Yesterday morning, Djibouti was already in sight and we were motoring in flat calm.
An e-mail from Rally Control: “if you carry a supertanker with you, I won’t do the customs clearance for it!!” raises some smiles, but we are still in Somali waters and not at all safe yet; also in the previous Rally there was a suspicious episode in these same waters.
Far on our bows, two dhows cross slowly our course heading south; we keep an eye on them, and we see them stopping, then one of the two starts coming slowly towards us.
It looks pretty much like they are trying to come at us from two directions; we can see both boats to be full of people and even if they seem to mind their own business, they are also getting closer.
We close formation but cannot increase speed as one of our boats has chosen the wrong moment to have an engine-cooling problem, and when the two dhows begin heading towards us we call for help: the call is received by a French warship, which heads our way promising to reach us in 20 minutes: a bit too many, but maybe they cheated for some reason, because the ship’s shape almost immediately appears over the horizon. The two dhows immediately head away and speed towards Somali waters.
The ships arrives at full speed and we can see that in reality it’s…a BARGE!!! We can see no weapons aboard, we ask ourselves what they could have done if we were actually under attack, but then it worked all the same.
Last miles spent relaxing, we enter Gibuti harbour cheered by the other boats already at anchor: we made it!!