We leave at dawn with a silky sea and a rising sun that makes beautiful even the commercial port of P. Sudan.
The wreck of Umbria awaits us, as is the custom, for the check dive and the inside exploration. This week weather forecast is again weak winds, changeable or absent; the wind from SE in the strait of Bab el Mandeb has definitely decreased, up North, in Egypt, the NW is weak.
Therefore, being in the middle, between the two influences, we have the typical weather of the Sudanese Autumn: skies sprinkled with white cumulus clouds on the morning horizon clearing as the sun rises.
This week there is a special light and the landscape is more wide-ranging compared to the “only sea” we’re used to. The red moon rises at about 19.30 going up quickly and covering the boat in its wake during night berth in the lagoons. Before dawn it’s still high and it lightens our departures with its reflections: it happens to spot eastbound the red-hot sky at the first light of the day, while at the same time, westbound, blue, clear and soft lights shine around a paling moon.
Silver reflections brush against Sherazade, while in the sea, still dark and nocturnal, lining stenella preceding our bow. We sail as usual solitary in a sea all for us, the stenella escort us to Sanganeb, drifting away from Rumi, Merlo and Shambaia.
The strong sirocco of the 15th of October’s week and the heavy current down South, seem to have centrifuged the water of seabed, they’ve brought suspension and the visibility this week is not one of the best ones. As we sail northwards the conditions get better. Merlo recompenses us with grey and white-tipped sharks during the SW dive, a wonderful variety of corals and coral barrier reef fish. Always fascinating the pinnacle NE from Merlo. Angarosh rewards us as well during the first dive of the day, early morning: visibility is much better and, despite the absence of current, we spot a school of hammerhead, grey and white-tipped sharks.
There’s even “the rest of the world”: barracudas, red snappers, groupers… soft corals as a prairie, but it’s well known that sharks spotting prevail due to our guests emotions.
The usual perspectives change: instead of the ordinary berth with the “shamandure” South the island of Angarosh, pushed by a Levantine and kept by an opposite tide, we manage to dock tied up to a rock Westside. Another dive at Merlo and then we sail, during lunch time, toward the Mesharifa lagoons in order to spot devil rays.
The presence of migrations is spaced out. Contrary wind from SE of the last days had to bring great troubles and disarrangement to all the routes Southbound. Our volatile guests are more frequent at Sha’ab Rumi and they are so exhausted to rest grabbing the antenna and the ropes when the bow is facing North toward Sha’ab Suedi: we are very sorry to take them back again Northbound, loosing precious miles, especially thinking how much effort they must have done up to now by going down. Bee eaters strengthen, with a bit of imagination, the Autumn effect of these days, bright green on the back, golden brown under the wings, with their fast flight and their steep nose up, they look like whirling deciduous chestnut leaves blown away by the wind.
And here we are at the entrance beacon of Mesharifa canal. A little bit of current, a light surface wavelet due to the wind, and there are the desired silhouettes, the big bright black backs shining under the sun, the big open mouths keen on plankton feeding, they all are in the water, some cries of joy due to the close encounter, clouds of sardines and seagulls all around.
This week the sea is generous!
Tomorrow, last day, a new dive at Angarosh and Abington and then another beautiful cruise to end with guests, dive guides, crew’s satisfaction.