We greatly enjoyed the time in Dubai
We spent with Augusta and Scott

The pool and the beach were the main events

And some good meals, believe it or not.

The boat repairs though were not so much fun

(Lots of telephone time and frustration)

The Oman technician arrives without parts

(not outstanding communication).

But the good news is we can sail in a group

From Salalah right to the Red Sea

It's said that Somalis attack small boats here

Though my money predicts pirate free.

With an Englishman sailing La Novia

Then Greetings from US of A

Plus Free Spirit 2 and Impulsive

Pirates won't have it all their own way.

The first day we battle some wind on the nose

But it finally comes round to the beam

We're slicing our way through a calm, sparkling sea

And we're moving along as a team.

There's a power boat looming up off our port bow

What on earth is it doing out here?

(It's at least 40 miles to the Yemeni coast)

But it passes without coming near.

With watching and sleeping and meals and jobs

The miles pass inexorably

You can stand for hours with the wind on your face

Admiring the moods of the sea.

Two unscheduled jobs interrupt the night

First one of the engine belts breaks

Then the cord at the foot of the main comes free

When will we be free of mistakes?

Now morning has dawned and we're pleased with ourselves

We've gone past a "high risk" zone

Susie had a slight scare in her middle night watch

We're glad we're not sailing alone.

But now we hear on channel 16

A coalition warship report

Of a pirate attack not 10 miles from us

Perhaps they've fled to avoid being caught.

We are all on extra alert now

We've cranked the boats up to more speed (??)
We've taken down (highly visible) sails

And we'll talk in case only of need.

Now we're seeing more tankers and cargo ships

This all seems to be a good sign

The pirates have not yet materialized

And they're fast running out of time.

As we work our way west towards Aden

A dhow makes a strange change of track

It may have been looking for lost fishing gear

But warm fancies imagine attack.

There was none, of course, and today we should make
The entrance into the Red Sea

It's busy with ships and the current runs fast

So daylight would help us to see.

We're in the Red Sea and we still have light (you little ripper)

We're doing 10 knots and all seems right

We're now looking forward to adventures at hand

Eritrea, Sudan and the Pharaoh's land.

APRIL 2008