Marsa Shin’Ab, Sudan

21 20 N, 37 00 E

Boy, it’s dusty here. And dry. A minute after you finish your cereal, slurrrpppprhphhh, gone is the moisture, sucked into the air, and the thin layer of milk has hardened to a crust. (It doesn’t really make that noise. That’s just for effect.) We are comfortable, and don’t sweat, because any moisture that dares make its appearance on our skin is quickly vacuumed up in much the same way. (Same sound.)

We clean off the solar panels, which get dust covered, and then a couple of hours later it’s as if we didn’t touch them. And the sand/dust makes the mountains in the background disappear. When it’s not windy, we get a beautiful sunset, but when it does get stirred up, the sun just gets whiter and duller and then fades to nothing about 15 degrees above the horizon.

The winds look like they are moderating a little bit. But inertia sets in — you know, bodies in motion tend to stay in motion, etc. When we’re at sea, we want to continue charging up the Red Sea, putting miles under the belt. When we’re at anchor though, and it’s comfortable and we do small tasks and listen to books on tape and watch movies and Sima takes most of the later afternoon making a wonderful dinner, it’s tough for both of us to think about going to sea again. Especially if the wind is blowing at our anchorage, and we can imagine what the seas will be like offshore.

But we’ll go off today. How far we go depends upon how it is out there. We have our eyes set on dolphin reef, 214 miles away, which is an eternity in these seas, so we’ll see. We may stop at Elba Reef, which is just 40 miles away. We’ll leave today, May 30, at about 4 p.m. local, 13:00 UTC. Dolphin Reef would be three days, or maybe four, and Elba would be a day.

All is well aboard.

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