A few days ago I was asked if I would like to go and get a boat from Lefkas to Plataria.
I had time, so we drove to Lefkas (about 1 hour) and 7 hours back to Plataria. There was not much action (no sailing), but it was still a nice experience on a different boat.
The next day I could go with the boat and 8 young Australians to Sivoto, just 1 hour away. The boat was part of a flotilla of 4 boats and about 35 people.
Just before the departure Mike, who organizes the boats and the skippers, asked me if I want to go 3 days as the skipper. I accepted, packed some cloth and then we were on the way. Another skipper came with me to Sivota to show me how everything works and left in Sivota.
The next days where a lot of fun. Swimming, sailing, anchoring, barbecue and a lot of party.
I had a great time with the Australians. And I had an excellent crew on board.
On the last day I invited them on my boat for a few drinks and I did not know that you can fit 13 people in my small cockpit.
With my drone I shot some footage and cut a video of the 3 days:
After I got to my boat it took me a few weeks of intensive work to install all the equipment I had with me.
I installed a new radar, solar panels, wind generator, Chart plotter, displays, Wifi antenna, new wind and speed sensors, and a mast to carry all the stuff. I also had to do some painting (antifouling) and many small projects. (I will post a tour of my boot in a later post)
After that I finally was in the water again.
I was ready for some company. My brother and another friend each came for one week. We did some sailing between Corfu, Paxos and the main land.
After that I had some time to finish another big Projekt. I wanted to have all lines in the cockpit, so I don´t have to leave it for operating the main sail.
It took me a few days and the help of one of my boat neighbours, but I like the result.
In the beginning of June I picked up a special woman, and she stayed one month on the boat.
Be proceeded from corfu south to the other ionian islands and came back to corfu. We sometimes had good sailing conditions and found some amazing bays and places to anchor.
After a really needed sleep we woke up and planned to sail to Tel Aviv.
A friend of Elad was coming with us and while we waited for his arrival I was looking at the other boat at the marina.
Some nice established gentlemen invited me for a tea and listened to my story. We had a nice conversation and they offered me help to find a boat back to Turkey.
After Elad´s friend Roni arrived we had breakfast. We left the harbour and set sail.
Today the wind was excellent. Steady northern winds of 15-25 Kts. After we got out of the Haifa bay we shifted the sails to so called butterfly and had a very smooth and fast ride to Tel Aviv.
It took us only 10 hours with an average of 5,5 Kts to reach our destination.
After the sunset we had an amazing view on the skyline of Tel Aviv.
Roni had to go back to Haifa and we said good buy. He picked the best day to take a day off and sail with us.
Tel Aviv, Israel
Day 295: 55,17 Nm (102,17 km) sailing all: 9803 km
We prepared everything to sail to Israel. The police told us, because it was Sunday, that the custom probably would not come and we have to wait till the next day.
In the evening Elad got a call saying that the custom officer showed up and we could leave. It was already 7pm but we decided to go anyway.
At 7:30pm we left the harbour and started our journey to Israel.
We set sail but the wind was not very strong so we only made about 3 Nm per hour during the night.
The next day the wind picked up a little bit and we had an average of 3,5-4 kts.
The second night was also clear and not very cold. Elad and I divided the watch in 3 hour shifts so everybody had some rest.
The next morning we were 40 Nm from Haifa. Because we were not able to make it during customs operation hours to Tel Aviv, we decided to go to Haifa.
20 Nm to Haifa the Israeli Navy intercepted our boat to check us out.
Before we entered the harbor two police boats came and escorted us to a special customs peer.
About 10 people waited for us to inspected our boat and ask a lot of questions. Finally I got my passport back and we were free to go.
We relocated the boat and stayed in Haifa for the night.
Later a friend of Elad picked us up and drove us to the center where we had a dinner and a beer.
„Welcome to Israel !”
Day 292-294: 163,4 NM (302,26 km) sailing all: 9700 km
The weather was finally good enough to sail to Larnaca.
At 1 pm we left the harbor and set sail. It took us 26 hours to reach our destination.
The wind was mostly good with some low or no wind phases.
Eland and I took turns steering the boat so everybody had some rest during the night.
After a fairly pleasant night we had a good breakfast and in the afternoon we reached the marina of Larnaca.
The next week we spend relaxing, and waiting for some packages I was expecting. I could send them to the German guy from the hotel we stayed when we were in Larnaca.
One day Eland and I took a bus to Nicosia to see the town and to kill some time.
Finally I received all my post and we had to wait another two days for suitable weather to sail to Israel.
Day 281-282: 89,26 NM (165,31 km) sailing all: 9398 km
In the morning I went shopping for our trip to Paphos. After we finished all preparation we set sail.
We started in the afternoon and planed to sail trough the night in order to reach Paphos the next morning.
At the beginning the wind was not to strong and it was perfect to get into sailing again.
After the sunset the wind was week but was getting stronger during the night. We had winds up to 25 kts and the boat was at its max speed of 6-7 kts.
Elad and I took shifts, so we could rest for 2 hours.
In the morning we reached the harbour and had a place between two big yachts. Because the harbour is not very protected against wind and waves we relocated to a better spot.
The harbour and its facilities were not very good, so we decided to leave as early as possible. We had to wait three days, because the weather was not suitable for us to go to Larnaca.
Most of the time we sat on the boat or went to a cafe to have an internet connection.
Day 277: 52,32 NM (96,90 km) sailing all: 9233 km