The latest GRIB weather looks much less attractive (or maybe I’m just reading the, through the eyes of someone who’s beaten to windward all day!). Consistent northerlies are forecast for at least the next week, with some periods of fairly strong wind on Wednesday. We may have to re-group to Plan B and day sail up the Egyptian coast until we see a decent window of calm or more favourable wind.
Position 23° 05.625′ N 36° 48.846′ E
With Zabargad Island and some offshore reefs to the West of our course and up to 30 knots gusty NE breeze pushing us towards it, I gave up sailing around 8pm. Still, we averaged just over 6 knots to windward for 15 hours. Motoring with 3 reefs in the main.
Position 22° 47.857′ N 37° 01.145′ E
We’ve made 73 miles in the first 12 hours, under sail except for the first couple of miles getting out of the reefs. It’s been hard work though. We’ve been close hauled for most of the day in a pretty messy sea and with up to 1.5 knots of current against us. So we’ve regularly seen boat speeds of over 8 knots, yet averaged just over 6. At 8 knots into a lumpy sea we are launching off waves half the time, and half under them the other half. At least the dust has been washed off the decks!
Position 22° 37.429′ N 37° 08.984′ E
We left Marsa Oseif around 6am this morning. Until about noon it was quite windy with seas a little uncomfortable at around 1 to 1.5m with an occasional breaker, but now (1pm) it is lovely. We have been sailing since we came out of the reef around 7am, close-hauled and initially with one reef in the main sail. Once the winds dropped to about 15 knots at midday we took out the reef. Seas are a lot better now with no breaking waves. We are looking forward to the afternoon sea breeze when we will tack to close the western shore of the Red Sea again. Depending on conditions and the forecast we may anchor at either Dolphin Reef or off Sharm Luli tomorrow night. If the forecast is good we will press on for Suez!
Position 22° 15.461′ N 37° 13.391′ E