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Beautiful cruising along Gulf of Aden and Red Sea in 2007

By doina — last modified Apr 22, 2008 12:59 PM

Published: 2008-04-22 12:59:45
Countries: Egypt , Eritrea , Oman , Yemen

Now that so many bad news about piracy, terrorism and insecurity in Yemen and the Red Sea are in the paper we would like to share a completely different view.

We sailed from Thailand to the Med last winter on board of 40 feet sailing yacht Kailash without any incident. We started in January 07 in Phuket, sailed south of Andaman to Galle in Sri Lanka, we had a nice week travelling in this island. The boat was safe in Galle Harbour. Then we set sail to North Maldives (Uligamu), quiet place, we bought fuel and water. In nine days we were in Oman. We were advised by Omani authorities that it was better to sail near the coast, less than 10 miles, to be on reach of Omani coastguard radio and they could help with any problems. We were also advised to follow the same policy in Yemen. So we sailed always around 10 miles off the Yemeni coast, we sailed alone, with no convoys. Many times we saw the coast. And everyday we saw many long tail fishing boats going offshore in the morning and coming back at sunset. We were never disturbed by any of them, only a few came to see us or to offer fish. We stopped for 3 days in Mukalla, it a very nice town. Fuel is available. Then we sailed to Aden following our 10 miles off the coast policy. Never had any problem. Other yachts sailing ahead or behind did not have problems either. We stopped for 1 month in Yemen. Left the boat anchored in Aden and travelled to the marvellous capital Sanna. People in Yemen are really nice. Just behind the anchoring pier in Aden is a new coastguard station with new powerboats that apparently patrol the coast. From Aden we sailed to Eritrea, Sudan and Egypt. We stopped in Massawa, Suekin and in many marsas. Never had a problem either. The people are poor but extremely nice and welcoming. The harbours in the hotels in south Egypt are a welcome back to luxury. We left the boat in Suez Yacht Club for a couple of weeks to travel in Egypt, then crossed the channel and sailed to Askelon Marina in South Israel. I cannot say that there are not pirates and incidents but this is my second red sea crossing and I have not seen any.

For the weather we were lucky, but also had time and pacience to wait for good wind windows and were open to lose miles and sail south if necessary. Weatheronline.co.uk was very accurate and helpful.

Enrique, Captain Yacht Kailash

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