2010 Cruise - Israel, Turkey, Cyprus, and Greece

1 - 31 Jan

Herzliya, Israel

We are enjoying our winter here in Israel. I am attending "Ulpan" to learn Hebrew and Tsipy is enjoying visiting all of her family and friends. Yehuda and Rachel invited us to  wonderful sushi party on board Mevoot Yam. We all had fun learning how to create our own sushi maki. Here are some photos of the group.

Sushi Prep Sushi 2 Sushi 3 Sushi - Idit First Maki Sushi - Yosi & Ruti Sushi - Rachels Rainbow Roll Sushi 7 Sushi 8

Tsipy and I invited my Ulpan class over to the boat for Jochnun. My teacher Gili and her husband Gadi and about 10 of the students with their families or partners came to enjoy a taste of Yemen and a chance to get to know each other.

Ulpan - Students Ulpan - Gili and Gadi

1 - 28 Feb I hosted my usual Super Bowl Part on 8 Feb. AFN showed a tape replay of the game so we could see it at a reasonable hour. I prepared Cajun food - Creole Turtle Soup and Cajun Meat Pies and Tsipy made a veggie dish for the faint of heart.

Super Bowl 1 Super Bowl 2

On 11 Feb, Tsipy and I flew to Geneva with Jackie and Motti for a week long ski trip. We stayed in the apartment of Jackie's parents. It is in a beautiful valley in France in a village called La Chapelle de Abondance. There were ski areas all around us. We rented our ski equipment and skied the first day in Chatel. Tsipy and I took a break for Shabbat. We walked down into the town and hiked back up the hill. Quite a hike for me. We took a ski lesson and then skied in Chapelle on Sunday. On Sunday night we celebrated Motti's birthday at a wonderful resturaunt in town. On Monday, we started to day on the other side of Chapelle and skied across to Chatel and returned by bus. On Tuesday, we went to Le Croset to meet another couple. I took Tuesday off since my foot was pretty sore but Tsipy skied. Finally, on Wednesday we returned to Chapelle for our last ski day. We had perfect weather for all but the last day, clear and cold (-5C or so) but the sun was so strong and warm that we didn't feel cold. On Wednesday it was a little cloudy but still warm. We did get freezing rain for our drive back to Geneva on Thursday morning. All in all, a perfect trip with excellent companions. Our thanks to Jackie and Motti for inviting us and to Tony and Brenda for their beautiful apartment.

Ski Trip 1 - Breakfast in the Apartment Ski Trip 2 - First day on the slope Ski Trip 3 - One of the incredilbe views Ski Trip 4 - Motti Ski Trip 5 - Jackie Ski Trip 6 - Bday Dinner Ski Trip 7 Ski Trip 8 - The four of us Ski Trip 9 - My favorite ski bunny Ski Trip 10 - Another spectacular view

Tsipy left on the 21st for NYC to be with her sister Ruti for a couple of weeks. I am remaining here for Ulpan and boat work (but at least I am warm).

1 - 31 Mar  We planned to haul out the boat in Ashkelon during Passover but were not able to do so due to a scheduling problem. 
1 - 30 Apr We were able to haul the boat after Passover for bottom cleaning, sanding, and painting. Tsipy and I were able clean the metal: shafts, props, struts, and skin fittings but I needed help with the sanding. It is too hard for me to sand overhead. My friends Mike and Andrew came to the rescue and sanded the bottom in one day. The price they paid is shown in the following photo!

Ashkelon - My Stand-in Sanders

1 - 31 May On 1 May, Tsipy prepared Yemenite soup and invited some of the nephews, nieces, and their families for lunch. Here are some photos.

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On 16 May, Sami and Yardena visited with friends from England. On 25 May, we hosted our good friends Yosi, Ruti, Israel, Alina, Yehuda, and Rachel for a steak dinner. 

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On the way to Ashkelon, I noticed that the fins had stopped working and when I replaced the fuse, it blew immediately. After my return I was able to troubleshoot the problem and isolated it to a bad mother board for the control unit. Our friend Marc Rothenberg carried a new one back from the US and I was able to replace it and make the required adjustments. I also replaced two windows in the salon that had cracks. Mike and I are re-bedding the galley windows and hope to have them completed by 28 May since we are still planning to leave here by the end of May.

1 to 30 Jun We left Herzliya on 31 May which was the day that the Turkish flotilla was boarded and stopped by the Israelis. The Israeli government issued a travel warning for Turkey and we were about 10 miles offshore when they informed us of the travel restrictions. We returned to Herzliya and are back in the same spot in the lagoon. I don't think any improvements in the situation are on the horizon so we will be spending the summer here. On the weekend on the 11th, we went up north to visit Motti & Jackie and their family. We toured up in the Golan and visited a nature pool at Brehat HaMeshomshim, Sara's Jam House, and helped to celebrate Liat's birthday. We enjoyed the tour and the visit.

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On 21 Jun, Tsipy surprised me with a birthday party. A number of our friends and family were able to make it. Here are some photos. I really enjoyed it.

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1 to 31 Jul On 9 Jul, Tsipy and I flew to Lyon, France for a week long vacation cruising in Burgundy. We took a train to Dijon, then a taxi to Pontailler to pick up our river boat. Our friends: Rachel and Yehuda and two new friends: Michal and Ronit arrived the following day. That started an interesting and beautiful vacation cruising the River Saone and its canals. We rented a 42 foot river boat. It was built with river cruising in mind, a low profile with three staterooms (each with its own head) and a generous salon and galley. On top, we had a built-in barbeque near the steering point. Here are some photos of the charter base and our first day of cruising and our first lock. The locks are generally on smaller canals as hown in the third photo. Most of the locks are smaller, automatic ones such as that shown. They typically raise or lower the boat about 1 to 2 meters. We looped lines around the bollards on the lip to hold the boat in place while the water rushed in or out.

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We spent the first night at a small village of Mantoch and then travelled on to Grey for the second night. We stopped along the way to swim and play dominoes. We ate out at a nice restaurant in Grey and Yehuda was able to watch the finals of the World Cup. 

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After Grey we cruised back south along the Saone. We generally ate dinners on board, often using the grill built into the table. The next two photos show some of the beautiful scenery along the way. You had to wear life vests when using the big locks. They were about 200 meters long and wide enough for large grain barges. These locks were manned and typically dropped or raised the boat more than 4 meters.

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We traveled south to Verdun and spent two nights there. We stayed the second night to see fireworks on Bastille day but they were rained out. We were able to buy most of our food at open markets such as that shown. By the time we returned north, we were old hands at the locks and only used a single line to hold the boat.

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We stayed our last night on the river in St Jean des Losne, tieing up near the city docks. We used two lengths of re-bar hammered into the lawn as tie downs. We took a long walk through the town. One of the old style river barges is shown, this one converted into a luxury private river boat. We returned the boat to Pontailler on Friday night. On Saturday we cleaned and returned the boat. Rachel, Yehuda, Ronit, and Michal left for their return flight.

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Tsipy and I spent Shabbat at a local hotel and took a long walk through the town. We took the train to Paris for our return flight to Israel on Sunday.

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1 Aug to Present We made two tours to vineyards, enjoying wine tasting (and buying) in the Judean Hills. I usually take a sail with my friend Sylvan on his cat. Ruti, Etty and her kids arrived for the wedding and lots of the family came to visit us. It was hard to recognize Barak and Yarden, they both had grown so much since my last visit.

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Tsipy meet Suzy, an American lady, at the local synagogue. She and her kids came for a visit and I took the kids for a dinghy ride.

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Our Plans We are plan to stay in Herzliya for the summer. Since it appears that cruising to Turkey will not be possible in the future, we are looking into ways to ship the boat back to the US next year.