Happy Thanksgiving, S/V PEACE AND ALOHA, Update November 24, 2005
HAPPY THANKSGIVING to all our Family and Friends,
We would like to express our heartfelt THANKS to all of you at this time of year for your support and prayers during 2005 as we have continued sailing around the world on our journey of PEACE AND ALOHA. In the past year we have visited 19 countries and stopped at 80 different anchorages as we traveled 8700 miles across the Indian Ocean, the Red Sea, and the Mediterranean Sea to arrive here in Las Palmas on Isla Gran Canaria in the Canary Islands in the eastern Atlantic Ocean, approximately 100 miles off the coast of Morocco, Africa. Thankfully, we survived the tsunami on December 26, 2004 in Yacht Haven Marina in Phuket, Thailand and had minor but scary encounters with the remaining debris off Sri Lanka as we sailed by over a month later. We traveled safely through "pirate alley" in the Gulf of Aden, where unfortunately, two American boats were later fired upon and returned fire injuring the pirates and their boats. The American boats were able to escape without injury or being boarded or robbed but they did sustain a few bullet holes. We are thankful for their escape, but the whole experience must have been terrifying!
We have visited 19 countries/semi-autonomous island states since last Thanksgiving: Thailand, (Burma and Cambodia via land tours), Maldives, Oman, Yemen, Eritrea, Sudan, Egypt, Israel, Turkey, Greece, Italy, Balearic Islands (Menorca, Majorca and Ibiza), Spain, Gibraltar, and the Canary Islands which are part of Spain. Unfortunately we missed Sri Lanka, India and Cyprus either because of the tsunami or time constraints. We have completely enjoyed our past year visiting these countries (land tours to Thailand/Cambodia and a Nile Cruise/Cairo) to see the usual tourist sights, learning about the history and culture, and meeting and interacting with the local people which we have found easier while traveling on a sailboat. We found all peoples to be very friendly and open towards us and never encountered any anti-Americanism even in the many Muslim countries that we visited. Our only regret is that we never seemed to have enough time!
We had a short visit with our one year 4 month old grandson, Paul and his parents, Julie (our daughter) and Chris from Evergreen, Colorado while we were in Marmaris, Turkey. We had a wonderful time swimming and touring in spite of Paul having his days and nights confused with "jet lag!" He loved steering S/V PEACE AND ALOHA while Captain Grandpa was holding him! We hope that they will visit again in the Caribbean. We need to return home to spend more time with them since we are missing so much as he grows even though Julie puts many pictures on his website (www.paulkekoa.com) for us to enjoy.
We thank you for your emails and we plan to answer them as soon as possible and to send updates with more particulars about our travels, especially for those "following in our wake." As you can imagine from the list of countries, miles, anchorages and the sights which we have seen in the last few months, we have been completely overwhelmed and are on "overload."
We are presently preparing for our passage from the Canary Islands to the Cape Verde Islands (800 miles, approximately 6 days). In the Cape Verdes we will tour the island, refuel, reprovision, and reassess our "weather window" to cross the Atlantic to Martinique (2000 miles, 14+ days). We need to be very cautious this year since there have historically been hurricanes/tropical cyclones in the Atlantic in December which seems like a real possibility this year with sea water temperatures of 84 Degrees F in the Caribbean now (needs to be below 79 Degrees F for no cyclone formation) and with the horrendous hurricane season experienced thus far this year. We have no schedule, so we will wait to cross when the trade winds are in and more settled. Our plan is to cross the Atlantic and to sail north through the Caribbean Islands to the Bahamas visiting the islands again which we enjoyed back in 1999. Finally, we will cross the Gulf Stream back to Fort Lauderdale where S/V PEACE AND ALOHA will be for sale. It will take several months to move off and to "spruce her up" for her new owners who will hopefully take her around again! Then we will visit friends and family on the mainland and return to Maui where we plan to build our new home on our property in Olowalu, while living in one of our condos at Napili Point.
That brings you up-to-date with our travels and plans, so please send us your news and future plans. PLEASE remember, do NOT simply hit your reply button and send this email back to us with your answer! If you no longer wish to receive our updates, write back and we will remove you from our mailing list. We are using an acceptance list at this address, so if you change your email address, please notify us from your old address; otherwise, we will not receive your email. Thanks. We promise to send out all our past updates soon and to answer your personal emails as soon as possible. We love to hear from YOU!
We thank you and we wish you a beautiful Thanksgiving Day where ever you may be - on land or sea! Happy Thanksgiving! Happy Turkey Day! Happy Holidays! God Bless! Be safe out there! Fair winds and calm seas for our cruising friends!
With Love, Peace and Aloha,
Ellen, David, Jason and Eric
S/V PEACE AND ALOHA
November 24, 2005
Las Palmas, Isla Gran Canaria, Canary Islands, Atlantic Ocean