Alan and Jean sharing our cruising news with friends, family.

20 July 2015 | Rabi Island Fiji
29 June 2015 | Suva Fiji
18 December 2013 | Auckland
05 December 2013 | Auckland
27 October 2013 | Vavau Tonga
12 September 2013 | Samoa
24 July 2013 | Moorea, Tahiti
19 July 2013 | Papeete
19 June 2013 | Nuka Hiva
02 June 2013 | Pacific Ocean
29 May 2013 | Pacific Ocean
24 May 2013 | Eastern Pacific Ocean
19 May 2013 | Western Pacific Ocean
16 May 2013 | Western Pacific Ocean
13 May 2013 | Isla Isabella
06 May 2013 | Isla Isabella
08 April 2013 | Shelter Bay marina, Colon.
28 March 2013 | Belize
27 March 2013 | Belize
03 March 2013 | Panamarina, Panama

Looking at them looking at us looking at them.

26 February 2010 | Yemen
26th Feb 2010 Ra's Sharma, Yemen. Been trying to learn some basic arabic words but the one we really need to learn is Maafi fooloos... get lost! or something similar for the fishing boats that come up to us. Its not too bad really some offer to trade fish others want a look and some suggest with sign language that we might be a floating food, cigarette and bira (beer)charity shop. I must say though that it was only the fishermen we met out at sea that asked us for alcohol not the ones here in the anchorage. Funny how Muslims dont drink alcohol but even in remote areas they know about bira and one boat even got asked for whisky! For yachts who have come through Indonesia and experienced the fishermen there, this is a very similar experience. The trip west so far with our group of 7 yachts has not been too bad a couple of mechanical issues on two boats but Selwyn from the kiwi yacht Morning Cloud is a great Mr Fixit so we were not held up long. Both things he sorted out while at sea.

This part of Yemen is pretty barren high dry rocky hills and sand along the coast from what we have seen. We stayed one night at Nisthun and are now having our second day at Ra's Sharma. We took a little longer than we thought to get here with the break downs and with very little wind it was a bit slow going. We also travel at the speed of the slowest boat which is slow for us but better we stay together. Our group arrived here at 10pm and as the anchorage is easy to get into we were anchored by 10.30pm with assistance from a bright moon. The big 25 yacht convoy got to Aden without any problems although I think there may have been some issues within the group. 25 boats would be hard to keep together, 7 is bad enough it's a bit like a school outing ...have to keep counting the heads. Now we are 8 another yacht, Dutch, has joined us here at Ra's Sharma.

In the morning we stuck our heads out to see where we were and saw desolate but beautiful beaches and hills. The 4 square buildings on the hill above the beach looked like a scene out of a French Foreign Legion film. ( It is a pity I can't send photos with sailmail)I keep expecting turban clad desert men to appear over the hill waving swords and rifles. What we do get is friendly fishermen arriving in long fibre glass skiffs with 60 hp outboard motors offering us fish as a gift or for a small trade. The fishermen here in the anchorage seem slightly more gentlemanly than those we met out at sea and yet these guys obviously are out at sea fishing also. I guess we are visiting in their home patch, a bit different than just passing by at sea. We generally have a conversation with limited Ingleezee, Ahrabee and mostly sign language. They want to know where we come from ( the atlas gets well used), if we want fish and one lot wanted to know if it got rough so there was a lot of hand waving with that question! Yesterday we said no we already had a fish but these guys still threw a couple of small lunch sized fish on the deck as a gift. One fish each, with salad for lunch, better than any restaurant.

Only a couple of us have caught fish, not us tho. We traded some fish just after we left Nishtun, outside a place called Khaisat and here at Ra's Sharma. At Khaisat we checked out the anchorage while Selwyn did his mechanical magic. There the officials came for a visit along with their guns. A quite friendly visit, they only came to Tuatara, being the biggest boat in the group we were the obvious target for the officials. When the gentleman with the large gun took off his shoes before he got up on the boat, we figured it was a polite visit. He just wanted to sit on our aft seat in the shade while his boss got our passport copies. We knew he was the boss because he had a pistol on his hip and a mobile phone. The boss rang his boss on the phone. Alan had a short conversation with him about where we were going and why we were waiting. With everyone satisfied we were soon on our way again but not before he asked for a drink so we gave him a bottle of water and of course he wanted bira which we replied with a slight indignant tone, "Of course not, no bira on our boat!!" So he left the bottle of water behind and they went on their way quite happily. We then decided it was time to move further off the coast!! Largo Star reports our position via Sat Ph in to the Coalition forces and they have said that there is no activity in our area so all's well. It is interesting listening to Channel 16 there are a lot of different warships out here which is reassuring. A cargo ship reported in suspicious boats and within a couple of hours a helicopter had checked them out and reported back to the ship that they were fishing boats. We have just seen two similar boats come past us to the local village. They are 15 metre boats towing 3 or 4 skiffs. The big boat is basically an open boat with two decks. The top deck had about 10 or so fishermen looking at us looking at them looking at us. Lots of cheery waves, they are just seamen interested in fellow sea travelers. I can understand the merchant vessels being wary of these guys, they can be a rough looking bunch that is until they smile and wave out. The mother ship/skiff set up is certainly the same as pirates are known to use, so the ships understandably report them in to be checked out by the coalition helicopters.

Alan has just come back from snorkeling, no coral but lots of fish among them a blue spotted ray and some fish the snorkelers all say they have never seen before. This afternoon we plan to dinghy over to the village, not sure if we will go ashore as it is Friday. I will be happy with some closer photos, from here it is hard to see the village as the houses and hills are the same colours. Lasse and Lisbeth visited there yesterday and reported a market that sold lobsters, now that's a good reason for a visit.
Vessel Name: Tuatara
Vessel Make/Model: Alan Wright 51
Hailing Port: Opua NZ
Crew: Alan and Jean Ward

Sailing in the Pacific

Who: Alan and Jean Ward
Port: Opua NZ