Voyage summery, written by Mandy and Gingy
YACHT MY MERMAID.
25th March, 2005
Well we have started this year with a bangâ€¦.
We decided, as you may remember from my last letter, that we were going to join the Med-Red Rally â€“ so in order to be ready in time we started preparing ourselves and MY MERMAID for the trip. The Rally was due to leave Tel Aviv Marina on the 4th March but we had to get there before hand in order to see to our Visa and other bits and pieces.
We left Turkey towards the end of January. The weather had been terrible â€“ strong winds and rain but we were sure that we had enough time between the low pressures that were building up to get to Israel with no problems.
Well â€“ we didnâ€™t really have any problems â€“ the winds came from behind and pushed us along beautifully â€“ so although friends and family who knew we were coming didnâ€™t sleep well until they heard we had safely tied up in the Marina â€“ I think we did -even though at one stage we decided that we were sailing in a washing machineâ€¦.. but we still managed to cook and eat!
We were told in Israel by those who know (!) that the waves were 7 meters !!!!
The big day arrived â€“ bands were playing in Tel Aviv and we were fixing the last screws in place and tying the last knots. We were off to the Red Sea and Eilat on the first Rally of 50 yachts ever to sail down the Suez Canal.
At the entrance to Tel Aviv Marina the waves were quite high â€“ and one yacht decided to leave laterâ€¦ but we surged ahead and arrived in Port Said about 18:30 the next day. By then most of the yachts had tied up and the sailors had gone to the welcoming ceremony that was being held for us there. So we tied up quickly â€“ had a quick wash and off we went to the Hotel and welcoming ceremony.
We had a police guard on a bike in front of us stopping all trafficâ€¦ us in the car and a car following us with about 4 police guards with guns behind us. The Egyptians werenâ€™t taking chances with the 300 or so Israelis J.
We were due to leave the next day for Ismailia, but unfortunately we were asked to hang around Port Said while the officials sorted out all the paperwork. The feeling amongst us was good â€“ friendly and happy. No one had problems â€“ and we didnâ€™t mind an unexpected day of relaxing.
When we left Port Said â€“ as you can see - the weather was dull. We left in a convoy (50 yachts which if placed head to tail would cover about 650 meters) down the Suez Canal â€“ but when we realized that the Egyptians had closed the Canal to all big ships, for these â€œ50 crazy Israeli Yachtsâ€
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