howdy. I am with Rob now and we got the visas yesterday after going to the consuls house. 9 day wait because they didn't have any of the stickers that went into the passports.
Cost was 7000 Dfr. (USD$40). No letter of intro needed, which saves you $50 that you would need to pay in Addis from the Canadian embassy there. But one extra day here would eat up that $50 quickly so....
boats seems to be about 1 a week so far leaving on Sun afternoon (but initially everyone saying that they leave Sat night). We are arranging passage for USD$130 for person and bike.
Go slow, be well.