Medicane what Medicane?
01 October 2018 | Didim, Turkey - 7,323 NM
Our first day back after our road trip was uneventful. Firstly, if Freya's holding tank had to be pumped out we probably needed to check that the pump out system worked! It didn't - the pump out deck fitting was stuck solid - not surprising really as it hasn't been used in all the time Freya has been with us! (The tank can be emptied at sea when far enough offshore). After lots of WD40, hammering and scraping it was removed from the deck. The spraying and hammering continued, heat applied with a blowtorch with no success. Eventually we had to accept defeat and head for the chandlers while thinking we really should've checked this before as they probably won't have one and we'll have to wait for it to come! But ye of little faith, they did and it's now looking new and shiney in the deck. We'll find out whether the whole thing works as we leave.........
The other occupation/obsession of the day was checking the weather forecasts as major storms had been getting closer, passing us by and disappearing for days. We'd come to Turkey to try and outrun them but it looked as if they were going to catch us this time. The forecast suggested 68 knot gusts, that's Force11/12 Hurricane. Not winds to be at anchor in and our mooring in the marina was running out. We headed for the office to pay for a few more days as this was clearly the safest place to be especially after reading reports and watching videos of the havoc caused around Greece. In the med hurricanes are very rare there have been half a dozen or so in the last 15 years, 4 in the last 3 years! These Mediterranean hurricanes are called Medicanes. After handing over our money we strolled around the marina looking at the huge numbers of super yachts. I don't think we've been in another marina with so many - and nearly all registered in Delaware in the US but are Turkish owned.
Before going to bed and in the morning we checked the weather forecast - but the storm had completely disappeared - a bit windy but that's all! Saturday was Didim market day and we love a market and so we headed for town on the Dolmus. Half of the market was aimed at tourists and full of fake designer everything. Lots of hassle and exhausting but we did our bit! The other half was full of wonderful fruit, veggies and spices - fantastic and we filled our bags. Lunch was in the market cafe which was chaotic, noisy and vibrant. We enjoyed fresh juice with Gozleme filled with cheese, potatoes and spinach while people watching and the boys shouting orders while others carried cay (tea) on their dangling trays. After a quick walk around the huge new mosque we headed back to the marina with our heavy bags. We called the shuttle (golf buggy) and were taken to the beach club, which turned out to be next door - but we'd been told we needed the shuttle -for a relaxing afternoon on sun beds on decks over the sea - Paul didn't even have to get sand on his feet and I got to go for a swim!
We were running out of things to do. The storms were still circling but looked further north now. It was Sunday and so we thought we'd go and find somewhere to watch the Russian Grand Prix. Back to the Dolmus in to town where we wandered the beach area for the best option until we found one offering Sunday lunch. That was settled - we had a huge and delicious Sunday roast and apple pie - in a bar full of Brits on holiday. If you can't beat them join them! We walked the 30 minutes back to the marina to try and walk off our lunch as the clouds thickened and darkened. The storms were clearly still circling. We made it back without getting wet but it looked very ominous. That night we had a huge storm with amazing thunder and lightening that shook the boat while the winds tossed us around and snatched on our ropes. It carried on for hours (it seemed like it anyway) and came back with vengeance in the morning although less windy. At least our decision had been right - we wouldn't have wanted to be at anchor that night!
The storm continued all morning. We kept thinking it was safe to venture out but then it would go dark again, the lightening would flash and it would all start again! After lunch we left the boat with some trepidation but it was moving on now and the sky finally cleared. Our mission was haircuts. We took the Dolmus into central Didim and discovered barbers were everywhere but hairdressers weren't so easy. There were quite a few but they didn't look like 'hairdressers' and were often tucked away upstairs or down small alleys. One even appeared to have a brothel upstairs! I couldn't help questioning their abilities especially on fine curly western hair rather than the lush Turkish locks. We eventually found one that looked a bit tired but almost what we were used to and went in. The guy that did it was brilliant and really focused - phew! Paul's turn now - there was no shortage of barbers but all had customers and a queue with about an hour wait. After more searching we found one in an alley that could do it once he'd finished his current customer. We settled down in the alley and had Cay from the little cafe next door - paid for by the barber. Then it was Paul's turn - his hair was cut with a lot more attention to detail than it ever gets on the boat, his eyebrows were trimmed, he was then layered in so much shaving foam he did a good impression of Father Christmas followed by a shave with a cut throat razor, the concentration on the barbers face was a picture, nose and ear hair was trimmed and then burned with a flaming taper (scary!) and finally he was lotioned and sprayed. Next stop was a nice coffee shop to wash the smell away! Both looking dapper we walked back towards the beach area before getting the Dolmus to the marina and a lovely meal in the restaurant - our most expensive in Turkey so far at 160 TL or £20!