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A-R-R-G, Matey!

EGYPT | Thursday, 18 November 2021 | Views [52]

Pirate Alert!

Pirate Alert!

ON THURSDAY SAUDI ARABIA SLIPPED BY unseen on the starboard side but our disappointment remained on-board. I guess our regular appearance at Guest Services had some impact—not only did they refund the money for the tour of Jeddah, they gave us €200 of onboard credit as compensation for the missed ports-of-call. There is still no definite word on a shuttle from Dubai to Abu Dhabi but even if we have to spring for a taxi I figure we’re still ahead of the game.

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       Menacing no matter whose side they are on

Virtuosa’s daily newsletter contained a notice that as we near the end of the Red Sea we will be entering waters sometimes frequented by pirates. A-R-R-H, Matey! They assured us they have contingency plans in the unlikely event of a visit from the Jolly Roger. When I awoke Friday we were drifting quietly and a black RHIB—basically a “Zodiac” on steroids—was motoring away from us—a pirate emissary, knife clenched in his teeth with a ransom demand???  Turns out it was a security detail, at least five military-type guys with big muscles, short haircuts and menacing accents. Jean, our room attendant, referred to them as “snipers” and I have no reason to doubt it. It’s as good a way as any to keep the bad guys at bay.

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                     Gulf of Aden off Djibouti

This morning we passed through the Bab-al-Mandeb Strait from the Red Sea into the Gulf of Aden. Security had the walking decks blocked with the signs they use when the ship is refueling but we weren’t fooled. There was no bunkering ship alongside and Virtuosa was virtually flying at 20 knots. With Yemen on the port side and Djibouti  on the right, this is Captain Philips territory, a prime location for highjacking.

 

 

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