GMIV arrives safely in Crete after tips and tempests
Gipsy Moth IV has arrived in Crete where she is fitting new batteries in preparation for her next leg to Malta. Skipper John Jeffrey and crew ran the gauntlet of ‘Marlborough alley” as the Suez Canal is unaffectionately known.
Canal pilots constantly hassle yachtsmen for ‘baksheesh’, cigarettes, even hot meals as they pass through the 105 mile long cut between the ancient desert sands of Egypt.
But thanks to Blue Water Round The World Rally director Tony Diment, the £15 ‘tip’ was collected from each yacht prior to the transit and handed over to port authority chief Captain Soukar Heebi to share out among his pilots.
Boats in the earlier transit were not so lucky: one Valhalla a Hallberg Rassy 352, skippered by Peter Newns and wife Val, shelled out £55 as well as providing hot meals, a coat and a hand held VHF to their pilot. Despite this he demanded more and even called up a pilot boat which shone a powerful searchlight into the crew’s eyes. Read the full story in the June issue of Yachting Monthly.
Gipsy Moth IV is due to arrive in Plymouth on May 28, exactly 40 years to the day after Francis Chichester completed his own circumnavigation.