Safaga,  Egypt


Red Sea Rising

A Trip to Cairo

Safaga to Port Suez

Safaga, Egypt

Red Sea Rising

To Safaga



Arrival in Djibouti


Boat Cooking

 Bear off!, bear off!

"No speak English"

Arabian Sea



Leg to Djibouti

Laguna Beach


Island of Male

More Sri Lanka


Sandra Dale Cook



February 8, 2000


fishermanStill anchored here at Laguna Beach.  Today we snorkeled on the other side of the island and saw sea turtles, a moray eel and lots of the reef fish that are so abundant here. A little blue fish was going in and out of the moray's open mouth, it looked like he was cleaning his teeth.  Do fish have dental hygienists?   There are varieties of fish we have not seen before and many that are familiar.  There are many avid SCUBA divers in the fleet but although we have all the equipment we tend to snorkel rather than use  SCUBA gear.  When you come to a wall where the sea drops from the reef into an abyss of intense blue it is tempting to don our SCUBA gear and maybe before we get much farther along we will indulge

We all went in to the resort night before last and Sandra and Jeannette did a fire dance on the beach.  It is novel and always draws a lot of interest from by-standers.

We probably should be going from island to island, seeing as much of the Maldives as we can but we are enjoying just "being here".  It is good to loll in clean water where you can swim over the side and run the water maker when you want to.  We have read where laundry is very expensive here so we are using our on board washer and also a bucket to do our laundry. 

Remember that living on a boat is just like living at home except that everything is compact, moving and usually at a slant.  If things are not put away or "stowed" properly they fall, slide and break.  Even at anchor everything you do is complicated by the logistics of being on a boat.  Cooking is always a challenge both from the provisioning perspective and the actual physical  job of getting food prepared and served in a small space.  Some of our stowage demands that you climb up on the kitchen counter to reach the storage area.  Another storage area is in the sole or floor of the galley.  In order to access it, you have to lay on the floor and get at least one shoulder down into the hole.  Of course it helps if you remember where everything is located or have a list.  Charlie is good about inventories but when you return from the market with a whole load of things that have to be stowed it is easy  to start cramming to make sure you get everything put away.  We have established a system in the refrigerator where we use containers to hold things upright  so that they do not fall over as the boat moves.  One jar of spilled jam can cover an amazing area if it comes open while underway.  There are  "boat gremlins" that loosen jar lids, leave latches partially closed and generally generate all forms of mischief.

Jeannette Brommage joined Sea Gem as crew on February 10, when Sandra Cook left the boat in preparation for her trip to India.  Sandra had planned to work on a dive boat in the Maldives but that job fell through when the company determined they had their quota of foreign workers.  Sandra then decided to continue her travels in India.

JeannetteJeannette has come aboard ready and willing to pitch in and help with the chores and she made a lot of points with me when the first job she volunteered for was cleaning the refrigerator. Our refrigerator has never been so well organized.  Now she is working her way through the galley cabinets and  also doing some of the outside polishing.  There is always something to do on a boat and help is always appreciated. 

This afternoon we have moved back to the airport anchorage in order to get fuel tomorrow.  It has to be arranged and we have a fuel appointment tomorrow.  After that we will go into Male' where we will make our pilgrimage to the Cybercafe and I will try a professional haircut shop.  Few women have hair exposed here and those that do have long braids down their backs.  The last haircut I had was aboard a boat given by another

sailor.  She did it on  on deck in a stiff breeze, not an easy thing to do.  Most of the haircuts I have gotten around the world have been very good, the only one that was really bad was the most expensive, and received in Ft. Lauderdale.  I think Male' might be a better bet than Djibouti.  More on the saga of the haircut later. 

While we are here we want to visit the Islamic Visitors Center for a tour.  We will also provision for our Djibouti leg.  A lot to do in the next few days, we will celebrate Valentines Day and hope yours is a good one too.  Until later. . . from the Maldives.