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Old 08-04-2010, 09:07   #1
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Run Away! Hard to Port! SNOW!

Run away! Run away! Hard to Port and spin the wheel to Starboard! Go About! Reverse Course! Theres SNOW on them mountains and its blowing 40 Knots! Ooops! And there goes the Mainsail with 2 cute but large rips….

The Suez Canal and Mediterranean to Turkey.

Thanks for the weather reports guys. You lot were totally accurate as were the GRIB files, just a little underestimated in strength. (See thread: Med Weather - Port Said to Turkey, Now )
“Fine till Wednesday” all predicted and I knew we would be in Snug Harbour by then. Sea Life goes OK to weather but not against current as we found in the Red Sea. The current on the Pilot Chart seems to be reversed in every Sea we are in (Oceans too!). So Wednesday we was still a roving on the high seas… Higher! With our 15 to 20 degree leeway the wind was always on the nose. Now here’s the bite: The GRIB files so completely useless in every other ocean in the world are used on board Sea Life to see what could have been… however these were accurate to the hour untill the dead end of the last file 6 days out. Apart, of course, from the wind strength which one could safely double. That was fine out of Pt Said where it said 5kts but later it said 17 and we were getting 35-36. And that was after a day of 25 to 30, after a day of 20 to 25.


Anyway I digressed from my view of snow covered mountains. They should never be in a cruisers view, Pacific Nor’West excluded. But those that live and cruise there have, as we like to say in Australia, a few kangaroos loose in the top paddock.
Snow means cruising out of season and I should’a known better because last time it was Cyclone Season in Australia and we were dusted. I should’a known when we started pulling the cold weather kit from plastic bags stowed so deep Nic was lost in the Lazerette for days. “These smell like someone I give money to” (No you don’t. You skin flint prick!).
Breaths of cold air not felt for years, leeway, lumpy seas, and a speed log reading that’s just plain funny we realised another benefit of our ‘lil Bene: The aft cabin with 8 pillows, a doona and a Galapagos bought Llama wool blanket makes you snug as a bug in a rug. Its so comfy that anyone waking thinks the wind has dropped… Till some bitch yells down the hole in the wall: The Mainsails ripped!

To many that would be a problem and it was, in that it was 30 nms from port and diesel is expensive, but what was not a problem was that it was shredded. You see, it had served its time. When we bought Sea Life 2 years ago ex-charter in St Marrrtin, Caribbean the main already had UV damage so I was quite aware it was hanging on by its threads. For 25,000 miles its held on. More and more patches graced its wings, more contact cement and rip-stop than a hardware store.

In Thailand we motor biked the sail to Rolly Taskers and commissioned a brand newie. Of course the temptation is: do we put it up now, or wait till after the Indian Ocean and Red Sea upwind legs? Then when the old survived the Red Sea do we use it in our out-of-season dash upwind to Turkey?

So the old main avoided the pirates, dusted the sand storms and saw snow for the first time in its life before splitting 30 miles from port in near 40 kts when it should have been retired 25,000 miles ago. It will be a sad old moment when we arrive in a few hours and I take it down and bend the new one. Will the shiny bright white one be so close to my heart? What will I do with the old worn fittings. No good to anyone, but too valuable to throw away. Shall I keep them in my junk pile to forever cruise the world, three parts forgotten, gathering dust, grease and bilge goo? The 2 remaining battens? Round full length, not short flat like the new “Roach! More roach than a Cocky palace, but short battens. I’m a cruiser.” Keep them for spare.. what? What could I use lengths of round fiberglass?

What will the neighbors say on the clearing in wharf? “Came in from last nights blow. Lost his main and some Genny UV. Obviously can’t sail worth tuppence, lucky he wasn’t out in a real storm.”

Re-supply at the supermarket (cross off Contact Cement), buy wine, brew beer and head to an anchorage out of the wind where the spring sun can warm our tropical blood and we can watch those snow capped mountains.

We are finally in the Med!

Mark
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Old 08-04-2010, 09:41   #2
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Wish I was there
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Old 08-04-2010, 10:05   #3
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Way to go ! Love the med.

Pirates off the horn be dammed! I was beginning to wonder where you guys were.
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Old 08-04-2010, 10:06   #4
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Which port did you pull into? The comparison of the real world wind vs predicted is always interesting. How was the canal transit? I did it in '83 on a ship so I had a good view.
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Old 08-04-2010, 10:32   #5
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It sounds like you are almost through the five stages of grieving- denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance Let her go, she served ye well.


Have fun, love reading what you two crazy kids are up to.
Erika
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Old 08-04-2010, 10:42   #6
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A marvelous, poetic account! Ode to a Mainsail!

I hope you're keeping all this in a blog or a journal.

Where are you planning to go in Turkey?
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Old 08-04-2010, 12:36   #7
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How long before you start think that a few days up in the mountains, doing a little skiing sounds good?
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Old 08-04-2010, 21:29   #8
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Smile Wimps!

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post
Run away! Run away! Hard to Port and spin the wheel to Starboard! Go About! Reverse Course! Theres SNOW on them mountains .....
Anyway I digressed from my view of snow covered mountains. They should never be in a cruisers view, Pacific Nor’West excluded. But those that live and cruise there have, as we like to say in Australia, a few kangaroos loose in the top paddock.....Mark
I always suspected that Crocodile Dundee was really a Wimp at heart!
Take a clue from Fishwife's post. Embrace the Snow!

Thumb Cove, Alaska, May 2009
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Old 09-04-2010, 02:01   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AK_sailor View Post

Thumb Cove, Alaska, May 2009
I'll give the thumb to that cove!!!!!!!! Of course Croc Dundee was a whimp - He's from teh Northern Territory, a few thousand kilometers from the snow. He and I would have to be rugged up in a bar with a roaring log fire.... whittling sticks.....

Quote:
Where are you planning to go in Turkey?


Dunno yet. The whole thing was to get here. So now we are here we need to research it. LOL all a$$ about face, eh? LOL
Quote:
How was the canal transit? I did it in '83 on a ship so I had a good view.


Hi randy: We paid the least amount of bribes of anyone EVER! $2x US$10 and 4 stuffed Koala (1 to Quarantine, 1 to Marina boatman, 1 each to pilots (who also got $the $10 each). The Koalas are tiny, key ring size toys that we bought from Australia in GREAT supply!
We heard of a boat in February that gave out over $150 in bribes plus Tshirts etc. Others have given 10 packs cigarettes in one day. So a bargain transit!

May I say the people involved in tourism, yachts and all associated industries (INCLUDING Tourist Police), are revoltingly corrupt, lie and mischievously demand with menace 'presents' openly, aggressively, and constantly? It really makes being in Egypt a constant drain on the psyche. The country, sights, history are wonderful. The people associated with tourists and cruisers can all free-fall from a snakes butt!

The only sign of any good amongst the people was the Marina manager in Hurgadah Marina, Sheriff, some staff there, and our 2 pilots. And, of course, people who have absolutely no contact with tourists at all... these Egyptians are terrific people, salt of the earth and would give you the shirt off their back.

The 2 pilots when they got on board I made Nicolle go below while I had a 'chat' to them: "Nicolle has 2 envelops with your present in them, one for today’s Pilot, one for tomorrows pilot. Any stops along the way or presents come out of YOUR envelope. Nicolle is in charge of the envelopes. Not me."
That way we did not stop at any pilot stations along the way, no 'friends' needed presents etc etc; both were nice and respectful to Nicolle and one even gave Nicolle a present of cookies!
Both pilots were very very good and we were quite surprised at our easy trip as we have heard so many bad stories about them!
Neither pilot asked for more than what we gave them! Both were happy with their aprox $10
The last words we hear in Egypt: From the boat picking up the last pilot: "Captain do you have some cigarettes for the Pilot Boat?"
NO!
Do you have some Tshirts?
NO!!
Do you have some drinks?
NO!!!
Do you have Baksheesh?
NO!!!!
He got nothing. And finally came in to take the pilot off our boat.
Moral of the story just don't give them anything unless you really need to. We should have just ignored him, not even said 'no'.

The whole thing about Egypt is that, though it is contrary to the manners we are brought up with, when anyone speaks to you just ignore them. They don't get offended, it’s just the way they are brought up. 'No' to them is starting a conversation.
Knowing just that would make one’s life much better in Egypt. We took a week to work it out but once done the whole trip was much better.

We toured the country for 10 days using public busses, trains etc of Luxor, Cairo, Pyramids and Siwa Oasis in the far west near Libia, and guided tours in each location, donkey rides etc... The total cost for the both of us including hotels and all meals (and boy-o-boy Nicolle can sweep through a restaurant menu) was only $800. $80 per day. Sensational!

The marina fee in Hurgadah was US$300 per MONTH fixed rate. Also sensational.
Things we couldn't do: arrange a scuba dive in the red sea: The sleaze bucket operator would not guarantee to keep his hands off Nicolle! She said "Often in Egypt men have touched me or try to touch me. Can you make sure none of your crew touch me, I am a married woman."
Ya wanna know his answer? "Me and my crew are very touchy-feely men."
LOL He said that openly in front of me! You should have seen Nic drop the shutters in one instant! At leasthe said it openly, we had no trouble making the decision!
The other great pain is they all ask for payment in $US and when we want to pay in Egyptian pounds (we dont have US dollars!) they fudge the exchange rate! LOLOL And they think I came down in the last rain shower!

To make the final point: Yesterday we arrived in Turkey and were able to clear in by ourselves, no agent, paying just the official prices, no bribes or 'gifts'; then we went to a water front restaurant and paid marked menu prices the same as many locals eating in the restaurant where Cheeseburgers are $2.50, $3 beer, no touts, no bickering, no 'presents' no Sulks, no intimidation. We then walked the town buying out internet connection and going to the supermarket all the same like being in Australia or the USA, no police to bribe, no souvenirs, not come this way to my brothers carpet shop.

One day in Turkey is like a blessed relief! How I want this place to be representative of the whole country!

Maybe its too early to tell, and maybe Fethiya is different to Marmaris, where I have been before, but just perhaps I am totally over the moon at being out of Asia and out of the middle east and into the Med and Europe, or the next best thing to Europe: Turkey

Mark
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Old 09-04-2010, 02:57   #10
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Also, I made the Pilots sign the Log Book with their name, photographed them with me and had in the Log Book (which I showed the pilots): Maximum Revs 2,100 RPM.

then drove it at 2,200 rpm and whenever they told me to speed up I said "Already over 2,100 RPM I should slow down"

Otherwise you'd be red-lineing all the was.
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