The second half of the Suez Canal and our pilot, Mohammed Ali, was excellent. He shares his knowledge of the Canal and points of interest. Just before he is about to board the pilot boat to leave us and right before our entry into the Mediterranean Sea we snag something on the starboard propeller and the vibration has us departing on one engine. Okay, so we'll sail. Outside of the canal and behind the breakwater we raise the sails and as soon as they are up we are reefing in 28 knots from the northwest, our direction of travel. We have sea room and time so we sail off headed NE. S/V Sand Piper and S/V Moorea are also with us but Sandpiper had some rigging problems so they headed toward Cyprus for a repair. Moorea followed them but we continued to Fethiye so Rene could return to the states as her Mother was ill. Two days later the wind shifts then dies and we are motoring into the anchorage. Thankfully whatever had fouled our prop is gone.
Ten miles outside of Fethiye we snag a fishing net. There are no lights and no warnings. It's 5 AM and I jump in to cold cold water with a dive light cutting away at the net. The fishing boat returns to the scene and offers a large sharp knife since my little Leatherman isn't making much way. The sail drive configuration really mades it a job but I have enough of the net off so that we can motor in on the port engine alone. I look for the net in the water but it appears to be gone and we head out on the port engine for about oh two minutes when we are caught on the port side and the bundle of net is so large that it has jammed the rudder. Thankfully there is no wind and the seas and current are calm. So back in the water. The fishing boat return and puts a man in the water with me and together we cut away at the net. Four times or more he returns his knife to his boat for sharpening. After two hours we are free and the fishermen give us a tuna and many apologies. What do you expect on Friday the 13th.
We arrive at Fethiye Harbor and check in. Clearing in requires no less then five stops not counting the many many stops we make to ask where to go next. But overall it was an easy process.
On Saturday at 11 AM our good friends on S/V My Chance (a Turkish yacht) arrive with flags from every nation they have visited flying from the inner stays. This is the signal that this vessel has completed a circumnavigation. They are in the company of a dozen other vessels including a large tug and a fire fighting water boat spraying fountains
of water. Horns from every boat are sounding and a reception area is ready to greet Alim and Kian. There are relatives galore and a dancing troupe, officials, and plenty of press. The story makes the nightly news and and front page of the local and national news papers. Speeches and hugs and flowers and plenty of rubber neckers off the large mega yachts. It was everything you could hope for. Of course Alim is a popluar journalists and has been writing about his adventure in Trukey's most popular sailing magazine so it's not like some guys from Indianapolis returned to Fort Pierce City Marina.
Anyway, all is not good news as Rene had to return to the US for a family illness. So I am left with oil changes, pickeling the water maker, fixing the outboard and the list goes on and on. But its nice to be here plugged in and with an endless supply of fresh water. We have been traveling since January with ony a few quick stops to take inland tours.
As things settle in, Sandpiper arrives and Alim and Kian invite us to their house for a garden party. We had a great time and great food and ending the evening boring family and friends with Red Sea stories. All wished that Rene was there for the festivities.
Congratulations to Alim and Kian on their circumnavigation! For more photos of the festivities click on the slideshow below.
If you're headed our way:
- Wherever you go there are plenty of US flagged boats but hey no Americans. The state of Delaware runs a little "cottage industry" in boat registration since there are no corporate taxes. Many boat owners throughout the world use this loophole and incorporate in Delawar thereby avoiding sales tax or excise tax. In places like Venezula it is also nice to have some of your assets in a stable political enviornment. So as we look for US citizens to celebrate the 4th of July, well it's just Sandpiper and Shiraz.