PAM TAKES A VACATION!
10 May 2021
I decided a couple of days ago that given we were in complete lockdown, it would be quite nice to declare myself on vacation!
Now, I can’t go anywhere but I can alter my routine. So, what I do each day is entirely up to how I feel, what the weather is like and any help that Eric needs with the Cockpit project. So far I have spent quite a bit of time knitting socks for myself, organizing photos from iPad and phone, visiting with Wade and Diane, reading and watching Netflix. I have cleaned some parts of the boat that I’ve been avoiding and even though that’s been work I feel good when it’s done and aren’t vacations supposed to make you feel good?
I have not kept up with my Turkish language studies because that is really hard work.
LOCKDOWN IN TURKEY
03 May 2021
April 29, 1900 hours until 0500 May 17-----we are in lockdown.
The government announcement was only made a few days prior to the evening of the 29th when lockdown began. The initial message was posted on the Alanya Expats FB Group. While the document was lengthy and detailed there were and still are some questions.
The directive read that people were allowed to walk to the closest market for groceries and then go directly back to their homes. The day before the start of the lockdown our wonderful taxi driver, Kemir, suggested that he take us to a Thursday produce market and then to Migros. Our normal routine was to go to the Friday produce market and then Migros. We were very grateful for his thoughtfulness, he is a gem. At Migros we stocked up on wine and Baileys as there would be no liquor sales during this period and did a moderate shopping thinking that we would be able to supplement throughout the lockdown by walking to the bakery and small market next to the bakery. Friday morning we were surprised to find that our age group 65+ would not be allowed out of our homes! This had not been detailed in the original government declaration!
i-Kamet (resident permit) holders who are in violation will loose their permits----YIKES! This would mean we would have to leave the boat, leave Turkey........then what? However, we are very fortunate that Wade and Diane on our, "Bubble Buddy Boat", sv Joana are under 65 and can, if need be, replenish basics food items!
Ah, the life of a cruiser!
Photo: Eric working on Covid 2021 project, cockpit enclosure.
Bits and Pieces
11 April 2021 | Alanya Marina, Alanya Turkey
Pam Sellix | Sunny and windy
Eric and I have finally received our iKamet cards (visa extensions) which will allow us to remain in Turkish waters for another year. Our hope is to spend time this spring and summer sailing up and down the coast, anchoring out and here exploring more remote areas while using the marina as our home base. Our goal is to be in the UK by summer 2022---time will tell.
Our life in Turkey continues to have it's ups and downs. We are very frustrated that we have not yet been able to make appointments for the Covid vaccine. Vaccine for our age group (elderly, as we are referred to in Turkey) became available weeks ago yet we have been unable to make appointments. Initially we thought that the reason might be that our i-Kamet (residence permit) was to expire the end of February. No, even now with a new year long permit, the government online site still says we are ineligible. Last week we spent two days in a taxi going from one building to another trying to sort this out and we're hoping that we'll have an answer this week. FLASH FORWARD 1 1/2 WEEKS: April 14....Today we were able to get our Covid vaccine. This has been a lengthy process involving the help of many people. While we have not found out what the glitch was or still is, we took our problem to Dr. Abdulla Yagidar, the Director of Health In ALANYA and he was able to register us for the vaccine and he even administered the "jab" himself. We go back on May 12 for our second shot.
The marina staff continue to help me learn the Turkish language. I, in turn, help them with English. We laugh a lot, say things that make no sense and enjoy the moment. I am also dipping into Russian as there are a few Russians on our dock and it's nice to exchange basic greetings.
Food, food, food. Our extended stay in Turkey is giving me an opportunity to learn about new ingredients and new dishes which leads to learning much about the Turkish culture. The photo is my first attempt at making Börek which is a flaky dough packed with savory fillings.
17 March 2021
We've established a very comfortable relationship with one of the local taxi drivers, Kemir, and had asked him if he would recommend some sights near Alanya and if he would spend the day with us, driving and sharing his knowledge of the area. So, at his recommendation, along with our "Boating Bubble Buddies" Wade and Diane Alarie, we took a day trip to Sapadere Canyon in the Taurus Mountains. Kemir was anxious to show us his village and the summer home of his mother and homes of other family members. We left Alanya around 10:00 and drove along the coast heading SE, passing banana plantations, greenhouses, huge resorts
and gorgeous blue/green waters. We then turned began our trip up the Sapadere Canyon road. On the way to the Canyon Kemir took us to his mother's summer home. His mother spends the summer months here in the cool mountains as the temperature in Alanya is very hot. Kemir and his brothers take turns staying here with her and she takes turns living with them in the winter.
As we continued climbing up the mountain road we were in awe of the picturesque countryside. Houses were clinging to the hillsides and nestled in valleys. From our viewpoint they looked like miniatures.
The road ends at the entrance to the 750m wooden walkway through the Canyon. There is a small parking lot, a small cafe (takeout only—Covid) and a toilet. The cost for the amazing walk was about $2.00 USD. The walkway winds around gushing streams, silent pools, high jagged mountains and water pipes, which supply the water for the many little villages set in the mountains.
After our walk, hungry, thirsty and tired we enjoyed sitting at a picnic table by a bubbling stream and eating our lunch which we had ordered prior to our walk.
17 March 2021
For several years we had our boat insurance through Pantaenius USA. We were disappointed when we were notified that they would not cover us for our 2020 Red Sea Passage. We then switched to Jackline Insurance through the Gowrie Group and were given the coverage needed for our upcoming passage. In 2019 we had gone back to the states for the holidays and upon returning to the boat, which we had left in Thailand, we found that the loss of electricity on our dock at Krabi Boat Lagoon had caused our batteries to completely fail. Eric had been planning, at some point, to switch to Lithium batteries and that time had come. The end of January, with new LiFePO4 batteries installed, we sailed from Thailand to Cochin, India and then began our epic Covid Red Sea Passage. A couple of months after arriving in Turkey, we sent a list of upgrades and additions to Jackline, this list included our LiFePO4 batteries. On December 1, 2020 we received an "urgent" email from Gowrie saying that our policy would be discontinued as of December 31. Markel, the underwriters for our policy, would not cover a boat with LiFePO4 batteries. Markel said that if we replaced the Lithium with AGM's our coverage would continue. We had sailed from Krabi, Thailand to Turkey over 6,000nm with batteries that Markel still believes have safety issues. So, here we were in Turkey with Covid, December Holidays, and needing to find someone who would insure us with the Lithium as replacing new batteries seemed to be a last,last,last resort. We wanted both full hull coverage and third party insurance for marinas. Our days were filled with phone call after phone call, email after email, rejection after rejection. We found that with many Insurance brokers our location (Turkey) was an issue, a couple companies cited our 2018 dismasting as a problem, some would not cover a US flagged boat. We had contacted Pantaenius only to find that US boats had to go through Pantaenius Germany and then, after contacting Germany, we were told that they could cover us only if Delaware was our Port of Registry, not US CoastGuard registered but Delaware registered. We have seen many Delaware registered boat flying the US flag but none of them have ever been US boats!
We now have a policy with Allianz here in Turkey but are hoping that at some point Markel changes their policy. There is some hope as they are now, on a trial basis, covering small boats with Lithium batteries----there is Hope!
Our Allianz policy requires that we put a name on our dinghy.
ANOTHER ROAD TRIP
17 March 2021
ROAD TRIP WEST: Eric and I continue to be thankful that we are in a country where we are comfortable and safe. Covid restrictions continue, restaurants closed, no public gatherings, social distancing, masks, weekend lockdown, and for those of us that are 75+ (the government calls this elderly!) we are still allowed out only M-F 10 am to 1 pm. The government is making a distinction between "tourists" and "locals" and given that we are living in Turkey, we along with our Canadian buddies, Wade and Diane, consider ourselves locals and do respect the restrictions. However, on occasion we play the tourist card, rent a car and go on a road trip. So, given that we expect to spend almost another year in Turkey, a couple of weeks ago we decided to check out a group of marinas west of us. We went through a couple of police road blocks, we were all masked, Wade would show his Canadian drivers license and we would be waved on. We stayed in B&B's, ate take out and enjoyed seeing new scenery while scoping out marinas at Finike, Kas, Fethiye, and Marmaris. The marinas were bigger than Alanya Marina with large live-aboard/expat communities, more goods and services, but were more expensive. We probably will continue to make Alanya our home as we feel very much a part of the Turkish culture here at the marina. Altogether, our trip was 600 km, mostly by coastline, with the mountain route on the way back---a nice three day break.