Saturday 11 April
Well we had one of those calms we spoke of yesterday, all of an hour at about 04:00 before dawn. The rest of the night the wind howled in the rigging, probably more than 20 knots of it. The anchor chain snubber, full of salt and dust, creaked noisily as the wind tugged at Temptress. At one point we were both lying there awake and the skipper suggested that in daylight we get the second anchor out on deck ready to go just in case. Stronger winds are forecast for early next week.
Over our breakfast coffee we both examined at the forecast. It’s become a preoccupation but looking at the Windy app or downloading a GRIB doesn’t improve things. It’s not good until possibly a 24 hour relaxation in the winds on Wednesday Thursday. Time to occupy ourselves with things other than sailing for a while.
Breakfast dishes cleared we finally got around to putting the sail cover up n, admitting to ourselves it’s going to be a while before Temptress can depart. Then Kevin retrieved the second anchor from where it’s is usually tied down in a cockpit locker. Then we paid out the chain and warp from the ‘beanbag’ on the stern to the bow and the anchor was securely attached but left on deck.
If the winds increase above the forecast 30 knots and our position 200m off the windward shore becomes less tenable the first tactic will be to pay out more chain on the main anchor. If that isn’t enough we can lay out the second. How we lay it depends on what happens, ideally we’d motor up wind a bit but we can if needed just dump it over the side.
Spent the rest of the morning and most of the afternoon knitting whilst the skipper read. Finally finished the back of a sleeveless and mostly shapeless top in a lacy stitch that I started ages ago and then lost the pattern notes I’d made. Was about to cast on the front but realised the needles are in the boxes tucked away. So instead emailed a friend who works in the FCO as thought it might be worth trying to get the Embassy here at least aware we and the other British flagged yachts currently in the Red Sea exist before we run into any issues.
Silver Tern decided to make a run for it in this afternoon’s slight easing off but whether they succeed or not we will have to wait and see. Kevin was dubious about the shelter afforded by the next anchorage or two so with strong winds in the forecast we are staying put. Wednesday and Thursday may offer 24 hours to get somewhere.
An email from the Suez agent may offer some refuge in Ismailia midway through the canal. The canal authorities are minded to let yacht crews ashore provided they and the boats are disinfected! Don’t they realise that the locals pose a greater threat to us then we, who have been effectively isolated for four weeks, pose to them? As with anything new we wait to see what happens in practice. The yacht club at Ismailia charges $21 per night with five nights free for a months stay.
Meanwhile we are down to the last packet of biscuits to accompany our afternoon cuppa. I’m not certain we have enough flour either or quite what biscuits made with bread flour would be like. Maybe I’ll investigate the possibilities with almond flour, porridge oats, nuts and dried fruit. That experiment can wait a few more days.
Made a curry for supper with the other half of the slow cooked mutton, a pepper and some sweet corn jazzed up with raisins and almond slivers. Kevin made pina coladas for sun downers as we have several cartons of UHT coconut cream, tins of pineapple juice and rum! Other spirits are running low, beer ran out many days ago. And the first few rows of the front of my top have been knitted.
Silver Tern was the right about the wind tonight and their bid for another bay to the north successful. They are about ten miles away as the crow flies, tucked up behind a harbour wall.