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More Kas Winter activities

March 22, 2013

This is the first travelogue written to put into the new blog provider WordPress.  Posterous is closing down and has given users an export facility to WordPress amongst others, so am trying it out.  I tried the Word blog template facility, but that didn’t really work well. I copied the text into this blog and added pictures, then published.  Then looked at it again today and it had vanished! So 2nd time around I hope this works. Phew.

I thought this time I would put our last couple of months activities into some kind of order, so here goes. Some of the headings will have completely unrelated pictures scattered in them! And no, we don’t yet have a plan of where we will go this year – just cruising up the Turkish coast and Greek islands again I would imagine!

Weather (because we are British)

As you might expect being somewhat more south than the UK, we have enjoyed a fairly warm winter! This year there seems to have been more rain than last but it doesn’t last long although generally when it does rain it is torrential. Rain is generally associated with amazing thunder storms as well which we watch with interest, having unplugged our electronic gear just in case.  The rainy and sunny days seem to have alternated with two or three days of each every week.

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So you see – it does rain!

No drizzle here.  One day in January we had the full mixture – a 50 knot gale in the morning, followed by calm, a massive thunderstorm and torrential rain, then bright sunshine.  The wind affects us more than anything as you might imagine.  Alixora has no zip up shelter out on deck and we are tied up stern facing the east, so when the wind blows from the east and funnels down the bay we have no outside shelter.  This is a bit of a pain, especially if it is raining too and we are confined to the cabin.  On sunny and windless or westerly wind days we sit outside with our breakfast and cups of tea and bask in the warmth, protected by the spray hood.  When it is like that we can roll back the bimini and build up the suntans in preparation for the summer, stripping off layers as the sun rises in the sky until we are down to Tshirts.  Now March has arrived there are more sunny days and fewer days of rain and cloud.

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…and then the sun comes out

The mountains to the north of the marina can cause some strange effects, with the wind changing direction from one minute to the next. One momentous night we were woken at 6am (the imam was just making the dawn call to prayers) by a massive flapping and banging.  We leapt out on deck and found the bimini had torn loose of some of its fixings and the wind was gusting straight down from the mountains – most strange.  The night before the wind had been blowing constantly at around 40 knots (storm force) with a gust I saw of 53 knots.  When we had tied the bimini down I looked at the wind gauge – nothing registered.  We peered up at the top of the mast and saw that its rotating cups were no longer there! More of that in technical.

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One day, a small twister hit the middle of Kas – we didn’t feel anything in the marina.  But it knocked over some of the boats on the harbour hard standing and blew down a lovely old lime tree in the main square – what a shame.  Luckily it didn’t damage any of the shops and cafés around the square.

Exploring

I regret to say that we have not really been far this year.  The Sunday walks didn’t start until late January. We have managed to join two or three since then which are always good fun and good for our fitness.

The first one was fairly short along a forest track up in the high valleys behind Kas.  The next was a mammoth affair to celebrate the Lycian Way, with about 80 people bussed in from around the area.  The route took us from the ruins at Phellos (where we were last year) down to free sandwiches and drinks in Cukerbag, then for those hardy enough to continue, down the Sleeping Giant (the name of the mountains behind Kas) back into town.  Last year we were very stiff after that long descent, but this year not so bad.  Another expedition took us along the route of the aqueduct to Patara again.

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On our return from one of the walks we joined the party for a cup of tea at the harbour café.  A fire engine drove past its lights flashing.  Then it parked by one of the restaurants and the fireman climbed the ladder to rescue a cat stuck on the roof!  The cat, safely back on ground level scampered away without a backward look.

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In December we had to go to Kemer to get our Turkish resident visas which allow us to stay in Turkey for more than 3 months at a time.  New rules which came into force in the summer of 2012 allow liveaboard yacht people to register without having a fixed land based address and Turkish bank accounts.  The procedure had been documented very clearly in a local English online newspaper (including directions to the Police Station and the Tax Office) with further information from John Douch, our friend on Petronella.  The process was very straightforward in the end and we now have permits to stay for 2 years – my UK passport expires then, which was the limiting factor.  The one mistake we made was to not have the “right” pink folder to put our papers in!  After being sent off to get them and a half hour frantic search and enquiry, we found a stationers with the folders, zoomed back to the Police Station and went through the whole process in an afternoon.  We had booked a hotel in Kemer for the night in case of delays, so had the next day free to explore.  First, of course, was a visit to the chandlers in Kemer marina, then back via Olympos – a set of very impressive Lycian, Roman and Byzantine ruins on the banks of a river in a deep gorge leading to the sea.

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In February we decided to take our liferaft to a yacht service centre in Gocek for a rather overdue service.  We were encouraged by the fact that they offered 20% discounts to members of the Cruising Association!  Having made that decision we made an itinerary around that trip, including an eye test for new specs for me, shopping in Gocek and Fethiye and a trip to Tlos ruins and Saklikent Gorge.  Our first stop we dropped off the liferaft and watched it being inflated, learning where all the important bits were – useful information.  Then back to Fethiye in the afternoon to meet up with Philippe and Conceicao on JAD at the Yacht Classic hotel pontoon for a very nice dinner on their boat.  We managed to get to Tlos the next afternoon after my eye test and wandered round the very impressive ruins (again multi occupancy from the Lycians onwards).

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Then we headed to Saklikent where there was supposed to be a hotel of sorts and visit the gorge the next morning.  In the event the facilities weren’t suitable for a winter stopover, so we ended up back in Kas for the night, and returned to Fethiye and Gocek the next day to continue our itinerary, staying in the luxurious Yacht Classic hotel and watching the building work on their big extention.  Saklikent Gorge will have to wait until next autumn.

Other than that we seem to have found enough to occupy ourselves on the boat.  When it is sunny it is great to bask in the warmth in the cockpit.  Of course the local ducks (the marina has between six and eight) need feeding on our stale bread too. When it is colder, windy and wet the last thing we want to do is venture out.  Such indolence!

On-board activities

So what have we found to do that kept us from adventuring further afield?  Brian has created and modified loads of electrical areas of the boat – more information is under the Technical heading.  While we were housesitting we took the opportunity to varnish areas of the boat that are almost impossible to do when living on it.  The saloon table came apart and has received some renovative coats of varnish and the kitchen surrounds have had another coat or two.  We have not been able to find the satin varnish of the original finish.  Some experimentation mixing matt and gloss resulted in a reasonable approximation.  Unfortunately when applying with a brush and doing it outside on the pontoon where dust flies around however calm the day, you never get the same smooth finish as the original.  However it looks a bit better.  One leaf of the table and the centre support still need another coat, but calm and warm days seemed to be in short supply in January and February or we were otherwise occupied, so it is still work in progress.  At the same time I re-varnished our “best” gangplank.  Later a friend managed to get some marine ply that we had been looking for to replace the boards in the bottom of our dinghy.  Those were cut to size and are in the process of being varnished.  As the ply only came in 2m x 3m sheets, we now have an enormous supply of spare wood for other projects!

A big tomb in Olympos – with associated text for a change (if you can read it). Basically a family tomb around 250AD.

A big tomb in Olympos – with associated text for a change (if you can read it). Basically a family tomb around 250AD.

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The head lining (vinyl coated fabric) in the boat is/was backed with a thin layer of foam – to make it soft I guess or supply a modicum of insulation.  After 25 years the foam is breaking down – and of course it is the foam that is glued to the boat!  Our bathroom cabinet was one area where the lining was falling down so I took the opportunity of being off the boat to strip it away as far as I could, scrape the foam off the back (very messy) and re-glue it with contact adhesive.  Being hidden in a cupboard any untoward effects will be hidden, and it will be a test of whether we can use the same technique on other areas that come loose.

The engine has been cleaned from top to tail (or from starter motor to gear box more appropriately) and lots of nasty gunk scooped out of the bilge below it.  Oil and gearbox oil has been changed, etc.

Brian re-sealed the wrap-around window surrounds which were leaking slightly in the torrential downpours.  Several attempts were made before he finally got the last invisible holes filled up!

This dredger, barge and tug sheltered in our bay for a few days – no anchors, just wedged aground.

This dredger, barge and tug sheltered in our bay for a few days – no anchors, just wedged aground.

A fair amount of time is spent checking stuff on the internet and in administrative communications.  When something goes wrong it takes a while to track down someone who can assist with fixing it.  A case in point is our VHF radio which wasn’t working very well last year – the signal was very weak and we could hardly hear other people speaking. The radio is the main device for communicating with other boats, coastguard, marinas etc when they are in “line of sight”.  It should operate over about 6 miles but had not done so for a year or more. Browsing the yachtie forums and generally Googling the make and model and following threads, I found that there was a significant amount of discussion on the very problem we had encountered.  Before this we thought perhaps it was the aerial or its connections but didn’t really know how to diagnose it.  It transpired, after some research that this particular model of radio has a common fault.  A couple of electronic widgets called filters fail on a regular basis.  The manufacturers are happy to replace and fix these for free – but only in the UK! Their website has a technical support page, so after a bit of email correspondence, they have sent replacement filters to us via John and Gill who return from the UK shortly, with some advice on fitting them.  I had reassured them that Brian was electronics savvy!  So hopefully we will be able to resuscitate our radio in the near future.  This is just one example of the sort of research and review that we dig into quite frequently.  Brian is often looking up digital manuals on bits of engine and electronics to see if there is anything useful to us.

There are still outstanding things on our list of “projects” – like how to rig up our old anchor as a spare, make a better cup holder, fix a better drawer retainer, get online to update our charting software and charts, continue research into the best solar panels to buy (a gantry has to be designed and someone found to make it for this project) and so on.  Just like a house really only on a smaller scale!  I must remember to take out the cushions in the saloon and beat the dust out of them sometime….

Other time consuming items have been to do with tenancy and repair problems at Butte Farm, sorting out our overseas electoral roll issues to satisfy credit agencies who require a registration if we wanted to open new bank accounts, sorting out other investments etc

Olympos again – it just looks like a normal doorway – until you see the scale with Brian in the picture, taken from the other side!

Olympos again – it just looks like a normal doorway – until you see the scale with Brian in the picture, taken from the other side!

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My trusty sewing machine was hauled out of the cupboard again in February and has been fairly active. After making a pair of shorts for my sister before Christmas, I made another pair of the same design for me, then with the new fabric we found in Fethiye made three more pairs of a more basic design – two for Brian and one for me.  There is plenty more fabric (I rather overestimated quantities) so other garments might emerge.  The machine will remain out for the time being as I have to sew some patches on our bimini where last year’s rain protection wore holes in it.

Then there is the occasional cleaning session – windy weather brings salt spray into the cockpit so that needs washing down regularly – as well as the normal dusting and floor cleaning which isn’t as frequent as perhaps it might be!

Lastly, we arranged the boat to be lifted out of the water on 1st March for its annual bottom cleaning and antifouling.  This is the opportunity to do all the things it is difficult to do while in the water.  Our friend Jeri very kindly lent us her flat in the centre of Kas for the duration (17 days finally) and we commuted to the marina every day to work.  First all the weed and loose bits of paint on the bottom of the boat had to be washed and scraped off.  Jeri’s husband Curt was home from his rotation on the oil fields of Angola, and helped too.  Then I got on with the angle grinder and sanding pads to sand down the edges of all the patches where paint had flaked off leaving rough edges.  This took a couple of days.  Brian worked on the iron keel.  This had developed a few more rusty patches which had blistered through the gelcoat and paint – so he sanded those back, epoxied the deeper holes and this year painted them over with Hammerite – wonderful stuff!  Another yachtie had said that he had done the same and that it seemed to be OK so far.

Once all the sanding was done (and we were suitably filthy, covered in red dust and bits) we painted all the patches where it had flaked down to gelcoat with something called Technosilver – a rubberised silver undercoat.  We will see how this works.  After that had dried Brian painted the keel with some primer we had left over from last year.

It all looks fine (1st picture) until you start picking at the loose bits – then grind the edges flat, then paint the patches.  Finally it looks lovely and shiny – ready for putting back in the water with the big travel lift! Everyone keeps clear but a quick paint of the patches left by the props has to be done.

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Finally we were ready to put on the new coats of antifoul.  We use the cheap(er) local stuff called Polisan, and put on two coats with rollers – one coat a day.  Then on to the simpler stuff – cleaning and polishing the white sides of the boat.  Jif and a lot of elbow grease to start, then car polish – seems to work fine!  Unfortunately we ran out of car polish, so were given some from a New Zealander whose much larger boat had been put next to us.  For some reason none of the shops in Kas sell car polish!  We must remember to get in supplies before next year.

Brian, meantime, had dismantled the toilet and the associated pipes.  A couple of days were spent cleaning the calcium deposit out of the pipes yet again, and this year he managed to get the broken seacock on the toilet outlet off and replace it with a new one we had got a while ago.  Then he rearranged all the piping so it is much more tidy and will be significantly easier to clean around that area.  That took him the greater part of a week, while I polished and cleaned!

Finally we repainted some of the pretty red stripes on the boat – Brian mixing up a good match for the original faded flash lines that are now a dusky pink, repolished those areas and were ready to be put back in the water on Monday 18th March.

We were shattered by the end – a solid 16 days of hard labour with a lot of climbing up and down a scaffold tower and much bending and working in awkward positions.  Now we are back on the boat on our pontoon and I have finally found the time and energy to get on with this blog (on a day of wind and pouring rain) while Brian continues to clean ropes and polish the decks etc!

House Sitting

Colin and Carol Andrews live in a huge mansion overlooking the sea on the “Yarimada” – the peninsula that forms the bay to the west of Kas.  They were visiting the UK over Christmas and New Year and we offered to house sit for them.  They have two dogs (one a guest) and four cats – augmented to eight over the holiday period when their respective owners are also away.  After a couple of hours introduction to the house, animals and the extraordinary entertainment system we were left on our own to cope.  After a couple of days the routine settled down and we had a wonderful time.  Mornings started with letting the dogs out (with a bit of encouragement), feeding the cats and then sorting out breakfast.

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The first week we had lovely sunshine and sat out on the veranda with our cups of tea.  The dogs, after returning from their ablutions, were very interested in my breakfast croissants.  We would then set off for the marina, have lunch on the boat while working, then back to the house about 4pm, just before sunset.  Another round of cat feeding followed, keeping the dogs away from the cat food.  We had a few excursions to retrieve the dogs who roved over the local area and set off barking madly when they found other canine invaders.

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Next task was to light the fire in the woodburning stove in the lounge, have cups of tea and make dinner using the amazing 6 ring gas hob and electric oven.  I discovered roasting bags never having used them before.  The first experiment was with the turkey we had for Christmas day – very successful.  We decided that with the livestock the bird wouldn’t go to waste, even with only two of us eating it!  Finally after dinner the dogs were fed and we retired to the lounge, toasting in front of the fire, and browsed Colin’s huge collection of films for our evening entertainment, or just read books.  Of course by then a selection of cats would also be snuggled up to us, as closely as they could manage.

Shopping

The local culinary produce continues to be abundant and cheap, although I think I have noticed the prices creeping up a bit.  Our favoured supermarket Muhtar has everything except vegetables and fruit which we get from the wonderful shop further up the road.  Brown bread comes from the best bread shop (varied sometimes with flat bread or rarely corn bread), along with delicious biscuits and squares of sponge cake (carrot, orange or chocolate depending on the day).  On occasion they have pizza equivalents which also make a nice treat. The marina supermarket is used when we just run out of time to go up into town, but they only stock the fluffy standard white bread that most Turkish people eat in great quantities.

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A small haberdashery supplies wool, cottons and other dressmaking requisites, but no fabric for which we had to travel further. Our electric kettle died recently and it was easy to find a cheap replacement.  A more serious kettle replacement was needed while we were house sitting, which helped to repay the kindness of the absent owners!  Finally I managed to get a pair of “proper” walking sandals in the end of season sales.  They are more sturdy than flipflops and it means I can drive in them too.  We had to go a bit further afield to Kalkan to get an electric blanket that I decided was vital to our winter comfort!  It is lovely to get into a toasty bed at night, especially when I have cold feet.

Brian has managed to pick up a few desirable electronic bits and pieces both in Kas and on our trips to Fethiye and Kemer.  An “active” USB extension cable will help increase our range for internet access when we are cruising.  An HDMI extension cable also may replace the extended serial cable that connects our navigation screen (aka the TV) to the computer charting system when we are sailing.  More of this in Technical.  Plastic containers made in Turkey and very cheap come in all sorts of sizes and shapes so we have invested in a few more for food storage and for storing “boat bits” and electronics that didn’t have a suitable place before.

Of course, chandlers provide a vast range of potential purchases, but this year we have been quite frugal and only bought a few stock replacements.  I did invest in a pair of deck shoes – much more convenient than my usual trainers to slip on and off, and very posh.  One thing we had promised ourselves was to get new “crockery” from the shop in Gocek.  Unfortunately they only had plates of the design I wanted – no bowls, but these are a big improvement on our old melamine ones that came with Alixora.  They are bigger too, so we can stuff ourselves more!

Fethiye was great, with much more choice than Kas.  I managed to find some fabric in plain colours to make ourselves replacement pairs of shorts (the sunlight rots them so quickly) and Brian bought a new  pair of walking boots – the old ones had started to leak.  A new sheet and pillowcases were found too – before one of our existing ones falls in half. I could have got plain white ones here, but wanted a darker colour which wouldn’t show the dirt so much!  When you are dependent on local laundries for washing, it is hard to justify the cost of separating whites from colours so everything tends to get loaded in to the same batch.  Having worked out the layout of Fethiye, we will go there more frequently.  Not least because there is a pork retailer there – a week of pork and bacon dinners followed!

Health

Not much to report there as we have generally been in good health.  If there is something wrong, the pharmacies in Turkey will dispense medication including antibiotics over the counter, so all you have to do is research the ailment, find the best treatment then go and buy it!  There is a “tourist” doctor (very pleasant lady) in town as well if needed.  The most we have needed is the dentist where both of us had broken teeth (and another of mine has just fallen apart).  Is this just age?  I suppose they have been gnashing away for 50 years or so. Anyway the (again, lady) dentist is very good.  She has rebuilt our broken teeth with white porcelain (even though they were rear molars) all for the princely sum of about £35 each.  I also had a clean and polish which was very extensive – and cost a bit more than that but took her over an hour!

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Our only experience of the formal health care system was my visit to the hospital in Fethiye for a standard eye test – the opticians don’t do them here.  The hospital was very modern and pleasant, although I had to wait a long time – it was very busy.

Technical

This is where I will need some input from Brian.  His electronics and electrical work has been quite extensive.  First some of the work he has undertaken to fix broken items.  When we set out we had purchase an inverter that converts 12V electricity from the batteries to 220V for our computer mainly.  We got through 2 more inverters for various reasons of failure before getting a more reliable and bigger model.  The broken ones were kept in storage pending the day Brian had time to see if they could be fixed!  So a few days were spent taking them apart, looking up the components and finding out where the faults lay.  One seems recoverable. Now we have replacement components brought back by John and Gill, so we will see if it can be repaired.

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While we were at Colin’s house we took the opportunity to take out our cooker (it’s only little!) and give it a really good clean – much easier than doing it inside.  When we did that, we found that the rubber hose connecting it to the gas supply had “replace in 1992” printed on it!  So off to the gas supply shop (several of them here as most people cook on bottled Calor gas) to get some new pipe.  When we had put it it again, I thought there was a strange fishy plastic smell on the boat and put it down to the new pipe, assuming it would fade.  A week later, the smell hadn’t faded and I was getting a bit fed up, hoping that it wouldn’t be a permanent fixture.  Just then the kettle packed in and I noticed that the light on the two pin extension cable was flickering.  These events were entirely independent it turned out!  However when I unplugged the extension cable from the socket there was a horrid grinding sound and the plug came out in pieces!  So that was the origin of the fishy smell.  We now have a nice new two pin socket and a new kettle (despite extensive investigation the old one was not fixable and even got thrown away!).

Brian worked out that we were losing a lot of energy by converting shore power (220V) to boat power (12V) for the internal things that run on that circuit – fridge, lights, instruments (so we can see what speed the wind is, just out of interest!). The conversion runs through a battery charger which is old and inefficient, then into the batteries that also use power to convert input to stored power, then out to the boat.  In all we were losing about 50%, which works out at about €150 over the entire winter on shore power here which we have to pay for.  So we found a big 12V switching power supply in the local computer shop (it had to have enough oomph to run the fridge plus the other stuff) and Brian wired it in so we can switch over to that while on shore power, along with some hefty diodes to prevent anything we generate ourselves feeding back.  Of course we then needed some kind of indication of what was running what – the shore power is fed into a bank of sockets which are used for the immersion heater, the new power supply and the battery charger.  So he made a small panel with LED lights which show what is connected and what is working – very clever.  Unfortunately some of the LED lights burnt out – so again a new supply has been brought by our friends.

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Anenomes growing wild in the field

Again on the never ending quest to reduce our power consumption we managed to source a timer for the immersion heater and fit that.  The immersion heater itself needs insulating, but we haven’t managed to find non-flammable flexible insulation that will fit in a small space and not cover us in glass fibre.

Brian has also modified the boat control panel that has a bank of switches and relays and LED lights that show green when switched on and red when off.  This panel itself uses an appreciable amount of power to keep these lights lit, so he has modified it and put in a switch so we can turn the lights dim or off! He has put in another small circuit board to replace a transformer that supplied 5V power to some bits of the control panel –by using the parts out of a broken 12V phone charger – that makes the conversion more efficient.

Quite some time was spent cleaning the engine as I mentioned above, so that we didn’t get black hands and arms when working in that area.  It is difficult to access at the best of times, so any work that needs doing often entails reaching around bits of engine. Brian changed both the oil and fuel filters which results in having to bleed the fuel lines – never an easy job.  We found some LED strip in the local chandlers and this has been wired in to replace a rather inadequate light in the compartment – makes life a lot easier – and he fixed the indicator light that shows externally when the light is switched on!  All these little things add up…..

When overhauling the steering mechanism (very basic – a big chain from the wheel that turns a pulley with a couple of heavy steel cables that wrap around a big wheel at the rudder end) Brian discovered that the sheaves that the cable runs through to bend them 90˚ are getting a bit worn.  He has turned them round to even out the wear – it isn’t particularly serious yet – but we will have to try to source replacements when we are in Greece later this year.  Brian took the autohelm apart and serviced it, using replacement parts we have gathered over the years.

Of course, our wind speed indicator now has to be fixed.  We were very fortunate that another couple who live in Kas and also have a boat here were returning from the UK and were willing to bring a replacement set of cups.  Three cups are arranged on spokes around a very small central spindle to which they are fixed with a very small nut and some washers.  The spindle goes through a plastic sleeve held by the head on the inside.  The cups rotate and the spindle stays still.  It is the sleeve that broke on the inside, allowing the spindle and attached cups to fly away!  However the “cup kit” assumes the spindle is still there, so we have to make or get made a new one and patch up the sleeve to fix it again.  Then I have to go up the mast, attach the wires to the draw string we put there when taking the device down, thread everything back down the mast and fasten the indicator back to the mast – making sure that it is lined up so the instruments show roughly the right wind direction!  It is hard work for both of us – Brian winching and me threading my way through the wires that hold the mast up and stopping myself swinging around when up there trying to fix things!  However we can use the opportunity to “grease” the sail track with silicone spray as I come back down.

 

Communications & People

I mentioned that we spend time on the internet, searching for answers on many things.  Several people had encouraged me to sign up to Skype too – which I had deferred as we didn’t really need it.  However with some of the administrative things I got stuck into over winter, the ability to make cheap phone calls became more important.  So finally I have signed up to Skype – and it is really good! Sorry to all those who told me so ages ago.  It has been nice to speak to our sisters weathering the UK snow and wind (with video in Chris’s case) while sitting here in warm sunshine, and make a surprise call to John and Gill while they were at their home in Cumbria.  I think I am registered as Rosemary Smith living in Basingstoke – or Alixora1 if anyone wants to look me up.

Me, Jeri and Mary walking on a hot day

Me, Jeri and Mary walking on a hot day

In late February the British Embassy came to town, holding a meeting in the marina restaurant for local ex-pats.  It was interesting although mainly for people who live here permanently.  As a part of the entourage, a group of volunteer emergency workers made a presentation on how to react to earthquakes!  This is a high risk area, as witnessed by the ruins around.  I think we are safe on the boat, although a lot of the information was really useful if we were on land at the time.  People in houses are advised to have emergency bags easily to hand to help with their survival if they are trapped – it was a salutary warning.

Halil Torun – a friend of Jeri and who runs the Ottoman café in town with his wife Gül – which means Rose!

Halil Torun – a friend of Jeri and who runs the Ottoman café in town with his wife Gül – which means Rose!

As well as our friends Philippe and Conceicao who spent the winter in Fethiye, we have made a few more friends here.  Jeri and Curt of course, who live close by and are so kind with providing us with a flat while our boat is out of the water.  Both of them are keen photographers, so I have pinched some of Curt’s photos for this blog.  I met another English woman, Sandy, who helps to run a local charity.  I managed to gather a big bag full of clothing that was surplus to requirements (no need for that many “posh” clothes I found) for their shop and stall.  Jean-Jacques (French) and his American wife Mary who arrived in February have been around the marina – Jean-Jacques working on his big yacht – also putting in new headlining, but also a lot of other work including repairing his engine and re-fitting a bathroom.  Graham from Australia has been around quite a lot as well – he has been working on his boat for a long time and has stripped it out and is in the process of refitting it from top to tail even down to making his own fridge and freezer compartments.  He is an IT consultant so works from anywhere – his wife Vicky was the one who brought our wind instrument spares back from the UK.  Now it is getting on for the end of March, people are arriving from all over Europe and further afield to get their boats ready for spring and early summer cruising.  Many go to cooler places in mid-summer and return for another cruise in the autumn.  Perhaps next year there will be more people who stay over winter.

Our email correspondents have been keeping us up to date with their activities.  Among others, Brian’s colleague from the University sends regular updates on both work and home.  Our Canadian friend Roman made a surprise comment on our book reading and has now sent a fantastic set of sci-fi novels for our e-readers (my Kindle and Brian’s android).  It has been good to keep up with old friends.  My only cousin may come to visit at some stage too, in between his global wanderings and sending me droll accounts of his activities.

That’s all for now – we will be cruising again when I send the next update.

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An aerial view of Kas from the top of the Sleeping Giant

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From → Turkey

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