Friday, March 24, 2017


The Red Sea is 1,400 miles long - that's 1,216 nautical miles - and we average 5 nautical miles per hour (5.75 mph). That's over 240 hours for Sea Turtle to get through the Red Sea without stopping!

And the Red Sea has 365 days of sunshine per year (yes, 365) and it is surrounded by desert. The winds blow predominantly from the north and when it blows hard a fine desert sand covers the boat painting it a red hue.

Progress north can be a test of patience. Headway is done either by motoring in calm weather or, more often, beating into light north winds. In the latter case, a typical day starts at the crack of dawn or before and then, usually by noon, when the winds have picked up to the point of pounding into it, we look for shelter.

So this day, March 22nd, with a forecast of 2 days of calm, we made a run for it. It was a predawn start in a velvet darkness. The anchor was hoisted under torchlight and we motored out of the inlet of Marsa Wasi (Sudan) guided only by our GPS track laid down on our electronic charts when we entered.

We would be growing moss if we waited for a following south wind to sail north with. So we welcomed the calm even though it meant motoring and using precious diesel fuel.

Sea Turtle has large fuel tanks and the new Beta motor sips it slowly. This has been beneficial as available fuel stops are few and far between on this passage. And having a watermaker takes away the worry of finding fresh water.

Just after midnight at about 22 degrees north and in flat seas, we crossed into Egyptian waters. It was now March 23rd and as the day progressed, we lost the calm and a north wind developed making our last 10 NM to our destination a tedious affair as we motor-sailed into a steep chop.

We tied up to the Customs/Immigration seawall of Port Ghalib Marina (N25°32.021' E034°38.338') on March 24th at 09:30 (08:30 local time) right behind SV Jubilee who had arrived about 7 hours earlier. We received a friendly welcome by the officials and as soon as the paperwork and thorough inspections were complete, we Med-moored right in front of a hotel and swimming pool.

Sea Turtle at Port Ghalib

Twenty years ago where Port Ghalib is now, was a barren, rocky, windswept, and uninhabited desert coastline. Then a Kuwaiti billionaire invested a reported 2 billion dollars to turn this port and 18 km of coastline into tourist resort destinations complete with a town center, shopping, hotels, restaurants, marina, etc.

The Marina has a unique set-up with different waterways connected by small walking bridges for pedestrians.

1 comment:

s/v Libertad said...

so glad you are safe and making progress...have been worried about you sailing the Red Sea passage. You will love the Med....we certainly did.