Posted by: catamarantwooceans | June 14, 2020

On the Way to the Med–Panama Canal

13.6.2020 – Saturday – Two weeks ago when MV Minervagracht, with Two Oceans on board, left Tahiti, SevenStars published the ETAs for the next destinations. I was surprised to see that the Palma ETA was July 8-9; that is earlier than I thought and raises the question whether travel to Palma would be possible at that time. My friend Zulu gave me the contact information of an Israeli yachtsman called Eran Becher living in Palma who in the past was very helpful to another needy Israeli who brought his yacht to Palma. I had a very pleasant whatsapp video conversation with him and he referred me to a friend of his, Juaquim Malhao, a professional skipper, who also turned to be a very nice fellow. Juaquim is going to help with everything connected to receiving Two Oceans in Palma, with or without me present.

I have been following the ship’s progress using https://www.marinetraffic.com which is using data from the ship’s AIS and is showing its location on a chart plus speed, coordinates and some more info. This afternoon she anchored near the entrance to the Panama Canal.

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Just before I went to bed I looked again and saw the ship at anchor. Frankly, thinking about travel restrictions, I was hoping she would have to wait for the Canal transit for a few days and delay the arrival in Palma.

14.6.2020 – Sunday – Early in the morning, before breakfast, I drove to a nearby beach and went swimming. Back home a bit after 8 a.m I opened the marine traffic site and was surprised to see the Minervagracht at Gatun locks on the Atlantic exit of the Canal. I entered the Canal webcam site and could see, not very clearly, the ship and some masts on its deck.

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A bit later I saw the ship exiting the port of Colon on its way to Palm Beach, Florida.

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SevenStars update should arrive tomorrow.

Posted by: catamarantwooceans | May 28, 2020

On The Way to the Med–the start

21.5.2020 – Thursday – There is a old saying to the effect that Man makes plans and God loughs. Back at the beginning of March we planned to go to Polynesia for the loading of our boat on the SevenStars ship; instead the Corona virus pandemic raised its ugly head. We went into lockdown and confinement and all flights towards Tahiti were canceled. The effect of the pandemic is known to you all, still we had to deal with the transport of Two Oceans to the Med and had to go back to the “Agent” option. I contacted David Allouch of Sail Tahiti, the man who tried to sell our boat and he agreed to take care of the operation.

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                                                       David

I thought David would be the one to sail the boat from Taravao, where she is at anchor, to Papeete, the location of the loading, but he decided to relegate the job to a professional skipper called Jeremy. He also brought into the picture a young woman named Melanie Tibault, who has a business by the name of “Watch My Boat” to be the overall seer of the operation.

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Melanie Whatsapp profile pic

I received a quotation for the project  which I thought to be inflated, haggled a bit, understood that I had no other alternative and we reached an agreement. As the days went by, the ETA of the ship into Tahiti kept creeping forward to settle finally on May 26th.

I had Marc, who was watching the boat in Taravao, clean the propellers and the cooling seawater intakes and run the engines in preparation for the trip to Papeete but when Jeremy came to inspect the boat he found a leak from the cooling saltwater pump on the port engine; he said that there was water in the fuel and that the primary fuel filters were very dirty. A mechanic was brought and I was told he was to finish the repair yesterday morning after which Jeremy would take the boat to the marina in Papeete to wait for the ship. The time difference between Israel and Tahiti is 13 hours and I am anxiously waiting for information about that.

22.5.2020 – Friday – Got an e-mail from Melanie (sent the day before) that the boat would be sailed today to Papeete.

23.5.2020 – Saturday – Got a mail sent last night at 2200 Tahiti time informing us that the boat just arrived in Papeete; this was a huge relief. There was also information about the work the mechanic did: draining the fuel system, cleaning the primary fuel filters and changing oil and oil filters. Loading is supposed to happen on the 27th.

26.5.2020 – Tuesday – This is the mail I received from Melanie this morning:      “Dear Michael  I just came back to see Two ocean. She is full of moisture inside, a lot of water On the card table ( I opened the electrical Bord but didn’t see water clearly.). Papers and iridium phone are swimming in dirty water…A lot of oil around the engine. I send you pictures. Two split porthole on portside. Custom paperwork is OK. Everything has been put inside the boat for safety” (sic).

I was in a bit of – not a shock but a feeling of stress and consternation. Marc was supposed (and paid) to take care of the boat and that included airing her from time to time to prevent mold and do some cleaning if necessary. The engines were checked by a mechanic just a few days ago so where did the oil come from? Split porthole – where and when did that happen? I was scared that one of the big windows was damaged but once I looked at the pictures she had sent I breathed a sigh of relief.

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                                           mold in the salon

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                                   Fuel (not oil) in engine room

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       chart table condition

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crack in hatch

O.K, there will be a lot of work once the boat reaches Palma but frankly all this can be expected when you leave the boat for more than seven months practically unattended.

At 2335 Israel time my phone pinged; Melanie sent a picture of Two oceans alongside the cargo ship. She continued sending pictures of the loading until 30 minutes past midnight at which time I was unable to keep my eyes open and went to bed.

28.5.2020 – Thursday – At 0630 I woke up expecting a message from Melanie but there was none. I sent a message by Whatsapp:”Everything all right?” and the reply was:”Yes, perfect, Two Oceans is well on board”. You can guess how I felt.

Here are some pictures of the loading that Melanie took.

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Later in the afternoon I went sailing with a friend out of Haifa harbor. During our leisurely sail my mind wandered and I remembered Melanie telling me that she lived on a boat. Somehow I had an idea she might be the wife of Alexandre, an electrician who did some work on Two Oceans last August. At that time he told me he was living on a boat in the Taina marina anchorage, that they had a baby and another one on the way. I called her in the evening to thank her and posed the question. Yes! They are living on a Leopard catamaran with their two babies.

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So what lies ahead? The ship will leave Tahiti soon, sail to the Med with two stops on the way; Palm Beach Florida and Southampton U.K. Svenstars say it should take 45 days but I guess there will be some delays and that arrival in Palma de Majorca will happen at the end of July. hopefully travel then would be possible and we would be able to rejoin Two Oceans.

Posted by: catamarantwooceans | March 2, 2020

Two Oceans–Update

2.3.2020 – Monday -  My last post was published six months ago. During that time we were trying to sell Two Oceans and although we lowered the price more than once ultimately there were no takers. A few days ago I received from Sevenstars yacht transport company the schedule of a ship named Minervagracht which is going to load yachts in Tahiti at the beginning of April. We decided to transport our cat on her, destination Palma de Majorca, Spain.

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                                     The Minervagracht

At the beginning I thought I’d employ an agent to take care of the operation for us but after contacting two possible people I understood that I have to be there myself. The cost of the delivery is a staggering 45000$ U.S and I felt we could not delegate the responsibility to someone else. Speaking to Gili I suggested that we go together, about two weeks before the ship comes, sail in Tahiti and Moorea, put Two Oceans on the ship and say goodbye to Polynesia for the last time.

Right now the ship is supposed to reach Tahiti on April 13th so we plan to fly out March 26th.

More information in April.

Adios from Gili and Miki still at home in Israel.

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