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TUNISIA ON THE HARD

When we left Sicily for Tunisia, in addition to sightseeing,  we had two things in mind:  a clean bottom for Destiny and filling our tanks with diesel for the equivalent of $2.50 per U.S. gallon.  Diesel fuel in the Med has averaged $8.00 per gallon, so this was a big incentive.

A bottom scrubbing in Malta by a diver proved not to be effective.  We needed new bottom paint.  So after arriving in Tunisia and consulting with Duncan who runs Yacht Services at Port Yasmine we made arrangements to haul Destiny at the Monastir Fishing Port about 40 NM south for bottom painting.  We first visited the boat yard by car to check it out.

Fishing dominates the harbor, as one would expect. . .

but the super size travel lift could accommodate boats much larger than Destiny.

For the equivalent of about $580 we had the boat hauled, blocked, the bottom sanded and two coats of paint applied–and that included 9 days on the hard.  Kent worked on other boat projects, including routine maintenance and replacement of a worn cutlass bearing.  Similar work in Italy would have been three to four times that cost. 

In the meantime, Jolie and I relaxed in an apartment at Monastir Cap Marina ($35 per night) a couple of kilometers away watching the local pirate ships come and go and viewing magnificent sunsets.

Kent left for the fishing harbor in Destiny. . .

while Jolie and I settled into a tri-level apartment at the Marina Cap Monastir Hotel. . .

with a terrace on one side. . .

overlooking the marina and the local pirate ship. . .

and stunning sunsets on the other.

As a special treat I had a haircut, manicure and pedicure for 54 Dinar (about $30) at a 4-star hotel nearby.

Finally after nine days, Destiny was ready to launch, and I was ready to give up the luxury of our apartment with bathtub to move back on board.

Finally, Destiny is ready to go in the slings. . .

which are pretty worn from being dragged through the boatyard.

While supervising the work, Kent became friendly with a young Tunisian boatyard worker named, Abdul.  Abdul is 27 years old and has a degree in electrical engineering from a University.  The only work he can find is painting and launching boats for which he makes 30 Dinar per day, the equivalent of 15 euros or less than $20 US.  This is considered good pay by Tunisian standards, which accounts for the “bargain” rates compared to the E.U.

Kent oversees Abdul, whose work is meticulous, earning him some extra Dinar from us.

Of course, the launch day coincided with the first nasty weather we had in two weeks which made for a wet ride back to Monastir Cap Marina.

Time to go back in the water. . .now if nothing leaks and the engine starts, we're in good shape.

It's a sloppy ride outside, but with luck. . .

we beat the rain and strong wind back to Monastir Cap Marina.

As nice as it was to be land based for a while, it was equally nice to be back “home.”

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