Turkey III - Fethiye.
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Turkey II - Istanbul, Topkapi Palace.
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Turkey IV - From Fethiye, heading West.
Log Entry Saturday 21st April - At last we leave the pontoon, anchor off and see our first turtle of the year! (152)
With the recent electrical storms and resulting winds and hail stones behind us it is finally time to leave the security of the hotel pontoon. We have some repair work to complete on the hull topsides, this cannot be completed on the pontoon, so at anchor, this is our first task - about three days work depending upon the weather.
The weather looks as settled as it could be, snow still on the surrounding mountains, just visible through the cloud. We slip our lines and leave the pontoon, our destination only across the bay but we spend some time motoring around the bay checking the engine etc. In an hour or so we are at anchor, ready to begin work. We remove all the loose paint work, tomorrow we will sand down and repaint hopefully? We have dinner with our friends (Susie and Mick) back on their boat on the pontoon. We spend most of the time discussing Susie's news, she has been approached to play an extra in the new Bond movie to be filmed in the Fethiye area, good luck to her - poor Mick!
It is a beautiful morning, a little chilly and damp, but good just the same. There is already activity on the beach from the over night campers, our generator will soon add to the noise?
As we sit eating breakfast in the cockpit, we catch a glimpse of our first turtle, difficult to catch on film but Ann does a great job!
Log Entry Saturday 7th April - Sailaway's hull is cleaned and wine earned! (144)
Today it is back into the water with the primary aim to clean Sailaway's propeller and hull of the marine grow accumulated over the winter months. Additionally to that we were approach by a Swiss couple (Walter & Rachel) moored across from us to help them with a problem. Their boat was lifted out of the water and anti fouled only two weeks ago, but a routine task of changing a piece of pipe uncovers a corroded sea cock. To replace it, which is clearly needed, would require a further lift out - ouch! Following discussions with Kevin it is decided that Kevin would insert a wooden plug into the sea cock fitting from under the water, with a relatively good seal it is agreed it should be possible to replace the sea cock with out the expensive lift out? We get Kevin ready at the stern of Sailaway, we use the hoist for the out board engine to lower the weighty tank and buoyancy control device (B.C.D) into the water. Kevin then climbs into it in the water and proceeds to fit his weight belt and other gear for the dive, with all checks completed, down into the murky water he disappears!
Walter's and Rachel's boat is across the pontoon so he has to pass down underneath the concrete pontoon. The wooden plug is not efficient enough, but with the application of some tape a good enough seal is achieved to work with. The sea cock is then replaced from the inside easily, the costly lift out avoided. The owners appreciation show with the presentation of some wine to us, gratefully received!
Sailaway's propeller and hull was then cleaned, a fair amount of effort required, the growth for the first meter of water is sizeable, but all went without issue. With a clean under side Sailaway is now good to leave the winter berth and start the season off.
Tied up on the end of the town quay is an old 70/80 foot long military vessel, to be towed out into the bay and sunk to provide a "dive scene". It is hope it will encourage all year round diving in the protection of the bay.
Log Entry Saturday 31st March - We wander down to nearby Deniz
This morning we lost our neighbour, John, he is moving to a pontoon in Deniz belonging to the Hotel Alta. We can see Deniz and it's huge boat yards across the bay but we have never been there, our curiosity gets the better of us.
The walk has another purpose, we need to locate "The European Diving Centre" also located there to have our air bottle filled during the week. The waterside town is relatively small, not really developed for the tourist industry as is Fethiye, we walk through, one cannot ignore a boatyard of such proportion?
The main road passes straight through the working boatyard, huge vessels being built or repaired either side of the road. The local traffic passing through totally oblivious to what goes on around them.
We just miss the launch of one of the completed vessels, it is already off it's sledge - the diver making his way ashore. The huge cable used to lower the vessel, on it's sledge into the water crosses the main road. A red sign either side of the cable warns of it's presence, a gentleman in red overalls polices it's route. As traffic approach the taught cable about 200mm above the road he stands on the cable, forcing it down as the traffic drive over it - amazing!
A number of the hotels are also getting ready for the coming season, this decorator completing his task with ease!
Log Entry Friday 30th March - Divers in the water, true signs that boats are getting ready to leave their winter moorings.
Our friends, Philippe and Conceição (JAD) hope to leave the pontoon tomorrow, Kevin offers to help Conceição check out their hull and propeller and clean if required? Philippe had knocked earlier to confirm that Conceição was indeed going into the water. Excited, like a small child climbs into his suit on board Sailaway, we then make our way down to JAD.
Kevin finishes dressing on the stern of Jade, with his fins on he is the first in the water, his tank, equipment and then finally his weight belt are then handed to him in the water.
Conceição then enters the water with a shriek "you did not tell me it was so cold?" Kevin has an added advantage, he is dry in his suit! Conceição then climbs into her gear, when both ready, they descend down into the murky water, clearly visibility is not good.
All of the action over seen by Scuba, Philippe and Conceição's faithful dog.
The cleaning goes without issue, they swim around to check out the work to be done on Sailaway and, to inspect another nearby vessel after catching their own fishing net around one of their propellers. The cleaning of Sailaway is to be for another day.
Log Entry Tuesday 20th March - We visit Kayaköy, the deserted Greek village.
Philippe and Conceição (JAD) invited Ann and I to join them as they take Conceição's father to visit Kayaköy, located 8km to the south of Fethiye. To day it has become a tourist attraction, the village was originally Greek, the Greeks being exiled after the end of the Independence War in the 1920's. The inhabitants were exchanged for the Turks that, at the time, lived in west Trakya. The original village dates back to 3000 BC, today it is literally a ghost town, never reoccupied by Turks for whatever reason?
The drive takes us high above Fethiye, the snow still evident on the mountain tops although, locally temperatures appear to be rising? The exit of the great natural harbour looking more and more appealing to us?
From a distance the size of the deserted village is quite daunting, the only section occupied today being the road side dwellings, it became a "protected tourist attraction" in the nineties, so no further development is permitted.
One passes behind the road side dwellings, instantly into the deserted properties, it is said over 2000 Greek families lived here before the evacuation, it appears unclear as to how it has remained unpopulated?
We walk the cobbled street ways up into the village, a 13th Century Church is sign posted.
It feels unreal to be walking around such properties, in most cases the wooden door, roofs and window frames decayed by nature?
The village is far greater in size than one could possibly imagine - how did it stay unpopulated, or further still, undeveloped?
After a while we agree to return down the slopes of Kaya Çukuru on which the village stands, eventually arriving back into civilisation.
As we make our way back to the car, we pass the old school house and surrounding builds, hard to imagine how many children occupied the scholl prior to the exile?
We arrive back at the car and stop at a small cafe to pick up refreshments, we are given bread, freshly baked along side of us. An interesting but emotional day, strange to imagine how thousands of people could just pack up and leave their homes for ever, never to return?
Log Entry Sunday 18th March - Our outstanding mast work makes slow progress?
Today we plan to complete our outstanding mast work, Sussie, a friend has offered to do the work aloft. I personally have an issue with the 20 metres height experience involved, so Sussie's offer was greatly appreciated.
A bolt of lightening passed close to our mast during a fierce electrical storm last June in Marmaris. Due to the resulting extent of work it was added to our "winter jobs list".
Three issues need to be rectified:
We hoist Sussie to the top of our mast, a few comment are made e.g. "You are not as light as you look?" the humour passes the time as we raise her the 20 meters to the top. We decide to tackle the anchor light firstly, we are in luck, a replacement bulb is the solution, we move to the VHF ariel. Sussie then removes what remains of the old VHF ariel, and, our good luck continues, the new ariel fits into the old bracket - unbelievable! We were doing so well, then it all changed, we could not pull the new cable down through the mast, work was then needed down below at the base of the mast to see if we could resolve the issue, we lowered Sussie and she left us with our task.
After two hours it was discovered that the cables ran down two tubes within the mast - Ok, understand able. They then were routed out of the tubes and then back up the mast for about 30cm before exiting the mast to be fed down below through the deck roof. A further complication, the cables also appeared to be clipped together -the only way the get the ariel and wind transducer cables down through the mast would be to have the mast dropped down - one can only imagine our disappointment, the jobs appeared to be going so well? Well, this would have to take place later in time, the new VHF ariel left aloft would now have to come down - we needed Sussie again?
Sussie came back in time, we passed on our findings, unfortunately Sussie had just had lunch - more weight to hoist up? In time Sussie made the top secure and returned to earth with the new VHF ariel A good job done, one out of three not a complete failure, and now we fully under stood the outstanding tasks? We carry a hand held VHF on board that can be used in the mean time, and the wind instrumentation is not technically required by "true sailors!"
Log Entry Monday 12th March - We complete our dinghy cover, very proud of the results!
We had to purchase a new dinghy last June and pledged to fit a cover to prolong it's life against the fierce UV effects from the sun. We had bought material last year, but shelved the project as "a winter job". Well it is winter now, no denying that fact! We had looked at the project a couple of times, obtaining pricing for both the complete and partial manufacture - no logic to any of the prices obtained other than "bloody ridiculous!" So, we had now decided to undertake the task our selves, we had in time studied the options with regards to various designs and materials used - we now had a firm plan. If any one does have any comments that they feel may have been helpful - keep them to yourself!
We had decided to use velcro to fasten the cover down both inside and out, we had obtained great assistance from Zodiac (USA) the main rib/dinghy brand supplied globally, with regards to the "two pack adhesion" of the velcro to the the rib. The procedure appearing to be almost clinical?
We started the first phase of the project as to correctly cure the adhesive, significant time was required, we were not going to cut corners at this stage. We had the layout of the velcro clear in our minds, the respective lengths duly cut, and the dinghy base covered to provide a further surface to work on.
With all ready for the adhesive I donned my plastic gloves and set about the procedure, a clock set to determine the various stages of preparation. I have a reputation for being a little too enthusiastic with adhesives in the past, Ann expects to see me live out the rest of my natural life "glued" to the dinghy. Ann gives both of our parent due warning, which I do not understand as even if I could not get out of the dinghy, I could still take calls?
In due time the velcro is all in place, I proudly hold up both hands in the air to prove to Ann that the rib and I were quite separate. Mind - it did take some time to get the plastic gloves off!
Once the curing time for the adhesive had passed, a period also managed also by electrical storms, we attack the marking and cutting of the material. It took me back to my late teens, designing development plans for fabricated components - what ever they were? Our plan was to spilt the cover into panels allowing an easy management of the profile of the rib, getting a better, flatter shaped cover. Ann was working constantly down below on the machine, mumbling various combinations or associations to "sweat shops" - all ignored of coarse.
We had agreed to complete one panel then immediately duplicate it's mirror image opposite, except the opposing panels were not symmetrical, opposing panels on both sides some what bespoke - not too great a task for us!
The cover was finished in less than a week, and fittings re-attached as required. We were surprised as to the interest our activity had generated and very please by the positive comments we received on the out come - made us feel quite proud.
And lastly the moment of truth, we lowered the rib slowly into the water, we were so relieved to see that it would still float! There was now only one real test, to fit the engine, get changed and scream over to the beach restaurant across the bay to see if it would remain secure as it traveled through the water. Further more they do a really good rosé wine over there, and of coarse, the cover never faltered, nor did the rosé.
What is next!
Log Entry Tuesday 6th March - We begin to use the local market
We have spent many weeks in Fethiye, but have to shamefully admit that we have never visited the twice weekly local market. This morning, Friday, we are invited to accompany Philippe and Conceição (Lulu to us with poor pronunciation?) from sailboat "JAD" to accompany them to the market.
This morning as for some time now, the mountains surrounding us are capped with snow, but the skies are blue and the early sunshine warm. The market is quite some way across the other side of the great natural harbour.
We are informed that the market today (Friday) is quite small, predominantly fruit and vegetables, the Tuesday market is far larger and covers a much greater spectrum of goods. It is a "local market" in the true sense, struggling with the language reminds us of our pledge to "try harder with Turkish".
The market displays a full variety of fruit, vegetables, salad and herbs, all sold in the traditional way. The variety is interesting and discussions with the sellers very entertaining.
Then of coarse, Philippe reminds us it is lunch time and invites us to their local stall of choice, we leave it up to Lulu and him to select the food, a range of various bread forms.
Ann and I decide to return to the market on Tuesday, we left at the same time as Friday and bump into Lulu returning with a full trolley, an early start for some. The weather today is completely different, the sky thick with cloud, rain definitely on it's way, just a case of when it will arrive?
The market if far greater in size and ware as we were told and well prepared for the pending rain. The whole market, streets in length is covered with a labyrinth of covers, their ties spanning streets and even the river.
I stood, taking in the webbing of ties trying to put "man hours" to the task - too much time on my hands? As we did on Friday we found the market and it's sellers very entertaining, it was amazing how quickly the time went as we wandered around.
Before we knew it we had missed lunch, still we did manage to sample pancakes following the recommendation of a fellow shopper over hearing us trying to make our mind up what we were to have?
The walk home was a "stride against time" as we watched the rain clouds spilling over the mountain tops - we made it back to Sailaway with little time to spare? The market will now be at least a weekly appointment, it is rewarding, financially but also in the interaction with the people. Fethiye has such a large British population, supermarkets etc are geared up for it with English speakers etc?
Log Entry Wednesday 8th February - Ann experiences luxury at the Yacht Classic Hotel.
Ann is booked into Haman Wellness at the Yacht Classic Hotel to be "pampered" as she well deserves. The session includes, sauna, traditional full body peeling foam bath (ouch!) and a full body oil massage. Ann' s only comments to me as she walked up the pontoon towards the hotel was, " I hope I get a male masseur!"
(Please note some images have been omitted due to Health & Safety concerns)
I was led from reception into a changing room where I changed into my bikini, I was then led down a hallway to the entrance of a large room.
In the centre of the room, a large marble table surrounded by numerous, large white porcelain wash basins units, my masseur enters the room, sod my luck - it is a female dressed only in a bikini! She asks me to lie down on the large table, it is "off season" so I have the room entirely to myself. The lady then began throwing numerous bowls of warm water over my entire body, she then started to rub down my legs first with abrasive gloves, she then worked all over my front. After she had completed my front I was asked to turn over and the same was done to the back of my body, head to toe again. I then sat up with my feet dangling over the side of the table, I had to remove my bikini top and the same rubbing exercise was completed over my breasts. I moved over and sat on the bench along side the wash basins and received a further wash down with warm water followed by the washing of my hair. I was then taken back to the marble table, asked to lie down once again and I was completely covered with a soap foam, scooped from a basin with towels and told to relax. In time the foam was washed off with warm water, I was given a large towel to wrap myself in and led to the next room.
In the next room I was asked to remove my bikini bottoms, now completely naked under the towel I lay on the table. I was asked if I wanted the massage hard or soft, being unsure I opted for soft and was glad I did. For the next thirty minutes or so I lay on the table, oil applied to my body and completely massaged from head to toe, front and back - unbelievably, marvelous!
By now I was completely relaxed however, I was led to a further room to "relax", very comfortable indeed. I was brought tea and told to take as long as needed, it was a wonderful experience, if able, I would return monthly, at least.
Log Entry Saturday 21st January - We take a break and wander into Fethiye.
It takes us almost three days to unpack the 95kg we brought back - everything must have it's place on board. We now have a list of jobs to complete before we move and begin this years travels, some improvements but mainly maintenance. One disappointment for me, we have returned to a leaking loo - needs stripping down, I hate that job for obvious reason. A further disappointment is that it was bought new in June of this year from a supplier some 150km away - still, a job to be done?
We decide today, to walk down to Fethiye town to pick up some shopping and fresh fruit and vegetables from the supermarket, we have lived from the corner shop for the last couple of days, a little restrictive.
The town is a totally different place now, no tourists, only locals, a very different place in fact? It has a much slower pace, that is clear, even a few freshly caught fish left, begging to be bought - no pressure to buy at all - very nice!
All we have to do is enjoy a refreshing drink in one of the waterside cafes, take in the warm sunshine and watch the world go by, like every one else. A cat, chasing birds from a tree even provides entertainment to many?
We walk further, up the promenade, most boats winterised, a couple turned into floating cafes - very enjoyable!
Log Entry Thursday 19th January - We leave Istanbul and return to Fethiye and Sailaway.
We took a "Turkish Airlines" flight from Istanbul to Dalaman, very reasonable it was too! We arranged via www.resorthoppa.com a very reasonable transfer from Dalaman to Yacht Classic and Sailaway. The airline even allowed us 20kg excess luggage free just as easyjet would! It was good to be back, all was well, and, although the surrounding mountain cap were covered in snow the sun was very warm, we do not miss the constant, chilling northerly blow through Istanbul?
Good to be home!