October 10, 2007

The Horn of Africa

I fly to Djibouti tonight for a week's diving where the Red Sea meets the Indian Ocean. My nr 3 daughter will be my buddy. She's a far more knowledgable diver than I. I'm just a warm-water, follow my leader guy. She trained in the cold water and strong currents around the UK. We'll be looking for whale sharks, the largest fish, which congregate in an algae-rich bay. I also hope to see the volcano which blew up last week on an island off Yemen. This is my third liveaboard trip in the Red Sea. The ease of access from the UK is striking with 5 hour direct flights to the relevant ports of Hurghada and Marsa Alam in Egypt. Djibouti's a little further, but still just a normal magic carpet ride away. Poof! The morning will find us in an enclave surrounded by Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia and Yemen along with 2,000 soldiers of the French Foreign Legion, but I add without irony that I'll find it refreshing to interact with friendly Moslems. On liveaboards there's nothing to do except dive, eat, sleep and read, so the vacation doesn't get ruined by sightseeing apart from a final 24 hours ashore to de-fizz before the flight home.  A couple of weeks after I get back I'll be in Escalante, Utah, with London and New York in between. The best thing of all is that I don't deserve my lifestyle and haven't earned it by hard work. Toodlepip.