26 September 2013 | Hydra, Saronic Islands
25 September 2013 | Paros, Anti-paros, Kithnos, Hydra
23 September 2013 | on the island of Ios.
18 September 2013 | Santorini
17 September 2013 | Aghios Nicholaos, Crete
10 September 2013 | Knossos Crete
08 September 2013 | Spinalonga
07 September 2013 | Aghios Nicholaos, Crete
06 September 2013 | Crete
19 May 2013 | Cowes, Isle of Wight
History All Around Valencia
07 October 2014 | Murcia Region, Spain
Just to the south in Xativa is the wonderful castle of Xative (Jativa in the native language) which was one of the strongholds in the early periods of conquest of Spain by the Carthaginians under the Hamilcar Barca (Hannibal’s father). Their main base of operation was even further south at Cartago Novo (Cartagena).
After the First Punic War (264 to 241 BC) with the Romans Hamilcar Barca took his son Hannibal to Cadiz and established a military occupation throughout southern Spain. Hannibal was first born and under Carthaginian religious rites the first born males were sacrificed to their fierce war god Baal. Burial urns by the thousands have been unearthed in old Carthage. Hamilcar took Hannibal to the altar and made his swear eternal hatred for things Roman before sacrificing a lamb instead of his eight year old son. This took place in Valencia according to local tradition.
At age 26 Hannibal succeeded his father as military commander after Hamilcar’s early death.
At Xativa it is said Hannibal’s wife gave birth to their first child.
To provoke the Romans Hannibal successfully laid siege to Saguntum, a Roman protectorate located just north of Valencia setting off the Second Punic War with Rome.
And the rest is history…the march across the Pyrenees, the crossing of the Rhone, the long treacherous trek across the Alps in 218 BC and Hannibal’s subsequent annihilation of three Roman armies (Trebia, Lake Trasimene and Cannae in 216 BC) gaining full control of the Italian Penninsula for 14 years.
You have to like Spain for its rich history. But add in some of the finest dining experiences we have ever had, a wonderful language that Crew has command of and a vast array of inviting sailing grounds (Costa Brava, Costa Dorado, Costa del Sol, Balearic Sea, etc.) you are close to “en el cielo en la gloria”
Passage to Valencia
05 October 2014 | Valencia
Dean, on board Necessity
A brand new facility opened up in Valencia last year, Marina Real Juan Carlos I. They offer very attractive discounts for long term storage of your yacht. Valencia lies 95 nm NW of Ibiza…just out of range for a day sail. Big winds are in the forecast for a few days however a nice weather window for the 20 hr passage was available to us. First third was to be calm, and it really was. The middle third of the passage was to 10-15 S but turned out to be 20 knots SE – what a rockin’ fast sail with just the genoa. This put us into Valencia way too early. The last third unfolded as predicted – a 10 knot north breeze. Even slowing the boat right down to 2-3 knots we still arrived at the marina at 4 am. The moon was very bright and there were lots of lights in the harbour complex so using slow speeds and the radar we conned our way into the marina to lay alongside the fuel dock. Everyone headed for their bunk for some much needed sleep, so much easier in a berth that is not pitching and rolling.
Which brings me to Nick. His first time on a sailing vessel and his first overnight passage. Big following seas that for most folks will produce the dreaded Mal de Mer. No sign of the seasickness for Nick however. Even ate a hearty meal and stood his watch like a seasoned sailor.
Marina Real a bustling place. Lots of boats, a bike path and numerous cafes. A short tram/subway ride to the city centre and an easy connection for the upcoming crew change.
Marina Real Juan Carlos I
39 27’73’N, 00 18’59” W
03 October 2014 | Formentera
The smallest Balearic Island (only 8 X 10 miles) located just south of Ibiza is known for its laid back atmosphere, extensive sandy beached and nudity. Formentera is home to 6,000 people. Numerous ferries come and go from the only harbour Puerto de Sabina.
There are many anchorages and one lagoon.
We took a stroll through the little town settling on a lovely terrace for lunch overlooking the lagoon. And then it was off to the beach. Had a nice swim and snorkel. There were more fish than I would have anticipated. Not near as plentiful as in the BVI’s of course.
And so many ‘seashells’. Tom only managed to read one page in his book in two hours!
The weather here is so fine. 28 degrees with a light breeze. Lots of blue skies. The Ibizan lifestyle seems to suit the crew, lots of smiles all around.
01 October 2014 | Ibiza
Dean, on board Necessity
The Balearic Islands are situated off the Spanish east coast. The main islands are Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza and Formentera. Necessity is berthed at Marina Ibiza. Ibiza Island is about 160 nm south of Barcelona and about 85 nm east of Valencia. And I am very happy to be here. What a destination after such a long passage. We departed Licata on the south coast of Sicily on Sept. 20th for a 170 nm passage to Tunisia. We then departed Hammamet, Tunisia on Sept. 23rd for the long 545 nm passage to Spain arriving at Eivissa on the 28th after five days at sea. That is over 700 nm in eight days. What a crew!
Ibiza was settled by the Carthaginians in the 6th century BC. (Please – someone ask me why!!) and they built the original fortification here at Ibiza city now known as D’Alt Vila, but called Ibasim by them. There is a local legend here on Ibiza that Hannibal was born just off the west coast at Isla Conejera. This is false. Hannibal and his brothers Hasdrubal & Mango, were born in Carthage. Their father Hamilcar Barca took his family and followers to Spain after the First Punic War when Hannibal was only a lad of eight. So Hannibal grew up around Cartegena (translates “New Carthage”) on the SE coast of mainland Spain.
Then followed the Romans, Normans, Byzantines and finally 500 plus years of Moorish control. But back to Ibiza…….
Marina Ibiza is well appointed. Necessity does not look too out of place tucked away in the back basin. The really big yachts are in the front basin, and just next door at the very upscale Marina Botafoch are the mega-yachts. Everyone goes around quite dressed up. Evening dresses, trendy clothes and the pervasive techno-pop beats permeating the air all add to the atmosphere that is uniquely Ibizan.
So we donned our Ibiza whites and headed for town. Through the narrow pedestrian-only streets to the castle walls. Up the long ramp and in through the main gates to the tiny alleyways within full of cafes and bars. Finally to a high perch above the lower town for a wonderful outdoor dining experience. Dorado, Rack of Lamb and fresh baked bread (oven on-site). Like I said, we are happy to be here.
Passage to Espana
29 September 2014 | Western Mediterranean Sea
Dean, on board Necessity
Day 1 Tuesday Sept. 23
It is about 550 nm from Hammamet to Ibiza in the Balearic island group of Spain. We had a ripping sail in flat water for the first 4 hrs and then our course was shaped north along the east coast of Tunisia into a stiff NW breeze. It was predicted to die down overnight and did soon on cue. All sail was taken in and with the now reliable engine Necessity was put back on course. The dangers of running at night are the fishing nets of course.
Day 2 Wed. Sept. 24
Dawn found us just clearing Cap Bon where we entered the Sardinian Straits. The shipping traffic was lighter than expected. Later that evening a big thunderstorm rolled through our position with lots of strikes hitting the water around us. A little tense when two freighters bore down on us from opposite directions with a CPA (Closest Point of Approach) of 1.2 nm for each. With so much heavy rain pouring down the radar is ineffective. Thank goodness for the AIS. For added safety we put out a position call on the VHF radio as well.
Day 3 Thursday Sept. 25
Fairly calm with a light north flow of F3. Mainly motored. Radioed a passing freighter for an up to day weather forecast. Bit more wind coming but all from the ENE, F6 in the Sardinian Straits but we were well be west of that area. And then the water tanks went dry!! All the fresh water drained into the bilge. Fortunately we carry 4 jerry cans of 20 liter capacity each deep in the bilge. Poured water from these bulky containers into smaller one and two liter plastic bottles.
Day 4 Friday Sept. 26
Clear blue skies again. Light north breeze. Motor-sailed all day. Very light boat traffic. Did catch a freighter who was kind enough to give us a detailed weather forecast. Arranged for a bath for the crew in the cockpit. A half bucket of water each. Felt very refreshing.
Day 5 Saturday Sept. 27
Another big blue sky. Wind was dead astern so we poled out the genoa to great effect. The miles rolled by effortlessly. A very tired bird landed right on Joe's shoulder. He would even consent to being carried around the cockpit on your finger! Turned out to be an excellent fly catcher and he stayed with us until we reached land.
Day 6 Sunday Sept. 28
Arrive at Ibiza Island at 10 am after a terrific overnight thunderstorm. Lighting all around and increased winds. As the high winds were from the east this actually propelled us along fairly nicely on our westerly course with some rolling but only minimal yaws.
In summary it took 116 hours to complete the 545 nm passage from Tunisia to Ibiza, Spain with a speed made good (SMG) of 4.7 knots We had so many wonderful meals. Eggplant Parmesan, tuna casserole, roast pork, stuffed red peppers and bean salads are delivered up into the cockpit by our very fine gallery gals.
Necessity's crew require special mention. Travelling such a long distance in variable conditions with sleep patterns interrupted is a challenge. Very good boat handling skills, excellent trouble shooting abilities and most important of all - the camaraderie. Such a critical element in any passage. To be with positive cheerful folks is a priority. Many thanks to Joe, Tom, Lorraine and Crew
28 September 2014 | Hammamet, Tunisia
Dean, on board Necessity
Located south of Tunis among the resort filled beaches of Hammamet is a real gem of a marina, Port Yasmine. Beware the yard however – avoid the Rodrigues Group!! For help see Mick Turner (email@example.com), or Duncan Surridge (Tel: +216 98364875. Web: http://www.ys-tunisia.com
So it was Mick to the rescue again! He was such a big help after the aforementioned yard damaged Necessity back in 2011. With ingenuity and some acrobatic tricks Mick was able to make all repairs. Now with a five hundred mile plus passage looming and a fuel tank issue we needed help. Mick correctly diagnosed our problem, contaminated fuel and completely blocked fuel pick-up lines. All the contaminated fuel was pumped out of the tank. We scrubbed the insides clean removing the back algae growth that had accumulated on the sides and in the intake hoses. How an organism can exit in a diesel fuel take environment is certainly wondrous. Two types will grow in the tank if moisture is allowed to enter, and we had them both! The black algae and the snotty sperm algae.
I cannot emphasize how good it feels to have confidence in the ship’s auxiliary power restored!
The heat here is intense. Soaking oneself with the hose brings some short relief. The water at the beach is too warm to be considered refreshing. In the evening the temperature moderates somewhat. We took Mick and his wife out to dinner at a nice restaurant (by Tunisian standards). I had rabbit and it was actually quite good.
Next day was departure day. The drawn out procedure began with a trip to the Capitainieri's office, next the port police, and then to the customs office. And then we all head for the boat for a final exit inspection. No talk of a ‘gift’ this time. Took on a full load of diesel and we were actually away from the dock ahead of schedule!