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90Isea&iIAUTUMN 2011nearer to Sharm El Sheikh - SS Thistlegorm, discovered in thefifties by Jacques Cousteau.While divers explore the underwater world, the rest of yourcharter party can make the most of Hana's attributes.Accommodating10 guests, she features a full-beam owner'sstateroom on the main deck, complete with a private terraceand balcony. Other highlights include an on-board 'beach'area for the ultimate in private sunbathing, and a gym for moreactive guests. ÒCharters are a very relaxed affair,Ó confirms herowner, who considers running into the locals and other diversone of the most appealing aspects of a cruise in thisregion. ÒAs chaotic as the Egyptians are, they are some of themost hospitable and friendly people on earth. They have alwaysgenuinely welcomed us.ÓVenturing further from the Gulf of Aqaba, why not considera stop at Zabargad island, about 75 miles south of Marsa Alamjust north of the Sudanese border, where there is an interna-tional airport. The island is uninhabited and you'll most likelynot see another boat for miles around. While not a classicallypretty spot, it has a certain appeal. ÒZabargad is the farthest south we have ever been,Ó saysJabsheh. ÒI could not believe the colours I saw in the ultra-clearwater. I have been to the Caribbean and lazed around in itsturquoise waters and soft sands, but this really was somethingelse. On one cruise we took the tender and jet skis across to thelagoon for a day on the beach. It was bliss. The sand was likenothing I have ever experienced; the clear air and contrastingcolours of the sea and land stunned the senses; thetemperature of both the sea and air was perfect, and our picnic- washed down with some delightful Domaines Ott rosŽ - wasall one could ask for.ÓTowards the open seaAs Hana guides you down the Gulf, and further south towardsthe Tropic of Cancer, with regular stops for diving, swimming,picnics and trips ashore, you can appreciate the leisurely paceof life and will have plenty of time to lounge on the deck beingwaited on hand and foot while reading up on the history of thisfascinating part of the world, or simply dozing in the sunshine. One place you should allow to disturb your reverie is Nabq.Its coastline is fringed with mangrove forests, and its coral reefsare extraordinarily rich. Step ashore to explore the fascinatinglagoons, or climb aboard a camel to venture into the desert. RasMohammed - a marine and terrestrial park surrounded bystunning, world-famous coral reefs - is also a beautiful spot tovisit with more than 1,000 species of tropical fish. Finally, your cruise can deliver you to the very southern tip ofSinai at Sharm El Sheikh, or nearby Naama Bay. Sharm is theplace that made the Red Sea famous for diving, so you cansqueeze in a final dive to see the remarkable corals, marine floraand fish, or simply relax on the white sandy beaches. Enjoy a finalmeal aboard Hana, before venturing ashore to sample the night-clubs and casinos in this lively region. The following day, yourcrew will transport you to the Sharm El Sheikh InternationalAirport, leaving behind thenatural,cultural and biblical wondersof the intriguing Gulf of Aqaba and the Red Sea.nHana is available for sale. For information, contact CNI brokerSimon Goldsworthy at sg@lon.cnyachts.comAbove: strikinglandscapes abound in this part of the world Opposite page, clockwise from top left: the waters of the RedSea are clear andinviting; step ashore toexplore exoticcommunities anddeserted beaches

AUTUMN 2011I sea&iI91furtherafield