I have been involved with solar-powered boats for thirty years, and with sailing boats for longer still. As someone who − by conviction − rarely travels by aeroplane, I was confronted with the problem of making an ecologically-sound journey to Israel/Palestine, where I am working on a project for Palestinian youth in refugee camps in 2020. Since the journey to Israel is very costly unless one travels by air, I decided to buy a solar-powered sailing catamaran and use it on the route from Mersin (in Turkey) to Haifa/Akko and back, and to take passengers. The crossing takes about 48 hours and departure times will be adapted to meet the demand. The offer is valid for six months (04/20 to 10/20) for the time being. Up to four crossings per month are possible. Depending on demand, this service will then be discontinued or extended. On request, we can also separately call at the port cities of Beirut (Lebanon), Latakia (Syria) and Al-Aryan (Egypt).
The Déjà Vu itself is a Catalac 9m built in 1972 (see www.catamaransite.com for more information) and totally renovated in 2009. Last year, the boat was fitted with a solar-electric auxiliary power unit, enabling it to sail even in light winds, which often prevail in the Levant. She has one single and two double cabins, plus a salon, a kitchen and a toilet. The steering position is protected, and the cockpit and deck are spacious.
Costs: The income will be equally split three ways: for food, boat costs and a music therapy project in Ramallah. It will also be possible to transport (e-)bicycles for an extra charge of €20.
Passengers do not need any special sailing skills or experience. However, they are expected to consider themselves as part of the crew and to lend a hand where feasible and possible. A round trip costs €250.
If the demand exceeds the monthly supply, further trips are possible. As we are dependent on wind and weather, there may be modifications to the timetable.