Travel Summary July 2008 to December 2008

July 2008 to December 2008 — Egypt to Monaco

  • Suez City, Egypt
    29°56N by 32°34E
    Jul 8 – Jul 17, 2008
    Giza Pyramids, Cairo Museum, transiting Suez Canal
  • Aghios Nikolaos, Crete, Greece
    31° 11.2N by 25° 43.0E
    July 26 – Aug 26 & Sep 3 – 9 & Oct 6 – 7, 2008
    Monasteries, Sheep Party, Knossos Minoan ruins, trip to Athens, Delphi, Meteora & Thermopalye on mainland, visit to towns of Rythmeno and Chania on Crete, SCUBA diving, cave, olive oil factory, trip to Santorini, repairing exhaust leak
  • Kos, Dodacanese Islands, Greece
    36°53N by 27°18E
    Sep 10 – 17, 2008
    Ruins, Trip to Rhodes medieval city
  • Bodrum Peninsula, Turkey
    Turtugreis 37°0N by 27°15E
    Yat Lift 37°0N by 27°27E
    Sep 17 – Oct 6, 2008
    Haul out & accompanying work, underwater archeology museum, trip to Izmir & Ephesus
  • Bali, Crete, Greece
    35°25.0N by 24°46.5E
    Oct 8 – Oct 9, 2008
  • Pylos, Peloponnese, Greece
    36°54.0N by 21°40.5E
    Oct 10 – Oct 14, 2008
    Visit to castle/fort & bird sanctuary
  • Siracusa, Sicily, Italy
    37°03.0N by 15°17.2E
    Oct 16 – Oct 23, 2008
    Trips to Catania & Mt. Etna, Il Duormo church, kayaking
  • Vittoriosa, Malta, Malta
    35°53.4N by 14°31.2E
    Oct 27 – Nov 5, 2008
    Patron saint celebration, archeology & maritime museums, spectacular churches & accompanying museums, grandmaster’s palace, medieval citadel, Ggjanta Temples, maintenance work, blue lagoon
  • Yasmine Hammamet, Tunisia
    36°22.3N by 10°32.8E
    Nov 7 – 18, 2008
    SCUBA diving, Medina, Ramadan dinner, Bardo museum, riding the sand dunes in the Sahara, set of Star Wars, traditional indigenous housing
  • Trapani, Sicily, Italy
    38°00.5N by 12°31.1E
    Nov 18 – 21, 2008
    Trip to Palermo
  • Stromboli, Sicily, Italy
    38°47.5N by 15°14.2E
    Nov 21 – 27, 2008
    Volcano hike, emergency rescues
  • Lipari, Sicily, Italy
    38°28.4N by 14°57.5E
    Nov 27 – Dec 2, 2008
  • Rome, Italy
    41°44.3N by 12°14.6E
    Dec 4 – 16, 2008
    Vatican, ancient ruins, Pantheon, Vatican fort
  • Monaco
    43°44.0N by 7°25.3E
    Dec 18 – 31, 2008
    Hiking in the Alps, underwater museum

Passage from Port Said, Egypt to Crete, Greece

Day 1

It felt good to be moving on the sea. By morning, the wave speed had slowed down. There was little wind chop, and it was an overall pleasant ride. Wind has varied from 8 knots to 16 knots. What makes it an even nicer ride is that we are running at a normal RPM and speed for a change. Kosmos is happier running in her sweet spot than she is running flat out, the ride is smoother for us, and fuel consumption is much, much better.

We crossed near the 31N by 31E line, which we thought was an interesting numerical moment. We had a beautiful sunset, with the sun especially red.

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It is much cooler here. We actually have to shut the windows at night and wear blankets when we sleep. We almost forgot what that was like aboard, since we have been so used to the heat of the tropics and desert.

There has been a ton of traffic on the radio ever since we left Egypt, mostly from warships calling every vessel that pops up on their radar. So far we have heard ships from Canada, NATO, and Israel. We have never heard so many military groups in one place before. The war ships will Continue reading Passage from Port Said, Egypt to Crete, Greece

Suez Canal Contest

We thought it would be fun to have another contest. Do you remember What is in the Bottles? The winner will get a small souvenir from Greece as a prize. Since we didn’t come up with this contest idea until we were already checked out of Egypt, we couldn’t get an Egyptian prize, so a Greek one will have to do.

Here are the rules:

1. One guess per person.
2. Post all answers in “comments” on this blog post.
3. First person to post correct answer wins the prize. We will get your address through e-mail.

Instead of bottles, we noticed some boxes. There are several clusters of these boxes up and down the Suez Canal. What are they? Be as specific as possible.

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Here is a larger version of the picture.

Transiting the Suez Canal

This morning we were up early to get ready to go. Here is sunrise over Suez.

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Normally, small yachts transit half the canal one day, spend the night in a town called Ismalia, then transit the second half of the canal the next day. We had committed to being in Greece in 4 days, and the only way to make it on time was to do a one day transit. For it to happen, several pieces needed to come together. First off, we needed to leave by 0700, because if we didn’t make it to Ismalia by 1300 (1:00 pm), they would make us stay in Ismalia for the night.

We paced around nervously waiting for the pilot. Meanwhile, Heebe finally told us what our transit fees were. The trawler that we had mentioned seeing in Port Ghalib had been charged USD$485, and we expected our fee to be the same. Ours was USD$540. Heebe never showed us any government paperwork to verify the fees, so we suspect he upped the fee and kept the difference. He also charged us an extra fee of $70 for the quick transit and we are not sure if it goes to him or is a government fee, but we suspect it goes to him. Unfortunately, we were not in a position to argue with him over the fees, both because we were out of time and because we were afraid if we made him mad that he might sabotage our effort for the one day transit and charge more.

Heebe took care of our exit stamps on our passport before we left and promised that our boat clearance would be waiting for us in Ismalia. We were irritated that he hadn’t taken care of the boat clearance yesterday.

The pilot arrived at 0815 and Continue reading Transiting the Suez Canal

More Time in Suez and Egypt Thoughts

Yesterday we were going to go to Cairo and do more sightseeing, but when it came time to actually get out of bed, we opted for a day at home, instead. Christi spent the day cooking up all the produce, doubting it would last through this next passage. Eric changed the fuel transfer filter and the forward and aft fuel filters on the main engine. He also drained the sump on the fuel supply tank and didn’t find any water. Yay! The fuel we got in Ghalib was good.

We did go into town for dinner, determined to find this fabulous restaurant we had been told about (and still can’t remember the name of). We lucked out and found a local that works with the yacht club who was on his way home, and he agreed to drop us off there. Good thing, because when all is said and done, we would have never, ever found it. Here is a picture of the exterior. What is funny is that the grill they cook on is literally across the street, and they run the grilled food inside as it is ready. Hopefully, one of our readers speaks Arabic and can tell us the name of the restaurant.

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We walked in. Most of the tables were occupied. Everyone in the entire restaurant stared at us for a long time after we sat down. We ordered a couple shish kabob plates. When the food came, we were surprised by Continue reading More Time in Suez and Egypt Thoughts