Essaouira – An Unexpected Stop In Morocco

On our way to the Canary Islands, we decided to make a stop in the fishing harbour of Essaouira in Morocco because the wind was to turn against us. Bernie and me had been eager to discover Morocco but since Moritz’s wife Anne and his daughter were already waiting for him in Lanzarote, it wasn’t Plan A to ditch them. It had become Plan B though because of the wind conditions and so we were happy to be able to spend a week on Moroccan shores while Moritz flew over to Lanzarote to spend some quality family-time there.

Entering the harbour of Essaouira felt quite adventurous. The only information we had from noonsite (our online sailors bible) was that there was supposed to be one old sailing boat, to which we could raft up to. What we found were lots and lots of traditional fishing vessels and a buzzing harbour-atmosphere with an intense smell of rotten fish and seagulls. And despite the smell, we loved the sight of this impressive and busy fisher’s paradise. Thank you Stefan for having recommended this place to us.

After having found the sailing-yacht and savely attached Naïma, we were ready for some Moroccan bureaucracy. We expected complicated procedures but experienced a pretty smooth check-in with interesting conversations with all kinds of different officials in all kinds of different offices ( I lost track but I think it was Gendarmerie, Douane, Capitania and Police?). We were kindly guided from one office to the next, asked to sign the many forms and finally ended up at the police. There, the official pulled up his sleeves, dramatically opened a drawer and gave us a glimpse of pride to make us understand: He was the keeper of the stamp. With a dramatic swing and quite an impressive amount of pressure, the official Moroccan entry-stamp was put into our passports. We had officially entered Moroccan territory!

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