11 August 1993 Bizerte
I went windsurfing in the morning. In the afternoon, we decided to get away from the noise of the rally party and go out to anchor. We had the devil’s own job getting away from the quay – the boats either side of us had mooring lines out to buoys blocking our exit. We eventually warped our way out at half past six and anchored. We went for a drink with Kevin and Carol on “Honey Hush”.
12 August 1993 Bizerte
I topped up the oil in the engine. It’s still blowing 15-20 NW, so we decided to stay another day. I went across to “Honey Hush” for a couple of hours and picked their brains about East Australia and the route they took to the Mediterranean. I then upset Glenys by becoming totally obsessed with planning a circumnavigation when I should have been tidying up ready to go tomorrow.
13 August 1993 Bizerte to Tabarka
It was only NW5 first thing in the morning. We managed to start sailing at noon, beating at first and then ended up running with the jib poled out. It’s really nice to be sailing again!
We arrived at Tabarka at half past six. Unfortunately, it’s another bloody marina charging 13½ dinars (£8.70) per night. I am disgusted because I thought that this would be a fishing port like Madhia. Apparently they won’t even let boats anchor in the old port! They are still building an Al Kantaoui clone, tourist shops and pizza restaurants – which is a shame.
14 August 1993 Tabarka
I was up at two o’clock in the morning killing mosquitoes the size of bees. I eventually rigged up two 12 Volt mosquito heaters in series, so that we could have one in the back cabin and one in the saloon. I don’t know why I didn’t think about it earlier - our 24 volt electric system is a nuisance sometimes.
I spent an hour getting fuel from a petrol station about 1 mile away. I rigged up the shopping trolley to be a trailer for the bike. We met an Irish guy called Harry who lives on 20 foot bright green yacht “Wild Rover” with his dog who hates Tunisians! The dog barks and snarls convincingly if they come within 6 ft of him. I think that he’s trained the dog to do it. The heat is killing Glenys.
15 August 1993 Tabarka
I did a dive which was very mediocre, while Glenys and the boys went to the beach. I did some jobs on the boat in the afternoon. Brett’s front tooth finally came out and the sight of his own blood on it made him burst into tears. We’ve run out of beer and wine, so we’ll HAVE to leave Tunisia tomorrow.
Glenys will be very glad to get away from Tunisia. She tries hard to wear long skirts and sleeves when she goes anywhere public, but the Tunisian men still stare and click their tongues at her. It’s worst when she walks past coffee shops where there are always lots of men (what do they do all day?) The locals all wear sandals and the sound of them shuffling their feet is driving her (and me) raving mad. We’ve called it the “Tunisian Shuffle”.
16 August 1993 Tabarka to Mahon, Menorca (Day 1)
The tooth fairy arrived last night and changed Brett’s tooth into a 100 peseta coin – he’s amazed that the tooth fairy not only knows where we are, but where we are going! We cleared out of Tunisia without any problems.
We motored for about 1½ hours and then got a nice NE breeze, so I put up all sails including the mizzen stay-sail. By mid afternoon, it was gusting 15-20 knots and the stay-sail was backing the mizzen which was then affecting the Hydrovane, so I dropped the mizzen which helped a bit.
At five o’clock, it was blowing a lot harder, so we dropped the staysail and put up the mizzen again and the Hydrovane started to behave itself. We put the clocks forward to Spanish time at seven o’clock. As night fell, the wind picked up to NE 20-25 with quite a big swell which rolled us unmercifully.
17 August 1993 Tabarka to Mahon, Menorca (Day 2)
It was a really black, misty night with a persistent cross swell making the night watches a bit of an ordeal. The Hydrovane didn’t cope very well with swell and gusting wind, so we had to concentrate on helping it by constantly adjusting the steering. The rolling caused by the swell made it difficult to sleep.
The wind started to drop during the day and we had to put on the engine in the afternoon. Glenys is now running out of provisions – mayonnaise, Fanta, mars bars, and we are on our last bottle of camping gaz. She’s had to use up her stocks of items not available in Tunisia, but has now got lots of spices. I lost my tuna feather lure during the night – I suspect that my knot came undone.
18 August 1993 Tabarka to Mahon, Menorca (Day 3)
Motored all night and arrived at ten o’clock in the morning. Mahon is fairly busy with yachts 3 or 4 deep at the quays. We managed to sneak in alongside the Town Quay, so that we can be settled for a couple of days.
The distance over the ground was about 275 miles, our logged distance was 258.1. There is a SE going current but ignoring this the log is under reading by 6.5% even though I’ve fitted a new log impellor. It’s irritating. We’ve averaged 5.7 knots over 47.5 hours.
The Spanish authorities don’t seem to be concerned about checking into customs, so I’ve just filled in the Port Authority Form and taken down the yellow customs flag. Our mail hasn’t arrived yet which is a bit of a pain.
19 August 1993 Mahon
We went to S’Algar by bus. I did a dive and Glenys and the boys spent the day by the pool. Craig made his first attempts at swimming without arm bands and was confident enough to swim 2 metres from the side in the deep end of the pool. Martin and Kay from “Maid of Zenor” came for a drink. We last saw them in Gibraltar – an unfortunate situation, he loves sailing and boats and she “is not impressed”. We gave him what help we could.
The mail arrived today, so we are moving on to Cuidadela tomorrow. Craig’s comment of the day, “If I was a seagull, I wouldn’t each much …….. they only eat fish”.
20 August 1993 Mahon to Cala Teulera
Glenys went shopping in the morning and I tidied up ready to leave. Glenys rang her mum who said that she had sent a letter to us at the Club Maritimo. The letter hasn’t arrived, so we decided to go to Ilas De Aire to go swimming. The snorkelling is excellent but the holding for the anchor is crap, so we decided to go to Cala Teulera for the night which is a mile and a half from Mahon Town.
When we’d anchored, we were approached by two guys from the Port Authority who asked us to fill in the normal form and then we had to pay £5! I gave him the outraged captain act, but after he gave me the receipt, he gave us a little gift set of some Mahon gin and four small glasses. That took the wind out of my sails and I’m quite happy now.
Craig went for a swim off the back of the boat without arm bands – I think that he wants to be better than Brett. I spent a “lovely” 10 minutes fishing one of Glenys’ contact lenses out of the toilet where it had inconveniently fallen.