We entered a break in the reef for a mile long transit down a channel that ended at the town of Suakin. We passed an area of the old town on Suakin Island that was in ruins and looked like the remnants of bombs. But not so. Many decades ago, that part of the town was abandoned as the main port for the area and people and commerce flowed north to another town, Port of Sudan. So the buildings had simply eroded away and crumbled down with no maintenance.
Harsh desert erosion
Walking the ruins (after we anchored)
Once again at anchor (N19°06.510 E037°20.278), we had our paperwork tended to by a required Agent, Mohammed. He was dressed in the typical attire for this area: a long, white, flowing caftan replete with white rounded skullcap (called a taqiyah) that presented a stark contrast to his dark skin and dusty environment.
Other than checking us in officially, his services also included fuel delivery by 50-L jerry jugs, taking our laundry to town, providing a SIM card for internet, arranging a tour for the next day, and providing a shore pass for us. His Agent fee was a reasonable $40 US.
Mohammed took us on a tour, along with SV Jubilee, to the Abu Hadab Museum of Folklore. Along the way to the Museum which was on the outskirts of town, we had a camel faceoff.
Calf only a few days old
The Museum was a collection of early photos of Suakin Island and the ruins as they crumbled to their demise. Also on display were bits and pieces of brass containers, urns, furniture, and clothing. History has it that Suakin was a significant port of seafarers for hundreds of years including the slave trade. Slave trade in the Middle East was happening centuries before it arrived in the Americas.
3 from Jubilee with us and an employee (courtesy of SV Jubilee)
The town's stores and markets were able to supply us with only basic groceries and produce.
Colourful selection of the basics
Typical street scene