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Ah, a marina
Will
12/13/2009, Marmaris, Turkey

Sorry for the delay in blogs. I just haven't been able to get on the computer until now. (And even now I am being pressed to get off quickly.)

We are, right now, in a marina (to be specific, Marmaris Yat Marin)(as you might have noticed from the title). The reason for this is...

The following has not been matched to correct records, although it is presumed to be correct:

We left the beach in front of Marmaris (not the one near Yacht Marine) and move to the beach in front of the Yacht Marine. Once there, we decided to 'tree tie' (meaning tying up to a tree on shore) because we assumed that that would be the best way to weather to the approaching storm and also because we hadn't tried that yet.

Well, to make a long story short, our boat-tree line broke and we were dashed up onto a lee shore [the wind blew us on to the shore]. We quickly got out our 300' of sea-anchor line. My dad pulled himself to shore in the dinghy on our 2nd line and tied off the new line. Then followed about 10 minutes of checking the depthometer and winching in the new line. But, we were safe.

But we weren't out of the woods yet! (I think) we released the tree lines and went to Netsel Marina to fill up with fuel. Then we went in front of the main town and anchored off as we did some shopping. It was a productive day.

Sorry, but I got lost in the details for a moment. Anyway, as I was saying, we weren't out of the woods yet. The next day we moved anchor back to Yacht Marine to await yet another storm. You can go to my dad's blog for more details (he saw it), but I will tell you what I gathered from the snippets of information I picked up.

At around 10 or 10:30, my dad woke up to a bright flash of light. He scrambled out of bed and looked around. Th source of the light was our neighboring boat, Hydrus. They had heard chain grinding against their anchor and had tried to alert us to that. Well, they were successful. :-) Anyhow, they started to drag anchor. But soon they stopped probably because they had reached the point where they started to use our anchor instead of theirs.

Anyhow, in the morning, John (on Hydrus) comes over and tells us to pull up our anchor to detangle it from theirs. We pulled our anchor up successfully. We wondered what was going on a Hydrus, if we weren't tangled up in each other.

Well, apparently Hydrus' anchor had caught on a mooring chain that was attached to two concrete blocks. The blocks had come loose, and that's why they drug. But, later today, John said that he had to put a winch into his anchor windlass [a tool used to pull anchors up from the sea floor] to help his chain up, the load was so heavy. When he got the anchor into an area where he could see it, he saw that the chain with the two blocks of concrete on the ends was so corroded that the concrete blocks stuck out on each side, like lifting weights!!! (Normally the blocks would smash together instead of sticking straight out.)

After that ordeal, my dad got fed up with anchoring, and went into the Yacht Marine. That is where we are now, and that is where we will stay for the next 3 months.

Mayhem, I think, is the best word
Will
12/04/2009, Marmaris, Turkey

Yes...I think that mayhem is the best way to describe it. I can't quite remember everything else, but I do remember that in the morning of Wednesday, December 2, 2009 we woke up a mile or so from our anchorage. We knew that we would be getting some weather soon, so we hurried back to anchorage.

But, when that weather came, we were getting the stink eye from a neighboring boat so we decided to move. That was a bad decision. We moved, but we ran aground. (Not hard, but our depth meter read 0.) Then we motored around for awhile and tried to set the anchor a few more times. We never drug, but we were always either too close to our neighbor or we were too close to a nearby rock. We eventually found the right anchoring spot, and settled down to a nice evening of anxiety and nervousness. The next morning bore no signs of the previous day's storm.

We spent that morning (yesterday) assessing the damage from the day before. It turns out; we lost a dinghy motor cover, snapped the Wi-Fi antenna, and almost lost the dinghy. (We ended up putting the dinghy partway into the cockpit to keep it from flipping in the wind.) But besides breaking stuff, we were rather subdued that day.

Today dawned bright and sunny. But it soon clouded over and from our weather books, we are expecting rain soon (maybe tomorrow). It has been nice here, whatever the weather.

Poem:

Whether the weather be cold or whether the weather be hot;
Whether the weather be fine or whether the weather be not;
Whatever the weather, we'll weather the weather;
Whether we like it or not.

- Anonymous

We finally arrive in our destination…
Will
11/26/2009, Marmaris, Turkey

Finally we've made it to Marmaris! When we were in Bodrum we thought that Marmaris was just around the corner, but when we looked at the map on our way to Marmaris, we realized the the city was really a two days sail away. So we spent that night in a Turkish city called Datca (see previous blog).

But now we are in the long awaited Marmaris and spending a lot of money. The money is mostly going towards repairs and other stuff. But we've been into town (mostly because our stove was getting repaired and we had to eat out) and shopped around there. Also our Italian friends are getting a new mainsail and spinnaker (a big sail to sail downwind with) here in Marmaris.

We are right now anchored off of the marina and plan to move to the main town tomorrow.

On to Marmaris!!!!!!!!!!
11/22/2009, Datca, Turkey

Today started off with no wind. It was very calm and we had to motor most of the way along. But, about ¼ of the way through, we got some wind. So up went the spinnaker. (My dad likes to fly the spinnaker whenever he can.) But soon down came the spinnaker when the wind died. But to tell you what happened before the spinnaker came down...

My dad had come down to get some almonds and realized that there was lots of pinkish water in the bilge!! Now, wherever that came from, we couldn't tell; until we remembered that the forward macerator pump (poop pump) was leaking (it had started leaking the day before). But soon we had traveled far enough off shore to dump our holding tanks. Luckily, the forward macerator pump still pumped and we were able to negate any further leakages.

But it was a very, shall we say, 'tense' time. We had to pull up the main floor-board which involved moving a bench to get to a bilge compartment that could not be accessed any other way (we are still wondering whether we should seal the compartment off or not). And then we had to pull pink (or rather 'brown') water out of the bilge! It was messy, but nothing unusual as we've been into the bilge very often recently (as a result of various leakages).

But we made it into Datca (I couldn't find the proper Turkish symbol, so the 'c in Datca' is supposed to have a curly-cue underneath which makes the 'c' sound like a 'ch'.) safely and we are now at anchor. It is a cute town, kind of like Serifos, with a small marina and a downtown area. But we plan to move on tomorrow; either to Simi, a nearby Greek island, or to Marmaris. We are thinking of staying at Simi because we have a list of good places to see. The list came from a marina manager in Athens who was really nice.

P.S. I think that Turkey is greener than Greece, if you ever want to visit one of those countries.

50 miles
Will
11/15/2009, Bodrum, Turkey

We left Naoussa on 11-9-09 (?) and sailed down to Amorgos. Amorgos is south of Paros and the wind was from the W-NW so we had a good run down there. We soon arrived in Amorgos Town and stayed there for 1 night. But in the morning we got a forecast from some people that we had just met saying that the wind would come from the N and NW. The bay of Amorgos Town is exposed to that wind so we decided to move on to Levitha, another island close to the Dodecanese.

So we set out. But, we had gotten a forecast of Force 6 (22-27 kts.) and were going to take things carefully. So we untied and stared to motor out of the bay. Well, we soon figured out that that was a bad idea. We had come into somewhere around Force 7 (28-33 kts.) winds and HUGE waves. The waves were the bad part. We had probably 8 foot waves on our beam.

But, for some reason, we thought that the wind would let off eventually once we got around this one point. So we fought on. However, it soon came apparent that we would have to turn back. So we turned around and headed in to harbor. There was only a slight problem; we had lost our dinghy! 

Soon, we spotted it. It was about a 5 minute boat ride in the storm. So we pulled out the boat hook and made about 10 passes at the dinghy before we finally caught it, in the process bending our boat hook (luckily we had a spare, but the spare didn't extend properly). Since both of the D-rings for towing had pulled out (that's how we lost it), we tied it up by the other bow line, the one for sitting at anchor. Off we went again but we hadn't gotten far before my mom noticed that our dinghy was gone again (the knot that we had used to tie it up with had come undone)!  So we took off into the storm again to find our dinghy a second time.

This time it was only a minute or so before our dinghy was sighted. So, 3 foot boat hook at the ready, we made a few swipes at it. The first time we missed. But on the second try we got it. Luckily the dinghy never came off again and so we didn't have to use that boat hook again. But, I think that we'll be tying up our dinghy more securely after that episode!

We made it safely into another harbor (I didn't need to tell you this. If we hadn't, I wouldn't be writing.) and had a pleasant stay there until a fisherman came up to us to tell us to get off of his dock and go somewhere else. With my dad being nearly sick and the rest of us really tired, he put up a fight. So luckily we didn't move. But that fisherman would be like an extremely annoying dog our whole stay in that town.

Our plans after the storm had died down were to sail directly to the Dodecanese, a 50 mile (hence the title) trip to one of the group called Kalymnos. But this time we had a great sail, interrupted only when a fisherman forced us to jybe. But when we arrived near Kalymnos and its neighboring island Leros, we soon found ourselves heading for the wrong island! But our plans had suddenly changed at that moment and we found that we were going to stay at Leros for the night.

We got up early and headed out of the anchorage at around 8 a.m. We had about 30 miles to go, but we were excited to get to Bodrum. So we were off. The wind built continually that day, but as we were going downwind, it didn't really matter.

Bodrum!! It was an interesting entrance we made to the harbor. First off, we got lost the last 5 miles coming into Bodrum and we started going up and down like we were drunk! And then, when we came into the marina, we hadn't hailed them on VHF channel 73 and so we didn't know where to go! But, on our way out, my dad hailed the marina and we were told to med tie up on to the quay near the customs office (we didn't want to stay a night. All that we wanted to do was to get checked in to Turkey.).

*********************************

So that is my account of what happened since Naoussa. Since then we haven't done a whole lot except to go to West Marine and buy a boat hook, 3 heads, and a few other assorted items. There is a castle nearby and we will go to visit it on Tuesday (it's closed on Mondays).

P.S. I'm so sorry that I had to feed you all this information in one blog. I just couldn't get on the computer and remember to blog very often since Naoussa.

What??!!! Another storm!!! III
Will
11/06/2009, Naoussa, Paros

Sorry about the title. I didn't really know that we'd end up getting 3 storms when I first started with the title of "What??!!! Another storm!!!!"!!!

Well, there's been a change of plans today. Our original plans were to go to either Naxos or Amorgos. My dad wanted to go to Amorgos but we soon realized that Amorgos was too far away to sail to today. So we started to get ready to Naxos. But, my dad had second thoughts on going to Naxos and reconsidered it. I'm sure he's glad he did because we're planning to stay here.

My dad just realized that the dinghy throttle cable that he had once thought ready to break is perfectly fine. Now he has a spare throttle cable! It always seems that the only parts that break are the ones that we don't have spares for!

The photo is of the church here in Naoussa. I think that not many cities get such a big church and that Naoussa is getting a favor from the Greek government.

11/15/2009 | Bill Burris
Will,
Keep up the good work on your blog. Hopefully I will start to understand the "sailing" terms. I have a couple of packages heading your way. One mailed the week of Nov. 2nd & the other last week. The castle overlooking the harbor in Turkey is awesome!!
Mr. Burris
11/26/2009 | Will Nelson
Hi, Mr. Burris! If you want any terms explained, let me know. I'll also try to simplify in my typing.

Where did you send the packages to? Just checking!

Will

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