Suakin
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Anchorages

Port Anchorage - The only official anchorage a small area at the back of the port facility through a narrow opening past the ruins on Old Suakin  island.  You are well protected from winds and sea.  There is a hard bottom with somewhat dubious holding.  Call Suakin Port Control before entering the port and they will direct you to either come along side the seawall or tie up next to a port tug to have the doctor come onboard for a quarantine check.  Then you can proceed to the anchorage. 

The dingy landing is near the group of buildings on Old Suakin island where the ruins are.  This is where the port guards are located and they will check your shore pass when you come ashore. 

We sailed to Port Sudan by boat, spent the night in the anchorage and left the next morning.  Since we only staying 1 night and did not go ashore, we did NOT have to check in or pay agent's fees.   A port official may come be to see your passport and boat papers and have you fill out a form.  You will also probably be visited by agents, just tell them you are staying only 1 night and not checking in.  Port Sudan is NOT a good place to anchor and the only reason we went there was to rendezvous with our sailing companions who were there to have repairs made to there engine.

Yacht Facilitator or Cruiser's Friend - Mohammed is one of the local "agents" that you may call on channel 16.  He will come onboard with all the papers to check you in - although you will have to go ashore at the port police area to pick him up by dingy and take him back.  The total costs for check-in, anchorage fee, agent's fee, etc. in 2003 was about $125 - NOT cheap.  He is a tall, dark-skinned, impressive-looking man usually dressed in white robes or he may also be wearing "western" style garb.  We found him to be helpful and honest with us.

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Cruising Amenities

Grocery StoresMany small shops around town with Coca Cola (some are even chilled!), canned goods, and staples such as rice, flour, etc.  No beer or alcohol available.

Bakery -1000 year old bakery - at least it seemed that old to us - that makes good flat bread.  You should go early in the morning to get the freshest, otherwise you can buy the same bread at the little shops. 100 dinar for 10 pieces.

Market -Suakin has a wonderful fresh fruit and veggie market in the little town.  Big juicy grapefruits and tomatoes.

Water - Potable drinking water can be arranged by Mohammed.  Just drop your jerry cans at the dingy landing and they will be filled sometime during the day.  In 2003 there was no charge to us

Internet Access -   
  • None available in Suakin in 2003.
  • Port Sudan  There is a good place opposite the Red Sea University in Port Sudan.  Also at the Hilton Hotel and one of the other main hotels.

Banks/ATMs -  None - you must go to Port Sudan to a bank or to the  Hilton Hotel or one of the other hotels to have money exchanged to local currency.

Propane Gas Canister Refill - See Mohammed - although your canister will probably be taken by bus to Port Sudan to be filled.

Money Exchange - Mohammed will exchange some US$ for dinars, otherwise you will have to go to Port Sudan.

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Transport

Buses - Medium-size buses which you can take to Port Sudan.  The trip is very interesting and will take you past a real Bedouin camp in the desert.

Taxis -.No taxis except the donkey carts  whose owner will sometimes offer to give you a ride

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Yacht Services

Chandleries - None.  There are a few things available in Port Sudan.  Talk to Mohammed and he may be able to suggest where to go to get things.  Repair Facilities - Reasonable facilities in Port Sudan, although one yacht had some crude emergency welding done in Suakin   They also needed their sail repaired and that was taken to Port Sudan.

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Miscellaneous

 The following are services or places visited and recommended by Bob and Judi. We can only say that our experience was a good one and we hope that you will also have a favorable experience.
Restaurants - There are a few small restaurants - we did not patronize but other cruisers did visit a few.  We went to a couple of local restaurants in Port Sudan which were good and cheap.  Beware of the Hilton - Judi got food poisoning there!

 More Information - Red Sea Pilot 2nd edition 2002, Stephan Davies and Elaine Morgan

Things to see and do - Suakin is a place where just sitting on your boat in the anchorage and observing the people,  donkey carts and camels is fascinating.  When you decide to venture ashore here are a few suggestions.
  • Walk around the town and visit the ruins.  People are very friendly
  • Visit Bedouin Camp - Mohammed can organize a day trip to the Bedouin Camp and inland to other areas as well.
  • Visit Port Sudan - Frequent buses from the bus station in town.  The cost is about US$1. and the trip takes about an hour.  Mohammed can organize a guide for you, if you desire.

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This Page Last Updated: 02 May 2006

 

 

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