We’d spent the last week holed up in Luli and although good deeds were done it was time to get the hell out of Dodge and go discover some Sudanese nature. What better place than Marob?
I won’t bore you with the sail to this wonderful marsa but the log book does mention that we caught a 3kg tuna, saw lots of dolphins and sighted a strange, unidentifiable flashing object. One night sail later and we were quickly approaching a very tricky entrance to Marob via many hidden reefs. No wonder this coast is littered with wrecks.
I’ve only been in Sudan for a few days so don’t call me an expert, but I reckon the north Sudanese coast has to be one of the most incredible sites for nature and wildlife I’ve ever come across. I mean where else are you greeted with a lonesome camel looking out to sea, circled by a backstroking turtle as an osprey hovers above, and then flirted with by a dugong? Yes, a dugong!
A nip across the bay in the dinghy ensured a healthy dose of seashore life, from wading birds to crabs…and the view! My god! On that first afternoon I simply could not take my eyes off that extraordinary mountain range.
I scrambled up short hillocks to take snaps of the savanna-like scrub land whilst Liz scoured the beach for conch (which is pronounced ‘konk’, not ‘konch’ as I had been led to believe).
We didn’t meet any locals that day but there was a refugee camp a mile or so down the road. Every morning a group of young Sudanese lads, covered from head to foot in their jellabas, would strip down to their underpants and go for a dip in the azure waters.
If the Sudanese government (is there one?) got their act together this could be the next five star holiday destination. Perhaps it’s better that they don’t; leave it as it is for the privileged few!
We spent a couple of days at this anchorage, one which rally organiser Lo Brust has admitted to spending three weeks in one winter. ‘Eeyore’ was there to accompany us so we cracked open our unused BBQ (the very excellent Son of Hibachi), mounted it to the back of the boat and scoffed tuna kebabs marinated in Liz’s home-made teriaki sauce. Note to myself: quite possibly one of the best dinners I have ever had.