March 24, 2011

al mukallah

in salalah a few other boats joined the convoy and we were now 9 boats sailing together towards yemen. under strict convoy formation everyone tends to need to rest more frequent so it was decided that we would stop in al mukallah, half way to aden. a few days later we arrived in the middle of a street riot. from the anchorage it looked pretty vibrant and chaotic with strong men screaming very forcefully. For our own security (as we were told by the local authorities) we were asked to move to the inner port where we would be better protected.

indeed we moved and for the entire next day we were not allowed to go ashore, again supposedly for our own safety. so we spent the entire day in the harbor watching how a ship full of cattle was being unloaded and I guess being loaded with goats. It was quite the scene.

at night we were allowed to get out of the port gates to have dinner. We liked seeing the town even though it was dark and only for a short while. being so many tourists (a total of 22 crew in the 9 boats) we were transported in two mini buses with police and were escorted to dinner…we felt like tourists for the first time since we left home, but i guess that was part of the convoy plan we signed up for; so we went along and actually had a very good night in this place supposedly in the verge of collapsing into some sort of turmoil. the atmosphere was definitely heavy and although we were not to informed of the current politics in the country, we did feel it was not the place to be wondering around. So the next day we continued our journey towards aden.

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