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Historic and Momentous Highlights of our Travels

scec5We have visited more than 118 countries, territories,  and dependencies during our voyages, crossed several oceans, crisscrossed the Mediterranean Sea, Red Sea, Caribbean. On land, we have visited more than 30 states in the USA. We watched history being made, atrocities being committed, and encountered the people caught in these events, good and bad, in several countries while sailing around Africa, the Middle East, and elsewhere in the world.

The South African general election of April 27, 1994, where Nelson Mandela became the president, was one such momentous occasion as was Ethiopia's recognizing Eritrea's sovereignty on May 3, 1993. Another was when we were waylaid for a time when the Yemenis started their civil war in 1994, resulting in bombings and piracy around the Red Sea while we were making our way up to Egypt. 

In 100 days, beginning in April 1994, the Hutu tribe rampaged through Rwanda and slaughtered an estimated 800,000 Tutsi and their moderate Hutu sympathizers. Everyone in central east Africa was on tenter hooks during this period and the sense of fear and helplessness was palpable. This was perhaps one moment in history that most people would rather not remember but should, so it never happens again! Sadly, Sudan is feeling the effects of "ethnic cleansing" today.

The Red Sea with its notoriously bad weather, sand storms, oil rigs, pirates and the Suez Canal was a milestone achievement. Royal Salute was only the second cruising yacht to visit Junieh, Lebanon after the end of the 16-year civil war. The country looked like a set in a Steven Spielberg movie...the jewel of the Middle East was a complete wreck! After the initial hostile reception by the military when we arrived in the country (visitors to Lebanon was unheard of and we were at first treated as potential troublemakers), we were delighted with the warm welcome by the people in this country and it was hard to eventually leave.

We had interesting encounters like the spectacular diving on the reefs off of the isolated island of Pemba, once the spice capital of the world, in the Indian Ocean. It is only reachable by boat. White faces were an oddity and visitors of any kind are almost non-existent. Diving on Jaques Cousteau's underwater house in the Red Sea on Shaab Brumi together with a marine research ship was a once in a lifetime experience. Famous shark researcher, Eugenie Clarck was on board and showed us some spectacular underwater sights.

albertOne occasion very close to our hearts was of course when Albert Einstein, a blue vervet monkey became a part of Royal Salute's crew in Turkey and there are many stories related to Albert's antics. Being invited to visit Cuba by Charles Romero, the former secretary of Che Guevara, where we were given a unique view of life on Cuba and the Cuban Revolution was a very special occasion that few people will ever get to experience. Meeting the Sultan of Malaysia's son Idris Shah, who now happens to be the sultan, on his royal yacht "Jugra", serves as another highlight and of course the legendary Bob and Jodi from Latitudes & Attitudes (now Cruising Outpost) fame on their yacht "Lost Soul". 

So, as you can tell from just a few highlights from our travels, we have had and are still having an adventure that sometimes boggles the mind. We have the pleasure of sharing the ocean with all of God's creatures, we are thankful for the privilege and we hope to keep travelling, discovering and learning. The rhythm of the ever-changing ocean has left a delicate but indelible impression on our lives and we wish all sailors to experience the same pleasure, passion and freedom that only sailing the oceans can evoke. Join Us!

 

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