04 Oct - 21 Oct 2005 Beirut

Eastern Mediterranean
Republic of Lebanon
ATCL Marina +9619932020
SY "Kamu II" with her bow to the jetty and with a permanent stern mooring.
US$ 9.- per night for 16 nights.

Click below for a bird's-eye view of our marina berth:

Click here for a summary of this year's travels:

Logging the sailed distance of about 150 nm between Lattakia/Syria and Jounieh/Lebanon in almost 72 hours, firstly, drifting and motoring alternatively over a mirror-like sea for about 60 hours and secondly, waiting about 10 nm N off Beirut in a swelly sea through the night for the first morning light in order to approach the unknown Lebanese coast in good daylight (with the skyscrapers of Beirut on our starboard bow).

Paying on arrival US$ 60.- agent's fee (to the Lebanese marina manager), US$ 47.- arrival/departure tax (to the Lebanese marina manager), and US$ 50.- (to the Lebanese marina manager) for two hand-written, provisional Lebanese shore passes (valid for seven days, after which two hand-written, week-long extensions were given - free of charge, no fuss, from the Lebanese marina manager).

Refuelling with 180 litres of diesel fuel for LL 995.- (US$ 0.66) per litre from the marina’s convenient fuel berth.

Relaxing at the Olympic size, sparkling swimming pool in this luxurious and well-maintained marina (with very tight security), fully owned by Beirut’s well-heeled used-car dealers and suppliers of vehicles to the military (ATCL means: Automobile et Touring Club du Liban), located in a Christian area and next to the Lebanese Army Officers Club, and feasting on subsidised Middle East food (e.g. hummus, baba ghanoush, tabbouleh, labneh and khoobz Arabi) in the marina's wonderful terrace restaurant.

Taking a heart-stopping ride on the Téléférique, the cable way up to the Virgin of Lebanon at Harissa, a Christian pilgrimage site 650 m above the coastal town of Jounieh, for spectacular views of the Mediterranean Sea, Beirut, Jounieh, the ATCL Marina and SY “Kamu II”.

Strolling through Tripoli's (the city is located 85 km N of the capital Beirut; in ancient times, it was the centre of a Phoenician confederation which included Tyre, Sidon and Arados, hence the name Tripoli, meaning "triple city" in Greek) bustling medieval Arab and Mamluk souqs, khans, mosques, madrassas (Islamic schools) and hammams, and exploring the Citadel of Raymond des Saint-Giles, once a major base of operations for the military order of the Knights Hospitaller.

Promenading along the Corniche Beirut (the famous water front located between St. George Yacht Club and Ras Beirut; lined with palm trees, the waterfront boulevard offers a magnificent view of the Mediterranean and the summits of Mount Lebanon to the E) in this most vibrant capital city of the Middle East, and having a refreshing jallab (a date drink with floating pine nuts and pistachios) break at the Bay Rock Café overlooking the Pigeon Rocks.

Enjoying the reborn and tastefully reconstructed, slightly disneyesque downtown Beirut (“the Paris of the Middle East”) which, previously the home of much of the city's commercial and cultural activities, became the centre of a war zone and a no man’s land during the Lebanese Civil War in the 1980s.

Matt: Experiencing 6,000 years of Middle-Eastern history at the brilliant National Museum of Beirut, the principal museum of archaeology in Lebanon.

Hiring a car and touring the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Ouadi Qadisha (the Holy Valley), a deep gorge carved by the Kadisha River, with its rock-cut Maronite monasteries (visiting: the Qannubin Monastery, the Monastery of Our Lady of Hawqa, the Monastery of St Anthony of Qozhaya) and the more than 2,000 m high Horsh Arz el-Rab (the Forest of the Cedars of God), survivors of the ancient Cedars of Lebanon, the most highly prized building materials of the ancient world, hereafter driving from the Mount Lebanon downhill into and through the Bekaa Valley, a fertile (wine, hashish, opium) valley in Lebanon, located about 30 km E of Beirut and situated between the Mount Lebanon to the W and the Anti-Lebanon mountain ranges to the E, to the "Sun City" and UNESCO World Heritage Site of Baalbek, admiring one of Rome's most lavish temples (with the largest columns in the world: 22.90 m high with a girth of 2.20 m), and studying its debauched past, and - on our way back through Hezbollah controlled villages - being watched by hundreds of martyrs’ posters (young men with green bandanas, staring impassively, some gripping AK47s) at the lamp posts and trees along the road.

Meeting German-Lebanese friends Fadia & Klaus and feasting on Klaus' very special home-smoked giant trout from a Mount Lebanon trout farm in Baskinta.

Konni: Masquerading as a Lebanese woman (dark sunglasses and fancy headscarf) and joining Fadia and her little daughter Carla for a family reunion at their country home in the Hezbollah controlled southern part of Lebanon near the infamous Fatima Gate (the site of media-incited anti-Israeli demonstrations and cross-border stone throwing), passing roadblocks manned with macho Lebanese commandos in camouflage battle dress and accessorised with Ray-Ban Aviators and Heckler & Koch MP5s, admiring Beaufort Castle and catching a glimpse of neighbouring Israel - thank you, Fadia, for the lovely and exciting weekend.
There was a Lebanese, an Israeli and Konni sitting together in a carriage in the Blue Train. Suddenly, the train went through a tunnel and as it was already the New South Africa, there were no lights in the carriages and it went completely dark. Then there was a kissing noise and the sound of a really loud slap.
When the train came out of the tunnel, Konni and the Lebanese were sitting as if nothing had happened and the Israeli had his hand against his face as he had been slapped there. He was thinking: "Damn, this Lebanese putz must have kissed Konni and she missed him and slapped me instead."
Konni was thinking: "Oi, gevald. This meshugeh Israeli klutz must have tried to kiss me and actually kissed this Lebanese nudnik and got slapped for it."
And the Lebanese was thinking: "This is just great! The next time the train goes through a tunnel, I’ll make another kissing noise and slap the Israeli bastard again."

Clearing Lebanese customs and Lebanese immigration officially for Cyprus (since Lebanon and Israel were in a state of war and sailing to Israel was not permitted), sailing through the Lebanese territorial waters straight towards Larnaka/Cyprus, changing into stealth mode exactly 12 nm off the coast and making a sharp left turn (without flashing the indicator lights) in order to approach the Israeli territorial waters undetected by the Lebanese Navy.