Sailing West is a bastard at this time of the year. My thinking was to get far enough out from the straits of Hormuz so I could get a straight run at the Suez canal but I had to give up and let the wind take me more or less Southwest. After a while it got more easy. The Galway Whooker behaved well and we managed alright on just the mainsail. Hit a few squalls not bad for the monsoons. So we have now reached the Arabian Sea The Arabian Sea's surface area is 1,491,130 sq miles and its width 1,490. The biggest river flowing into it is the Indus River. It has two important parts the Gulf of Aden in the southwest, connecting with the Red Sea and the Gulf of Oman to the northwest, connecting it with the Persian Gulf.
Countries with coastlines on the this Sea are Somalia, Djibouti, Yemen, Oman, Iran, Pakistan, India and the Maldives. The larges cities on the Arabian Sea coast include Karachi, Gwadar, Pasni, Ormara, Aden, Muscat, Mumbai, Mangalore, Kochi, Keti Bandar, Salalah and Duqm. Aden a seaport city in Yemen is now our immediate destination, located on the eastern approach to the Red Sea. Its population is about a million people. Aden's ancient, natural harbour lies in the crater of a dormant volcano which now forms a peninsula, joined to the mainland by a low isthmus.The modern harbour is on the other side of the peninsula.
Aden's history is quite similar with Ireland's relationship with the British Empire in many respects. It used to be the capital of the People's Democratic Republic of Yemen ,until unification with the Yemen Arab Republic.The city was declared a free trade zone and the city gives its name to the Gulf of Aden. A legend of Yemen states that Aden is as old as human history. Some believe Cain and Abel are buried in the city.The port's convenient position on the sea route between India and Europe made Aden desirable to the British who conducted bloody warfare to possess it at various times.
Sultan Muhsin bin Fadl of the nearby state of Lahej was forced to cede 75 sq. miles including Aden to the British. On 19 January 1839. The British East India Company landed Marines at Aden to occupy the territory. The port equidistant from the Suez Canal, Bombay and Zanzibar, were all important British occupied territories. Aden had been a way-station for seamen in the old world. Supplies were replenished and in the 19th century a place to to replenish coal and boiler water.Aden remained under British bloody control until 1967.
Today Aden is dominated by an oil refinery built by British Petroleum a major sponsor of the Olympic Games London 2012. Today BP Aden tugs' jetties are complete with swimming pool and air conditioned bar. A revoution against British rule known as the Aden Emergency began with a grenade attack by the National Liberation Front (NLF), against the British High Commissioner on 10 December 1963, killing one person and a "state of emergency" was declared. In 1964, Britain was forced to announce its intention to grant independence but that the British military would remain there.
In January 1967, there were mass sectarian riots, inflamed by the British with their usual divide and conquer strategy, which like Occupied Ireland served as an excuse to keep its forces there. During this time there were many attacks on British troops culminating in the destruction of a DC3 plane in the air with no survivors. On 30 November 1967 the British finally pulled out, leaving Aden with royal marines, being the first British troops to occupy Aden in 1839 and the last to leave. The bombing attack on destroyer USS Cole took place in Aden on 12 October 2000. In 2007 with growing resentment and old tribal wounds left by British colonial policies, led to the secessionist South Yemen Movement, a mainly underground leadership of socialists, Islamists, desiring a return to the People's Democratic Republic of Yemen.
Arriving in Aden at night, after being so long at sea has been a shock. There were glimpses of minarets and Islamic architecture. The locals were friendly enough. One of them, who spoke good English pointed us up to a group of exotic rooms to rent. I'm looking forward after the boat to a nice big bed and wouldn't mind being on my own but Olive and Pui are up for it, so I feel like I have to entertain them...they keep me awake and they start groping me. It can be a drag but I love it man. Waking up a few hours later in crazy places, miles and miles of desert as a backdrop, its hot but nice and dry.
Another joint is produced and everybody is giggly. This hash we just got at the port is the very best Red Leb. This is a spacious bedroom on the second floor. Soft lighting, Indian bed-sheets, Moroccan cushions, joss sticks, standard hippy décor, but there were some classier, expensive-looking touches too, deep sofas. Swirling, writhing like gypsies on a beach, twisting, gyrating on the bed and floor, the sensual waves keep rolling in, we surrender and immerse ourselves in the mysteries of the human flesh.
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