Tunisia – Side Daoud
Tunisia was the first North African stop – site of the first Arab spring demonstrations, no functioning government and the Grateful Red was a little short of documents. Management decision was to go to a small Tunisian port that had little experience with red American sailing vessels and hope for the best. Sidi Daoud was our first port of call. Definitely never seen a red American sailboat in fact there were no sailing vessels of any kind in the harbor only working fishing boats, oily water and a broken down wharf. The local authorities were on us with paperwork (yes the forms were in triplicate using carbon paper – no computers here). While Ken did paperwork Fred mingled with the locals. How –I am not sure since the locals spoke Arabic and some French and Fred spoke English and some Spanish. After a couple hours the paper work was done and one of Fred’s local buddies comes over – psst, psst with the crooked finger. We immediately think the worst – illegal and drugs – but Omar wins out. Fred and I follow Omar to the triple locked cement incased shed – inside is not drugs …. no there is a small pool of water and the biggest lobsters. A deal is immediately struck. Fred and Ken return to the boat as the “great white hunters’ showing the girls our two huge and perfectly legal lobsters. Dinner was terrific. Darkness sets Fred and I are taking the lobster remains on shore – again psst, psst – a wave of the hand. Again we are suspicious but …. the lobster worked out so we follow our friend to the shack where the night soldiers were located. Five nice soldiers about the age of Fred and my children proudly serving homemade cous cous to their new American friends. Not only a great time (and taking pictures of Fred and I with each soldier) but they convinced us to stay another day, we hired a van to drive us around to see the local sites including the ancient town of Kerkoane. Our best time.