Sunday, 8 June 2008

Haifa (sardine) Yacht Club

Hi from Clare, 07/06/08

Photo 1 Haifa (sardine) Yacht Club Photo 2 Swinging from boat to boat Photo 3 Sea of Galilee Photo 4 Golan Heights and Sea of Galilee Photo 5 Meat for sale in Israel! I think I'll go vegetarian

We arrived at Haifa Yacht Club Israel (Thursday 5th) in one piece after a harrowing night for Andy with a UN warship, an Israel Gunboat encounter and a ten mile space where all the rally boats reported that their GPS was turning off - just what we need!

Arriving at "fisherman's wharf" which is really a small commercial port, we waited for ages outside the harbor to be called in. We couldn't understand the delay but in time all was revealed. Many of the rally boats are moored up together. We are squashed in like sardines with lines slung in all directions. Each mooring is time consuming and of course every yachtie has an opinion as to how it should be done.

Once settled we have to climb over five boats to get to shore and we are luckier than some. Watching Pat swinging from boat to boat I couldn't help but wonder if this was what she imagined cruising in the Med would be like. However, "never to be beaten" Pat is doing very well. Ron encourages her (as she teeters on the rail of a boat) with coaching like "don't worry about it, just step with confidence" which she assures me "doesn't do a thing for her"

The pace of the rally is pretty hectic for old folk like us. Most days are spent touring and we are no sooner back at the boat when it is time to go again. This often means shower, dress in formal gear and back on the bus again. The food is reasonably spicy and as a result Andrew has had a stomach upset for three days and I came down with it last night. So far Pat and Ron have escaped the pleasure - I'm sure they are not feeling left out!

We decided to have some time out and not do all the tours in Israel. As it turns out that was a good call, most people missed the first tour in the afternoon due to late arrival. We all had a snooze and recharged our batteries.

Friday we went on a tour of Israel following the life of Jesus through Nazareth, Cana, the Jordan River and the Sea of Galilee (which is actually a lake). In Galilee we saw children's T-shirts for sale saying "loves and fishes" - we think something might have been lost in translation!

We then went on to the Golan Heights which forms the border between Syria and Jordan. We also learnt of some of the troubles that besiege Israel. It seems that this melting pot of various religious views pose an insurmountable problem.

On a lighter note, the traffic! We immediately noticed road lines, turning lanes, traffic lights, pedestrian crossings and some sense of order. We didn't have to take our life in our hands to cross the street. Halleluiah! However don't get too excited, the traffic is still horrendous. There are 8 million people in an area the same size as the Shoalhaven district in NSW where we live. The roads in Nazareth are grid locked with cars crawling around back streets competing with the pedestrians.

Today (Saturday) we are waiting to get out of here and venture on to Ashkelon Israel. The wind has picked up to almost gale force, so we might not be going anywhere and for me that's OK!

love CANDY

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