One thing that’s great about Salalah is that all of the Port Agents are in the one place, which makes it a little easier to get hold of shipping schedules and contacts. After a little bit of digging I discovered two things: that no ships stop here en route to Eritrea, but there are plenty of ships going to the Seychelles.
Annoyingly, all do a massive four week voyage around the Indian Ocean which encompasses Reunion, Mauritius and Madagascar, places where I have been not just once, but twice before on the Odyssey. But beggars can’t be Hughes’s and so I have to take whatever I can get – there simply are no other options – the yachting/cruise ship season doesn’t start until October.
The most intriguing thing I learnt today was that the DAL Madagascar (the cargo ship I took last year from Reunion to Madagascar) had now gone and had been replaced by the DAL Mauritius. But, best of all, it was currently in port… and due to leave on Saturday. My timing couldn’t be better – DAL only come to Salalah once a month. Lorna ‘Logistics’ Brookes and I took to the phones and emailios and did everything in our powers to get me aboard.
By the end of the day I had the support of the first mate, the shipping agents, the DAL representatives… but we were waiting on approval from the ship owners – DAL were just the charterers, they didn’t own the ship. Fingers crossed the approval will come tomorrow.