Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Home Free

Day 6 and it's all over:

Local Date: Tuesday, March 9
Local Yemen Time (3 hours ahead of GMT): 14:10
DK Position: N 12 47.502', E 44 58.733'
Anchored in Aden, Yemen

We're 15 miles out of Aden when the huge stepped desert cliffs materialize out of the dusty haze. Stucco and whitewashed structures are perched on the cliffs. A sandy tongue of sand slithers through the valley between two peaks lapping at the sea with the look of an Arabian glacier. A big fish launches out of the water and brown booby birds do fly-bys.

Joost, Alpha 1, our leader, gives his final talk on the VHF congratulating our group and we all thank him for his valiant effort and energy making this all happen. He did an amazing job and I am sure he is just as exhausted as we are.

The last 10 miles we take turns calling Aden port control to tell them our boat details and then finally we dismantle the groups and follow each other into the harbor in single file. We take the back. We know the anchoring will be chaotic and we are happy to just chill out at last and take in our surroundings in our own sweet time. I finally turn off the VHF and don't plan on turning it on again for days. It's been non-stop and I am exhausted by it.

We are finally here!! We drop our hook in a tightly packed little anchorage now filled with not only our 17 boats from our convoy (3 of our French boats have kept going up the Red Sea), but also the "Vasco de Gama" Rally of 12 boats that just came south down the Red Sea. We needed a shoehorn to fit in here, but thankfully the other convoy said they are leaving in a few hours, so we will actually soon get a little space.

We are extremely glad this one is over. We feel success at having all made it here safely and intact. I don't feel the "I am so psyched" feeling I get after certain accomplishments, but more like, "I am so f**ing glad that is over!"

This convoy thing was no easy task. We recognize the effort that it took for everyone to stay together. There were many frustrating experiences, some really selfish people, and for us, some very scary near-miss collision situations. Most people were tense, nervous, frustrated, and exhausted more than once. Yet, everyone chose to follow the pack, try to communicate, and stick to together. This took a lot of patience, effort, and dedication.

Thankfully, regarding pirates, we saw, nor heard of any pirate attacks along the way. Did a pirate boat see us?? Were they deterred to attack us because of our convoy?? We will never know the answers but we do know that we are here safe and sound.

Nic and I just decided not even to go to shore to check in today. We just need to decompress, relax, watch a movie, and get some real rest. Plus, a break from the pack will probably let some of the bad memories slip away and we will be in a more positive mood tomorrow.

So we would like to thank all of you for your support, your love, and your positive energy thinking about us along our journey. We appreciate all of you and feel blessed that we have so many people who care about us and what we are choosing.

"Delta One, Over and Out"

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