sunny in shorts
12/21/2013, Fort Lauderdale
HAPPY HOLIDAYS EVERYONE
As Christmas approaches, Karyn and I are enjoying the season in Fort Lauderdale for the first time in several years. This is the only warm area of the US and it is difficult to get into a festive winter holiday mood while wearing shorts and t-shirts. The year has been stressful and taking on the stress of the Holidays appears daunting. It seems we are still continuing to recover from the middle part of the year. Jack, my father, at 91 succumbed in May to the cancer he had been fighting for eight years. He was very alert mentally until the end and remained an inspiration to us all. We saw him off in the best manner we could muster. He approved.
In mid-June, Karyn and I set off for Turkey to re-launch the boat and had planned to sail a portion of the Aegean Sea. Threshold had been stored ashore for eight months. An immobile vessel, like a stationary man, deteriorates rapidly. Several mechanical problems were delaying our departure. It was now July, so rather than cruise a shortened season, we decided to go ahead with a planned much-needed paint job on Threshold, committing to having it done during the summer rather than the fall. We engaged a contractor at the D-Marin Didim Marina to do the work as this was their slow season. As the boat was literally torn apart (mast out, hatches off, all deck hardware off, interior emptied) we rented an apartment in town and labored, along with the workers in the yard, 6 long days a week. Our jobs were to clean, inspect and service all our equipment, repair paint dings in the mast, and design our new stainless bimini frame to incorporate solar panels. We also redesigned the antenna pole and modified the transom locker by having its opening hatch re-welded. This was all going along smoothly for about two weeks until we realized that they did not know how to properly paint an aluminum boat! They were totally overlooking the most critical part in the prep- the timely application of the anti-corrosive primer onto the areas of bare aluminum. After several frantic discussions with the Awpgrip reps in the US and in Istanbul, we called a halt to the project until either an experienced aluminum boat painter could be found or else have the Awlgrip rep come down and instruct the team about the proper procedures. This all happened just before their end-of-Ramadan holiday week so work was delayed for quite a bit.
After they were able to get an experienced painter, the Awlgrip rep did come down to supervise the initial prep and the boat turned out beautifully with the same Stars and Stripes blue on the hull and Matterhorn White on the deck. The initially contracted job of 2 months turned out to be 4 1/2 months with us being there every step of the way to make sure things were done right the first time. This was not the summer of land touring that we had hoped for, with the exception of a brief visit to Ephesus.
There are still some outstanding projects that need completion, such as the replacement of 8 out of 12 Lewmar hatches that were seriously distorted when they were removed. The leaking ones have been temporarily replaced while new ones are on order. The boat's interior has been "waterproofed" for their winter rainy season. We hope to return to Turkey by early April to "settle up and ship out". We hope our only problem then will be "who is going to polish all that blindingly shiny stainless steel bling!"
Some photos have been added in the "Gallery"
An online version of the Yachting article is @ http://www.yachtingmagazine.com/cruising-chartering/adventures/2013/07/on-the-threshold-of-the-world
Kusadasi Golf Club
A day off, what a concept!
Buried deep in the cockpit locker for years, our two sets of golf clubs saw the light of day as they passed into our storage unit in July. As we unloaded Threshold in preparation for the coming work we vowed we would play a round of golf while the paint job progressed. Little did we know it would be so difficult to find a day with the free time and energy to make it happen. We discovered the only golf course we know about on the top of a mountain outside of Kusadasi while finding our way home from Ephesus. It looked steep and lumpy but the card said it was short at 6322 from the back tees. A few warm up shots at the practice tee: solid strikes, mostly straight, seemed a little short but I'm a little weak. Karyn was whacking them well down the steep hill. The first tee seemed deceiving: too far from the too narrow fairway of a 389 par 4. Two bad swings and two good balls sliced into the water later I joined Karyn on the short tee, marked 309. This is course is only one year old but is in remarkably good shape and very few players with only 12 groups planned for today. Strange. This first fairway certainly seems narrow. At the 150 marker I dropped another ball, hit a solid 7 iron, short! of the green. A chip and several putts across a slow green that looked as if it needed the moguls groomed by the snow-cats from Alta, Karyn had beat me with an 8. On to the second tee. I glanced down at the yardage marker, "358 meters". "Meters?!" Suddenly life made more sense. 150 meters = 164 yards. That is a six iron shot, not seven. And, this course is no short course at 6914 "yards". Besides that it is extremely narrow, rough and filled with moguls everywhere. To be 15 meters from the center of these narrow fairways, every fairway, is to be unplayable, lost, or out of bounds. Carts were not allowed off the concrete cart paths as they would not find traction on the steep hills. One cart path was cut out of a rocky cliff: fairway on the left, rock 50 feet high on the right. I hit the rocks, got lucky, found the ball on the other side of the fairway. This is the most difficult course I have ever played. www.kusadasiinternationalgolf.com This is not a golf course it is an obstacle course. We actually lost so many golf balls that we were down to our last two by the thirteenth hole. We finished the round though. Not with our last two balls however. We had to finish with balls we found in the rough that someone else had lost. It was not a fun round. But, it was an interesting round that had us totally absorbed, distracted, and away from the boat project. What a great
real progress, finally
sunny but cooler
Grinding and Blasting to bright metal, then Max Cor CF as primer, then Hull Guard extra as primer, then fairing compound, then sanding, more fairing and sanding, the high build primer and more sanding. Now we are ready to apply the last primer, 545, two coats and wet sand the entire deck. That is the state of the pilot house in the photo (before wet sanding). Next step is the top coat, the white (Matterhorn White), with three quick coats. That could happen at the end of the week. In two weeks we might be painted and ready to begin re-installing the deck gear. That brings us to the Big Problem. The contractor has determined that all the hatch frames, all twelve hatch frames, were damaged beyond repair, they will leak, and must be replaced. See the latest photo album in the gallery. This opens up all sorts of other variables that can go wrong But to their credit they are doing what it takes to make it perfect. I promise.