Anyone care for some more Turkey?

June 1984
After Israel it was a quick trip back to Cyprus and we bade goodbye to some good friends, and see you laters to others who we would meet again along the way.  We set off for Limosol and spent a couple of days visiting the old city.  Then we headed north to Turkey and made our landfall at Antalya, where we climbed up to the top of the hill over looking town and had glorious views of the surrounding countryside.
Fluted minaret with other photos
We retraced our steps along the south coast and turned north past Marmaris and went up to Bodrum.  A most amazing place with the old crusader castle and lots to see.  A number of other places come to mind, Cnidos, Kos, Simi and finally Kus Adasi where we left the boat for a week's trip to Istanbul.
Bodrum with the castle
We took a coach which cost us $5 each, children travelled free.  The bus was first class, clean and quite and when we awoke we were going to cross the Bosphorus, the divide between Asia Minor and Europe and each of the children had a saltstone carving left by a kind Turkish traveller.
Our stay was in a restored home between St. Sophia and the Blue Mosque, basically right in the heart of the city.  We did all the sights and even managed to buy 3 Turkish carpets.  Unfortunately they were not magic and we had to take the ferry back to Izmir and then the bus to the boat.
Arriving back there was a note from an old friend, Tom, who was also in the marina.  We met up with him and had a nice couple of days visiting,  Unfortunately for us time was running out and had to make haste if we were going to make it all the way to Gibralter so we could begin our Atlantic crossing.
July 1984
It was a fast trip back through Greece and nothing eventfull happened except running out of wind and then fuel.  It was not a lot of fun drifting around in the pitch black amongst the islands and rocks, and remember this was pre GPS, so we were not exactly sure of our position.
Around the Peloponese and back to Zakanthos and on to Corfu.  This turned out to be a great island to visit with lots to see and do.  Plus there were more trees and vegatation than on most of the other islands we had been to in Greece. 
From Corfu you can see Albania, which at the time, was staunchly communist and closed to outsiders, needless to say we gave it a wide berth.  We made Dubrovnik our port of entry to Yugoslavia and began our exploration of the Dalmation Islands.  We visited a number of ports, Trogir, Split,and many others, most had managed to keep their medieval flavor.  At this time communism was still the force to be reckoned with and shopping was confined to the basic necessities, tourism had not made an impact yet either. 
After Yugoslavia we headed south down the Adriatic toward Italy, making a stop in Reggio for a couple of days.  We did go across to Messina but the harbor was oily and rough so it was back out and we passed through the Lipari Islands, not far from Stromboli and we did see the glow from the volcano.
August 1984
Sardinia near Puerto Chervo
That night we got hit by a north wind that came out of nowhere and went from 10 to 50 knots in no time, flinging Jackie out of the bunk.  It was a wild and rough night, why does the wind always have to come on the nose?  In the morning with a handkerchief for a jib and 3 reefs in the main we limped into Olbia on the island of Sardinia and made our way into Porto Chervo just in time to see the Swan Cup.  Some pretty fancy and expensive yachts filled the harbor, we could not even think of going into the marina as it was just too expensive, so it was life on the hook for the time we were there.
We then passed through the straits between Sardinia and Corsica with Bonifacio as our next port.  A very narrow entrance made it exciting going in and if a boat had not come out we probably would have missed the entrance.  This was the birthplace of Napoleon and again we walked our legs off in an attempt to see as much as we could in the limited time at our disposal.
The south coast of France was an easy sail away and we put into St. Tropez just to sample the snails!  We met up here with Paddy and Jean  and Jean's sister Polly.  It was a great visit and of course a trip to a good French restaurant did not go amiss. Leif tested out his new wind surfer here and was good at going downwind but it was hours before he made his way back, paddling by hand!  But soon we had to press on as time was passing and there was still that deadline to get to Gib.
We set off for Mallorca but first there was a minor run-in with the French navy.  It seemed that we had entered a "zone interdict" unknowingly and with a little persuasion from a helicopter that nearly blew us over and a close encounter with a navy gunboat, we retraced our steps and went around the area.  The sail to Menorca and then Mallorca was uneventful and we spent a few days in each port.  Both are definitely worth a visit and we did the usual round of churches and museums, plus the food shopping was great.  We stocked up in anticipation to the crossing and El Corte Inglese ended up with a good chunk of our money.  There were over 100 grocery bags in the cockpit and never for a moment did I think that Jackie would be able to store all the food away.  But she did and there was even room for more!

September 1984
It was a bouncy trip around Ibiza and into Almeria, where we hid for a couple of days waiting on weather.  This was just fine for us as it is a lively harbor with restaurants and shopping nearby.  It was interesting to see the old men up at 6 AM sitting with their coffee and brandy discussing the events of the day.
Our next port of call was Malaga, which was nearly missed as the wind was blowing quite hard and we literally blew by the pleasure craft marina and pulled into the commercial harbor by the skin of our teeth..  On the way in there were a number of yachts on the outside of the harbor tied to a wall.  As they were having a bad time with the waves and wind coming straight at them it was decided that we were not having any part of that and put into the fishing port.  A fisherman beckoned for us to tie alongside him and were most grateful to be out of the tempest.  However our relief was short lived for along comes a guard of some sort and in his best Spanish tells us that the fishing port is a no no for us.  In my best English I said that I was not leaving, so we reached some sort of an impasse and he departed.  Shortly another fellow arrived in a beige Macintosh, obviously a higher authority.  He did speak English and said we had to leave the fishing port, I said not a chance was I going out there in the storm.  A call on his radio and it was agreed that we could tie up in the commercial harbor until the weather abated.  This was acceptable and we made our way over, with I might add four or five boats following, kind of like a mother duck with ducklings.
The following morning I was up early and there was something knocking on the hull, turned out to be an oil can.  I just happened to look up and there mere yards away was a wall of steel.  A ship going out had lost steerage and was drifting down on us.  I asked Jackie to bring up a knife and the boat keys to start the engine.  We managed to get the stern line cut and a passerby threw off the bow and we reversed out just as the ship was coming down on the boats ahead of us.  It was a very frightening situation indeed.  One boat was severely damaged with crushed bulkheads, but thankfully no injuries.  We ended taking two young fellows off that boat to Gib with us later that day.
It was an overnight sail and the wind was moderate but in an attempt to roll up the head sail a rope got tangled at the masthead and I was volunteered to go and fix it.  Luckily we had the two lads with us as they quickly got me to the top and it was fixed in no time.  Mind you the motion up there was severe and it took all my strength to hang on with one hand and do the repair with the other.
The next morning found us tucked up in Sheppards Marina where we quickly made arrangements to haul out to redo the antifouling.  They were very efficient and by the time we had purchased the paint the boat was high and dry, ready for our labours.  With two small children living on the hard was, well, simply hard, so we very quickly did our out of water chores and within 2 days were back in the water.  We spent all in all about 2 weeks in Gib mostly waiting on weather. We managed to get to know the city very well.

October 1984
After awhile Gibraltar became somewhat boring so it was across the bay to Algeciras in Spain.  This was a far cry from Gib and there seemed to be a number of rather unsavory characters hanging about.  It was with a dose of relief that the weather moderated and we were finally able to clear out the Straits of Gibraltar for Madeira.
The six days it took to Funchal were pleasant as the wind was on the beam and the seas relatively calm.  The only excitement came on Jackie's night watch when we were surrounded by what seemed hundreds of dolphins blowing all around the boat.  It was too dark to see them but the feeling of being with such a large school was awesome.  After a little bash around Espiritu Santo we arrived in Funchal about midnight.
We had made arrangements for our good friend Philip to meet us in Madeira and the plan was that we would phone when we left Gib.  When we did finally get the weather right and phoned there was no answer, and remember this was pre-text messaging, computers or any of the other devices we take for granted today.  Just as we were rounding the breakwater we noticed a couple standing on the end looking out to see, and wouldn't you know it, there were Philip and Joan.  They had been there for a week and were due to fly out in the morning, needless to say we stayed up most of the night chatting and catching up.  We went to the airport with them the next day and saw them off to the UK.
Madeira is a wonderful island with a large caldera you can drive down into and see the village, the landscape is dotted with flowers, many of them orchids, and there are waterfalls cascading right over the coast road.  The people are very friendly, we met a lovely family and we invited them to dinner on the boat, I think they wondered how anyone could live in such a small space. The next day they showed up with a large stock of bananas as a gift. We rented a car and drove around the island on their handmade roads. This island has to rank as one of our favourites and anyone contemplating a visit we highly recommend Madeira.

December 1984
Our next stop was Las Palmas on Grand Canaria, part of a group of islands off the coast of Africa and the jumping off point for many crossing the Atlantic on the trade wind route.
We had made arrangements for a couple who had sailed with us previously to join for the crossing, however they decided that they would not come so that left us on our own.  The stay in Las Palmas was a little longer than we wanted as an electrical part had failed and we shipped it back to the UK for repairs.  All in all we spent about a month there but the time was not entirely wasted as there were boat jobs to be done and the final round of provisioning.  Christmas came and Santa managed to find us, the children were astounded that he could keep track of our whereabouts.  On Dec. 27 we cleared out of Las Palmas and jumped off to make our crossing with a final destination of Grenada.
Flying fish became frying fish!
Our crossing was pretty text book in that for the first 4 or 5 days the winds were light and variable but as we got farther south the trade wind clouds became visible and soon the trades began to set in and we were off.   The main was let out one side and snugged down with a stout preventer and the jib out the other on a pole and it too was snugged down.  We carried this sail plan pretty much all the way to Grenada and the Aries windvane steered the whole way, only requiring the odd shot of oil, it is a remarkable piece of engineering.
Perfect anchorage
Landfall was made at Prickly Bay on Grenada and we were relieved to have made it with nothing more serious than one rope chafing through.  The smell of land was overpowering. The gin bottle came out and a celebration, small as it was, took place on Dodger Too.  In the morning we surveyed our surroundings and right in front of us was the classic tropical beach, sand, overhanging palm trees and crystal water, who could ask for a better landfall?
St. Georges

We stayed there for a few days and went around to St. Georges, the main port and capital of the island.  The trips in the local buses was something that everyone should do, at least once.  These minivans are driven a fairly high speed, careening around corners, jammed packed and with Bob Marley blaring away.  Whenever an intersection loomed the driver would sound his horn and I doubt any minibus coming would have heard as they all seemed to have the stereos up as loud as it would go. We were happy to see several of our friends from New Zealand and around the world anchored in the harbor.

February 1985
Jackie's parents arrived from Canada to join us, they would fly out of Martinique to go back home.
Trinidad was having their annual carnival and it was meant to be pretty spectacular, maybe not Rio, but the best in the Caribbean.  The journey entails an overnight trip across open ocean with the winds and the seas on the beam, coming all the way from Africa.  Needless to say it was a bit rough, however the old folks hunkered down and the morning found calmer waters as we entered the Boca del Dragon.  The sea was literally choked with jelly fish and there was some concern that the engine water intake may become clogged.
Carnival was a great success with hundreds and hundreds of participants all parading and having a great time.  The rum flowed freely, I might add.  Some of the revellers had worked the entire year preparing their costumes.  It was here we really started to discover the cuisine of the Caribbean with roti and something I believe they called doubles.  I was kept busy running back and forth to the stand all day feeding everyone.
After the carnival was over you have only a few choices and we pointed the bow north and recrossed the strait between Trinidad and Grenada.  As we were out in the strait it got quite rough and there was another yacht just to our west.  Jackie's Dad came up to take a look and it was like "now you see them and now you don't".  He said "Thank goodness we aren't doing that".  We all had a good laugh because of course we were doing the same thing.

A little backtracking was done as we stopped in Grenada on our way north.  The next major stop was Bequia, famous for it's whaling and of course was reportedly the home base of Captain Teach, the pirate.
The Pitons

Marigot Bay
The trip up the chain was excellent with perfect sailing, crystal clear waters and great temperatures.  The Pitons of St. Lucia are visible from a long way off and are a good aid to finding out where you are.  Marigot Bay, where the English hid from the French is a must see, it was also the site of the film Dr. Doolittle.  Next stop was Martinique with it's great French wines and cooking.  Jackie's parents left us here to return home.  It was quite an experience for them to fly all the way and then be confined on a small sail boat for a month.  We had a week to ourselves then Jackie's brother and her cousin joined us.  We had another friend arrive from the UK, Philip who we had nearly missed in Madeira.  The boat was certainly full, not only with people but life and laughter.  We made a trip to Guadalupe and the Ilse des Saintes.  Our little group set off to view the waterfalls which came cascading down from the mountaintop.  There was a trail over the mountain so Philip and Leif decided that a trek was in order.  They almost froze, or at least it seemed that way and they were glad to get back to a lower altitude at the end.

Dominica offered Indian River and the mountain chicken, one of the world's largest frogs.  Our next port of call was Antigua, site of Nelson's dockyard, still pretty much preserved and the site of the annual Antigua race week.  There were numerous big boats there and the round the island race was exciting.  Shopping for groceries for 5 adults and 2 children was a challenge, especially when you consider the rather puny size of the fridge and the fact that it was not set up for the tropics so was rather inefficient.  One day we managed to buy a whole Dorado from a fisherman, this fish fed us for 3 full meals and was indeed a bargain.  It was not long before our guests had to depart and we were alone again,.so much had happened in such a short time that it was nearly overwhelming.   
As the sailing season was progressing there was a need to keep a steady pace and it was off to St. Barts.  Yes, we did have a cheeseburger in paradise.  In fact we moored up beside a big sailboat and someone said it belonged to Jimmy Buffett, couldn't prove it by me but it makes a nice story doesn't it?
We continue our push up through the islands, always with an eye on the calendar as we want to get out before hurricane season comes. It was a quick tour through the Virgin Islands. It is easy to see why this is probably the number one area for chartering, warm temps, cloudless skies, crystal waters and of course that super wind, never too strong and always from the right direction.
We continue our push up through the islands, always with an eye on the calendar as we want to get out before hurricane season comes.  It was a quick tour through the Virgin Islands.  It is easy to see why this is probably the number one area for chartering, warm temps, cloudless skies, crystal waters and of course that super  wind, never too strong and always from the right direction. 
After the Virgins the next stop was Puerta Plata, Dominican Republic.  We spent a few days here under the chimney that we believe was part of the electrical generating system.  The boat got covered with small round black course dust, fortunately it easily washed off once at sea.  Soon it was to sea again, this time to Cap Haitian, right, on Haiti.  We pulled into the marina, such as it was, and the port captain indicated that we should hire a boat boy to watch the boat.  He said that if we didn't there was no guarantee that it would be intact on our return.  Oh, lovely, what a nice introduction to the country.  We did manage a trip up to Sans-Souci,  one of the palaces of the one time ruler King Henri I (better known as Henri Christophe) of the country.   We did not spend much time in Haiti, it was simply too depressing with the immense poverty and frankly we did not feel entirely safe, the only place where we got that feeling.  Besides, the fabled Bahamas were an easy sail north.
Landfall in the Bahamas was at an uninhabited island, Hogsty Reef, sounds awful does it not?  Actually it was wonderful, just two sand dunes marking the entrance and the rest was fringing coral reef.  The fishing was outstanding, in fact we grew tired of lobster and grouper and wished for all things, a hamburger.  We spent 3 days here enjoying the reef and Pete and Liz's company, it was one of the most memorable stops in our journeys.  While we were there we were treated to an airshow courtesy of the US Navy, two jets overflew us and wiggled their winds as we stood on deck and waved.  The children were excited at seeing planes so close up.
It was off to Great Inaugua and formally check in to the Bahamas.  As luck would have it we arrived on the weekend and had to hang around until Monday for the formalities.  Not entirely a bad thing as there was a small cafe selling ice cold Beck's beer, cokes and ice cream.  Everyone had a treat as the heat was definitely building, summer was well and truly upon us.  The water was just so, so, so - it cannot be described as words fail me.  We swam, snorkeled, walked on deserted beaches, picked shells, windsurferd and ate more grouper and conch than we thought was possible.  The pictures cannot capture the colours, it was that good.  Unfortunately all good things must come to an end and we had to leave paradise and cross the Gulf Stream to Miami, actually Lake Worth, but civilization, if you can call it that, nevertheless.
It was an overnight trip and thankfully the stream was calm but it felt real funny aiming for Cuba in order to arrive at the correct destination.  We managed to hit the entrance bang on the nose, remember no GPS, just old fashioned plotting!
After all the interesting places we had been arriving in the States was a bit anticlimactic.  There was noise, traffic, crowds, exhaust fumes but of course there was McDonald's, Diary Queen and television.  We felt the poor children deprived so a television and a Honda generator found their way onto the boat and we all sat staring transfixed at the images on the screen.  You would think we had never seen TV before!

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