Monday 27 April
Monday morning was much like yesterday, a day of household tasks; laundry and cleaning the boat. I made the bread and checked over the vegetables we got in Suez which are not keeping too well. Kevin changed the engine oil. Then before lunch, Lori and I took our shopping lists to the marina office. We were amused to see the guy photograph mine with his phone which transformed my handwritten scrawl to Arabic. As he then asked me if the second item on my list was 3 kg of oranges when it was actually onions I don’t hold out much hope.
Back at the boat it was time for some thorough hand washing. The Egyptians we’ve encountered mostly don’t wear gloves or masks and in the office were sitting quite close together, no social distancing here. They were quick too, to say the virus wasn’t a problem for them when Lori refused to let one of them hold her phone to enter his number.
Good news; yesterday Lori had a message from Four Seasons’ skipper to say he has reached Crete and that the port he is in, on the south coast, would allow us to refuel, take on water and maybe food too if needed. Today he emailed the Greek Health Declaration form so the two boats now have a plan. We are going to leave the canal and sail to Crete, we may not need to top things up (except beer) but it gives us a refuge to head for if the weather turns bad, and it is a first step out of Egypt. From there we plan to sail west to Sicily and the big hop to Gibraltar. There are a couple of hurdles to overcome first though.
Jules has been waiting for a box of spares to arrive via DHL. Captain Heebi received them yesterday. The box had been opened by customs and the most essential items, drive belts for the autopilot, were missing when it reached Ismailia this afternoon. Our second problem is the weather. Leaving Port Said in the next few days could see us beating to windward for four hundred nautical miles, so we are going to wait here a little longer. Kevin reckons next Monday looks good at the moment but if there is a change we only have to give a days notice to get the pilots arranged.
Our shopping turned up. It was a bit muddled between the two boats and a few things missing, some vegetables of dubious quality but on the whole not the disaster I feared. I will be thoroughly glad when I can shop on my own account again. Being at the mercy of others is so frustrating.
Later, in the evening, a cheer went up from next door, Captain Heebi had called, the missing parts had been located and would be with them tomorrow! Onboard Temptress we were celebrating our safe delivery from the Red Sea with a steak supper and our last bottle of wine.