Bizerte: Life in Tunisia

Stephen & Anne
Tue 28 Jul 2009 20:29

37.16.422N 9.52.817E


The weather has been reasonably hot over the last few weeks, we tend to be active only in the mornings now as the afternoons are too hot. We have the odd day where it falls below 30C and it does then feel cold. Most of the time it’s above 30C. We are not sure how we will cope in winter.


We have finally decided that the Tunisian air condition unit is an absolute waste of space so we have purchased a normal fan that is much smaller and more efficient. We intend to donate the old unit to the locals who are helping us learn a little bit of Arabic.


The marina is very pleasant – we are on the locals pontoon and are fitting into daily life in Bizerte quite well. Most boats that visit are French – we watch their various mooring techniques as they come and go on the visitors pontoon. It tends to provide our daily entertainment.


On one occasion a boat arrived in 30+kn winds. These strong winds had been forecast for a while and no-one else was sailing for a few days beforehand. It was quite a surprise when a boat arrived in the middle of it all. Clearly they were very good sailors, well they may have been, but their mooring technique left a bit to be desired. They decided wisely to moor alongside the concrete wall where you refuel as trying to get on to the visitors pontoon stern to would be impossible. A few tips we learnt were:


1. Put the fenders on the side of the boat that will be against the concrete wall and space them out along the whole length of the boat. In the battle between GRP and concrete, the shiny GRP boat always looses.

2. Having 6 crew onboard is not very useful if only two of them are doing anything (that includes one being on the helm)

3. Have mooring ropes ready.

4. When throwing a mooring rope, if you don’t tie it onto your boat, the person on shore will end up with all the rope. Now this may be a nice present for him but it really doesn’t help stop the boat bashing into the concrete, especially as you are relying on people to push you off as your fenders are on the other side. Ah well. Maybe they will learn next time.


As you can probably tell the boat came in ill prepared and were lucky that there were at least 5 people on the fuel dock helping.



Cat Watch Update:


Our cats have finally scratched their scratching post down to the bare cardboard, so we rebuilt it with some new sisal. This went down very well and they spent the first day scratching it non stop.


The kitten opposite has left home and now lives on land although we rarely see him. We guess food is better there now mum cat has left him to fend for himself.


We did have one rather exciting night. A local cat decided to remove our mosquito netting from the window and explore inside our boat while we were all asleep. Koshka naturally defended the boat well and it soon retreated. Yoyo was not at all happy and spent the rest of the night in the bedroom staring down into the saloon to make sure it didn’t return.


Human Watch Update:


Well as you can tell we haven’t moved. Exploring Sicily is now on hold until next year. We are enjoying exploring Tunisia much more than we thought.