Massawa, Eritrea – Important Changes
Published 14 years ago, updated 5 years ago
We were in Massawa for 5 days last week (April 2009) on our sail back to the Med. Some important changes have been done on the manner the sailing boats are dealt with.
They are now “warmly welcomed” alongside the main quay (South in the main commercial harbor_ N° 1 & 2 on charts ); we were told by officials that there had been too many thefts from the Egyptian fishing boats in the second part of the anchorage (Taulud bay).
This quay is very much exposed to the swell, has no electricity, no water, no fenders, no bollards suiting sailing boats, no ladders except for some iron for concrete passing dangerously from the wall, no fuel, no internet and, last but not least, is covered with sharp barnacles.
For all these services, you have to pay 15 US$ per day (4 nights equals 5 days). They oblige you to change 100 US$ at the official rate which is, as everybody knows there, double of the market.
You must get a visa at 40 US $ per person payable only in US$; plus a special permission (paying + great waste of time) if you want to go to Asmara (100 Km.). (200 US$ for return taxi at official rate).
After clearing out, you only get one hour to leave with an officer watching you all that time.
After having damaged our hull and fenders on the wall, and others had the same problem, we were allowed to anchor in the commercial harbor, but there is no place for dinghies and ours was nearly broken squeezed by a local boat alongside the only place where there were steps to access the quay.
Rallies have not stopped in Massawa this year; any connection????
To sum up: very nice people, including chief immigration officer, but except for accounting harbor administration, very poor people, very expensive country.
We did not find Asmara worth the trip.
Yves MARTIN d’AIGUEPERSE
S.V. Blue Marine