Sand Drifts????? What????? Inside of the boat???? Inside of Freebird????
We've been shooting for the Hurghada Marina since leaving India, maybe even Thailand, way last year. It's been our destination. Once we're there, we are home free, up the Red Sea. Then, it's just a hop up to Suez.
Wish I had known that then.
We left Port Ghalib in the smallest of weather windows ~ overnight ~ taking a chance to beat the wind. Normally, sail boats likes wind, but the Red Sea only has wind directly on the nose. We get maybe one of the worst poundings we've had, naturally, in the middle of the night. Green water over the top. But, we survive. No harm no foul. We arrive the next afternoon in Hurghada to some real help from the marina to dock. TWO, yes, 2 men in a small boat to help us Med moor. They knew their stuff and could actually handle their boat and our lines. One jumped on board to help with the bow lines and me the stern and the one in the boat tied the bow lines to the mooring buoy while Dave backed in. There was only 1 moment of tension when the starboard bow line was tossed, dropped and sunk ~ gone ~ (not me thankfully!) But, the port side was already on and holding :>}}}
The next order of business was to be able to get off of the boat. She was backed into a very high cement dock. Dave had to go to the Port Captain/check-in in their "tinny" (Australian word for aluminum "dinghy") as he wasn't able to get to the dock. We do not have a "passerola" or gang plank.
In fact, nothing even remotely close. With the tide going so low it looked more like we needed a crane or basket instead. I voted for the helicopter but that really wasn't happening, for sure.
So, after talking to the marina fellows, they came back a couple of hours later with a large wooded gang-plank with rungs even. It was great. Nice and wide and long enough too. $10 a day.... guess who went nuts? He was outraged. Our dock fee's were $30 a day. Well, we'll worry about that later...
So, it's cleaning time for us even though we'd been up all night. We can't wait to give the ole girl her well deserved bath and get off some of that Cochin dirt that is still stuck to the awnings along with the rest of the salt and grime from the last couple of months.
I was busy washing everything in sight. Clean slipcovers on the settee, change the bed, scrub the fans with a toothbrush, polish all the hatches, shine the hardwood on the hands and knees,clean the windows. We were outside washing till 6, so tired we couldn't move. We both voted to just get into bed but decided it was a bit early ~ it was still light out.... so, we took a walk around the marina. After we got back we took showers, went to bed and passed out.
Of course not, it's call to prayer time, many calls to prayer, all with loud speakers. INCREDIBLE! UNBELIEVABLE! AWFUL!
Now that it's 10PM the "music" starts up. I guess you can call it that.
The wind kicks in. We really did just beat the wind. The mosquitoes arrive in time for dinner. All of the derelict boats around us commence to banging, clanging and jumping around in their slips. Dave convinces me not to close the boat up and put the air conditioning on. It's too hot to close the boat up he says, even though it would be quieter with less mosquitos. I acquiesce and put the ear plugs in and my head under the sheets to hide from the mossies.(Australian word for mosquitoes)
The next morning, we wake up to PILES, DRIFTS, MOUNDS of sand ~ everywhere! Every surface of our boat inside and out is covered with sand, dust and dirt. It continued for 3 days. No kidding. The sky was gray. It pelted us in 30-40 knots. After 2 days, the guy relented and put up the air conditioner. I cleaned again ~ so/so this time, my heart wasn't in it because it's not over yet.
So, for the next few days we provisioned, Dave built our own "passerola", got replacement parts for the broken nets (trampoline) and repaied that, lugged jerry cans of diesel, reloaded the computer that crashed and the best yet, found some tasty food.
Anyway, yesterday morning, we took a chance and with the next tinniest of weather window struck out for the next anchorage north. The winds were kind and the sea's minimal ~ surprise ~ so we just kept going till 5pm. We were able to get across the gulf to the Eastern side just off the Sinai Peninsula dodging oil derricks all the way.
Along the way we provided yet another "Freebird Ride" to a little freeloader.
We are in a small bay called El Tur (Al Tor), Sinai, Egypt. We aren't allowed to go ashore and couldn't launch the dinghy anyway as it's blowing 30+ right now. Looks like we will be here 3 days before we can head out again.