Thursday, April 02, 2009

Suez slog

So much for the benign weather. The Red Sea hasn't finished with us yet and seems intent on throwing its worst at me in a desperate attempt to stop us reaching the canal. I'm declaring round one a draw - I've put into an anchorage 60 miles from Suez, and I'll bide my time in here until I catch the weather napping then make another dash for Suez. So near and yet so far ...

I arrived in convoy with Kristiane we both wanted a break from the 25-30 knot head wind (forecast 5-10), but as progress against the wind and sea was so slow it looked like we wouldn't make it to the anchorage before dark. Fortunately there were boats ahead already snugly anchored and they gave us some way-points to follow and assured us it was an easy entrance. In the event the anchorage had a well-lit entry though once in we had no choice but to blindly follow the way-points, aware of the unseen reef either side - not ideal, but great to have a break from the incessant spray. At least Kika has had thorough wash!

The Gulf of Suez is much busier than I expected, especially at night. In addition to the ships in the traffic lanes, last night I had to contend with fishing boats randomly manoeuvring, shipping entering and leaving the lanes, pilot boats, brightly lit rigs with hypnotic bright flares, most but not all charted, as well as a confusing assortment of buoyage often differing from the chart.

Looking forward to a well-earned celebration in Suez - probably in a couple of days time as once the wind's whipped itself up into a fury - it takes a while to calm down.

Position @ 20:00 2nd April (Marsa Thelemet): N29deg 03.3' E32deg 38.1'

No comments: