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Friday, September 28, 2007


Turkish couple selling us pancakes cooked on board at Gemiler Adisi

With Brad & Rosie @ AliBaba's - see posting 10/9/07. Rather amorous waiter also !

Envoy in Tekirova

Friday, September 21, 2007


We spent 4 days in the Kokova Roads area and during that time met a charming German couple – Dieter & Anita on their yacht “La Blanche”. One night we went ashore to a Taverna with them and had some really nice fish soup with big chunks of fish in it. On Tuesday 11/9 we headed further East to a great bay called Cavus Limani which is really sheltered, has no road access so is reasonably quiet and is where Captain Beaufort once anchored. On arrival we met a NZ couple Nick & Jo on board “Kiwi Spirit”, a Bavaria 39. It turned out that Nick knew my face as he used to work in East Tamaki just a few hundred metres from Hunt Agencies’ office. They bought their yacht in Germany, launched it in Croatia and then cruised down through Greece to Turkey.
By Saturday 15/9 we arrived at our most Easterly point – Antalya. We tried to get into the old Kaleci marina right in the heart of town but this marina no longer accepts vessels except Gulets and local charter boats so we went to Setur Antalya Marina about 5 miles West of the town. On arrival we met some more NZers – David & Lindy from a steel hulled yacht – “Raconteur”.
They sailed their yacht from Whangerei via the East and in another coincidence David like myself is a Mt Albert Grammar old boy. Antalya is a reasonably large place with about 700,000 people and a very quaint section which is the Old Town. Antalya was first occupied about 7,000 years BC and the present city was founded in 158 BC by King Attalus from where the present name derives. One highlight to see is the “Fluted Minaret” built in the early 13th C and still standing proud. Another is a gate called “Hadrian’s Gate” built during the reign of Roman Emperor Hadrian about 100 AD. In Antalya we met up with our friends from Hamilton Bruce & Jill Sheridan and had a great night out in a restaurant overlooking Kaleci Harbour.
On Tuesday 18th Brian & Carol Restieaux arrived. We have done a lot of boating together through the Coastguard years and then as co-owners of our last vessel “Rapport”. With Brian & Carol we had a look around Antalya before setting off on Wednesday 19th. We no sooner cleared the Marina then stopped so that Brian & Carol could have their first swim in the 27d sea before heading for Tekirova. Here is the ancient city of Phaselis founded in 690 BC by colonists from Rhodes. The City had 3 distinct harbours, the remains of which can still be seen together with extensive ruins including a Theatre which is still used for performances, an Aqueduct erected in Roman times and various bath houses etc. In the Theatre the perimeter had some sort of green powder evident and we were told this powder keeps out the scorpions from the surrounding rocks and scrub ! Also in this bay is a nice Taverna up a short creek and where they have a small camping ground and cabins. So we naturally went ashore for a beer there and found out that next week there is a jugglers’ convention to be held here with about 200 jugglers from all over the World attending.
While there we also met Alan Holmes from Cairns on his yacht “Alice” and we did an exchange of surplus books and CDs. Alan originally comes from Brighton, England and knew the street where I used to live there. He has been living on various yachts for about 20 years including a circumnavigation but is now mostly cruising the Med.
We came further West back to Cavus Limani and have stayed here 2 nights enjoying the sunshine, swimming and walking ashore. We are generally heading West via Finike, Kokova Roads, Fethiye, Gocek and Ekincik until Brian & Carol leave us on 6 October.

Miles covered 2780 in 198 days on board with 566 engine hours.

Technical: again all going well and no major issues since last posting.
The main Alternator stopped charging and I found a slightly corroded 3-pin connector. Once cleaned up it ran again fine.
We have been looking for a large plank of wood for some time and finally found an ideal one in Antalya marina. A plank is useful for 2 reasons – one to use for getting ashore in situations where the passarelle can’t easily be deployed and two to use between your fenders and a seawall if the seawall is rough and their is a surge (otherwise the rough concrete will tear your fenders apart in no time).
During our cruising we check the engine room every 30 mins firstly using the engine room camera which depicts 3 views of the engine room on our navigation computer screen and secondly by looking into the engine room to ensure all appears & smells OK. Every couple of hours or so I also go into the engine room for a better look around and using a laser thermometer I measure and record the temperatures of the Lugger water reservoir, oil filter, alternator, generator, all v-belts, Naiad stabiliser hydraulic pump body and oil reservoir, gearbox, prop shaft and housing. By having recorded these, I now have a good data base of what “normal” temperatures are and will be aware of a problem developing.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Brad & Rosie

Firstly a few things I meant to mention earlier.
1. Flying insects: most of the time we BBQ dinner on the aft deck as the galley gets too hot in this climate. We often BBQ after dark with the deck lights and interior lights on and thankfully we get virtually no moths, mossies or other flying bugs. I mention this because in our experience boating around Auckland you are bombarded with every type of flying creature at night and it’s such a pleasure not to have that. Here we have found the occasional wasp during the day and in some places a few flies in the daytime too.
2. Origin of Turkish flag: the Turkish flag is absolutely revered and to be seen flying everywhere. The flag consists of a crescent and star on a red background. Amy found out that the supposed origin is that one night after a major battle several hundred years ago (Turkey has a violent history) a Turkish General saw a river running red with blood with the reflection of the Moon and a star on it – and that became the flag. Talking of flags we have a huge black silver fern flag donated by Steve & Jane and which they used for the NZ camp during the Rocky mountains mountain bike race.
3. The mysterious restricted area near English Harbour: in this harbour is an area where boats are not allowed to enter, where the surrounds are patrolled by soldiers and where gunboats control the waters when the owner is in residence. Amy found out that the villa is owned and used by non other than the President of Turkey which explains the high security.

The extreme heat of the summer has reduced a bit now and the daytime is mostly high 20s. Night time is cool enough that you want to sleep under a sheet and without the cooling fan going all night. The sea is around 26d and in the last week we’ve noticed the odd cloud appearing.
After Amy left we stayed in Bodrum marina for one night and then headed south to Knidos. This is a bay with spectacular ruins detailed in a previous blog entry. The next day we had a long walk over quite a rough “goat track” to a peak with a lighthouse where we got a spectacular view of our bay and the ancient but now shallow, silted tyreme harbour. We also saw a NZ motor vessel “Pacific Memaid” – about 90 feet long and spoke with the skipper who lives on the North Shore. That night we anchored in another bay we had visited previously – Kargi Koyu. The geese remembered us and had a good feed from Envoy. Next stop was Panormitis on the Greek Island of Symi. In this bay there is a taverna and a very large monastery. Although there has been a monastery on this site since the 5th C, this building dates from the 19th C.
But it is still a beautiful structure and houses 2 interesting museums. It also houses a collection of model boats and messages in bottles. People from all over the Eastern Med have attached religious messages to model boats, put them in the water at various locations and a considerable number have turned up in this bay months or years later. We decided to go to the township of Symi about 8 km by road and we caught a bus without problems. Apart from Symi being a beautiful town we wanted to buy some pork which is very hard to buy in Turkey being a Muslim country. We were getting a bit full of chicken and lamb !
So we found a butcher and bought 7 kg in total of 3 types of pork chops.
But getting back was difficult. 3 people told us there was a bus at 1300 so we got to the bus stop at 1245. Eventually a bus came over 3 hours later at 4 pm and we had been mostly standing in the heat all that time. We tried to get a taxi but they thought 8km was too far to take us. We were glad to get back to Envoy for a swim and cold drink and noticed an Australian yacht in the bay called “Foxy Lady”. Shortly afterwards Brad & Rosie from Foxy Lady who had seen our NZ flag came over to say “Gooday” and we arranged to meet on Envoy for morning tea the next day.
Brad & Rosie turned out to be a beautiful and most interesting couple from Sydney.
Brad is nearly 70 years old and retired in the late 90s from his very successful fibreglass insulation business which he sold to Carter Holt Harvey. This is an interesting story in itself and briefly there were 3 insulation producers in Australia each protected by a process patent and these three thought there were no other patents. Brad found a fourth patent, bought that process and rapidly gained huge market share. He subsequently set up a safety equipment business which he’s now in the process of selling. Brad had done some power boating previously and wanting a new challenge decided to enter the Millenium round the World yacht race. This race attracted about 50 entrants many of whom had professional skippers and / or crews. Brad bought Foxy Lady – a 48 ft pilothouse cutter - set it up for the race and in order to qualify for entry entered a race from Sydney to Lord Howe Is which was his first ever long sail. He won that race and gained considerable experience along the way.
The Millenium R-T-W race started in Israel so Brad shipped Foxy Lady over and his friend Rosie asked if she could join Brad - and she did. Rosie had no previous boating experience and was terribly seasick most of the way.
The race visited 35 countries and once again included pro skippers and crews but Foxy Lady was the overall handicap winner. Brad keeps Foxy Lady at Marmaris where we are going to winter over and Brad & Rosie were able to give us a huge amount of information about Marmaris and the adjacent coast.
Brad still dives and as scuba diving is not generally allowed in Turkey does snorkelling. He explores most bays and says he has seen the occasional quite large crayfish and relics from shipwrecks in some quite unlikely places.
We left Panormitis and arranged to meet at and have dinner at Ali Baba’s restaurant – detailed in a previous blog. We had drinks aboard the superb Foxy Lady and a fabulous Turkish dinner. Di said that if were ever to get a yacht she would want a pilothouse yacht like Foxy Lady. The vessel is airy and spacious with plenty of space and no need to brave the elements while sailing. The winches and in-boom reefing are hydraulic and the boat has a genset, great refrigeration and aircon. No need for seaboots and wet weather gear on board Foxy Lady.
Bypassing Marmaris at this point we headed to the Gulf of Fetiye and spent one night at Sarsila Koyu or Daliman Beach. This area has numerous well known bays but as we are returning here with Brian & Carol we didn’t stay at this point but moved on to Gemiler Adasi and then to Kas. On the way to Kas the wind increased quite sharply up to about 35 knots on the stern with a following 2 m sea. We anchored in a bay to the South of Kas – Bayindir Limani - but it was too windy and rough to make the nearly 2 mile trip across the bay to Kas in our dinghy. From Kas we moved further East to the Kokova Roads. This is an area of beautiful bays, a castle and many Lycian ruins. This area has special significance for us as it was here that my brother Charles and Marie brought us to three years ago in their yacht “Acrobat” and it was then that we made our plan to cruise the Med.
From here we keep cruising East towards Antalya with about 75 miles to go but 5 days to do it.
Just as Captain Cook was responsible for charting much of the Pacific, Turkey was charted by Captain Beaufort from 1810 to 1812 and modern charts are still based on his surveys. Captain Beaufort is also responsible for developing the widely used “Beaufort Scale of Wind Strength”. This scale starts at Level O with sea like a mirror, calm, glassy, less than 1 knot of wind, no waves and goes up to Level 12 with air filled with spray & foam, visibility severely impaired, hurricane winds over 63 knots, sea state “phenomenal” with waves over 14m high.

Miles covered 2676 in 186 days on board with 540 engine hours.

Technical: again all mostly going well and no major issues or changes since last posting. The gearbox leak is no more following my fix in Bodrum.
I am starting to focus on some of the longer term issues like injectors, fuel injection pump and think about the timing of checks in these areas.
During the winter in Marmaris we’ll haul Envoy out for hull and running gear maintenance plus antifouling.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Guest Blogger: Amy

Thanks again Mum and Dad for a fantastic trip! I had a great time. As promised, here are some photos:

After leaving Bodrum Harbour on Saturday morning, we anchored off St Peter's Castle and went for a swim. I think the water temperature was about 25 degrees - probably the warmest water I've ever swum in... and also warmer than the air tempertaure in London at the moment!

This is Hassan's restaurant, where we had dinner on Saturday night. The staff are so lovely and friendly there, and they seemed to know Mum and Dad quite well.

Here's Mum and I at dinner. We had a lovely outside table.

And here's Dad and I at the dinner table. You can see how Dad's keeping the kiwi colours flying at all times - the boat has a big silver fern flag on it and Dad often wears this T Shirt out.

After dinner we listened to a group of Turks having a bit of an impromptu jam in the restaurant. They sounded great, and after I took this photo they insisted on taking a photo of me, too!

Below is the amphitheatre at Snake and Castle Island. We went there very early to avoid the hordes, and were lucky enough to have the whole place to ourselves.

Mum and Dad at the amphitheatre

Dad and I with a tortoise that Dad spotted on Snake and Castle Island. Very cute!

Cleopatra's Bay on Snake and Castle Island

Thanks for a fantastic trip Mum and Dad. Many more good times aboard Envoy to come!