12/09/2009, Marmaris, Turkey
After thestarter motor gave up the ghost on Sunday I had to make a decision -- rebuild the old one for 350 Turkish Lira or buy a new one. I got the guy to come down from his 620 TL to 488 TL and went with that. It was only 130 TL more, which works out to about $100.
I put it in yesterday but now my tachometer isn't working! I have my Chief Engineer (Larry Robinson) helping me try to avoid having to pay more $$ for someone to come out and fix it for me.
We finally got the 3rd macerator pump working, so I can start assembling and installing the port head. That has been about a 1-month rebuild, so it will be nice to check that one off the list. It was wierd. The pump worked if I used the house battery. All the wiring checked out. Our spare pump worked fine. But if I tried to hook up the new one to the wiring, it wouldn't work! One of the mysteries of boat ownership went away when the shop tore it apart, couldn't find anything, put it back together and gave it back to me. So movin' on.
The cruisers' net here reported high winds (gusts to 40k) expected tonight. Unlike last storm, we spent a good part of the day preparing. In fact, we tried a couple of new anchoring techniques we have learned. You might be able to see from today's photo our shore line. We have strung two off our stern to trees on the shore. We saw the German guy do this the last storm and we rode through it beautifully. Plus, we hear that Turkish waters are deep and this form of Med-tying is common.
The other thing we are trying out is to put out a full 35' of snubber and then throw all of our additional chain over the side into the water. That way as the snubber is pulling on the anchor, it will do so from a lower angle.
We stripped and lashed the topside of the boat, lashed the dinghy to the foredeck, collapsed the bimini, wrapped spare halyards around the forestay to reduce windage and protect the jib more, and everything else we could think of. We'll see how it goes tonight!!
12/06/2009, Marmaris, Turkey
Today when Will went to fire up the ole iron genny, she just wouldn't respond. I went and banged on the starter/solenoid a couple of times with a hammer and wiggled a few wires. I got the engine to start once or twice, but every time the starter motor was still engaged with the engine.
So I finally gave up and took the thing out. Tomorrow we will go to the "senai" (I think I have spelling close). This is a part of the town where all the local tradesmen are located. It reminds me of a throwback to the old Roman or Greek agoras, or marketplaces. I haven't been yet, but apparently it includes plumbers, electricians, mechanics of various sorts, the whole works. They will be a lot cheaper than the mechanics located right here at Marmaris Yacht Marine (who I have already provided lots of Christmas fluff to!!).
We met a neat couple of Hydras -- John & Pearl -- more English Blokes. They are seasoned Marmaris veterans also anchored out, and they have been giving me the low down on how it works around here. I simply love this lifestyle! There are no authorities 'checking up on us', you learn about things on an 'as needed' basis, and it is a very freedom-producing feeling. Of course, then there are the times when I have my head stuck in a toilet or some other boat part, but we won't go there and ruin the moment will we?!!!
Yesterday we went to the bar because there was a big rugby match advertised on the cruiser's net at 0900 telling us about it. We decided a little social interaction might be the ticket and braved the rain storm in our dink and got to the bar.
Now this was no ordinary bar nor any ordinary rugby match. The bar was full of people from all over the world -- Brits, French, Kiwis, Aussies, Americans, Turks, the gamut! And the match between the Barbarians and the All Blacks was incredible. Fortunately Tony from Nimbus knows rugby so he could explain what was going on and it was really quite exciting!
We only stayed for the first half so we could get back before it got too dark and get some dinner going. But I guess the Barbarians won over the All Blacks for the first time since 1973. We learned a lot about rugby, and had a good time visiting with some of the folk there as well.
This solar/wind thing continues to occupy my time. I have committed to doing something when I get back to America cuz my dollar will go a lot further there than here. Even with shipping. I just gotta figure out which, or both.
I have also passed 5 of the 14 modules for my Masters License exam. But #6 is the hard one, so I think I'll be there awhile. But living on a boat sure makes studying this stuff a lot easier. I already know a bunch of it cuz I am living it everyday. Works out great. Just as well as my brain capacity has shrunk over the years!! :-)
12/05/2009, Marmaris, Turkey
We got the outboard fixed at the shop. There goes another $250! But I am mentally feeling better now that it is repaired. And I don't feel too bad in that their mechanic spent a 1/2 hour doing exactly the same things I did to try to determine what was wrong.
As could be expected, the entire engine had filled up with water. First the boat flipped with the outboard attached. Will and I got it flipped back over, but not before the engine was upside down in the water for a minute or so. Then, after the cover blew off, the rain pelted the engine all night long. So, needless to say, there was water in parts of the engine that I didn't know even existed.
Now I do know, and now I know I just need to take the time to tear the engine parts apart and clean them out. Of course, it rained all last night and the engine still has no cover!! I am hoping the two garbage bags I put over it held and did their job. I'll find out soon enough.
I have on my list to make a nice cover for the outboard motor out of Sunbrella. I figure it will help keep it out of the elements during periods when the motor is on the stern pulpit. It looks like that little task just moved up to the front of the list!! Sunbrella will do a much better job that cheap garbage bags -- especially since it might be awhile before I can get a replacement cover.
More weather is expected to come in. (It is winter, after all.) We may move our anchorage to a more protected spot. You can be sure we will stow the motor/dinghy/everything!!
The lightning around here has been quite something. It went on most of the night last night. It isn't the "God's flashbulb" kind of lightning we got in Charleston. This is the jagged, nasty-looking lightning. Quite the show!...until you realize you have a 62' tall lightning rod mounted on the roof of your home!! None of the strikes have been anywhere close -- the closest I think has been about 6 miles away. But still.....
We are still waiting on packages to arrive from America before we can journey on to Fetihye, Finica, and Antalya. Last night we looked at making an inland journey to Denizli and the travertine hot baths there. We might do that on our way to Istanbul if/when we fly home in a couple of months. Should be fun. We'll see.
12/03/2009, Marmaris, Turkey
The storm blew through yesterday, as expected, and what a ride it was! I am actually pretty disappointed in myself right now for a bunch of bad decisions I made or failed to make. The first and most glaring was the failure to adequately prepare for what we knew was coming. That caused a bunch of extra effort, broken parts, and increased anxiety before, during, and after the storm.
This storm, as brief as it was, seemed more intense than what we got in Paros. Maybe it was because of the lack of preparation. But the biggest factor, I think, was swirling wind. We were experiencing puffs increasing the strength of the wind by 20k or more. But we got similar stuff in Paros. The difference here was that the puffs were coming from so many more angles. We are in the lee of a hill which I figured would provide protection. But instead, the wind found its way by swirling around the mountain, causing all kinds of havoc.
At times our hawk was pointing aft! That means the wind is coming from behind the boat. When you are at anchor -- with a bow anchor -- the boat is supposed to swing into the wind. But with the swirling wind, the boat could not react nearly fast enough and we were getting beat up from behind, from abeam, from every direction. At times the boat would lean so far over it was like we were sailing! It just wasn't any fun at all. I can't wait for my anchor drogue to arrive. Maybe that will help (though I doubt it would've done much good with this storm.)
Now we have to pick up the pieces. I lost my outboard cover last night when the wind blew it off after I failed to tie it down when I noticed the rear clip gone. My bad and I feel bad for it. I mean, at times it just feels like I am making this a whole lot harder than it needs to be! This is one of those times. The other two boats at anchor with us I don't think had nearly the chaos. But there we were in the middle of the night bringing the dinghy on board, stowing gear to keep from getting wet from the rain.
Now my outboard won't work cuz the cover is gone and it rained last night. So I guess I will work on that today. Sorry to sound bummed, but that is what comes with 'living the dream' -- you're gonna have some bumps in the road. And this feels like one of them.
The good news is that we are all safe. Nothing expensive got damaged, and all that was damaged can be fixed with time and money. It is a beautiful, sunny day today and I am hoping I can get that outboard fixed so I can get ashore and pick up my macerator, check mail, etc., etc.
12/02/2009, Marmaris, Turkey
Can you tell by the title that I have been reading Harry Potter? Well, I feel like sending a 'howler' right now.
We are getting blasted with the forecasted 35k breeze right now. It hasn't been pretty.
After returning from the marina with groceries and having them check the condition of my macerator pump, we started to get a little close to a German boat that had tied his stern to a tree on shore and had a bow anchor. That's because the wind is shifting through about 180 deg. in our anchorage. So we decided, being the good neighbor, that we would move. That was when hell broke loose.
We found this one spot and dropped anchor and that looked good...for awhile. But then a puff -- and these are pretty violent puffs, increasing by 20k or more! -- one puff flipped our dinghy over. That wouldn't ordinarily be any big deal except the outboard motor was on the dinghy!
Will and I frantically worked to get the dinghy righted and the motor out of the salt water. It took quite an effort -- the motor is heavy -- but after awhile we managed (with the help of a puff) to flip the dinghy right side up. Once we had the motor out of the dinghy and back on the boat, Will took the dinghy painter and was leading it around the stern when a puff caught the boat and sent it flying.
The painter broke off our wifi antenna, then slammed into the outboard motor and ripped off a bracket for the cover. Will is hanging on to the painter for dear life (don't go swimming, Will!!!) when I came rushing out of the cabin. I got there just in time to help him control the bow of the dinghy which by now was about 4' in the air.
As I am securing the dinghy, Will notices the depth reading on the fathometer and it is reading '0', I knew it was time to go. We have our fathometer calibrated to the bottom of the keel. So we weren't on dry land, but we were darn close to it!! Fortunately, we were still floating so we put it in gear and got a little water under us and I finished securing the dinghy and brought the anchor up.
Now we had to find a new location. We must've circled the area a half dozen times. The puffs were so violent and they would blow the bow off. It was impossible to anchor. Meanwhile the dinghy was doing somersaults behind the boat depending on what angle the next puff hit it with. Finally on about our 5th or 6th attempt, I finally decided to just go for it. We picked a spot about 20' from the original spot! So all of this was over 20'!!!!
Then Will looks behind and notices our stern painter on the dinghy is much shorter! We apparently caught it in the prop while backing up on one of the circles! I will have to go in the water tomorrow when this whole thing (and myself) settle down and check to see if it is really wrapped or not. The engine/prop was working fine, so I am not expecting any major damage there. Hopefully it will amount to a cold swim!
I was and am livid. I had just begun to feel good about the boat coming together and then this -- all hell breaks loose and we break a million things. It is depressing. Fortunately everyone is OK and nothing major or serious happened. The boat seems to be holding well now and we have had some very BIG puffs.
More later....or hopefully not!
12/01/2009, Somewhere in Marmaris Bay, Turkey
Yesterday we left anchorage in front of the town/city of Marmaris to dump our tanks and find a better, more protected spot in anticipation of a 35k howler coming through today. So we weighed anchor and headed out of this beautiful and cozy bay that is an incredible, natural harbor and out to open water to dump our holding tanks.
Along the way my plan was to do the icky, nasty job of draining the last 2-3 gallons of sewage in the holding tank of the port head, and install a ball valve and macerator pump since the pump that was in there decided to stop working.
Well, the icky, nasty part didn't fare as well as I had hoped or planned and we ended up dumping about a gallon of sewage in our bilge! It doesn't take much of this shit to turn a nasty job bad! But what was done was done and now the only thing to do was begin the clean up.
Using a small sponge and a half bucket of salt water, I began mopping up the mess. Most of our bilge is interconnected so that water/sewage in one compartment can easily travel to other compartments. Fortunately for us this mess was contained to just 2 small areas of our bilge. Will helped me as the 1-man bucket brigade, dumping out dirty water and supplying me with a fresh bucket of clean, salt water.
Well, on one of his trips to the stern, he underestimated the force of a bucket in the water while the boat moves through the water. The bucket filled, caught him unaware, and over he went into the sea! I was down below trying to figure out what the commotion was. As I was headed up the gangway, Ruth met me and frantically explained that her one and only son was now doing the breast stroke a hundred yards astern! (Those weren't her exact words!!)
I was tring to decide if I should go back for him when it suddenly dawned on me -- he might still be holding onto my bucket!! So we reversed course and headed back for him. It was sort of deja vu with the dinghy MOB (man overboard) drills we accidently fell into off Amorgos a few weeks ago.
At first I pointed the bow to take him on our lee side. That was the way we had successfully recovered the dinghy. But then I realized with the boat jostling around in the waves, that it would be safer to come up to the lee of him so he was on our weather side. That way he/we wouldn't run the risk of the weight of the boat getting blown down on him.
Will was perfectly calm. With a water temp. of 70 deg. F, there wasn't any panic in him or in me. Plus, having him conscious in the water and able to swim made a big difference. I positioned the stern close to him, shoved it in neutral so I wouldn't suck the dinghy painter or his legs into it, and got out the swim step off the transom.
A few minutes later, he was aboard, sans bucket. I was about to throw him back when I realized the bucket was lost, but his mom talked me out of it! :-) We got him down below, gave him a hot shower, and got him into some warm clothes. It is pretty amazing. Even at 70 deg. water temp for only a few minutes how cold he felt for a long while after. It was a testament and lesson to me on MOBs and how important it is to get the downed crew aboard quickly.
Without a bucket, I could not continue my cleaning operation. So I took a reprieve and we motored back into Marmaris harbor. But that is not the end of this saga!
We found a new anchorage for the night, expecting this little growler to arrive in the morning. We let out 6:1 chain rode and settled into our bunks. It had been an incredibly long day, but the wind had stayed surprisingly light throughout. We kept wondering when the forecasted storm would come.
Well, as we lay in our bunks, we could start to hear it build momentum. Maybe it had something to do with the full moon. At dusk we witnessed one of the most beautiful moonrises I have ever seen! It was beyond words. Will tried to take a picture of it, but a picture will simply not due it justice.
About 0530 this morning I awoke to check on our boat and found that we were about a mile from where we started! We drug anchor! In fact, as I write this, we are still dragging. The boat is presently in the middle of Marmaris bay with land about a mile upwind and 2 miles downwind.
I had to make an executive decision whether to reset the anchor immediately, or wait. Since we expect it to get light at 0630, I have opted to wait and reset in the day. It is most unsettling, though, to be 90 deg. to the wind knowing that with every little puff you are a few more feet closer to disaster!
This is the 3rd time we have drug anchor -- all 3 were in grass. We have been lucky thus far (thank you very much, Lord!), but I cannot continue to tempt fate like this. I have GOT to figure out a solution.
In Delos we drug with both the Manson Supreme and then the Fortress. In Kiphnos we drug with both anchors out. The problem is, I think, that the boat sails on its foils (rudder and keel) while at anchor. It then gets broadside to the wind and the pressure on the hull trips the anchor and off we go. I have ordered a small drogue to place on the rode to try to keep the bow from swinging wildly. It hasn't arrived yet. Last night I attached a bucket (my new bucket that I just bought yesterday!) to the rode hoping that might dampen our yawing. Apparently it wasn't enough. So this will be the next big item for me to tackle -- how to anchor in grass.
On a lighter note, I started studying for my USCG 100-ton Masters License last night. With this license my insurance company will let me take paying passengers on the ARC next year. It has been awhile since I have had to study like this, so it will be interesting to note how sharp (or dull) my study habits have become!
P.S. Finally, I have been able to upload some photos of Turkey. See photo gallery. We have 2 cameras. Mine died and I haven't replaced it yet. Ruth's requires new batteries (it seems) every 2 pictures. Needless to say, the photos haven't been as prolific as I had hoped. Hopefully we'll get those issues ironed out soon.