Sailing again, thank goodness. We have just enough wind to sail close hauled now and beginning to creep west around the Sawakin Group of islands, reefs and shoals. Hoping wind will veer to the west a bit in the afternoon.
Position 18° 44.131′ N 38° 53.105′ E
So we caught one of these while I was doing some emails? apparently, according to our ?illustrated fish of the world? Barracuda ?SHOULD NOT BE EATEN? (yes, in red capital letters). Off to consult the offline Wikipedia? wish I’d known before killing the bugger and then cleaning and gutting him. UPDATE: Large Barracuda species have been implicated in Ciguatera poisoning. This is a smaller species, Blackfin Barracuda, only about 1.5kg, so we should be fine. Wikipedia also says it’s good for smoking!
Position 18° 26.750′ N 38° 59.591′ E
Motoring on a calm sea with light (< 5kt) northerly breeze. Made good miles overnight with about 0.2kt of north setting current in our favour. Made 158nm for the 24 hours since leaving Massawa. The sea weed that's been plaguing us since before Massawa seems to have gone now and there's even some flying fish about. Two big, battle-scarred dolphins came round for a little social in the bow wave this morning and then cruised off after 5 minutes or so.
Position 18° 08.190′ N 39° 04.114′ E
Log 10,480 nm
Engine 294.0 h
Still sailing the sea breeze. We’re pinching the angle a bit to avoid some shoals that are shown as 20m deep on the chart. We’ve seen the ocean floor go from over 400m to less than 40m in a quarter mile or less several times. Must be amazing valleys, cliffs and peaks under water in this area. It does make one nervous though. In about two hours we’ll be in deeper water with a flat ocean floor and the alert level can come down a notch. Right now the depth sounder has our constant attention.
Position 16° 48.202′ N 39° 21.467′ E