7 and 14 June 2003 (Bob)
Planning to move on - With our blitz tour of Egypt and
its marvels behind us, it is time to move from beautiful Abu Tig Marina in El
Gouna to the Suez and the Mediterranean,
so we have had a quiet week doing the routine things:
- Filling water tanks - with 'mineral water' since we are not
sure about the water on the dock.
- Laundry (lots, and lots)
- Watching weather - a daily trip to the Internet Cafe to
download weather charts looking for the right conditions for the next 180
miles ( a low pressure system in the Med north of Egypt)
Tara 3 Arrives - Just as we thought we were the
last yacht heading north in the Red Sea, Tara 3, our sailing companion through
the 'Danger Zone' near Yemen pulled in beside us so we could share sea
stories. It was good to catch up with John and Jane, and now they head out
to visit Egyptian archeology.
Traveler Tummy hits LP crew - As we were getting ready
for our trip to the Suez Canal a few bacteria decided to weigh in their opinion
and laid Judi low for a couple of days, and then repeated the trick with Bob a
few days later with a little more vigor. As this is being written both are
recovering but Bob is still ingesting antibiotics and other stuff but the future
Plans Change - Again! - And the future has changed
direction, or at least includes a short detour. A friend John, on a
motor-yacht, needs help getting his boat from Egypt to Turkey and we said "hey,
why not", so this will be a dress rehearsal for the approach and
passage of the Suez Canal and crossing the Eastern Med. We plan to leave
this weekend on his 46' Nordhavn for a 10-12 day trip to Turkey, and then return
to repeat the trip on Long Passages. Might be an interesting
way to compare the virtues of sailing vs. motoring in comfort - stay tuned
2 Weeks ending
21 and 28 June 2003 (Bob)
Dress Rehearsal - crewing Knot Yet II to Turkey - John,
from Knot Yet II returned from Bangkok and a hip-replacement operation
ready to move his beautiful Nordhaven 46 from the Red Sea to Turkey.
Unfortunately Egyptian Immigration messed up the plans of his normal crew to join him,
so we volunteered to help John and Japanese crew, Roki, make the 600-mile trip
Kemer on the south coast of Turkey - here's a quick recap:
- Getting Ready - Provisioning for 4 was sort of new,
but Judi whipped up a menu, shopping list, and within a day Knot Yet II was
stocked and ready to go. We had been monitoring the weather for about a week
and knew that a low-wind weather window was opening on Monday (when we had
intended to leave) so we targeted to leave in 2 days.
- Motoring to Suez - The weather was just as predicted
and we had light northerly winds and motoring into them was no
problem. Knot Yet II moves at a predictable 7 knots and so the 172
mile trip up the Gulf of Suez took just 24 hours. We encountered choppy seas south of El
Tor when we slowed to 4.5 knots briefly, but made this up later. By
mid-morning we were moored at the so-called Suez Canal yacht Club along with
Mantra (a British catamaran) and Parsifal
(a red yacht with a delightful French couple on board).
- The Transit - It went by the book:
- Wednesday - Paperwork by Felix Maritime (agent)
and measurement (by the Suez Canal Authority)
- Thursday - Motored 40 miles to Ismailia, a quaint
and friendly town where we tied to the quay for the night.
- Friday - Motored 40 more miles to Port Said
where we moored for the night at the grubby and unsafe Yacht Club, made
necessary because payment by credit card can only be done at the main
office of Felix in Port Said.
- Cyprus - Leaving Port Said behind we motored in flat
seas for 24 hours to an uneventful landfall in Larnaca, surprised to
arrive at a FIRST WORLD destination! Cyprus was a real surprise with
ATMs everywhere (necessary since things were quite expensive), superb
shopping (we both added to our wardrobes) and delicious tavernas along the
- First Glimpse of Turkey - This was a wonderful
surprise - steep
mountains were visible from 30 miles at sea, the marinas were full of
beautifully crafted wooden gulets, (schooners) filled daily by
tourists from Germany, Britain, Italy and other countries, and the food - Ah
the food! The fruits and vegetables are the nicest we have seen in
years and an evening at Pasa Kebap filled us with delicious fare and
local wine. We can see how cruisers can become hooked on this
country. The days of cheap living have faded into history however, and
even though $1 will get you 1,400,000 lira, meals were $10-15/person, a
rental car was $50/day and fuel an eye-watering $5/gallon. But
we think we will like spending a year here, using it as a base to visit
other parts of Europe.
- Marina Survey - We rented a car and drove to the
marinas close to Kemer. Our findings:
- Park Kemer - $$$ - Nice
facilities, close to restaurants, in an expensive resort area.
- Finike - $ - Spartan marina with 4-star toilet
and shower facilities in a cute rural town.
- Kas - $ - Beautiful town, barebones facilities.
- Setur Antalya - $$ - Nice facilities in a
commercial port; nothing close by but Antalya 20 minutes away offers
major city attractions and shopping.
- Fast trip Home - Anxious to get Long Passages into
the Med, on Sunday we hopped onto a Turkish Air flight to Istanbul and
EgyptAir flight to Cairo. After a 7-hour layover in Cairo and a short
hop to Hurghada we arrived back at our marina late in the night, tired but
glad to be back aboard our yacht.