60 eggs, 5 bottles of hot sauce, a sack of onions- check

We have had a busy last few days provisioning the boat. We have been well positioned in Oyster Creek between Serekunda ; the urban sprawl – Gambia Style- of Banjul, and Banjul its self. Westfield in Serekunda has several of the bigger shops and a bustling market. We went there on Sunday and again on Monday. We went to a ‘super’market and got a few items which we needed for the long hall on the boat, but often the smaller shops are just as good or better, we did a lot of shopping around. Its always difficult thinking what you need for a sea passage, what will keep etc. We wanted to be well stocked up, in case for what ever reason we pass by the Cape Verde and head directly across the Atlantic. We found some good snack cafes in Serekunda, Dan enjoyed the Shwarmas: meat, salad wraps. Serekunda also has a post office, where we went to buy stamps but were told ‘stamps are finished’. We had more luck in Banjul today. The Geligelie (bush taxi minibus) cost 10 dalasi from Oyster Creek to Serekunda and the same in the other direction to Banjul. Today we completed our shopping from various shops and street market sellers in Banjul, topping up on eggs, onions, potatoes, bananas, coconuts, groundnuts, hot sauce, and cornflakes.
We have loaded up with fuel and water as well from Oyster Creek. There is a fuel station we can row the dingy very close to and it has a stand pipe for water. Dan has carried our some maintenance on the self steering wind vain and epoxied the mast step to stop a creek when she’s sailing. I stowed the new provisions. I vaselined the eggs to help with their longevity ( read that somewhere?) and scrubbed the veg to hang in nets. I also made some flapjack. We have a lot of porridge oats onboard and neither of us have felt like porridge recently, so thought that was a good use for them, and makes good sea food. I used slightly salted ground nuts which I crushed, bought from one of the street stalls, various dried fruits, some chocolate, golden syrup ( from the ‘super’market) and olive oil, – no butter. Turned out very well, nice sweet / salty thing.
We went to immigration today to check out of the country (sadly). The very nice same chap who we met when we arrived was in the office. He stamped our passports for tomorrow, we plan to leave on the out flowing tide, mid day. We are aiming for the Cap Verdes, and estimate 5 days or so, be there Christmas eve? That is if we don’t go direct to Caribbean.
The weather has been windy, and in the night a little rain. The Harmattan dust is heavy in the air and the sky a warm white. Today was probably the windiest. We went down to the beach in Banjul where the fishing boats are tied up, and the passenger boats which travel across the river mouth to Barra on the other side. All Pirogues, beautiful, crude, heavy and decorated. The beach was full with them new and old, high and dry and on anchors. We watched the passenger boats come and go, arriving on the beach. We decided that we would (despite our jobs) have time to go for a trip. The sea was rough and the waves crashed on the beach. Today Barra was obscured from view due to the low visibility. The boats beach on the sand with an anchor out the stern to sea. They are fairly deep drafted so they can’t come right up to the beach for people to step up onto, so there is a system where there is a big team of men who give people piggy back lifts for 10 Dalasi, out to the boat for you to climb up onboard. The crossing costs 25 D. There were 100 plus people aboard, 2 fights broke out before we left the shore. we all had life jackets (not enough for all on the way back) There was a team of two boys constantly bucketing out the incoming water. The outboard stopped half way across , but restarted after a few pulls. These are amazing boats, huge deep open boats, we all sat round the edge with feet hanging down inside and people sitting down below on the floor boards. Lots of bags and luggage. Like the Geligelie ( bush taxis) the boat doesn’t leave till its full, really full. But it didn’t take too long to fill up, even though there are so many boats operating. This is one of the few crossing points on the whole river. There is also an ancient car ferry which does the same crossing, but it takes hours! Very slow and more expensive. When you arrive on the other side, there is a near scrum of men running down into the waist – deep water to offer lifts onto the beach.
Barra, unbeknownst to us turned out to be the boat building capital of the Gambia, or so it seemed. We walked along to a yard on the beach where they were making several of these amazing boats, and lots were lined up on the beach further along, as yet unpainted. I did some drawings which the boat builders enjoyed seeing. Dan told them he is a boat builder and they showed us what they were doing. They didn’t have much english. One man was shaping the shear- line with an adze. The wood they were using was local mahogany, the planks were pined through with re-bar. They were stopping for lunch and invited us to join them. They had two big stainless steel bowls filled with rice, vegetables and fish, spicy, very delicious. We all ate from the same bowl, afterwards we had watermelon. It was so nice to meet them and see their work.
So back on Hestur now. Few more jobs to do tomorrow and we will catch the tide out. It has been a really amazing experience to come to The Gambia. We have both loved it and are sad to be leaving. Excited too about the next…

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3 thoughts on “60 eggs, 5 bottles of hot sauce, a sack of onions- check

    • Hi Pam, thanks! I made another tray of flapjacks too in which I used some packs of the red fruit gel energy packs which Maddy and Nick gave us, left over from the Slow Ride. Mixed these in with the syrup, made very nice red fruit flapjacks. Xx lots of love charlotte

      Sent from my iPad

  1. Dear Charlotte,
    I tried to respond to your post above, three times. It wasn’t recorded.
    Just to say, lovely post. Thank you for keeping us so informed and entertained with all you have written and the photographs you have sent. You will get this at your next port of passage.
    Safe onward and Happy Christmas and happy, healthy New Year to you and Dan.
    We hope to speak if you do go via Cape Verde, otherwise, well catch you up in the Caribbean ,
    Love BP x

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60 eggs, 5 bottles of hot sauce, a sack of onions- check

We have had a busy last few days provisioning the boat. We have been well positioned in Oyster Creek between Serekunda ; the urban sprawl – Gambia Style- of Banjul, and Banjul its self. Westfield in Serekunda has several of the bigger shops and a bustling market. We went there on Sunday and again on Monday. We went to a ‘super’market and got a few items which we needed for the long hall on the boat, but often the smaller shops are just as good or better, we did a lot of shopping around. Its always difficult thinking what you need for a sea passage, what will keep etc. We wanted to be well stocked up, in case for what ever reason we pass by the Cape Verde and head directly across the Atlantic. We found some good snack cafes in Serekunda, Dan enjoyed the Shwarmas: meat, salad wraps. Serekunda also has a post office, where we went to buy stamps but were told ‘stamps are finished’. We had more luck in Banjul today. The Geligelie (bush taxi minibus) cost 10 dalasi from Oyster Creek to Serekunda and the same in the other direction to Banjul. Today we completed our shopping from various shops and street market sellers in Banjul, topping up on eggs, onions, potatoes, bananas, coconuts, groundnuts, hot sauce, and cornflakes.
We have loaded up with fuel and water as well from Oyster Creek. There is a fuel station we can row the dingy very close to and it has a stand pipe for water. Dan has carried our some maintenance on the self steering wind vain and epoxied the mast step to stop a creek when she’s sailing. I stowed the new provisions. I vaselined the eggs to help with their longevity ( read that somewhere?) and scrubbed the veg to hang in nets. I also made some flapjack. We have a lot of porridge oats onboard and neither of us have felt like porridge recently, so thought that was a good use for them, and makes good sea food. I used slightly salted ground nuts which I crushed, bought from one of the street stalls, various dried fruits, some chocolate, golden syrup ( from the ‘super’market) and olive oil, – no butter. Turned out very well, nice sweet / salty thing.
We went to immigration today to check out of the country (sadly). The very nice same chap who we met when we arrived was in the office. He stamped our passports for tomorrow, we plan to leave on the out flowing tide, mid day. We are aiming for the Cap Verdes, and estimate 5 days or so, be there Christmas eve? That is if we don’t go direct to Caribbean.
The weather has been windy, and in the night a little rain. The Harmattan dust is heavy in the air and the sky a warm white. Today was probably the windiest. We went down to the beach in Banjul where the fishing boats are tied up, and the passenger boats which travel across the river mouth to Barra on the other side. All Pirogues, beautiful, crude, heavy and decorated. The beach was full with them new and old, high and dry and on anchors. We watched the passenger boats come and go, arriving on the beach. We decided that we would (despite our jobs) have time to go for a trip. The sea was rough and the waves crashed on the beach. Today Barra was obscured from view due to the low visibility. The boats beach on the sand with an anchor out the stern to sea. They are fairly deep drafted so they can’t come right up to the beach for people to step up onto, so there is a system where there is a big team of men who give people piggy back lifts for 10 Dalasi, out to the boat for you to climb up onboard. The crossing costs 25 D. There were 100 plus people aboard, 2 fights broke out before we left the shore. we all had life jackets (not enough for all on the way back) There was a team of two boys constantly bucketing out the incoming water. The outboard stopped half way across , but restarted after a few pulls. These are amazing boats, huge deep open boats, we all sat round the edge with feet hanging down inside and people sitting down below on the floor boards. Lots of bags and luggage. Like the Geligelie ( bush taxis) the boat doesn’t leave till its full, really full. But it didn’t take too long to fill up, even though there are so many boats operating. This is one of the few crossing points on the whole river. There is also an ancient car ferry which does the same crossing, but it takes hours! Very slow and more expensive. When you arrive on the other side, there is a near scrum of men running down into the waist – deep water to offer lifts onto the beach.
Barra, unbeknownst to us turned out to be the boat building capital of the Gambia, or so it seemed. We walked along to a yard on the beach where they were making several of these amazing boats, and lots were lined up on the beach further along, as yet unpainted. I did some drawings which the boat builders enjoyed seeing. Dan told them he is a boat builder and they showed us what they were doing. They didn’t have much english. One man was shaping the shear- line with an adze. The wood they were using was local mahogany, the planks were pined through with re-bar. They were stopping for lunch and invited us to join them. They had two big stainless steel bowls filled with rice, vegetables and fish, spicy, very delicious. We all ate from the same bowl, afterwards we had watermelon. It was so nice to meet them and see their work.
So back on Hestur now. Few more jobs to do tomorrow and we will catch the tide out. It has been a really amazing experience to come to The Gambia. We have both loved it and are sad to be leaving. Excited too about the next…

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