02 July 2011 cruise is now officially underway as we are on a yacht in Istanbul. The yacht that we are on is Kristiane belonging to Paddy and Carolyn of Australia.
Picture is of Paddy standing beside his Yacht Kristiane with a bag of washing for the laundry. No he is not leaving home!
Tomorrow we leave at dawn by plane from Ataturk Airport and fly down to Dalaman where we will catch a bus to Marmaris for a welcome reunion with Elixir. Elixir is due to be launched on Monday and if Jenny and I are not there then we get charged 500 euro to have the marina staff park it in the marina for us!
We can not really give a good account of our travels without going over a few of the trials and tribulations of getting away from New Zealand. We were due to fly out a week ago but the ash cloud from Chili grounded all our flights so we had rebook twice and each time the price went up to due to the increased demand as more and more would be travellers were scrambling for whatever tickets were available. I had been so proud of the fact that Jenny and I had managed to book our passage all the way to Marmaris for the total price of $2,300nz . Well the best laid plans of mice and men and all that sort of thing meant that we have finally got there, well almost, for $3,400nz. There is however a silver lining to this cloud as the hold up gave Jenny time to complete two more house sales with two of our very good clients meaning that even taking into account the increase in Airfares and the delay in timing we have come out with quite a net profit from the whole thing. There is no doubt in my mind now therefore that a good woman is a great asset for a cruising man!
First flight out of Auckland was a 10 hour flight to Kuala Lumpur where we stayed with my brother Ian and sister in Law, Jenny, yes still another Jenny! Such saves Ian and I the embarrassment of forgetting the names of our sisters in law! Ian and Jenny have a whole bunch of Nieces who certainly know how to dress up a party as they are quite the most stunning looking lot of young woman, meaning that my chest swelled with pride to be seen with them out and about at the wonderful eating places to be found in that city.
The Shangri-La was our first stop for lunch! Yes indeed I am not beyond a bit of name dropping when the opportunity presents itself! Here is a bonus tip for you all, if exotic and tasty food is your bag then you can not go past Kuala Lumpur with surrounds in veering levels of grandeur from princely right down to street stalls, all with food that is tasty and interesting with wonderful sauces and recipes. I am a real fan of this city.
02/07/11 early morning, just after Midnight, We left KL at for a direct flight with Malaysian Air right through non stop to Istanbul. On arrival we spent the day with Paddy and Carolyne Mitchell who had their yacht moored in a marina handy to all the lovely parts of Istanbul. Jenny headed off to the spice markets and Grand Bazzar while Paddy and I and a friend of Paddy's spent a very pleasant time drinking cold beers and taking in the scenery. We rejoined the Girls for tea and drinkies on the yacht before retiring for the night onboard.
4:30 next morning 3 July, and Jenny and I were up heading off to the airport. At 5am the sound of the call to prayers from all the minuets setting up a Mexican wave of calls around the inner city. I was off to the toilets and on the way tripped over a small step in the concrete and skinned my knee . I thought my dignity would be in ruins but I think the guards at the gate thought I was doing my bit for morning prayers, I supposed enhanced by my own calls to a well named Deity. Just as well that no English was understood!
Arrived in Dalaman at 8:35 am 3 July, and straight on to a bus for the hour and quarter bus trip through the southern Turkish countryside to Marmaris. Transfer to a Taxi and out to the Marmaris Yat Marin where Elixir would be waiting where we left her two years ago. What no Yacht!
But I could see the marks where she had been stored so I made a quick scout about to find her secured in the water right in the slipway where she had been deposited the day before. It was so good to clap eyes on her and enter into the welcoming cabin. Found the steering had ceased up completely and the decks and cockpit in a state of filth. So first up a cup of tea and then to work. Well we worked away until midnight by which time all was glowing and clean again with the steering fixed and fully operational. Due to the harshness of the heat in this part of the world I had taken down all of our halyards and removable rigging and replaced with nylon ratlines when last I left Elixir. We had expected to only be away for 10 months so I had not anticipated that over two years all of the nylon ratlines would perforate in the sun and fall to bits. Next day 4 July, was spent with riggers up the mast re-rigging and running all lines which turned out to be a bit of a marathon job. By the end of that day all was done. Next day 5 July, we bussed into Marmaris town to get our papers stamped by all and sundry in order that we could export our yacht out of Turkey. We did have a fine to pay as our last cruising permit had expired a year before! Oh! Well here we go again with all the unexpected expenses. By the end of the day were all legal again and ready to put to sea but for clearing the Marina legals which can not be done prior to 08:30 tomorrow.
10:30 6 July, we drop our mooring lines and head out of Marmaris Harbour and Turkey with destination Symi. Symi is a very beautiful Greek Island and is situated close to Turkey about 30 miles North of Rhodes. It is also a port of entry into Greece so being just 40 miles from Marmaris we make that our destination. After all our travels it was so good to be sailing again. Strong wind dead ahead of us large reef in the main and genoa rolled to it's second reefing marks, 28knots of wind and Elixir was skipping off the waves and I swear I could hear her singing and yelling as she ducked her bow under the odd wave and heeled to the wind with a very comfortable motion at 7knots. Yahoo! After an hour of port tack we threw in a board and spent the next two hours on starboard heading back to the cliffs on the Turkish southern coast where we found ourselves sailing amongst a series of Gulets , catamarans, sloops and superyachts, Heaven can be had right here on earth! All my sins must have finally been forgiven! We pass Serce Limani and the castle ruins of Bozak Buku head out off the coast again before tacking around the Turkish headland with Symi now just 8 miles away. Spectacular scenery in all directions. Wind drops away and we motor the final few miles on a flat sea.
Jenny, bless her heart, was enjoying it as much as me and did not feel at all seasick, for which she has been prone in the past.
I suggested to her that we keep on just sailing until we get to New Zealand, but noooo! Symi it must indeed be, by decree, as it is one of Jenny's favorites and 7 hours was long enough on the water for the first day, I was informed.
So 5pm and we are tied stern to in Symi amongst super-yachts and cruisers and I am off to spend the next four hours traipsing between Harbour-masters office and the furthermost building from there, wayyyyy round on the other side of the harbour, the Police Station. Feet so sore in the heat, and sweating like a shearer. Everything got stamped to death and then we had our Greek entry papers and access to European Union all legalized, actually they seem to like New Zealanders in these parts. Brought a six pack for me and a cold bottle of Chardonnay for SWMBO, then... we into our cockpit with the sun tent up for a bit of welcome fluid replacement.... Soooo happy I wouldn't call the King my uncle!
07 July 2011 6:00 and we slip our moorings in Symi and head off into the dim morning.
Me must reach Kos by 2pm to get a car rented and pick up David and Elizabeth Hicks from the Kos airport.
Set up the main off a little Church still on Symi just a few miles from the boat harbour.
Ok so we had to motor for a bit. This allowed both Jenny and I to take turns at sleeping as we moved back into Turkish waters to pass by Knidos and head north to Kos.
Kos township just ahead.
Rounding the South Eastern Part of Kos Island.
Headsail wound in and about to drop the main as the entrance to the marina is just to port out of sight of the camera.
Picking up David and Elizabeth on time as planned, Now all we have to do is finish fitting their luggage and them into this little jeep!
Walking into town for shopping and a place for tea.
Found a place for tea.
"Back in Omaha our drinks are this tall! Its true I tell you!!!"
While the girls were shopping David and I just roamed around.
I thought while I was wandering around that I would do a bit of research for advertising ideas! Purely business you understand...May be able to tax deduct my trip!