|Crabcastles in the sand at Ras Banas|
We have been in Egypt now for nearly a month. Our run of dream weather with favourable winds came to a very abrupt end at midnight on the 26th April as we were crossing Foul Bay (aptly named) from Sudan to Egypt. We were hit with a nasty northerly of over 25 knots and experienced our first taste of the famous short steep chop of the Red Sea, unlike any wave action we have come across previously, basically they just stop the boat. So although our target had been Dolphin Reef we bore away about 20 miles short of it and headed in company with Gone with the Wind for Ras Banas. Its a very low lying, windswept, remote spot with a sandy beach and a small army outpost of just 2 personnel. The following 7 days saw more action at Ras Banas than probably has ever been seen. We ended up with a united nations collection of 11 yachts sheltering from the howling winds, 4 of them very skilled wind and kite surfers who were out enjoying every second and entertained us all. We even partook in windswept walks on the beach, choppy snorkeling, very wet dinghy rides and soaked up enforced downtime.
|The magical Dolphins at Dolphin Reef|
Moving on the next day in calm waters we just kept on going about 64 miles and anchored the night at Samedi Reef. More underwater treats awaited us when we decided to snorkel the reef entrance. There were two huge bommies, with a good array of live coral, very clear water to 20 metres and an excellent selection of small to medium sized fish, with over a dozen varieties we hadn't seen before. This would have to go down as one of the best snorkels we have had since Papua New Guineas Louisiade Archipelago, even if somewhat colder water. Egypt was treating us after such a rough start!!!
|Evening camel tour at Port Ghalib|
|All us on the marina wall at Port Ghalib|
Hurghada Marina has a great location less than 5 minutes walk from the main tourist strip and the old town. It’s very touristy with mainly Russian tourists but compared to the rest of Egypt it is pretty laid back. The marina area is almost completed and will be smart when it’s all finished. Power and water were metered but not expensive, WIFI was free and accessible onboard, berthing charges up to 16m USD20 per day or USD300 per month and it wasn’t too dusty and will be better when all works are completed. It is a good place to leave the boat while off land travelling as it is close to Luxor and the Nile Valley. We took a day trip up to Abu Tig Marina to check whether it would be a better option. It is in an enclosed “tourist environment”, all western restaurants, hotels, very little privacy if stern to, pool club access by membership, WIFI charged and we heard from friends noisy at night with music into the wee small hours. We decided to remain in Hurghada.
For anchorage information on Egypt see the "Gulf of Suez - A sting in the tale" posting with detailed info on the above anchorages
See all our Egypt photos on our web album http://picasaweb.google.com/yachtbalvenie/2008Egypt