Andrew, Maya and I sailed yesterday from a little anchorage on the small Italian island of Lampedusa.   We stopped to climb the tiny rock of an island called Lampione before heading out to Tunisia.  The wind was great; a southerly that allowed us to sail on a beam reach most of the way.

We decided to go to Mahdia instead of Monastir.  Mahdia was closer so this meant a night entry.  Please try to imagine the delights of entering an unfamiliar harbor in Africa at night with 20 knot winds blowing.  Then imagine that the port control is giving you directions in French and the navgational beacons, while present, are turned off.

Despite those obstacles, we made it fine in the end.  Another one of the few boatsmen there helped us tie off.  I met the Captain of the port control and one of his deputies; they seemed a bored lot.  After Andrew took care of the entry formalities, the deputy came over to ask a question.  He asked for some ¨chocolate¨ for the Captain.  This guy wants a bribe, I thought.  But then I dutifully handed over some chocolate bars – Israeli chocolates with Hebrew written on them – and the deputy walked away, completely satisfied.

We woke up this morning downwind of the fishing boats and their nets, drying in piles in the sun.  A short walk into the medina lead us to the Place du Caire and a nice little cafe.  There was a guy with a falcon that he puts on the arms tourists so they can take pictures.  That and a lot of guys sitting around drinking coffee and smoking.

We are heading out to Monastir today.  There is a real marina there, which should be a welcome treat.  We will probably stay there for a few days.

In case this is not clear, I would like to sum up by saying we just sailed to Africa.

Advertisements