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Voyage update 10th April 2007 - Through the straights of Hell Twice-

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Sunday 8th April 2007- The long awaited new starter for the port engine arrived hand delivered by customs. Within 10 minutes was fitted and engine started. Decision made we are leaving now 17.30. We call the marina only to be told we are not allowed to leave after 17.30.  The marina manger warned us that the weather is not going to be easy. Expected winds of 22 to 25. I said no problem 25, we are happy. We had to pass through the straights of hell again exactly at the spot where we had to retreat and turn back a few days ago with vertical waves. But 25 compared to 35 to 45 knots  it should  be a child’s play!

The replacement stainless steel frames for  our nets have not yet been delivered despite promises since Friday. A day, an hour, 15 minutes. So I went to bed at 11.20 after sending them a message that I ma leaving at .08.00 am stainless steel or not. Greek time is a couple of hours late but Arabian time is couple of days late!

12.30am banging on the boat. Stainless steel team arrived. Worked until 06.00am only to discover nothing fitted so they took them all back to workshop.

09.00am we are out of the marina with winds 20 to 22. Headed north east to get out of the spaghetti junction marshes. We were riding semi across the waves which were just 2 to 3 meters. Five hours later  we turn North West having entered the shipping lane. Winds started going upwards 26; 28; 30, 33!! They settled at 32 to 35 knots. It was going through the straights of hell for a second time. 

The rough ride was back on again. But nothing to what it was when we had to turn back. It was uncomfortable but the waves were not more that 4 meters with the odd one here and there going to 5 meters. However they were sloping waves this time . Non of the vertical climbs. This part of the Red Sea we are told by the Princetrs is never calm. We were lucky we were not hit with even stronger winds!!

We settled at 5.5 knots speed to make it as comfortable as possible. At night time the forecast was for no winds at all. No chance! The winds persisted to 28/35 until we were about 40 miles from port Suez, at about 09.00 am Tuesday morning.

Then they went down to 18 then down to 15, 12, 8, 5, and 2. The sea became an oil pond. Speed up to 7.5 knots. Instead of 20.00  pm we arrived at 14.45 pm. Captain Heebi of the Princetrs Of  The Red Sea agency waited in his boat and guided us to anchored outside Port Suez Yacht Club. All went smooth mooring on boys this time.

Now frustration time begins. We have to wait tomorrow for customs to clear the boat. Then on Thursday we go on dry dock. We need to redo our anti fouling and some minor repairs. The nets we got caught outside Oman again and again did their damage. Fit the stainless steel and nets. Three days work but!! Friday and Saturday is prayer day. We are trying to get the team to work on prayer days but it sound difficult if not impossible.

This means we cannot be out of her into the Suez canal  before Monday the earliest

So Cyprus will be sometime next week. The weather looks good which is a blessing because this journey from Egypt to Cyprus is another  dreadful area of dangerous sea. My friend George last year broke both his rudders on his catamaran crossing this sea as the waves pushed him backwards.

The frustration is the waiting in Suez. There is no where to go. Nothing to do! So Chrysta decided to fly off to Cyprus and wait for Isokratia to arrive. It will cost me les to fly her to Cyprus than put her up in a hotel anyway!! With Chrysta out of the way, I am free to catch up on my Isokratia thesis part 3 and part 4. Be patient part 3 will be release soon!! Keep checking the web side! German and Russian language

Have fun guys

Chris Neophytou

Isokratia

10th April 2007


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