We now enter Pirate Alley. What does it hold in store for us?
Here starts the convoy. This is a formation devised by Lo Brust, the rally organiser, to safeguard the boats as we began our journey through ‘Pirate Alley’ Although still in ‘safe’ waters Lo wanted us to get used to the formation as it was difficult to sustain, as we were to find out. This is where the arguments start…
The moment we stepped ashore on Sadla Island our senses were on fire. Like something out of a Jules Verne novel this volcanic island was teeming with wildlife. These pictures are some of my favourite nature shots, especially the sunset ones. Make the most of these pics because from here on it the rally starts getting tough. The smiles will be replaced by grimaces as the fleet prepares itself for 700 miles of hell!
The fact we were kicked off Mersa Dudo was a blessing in disguise for Sadla Island is an absolute gem. In fact those who had managed to get ashore on the first night waxed lyrical about its wonders on the evening net. Tony of ‘Full Flight’ and I arranged to go ashore early next morning as he had discovered nesting turtles on the eastern shore.
Rested and eager to move on, Liz and I fell into the trap of believing that the next bit of the journey would be fairly straightforward, despite the headwinds. How wrong could we have been? I’ll give you a clue: very.
In my last post on Massawa I made the bold statement that Eritrea was my fave country I have ever visited. This was due to a number of factors, not least the people. It’s anchorages like Freedom Bay, however, that make Eritrea a top spot for nature lovers and yotties. Freedom Bay was a large expanse of shallow water surrounded by incredible volcanic mountains. I suspect very few humans have ever gone ashore here. Even we only made it to one of the little islands and a spit of sand where I got some great shots of pelicans and ospreys. Another top anchorage and, finally, all the rally participants meet up together for the first time since Egypt!