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Thursday, November 25, 2010

Safely back in Marmaris marina

Di and I are really well, and on Monday 15 we berthed in Marmaris marina for the winter, ending our 2010 cruise of 168 days and 1,782 nautical miles. It’s a great feeling to have returned safely without any major dramas - the only serious technical problem encountered with Envoy during this time was our gearbox failure, which held us up at Agios Nikolaos marina for two weeks. There’s no sadness about our cruise ending; we’ve had a great time, we’ve got lots to look forward to during December to March, and then we’ll be returning in April.
The marina fees are still quite reasonable for long term occupants – Euro 1,969 for five and a half months including lift in/out, and pressure washing. Power is charged at Euro 0.32/kw (we use 11kw/day), and water at Euro 2.50/tonne.
We had a farewell dinner with Chris and he departed for Istanbul on Tuesday 16 – we know that he enjoyed himself and, like our other guests he was a pleasure to have on board.
Here at the marina there are only about 8 kiwis, although a number of other NZ boats where the crews have returned to NZ for the winter.
On our marina finger is also the very first Nordhavn 46 built – “Frog Kiss”.
Since our arrival here the weather has been near perfect up to a couple of days ago when we got some overcast weather and strong winds. Certainly it’s no problem to cruise up to mid November in this area.
One development here is that it’s now totally banned to put any detergents into the sea – not only in the marina (understandable) but in all coastal areas (ridiculous). A Euro 250 fine applies if any bubbles are found eminating from your vessel.
We have a delightful English couple next to us, David & Jill who have lived aboard their English Daaglas design, 19m overall length, 40 year old motor yacht for 24 years cruising the Med. David is a retired boatbuilder / engineer / diver / captain, and a mine of interesting information
Last Saturday we went with a group to a local restaurant to watch the All Blacks play Ireland, and this week will watch the Wales game – Go Blacks.
Days aboard Envoy this trip: 168 - Marmaris to Marmaris, 234 - total
Engine hours and distance this trip: 361hrs, 1,782NM
Technical: We’ve had two major disappointments as neither the HRO watermaker spare parts nor the Naiad stabiliser spare parts are here as promised. The watermaker parts are due in January, so will be ready for our return in April. The Naiad parts are supposed to arrive next week – but we’ll see. In both cases the agents initially promised the parts would be here, had nearly five months to arrange them, and reassured me in subsequent phone conversations that they would be here.
Since arriving back we’ve got both aircon units working again. This will be useful as they are also reverse cycle heaters. Aircon is a bit of a waste of time at sea, because you have to run a Genset to use it, but it is useful when on shorepower. The aft unit just required an air bleed valve fitted to the cooling water pump outlet. The forward unit needed a new cooling water pump fitted from our inventory of spares. We now have 3 failed 110v water pumps on board, and as they cost about NZ$1,000 each I’m seeing if they can be repaired – anybody know about this?
We’ve also stripped, cleaned and greased our Maxwell windlass, and it’s all good for the next season.
The brightwork on the teak has been given another couple of coats, and looks great.
We’ve had intermittent starting problems on the main Lugger engine during the year, so just had the batteries tested under load. The Start Bank is on the way out, and will need to be replaced next year, while the House Bank will probably need replacing the following year. Both Banks date from 2004, and leaving them for 27 months would not have helped them.
Apart from that we’ve been quietly sorting Envoy out for haul out on 10 December, however as we’re only leaving Envoy unattended for four months, and she will be fully covered again there’s no major work to do – unlike 2008.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Photos on blog

Photos on the blog are quite small to see, but you can enlarge them to full screen size by left clicking on the photo. The "Charles Atlas" photo was a bit of fun from Chris using his photo edit skills.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Turkish “Indian summer”

We’ve been steadily heading south, and two weeks ago we anchored off the quaint village of Torba in perfect conditions – blue skies, no wind and temperature in low 20s, and here Chris O’Brien joined us. The weather went this way following a couple of weeks of overcast skies and strong winds, and has remained since. Funny how quickly you forget the strong winds and rain - we’ve been back to swimming every day, BBQs at night, and the sea has been so calm we haven’t needed to use our stabilizers. This seems to confirm that our decision to cruise until mid November was the right one.
From Torba we cruised around the Bodrum Peninsula to Bodrum, and anchored off the spectacular St Peter’s Castle. It’s now very quiet; the holiday season is long over, many shops and restaurants are boarded up for the winter, and fresh supplies are harder to get.
Chris is a self-confessed “Geek”, and very knowledgeable about computers, cameras, mobile phones, stereo systems etc. Apart from that he’s also very practical, and has been helping us out on a range of jobs. Chris is a keen freedom caravaner, and in the caravan community has the nickname “MacGyver” due to his fix-it capabilities.
When Di got her Turkcell USB stick for internet access several weeks back her computer was reprogrammed, and during the process her file containing all our photos disappeared. Chris was able to find and restore that for us (and of course it’s now backed up!)
Chris gave us an incredible torch. This is a small LED torch, only 105mm long, brand is “Cree”, powered by 3 x AAA batteries, in black aluminium. The light it puts out is brighter, with a longer range than our spotlight powered by 8 x D batteries. It also has 3 power settings plus 5 zoom options for different conditions. These torches are just amazing and a must for boating, camping etc. Frank – you need one of these! We laughed over our evening “Efes” beers about Chris being a “Geek bearing gifts”.
We spent a couple of days in Keci Buku where Marti Marina is located. This is a very sheltered anchorage, and we went there as winds of 20-30 knots were forecast. These winds never eventuated though, and we only got a few gusts up to 18 knots for a couple of days.
Having a drink at a shore-side Taverna we met a British guy who’s been living alone aboard his yacht alongside the Taverna’s jetty for 12 years without moving. This seemed rather a shame when there are so many delightful places along this coast to cruise and explore. We decided to have a snack and ordered some calamari. Although it was delicious, we were surprised to be charged Lire 30 (about $25) for it – we thought it was worth Lire 10-15, and this reminded us – if you don’t have a menu always ask the price before ordering.
We went to Bozburun – a charming small Turkish village. Chris and I took six 30 litre water containers to fill – for the last time this trip! Next year we should have our watermaker operational and hunting for water, and lugging around heavy containers will be a distant memory.
We had thought about visiting the Greek island of Simi for a day or two, but the bureaucratic requirements are too great for such a short visit, so we moved on to Bozuk Buku instead. This is the site of the ancient city of Loryma, where the ruins of the mighty citadel, constructed 2,300 years ago still dominate the hilltop, and provide for an interesting exploration. Barbarossa’s restaurant, where we had a great evening with John and Frank & Marie in 2007 was boarded-up and deserted, with two donkeys on the deck overlooking the bay.
Days aboard Envoy this trip: 222
Engine hours and distance this trip: 353hrs, 1,743NM
Technical: No problems or issues, but Chris has provided a lot of help. He managed to get our spare navigation laptop running C-Map with Envoy’s position icon showing on the chart (this icon was missing previously). It turned out to be a simple matter of starting the computer before connecting it to the GPS, and it’s very re-assuring to have that spare system working. He was also able to fix our sea water wash-down tap (actually repairing the internal tap cartridge), fix our remote switch for the boom winch, re-hang our bedroom cabin door to make it close properly, level our BBQ so the oil doesn’t run to one side, make an Ipod connection for our Salon stereo system, and make a connection for laptops to the same system so we have great “surround- sound” audio when watching movies on laptops. Our DVD player is an older one, and only plays single region American DVDs. Chris is going to organise a new multi-region player for us to bring back and connect into our system.
I had several unusual tools on board with no idea what they were for, or how to use them - and Chris was able to put me right there too.
Apart from that we’ve had deep and meaningful discussions on a whole range of technical issues, with me learning a lot in the process.
We bought 750 litres of diesel in Didim to ensure our fuel tanks are about 40% full when we leave Envoy for five months in Marmaris. This cost Lire 3.06 / litre – about $2.80.
We have always used SAE30 oil for all three engines, two gearboxes, and the Yamaha outboard. Both Lugger and Yanmar now recommend 15W40 instead of SAE30, so I’ll use that for our next oil change. Lugger still suggest to use SAE30 for the Borg Warner gearbox. The manual says either SAE30 or ATF can be used, but Lugger advise for low revving applications like ours, SAE30 is better.
We’re changing the Lugger engine oil every 200 hours. The Yanmar manual says to change every 100 hours, but a Yanmar mechanic told us that using the engine every day as we do, 150hrs between oil changes is OK. I think I still prefer to change at 100 hours as the Yanmar (as with the Genset) is used for quite short periods – typically 90 minutes and doesn’t have the chance to get up to a good working temperature.
The Turkish antifoul we used – “Seajet” is not performing well. After five months in the water some slime appeared, followed by some light weed in places, even though Demir Marine said the Seajet would keep our hull clean for the season. My brother warned me about this, and next year we’ll try Interlux Micron Extra.
Some months back, in Crete we found the Start Battery Bank wouldn’t always turn the Lugger over to start it. We got around this by trying again (and it would start on the 2nd or 3rd attempt) or using our Parallel Switch to connect in the House Bank to the Start Bank. Since Doug improved the Lugger charging system this problem has resolved itself, and the Lugger has always starts fine, except once – when it started fine on the 2nd attempt. Chris has suggested we further improve our battery system by fitting a “Megapulse” de-sulphating unit to each Bank.