CYPRUS TO RHODES
THURSDAY, 12 JUNE 2008
We have a busy morning clearing customs, immigration and the marine police. Everyone has been easy to get on with here except the marine manager and the customs officer. They both delight in making life difficult, and are very brusque to talk with. For example, we plan to leave at 6pm in a westerly, then n.westerly direction along the west coast of Cyprus (to avoid the north coast because of the political unrest), to sail through the night when the wind drops off instead of heading into it. There have been strong seas out there for the previous few days so we need to take advantage of this good forecast. The customs officer tells us to leave by 4pm because he wants to leave his office by then and he has to see us sail out. He should check the boat because of all the new parts we had brought in from Australia. One advantage of being on the wall is that he is too lazy to come in the dinghy and check. It would have taken a long time, and Mark had brought in an expensive tool which he might have wanted VAT paid for. Mark has taken the tool home again.
All goes well motoring as planned until 9pm when the radar fails again. Ross rings Kostos (the Ray Marine operator in Larnaca) who very kindly offers to come to meet us first thing in the morning at Lachi (Polis) on the north-west tip of Cyprus. Another night at sea without the radar. I find some of my watch particularly difficult when a heavy sea mist/fog rolls in. I put our deck lights on and hope other boats can see us.
The only benefit of all this is we have to come into this delightful, small fishing port. We originally wanted to come here but thought we didn't have time.
It is lovely to see Kostos again. He is such a charming man with a great sense of humour (except when it comes to our failing radar!). He goes up the mast again and finally discovers there is a problem with the cables. In the meantime I went to the harbour police (we have checked out of Cyprus so have to hand in our passports and receive permits to use until we leave). Their office is in a very old, well renovated building, up on the first floor with wonderful views. It is also an opportunity to use the internet cafe in a charming taverna and have a chat to a few people.
FRIDAY, 13 JUNE 2008
With the radar now operating well we set off again for Rhodes with calm weather conditions and a good forecast ahead. We are using this time at sea to finish preparing the boat to have Heather and Scott and their families on board.
SATURDAY, 14 JUNE 2008
With just over three hours to go at 5pm the engine overheats. We hoped to be in the marina by dark but it took hours to get started again. Dino (again from Larnaca) talks to Ross, my amazing skipper, through using the salt water pump used to flush the heads to pump water through the engine, by-passing the engine's seawater pump (impeller). This is an incredible feat, especially with the inaccessibility of these parts.
It is so frustrating to see the lights of Rhodes so close. We are both very tired (especially Ross) by 11pm when he got the engine going again. Luckily the wind came up so we could sail for the last 20n.miles. (It is safer to only use the engine to berth if possible).
It took until 4.15am tacking until we came to the entrance of the old town port. We waited out there for half an hour for first light, as it is so much easier in a new place than in the dark. We tie the boat up and just sink into bed for a deep sleep for several hours.
SUNDAY, 15 JUNE 2008
As seems to be the way, being Sunday and a long holiday weekend, we can't expect to have work done on the boat until Tuesday morning.
Now we can concentrate on the excitement of meeting up with our families. Heather, Paul and the children have been staying with Scott in Copenhagen, so they all come together on the same flight, and are organized to stay at a Scandinavian fun resort only 4 ks. from the yacht.
How wonderful it is to see them all coming off the bus - including 5 happy and excited children, aged between nearly 3 and 8. The resort is a young family's dream holiday, including beach, different size pools, endless activities, great views and children friendly restaurants. We have many happy times here just being with them all over the next few days.