Our Passage from Gran Canaria was very good. 195 hours and 951 NM. windiest part was last 2 days. lots of shipping traffic going North South, 10 a day on average, and then closer to Senegal and Gambia, lots of small Prioges (spelling) narrow open fishing boats , with men fishing with nets. We had to jibe within meters of a long drift net, we just saw at last min. Flying fish on deck a few mornings running, very tasty, fired with lemon.
We arrived in The Gambia on Wed 29th Nov at 19.30. We anchored of the Banjul docks and the following day cleared customs. We spent 5 hours in and out of offices and paperwork: first immigration, including an inspection aboard by very nice immigration official, we drank coke and ate biscuits, then customs office(s) where the chief of customs arrived for a spontaneous visit, every one stood up to attention and he came round and shook all our hands. The customs officer who was meant to come out and see Hestur, wouldn’t , but instead wanted some money. After that to the harbour masters office to get a permit for the river. All in all a very interesting and exhausting experience. Banjul is a very small capital city, they are just building the only paved road in the place at the moment, shuttering and concrete, other wise it is all dusty or muddy red earth. There are old lorries hanging together with string, rattling along the roads, belching blue smoke, goats and chickens rustling around, lots of street stalls and mobile carts selling nescafe coffee. It was overcast and not beating hot when we arrived and every one was saying how cold it was, (not for us!) they had lots of little charcoal burners on the street , with teapots on or were roasting peanuts.
We motored up to Lamin Lode the following day (yesterday), an hour trip up through the mangrove rivers. Lamin Lodge is built on stilts over the river,Really lovely place, nice people, bar and monkeys skipping about. Gambia is amazing, quite a lively experience after 8 days at sea! everybody we have met has been very friendly, I think it is going to be a fabulous few weeks here.
Internet connection is not so easy to track down however, hence just writing now. so I feel this maybe a quiet few weeks on the blog. I will keep writing though and post it when possible.