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Days 361 to 362: The Red Sea

3am phone calls are not my favourite form of wake-up call. When I picked up the phone it somehow integrated it into my dream so much that I assumed it to be part of my dream and therefore completely acceptable to ignore. The next call five minutes later was not so easy to dismiss.. It was Abdi-Chakour telling me the ship was leaving early and I had to be on it within the hour or else I’d be swimming to Egypt.

Biggidybiggidybong and whoosh, before I had shook the sleep out of my eyes I whisked away from the rathole that was the Sheraton Djibouti and plonked aboard the good ship Turquoise, shown my cabin and promptly dived into the bed and fell asleep faster than you can say Coco-Pops.

I simply can’t thank those guys from Djibouti’s CMA-CGM office enough. They made my year. But it was the mad skills of a certain Dino Deasha that made this all possible. He set all this up for me to knock it out of the stadium. We had done it. I had to leave Matt the cameraman behind in Djibouti, he would be flying up to meet me in Egypt. It was hard enough getting me on the ship, we weren’t going to bust a gut (and possibly jeopardize my passage) by asking if I could bring a mate along.

In the event, it wasn’t until 11am that the Turquoise left port, but ah, I wasn’t complainin’. I made friends with the Abdul Naser the cook (always the best guy to know on a ship) met Captain Elbishbishi (who looked and sounded like a Egyptian Tim Curry – how cool is that?) and chief officer Lomongo. Once again, the crew was largely Filipino, but in a departure from the norm, they were outnumbered by the good few Burmese guys on board. The officers (with the exception of Chief Lomongo) were all Egyptian and once again the guys on board made me feel more welcome than a stripper at a bachelor party. Travel by container ship is just several shades of awesome. With a stack of brand new DVDs to watch and more yummy food available than even I could cram into my piehole, I settled down for a relaxing, and entertaining, few days on the ocean wave.

Graham Hughes

Graham Hughes is a British adventurer, presenter, filmmaker and author. He is the only person to have travelled to every country in the world without flying. From 2014 to 2017 he lived off-grid on a private island that he won in a game show, before returning to the UK to campaign for a better future for the generations to come.

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