A BRIEF RECALL OF THE LAST FOUR MONTHS
WITH LOTS OF PICTURES. (click on one pic then see the rest in larger format)
You certainly know you're alive when you newly own a boat. The word 'challenge' assumes new meaning. It's a big job fixing and preparing. Throw in sailing in adverse winds and the heart stopping action of charter flotilla boats in a mooring frenzy around you, never a dull moment. Then there's the unexpected boat repairs in exotic locations. But don't get me wrong, challenge surmounted is satisfying growth as long as the money holds out. You wouldn't be dead for quids. We've managed to piece some of the jigsaw together to reveal a very nice part of the picture. We're loving it and Life Is Good.
The story so far, in the smallest 1000 word nutshell I can find:
Just on four months now since April when we returned to Finike, Turkey to recommission 'Fourth Dimension' and prepare for our first sailing season. With the boat hauled out for three weeks in April, I sanded and prepped the hull for antifouling, did the antifouling myself and then did a monster polish job on the hull. Not sure I will go to such lengths on the polishing again but it was good to set a baseline and discover all the nicks that needed gelcoat repair before polishing
As for all my meticulous, by-the-directions-on-the-can anti-fouling of the prop, I recently dived on the prop to discover the primer is stuck fast but the three coats of antifoul has gone. So much for that. The learning curve is steep.
We had intended to set off from Finike Marina with 'Red Rackham', a fellow Australian boat, but they departed ahead of us. After extending our contract by three weeks doing endless jobs, we finally cast off from the marina on the last day of May. It became apparent that we might catch up to Michael and Anna on Red Rackham if we didn't delay so after clocking up some quick miles it was a happy occasion when we dropped anchor next to them out of Gocek.
All looked set for a bit of buddy sailing, good company, shared adventures, Miles Davis and boat to boat pics as we made our way north around the Turkish coast. That was until we weighed anchor to leave the next morning. The final report isn't in by the electrical forensic pathologist, but it seems several things lined up to cause the starter motor to melt, the alternator to melt, the two bow thruster relays to weld and the smart charger on the alternator to take a fit. Anne was still putting away the anchor when I yelled to her to drop it all out in 60 metres of water, figuring it would catch somewhere before we drifted to the rocks while I went below armed with a fire extinguisher to address the acrid smoke coming out of the engine bay. The learning curve is steep.
The people you meet along the way make it special. From the outset, the depth of combined wisdom and experience amongst this sailing fraternity that we have joined, has been invaluable. Support, good counsel and friendship, freely given. We are indebted to many. High on that list is Mike and Anna, the crew of Red Rackham. They became our saviours, towing us for two hours to Gocek where the crippled 4D was pushed in to a berth at Marinturk Marina for repairs. Once again Red Rackham slipped our clutches as they pressed north leaving me to track down a good electrician in a bad situation. The learning curve is steep.
Two nights in Gocek, a good several thousand Euros lighter saw us back on the road and in pursuit of Red Rackham again. It was a blessing actually, forcing us to get north as quickly as possible given our late start and the threat of the dreaded N-NW Meltemi wind. We caught up again in Yedi Adalari, Gulf of Korfezi and finally sailed with the Rackettes to Kusadasi via Didim. Some spirited beating in 15 -25 knot winds. We got pretty familiar with two reefs and a staysail.
On board Red Rackham was a doctor and a pharmacist. Very lucky for Anne who had earlier slipped on rocks when laying a stern line and did some nasty damage the length of her shin. Not everyone can have the Australian doctor of their choice within five minutes in Turkey. We now know the best stuff to have in our medical kit too! That learning curve leads on.
At Kusadasi after visiting the extraordinary ancient ruins of Ephesus for some land content, we bid goodbye to Red Rackham, cleared out of Turkey and sailed over to enter Greece on Samos at Pythagorio with fellow fine friends from Finike, Alan and Jo on 'Jalano'. In Pythagorio it turned into a Finike reunion with seven yachts from Finike coincidentally turning up. Anne's friend from Brisbane arrived at Pythagorio as our first guest for the season. We hired a car on Samos, did a round island trip to some great little villages and restocked with a shop at Lidl. (A store something like Aldi). From Pythagorio we had our first downwind sail to Port Augusta, Arki which is where we comfortably holed up against the Meltemi wind before doing a quick hop to Lipsi (Lipso) while relatively calm. Meanwhile all around us, Greece weathers an economic disaster. Tourist numbers are possibly down with the uncertainty but we can get money, food and diesel and all is well.
I call it global warming while old hands in the Med say nothing is predictable with the weather anymore. It's early July and the weather is unseasonably cool. It's very comfortable but unseasonably cool. Although we briefly swim, the water temp here at the moment is a cool 18.8oC. Samos even had a violent rain storm a short while ago. Very atypical, almost unheard of. The winds have been wild with a story from another Finike boat of 56 knots at the point his bowsprit chain gave way. The Meltemi wind typically kicks in around July and August, howling for anything from a day to a fortnight, sweeping down through the Aegean. We intend to hoard our northing, plan our lives around safe shelter and weather windows and stick around these parts for a while before sailing south and eventually entering Turkey again. But then again plans always change......
Meanwhile we'll enjoy Greek hospitality and wait for swim all day water temps!
|WATERMAKER MOTOR REPAIR|
|WINCHES ALL SERVICED|
|WATERMAKER IN HERE SOMEWHERE|
|THE SHINE JOB|
|TICK PLUCKED FROM THE FINIKE MARINA DOG 'CHAPU'|
|KALEKOY, KEKOVA ROADS|
|FOURTH DIMENSION AND RED RACKHAM, SKOPEA LIMANI|
|BOW THRUSTER ON STRETCHER TO THEATRE|
|GOOD USE OF THE WHOLE GLASS|
|NEAR GOCEK AFTER REPAIRS|
|WALK NEAR GOCEK|
|SEDAT TO THE ELECTRICAL RESCUE|
|RESTAURANT FLAG WAVING AS A NEW BOAT COMES IN TO THE BAY. CIFTLIK|
|STONEWORK BEFORE CHRIST|
|SCALING THE RUINS|
|OVER 2000 YEARS A HARBOUR|
|SELFIE TO THE CATWALK AND RESTAURANT|
|RESTAURANT BEER FRIDGE|
|4D FROM JALANO ENROUTE TO GREECE FROM TURKEY|
|BOZUKALE TOP SPOT|
|ANNE ATTACHES A STERN LINE ASHORE|
|A DOZEN PUFFERFISH IN 15 MINUTES FOR THE JAPANESE MARKET|
|DRAMA AT THE VEGGIE MARKETS KUSADASI|
|DR MICHAEL TO THE RESCUE!|
|ANNE, ANNA AND MICHAEL, KUSADASI, TURKEY|
|ANNE, ALAN, JO, PYTHAGORIO, SAMOS, GREECE|
|IMPROMPTU FINIKE REUNION. THE ENGLISH WERE TOASTY, THE AUSTRALIANS WORE SWEATERS|
|DOCKSIDE DINING. PYTHAGORIO|
|THE SOMEWHAT INELEGANT BARGING IN FOR A SPOT, PYTHAGORIO|
|THE NEW BIKE TRIAL, ARKI|
|DOWN TO PORT AUGUSTA, ARKI|
|SUNSET FISHING TIME, ARKI|
|ON STANDBY FENDER DUTY FOR THE NEW NEIGHBOURS|
|WALKING BACK FROM THE BEACH|
|THE SINGLE TAME CORMORANT|
|FIFTH FISH AND STARTING TO SLOW DOWN|
|ANNE, PETER & DEB. ARKI|
|TRACKING DOWN THE VEGGIE SHOP.|