Sunday, 26 August 2012

Arrival in Conakry, Guinea...

The Africa Mercy arrived off the Iles de Los, the island group located off Conakry's peninsula, early on Wednesday morning. (22nd August.) We passed these beautiful islands, deeply reminiscent of the hills above Freetown, and reached the pilot station. Here, the pilot boat approached, delivered our pilot, and we were soon underway through the channel leading into Conakry's harbour.

The pilot boat had a couple of our crew members onboard, who had helped with the Advance Team, and it was very special to see them waving and smiling at us. Shortly thereafter, we were pulling alongside our small berth and were soon secure to the dock. The gangway was lowered and the celebrations on the dock began, complete with a military band!

The rest of the Advance Team were also waiting on the dock, and they were really happy to see us again. They've done a fantastic job despite a number of challenges, and we owe much to their hard work and diligence. Government officials were also present for the flag ceremony and speeches. This little function marked Mercy Ships' arrival in Guinea, and the start of our 2012 - 2013 Field Service to this nation. We believe God is going to do great things over the next ten months!

 The island archipelago. 
 Our pilot approaches.
 And comes onboard.
Pilot Onboard flag and Guinea flag flying in our forward mast.
Fishing vessel with friendly crew passes the AFM.
 The waters in this area are notorious for shipwrecks.
 Some form of crane barge, possible involved in mining.
 Sailing through the channel towards the harbour.
 Looking towards the Boulbinet Lighthouse, built in 1906.
Unfortunately the lantern and gallery have been removed.
 Entering the safety of the harbour.
 Looking back towards the islands.
Tug approaches to assist with berthing manoeuvres.
 Our berth space.
 Excited Advance Team members.
 Military band.
Cool shot of a rain puddle by Candace.
 A worker picking up rubbish in his wheelbarrow.
 Unfortunately much trash ends up in the harbour - as is common throughout West Africa.
 The gangway is lowered.
 And the flag ceremony begins.
Speeches as the Africa Mercy is officially welcomed to Guinea!

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