and use a taxi to bring diesel from the filling station. However the guards caught another boat sneaking diesel in through the gate resulting in a substantial fine. We by-passed security and took a couple of dinghies across the bay, under a bridge and tied up by some party boats. The party boat hosts organised a tuk-tuk and we loaded our 18 diesel cans into the trailer and set off for the filling-station. The plan worked and undercover of dark we smuggled the diesel back onboard. Now if only we'd filmed our illicit trip, the resulting movie of our subdiffuse might have challenged "The Great Escape" for the slot of Christmas afternoon escape film.