In Israel, Independence Day comes right after Memorial Day. It might seem a little strange to have a somber day of remembrance followed immediately by one of revelry, but that’s the way they do it. As the saying goes: “If not for all the fallen soldiers, we wouldn’t have Independence.”
Our ‘foreign correspondent’ John Skoriak was there with his wife, Miri, to enjoy both days (May 6 and 7). A special treat was watching the huge boat parade that went from Herzliya Marina to Tel Aviv. “There must have been at least 100 boats, and only a handful were powerboats,” he writes. “The rest were all sailboats — including a fleet of windsurfers, sailing dinghies, sailing school boats, charter boats, and everything from racing sailboats to heavy displacement cruisers. It was a wonderful and very colorful parade, with many of the yachts decked out in blue and white flags or banners (the colors of Israel’s flag). I don’t think I’ve ever seen a larger parade of sailboats, or a larger crowd of (non-sailing) spectators."
On their short hop to Tel Aviv Marina, the boats were ‘escorted’ by a small formation of Navy ships. As the fleet neared the marina, there was an air show similar to our Blue Angels, followed by an exhibition of military sky divers who parachuted onto the beach. "Sort of an Israeli version of Fleet Week," he says.
Miri is Israeli so she and John have traveled and sailed extensively through this area. They urge anyone sailing the Med to figure Israel into their cruising plans, Herzliya in particular.
“Herzliya is an upscale suburb just to the north of Tel Aviv, and has Israel’s largest marina. It is a very nice place, with a beautiful mall of upscale shops and dozens of cafes and restaurants, and a big condo complex, as well. I have never seen a marina anywhere in the world with so many facilities.”