Alan and Jean sharing our cruising news with friends, family.

20 July 2015 | Rabi Island Fiji
29 June 2015 | Suva Fiji
18 December 2013 | Auckland
05 December 2013 | Auckland
27 October 2013 | Vavau Tonga
12 September 2013 | Samoa
24 July 2013 | Moorea, Tahiti
19 July 2013 | Papeete
19 June 2013 | Nuka Hiva
02 June 2013 | Pacific Ocean
29 May 2013 | Pacific Ocean
24 May 2013 | Eastern Pacific Ocean
19 May 2013 | Western Pacific Ocean
16 May 2013 | Western Pacific Ocean
13 May 2013 | Isla Isabella
06 May 2013 | Isla Isabella
08 April 2013 | Shelter Bay marina, Colon.
28 March 2013 | Belize
27 March 2013 | Belize
03 March 2013 | Panamarina, Panama

Strawberries and Cherries

07 June 2010 | Finike Turkey
Red, orange, green, yellow .. the Finike Saturday produce market, a mix of colours and aromas. Small mountains of fresh strawberries and cherries caught my eye first, but we decided to resist buying them until we had finished stocking up on all the other gorgeous vegetables we didn't want the berries squashed at the bottom of our bags. The Finike weekly market is huge, selling all different varieties of produce grown in the area, much of it in large hot houses scattered over the rocky hills. After travelling through the Red Sea region where vegetable markets let alone fresh veges are found sometimes weeks apart, being in areas were produce can be bought daily and supermarkets are not a rarity will be lovely.

Food, either buying or eating out is a huge part of our travel/cruising experience. Eating out was so cheap in Asia, often easier and cheaper than sourcing the produce and cooking for yourself. Then again understanding the menu sometimes took a bit of doing and depending what country, we were sometimes more used to seeing some items on the menu in our garden or going for a walk in the park! Morning glory, dog, cat, rat, snake are some I can remember. The best food in Asia was at the little restaurant at the end of the lane by Ratanachai ship yard in Thailand, best Thom Yum ever. We have developed quite a high tolerance for chili and sometimes found ourselves adding chili in a restaurant because we have been served a meal for "western" tastes. Although the level of chili in Indonesia especially in Sulawesi, had our eyes watering and lips tingling, so we never did reach local chili tolerances. I think you would have to start at birth to reach those heights.

We didn't eat out much in Sri Lanka, they don't seem to have an eating out culture as in Asia, families eat at home. The markets were full of fresh local grown produce although most potatoes we discovered came from Pakistan. One lunchtime we did find a local restaurant in Galle, a narrow little restaurant that ran between two roads, full of men eating plates of rice, potato curry and chicken with their fingers, right hand only. The main method of eating seemed to be to push the rice to the edge of the plate and tip bits out of each of the little dishes of curry and chicken into the centre and mix with some rice into a small ball. The jug of water on the table was for rinsing fingers not for drinking. There was no menu so we pointed to the meals on the next table, our chicken, potato curry, bread and rice arrived with spoons and forks, no fingers needed. Pity, I quite like using my fingers and scooping up the curry with crispy bread. Our waiter hovered, we assured him everything was great, but Alan wasn't quite eating it how he thought he should. The waiter came over and tipped the small dishes of curry onto Alan's rice, and indicated now that's how you should do it. We must have met his standards because before we had finished he came back with an extra dish of curry for us!

The best buy in Salalah was the 7 kilo box of luscious tomatoes from the Salalah market, we were eating the last ones as we got to Aden. The staples through the Red Sea were tomatoes, carrots and cabbage. The produce from the dusty stalls near the harbor at Aden got us through to Massawa, although by then the tinned supply were being delved into frequently. The Massawa market provided welcome fresh produce, two new baskets as well as a feast of colour and sights for great photographical memories. Markets are always are great experience. When people ask if we have seen pirates , I say the only ones we have experienced are the ones in the market who see us coming and double the price. The little old ladies are the worst, I think they count on the sympathy towards old age! Alan enjoyed the bargaining, we probably still ended up paying more than the local price. Alan has an incentive to come shopping, he helps me carry the bags and they get a little extra money, everyone wins! At Finike market the prices are set, no haggling, more straight forward, not quite as enjoyable but offset by the bonus of try before you buy.

Some of our most memorable travel experiences have been around meals. Yemen provided several memorable meals. Fish and bread at Al Mukalla was one such meal. The method of cooking the fish, the huge round crispy bread, newspaper table cloth, the ancient surroundings and of course the company of other cruisers. We had another similar fish meal in Aden, one large fish and one large,crispy bread for six. This time plastic covered the table and collected the fish bones. I missed the newspaper, nothing to wipe our hands on! Cairo was a memorable trip for many reasons, I can still taste the lamb kebab of our first day, the first taste of lamb in a year, succulent and juicy my mouth is watering just at the memory of it. The next day a meal of lamb for lunch , still lovely but my stomach felt heavy, it's a long time since we have had red meat and two meals in row was too much. After a dinner of just fruit I felt better and Alan reluctantly agreed that another meat meal would have been too much. In Cyprus we were able to have pork, a pork souvlaki our first meal out. The bacon from Thailand had run out a long time ago, so we had to make up for no pork in the Muslim countries. Being careful not to over eat this time. We left Paphos stocked up with enough bacon to last us until we fly home to NZ at the end of June. No pork products again in Turkey.

Supermarkets are something else, some are cleaner than others and some have better products than others. The cruising network has all the info as what to buy where, saves time and energy when we share the good and bad finds. Supermarkets are mainly an oasis of air conditioning bliss, no attendants hassling you to buy this or that at "my best price". Just a row of uninterested checkout operators who only show some interest (annoyance) when we say we don't need plastic bags, just put the things in our bags. The Metro at Ismailia was one such oasis, one step through the door into a cool clean atmosphere and the dust and rubbish outside becomes a distant memory. Familiar and unfamiliar products line the shelves, it's always fun to try a new product or variety although not always successfully. Biscuits are always a lottery. Often we buy one packet to try, but by the time we do try and decide we like them, the next supermarket doesn't stock those particular ones so we start over. Sightseeing usually involves, scenery, ruins, old churches or mosques. At Paphos, Cyprus, we realized after an hour of wandering the supermarket looking for nothing in particular that we had been sightseeing supermarket shelves. Crusty bread, dishes of olives, cheeses, yogurt in a clean environment . Our stomachs are quite hardy by now but there would be no worry about stomach related after affects with these products.

All café menu boards along the Corniche at Paphos were advertising, Full English Breakfast. 3 Euros. We watched as rotund scantily clad tourists squeezed and wobbled their way onto Café chairs to tuck into eggs, bacon, sausages, beans and toast. The first thought is they shouldn't be eating that and the next thought for us is why not try something different from home while on holiday. But on second thought we do eat what we eat in NZ but on Tuatara, we have to remember our way of travelling is quite different than those tourists. Alan often likes Weetbix for breakfast however we made a slight miscalculation stocking up in Thailand with the number of packets he needed, consequently he ran out a while ago. He was delighted to find Weetabix on the shelves at Paphos. Not quite the same as Sanitarium Weetbix but a good substitute. Having porridge on these hot mornings doesn't seem quite right.

We are now 20 miles west of Finike, enjoying the beautiful area of Kekova Roads before we return to Finike marina to fly home to NZ . Eating out here is much more expensive than we have been used to, which doesn't matter as nothing is better than sitting in the cockpit enjoying a lunch or dinner of local produce and watching the world go by. I think overdosing on fresh strawberries is going to be as enjoyable as overdosing on Coffee as we did in Asmara but a lot healthier.
Vessel Name: Tuatara
Vessel Make/Model: Alan Wright 51
Hailing Port: Opua NZ
Crew: Alan and Jean Ward

Sailing in the Pacific

Who: Alan and Jean Ward
Port: Opua NZ