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  • hbanziger

B + 18 : "This is Israeli Navy ..."

Not being able to leave from Famagusta meant we had to round the tail of Cyprus before heading south towards Israel. It would take us 21 hours to get to Haifa - a full day on the sea.

It was a wonderful day of relaxation, reading, talking and eating. We also loved the long rollers we were surfing with the boat

Our First Officer, Fettah, on the look out for other boats - we were most of the time alone on the big ocean but spotted from time to time a big cargo vessel on the way to somewhere

By the time of sunset we were already within two hours distance of the Israeli coast

Before we saw the lights of Haifa we were intercepted by the Israeli Navy "This is Israeli Navy - Turkish Sailboat Carpe Diem STOP!" They grilled for an hour over radio on passengers and the purpose of our trip - very professional - all their guns always pointed at us. Once happy with our replies, the young Captain came on the radio "We know it is your first time in Israel - sorry for the delay - we take our security seriously - we love our country - enjoy your time here!" And off they went!

An hour later, we entered the port of Haifa and were directed to the dock for the big cruise ships where a group of rather young intelligence officer waited for us, lead by a female officer who immigrated from Russia. They split us in groups and interrogated separately. I guess they knew more about us then we did. Once the interviews were done, they welcomed us with warm words and gave us lots of travel advice for the next few days.

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