|12th May 2011.
Merhaba to all of you from Turkey,
Well it is wet here at the moment so I thought I would catch up on the communications whilst I cannot sunbathe.
John and Erin have been on board for nearly two weeks now and we have shown them a gamut of experiences in that time. The day after they arrived saw John busily helping Bruce with blokey/boatie things whilst Erin and I sharpened our acts, polished our pearls and donned our tiaras (all the way from the $2 shop in NZ) and mounted our chariots and went to the ball – royal wedding actually, on in the restaurant of the neighbouring marina.
We were there with about 60 others – mainly ladies with a half a dozen long-suffering husbands and three gay men, all lovely guys. Derek, Kiwi, who helped me out on cooking tips, John, Kiwi, who said of the trio – “Just three queens coming to see a lot of other queens but I want to see the frocks darling” (John and I had a lovely conversation about the desirability of having a fit young man to do all the grunt work on the boat) and Desmond, John’s partner, Malaysian, who kept the other two in order.
Well we sat there with our glasses of champers and our strawberry tartlets and watched the spectacular event that the British do well. We stood with the other Brits and sang ‘God save the Queen’ and thought isn’t it wonderful watching such an event in Turkey, of all places!
We finally broke free of the marina, after introducing John and Erin to the delights of Happy Hour and a meal at the marina restaurant where they met some of the local characters. We anchored off the town and went into the market for vegies. At this point I must say that the markets continue to delight and Dr Nigel will be pleased at all the healthy stuff we buy – so cheap. Strawberries 4 Turkish Lira a kilo, which works out about $3.25 NZ and you know those lovely, crunchy snow peas we buy at home in a little polystyrene tray with about 6 snow peas on it, for about $3 or more – well here they are 2-4 Turkish Lira a KILO!
Bruce was in much need of a haircut so off he went to the local barber. He had heard from other yachties that it was a real experience going to the barber, as they do everything. He had his hair cut, face denuded of hair, eye brows trimmed, nose hairs trimmed, blobs of hot wax put in his ears and the hair ripped out (he said that was painful – get real -have a bikini wax mate and you will know what pain is!), and at the end of it all, hair spray was applied! What brassed him off the most was the fact that for the two weeks prior to this he had been walking around town looking like Rasputin and no one had bothered him but now – clean shaven – he walked the streets having to fend off barbers, offering him a haircut.
We dropped straight back into the cruising scene by anchoring in the same bay (in Marmaris Bay as our Kiwi friends, Chris and Irene off Cuttyhunk and English friends Justin and Helen, off Belle Helene on board for drinks that night at anchor and after many rums (wines, martinis,& beers) we decided to take everyone’s blood pressure as you do when you are having a few drinky poos. John had a portable tester with him but we decided the machine needed to be re-calibrated for drunken yachties as the readings would not have pleased our G.P.’s!
We met up with friends Ed and Jean off Tuatara who we haven’t seen for a couple of years as they have been sailing from NZ, through Indonesia and up the Red Sea to the Med. Another night of drinks and nibbles and no dinner. (Sorry Doc). This was followed the next day by John (our engineer) helping Ed fix a problem he thought he with the gland on his rudder stock. Turned out to be though a pin hole in his exhaust that was filling his stern locker with water.
Our first anchorage after leaving Marmaris harbour, was Gorbekse Cove and tied to shore and found the next morning that the Canadian yacht that had come in after us, had dropped his anchor over ours. This meant our chain ended up wrapped around his anchor flukes. Eventually we got free and ended up sailing through a yacht race. Of course, in usual style, we beat quite a few yachts that didn’t know they were racing against us. Our next anchorage was Sogut, where our evening card session was so enthralling we didn’t notice that we had dragged anchor in the wind, until we were a good way across the bay! The wind had got up and was gusting down off the high hills around us. We re-anchored and Bruce stayed on anchor watch until about 2am but we didn’t move again. We next visited Bozburun and did a little shopping and then went across to the other side to a little bay where 5 locals were diligently clearing the stones/rocks off their land by making stone walls.
They would make a fortune back home in the posher parts off Auckland, building stone walls. The bay had several ruins around it, apart from the ones walking around that is and John and Lesley did their bit and cleaned up a pile of plastic that was lying around.
Our next anchorage was Ciflik Limani, on the Datca Peninsula, where the local resort was dusting itself off, getting ready for the summer influx of tourists. This would be a beautiful setting if the beach was white sand rather than the grey dirty colour of whatever passes for sand in this part of the world. Must be a very busy scene though in the summer as there seemed to be several 100 holiday homes. On landing on the beach, the local workmen who were cleaning up the beach promptly picked or dinghy up and carried up onto the grass at the top of the beach. And then repeated the service on our return.Our next anchorage was Datca town itself and it just so happened that it was Bruce’s birthday so we forced ourselves to go ashore and have a lovely meal at a little restaurant overlooking the harbour with Midi bobbing about at anchor below us.
The next day saw Bruce and John spending all days trying to get the pump that cools our freezer to work properly. Erin and I did what all good supportive wives should do – we sunbathed and went for the odd dip in the arctic waters (I’ve been spoilt now – anything under 25 degrees water temperature is arctic)! Glorious! After sorting out that issue we then discovered a problem with the anchor winch. Well as it turned out with the wiring. Subsequently turned out that one of the wires at the rear of the plug where the remote for the winch plugs into was corroded. Unfortunately Bruce hasn’t got around to adding a soldering iron to his tool kit yet! Never fear John the chief engineer pulled a chocolate block cable joiner apart and with some jiggery pokery managed to get the offending wire reconnected! Great we can now pull the anchor up! (Fortunately we do have 2 stations for operating the anchor and the helm station one still worked so we didn’t have to do it the old fashioned way.To date we have had some good sailing with winds up to 30knots. We have had to learn to sail the boat without the aid of our wind instruments as they have gone on the blink now for the 2nd time. I don’t have much faith in Furuno gear. This along with our VHF which is also kaput (French #@$%^&) which has corrosion problems despite being water proof. This has also meant we have had to go without our AIS which plots other ships in range onto our chartplotter.
Midi on her way back to the water
The Queens on their way to the Royal Nuptials
John the engineer and garbiologist
John the engineer and garbiologist
Birthday dinner for the skipper
Midi at anchor in Datca Harbour
1st mate among the ruins of Knidos
Just another poppy among the poppies
Another hard day at sea