Friday, March 17, 2017

Taila Islands

We awoke to a certain calm on March 15th. Even though the forecast was for more strong winds, we thought we would say goodbye to our buddy boat and try a quick 12-nautical-mile jaunt north where according to the Red Sea cruising guidebook was a suitable anchorage that protects against a north wind.

As soon as we rounded the point with only a light breeze, there were steep, short, residual waves that required us to fall off enough to avoid bashing into them. After an hour, we finally got on the lee of a large offshore reef that calmed the sea enough for a direct approach to our day's destination, 3 small sandy cays on the extended coral platform of Taila (Sudan).

As usual, it was approaching in clear water, and with the sun at our backs, we safely anchored in a patchwork of coral and sand. The lee side of the Taila islets provided a good protection from waves but not from the whistling wind that passed right over the low laying atolls. We could deal with that. We settled into a slow pace of activities here for the next 3 days to wait out the north winds.

After strolling the beach, we did some snorkelling on the way back to the boat. What was becoming evident was the drop in temperature of the air and the water as we increased our degrees of latitude but not enough to stop us from snorkelling which we do whenever we get the chance. The Red Sea's healthy coral and sea life and water clarity make it a first class dive destination in that respect.

Colourful soft and hard coral

There is always something for the sailor to do to fill their time. Upon discovering our wind indicator on the deck of the boat, Jordan climbed the mast to reattach it. Was it a bird or the wind that knocked it down? While he was up there, the rigging and all things get an inspection. This time it required new zip straps to secure the spreader light wires.

The Tailas from above

Chanty's kept busy too!

During our stay here, several small fishing pangas were spotted at the next tiny cay. They too were waiting it out on the protected side. One of them came over to Sea Turtle and asked if we wanted any fish. As we still had plenty of our own, we declined.

Their intention had probably been to trade fish; they asked if we had a few items such as cigarettes, sugar, or coffee. A non-smokers and only having a small amount of coffee left, we couldn't help them there, but we had lots of sugar so gave them a Ziploc bagful. Jordan treated them with 4 beer. They left very happy!

In high spirits

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