31 October, 2012


The festival of the Eid was at its hight when we decided to leave Morocco but being the very serious religious festival nothing, and I mean nothing, was open or moved in the streets of Sale or Rabat.  It is a three day two night close down.  The evening of the first night the richer families slaughter a sheep/ram.  They give one third to their neighbours, one third to the poor and the rest they eat as a family.  People return to their family and spend the time with them.  If you live in a high rise and are unable to kill a sheep you can give money to an organisation who will distribute it to the poor.  All the shops are shut and no transactions take place. 
When we asked the marina if we could leave, they very politely said that the entrance bar was too rough so the pilot would not take us out but tomorrow would be OK. 
I took Malua over to the fuel dock to put fuel in. 344 litre which cost Euro 283 but they would not take payment until the following day.  I also checked out and tried to pay for the stay Euro 296 and again they would not take payment till the next day. 
Piers and I set out to try a fill the camping Gaz.  WE found nothing open.  We were walking along the road and a fellow and his wife where loading empty gas canisters in to the boot of their car.  We asked if they were going to get it filled and they said yes and we could come along.  We drove for some time then reversed up o the front of a small “shop” the driver got out had a few words with the shop keeper them unloaded his containers.  Initially they would not take mine but after the wife intervened they took my 11 dirhams and give me a battered but full camping gaz container.  The only reason was the shopkeeper was a relative of the driver.  Many thanks to the Moroccan generosity.
Sunday dawned with rain again and we checked out, settled our accounts and proceeded to the Customs dock.  The officials fill all the forms, asked about the crew change and spent some time checking the ins and outs of the new and old crew.  Then after much discussion and phone calls we got the required blue form to leave subject to the drug dog sniffing the boat.  A black Labrador arrived with a number of officials.  While they shook hands with everybody the dog proceeded to roll in a very large pile of seagull droppings covering his head and side with white shit.  The officials then climbed aboard and the dog jumped all over everything covering it with white.  The smell was overpowering but I kept a straight face. I think it is their party trick for departing boats.  Finally we where handed a form and informed we could leave. 
We followed Sundancer and the pilot out the river mouth along with Charm Offensive taking up the rear. 
It was then set a course south into a very slight wind to see how far we could get.  At sunset Mohammedia was off the port bow and we turned in expecting the wind to come up to 25 knots on the nose the following day.  The same bureaucratic routine followed with multiple offical arriving on Malua filling in multiple forms with the same information.  All very polity, speaking French.  The marina is very small and we are now Med moored to the end of a pontoon with heavy lines set in expectation of the blow. 

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