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Sunday, April 24, 2011


Envoy went back into the water on the 20th, just nine days after our return.
The marina is very busy at this time of year, and that day about 30 boats were launched. Ours was at 2200hrs, and it was dark, chilly and drizzling. After Envoy had been hoisted in the slings, and the wooden supports removed we had to apply two coats of antifoul in the areas where blocks had supported the hull. In the water the trusty Lugger engine started in a second, and then we followed a guide boat to our marina berth.
It’s great to be floating again as we can use our own shower, washing machine etc: life on a boat on the hardstand is not much fun at all.
Di has made several trips in to Marmaris town using the Dolmus (bus) to replenish our supplies from the supermarket, as the shop here at the marina has limited availability, and is expensive.
It’s not “summery” here yet – one day will be sunny and low 20s, while the next is overcast, blustery and 16, but we’re happy knowing that we’re moving into summer.
Berthed on the same pier is a 1989 Nordhavn 46 called “Frog Kiss”, and this is hull number one - the first Nordhavn passagemaker ever made. It was great to meet Christine & Patrick, to look over their boat, and compare layouts, storage systems etc. I have already implemented one of their ideas – having a forestay to support the mast during heavy weather. Frog Kiss is the boat that started the Nordhavn domination of the passagemaker market, cemented in place by the fact that of 10 production power boats that have circumnavigated, 8 are Nordhavns (and most of those are 46s). Although we are coastal cruising not passage making, it’s great to know we have a boat that came across the Atlantic and is capable of going anywhere in the world.
We’ve ticked off many jobs now, and getting close to being ready to leave – probably in about a week. Everything that was working when we left Envoy is still working.
Before we arrived back here Demir Marine installed two new start batteries – these are Deka brand from USA, AGM Start batteries. These are not Deep Cycle (DC) as DC are recommended only for House Batteries, not for Start. Our electrician friend and battery expert Doug Gooch says that Deka are among the best batteries you can buy, so here’s hoping our occasional engine starting problems last year were battery-related and over now.
The antifouling went well and this time we got two coats rolled on instead of one coat sprayed on, hoping it will give us more thickness and last better. Next year we’ll do this ourselves as it’s nothing very complicated, and we’ll have more time.
We got the above-waterline areas of the hull polished and it came up beautifully. This is a tough job, working on scaffolding and we’ll continue to get Demir to do it, however we’re going to do all of the topsides (watch out guests!).
We removed the gearbox of our Maxwell windlass for a 3-yearly oil change, and that’s all working well – very important to have a reliable windlass.
That brings us to the HRO water maker and Naid stabilisers.
The new high pressure membranes for the water maker were here, but just before installation the engineer, Muradhan, found they’re the wrong size – too big. He phoned me and said, “Laurence we have a problem, you’d better come up to the workshop”. Membranes have to be kept moist until they’re installed, and then the water maker needs to be used straight away. That’s why they couldn’t do the installation until Envoy was in the water. We looked at trying to adapt the unit to accept larger membranes, but without success. The membranes go into a tubular manifold made of Kevlar to resist the high pressures, and there’s no way to duplicate that here. So the correct tubes have been ordered ex USA, and supposedly will be here in two weeks. We’re not going to wait here - Muradhan will meet us somewhere further north to install the membranes. In the meantime we’ll get water from harbours, both directly into Envoy’s tanks, and using our 30L containers if necessary, just like last year.
The new electronic control box for the Naiad stabilisers was also here waiting, and yesterday the electrician, Ozan, installed it. There was progress as the system powered up OK, the hydraulics worked, the cooling system worked – none of which happened before. But the control system still isn’t giving commands to the hydraulics. Ozan has emailed a US Naiad engineer with an outline, and hopefully we’ll make progress in the next few days. Otherwise, like last year we’ll just use our simple, bullet-proof, and effective paravane stabilisers, and save quite a few dollars in the process, as we haven’t paid for the new control box so far.
In the next few days I’m going to change the primary and secondary fuel filters on all three engines, check the fan belts, and replace the Genset impellor (with help).
I’m also getting a Demir electrician to fit a relay ON/OFF isolating switch to our inverter, because when we turn the inverter OFF at it’s control panel, it occasionally somehow switches itself back on. This is not desirable as it could deplete the house batteries, depending on what equipment is ON.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


As our blog has now been running for over four years we decided to provide an Index of major cruising destinations and interesting subjects or events, cross-referenced to the blog dates for the period up to end of 2010. This will make it easier for newer readers to find content of the blog which most interests them.
The Index is in chronological order with most recent posts at the top, and does not include all posts. Generally there are photos related to the post close to it.

- 25 November: Back in Marmaris for the winter, Marmaris marina
- 14 November: Cruising south, Torba, MacGyver, Bozburun
- 28 October: We drag anchor during a gale, Ephesus
- 24 October: Monitoring weather, Eskifoca, Ildir, bilge management
- 7 October: Eskifoca
- 29 September: Cruising north up Turkey’s west coast, Sigacek, Dalyankoy, Cesme,
- 13 September: Clearing out of Greece and into Turkey, repairs to our Yanmar
- 1 September: Santorini, Astipaelia, Kalimnos, the Schengen Treaty
- 25 August: Rethimno, cruising north to Santorini, improvements to Envoy’s charging
-16 August: Chania, German war graves
- 5 August: Gramvousa Is
- 28 July: Ormos Milati, Soudha Bay, NZ war graves
- 20 July: Cruising west along Crete’s north coast
- 11 July: Impressions of Crete
- 3 July: Agios Nikolaos, resolution of gearbox problem
- 27 June: Crete, Sitia, Spinalonga, gearbox problem
- 17 June: Rhodos, Greek cruising tax, Lindos, Karpathos
- 26 May: Vodafone internet connection, unexpected problems with water maker and
hydraulic stabilisers
- 14 May: Envoy finally back in water after 28 months on the hard
- 4 May: Fresh water tanks removed
- 27 April: Problem with leaking fresh water tanks
- 25 April: Life living aboard on the hardstand, about Marmaris Yat marina,
progress on re-commissioning work
- 18 April: Diane’s impressions of Marmaris and current Turkish prices, dentists,
progress on re-commissioning work
- 11 April: Envoy slowly comes to life as jobs get ticked off the list
- 8 April: Impressions of Envoy after our 27 months absence and work needed to start
cruising again
- 31 March: Link to a map showing Envoy’s cruising using Click2Map
- 25 January: Summary of Envoy’s cruising to date and plans for 2010

2009 – Envoy not used so no blog activity

- 25 January: Turkish cruising regulatory requirements, summary of 2007’s cruise
- 6 January: Technical details of leaving Envoy on the hard at Marmaris for a
long period

- 24 November: Guest blogger Frank Curulli’s impressions of turkey, Envoy & Simi
- 10 November: our 2007 cruise ends in Marmaris, Gemiler Buku and visit to ruined
Greek village of Kaya Koy, Envoy accidentally discharges sewerage in Ekincek
- 28 October: Coastguard accuse us of scuba diving in restricted area at Knidos
- 14 October: Gerbeske, Arap Adasi, prices in Turkey, Simi
- 9 October: Gemler Adasi, Fethiye, we catch our first Med fish, Ruin Bay,
first rain in five months, the Endless Summer ends, Ekincek, Dalyan & Caunos
- 1 October: Finike, Kekova Roads, origins of Santa Claus, Kastellorizon,
Kalkan, repairs to our water maker
- 21 September: Antalya, Tekirova, routine engine room checks
- 10 September: Origins of the Turkish flag, Symi, Kokova Roads
- 2 September: Guest blogger – our daughter Amy re the Gulf of Gorgova
- 30 August: The Gulf of Gokova
- 16 August: The Gulf of Gokova, Snake & Castle Island, Cleopatra’s Beach, English
Harbour, getting LPG bottles filled in Greece & Turkey
- 8 August: Cruising in Turkey, Knidos, Datca, Keci Bucu, Bozburun, Bozuk Buku,
Ali Baba’s restaurant, we meet Turkish cruising couple – Ilkay & Meta and make
comparisons with displacement v planing vessels
- 29 July: Poros (Greece) to Bodrum (Turkey), Amorgos, the Monastieri of the Panayia,
Kos, Med weather, bureaucracy of clearing out of Greece and into Turkey
- 16 July: Serifos, sitting out a gale in Paros
- 9 July: Sounion, the Western Cyclades – Kithnos, repair of our
hydraulic stabilisers
- 1 July: Poros and the Gulf of Hydra, a near collision with a ferry, Piraeus
- 18 June: Piraeus, daily routines when cruising, Med marine life, repairing
our gearbox oil leak, planning repairs to our hydraulic stabilisers
- 10 June: Gulf of Corinth – Itea, visit to Delphi, Porto Germano, the Corinth Canal
- 31 May: Levkas Canal to Cephalonia – Captain Corelli’s Mandolin and Paxos
- 23 May: Santa Maria di Leuca to Corfu – smoke in the engine room and our hydraulic
stabilisers fail
- 5 May: Aeolians to Calabria
- 27 April: Cefalu - Sicily
- 15 April: Description of Palermo, Sicily
- 9 April: Return trip from Palermo to Ustica
- 5 April: Cruise planning and our overnight cruise to Palermo
- 1 April: Problems berthing in Capri and further problems sheltering from a gale
in Cetraro
- 28 March: Our first cruise from Ostia to Capri
- 20 March: A gale in Ostia marina
- 8, 12 & 17 March: Joining Envoy for the first time in Ostia, our familiarisation
process and preparations for cruising

- December 5: Full description of Envoy

Saturday, April 16, 2011


We arrived back in Marmaris on Tues 12th after spending a great weekend with our daughter Amy in London in beautiful sunny weather.
We flew to London using Emirates and were impressed - food and service great, roomy economy class seats, and a generous 30kg per person luggage allowance. This trip we wanted to break our journey rather than go the whole distance non-stop. We had in mind that flying to Dubai was something like halfway, however it’s actually 19hours from Auckland - making for a long flight. Stopping over in Singapore or Seoul might be a better half way option in future. We had a day and night in Dubai – probably enough in our humble opinion. We saw the world’s tallest building – the Burj Khalifa tower at 828m and 160 stories high, and enjoyed looking around the museum in an early 19th century fort. We also had an interesting trip on a ferry down the creek and saw a lot of quite primitive looking dhows – still a major means of importing and exporting goods. Then we went to the Spice Souk (market) and the Gold Souk – where they have the world’s largest gold ring weighing a cool 64 kg. The Gold Souk has over 300 shops, and has been operational since the 1940s – no security in sight, and not even bars on the shop windows. The really amazing thing about Dubai – like it or not - is that 17 years ago there was nothing much there but desert. While you can certainly marvel at the amazing development, there is very little to see of historical interest. However, people based in Dubai are well located to travel elsewhere.
The current population of 1.5m is expected to double by 2025. In Dubai they mostly have immigrant workers on 3 year visas, not only for manual work, but in tourism & hospitality and right across the spectrum. In most cases they cannot get Dubai citizenship. Construction workers earn about US$200 per month and live in huts housing about eight or ten to a room. There’s quite a bit of discontent about the way that low-paid manual workers are treated.
There are no taxes in Dubai, and very few Dubai citizens actually work (because they are so rich and don’t need to – they traded in their camels on Porsches & Ferraris). The government is trying to encourage them to work, and pays them double wages if they agree to take a job. Very sensibly Dubai does not sell any land to foreigners but leases it for 99 years.
Di wanted to make a cup of tea in our hotel room but the kettle didn’t work. She found a saucepan but it was full of rice – not only rice but weevils as well. Put us off our tea (we didn’t need the protein)!
We were going on an afternoon city tour , and being a bit jet-lagged had a lie down for a couple of hours. We awoke to the phone ringing and the concierge saying “your bus is waiting down here”, jumped up from the bed and made it downstairs in three minutes flat.
We flew from London to Dalaman on Thomas Cook airline. This is very much a budget holiday airline with cramped seating, and you have to pay extra for checked luggage, meals and drinks. The cabin baggage allowance is ridiculously small at 1 bag of strictly 5kg, with bag measurements much smaller than other airlines. Also you are only allowed one cabin bag whereas most other airlines allow one bag of 7 kg plus a laptop, plus a ladies handbag.
Arriving back aboard Envoy we found everything basically OK except the bilges awash with diesel. I traced the leak to the starboard forward fuel tank, and transferred the remaining diesel from that tank to another using our fuel filtration pump. Then I removed the inspection cover on top of the leaking tank to remove fuel left below the level of the transfer pump inlet. After the tank was dry the drip stopped confirming that this tank was indeed the source of our problem. We borrowed a pump to clean about 60 litres of diesel out of the bilges, and then I had to clean up the residue firstly with a sponge, then with paper towels – quite a long, messy, smelly job. After Envoy is back in the water, and we have changed the fuel filters (which normally results in a bit of diesel in the bilge after bleeding the engines) I’ll need to give the engine room a good clean out with detergent. We plan to leave Marmaris in a couple of weeks, so for now we’ll just not use this leaking tank, but I need to plan for getting the tank repaired during the Turkish winter.
There’s no way this tank can be removed so we’ll either have to get it repaired in-situ, or get a flexible bag to put inside it.
Yesterday our steering system was re-assembled after the bearings had been reconditioned, and the stuffing box cleaned up – all OK there. We also had to get our boom winch control repaired, as that wasn’t working. Our 130 Amp inverter, which provides 110V power from the house battery bank keeps turning itself on - whether we want it or not. It does have an isolating switch located in the storage area under our bed, but that’s obviously difficult to access, so Demir suggested installing a power switch with a relay in an easily accessible location.
Today we expect to start antifouling, and need to get a move on as we only have three working days before launching. After launching we hope to get our Naiad stabilisers and HRO water maker working again – all parts here.
Diane & I are well, and at this stage very busy ticking things of our lists.

Saturday, April 09, 2011


Thanks to our friend Drew Davies we have an exciting new feature on our blog - now you can get all blog updates via RSS avoiding the need to check the blog for updates. Go to the right side of the blog and click on the chicklet, "Subscribe in a reader". From there you can select your preferred means to receive Envoy blog updates to your RSS reader, and of course this is no cost. Try it & thank you Drew!

Sunday, April 03, 2011

A favourite photo of Envoy anchored off Cefalu in Sicily, epitomising the cruising life of a great boat, and exotic locations


Diane & I will arrive back in Marmaris on Tuesday 12 April. Envoy goes back into the water on 20 April, and we hope to start our cruising by 1 May. We have confirmation that the parts to (hopefully) fix our HRO water maker and Naiad stabilisers are waiting for us.
A reminder that by clicking the Link on the lower right of our blog “Map of Envoy’s Travels” you can see where we’ve been and where we are. When you get to the map you can use the zoom function on the left side, and the navigating arrows above the zoom.
Diane & I kept an accurate record of our costs during 2010 to assist our writing projects with Pacific Motor Yacht magazine. Different folks have different philosophies about their cruising lifestyles and associated costs, so what we are saying is not what’s “right”, but simply our own experience. Our 2010 costs are listed below in order of magnitude, expressed as a percentage of total costs, and with some comments. We only included cash costs, and not depreciation.
As a general statement actual living costs such as food, beverages, household supplies and personal spending are about the same when cruising as when at home, although spending on clothing is less when cruising. The cost of owning your boat in terms of maintenance and insurance is also similar. What bumps up the cost is the travel to and from your boat, meeting regulatory requirements moving between countries, plus sightseeing and associated costs ashore – particularly rental cars and accommodation.
Maintenance (42%): A commonly mentioned “rule of thumb” about annual maintenance costs is they will be about 10% of the value of your boat. We have always found our costs much less than that on average. During 2010 our costs were very high representing 42% of our total, but there was little maintenance done in 2008 & 2009 –we only had Envoy’s below waterline gelcoat stripped, the hull thoroughly dried using the Hotvac process, and a new epoxy gelcoat laid on. We decided to do this because Envoy was 20 years old, showed signs of minor osmosis, and was not being used so the timing was good. If Envoy had been used during 2008 and 2009 I very much doubt the maintenance cost would have increased, in fact it may have decreased. The cost includes replacement of spare parts used, and keeping Envoy in tip-top condition. If we take the whole period 2008-2010 the total maintenance cost was about 6% of the estimated capital value.
Food, Beverages, Household (13%): This includes all consumables, galley and head cleaning supplies. Food is generally about the same price or slightly cheaper than in NZ while alcoholic beverages are dearer in Turkey.
Going ashore (10%): Includes refreshments, meals, buses, rental cars, petrol for rental cars, accommodation and entry fees. Some tips here are to have drinks ashore to soak up some atmosphere, but eat back aboard. Select restaurants that locals use, back from the expensive water-side ones. Always select from the menu and never allow the waiter to “organise a nice meal for you” without knowing the cost. Shop around for cheap rental cars, or better still use the many bus services available.
Insurance, Marinas, Regulatory (10%): Includes the cost of storing Envoy on the hard for four winter months. Also here are marina costs, cruising permits, immigration fees and vaccinations.
Travel (7%): Travel always costs more than you expect – why?
- the very special fare deals are generally not obtainable for return dates more than 6 months from departure dates
- we got penalised for changing our return date
- we had excess luggage which is both an expense and a major inconvenience
- we stayed overnight on the way there and back, incurring additional hotel, food and transportation charges (as well as more general spending)
Fuel (6%): This included diesel for the three engines, petrol for two outboards and lpg for cooking. We could have reduced this a little by purchasing more diesel in Greece where diesel is cheaper than Turkey – we’ll do that this year.
Misc (5%): Comprised costs such as boat medical supplies, phone & internet, some laundry (in marinas we cannot always use our washing machine), and postage.
Personal (4%): Included buying clothing, cosmetics, medical, dentistry, gifts and similar. This is a cost that would vary enormously depending on the individual.
On-Board Improvements (2%): Making improvements to Envoy as opposed to maintaining existing equipment. Replacing equipment is categorised as maintenance.
NZ Costs (1%): These comprised bills such as house & car insurance, alarm monitoring fees and similar.
Looking ahead this year we expect our maintenance cost (and therefore our total costs) to significantly reduce.
Our next blog will be around 16 April with first impressions after our return.