Friday, March 25, 2011


We have been in Suakin, Sudan for 3 days now and all I have done is clean dirt off all kinds of stuff. This place was a port over 3000 years ago and it looks like it hasn't changed much. What looks like bomb ruins is just what is left when the rich folks in the old city took their house building blocks with them when Port Sudan was made the main port city about 100 years ago. The new town is like life 200 years ago...all folks in traditional dress...turbans and long wraps...goat is the only meat in the butcher shop! The fresh veggies and fruit are really good but the selection very basic. We do plan a trip to the local history is quite interesting here.

We will make it north from here to our first stop in Egypt, 450 miles away, probably in short hops to reef anchorages to avoid driving into 20 knots of wind from the north. We might get a break and 3 good days to go overnight and make some way but we will have to see in 2 days when we get back out there on the water, just what it's like. BTW, a reef anchorage doesn't have protection from the wind like a cove of is just anchoring inside big areas of coral that usually protects somewhat from the waves for comfort. They can be challenging to enter with just the right light so we can wind our way through the "crunchy stuff".

There are no facilities for internet or getting money here but not much to buy anyway and the food in the simple restaurant is very simple, dry and overcooked. The folks are very poor but so friendly and welcoming. I gotta say that after navigating Eritrea where all the navigation markers were gone, it's a treat to have well kept up reef and anchorage markers...and some are tall white pillars...little Washington monuments on a coral reef!!! We have 15 boats in this anchorage that couldn't take many more...and there are more coming. We plan to leave tomorrow but we will wait 2 days at least and see.

I am finally over my dreadful respiratory flu...Chuck got to do some snorkeling and found the coral remarkable but few fish. I still hope to get in but the water and weather is getting cooler.

We will keep posting with another check in soon
Lynn and Chuck on CYAN

Monday, March 14, 2011

Safe at last!

We finally got to a point 100 miles north of Bab al Mandeb after making the passage on March 11 and then anchoring with the Vasco de Gama Rally (9 boats) behind the cape at Ras Terma. We took off Sat AM and made it to another safe but rolly anchorage south of Great Abail Island, with old cinder cone volcanos on it at

13 deg 52.84 min N and 41 deg 59.12 min E.

We plan to stay here 2 days and nights to avoid northern winds and also because I have a flu or some sort of respiratory infection and we both needed a break.

Our friends Eddie and K. P. on the yachts Chulupa and Joceba, came in to this anchorage last night. We parted with them 50 miles before the Red Sea opening, 3 days ago, because they wanted to go thru at night against the full tidal current we decided to transit Bab al Mandeb the next day. We are too old for that kind of rolling around into choppy swell ...but they made it fine and so did we.

We are very thankful to finally relax and only worry about weather and boat systems as usual. Now we will carefully watch the weather avoiding the northerlies until we get near Port Sudan, about half way to Suez. From there it's all northerlies and we just have to choose light blows to motor into. That's called using the "iron sail"!!!

Our 38th wedding anniversary is coming up March 23, and we plan to celebrate it in Egypt with a stainless steel polishing party (we hope we can find people to come).

more later and photos someday...who knows when we will have access to internet.

Lynn and Chuck in CYAN

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Monday, March 7, 2011

more Aden

Typical Yemeni boat

I just got a chance to read all the comments to my past posts and still have tears in my eyes knowing that so many old friends, family and even folks who don't know us have given us encouragement and concern. My net time is so limited or I would answer each one. Please know how much this means to both of us.

We are so ready to leave here but the weather is not cooperating with 25 knot winds and 6'sea but at 4 second intervals makes for a bumpy ride.

I was so thrilled that my blog was published on the Cruising World magazine website. And also that the SSCA even stopped the presses to add it to the latest bullitin. We want more folks to know the dangers here so yhey can do something to make it safer.

We hope to leave in 2 days either with the other 2 boats or sailing behind the rally that is also here. We are only 250 miles from the safe area!

At least there is time to see the area in the dafe zones and get more laundry done!

article is at

Lynn and Chuck in CYAN

Saturday, March 5, 2011

What a relief!

On Thursday, March 3, CYAN entered Aden harbor just before dawn. A rally of boats that had come in just before us and we, 3 boats with tired and stressed crew, had to anchor in the dark while dodging boats, platforms, and huge moorings. We got to sleep at 6:30 am. So here we are right in the middle of the Yemeni revolution, and even hearing gunfire at night, but still we feel safer than on the pirate infested sea. When we went food shopping, yesterday, our taxi driver told us he was part of the protest and carried the flag in some parade. BTW, the supermarket was such a joy...the best since Australia...better than Singapore because it is so much cheaper. Reminded me of my beloved Kroger!!! Or Ralph's in LA! They did have incense burning, whole skinned lambs hanging up and 5 kinds of feta cheese....a litttle different.

We went to dinner with the crews of Chulupa, Koi and KP, and Joceba [that I have been spelling wrong], Claudia, 3 year old Angelo and Edi. We all celebrated our safety but mourned the sad loss of Quest and worried about getting news of ING and another vessel that is rumored to have been taken.

About the shows our route across the Ocean where each diamond is 24 hours. The triangles show the high danger zone rectangle...we went just SW of it. The skull is where Quest was captured and the '!' is where ING was taken.....right on our path just a few days later. The photo with the arrowheads shows how we see ships with the AIS on our chartplotter screen...they are in a close convoy, often with a military escort. The wordage photo shows the kind of info we get on the ships...and as we come to the Suez we will be in company with many. The big ships are usually so nice to talk to on the radio.

The other shows Aden Harbor. Some fishing vessels look like what I imagined the Apostles fished from 2000 years ago only without the Yamaha! The hillside buildings look as they did 1000 years ago and it is all quite interesting. The folks are friendly and welcoming here. Most of the women are completely covered in black with just eyes showing and on the day of worship, Friday, the men were often in complete white garments. The harbor area is very well protected during the unrest. We expect to leave in 2 days, maybe Tuesday, if the strong winds die down a bit. It's supposedly blowing 50 knots at the Red Sea Entry at Bab El Mandeb 90 miles away. We are not ready for this kind of work yet!

Thanks again for the many emails and comments of concern and meant more than you could know. We are so ready for just everyday "plain vanilla" cruising without all the tension. The romance of the Med and even going home again gets closer every day.

from deep in our hearts

Lynn and Chuck on CYAN

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

more news

Just when we thought we were getting safer we have had several recent events that are tense. S/V Imagine who is with Lapalapa about 70 miles behind us right at the safety corridor saw a motor vessel...don't know how big...aggressively approached and flares were sent. Then a mysterious vessel with a red light shadowed their sailboat and then turned dark....but radar showed them still there. They put out distress calls for the corridor ships but no response. When they called the USN in Dubai on satelite phone, they got a small ship and helicopter in about 1/2 hour and all they could find at night was something that looked like a fishing vessel but it could have been a disguise, too.

Then we read an email this morning about ING and the severity of their condition. They were overtaken right in the same route we had taken only a few days before and near where one of us 3 boats, Joseba, had a mysterious encounter with a 100' vessel that he out maneuvered. We leave the corridor tonight for a fast run to Aden. Civil unrest seems calm compared to this anxiety on the sea. We hear things are under control there now, somewhat.

This is all almost unbelievable! It will affect the cruising community for years. I might add that we don't know of anyone else out here in our age range....mostly younger cruisers....for whatever that's worth! Maybe we are young at heart or maybe we need more sense!!!

We pray for ING who was anchored near us in the Maldives but we don't know them. Just being out here together during all this makes us, the sailing community, feel like family. Being able to talk to the other 2 boats we are with, Joseba and Chulupa has meant a lot.

Hoping for some good news soon. The Red Sea opening is just north of Aden and then we use the southerly winds to sail north like crazy!!!

I must say that the love and Prayers we have received with each email we read has affected us to the point of tears. We appreciate all the outpouring of concern for us.

Lynn and Chuck on CYAN, Wed, March 2.

On March 23 we will celebrate our 38th wedding anniversary...hope we are safe.
NOTE...right now as I send this, a Ship is reporting 2 strange small boats circling him at a point not to far from us. Something has to be done about these maniacs!!!

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