Hello again! long time, no chat, but we're here!
We thought and prayed long and hard on where to go from Cyprus, and had been waiting for what seemed like forever waiting for the 'right' winds to go west, but God had other plans. Part of it feeling like forever is the 'dock' in Larnaca is not comfortable at all. There is a large swell that pushes in from around the corner to the south and all day and night you get this surge that pulls and pushes you to the wall. we ended up breaking our passarelle (the bridge to get to shore) and lost a couple of dock lines. we even surged enough to smash one of the hulls against the dock and chunk up some fiberglass. not fun. We couldn't wait to move on, but where Larnaca is located, it's a long way to anywhere. so......we actually made plans to head west to Rhodes and left the marina when the weather said it should be favorable, but when we finally got clear of Cyprus, found wind on the nose and a long 'hill' to climb going west.
Part of the feeling of wanting to head back to Israel was also the fact that doors for having the baby in other places were closing quickly. Greece did not seem plausible, Turkey was out, and unanswered question on whether we could get to Malta ot Italy early enough to fins a doctor to take us.
So, with no further ado, and because the middle of the ocean is not the best place to sit and bob around, we pointed the nose south and started the trek to Israel. We thought, 'why are we pushing doors that are not opening?' Easier said than done!!
The passage back was not as smooth as the first one, and because we were heading to Tel Aviv, instead of Haifa, it added another 12 hours to our trip. We continued taking turns at the helm, and taking shifts for the night watches. More or less uneventful, although, because we made a wide pass from Haifa (never closer than 35nm) we did not hear their radio calls once we approached Israel. We heard broken calls, and tried to respond, but VHF is only good to about 25nm at best. Well, that changed on the second morning as we were about 6 hours form Tel Aviv. I checked the horizon, then went below to keep track of our position, in case we got another call. All the sudden, I first felt wakes, and clear as crystal heard a radio call for a sailboat at our location. I peeked out the window and the Israeli navy was RIGHT next to us, guns pointed at us, and not just pistols, 50 cal. mounts! ........This was a new feeling.....I must say.
I answered the radio (very quickly!) and told him who we were. The captain was upset about why we had not answered any earlier calls and I explained we'd answered ever call we heard. He calmed down fast, knowing we were no threat and we went though the whole drill of who was on board and passport numbers and all. By the end, he sounded apologetic, telling us to enjoy our visit and to enjoy Israel.
We did not think then that only a week later, this same boat would be involved in the international commotion about the Turkish vessels in the exact same spot where we were sitting.
For now, we're back in the marina at Hertzliya, meeting with the midwife next week, and getting settled for the next phase of the adventure! Anxious to see what God has planned for us while we're here.