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Last update Februari 21 2006.

Computer crashed, corrosion in the connectors....... so much for the promise to update more frequent on this newsflash thing. Got the keyboard working again thanks to Larry of SY Blue Star, he got a USB keyboard and the USB port is (still) working). No updates by satphone though, for this requires a working serial port and you guess right, this one doesn't work.

You can't say we haven't got problems..... but it's nothing compared to others. Thalassa for instance hit the reefs and was sinking. Saved only because of the group, horrendous scenario. See the whole story of this on the rallysite. More boats got trouble, we towed in SY Miou de Mer in Massawa (we're making a name as the rallytug now Tony went back up again), but a lot more boats have breaking parts and need more and more repairing.
Till now our preparation in Turkey looks to have been a good one, although a lot of parts bought there are of disputable quality to say at least (breaking stearingcable for instance after every +/- 300 miles..... that's a horror as well with so many reefs nearby).

About the Red Sea, specially this part, we can only say that it's probably the worst charted area in the world. Islands and reefs are off chart for miles sometimes, and even then not always in the same direction. This is what makes t his sea so damn dangerous to sail in.
We're in the advantage though, we sail on eyeball navigation and paper charts all the time, so we're used to this method. Most sailors however nowadays rely on their computer and digital charts, so to say they 'drive' their boats on electronical highways.
Hellishly dangerous in this area if you ask my opinion, certainly when you sail near the shore.

We update the sites by internetcafes now, difficult enough because of the inevitable proxy's and firewalls. IF they have an internetconnection I've found out that the security measures are quite good (well, I'm not a nerd so it looks good to me quite quick) and I've got quite some trouble to FTP through.

For the rest, well we have seen a lot, Sudan is in my opinion the deepest hole a man can sink in, but Eritrea is much better again. Not that it's wealthier, but the attitude of the people is much better. People in Eritrea go for it, while those in the Sudan seem to have given up on life, and live to get to the afterlife as quick as possible. Or could this be (at least partly) due to the religious beliefs.......
I do think that hearing the story this life doesn't matter is not healthy for the mentality of a people, and it seems to show.

Last but not least the natural part of this world, well as I told before I'm totally spoiled in Bonaire (Dutch Antilles) for that's my reference when I look to the corals and fish life.
Generally the coral here is dead or dying like everywhere else in the Red Sea. It's nice, but certainly not great. Fish life is abundant though, and I've seen many fish one wouldn't see in the Carribean.
In general it's a pretty deep experience what we go through, and I think this is mostly due to the rally. If one just crosses the Red Sea without really experiencing the countries and their people and tasting the cultures the whole would have a much lesser impact than it has now.

Next weeks we will sail the shores of Eritrea down to Assab, and from there on to Aden.
We'll try to keep you informed and give a photo-album of february as planned, Insj-Allah (if god wishes it).

For more info about the rally see our rally-website and press the ''news'' button. For stories of the other boats, press the ''organisation'' button and click on the boats wich have an own site.


Current position

We're in Massawa at anchor, position 15°36,6' N - 39°27,8' E.

Plans

We organise the Vasco da Gama Yach Rally 2005-2006, which brings us to a diversity of countries in the Red Sea on the way to India.
Detailled information can be found on www.redsearally.com.

We hope to arrive in Salalah, Oman somewhere in March 2006. Then it looks to be as follows, but seen the state Thalassa is in it depends on what can be worked out.
April 2006 till June 2006 we go with JoHo in our rally to Vasco da Gama, near Goa in India.
July to November 2006 we plan to bring the Thalassa from Salalah (Oman) via Maldives, Chagos, Seychelles and Madagascar to Port Elisabeth (South Africa) as delivery-skippers.

End
2006 we will go further with JoHo from India to Sri Lanka, Thailand and Maleisia. We hope to get to Hong Kong and in Beijing in time for the games. After that it will be Japan in 2008/2009.
From then and there on we want to sail from Alaska and Canada to the USA, and then down to Mexico, Costa Rica and by Galapagos through the Pacific Islands back again. Eventually we want to get to New Zealand and Australia. On our way back we will visit the Chagos Archipelago, Seychelles, Madagascar and South Afrika again.

When we still have time and money left we go by St.Helena and Carribean back to the Netherlands, or we might sell the boat somewhere on the way........

JH en JG.