Post by chuckr on Mar 17, 2019 14:27:54 GMT
We checked out of Turkey at Mersin for a sail to Cyprus. Of course when they asked where we were going we told them North Cyprus and they mentioned a port and we said yep. Well --- we ended up heading to Cyprus on a 24 hr sail and ended up near Farmagusta when we lost our GPS. It was getting on toward and we had decided to anchor off in the crook of the point of land there. Losing the gps was a concern so we fetched our backup which is OpenCPN and that gps did not function either. We kept somewhat on course but stayed in deep water and after a while the gps came back only to lose it again. It was getting dark as we approached the coast and we saw giant lights on our course - what is it? No idea and now dark we lost gps again and now slowed down a bunch as we approached land - gps came back and we turned back toward Farmagusta and eventually in the dark dropped in 40' of water. The next morning we saw the lights were giant billboard antennas on shore around the cove we wanted to go to and could have if we had known.
We sailed into Laranaca and tied up. Only problem was the marina did not get the two emails we sent them. The email address on line is wrong. We did tie up outside the marina on a wall, but they did have a slip for us but way in the back. We stayed there until the south winds kicked in and we had to get out along with the other boats there and they found us a slip inside. We did find out that the gps problem is not unique as it comes and goes and as one professional captain told us that is life here, give it 10 minutes or so and it will come back.
We did look at going to Limassol but the cost for SoulMates was 100euro for a night. To rich for our blood. We left for the 30hr or so sail to Israel. We had been in contact with Alex1949 who sails a sister ship of SoulMates - Jeanneau DS40 - and is in Herzliya marina. We did discuss marinas in Israel there are about 4. First is Haifa in the north. Haifa is a huge port and the small boat marina is in the back and away from anything - we did see it from the town and it is way back there. The second is Herzliya in the middle of the country and a huge marina with a nice area around it and not far from downtown. The third is Tel Aviv and a small port but right downtown but limited and very limited space. The last is Ashkelon in the southern part. We have not visited that yet.
We choose Herzilya for it's size and central location. Turns out it is better than we had anticipated as the public transportation is incredibly excellent. It takes us almost anywhere in Israel on a day trip.
Getting into Israel is relatively simple if coming from Cyprus. As we approached Haifa we knew we had to contact Haifa RCC on channel 16 about 25nm out of so. We started call at about 25nm and eventually reached them about 20nm out. They wanted a lot of information - who, what, when, where, how, why - but nothing unusual for us - remember we have been to over 47 different countries so nothing surprises us any more. We were told we could proceed. Later the Israeli Navy land based called us and we did have trouble hearing them so Haifa RCC did a relay and again the same information. Heading on down the coast we were contacted by the Navy again and while we getting some information a warship was coming directly told us and I told the person I was talking to to please wait as a warship is coming at me. The Navy responded with a laugh and said yes that is me. They circled us a couple of times and again some questions and asked us get very close to shore - about 1-2nm off as there was a closed area in front of us.
Arriving in Herzliya we went to zoom in on our chartplotter only to find our chip which said the Med did not have Israel. We fired up our laptop and using OPENCPN we had charts for Herzliya and called the marina and got an immediate answer. We were told to tie up at the dock next to a eat place and do not get off, do not take anything off, do not allow anyone and do not take anything from anyone. Alex1949 came down to say hi and said wait and they will come which the customs immigration folks came down and soon we were checked in. It was an easy check in. They already knew we were coming thanks to Alex1949 and had a slip assigned to us.
It is easy sail and easy check in.