With reports this months on Shayna on four years in The Med; Sea Angel on a three-year singlehanded
trip to the Northeast; Moonshadow
on cruising Fiji; Relativity on the
Western Med Cruising Rally; Escapade
on a New Zealand to Tonga cruising rally; and Cruise
Shayna - Hylas 45.5 sloop
Larry Hirsch & Dorothy Taylor
We haven't written for more than a year, but we "old fogies"
have still been tearing up the Med. In addition to having cruised
from one end of the Med to the other, we bought a second boat
so we won't have to chase warm weather in the future.
Our new-to-us boat is Tulip, a 40-ft canal boat with three
bunk rooms and two heads. She is currently in Friesland, which
is about 40 miles north of Amsterdam. We're going to use this
stinkboat to explore northern Europe in the summers only, as
it's too cold up there during the rest of the year for our liking.
For example, when we took possession of her in March, there was
still ice on the marina dock. Our plan is to sail Shayna
back to the Caribbean this winter, and then maybe head back to
the west coast of Mexico - provided they change their check-in
procedures. Our hope is to then spend our summers on Tulip in
northern Europe, and our winters aboard Shayna in the
Caribbean and/or Mexico - the best of both worlds. There is lots
of cosmetic work to be done on Tulip, but it should be
fun as the people in the Netherlands are great.
Here's a summary of our adventures last summer in the Med. We
left Israel in March of 2001, and immediately had a month's unplanned
stay in Cyprus. While strolling on the beach one evening, Larry
offered to pull Dorothy up a small grade, but slipped. Dorothy
fell as a result, breaking her wrist. The land gets you every
time! Dorothy saw an excellent orthopedic doctor, and Larry took
a video while he put her cast on. Her wrist is fine now, but
try sailing, cooking, and wandering around the boat with the
use of just one arm. Even dressing was a challenge.
We next sailed to Rhodes where Larry sort of got arrested. It's
a long story in which a super officious Greek official played
a major role. But it turned out all right. The next segment of
our trip was around the southern islands of Greece, where we
endured almost constant gales from the south! Unfortunately,
it's not easy to find an anchorage with protection from southerlies
in that part of the Med. The worst of all was the so called 'new
marina' at Santorini. Fortunately, we were able to make it to
Porto Cheli, an almost totally enclosed bay on the southeast
corner of the Peloponnese that offered excellent protection from
southerly winds in 10 feet of water with good holding in mud.
Porto Cheli has restaurants and supermarkets, and frequent ferries
to Athens and other islands. A small repair yard there fixed
our rub rail, which had been damaged in Santorini. We then fought
headwinds all across the Peloponnese to Siracusa, Sicily. We
tied to the town wall at Siracusa, but got bounced off when the
wind came up, so we anchored out. It's a great city with lots
Our next stop was Malta for their July celebrations, which feature
fireworks day and night. Each parish tries to outdo the other
in the quantity and quality of explosions. We had a slip in the
marina 200 yards from the nearest parish. On their festival night,
the pinwheels and rockets went off till 3 a.m. Dorothy sat up
and watched - bucket of water at hand - as the fireworks exploded
In early August, we visited Monastir Marina in Tunisia. After
some tours in 110° heat, we discovered August wasn't the
best time to visit the Sahara. Monastir would be a good place
to winter, however, especially for those who speak French. Needing
to escape the heat, we flew to Marseilles, where Dorothy bought
a Marseille cap to replace the one she'd lost in Israel, and
then took the train to the cool of the Alps. Here's a great bargain
- if you can prove that you're over 72 years of age, you get
to ride the lifts and cable cars at no charge. They just waived
us on with the caution to "be careful". If you're over
62, you get 50% off fares for all French trains - including the
superfast TGV. You need to buy a senior pass for about $40, but
it's also good for discounts on some hotels.
Once back to the boat, we headed to southern Sardinia. Bad weather
forced us to stop at Carlo Forte, an interesting town with back
canals. Our next stop was Mahon, the main port at Spain's Balearic
Island of Minorca. We got there in time for their festival, the
highlight of which is that stands all over the town offer you
free mixed drinks consisting of Mahon gin and lemon soda. Needless
to say, it was a happy time. The moorings were full, but we found
space on one of the rafts. We were assisted in docking by a naked
lady with big boobs - but Dorothy wouldn't let Larry take any
pics. 'Clothing optional' was the standard for the raft, and
there was an open-air shower that everyone used. To a certain
extent the raft also had electrical power, as we had to check
with the other boats to see how many amps they were using before
we could turn anything on. There was also a picnic table in the
center of the raft. After enjoying the festivities in town, we
all congregated around the table on the raft to continue with
the gin and lemon drinks until 2:00 a.m.
After two weeks of festivities in Mahon, we left for Mallorca's
Porto Colon for some rest. It was Larry's 72nd birthday, and
somehow we ended up with a couple dozen aboard Shayna
to celebrate the occasion. But when a southerly kicked up, it
got super rolly, so we headed off to Barcelona for the winter.
We just can't say enough about Barcelona, as there is so much
to see and do. The architecture is fabulous, museums abound,
and just strolling the narrow streets reveals countless interesting
shops and sites. The concerts in the beautiful Gaudi designed
Palau de la Music were outstanding, but unfortunately we didn't
get to enjoy an opera as they were booked solid until the following
summer. This was the first winter we've spent where people other
than us spoke English - in fact, the crews of more than 100 boats
spoke English. The resulting social life and activities had to
be experienced to be appreciated. Marina Port Vell was a bit
more expensive than we were used to in the Eastern Med, especially
since we had to pay high prices for electricity and water. But
we did have land line phones, free Internet access, delivery
service from the supermarket, and other conveniences. Barcelona
also has facilities to make any kinds of repairs that a cruising
boat might need.
Shayna is now on the hard at Aguadulce Marina on Spain's
Costa Del Sol, awaiting our return - and a much needed bottom
job. This December we hope to head for the Canary Islands and
cross the Atlantic. Our goal is to be in Trinidad in time for
Carnaval. Having been in Europe for so long, we know so many
boats crossing the Atlantic that we could probably all hold hands
from the Canaries to the Caribbean.
We'll leave you with some of our general impressions of four
years in the Med and comparisons with our old stompin' grounds
in Baja and the Caribbean. Our favorite place in the Med? There's
no such place, but Croatia is a favorite for its nearly 1,000
picture perfect islands, quiet anchorages, reasonable prices,
great national parks, and accessibility to inland cities such
as Vienna, Prague and Budapest. Israel had the least expensive
first class marinas, great supermarkets, and while there we enjoyed
a real sense of being at the beginning of creation while witnessing
history in the making. What a dynamic country and people. We
left, of course, just before the outbreak of Israeli-Palestinian
hostilities. Italy is great for food and her vibrant and outgoing
people. Worst national capital city? Athens, Greece - by a long
shot. It's the pits! We haven't got a clue how they will be able
to hold the next Olympics there. Spain would be memorable if
only for Barcelona, but there is so much more.
Reports of water pollution all over the Med are greatly exaggerated,
but there are some bad spots. Greece is often touted as the tourist
mecca with all the stuff and guff about ancient relics and the
cradle of civilization, but for our money, Turkey is where you
really get to see ancient history and where East meets West.
Our money went a lot further in Turkey, too. Don't expect to
find white sand beaches in the Med as you find in the Caribbean
and Baja, as it's mostly cobblestones and pebbles. Similarly,
there's no suitable place in the Med for all year warm water
swimming in clear water. The temperatures are more like offshore
San Diego. The summer days are warmer while the winters are colder.
The winds are more unpredictable in the Med, and can blow at
near gale force during any month. Localized currents can be very
Port and cruising fees are quite reasonable in the Med, and there
are a minimum of local bureaucrats and paperwork. English is
widely spoken - with the exceptions of Greece, Italy, and most
inland rural areas. Don't be discouraged, however, as a smile
still goes a long way.
Don't look for West Marine or anything like it. Most chandleries
are mom & pop operations, and are comparatively expensive.
Imports can be had, but VAT (value added tax) and other taxes
and delays can get expensive and be frustrating. Med wine is
universally good to excellent - and cheap by California standards.
Marina fees are only pricey during the prime season, and once
you learn the ropes, you can usually avoid the marinas. Skilled
craftsmen and various boat technicians are less expensive on
the whole than stateside, but caution is always the watchword.
Diesel/gasoline runs double or more than in the States, but hey,
that's why we have sails, right?
SSB is the preferred yachtie talk-talk over the dominant Baja-Carib
Ham nets, but we wouldn't leave home without either. Long distance
phone calls can be quite expensive, but cyber cafes are common
and inexpensive. Bless onboard Winlink-Ham for free email. Dining
ashore in the Med is like most places - if you eat local food
in locals' places, you can dine well at not too great expense.
Fish and stateside style steaks, however, can be very pricey.
Needless to say, we are not travelling on a skinny budget - but
we're not extravagant either.
We came to the Med for a year or so, but have discovered that
our four year sojourn is not enough!
- dorothy & larry 6/5/02
Larry and Dorothy - Your last comment
reminds us of the Northern California folks from Aztec. They intended to cruise the Med for one
year, but ended up staying for seven. Even then, they claimed
that they had only scratched the surface. By the way, both the
Wanderer and Doña de Mallorca agree with your assessment
Sea Angel - Kelly-Peterson 44
Northern California To Northeast
I departed San Francisco Bay nearly three years ago, and have
now cruised to Rhode Island via the Panama Canal. I've singlehanded
at least 80% of the time - including a very difficult passage
from Cartagena, Columbia, to Aruba. Without question, I would
rather have a lady cruising partner than travel solo, but when
it came down to either going alone or not going at all . . .
well, here I am. I don't regret it the least bit, either, as
the last few years has been a wonderful growing experience for
me. I have also made several wonderful friends along the way,
and thanks to SailMail, stay in regular contact with them.
I've realized, however, that I have a limit to sailing alone.
As much as I want to do a circumnavigation, doing it singlehanded
would be just too much time alone. I've already had some cruising
couples tell me, "You appear too normal to be a singlehanded
cruiser!" I'd like to stay normal, too, as I have seen first
hand the effects of spending too much time alone on a boat. Trust
me, I'm beginning to feel the effects of it myself, so I'm about
to get off my boat for a couple of months.
My three years of cruising has taken me from Northern California
to the Sea of Cortez, mainland Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador,
Costa Rica, Panama, Columbia, the islands of Venezuela, up the
Windwards and Leewards, through the Virgins, Puerto Rico, and
the Dominican Republic, through the Caicos and Bahamas, and finally
returning to the U.S. at Florida. Having transited the Panama
Canal just last October, I haven't spent that much time in the
Caribbean. I wanted to stay longer, but with hurricane season
approaching I felt the need to get as far north as possible.
This fall I'm planning to return to the islands of warm sunshine
and clear water.
After arriving at Florida, I traveled north and through the Chesapeake
Bay - which is truly a gunkholer's paradise with countless coves
and anchorages. I'll definitely return some day. As for the Delaware
Bay and all its shoal areas, I was happy to just be able to get
through it. After a quick stop in Atlantic City to refuel, change
the oil, and rest for a few hours, I was heading north again
by 4:30 a.m. There wasn't much wind, but the mirror flat seas
made for comfortable traveling. I had a great trip around New
York City, although it was too hazy for good photographs. I finally
got to see Lady Liberty, one of my main motivations for traveling
to New York. Taking advantage of the strong and favorable currents,
I made 11 knots SOG (speed over ground) motoring up the East
River for a short time. I decided to travel further up the river
than I had planned, and when a storm came through, I had to ride
it out on the hook in an open roadstead. The rocky bottom didn't
afford the best holding, so I didn't sleep so well that night.
Yesterday, I covered the 75 miles to Block Island, Rhode Island
- in exactly 12 hours. It was fantastic sailing, particularly
near the end, with 15-20 knots of wind on the beam and a knot
of favorable current. I was making 8.5-9.5 knots over the bottom.
Yee-HAAA! That's the kind of stuff that keeps me coming back
for more! But in terms of climate, it had been like sailing from
San Diego to San Francisco Bay in less than an hour. I left warm
and humid New York wearing only light shorts, but I quickly sailed
into much cooler air with fog. Before long, I had to put on a
sweat shirt and breeze-breaker as the cold winds really picked
up. There was no way I was going to use the solar shower that
night, as it was freezing! Hey, this boy's blood is pretty thin
after a couple years in the tropics!
Block Island is a very protected and comfortable harbor, so it
was peaceful on the hook even though the wind blew all night.
It's now the next morning and the pea soup fog is so thick that
I can't see the channel. Yep, it's exactly like San Francisco
Bay in the summer. I will rest here today, hopefully go to shore,
and tomorrow morning depart for my final 55-mile leg to Falmouth,
Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Having been born and raised in nearby
Athol, and having lived for two wild and crazy summers in Falmouth
before moving to California in January 1975, returning here on
my own boat has been a monumental goal for me.
I first started reading Latitude in the late '70s when
I became fascinated by the letters written by cruisers living
and traveling around the world on their boats. I soon decided
that I wanted to share that experience. Although it took me nearly
20 years to buy my first boat, I'm doing it - and I love it!
Thanks for the motivation, Latitude, you certainly had
a grand effect on my life.
- marc 7/2/2002
Marc - Thanks for the kind words, it
really makes us feel good. We once had Big
O up in Block Island for a Fourth of July, and we've never
seen such thick fog. It took the water taxi and one of our crew
90 minutes to find our 71-footer - which was only a couple of
hundred yards away. How the sailors of the Northeast managed
in the days before electronic navigation and radar is beyond
By the way, we still have your report on the wicked trip from
Cartagena to Aruba. We'll try to squeeze it into one of the upcoming
Moonshadow - Deerfoot 62
Cruising The Mamanuthas In Fiji
It has been nearly six weeks since Moonshadow made landfall
here in Fiji. I have been a bit remiss on tapping out any sort
of an update, but there has been no shortage of things to do.
Between post-rally festivities, yacht maintenance, guest visits,
working on my Dive Master's certification, and a bit of fun here
and there, life has seemed to maintain that first-world pace
- even though we are supposed to be on much slower 'Fiji Time'.
I've been based out of the Musket Cove YC on Malolo Lailai Island,
which is about eight miles west of the mainland island of Viti
Levu. Musket Cove - more on it later - is an excellent home base
for cruisers wishing to casually visit some of the lovely islands
and anchorages in the Mamanuthas.
The Mamanuthas are a group of 20 small islands lying to the west
of Viti Levu island, which is 'mainland' Fiji. Many of the islands
are volcanic in nature, giving them dramatic topography, and
most have a bit of beautiful white or yellow sand beach. They
are protected from the west, south and east by barrier reefs
or islands, and generally receive less wind and rain than the
other island groups. If you come to this part of Fiji on vacation,
odds are that you'll have good weather. The sailing is easy,
but the area is pocked with coral reefs and sand shoals, so movement
can only be undertaken when the weather is settled and the sun
is high - about 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Only a handful of the islands
offer good overnight anchorages, but in settled weather it is
easy to make day visits to many of the islands as the distances
are relatively short.
A few days after our arrival, I was invited to spend a day aboard
Peter Churchouse's beautiful 65-foot Alan Warwick-designed Moonblue
II. We cruised about nine miles north to the island of Eluvuka,
and enjoyed a leisurely lunch at the lovely Treasure Island Resort.
This place is a nice and quiet little getaway for couples and
families who are immune to 'rock fever' and are content to relax
in one spot. In addition to the usual island activities, the
resort has squeezed in a pool, tennis court, and play area for
Our first excursion aboard my Moonshadow was a day trip
to the tiny island of Etui, which is nine miles to the north
of Musket Cove and next to Eluvuka. We took about a dozen visiting
friends from the Ponsonby Cruising Club with us, so it was more
of a party cruise than a sailing adventure. We had lunch, a few
beers in the beachfront bar, and did some swimming and sunbathing
on the beautiful beach before steaming back to Musket Cove for
If you're looking for peace and quiet, you'll want to avoid the
island of Etai, because it rocks! It's home to the Beachcomber
Resort, which targets young and more active holidaymakers - sort
of the Club Med of Fiji. Accommodations range from a dormitory
for backpackers, to private bures (thatched bungalows) for the
less budget-conscious and/or those seeking some privacy. Meals
are all buffet style. The resort offers all the typical island
activities such as SCUBA diving, personal watercraft, water skiing,
parasailing, snorkeling, volleyball, and so forth. Every night
there is island entertainment, live music, and dancing on the
sand floor of the main lodge that pumps 'til way past midnight.
Visitors to Etai don't need much more than a bathing suit and
a T-shirt. Forget the hiking boots, as it's less than a two-minute
walk from one side of the island to the other, and a circumnavigation
wouldn't take more than 10 minutes. Beachcomber is about 10 miles
from the mainland - and a million miles from reality.
I took a singlehanded cruise up to Mana Island, which is about
nine miles to the northwest of Musket Cove. Mana is a scenic
island with a native village, two backpacker's resorts, and an
upscale resort. The beach on the north side is stunning, and
belongs to the upscale resort. But the only anchorage is in a
small lagoon on the south side near the backpacker's resort and
local village. The backpackers' resort reminded me of a minimum-security
prison - crowded, noisy, dirty, and their beach was covered in
litter. While the lagoon offered good protection for my boat
on the hook, one night was enough for me!
A few days later, I sailed over to Port Denerau to do some provisioning
at Nadi, Veti Levu. While there, I picked up longtime cruising
friends Cindy and Tim from Total Devotion, who had come to Fiji
for a week's visit. We spent a couple days in Musket Cove catching
up, and then visited a couple spots nearby: beautiful and dramatic
Qalito Island and the Castaway Resort; Port Denerau again where
we picked up Gretchen, my lovely ladyfriend from Auckland; Navadra,
an island just vacated after being used for the Irish version
of Survivor; Musket Cove again; Port Denerau again to drop off
my friends, and back to home base at Musket Cove.
Musket Cove not only possesses the physical features of a good
anchorage - such as good protection from the weather, good holding,
room for lots of yachts, and beautiful surroundings - but is
also home to the Musket Cove YC and Resort. The latter goes a
long way toward attracting and supporting the cruising fleet.
Musket Cove derives its name from the original purchase price
- one musket - for this beautiful 6,000 acre island that was
originally used as a coconut plantation. It was purchased by
yachtie Dick Smith in 1964 for "many muskets". He has
developed the island into three resorts, including one timeshare,
and added a golf course, marina, airstrip, and a few private
homes. The island is self-contained, making its own electricity
from a diesel generator, getting water from rain catchment systems
and underground springs, and even treating its own waste.
The only prerequisite for membership in the yacht club is that
you must have sailed into Musket Cove on a yacht from a foreign
port. Lifetime membership is affordable even for cruisers on
a budget - just $1 Fijian, which is about 50 cents US. For that,
you get a membership card, which entitles you to the use of all
the yacht club and resort facilities on the island, your name
and yacht name carved on a beam in the yacht club, and hefty
discounts on travel to the mainland via the Malolo Cat ferry.
And the facilities are excellent, particularly for this part
of the world. The yacht club has a bar and big-screen cable TV
in case you want to have a beer and catch up on world news or
the latest sporting event. Attached to the yacht club is a restaurant/bar/pool
complex open to members.
Musket Cove is not a five-star mega resort, just a relaxed place
where the not very rich and not at all famous from all over the
world come to get away for a casual holiday. During the day it's
no shoes, no shirts, and no worries. Come nightfall, a shirt
and shorts - or a sulu - are standard dress. If you come here,
you can pack light and leave your designer gear behind. The Musket
Cove Marina has room for at least a dozen yachts to Med moor.
The fee is F$14 a day, F$85 a week or F$318 a month. Deep water
moorings are just over half that. The current exchange is about
$2 Fijian to 1$ US. If the mooring and anchoring fees are too
dear for your budget, there is plenty of room to anchor out in
the bay for absolutely nothing.
A few steps from the marina at the Boatshed complex is a PADI
five-star dive facility, a water-toy rental, as well as all the
amenities that make a cruiser's life easier. The shower/toilet
facilities are clean and well maintained. There is Internet access,
laundry, mail, phone, fax and trash disposal. Fuel, fresh water
and LPG are available dockside. There are also some limited marine
repair facilities on the island near the airstrip. If you wish
to leave your yacht for the summer season, there is even an inner
lagoon designated as a 'hurricane hole'. If that isn't enough
for you, there is also a very well stocked general store. At
the Musket Cove Trader, you can find everything from blue cheese
to bilge pumps. Fresh bread, fruits and veggies arrive daily
from the mainland. With the exception of off-sale adult bevies,
the prices are very reasonable. When you need to load up the
'fun locker', you can hop on the Malolo Cat ferry and hit one
of the grog shops in Nadi.
A few steps from the seaward end of the marina dock is a small,
palm-studded island with a thatched-roof kiosk-type bar surrounded
by lots of picnic tables. The Island Bar has one price - $3 -
for all drinks. So everyone here just calls it the "Three
Dollar Bar". In fact, it is pretty famous with yachties
all over the world, who might know it as the $2 or $2.50 Bar
from days past when things were less expensive. This is the most
popular spot for sundowners, as it offers a good view of both
the beach and the lagoon to the east. Adjacent to the bar are
some industrial-sized barbeques that seem to be fired up most
every evening. You can bring in your own food and throw it on
the barbie and keep your own galley cool.
For a meal out, my favorite spot is Ananda's next to the airstrip.
The staff is very friendly, the food is tasty island style, the
wine list reasonable, and most evenings there is a string band
playing a blend of island and pop music. Wami, a dwarf who barely
overstands his massive acoustical guitar, heads up the band and
sings in a unique, near falsetto voice. The band play around
a large cocktail table on which sits a tanoa, a large wooden
kava bowl. It is apparent that this bowl has seen lots of use,
as it is well seasoned and even has a little cast supporting
one leg. Between songs the boys pass the bilo, a half coconut
shell containing kava, to any of the guests wishing to partake
in the muddy looking - and tasting - local grog. There are always
some good harmonies, and a group of people gathered around having
a good time Fiji style.
For some real action you can head next door to the Plantation
Island Resort for the weekly crab or frog races. The Fijian auctioneer
does an excellent job of hyping up the event, and some of the
locals do a good job of bidding up prices for the livestock.
Owners of the animals that win, place, or show, split most of
the takings from the auction - which can go into the hundreds
of dollars. If you have any energy left after that, you can stay
and dance the night away to some mostly cheesy disco music.
Musket Cove is generally a cashless society. Anything at the
resort or yacht club can be charged to your room or yacht, and
you can pay your bill once a month by credit card and when you
depart. Fiji is still in the 'no tipping zone'.
It's no wonder it is so easy to linger in Fiji. Yeah, maybe we
will leave next week.
- george 5/15/02
Relativity - Beneteau First 53
Hall & Wendy Palmer
Kemer Marina, Turkey
We are just now back in Kemer, Turkey, resting up after the 30
days and 1,500 miles of the 13th Annual Eastern Med Yacht Rally,
an event that can only be described as overwhelming. This year's
event was a big success despite the fact that there were only
38 official entries - as opposed to more than 100 in other years.
This year's fleet seemed to be made of sterner stuff and/or there
was better weather, as 25 starters ultimately made it to Port
Said, Egypt - the largest number ever.
The EMYR bears little resemblance to the Baja Ha-Ha or Caribbean
1500. For one thing, it has at least quasi-government sponsorship.
Secondly, it has a social schedule involving numerous notables
- including one president of a country and several ambassadors
- and a nonstop land tour agenda that has evolved over the past
12 years which has to be experienced to be appreciated both in
terms of logistics and political overtones. Sailing was almost
incidental to the event, with the itinerary based on the average
motoring potential of the fleet. This year, however, we were
blessed with excellent weather and enjoyed several days of ideal
sailing to break up the motoring.
The well-publicized troubles in the Middle East, slower worldwide
economy, and reduced tourism in general had caused us to question
the wisdom of participating in the EMYR this year, but the infectious
enthusiasm of Hasan Kacmaz - our Marina Manager at Kemer Marina
and chief organizer of the Rally - made it all but impossible
not to at least start out with the group from Kemer on the first
leg of the 'Grand Start' to Girne (or Kyrenia) in the Turkish
Republic of Northern Cyprus. So we set sail with 41 other yachts
on May 17, and resolved to stay with the program only so long
as we felt safe in doing so.
As it turned out, U.S. entries were the largest national constituency,
making up almost 25% of the total fleet. This gave Wendy and
I some comfort with our decision to press ahead with our plan
to do the event. Prospects for crew had also been doubtful, but
longtime friends Clark and Marga Hamm agreed to come along on
a leg-by-leg basis. If things started to look bad, it would be
understood that they would bail.
The actual start of the EMYR is supposed to be in Istanbul, approximately
500 sea miles from Kemer. There were no takers that far north
this year, and the fleet didn't reach critical mass until much
closer to Kemer. We missed the first nine scheduled stops, all
within Turkey, by electing to let the rally catch up with us
in Kemer, where we had wintered the boat. We are glad we didn't
start until we did, as the remaining four weeks of the rally,
plus the 400 mile sail back to Kemer, were enough to exhaust
us completely. I doubt we could have taken two more weeks at
such a pace.
In any event, the 'Grand Start' of the EMYR is from Kemer, and
is preceded with four nights of partying and preliminary events
including a 'mini Olympics' involving a tug-of-war and other
events similar to summer camp. This was a competition between
sub-fleets which served to build team spirit within these units,
and to introduce our Group Leaders, who would be responsible
for coordinating four categories of similar-sized yachts in their
position reporting and docking procedures along the way. The
fleet was escorted throughout the rally by two Turkish Coast
Guard warships, which were there to provide assistance as needed
during the course of the trip. The crews of these vessels hosted
the fleet twice during the Rally, in addition to playing the
role of Good Shepherds as we sailed East.
Leg One. The first leg out of Kemer was across 155 miles of open
water to Northern Cyprus. All the yachts were expected to complete
the passage within 28 hours to keep to the social schedule -
which is a critical component of the Rally. In prior years this
leg had been a killer for some of the smaller boats, but this
year we started with a fine reach which had us all well down
the course before the wind died away about midnight. About that
time, the French entry Zig Zag reported a very ill crewmember.
He was taken off by the Coast Guard escort and rushed to a hospital
where his appendix was removed. Zig Zag continued on to
Cyprus with her two remaining crew, and completed the Rally without
We all motored the rest of the way to Girne within the schedule,
and that evening were in our best formal dress for a reception
hosted for us by Rauf Denktas, the President of the Turkish Republic
of Northern Cyprus, in the old castle which dominates the harbor
entrance. This party set the tone for the days to come, with
speeches by the President, the Turkish Ambassador - Turkey being
the only country in the world which recognizes the Turkish Republic
of Northern Cyprus - and awards presentations in which plaques
were awarded to virtually everyone with a hand in our reception
The castle is also the site of the Sunken Ship Museum, which
houses the remains of the oldest working ship - 2,000 years old
- ever salvaged. It is still recognizable as a sailing ship,
with some cargo intact. The exhibit has special meaning to us,
as Nancy Palmer, my sister, was one of the divers on the salvage
project some 30 years ago.
The next two days were taken up with bus tours of local attractions
including Nicosia, a divided city with a no man's land between
the Greeks and the Turks, and Famagusta, the embargoed port in
Turkish Cyprus, which is next to the abandoned European Free
Trade Zone of empty hotels and businesses. They were vacated
overnight 27 years ago, and still stand empty awaiting resolution
of the island's tragic confrontation between Greece and Turkey.
Our second night in Cyprus included a dress up Pirate Costume
Party with the usual belly dancer at the classic Dome Hotel.
The following day's tour was followed by a twilight departure
for Mersin, 107 miles away on the Turkish mainland. This was
the kind of hectic pace - a night passage followed by arrival
at a new port where the social schedule was underway by the time
the docklines were secure - went on for a month. Our Beneteau
First 53 was one of the fastest boats in the Rally and had a
crew of four. Many of the other yachts were significantly slower,
and many had only two or three on board. The opportunities to
rest were few and far between, and we can only marvel at the
stamina of some of our counterparts.
Leg Two. We were the first boat into Mersin, which is an industrial
city with little charm in its own right, and a harbor that was
very foul from a sewer outfall. But it is very close to Tarsus,
which claims to be the home of the remains of St. Paul's house
and many other antiquities of interest, so it was onto the buses
again for the next two days with dinners, speeches, and awards
on both nights, before leaving on a mercifully short 78-mile
passage down the Turkish coast to Iskenderun.
Leg Three. Our crew did not do too well with the night passaging
pattern, and so we elected to leave slightly early and make an
unscheduled stop apart from the fleet at a little fishing port.
We enjoyed some dinner and rest at the stop, then sailed the
rest of the way to Iskenderun the next morning. Iskenderun, probably
more familiar to most as the site of ancient Antioch, was our
last port in Turkey. It is still claimed by Syria and shown as
Syrian on most Syrian maps. The Turks have held it since 1936
and show no interest in returning it to Syria. Iskenderun has
excellent Roman and early Christian ruins, rock tombs, and other
curiosities which we toured by bus between parties.
Leg Four. On May 26, we departed Iskenderun for Lattakia, Syria,
a distance of 78 miles to be sailed at night. Once again Relativity
broke with the fleet, as we left early and stopped enroute at
a small Turkish fishing village near the Syrian border. We had
dinner ashore there while tied to the local Coast Guard pier
- with an armed guard protecting our boat from the curious. From
this point on we would be leaving the safe and informal atmosphere
of Turkey and assume a convoy-like discipline of order in passaging
appropriate to a war zone, where each country patrols its coastline
for hostile vessels. Various zones were off limits, so prompt
and accurate position reporting became the order of the day.
The marina at Lattakia was secure, and we were made to feel very
welcome. However, tension immediately arose over tour prices
and arrangements which our Turkish hosts had thought prearranged.
This lead to strong words and bruised feelings. Syria is very
unlike Turkey, as it is vociferously Arab and autocratic, with
military and roadblocks everywhere. Other than the disputes over
prices, the tour personnel could not have been nicer, and we
toured the countryside to Damascus and Palmyra by the ever present
buses. Now, however, we were escorted by carloads of four armed
men with machine guns, riding ahead of and behind the buses,
and changing off as we went through any number of roadblocks.
For anyone interested in seeing the Arab Middle East without
the hassle of crowds, now is the time to go. Places such as Palmyra,
which would normally be hosting thousands, were all but abandoned.
We had them all to ourselves - except for the few hardy tradesmen
selling postcards, books, rugs and whatever, who keep lonely
vigil hoping for a return of the tourists. This phenomenon was
most apparent in Syria, Lebanon and Israel, but even Egypt -
which is spending fortunes on advertising - was all but empty
of tourists. There was easy access and no waiting for the Pyramids,
Sphinx, and Cairo Museum.
Our first major stop in Syria was the ancient city of Damascus,
still capital of Syria, where we were served a Bedouin-style
dinner on cushioned benches within a traditional Islamic holy
religious complex. The event featured a whirling dervish and
other very athletic male dancers who met us a block away. They
led us to their establishment to the sound of drums, pausing
only for a ritual sword dance in a small courtyard. The next
day we drove 150 kilometers through the countryside to Palmyra,
which was once 'Queen of the Desert' along the ancient caravan
Palmyra is truly a wonder. After hours of driving into the desert,
you come upon a large classical stone city, where you least would
expect it, and absolutely empty of people or vegetation. The
hours of busing along a narrow highway in air conditioned comfort
makes us wonder at the men who built the place by hand and travelled
to it - through some of the most hostile landscape imaginable
- on foot. It's now dotted with tanks and bunkers with antiaircraft
sites - all cooking under the hot sun.
[Continued next month.]
- hall & wendy 6/25/02
Escapade - Caliber 40 LRC
John and Patti White
ICA Rally From N.Z. To Tonga
Greetings from Tonga! We've just participated in the Island Cruising
Association (of New Zealand) Rally to Tonga. The ICA is a New
Zealand-based organization of bluewater cruisers that is run
by Joan and Brian Hepburn. There were 25 boats in this year's
rally, which started on May 4 from Opua in the Bay of Islands.
The finish line was at the Royal Sunset Resort on Atata Island
in the Tongatapu Group. Everyone gathered at the Opua Cruising
Club three days before the start for briefings and to get to
know one another. We also placed our orders with ICA for duty-free
liquor, meat, vegetables, and diesel. The ICA was able to provide
us an additional discount on these things - a nice bonus! We
all went through check-out with the New Zealand officials on
the 3rd, after which we were able to get our diesel. The other
duty-free items were picked up later that day.
After a group photo early on the 4th, we had a 10 a.m. start
in ideal conditions - southwest winds to 15 knots. It was a beautiful
sight to see so many boats at sail, parading up through the Bay
of Islands and out to sea. The majority of the 25 boats were
Kiwi, but there were four from the United States - Hawaiian
Song, Libby Lane, Sunrise, and us - and one each from Austria,
Switzerland, and South Africa. The boats ranged in size from
38 feet to 60 feet, with the average being around 50 feet. What
a shock to discover that our 40-footer was one of the smallest
boats in the fleet!
During the passage, each boat was expected to join the nightly
radio schedule with John Goater of Auckland Cruising Radio. Each
boat would report their position, course, and boat speed. We
were provided forms to record every boat's position, so we were
always aware of what boats were in our area. Many of the boats
stopped off enroute at Minerva Reef for a day or two, but we
did not. Our arrival into Tonga couldn't have been easier. As
we neared the outer reef near Atata Island, we were instructed
to call Royal Sunset Island Resort on VHF for assistance. Terry
and David Hunt, owners of the resort and experienced cruisers,
then sent someone out in a longboat to guide us through the reef
to the sandy anchorage off the resort. The rally arranged to
have the Tongan Customs, Immigration, and Agriculture officials
at the resort, so that check-in procedures were a snap. Normally,
boats entering Tonga from the south are required to go to the
capital, Nuku'alofa, for check-in. After a seven-day passage,
having that first step ashore be on a sandy beach at a beautiful
island resort sure beats scrambling around the city trying to
As the remaining boats arrived over the next few days, the Royal
Sunset came alive with activities. The resort has individual
fales (bungalows) for land-based guests, plus a large dining
room, bar, dive shop, saltwater swimming pool, beach, and so
forth - all the things that we had missed on the passage. There
was a Regatta Sport Day, which was a day of organized games -
lawn tennis, and pitch-and-putt golf, and our particular favorite,
lawn bowling using coconuts - among the rally participants. We
had a costume party one night, where everyone was to dress as
something beginning with the letter "M". We had Martians
and mermaids, marshmallows and meringue, moms and mysteries,
mouse-pirates, and of course M&Ms. Another night was devoted
to protests and stories. We were encouraged to protest anything
and everything about the rally results. The last night at Atata
Island was devoted to prize giving, and each boat was provided
an assortment of gifts - i.e. Tongan baskets, hats, books, toys
- a group photo, a certificate of passage completion, and a ICA
The cost of the rally was $350 NZ plus $35 NZ for an annual membership
to the ICA - a total of about $160 US. For that, we got T-shirts,
a canvas briefcase, and a Kiwi Cruising Log - but more importantly,
a fun, safe, expedited trip between New Zealand and Tonga. For
more information on the Island Cruising Association, go to www.islandcruising.co.nz,
or you can Brian and Joan.
- john & patti 7/15/02
Too good to be true? A friend of John and Renne Prentice of the
San Diego-based Serendipity 43 Scarlett O'Hara tells us
that the couple did a Baja Bash - starting from Mazatlan, no
less - to San Diego in 5.5 days. We know Monroe Wingate sailed
Scarlett in the Admiral's Cup in the early '80s, then
the World Series of ocean racing, but a 43-footer averaging nearly
eight knots to weather for 1,000 miles? We suspect something
must have gotten lost in the retelling, but would love to hear
the facts and learn what strategy was employed.
If you followed the Singlehanded TransPac and Vic-Maui Races,
you know it's been mostly light out in the Pacific this year.
So light that friends of Peter and Susan Wolcott of the Kapaa,
Kauai-based SC 52 Kiapa tell us that it took them 21 days
to sail from Mexico to Hawaii. Twenty-one days! A slower boat
making the same passage took even longer and apparently nearly
ran out of water. The Wolcott's have reportedly since departed
Hawaii for the South Pacific.
"It's been an eventful winter and spring for us in San Diego,"
reports Christopher Paton-Gay of the Victoria, B.C.-based 71-ft
staysail schooner Tina Christine. "In January, my
wife Monica and I had a grounding that ultimately cost us $11,000.
We spent February hauled out at Driscoll's Yard. Then my stepdaughter
darted across Shelter Island Drive without looking and got thunked
by an SUV - resulting in a $23,000 US hospital bill. We were
going to write about cruising budgets, but after these events,
we think we'll wait awhile. Our brighter moments saw us racing
in the American Schooner Cup and taking Raven's ship colors,
then doing the Newport to Ensenada Race. We've probably been
one of the longest anchored guests ever in San Diego, so we'd
like to thank Chip and Bob at the San Diego Harbor Police mooring
office. They've been great hosts. We're going to be heading up
to San Francisco, Victoria, B.C., Alaska, Victoria again, and
points south. As such, we're going to miss the many wonderful
people - on and off the water - in San Diego. We've never enjoyed
such wonderful hospitality and friendship. We also can't say
enough good things about Driscoll Boatworks in San Diego either,
as they stayed on quote and schedule, and treated us like royalty
during the difficult times after the car accident. We've enjoyed
meeting so many southbound and northbound cruisers over the past
couple of years, and had fun organizing and running the Baja
Ha-Ha 'fuel-a-thons'. By the way, Richard and Marianne Brown
of the M/V Destiny are going to organize the Third Annual Ha-Ha
Fuel-a-thon in San Diego. If anybody wants to know anything about
San Diego or cruising Southern California, they
can feel free to .
"Thanks to Biagio Maddaloni on the Victoria-based Hans Christian
43 Lil' Gem, there will be yet another Puddle Jump get-together,
this time at the Bora Bora YC," reports Clark Straw of the
San Diego-based Mason 54 Final Straw. "Our class
of Puddle Jumpers has got to be one of the most partying groups
to ever make the Coconut Milk Run! As was the case at Cook's
Bay, Moorea, we'll have some fantastic musical entertainment
at the Bora Bora YC from the likes of Louise from Lil' Gem,
Greg Morehead from the Ventura-based Cheoy Lee 38 Gitana,
Lesley Hazeldine from the Gabriola, B.C.-based Beneteau First
37 North Road, and Phil Hayward from the Compteche-based
Cal 36 Cherokee Spirit. In addition, direct from
last year's Puddle Jump, we'll be joined by the fiddling expertise
of the folks from Irish Melody. The event will be held
at the Bora Bora YC, which will be sold out for dinner, but afterwards
everyone will be welcome for the jam session and dancing on the
The last time the Wanderer was at the Bora Bora YC - which was
actually a restaurant - nobody was allowed inside until they
kissed the tip of the . . . well, erection that came out of one
of the posts that supported the roof. Is that tradition still
alive or was it blown away - pardon the pun - along with the
original club by a tropical cyclone several years ago?
"We just returned from a six-week cruise in the Exumas in
the Bahamas and had a blast - even though it is very different
than Mexico," report Michael Beattie and Layne Goldman of
the Gemini 31 catamaran Miki G - which originally sailed
out of Santa Cruz but is now out of Key West. Question: Who settled
the Exumas? Answer: Americans who remained loyal to the Crown
after the Revolutionary War.
Steve Nash, the airline pilot and owner of the Marina Paradise-based
Hans Christian 38 Mendota, had never really raced before
taking second place in Division 9 of the Banderas Bay Regatta.
He was chuffed at the result, of course, in part because he sailed
with a novice crew each day. When we ran into Nash a few months
later at the Catalina Blues Festival, he wondered if there was
any chance we could run the photo we took of him and one of his
crews after the regetta - "to help my credibility".
Well, heck yeah we can run the photo. Check it out.
Stockton's Bill Chapman and his crew of three aboard the Swan
47 Bones VIII had a good sail from California to Tahiti,
reports Angela Konig, Chapman's ladyfriend. Konig will be joining
Chapman in Tahiti for the rest of the Coconut Milk Run across
the Pacific and down to New Zealand. Bill and his late wife Diana
had done a seven-year circumnavigation aboard the same boat.
"There is a good marina here at Bocas del Toro, Panama,
and the slip fees are very reasonable," report Curt and
Leigh Ingram of the Newport Beach-based Cheoy Lee Pedrick 36
First Star. In addition, there's a good surf spot about
a mile away. The town of Bocas del Toro has friendly people,
and provisioning is not too difficult. But it is hot and humid,
with moderate mosquito-no-see-ums."
"After doing the Ha-Ha in 2000 with my Hunter 340 Wanderlust,
and then doing a single-handed Baja Bash," reports Mike
Harker of Marina del Rey, "I'm now headed across the Atlantic
on my new Hunter 466.
"I single-handed out of Jacksonville, Florida, stopped at
Mayport for a Coast Guard inspection, and arrived in Bermuda
exactly six days later. I spent the next two days sleeping and
sightseeing, and in the process discovered how wonderful the
Bermudans are. The town of St. Georges was an excellent addition
to my list of ports of call. At the moment, I am about halfway
to the Azores, where I will be working with the head writer for
a major German magazine on a six-page feature story. While there,
I will also welcome two guests aboard - Juergen, who is a German
media and marketing specialist, and his Spanish father-in-law,
who owns the land in Ibiza on which the four resorts Juergen
manages are on. Club Punta Arabi, one of these resorts, is where
I will be based for the summer and fall while producing a 15-episode
TV series around the western Med."
For those not familiar with Ibiza, the third smallest of the
four Balearic Islands of Spain, it remains perhaps the most hedonistic
place on earth. We're talking sex, drugs, and music unlike perhaps
anywhere else. It's so party oriented that the hot discos don't
get going until 4 a.m., and the most famous of them all doesn't
open until after the sun has come up. So bring those shades.
The first six months to a year of cruising is often very tough
on cruising couples. The difficulty often manifests itself in
women revolting against having to do traditionally pink jobs
- such as washing dishes (without a machine), doing laundry (without
an onboard machine), and cleaning the toilet (without weekly
household help). We were recently told the story of a woman who
finally had enough of pink jobs and revolted. She insisted that
she and her husband not divide jobs into pink and blue, but take
turns at whatever came up. Alas, the first blue job was a plugged
toilet. The woman had an epiphany. From then on, she was content
to do the pink jobs. If you're out cruising, we're curious, do
you have pink and blue jobs on your boat, or do both the male
and female do all jobs? While we're at it, do you get along better
or worse since you began cruising? Inquiring minds want to know.
Cheri Sogsti, who did the Ha-Ha aboard the Swan 53 Mistress,
but who has since hooked up with Greg Retkowski of the San Francisco-based
Morgan Out-Island 41 Scirocco, loves to see her photo
in print. "It helps me with my self-esteem," she explains.
So when she came sailing with us, we took some photos. Perhaps
you like this Jane Russell-style pose. Greg and Cheri will return
to Scirocco, currently being stored in Costa Rica, in
October, and then make their way toward the Eastern Caribbean.
Sounds like steel drums. Smells like a spliff. Tastes like rum.
Ah, the Eastern Caribbean!
"While going through some photographs, I came across one
taken on my birthday last July," writes Donna Maloney, who
is spending another summer aboard Nintai in the Sea of
Cortez with Howard Biolos. "I'm the one wearing the pink
hat and the very stylish blue and white pajama top. Hey, it didn't
matter if it made people laugh as long as it kept me from getting
sunburned. The photo was taken in July of last year at Puerto
Escondido, which is near Loreto. For those of you who haven't
been there, it's like a sunken volcano and offers great protection
from the wind and swell. Two summers ago there were hardly any
boats there, but last summer there were a bunch. There are many
coves within Puerto Escondido, and some bored cruisers named
one of them 'Cocktail Cove'. To improve on nature, they then
put a concrete block on the bottom, to which they attached a
line to a floating 'table' made from a 2 by 3-foot piece of styrofoam.
They used other concrete blocks for 'seats' at the table and
to tie up dinghies. The weather in the Sea was very hot in July,
so almost every afternoon at 6 p.m. some of the cruisers would
meet in the cove for drinks and snacks. When we sat on the concrete
blocks eating and drinking, our bodies were submerged up to our
necks. The snacks were placed on the floating table, which was
pushed around so everybody could get some without having to get
out of the refreshing water. On the day the photo was taken,
Howard had secretly gone to Loreto to buy a birthday cake. Boy,
was I surprised when someone drove up to Cocktail Cove in a dinghy,
took out the large cake, and everybody started singing Happy
Birthday! How often does a gal get a surprise pink and white
birthday cake, while enjoying a drink, sitting up to her boobs
in very warm water with colored fish swimming between her legs,
while friends sing Happy Birthday?" (For a
view of the photo, visit the July 2 edition of 'Lectronic
The World Cruising Club's November 24th Atlantic Rally for Cruisers
(ARC) from the Canary Islands to St. Lucia in the Eastern Caribbean
- a distance of 2,700 miles - filled to its 225-boat capacity
in record time this year. This will be the 17th year. Among the
entries are 24 Swans, 15 Oysters, and 15 Hallberg-Rassys, so
it's not a downmarket affair. There will also be 10 Catana catamarans,
three of them Catana 581s.
We understand that one of the Catana 581 entries was to be one
that Northern Californians Mark and David Bernhard, who recently
returned from sea trials on the boat in France. It turns out
she's the second Catana 58 cat delivered in recent months with
a Northern California connection. Tom Wilson reports that his
daughter, Heather Wilson Lockert, and her husband Thorsten, ordered
a Catana 58 at Sail Expo in Oakland last year, and earlier this
summer took delivery of Blue Moon in France. They haven't
gotten much use of her yet, as Thorsten hurt his back during
commissioning, and Heather - quite pregnant - got stuck in the
bilge after the baby shifted in her womb! Not being as spry as
normal, they had a delivery crew sail the boat to the East Coast.
After cruising around the Chesapeake for the summer, they hope
to sail south for the winter. The boat's official homeport will
be New Orleans. You can follow the couple's adventures at www.sigmasoft.com.
Given the tremendous demand for rally participation, the World
Cruising folks - who manage the ARC - have decided to revive
the Atlantic Brazil Caribbean Rally (ABC), which has two legs.
The first leg is a 900-miler starting on November 17 from Lanzorote
in the Canary Islands to Sâo Vincente in the Cape Verdes.
The second leg is 1,950 miles to Salvador de Bahia, Brazil, in
time for Christmas. After a seminar on cruising the coast of
Brazil, participants will be free to make the downwind and downcurrent
sail to the Caribbean. We don't have the exact prices, but the
ARC and ABC usually run about $1,200 per boat. But they put on
a good show, or they wouldn't be so successful.
"Anyone cruising to Central America and having Heinemann
electric circuit breakers - as sold at West Marine under the
Ancor brand and common on better instrument panels - should bring
some spares along as they are not available down here at any
price," report Sven and Sherry Querner of the Sausalito-based,
Brewer-designed, 50-ft steel Reliance. "Looking for
a great hardware store in Guatemala? Try Ferretaria Allemand
in Puerto Queztel/San Jose. It's been owned by a German for 10
years and is absolutely the best in Mexico and Central America."
Les Sutton, who has been cruising Mexico for the last three years
with his wife Diane Grant aboard the Emeryville-based Albin Nimbus
42 Gemini, stopped by our office to pick up a couple of
magazines - and was nice enough to chat about Mexico for awhile.
Some random things he had to report:
- They stayed down in Z-town until late April, and found it to
be as good as it was in the January and February high season.
In late June, there was just one boat left - John and his wife
on the San Diego based DownEast 32 Hanu Kai. The couple
were on their way to Acapulco and points south.
- Getting acclimatized to the temperatures in Mexico can be tough.
"We're now up in La Paz - and freezing to death! Sure it's
104° during the day, which is great for getting a lot of
boat work done. But when it drops down to 72° at night, we
freeze. I know this sounds crazy, but it's true."
- Fee avoidance has become a sort of game in Mexico. "We
cruisers call it the 'PCAP' - or Port Captain Avoidance Plan.
We put it into effect when nearing a place such as San Blas,
where the Port Captain still makes cruisers use a ship's agent
to clear in and out. We just don't go there. In the Sea of Cortez
at Isla Carmen, there's 'DADT' - or Don't Ask, Don't Tell. Although
Carmen is privately owned by the Salinas family, the Mexican
park service tries to extract $2/day/person from cruisers that
visit. But the park service never sends any boats over to collect,
so it's DADT."
- Mexican/American relations. "As Americans in Mexico, we
cruisers are always trying to change things. But life goes on
down there the Mexican way, and the people are wonderful. We
have many dear Mexican friends. For example, when we returned
to La Paz after a long absence, we visited La Fonda, our favorite
restaurant. The owners - one of them a woman who used to be a
judge - hugged us and had tears in their eyes, and they refused
to let us pay for our meal. La Fonda, by the way, is rated #1
in La Paz by Let's Go Travel Guide for its fantastic comeida
corridas - meals of the day.
- The cost of cruising in Mexico. "What we spend depends
on where we are. If we're up in Bahia de Los Angeles, we might
spend as little as $300 a month because we only need food and
fuel. Other places, we might spend $1,500 a month or more. All
in all, it's certainly possible to live less expensively in Mexico
than in the United States - if that's what you want to do.
- Cruising isn't all cocktails and sunsets. "It's more work
than most first-timers assume, so some folks give up quickly.
A few of them just aren't suited for cruising, but some don't
give it enough time. I'd say it takes six months for cruising
to grow on a lot of people."
- Les tried to explain the extremely complicated marina situation
in Mazatlan - where Marina Mazatlan has now reopened - and Isla
Marina and Marina El Cid are still operating. It would take pages
to explain what Les understands, and he may not have the complete
picture. He did report that during the season, they paid $420
- $10/foot - at Marina El Cid, which is upscale but has surge,
and $310 at Isla Marina, which is not a resort by any stretch
of the imagination.
We have a special favor to ask all of you. We love receiving
your Changes, but please, please, always include the boat
name, boat type, skipper and mate's full name, and the boat's
hailing port. By doing so, you help make Latitude a much
more informative publication. Thank you.