Arrived in Abidjan

Written by David Townsend

6, November 2005

Position 05°020’131N 004°01’953W

Abidjan, Ivory Coast. North Atlantic Ocean.

Hi dear friends, thank you for following our journey. Here is this week’s update.

After loosing the forestay some ten days ago, we arrived in Abidjan on the 1st November; it has been a frustrating ten days covering 10 to 20 miles per day. Still we managed to save the mast so all we need to do now is to arrange for spare parts to sent out to us.

Life on board:
Morale has improved now that we are safe in port. On our arrival, we were escorted to the immigration offices to complete the relevant formalities however since we are the first English yachtsman to arrive in Abidjan for some 15 years they were unsure of the correct procedures. We were issued a shore pass but had to come back in the morning to finalise these.

We went ashore that evening for a few drinks with the local authorities at a local Philippine bar returning in the early hours.

The following day the port authorities took us for a meeting with port security so to find the best mooring place for us, once decided we were escorted to the location. After we had secured Pinta we decided to walk into town for some much needed supplies, although we could not see a sigh post giving the name of our location we thought if we walk to the town and walk back we would be fine, this and it’s location was right next to a UN base. How many UN bases can there be in Abidjan we thought.

After walking for about five minutes, a French man who we had seen just a few moments ago near our berth stopped and offered us a lift. This would be our big mistake for French vocabulary is very small and he did not speak English at all. After driving to the town and around it several times pointing out such locations as the bank etc we were dropped off in the centre of town.

After doing some shopping we crabbed a taxi and take us to the UN base, simple enough we thought as the driver said ‘we’ then off we went. Some 40 minutes later, it was obvious that he did not know where the base was so we stopped at a bar to ask the barmaid did she know where a UN base was. After giving the driver the directions we were once again on our way, unfortunately on arrival, it was not ‘our’ base. This base was a ‘logistics’ base, well at least they should have a map of other UN bases so I should be able to find our way back. After speaking to security, I was let in and pointed in the rough direction, after awhile I heard English being spoken so I walked in to the office. The rest is history for a one of the team ‘Leon’ offered to try to locate the base, he later drove us to where he thought we were located just outside the ONUCI base. Bingo, we were back, we unloaded the shopping then Leon invited us back for a meal then out for a drink or two.

Chilled out watching rugby, Wales V New Zealand. Later that week we met up with Leon, Mike and Joe several times.

Fair wind, calm seas.