Europe and Turkey

The anchoring and marina information about Europe developed along the way after we started travelling with SY Zeezwaluw (L 46ft, dr 7ft).

The information is divided into countries to make it manageable. Some countries have more than one PDF file otherwise the file would be too bulky. The year we started the info is 2004 going eastward into the Mediterranean, all the way to Israel. In 2008 we sailed westward again encountering new places and revisited old ones. The files have been updated along the way out of the Med. In the years 2010-2015 we have visited the Atlantic coast of Portugal and the Atlantic Islands. The Atlantic islands, Canaries (S) and Azores (P) have their own tab underneath the countries they belong to. Some of the early visited places are a long time ago, so there might have been changes we are not aware of.

We wish you happy times as we had in the places we visited.


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Sailing Event Regatta of Bonaire

Zeezwaluw Post number 7

November it is! The hurricane season is slowly leaving by the back-door while a new sailing00_plan season is waiting at the front-door. Just a day ago the correspondent had a chat with the crew of Zeezwaluw about their starting date of the first leg of their planned journey. He was told it is soon, very soon. November 6 it will be, weather permitted.

During this chat about leaving Bonaire, the correspondent inquired a01_Bonaire-_ regattabout the Sailing Regatta Event of early October. For the crew enjoyed it very much the chat was extended with the story of the regatta through the eyes and pictures of the Zeezwaluw crew. So here it comes!

02_stalla_ashore__regattaThe Bonaire Regatta event is every year and world famous in the ABC-islands. It is an all island happening, at sea and on land. Many boats of the other islands sail to Bonaire to take part in the races. But, ….. what was the Zeezwaluw crew doing you might wonder…… Did they take part too or just enjoyed it as observer?

Well it was the last of course for they had a first row spot to watch these races. Zeezwaluw was swinging behind a mooring ball at the outside-line, therefore having an undisturbed view to port and starboard and far out to sea. The crew could see almost all the buoys the competitors had to round and even the finish line was in view, this was great!03_sailing_course

04_SSailing_infoAt the internet the crew found the race program with a time table and the different sailing classes; from large (46ft) pure racing boats to optimists and sunfish. To make it even more enjoyable for the Zeezwaluw crew, 3 of the cruising boats of the mooring field joined the “cruising class or open class”. From Thursday till Saturday morning each class had 5 race’s to sail. Saturday evening the winners would be announced in “El Mundo” a café in the centre of Kralendjk.

The opening of the Regatta on Wednesday evening was a loud one. A group of participants with their country flag waving were walking behind a van with ear-splitting loud music out of big speakers while on top of that, a DJ with a microphone tried to inspire the group to sing and dance like the Caribbean’s do. A police car drove at the head, making way for the slowly moving & dancing gathering while another was at the rear end. The whole length of the seaside promenade of Kralendijk, their sirens joined the cacophony with the blue flashing light in tune; it took about an hour….

Every race day at 8 a.m. the crew sat in the cockpit in race outfit (but not truly) with a cup of tea and binoculars at the ready. They were in time to see the participating cruising boats leaving their moorings to sail to the starting line.

There were 3 Nationalities of the cruising boats and very different sized boats; “MAXIMO” (a 44ft semi racer) Dutch, “AJO” an older 30ft Danish and a 40ft US cruising boat the crew did not know the name of. But of course they all have a different rating so the best may win!

While the bigger boats were racing longer distances, first along the mooring field where after they sailed under spinnaker out to sea, and came back an hour later. The little boats (Optimist and Sunfish) had their racing course just behind the mooring line. All of the little sailors were fighting the wind and each other to win their race. One of the buoys the Optimists had to go around was laid too close to a big catamaran.09_Bakkies_ regattaDue to the wind shifts the moored boats moved accordingly and the gap between catamaran and buoy became less than 5m. That was fun for the spectators but awful for the little ones to round that specific buoy! It looked like a war zone! Very soon a boat of the organisation lifted the buoy and dropped it at a more convenient distance from the catamaran in the mooring field.

Farther afield was windsurfing and the traditional sailing fishing boats but hard to see for the crew. Nearby was a special free part in the mooring field were they held races with radiographic-controlled sail boats. The crew supposes the participants were beginners and had still a lot to learn before the next regatta. The beautiful little boats sailed time and again out-off their range into the big ocean! A dinghy had to pick them up far outside the mooring field.010_Bestuurbare_bootjesSo the Zeezwaluw crew had a lot of fun during this 51th Bonaire Regatta just being a cockpit spectator on their own ship. They saw the Dutch “Maximo” sailing a race on their own, always far in front of the rest of the participating boats while the Danish “AJO” was mostly the last boat to finish. But “AJO” had lots of fun with their everyday change of crew.

The last day, the day of hardly any wind, they had the Dutch crew of “Summerwind” as their race crew. They did an excellent job in sailing very, very slowly the last few miles to the finish line.

Saturday afternoon the Zeezwaluw crew heard that “Maximo” won the first prize and Trophy in the “Open Class”. Well done. But to be honest they thought the Danish boat “AJO” should have won an award too, to honour their determination in sailing during the light winds on the last day. Who won the racing class is still a question for most spectators.

Bonaire’s Regatta is a great 4-days event and the Zeezwaluw crew hope it will grow more international and larger in size for it is real fun. Even the cruisers at the mooring field feel part of the whole event.

Pdf file; Sailing Event Regatta of Bonaire

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More news in Pdf form from 2018

New anchoring info of ABC-Islands, Curacao

The SPECIAL travel letter we promishedBonaire, Washington Slagbaai National Park

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ABC-Islands, Curaçao

The pilot to the ABC Islands we used was one of the Gotto Go Cruising Guides; “The ABC Islands” written by D. Waterson & D. van der Reyden (ours was an old edition). Another possibility is using “A guide to the ABC islands” from Frank Vigentino; this is a free download on http://freecruisingguides.com/5_FlagCuracao

The island Curaçao has several anchorages from east to west at the south side, as the ABC-pilot will show. Nevertheless most cruisers are anchored in Spaanse Water. It is a very save and enjoyable anchorage.

Spaanse Water anchorage: 12° 04′.835 N 68° 51′.743 W

When you enter Curaçao waters, anchor in Spaanse water flying the Q-flag. The next day you do the check-in at Custom & Immigration. That’s the easy and official way.

Spaanse Water is divided in several sectors where you are allowed to anchor. A and B are separated by a fare way, which should be free at all the times. VHF hailing channel is 72, with a cruisers net 6 days a week at 8 a.m. (end of February 2018 it stopped, no netcontrolers available)

For more and specific information and pictures about the Anchoring areas, see the Facebook page; Curaçao Cruisers Information. This is a closed group but join them and you will have access to all the important information. In the file section Documents, or follow the link and you will go directly to the Pdf file. In the Pdf file is all the important information you like to know; for example, where to find Custom & Immigration and where to obtain the anchor permit (USD 10,=) and many other things. To repeat it here is useless for it’s too much.

The information below is our experience during the time we have been there.

We were anchored at the above coordinates which is in sector A, the nearest to the dinghy dock at the fisherman’s harbour. The holding in mud was excellent, but be aware that some places have grass where the holding is not that good. Zeezwaluw was anchored in + 6m with 35m of chain in the water. Have a swim to be certain where your anchor is. The winds are commonly from the E between 15-20kn. In the afternoon the wind picks up but dies at sunset again. Occasionally a reversed wind will turn you 180°, so anchor a safe distance from your neighbour boats.

The dinghy dock in the fisherman’s harbour is where the free of charge shopping bus to Vreugdenhil supermarket is, leaves Mon-Sat at 8.30 a.m. next to the gate. He returns from the supermarket at 10 a.m. Other shops (Budget, Pharmacy, hardware shop etc.) are in walking distance of Vreugdenhil and can be reached with the same shopping bus. We were very content with the bus and the supermarket’s extended and very good stock and prices.

Bus to Willemstad number 6A stops at the roundabout opposite Pirate’s nest. Latest schedule of all busses (change regularly) is available at the main bus station in Willemstad.

Internet: Free Wi-Fi at the restaurant Pirate’s Nest and you can tie-up at their dingy dock. We used Digicel 4G prepaid SIM card (15 Gb/month, Naf 90) for the internet. You have to buy the SIM card in Willemstad at their office at Brion Plein, just across the Pondjes Bridge to the Otra Banda side.

Water boat: Delivery day is Wednesday. Call “Water boat” at Ch 72 for a delivery on Wednesday. Unfortunately, at the end of February 2018 the water boat went out of business. We do not know if they are coming back at all.

Curaçao Marine, marina & hardstanding 12° 06′.5 N 68° 55′.3 W

Curaçao Marine uses trailers of different sizes for getting in and out of the water which works great. The staff is very careful in handling your boat. The yard is divided in long term storage and short term. At the short term storage you are allowed to stay on the boat and do your own work. Short term storage is a few $ cents more as at the long term. They provide a ladder to get on and off your boat for free. There is water and electricity 220/110V near every boat. Free Wi-Fi. Toilet and shower block. No washing machine but a laundry pick-up. A free shopping bus runs from Mo-Za to Vreugdenhil supermarket. The chandlers Budget Marine and IWW are in walking distance. Guarded 24/7.

You can get more info at their website: www.curacaomarine.com or sent an email to: info@curacaomarine.com       Telephone number: +599 9 465 8936

There’s a small marina too with the same facilities as on the hard standing.

We have been in Curaçao Marine on the hard for just over 4 weeks doing our own work and were please by the staff. They are very friendly and helpful. We can highly  recomand Curaçao Marine.

Klein Curaçao, mooring ball: 11° 59′.30 N 68° 38′.823 W

The island Klein Curaçao (means little Curaçao) is approximate 6 Nm E-SE of the southern tip of Main Island Curaçao. This island is as flat as a pancake, with only a working lighthouse some trees and bushes. There are no people living on the island except the security guards for the day tripper companies who frequent the island every day from ±9.30 A.M till 15 P.M.

At the west side of the island, approximate due West of the lighthouse are many mooring balls in 4-6m of water. It is easy to spot the buoys when you head straight for the lighthouse. Most of them are from the day-tripper companies but after they are gone for the day, you ae allowed to use them. Vacate them before 9.30 A.M. the next day.

The 4 white ones (north of the other moorings) with the blue band are for visiting boats for free. The blue band will brightly reflect after your search light hit it in the dark hours.

3 white mooring balls have long thick lines with a loop to pick-up and attach your lines through. The moorings are safe to use.

Note: The 4th mooring ball (second from the north of the island and opposite the wooden dock) has no line attached. This one has been claimed by the tripper boat “SV Serendipity”, which will use the mooring 5 days a week.

They chased us away on a Tuesday with: “You are using our mooring ball, you have to move”. Well, we are Dutch so we said in Dutch: “These white mooring balls are supposed to be for visiting yachts and are not owned by private companies”. There were still 2 other white buys available. The reply was: “We have to run a long hose up to the shore to supply water and we can’t reach shore from the other buoys”. Apparently they have no own mooring ball like the other tripper boats have and use the free white ones for their convenience. So, we moved to another white mooring buoy. Monday’s and Saturday’s are “SV Serendipity’s” days off, so you can use all 4 white mooring balls. Tie a line to the mooring ball without the line, through the eye on top of the mooring ball, it’s a bit of a hassle but due able, we did (in the dark).

We have been at the third white mooring ball at Klein Curaçao for 8 days (May 2018) without a problem. We were waiting for a good weather window to sail northeast to Sint Maarten. It is safe and was only a bit rolly in 25-30Kn of wind. Only a few nights we had company of another sailing yacht. No mobile phone signal consequently no internet or weather forecast in an easy way. We used our Iridium sat phone instead to get new Gribfiles. We liked it here, but did not go ashore to see the wooden structures with roofs with the palm tree leaves the tripper boats had build for their guests. The view is like a picture out of the holiday catalogues!

Pdf file of Curaçao

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Travel letters 2016 and beyond

6_First_sunset_in_Kralendijk_at_Bonaire

Mid-January 2016 we sailed from the Canary Islands across the Atlantic Ocean to “the other side of this Pond”, where our sailing explorations brought us to different continents. We still have to explore many new countries beyond the ever far away horizon, so to speak.

Therefore we decided to split-up the travel letters into continents as of 2016. The Continents have a sub tab for countries. But the Caribbean Sea does not belong to a specific continent or country, so it gets an own tab using the common known areas.

This means all the travel letters of the other side of the pond, got their own place underneath a sub-tab under the “Travel letters 2016 and beyond”, umbrella. We assume this will make the search to and location of each travel letter easier. You find the direct link to our “Atlantic Crossing” travel letter underneath.

All travel letters are in Pdf file format for easy downloading and reading. We wish you lots of fun, reading our adventures.

Travel letter 2016 –The Atlantic crossing to Surinam

  1. South America
  2. Windward & Leeward Islands
  3. ABC – Islands

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ABC-Islands, Bonaire

The pilot to the ABC Islands we used was one of the Gotto Go Cruising Guides; “The ABC Islands” written by D. Waterson & D. van der Reyden (ours was an old edition). Another possibility is using “A guide to the ABC islands” from Frank Virgintino; this is a free download on http://freecruisingguides.com/


Bonaire
In 1_Flag_BonaireBonaire anchoring is forbidden at all times. You have to use the little red & white mooring buoys profided by the National Marine Park (NMP). Harbour Village Marina (HVM) collects the fees of $10,=/d (2017 & 2018) for the NMP. No reservation of a mooring bouy, rule is first comes first served. If non available, you are allowed to use one of the orange diving buoys (if still there), but as soon as possible you have to move to an official mooring buoy or sail on to another destination. Sometimes there might be space in the little marina of the water taxi, VHF 68.

When you arrive during the dark hours, it is very difficult to spot the mooring buoys or to monouver to pick-up one. You are allowed to go into the HVM and tie alongside the starboard quay side. (we moored in-between two hugh motoryachts just for the night). Report to the HVM office as soon as its open.
Normal procedure on arrivel is:
• Pick up a mooring buoy (if available)
• Check in at customs & Immigration
• Go to the HVM to pay (in advance) for your moorng buoy for the time you like to stay.
The water is cristal clear and heaven for divers and snorcklers!

01_Zeezwaluw_aan_de_mooring

We were in 2017 on mooring buoy 39 depth 4.4m, in 2018 on buoy 22 same depth (see the picture of the mooring field) both moorings have 2 concrete blocks (others have sand screws) from each block/screw runs a line to a red-white buoy. Attach your own lines through the eye of the rope of each buoy and attach both ends of each line to your ship.Bonaire mooring field

The mooring field runs from east of the Harbour Village Marina to Karl’s Beach Bar. In some places is a double line of moorings of which the inner ones are in more shallow waters. In the picture you will find the depth in meters of each buoy.

We were not able to use/recieve an open WiFi signal but used instead Digicel. A prepaid Sim card and an internet package is very cheap (15Gb/month for US $32 2017 & 2018) and works fine. Digicel shop is in the main street behind the waterfront behind Karls Beach Bar. Garbage disposel is opposite Karl’s Beach bar in the green dumpsters, oposite Budget pontoon next to the sailing school or at HVM

In HVM is a dinghy dock at the end of the marina port side at the very end. It’s a bit akward to step off but doable. There is NO official dinghy dock along the quay. In-between the fishermans dock and Karl’s Beach Bar is a little floting pontoon. Sailors call it the “Budget dinghy dock”. You are allowed to tie your dinghy but leave it on a long line or chain for mobility. Its free of charge! You are also allowed to tie up at Karl’s Beach Bar (do not tie at flower pots) but it costs since 2018 $5,= each time you park or you have to order a drink or so at the restaurant. We never went there, always used the Budget pontoon.

To all other information about Bonaire we refer to the Facebook Page Bonaire Cruisers of 2017 Once you have joined them, you find the Pdf-file in the files section. The file contains lots of usefull info about Bonaire, like free shopping busses to the supermarket (fishermans dock or roundabout near HVM) and so on.

For the above info is an PDF file click HERE.

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Travel letters 2002-2004

49 Gulkrona (F), steenkunst

April 2002 we moved from a house to Zeezwaluw and started our live aboard life. Due to the fact we sailed the first year north to the Baltic Sea we met few live-a-boards, only weekend sailors or holiday people so for travel letters was no need to.

But once sailing south we met live aboard of many nationalities and from the start there was a bond between likeminded people. Therefor only from 2004 we started writing travel letters on a regular basis. But we had a great time in the Baltic Sea and want to share those experiences with you. These travel letters are written in hindsight so to speak but we hope you will enjoy them. In those days we did not gather anchoring and mooring information either that’s why you won’t find them under the special tab.


For the next travel letters go to: Travel letters 2004-2010.

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Mediteranean Eastbound Travels

054 CapoliveriFrom 2004 to 2008 we traveled with Zeezwaluw eastwards through the Mediterranean Sea. We were hopping along Spain, Italy and Greece and their islands further on to Turkey and Israel at the end. At the start we thought spending 2 year at the most in the Med. Well, it turned out to be so amazing due to the country’s history; we spent 6 years in the Med before we managed in 2010 to untie ourselves. We hope you will enjoy the travel letters with our adventures.and the anchoring and mooring information we gathered.


For anchoring and mooring information about the above area’s,  surf to Europe and from there to the specific country.

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Israel

049 Akko,At the end of August 2008 we reached Haifa in Israel. We stayed a month in this town and saw a lot of the northern part of Israel due to our sailing friends who live there. End of September we sailed to Ashkelon to winter. It is the most southern marina in Israel and near the Gaza Strip. We enjoyed our stay very much due to the friendly people, many historic sites and of course the weather. Our stay was cut short due to the Gaza problems early 2009 as you can read in the last travel letter of Israel. We hope you have fun reading our adventures and enjoy the many pictures.

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