POTLUCK/BBQ IN TURKEY
03 August 2022 | Alanya, Turkey
Pam Sellix | Hot, hot, hot!
For years we have had a weekly potluck on the boat but Covid seemed to have gotten in the way---until now. For the first time since arriving in Turkey, along with Wade and Diane on SV Joana, we hosted a Potluck on Pied-a-Mer. This gathering was unique in that the four of us were the only native English speaking cruisers. Conversations were a mixture of German, Russian, Turkish and English, truly an international fete. The term “potluck” was new to our neighbors but with the help of Google translate everyone brought food to,share, their own beverages and cutlery.
JUNE/JULY ALANYA MARINA
11 July 2022 | Alanya Marina Yacht Limani
Pam Sellix | Very Hot
Before leaving for Oregon/Washington Eric ordered a new Paguro generator. He was that it would arrive about the same time that we arrived back in Turkey, which it did. In wattage this is smaller than our original a Paguro but is larger in its physical size and just barely fits the compartment. Because of the physical size difference, prior to ordering, Eric had to spend endless hours measuring, drawing, calculating and many phone calls to the dealer in Izmir and the company in Italy. From the time that the generator was on the dock cart to the time of installation there was always the niggling question, "Will it really fit"!
To begin to readying the generator cavity we first needed an aluminum base for stability and sound deadening. Finding a piece of aluminum with the correct dimensions proved impossible until we went to an amazing craftsman, Ilyas Dere, in the Sanayi, the industrial area of Alanya. Iliyas does not speak English, Eric does not speak Turkish---Google translate to the rescue. In a couple of hours Ilyas had found a source and a couple of days later we picked up the 30 mm, 50 pound piece of aluminum.
A few days later Eric returned to the Sanayi and Iliyas cut a large square out of the middle of the piece of aluminum as weight is a major factor on catamarans and 50 pounds was more weight than we wanted or needed. With the plate back on the boat, the next step for Eric was to drill the holes for the 8 bolts that would hold the generator to the plate. While some of the parts were being made for the generator itself, Eric finished the exhaust system. Being ready to put the generator in we had to get the unit on the boat rather than sitting on the dock. Since the boats at Alanya Marina are all stern to (Med type) tie up we had to figure out how to get the 200 lb. generator from the dock to the front of the boat. The compartment is in front of the mast near the center of effort of the boat. Fortunately, and by luck, there was no boat next to us on our starboard side so we turned our boat, side tied to the dock and using our jib halyard we were able to raise the generator up high enough to get it over the life lines and onto the deck----just short of where it would be installed. However, before we could install it in its compartment we had to make sure that the water and fuel systems would work. At that point we were almost ready to install.
Making sure that all of the lines were in the right places we did the installation. The unit just fit through the hatch and sat nicely on the plate...with one exception. One of the 8 holes somehow was misaligned, Eric went ahead and installed all of the fuel and water lines with the exception of one part we are still waiting for. In the meantime he is trying to figure out how he will put a hole in the plate for the last bolt. It looks like he will have to undo the 7 bolts that do fit to give himself room to reset that last hole. He thinks it can be done with the unit in place. Otherwise he will have to disconnect all of the water/fuel and electric lines as well as the 7 bolts however, Eric was lucky. He was able to move the generator slightly off where the hole had to go and drill a new hole and in doing so did not have to undo any of the lines that were in place. It turned out to be a bolt and nut fix instead of a tapped hole in the aluminum plate. We are still waiting for a small oil/water separator that may have been lost in transit in which case we will have to order again, with the real expense being time.
Two weeks later: Murphy's Law came into play and we had to order the oil/water separator again!
TRIP TO THE U.S. May 2022
07 July 2022
After 2 1/2 years we are finally back with family and friends but our time in the US is passing much too quickly. What seemed like a long visit when I booked our flight is now seeming to be a short visit.
Normally leaving the boat in a marina requires very little preparation. 2 1/2 years ago when we left the boat in Krabi Boat Lagoon /Thailand we returned to find the power to our dock had somehow been turned off and the fellow who was checking the boat somehow missed this so our batteries had to be replaced. We have much more piece of mind this trip because before leaving Turkey we were able to get new VICTRON parts(which we held for many weeks in customs) that allow us, from anywhere in the world, to see the electrical state of the boat as long as there is an internet system between our location and our boat. We also have our friends on SV Joana physically checking the boat.
As "full time live aboard cruisers" we know that our chosen lifestyle is off the grid and this has never been more apparent than this visit. Eric and I agree that sailing on the open ocean is much much easier than driving on I5 from Portland to Seattle. We are overwhelmed with all of the choices at Fred Meyer, Safeway and New Seasons and, of course prices. Prior to leaving Turkey, in an effort to maximize time, I tried to set up several appointments. I was successful with some and not so much with others. While we have found medical care in Turkey to be excellent, we are still Kaiser patients and are long overdue for "wellness" checks. Since our last visit our primary care giver retired without, I might add, letting us know. We were assigned a new doctor who had no appointments until the end of June---not going to work as we return to the boat the end of May. We were able to see a rotating doctor who recommended a couple of follow up appointments which, of course, couldn't be scheduled in our time frame. Then there is dental work. We have both had dental work done in Turkey but Eric had developed an issue that required immediate oral surgery and since he is on Warfarin this required a Medical clearance. We have been, and are still at this writing, going round Robin Hood's barn trying to get the clearance. His physical by the rotating doctor 2 1/2 weeks ago needs to be redone for a required medical clearance for oral surgery.
Our trip from Turkey to the US involved researching Covid requirements for four countries--Turkey, Germany, Canada and the United States. We were armed with both digital and multiple hard copies of the following documents: Passports, Republic of Turkey Vaccination Certificate, Republic of Turkey Residence Permit, Covid-19 Antigen Test and two copies of the Combined Passenger Disclosure and Attestation To The United States of America. Passports were shown at entry for each country but we were only asked to present our vaccination certificates and Covid test results as we departed Canada for the US. No one asked for our Attestation form which, we had read, was required by United States federal law.
West Marine has become our go-to brick and mortar site with Amazon our "on line" store. Cartridges for our PFD's were our number one item from West Marine with 30A Marinco Locking Connectors in second place--neither of which we were able to get in Turkey. We have also found that getting boat parts through Turkish Customs can be challenging so hopefully by bringing things in with us we will stand a better chance of having parts we need, when we need them. Our buddy boat, SV Joana, needs a new Thirsty-Mate Pump and a Danish boat needs a Bullet /antennae--so in addition to all of our pieces and parts we will bring items for other boats. Cruisers returning to the states are very popular.
One of the biggest joys of our visit was meeting our great grandson, Jameson Alexander Howe. While we had seen many photos & videos and heard lots of gurgling and laughing via phone calls there is nothing like holding a cuddley baby. He is a joy! Naturally, we did spend a bit of time with Jameson's parents, Rachel and Thomas. We enjoyed time with Ali and his crazy dog Rango. Diego was still in Alabama, playing baseball for the University of Southern Alabama Jaguars.
We enjoyed our time in the states.
MARCH CAME IN LIKE A LION
06 March 2022
Well, here we are almost the end of March and we are still waiting for VICTRON parts that we ordered and paid for in December! Needless to say, we are very tired of waiting but we wait.
Eric has finished the solar panel project, replacing two panels. We now have about 820 watts which Eric feels is not quite enough.
The photo was taken on a stormy day. The waves came up over the
14 Foot retaining wall.
This winter has been much colder, wetter and windier than last “winter. In order to continue with my early morning walk I had to knit a wool scarf and a pair of mittens. This was my first attempt at knitting mittens and, just for fun, I used a different pattern for each mitten. My left mitten has a lovely cable running up the top side but the mitten is way too big. My right mitten fits but is plain and quite boring. Now, I will knit another pair that have cables and that fit.
We continue to enjoy Turkish cuisine and are fortunate to have a Turkish friend on our dock who brings us wonderful food that has been prepared by his mother. Often we don't know what we are eating but it is always delicious. Our weekly trip to the Bazar (produce market) gives me an opportunity to try different fruits and vegetables. I recently made quince chutney, we decided we liked mango chutney better. We've been enjoying kumquats but have yet to do anything with them other than eating raw.
I have made a concentrated effort this winter to learn Turkish. I am using a language App called Duolingo. So far the phrases and sentences have not been very useful in day to day conversation. I have not been able to work “Kadin tuzu yer, ben sütü icerim” into a conversation. “The woman eats the salt, I drink the milk”. My efforts are appreciated by the marina staff, they get quite a chuckle out of my attempts at Turkish.
FEBRUARY, FEBRUARY, FEBRUARY ——Where did you go?
27 February 2022
REPLACING SOLAR PANELS
It should be easy, but is it? If every solar panel was the same size so that it was simply a "drop in" no problem. Not only are ours not drop ins, for good reasons, the boat yard that manufactured the boat put them in for ethsetics rather than for ease of replacement. Almost every time we have had a boatyard do work on the boat, we have regretted it, so we try to always do as much of a project as we can ourselves. The two main issues with this project are:
1. We are doing them with the boat in the water and since the panels that are being replaced are the stern panels which are sitting over the water as opposed to over deck, every screw, nut, bolt tends to go somewhere else, like in the water.
2. We have to do all of the fastening of the panel to the boat from underneath the panels while standing on essentially a ladder with boards over it---over the water.
Our iKamets (resident visas) expire on February 28. We met with our agent, Kamil, who made copies of our boat documents, current iKamet, new photos of each of us, a new year long marina contract and, of course, Turkish Lira! Kamil then sent us a message letting us know that our appointment with immigration is on February 25--which seems to be cutting it pretty close to expiration. Hopefully all goes well with immigration.
We are still looking at flying to the US sometime around the end of March, visiting with family, especially a new great grandson. Our plans are to leave Turkey the beginning of September and begin our journey back to Mexico. In true cruiser fashion, this scenario
Is subject to change---so, stay tuned.
09 January 2022
The month of December was filled with the Christmas spirit, holiday preparations, music, Christmas dinner with friends on Pied-a-Mer and a few changes in plans—-you know, the plans that are made in sand at low tide.
While Eric continued to work on the cockpit enclosure, batteries and solar, I pretty much did CHRISTMAS. For years I have wanted to make chocolate dipped candied orange peel, so I did. Popped into cello bags and tied with sparkly silver ribbon, they were used as gifts for friends. I knit miniature Christmas stockings as party favors for Christmas dinner. Each stocking was filled with Turkish chocolate and sported a Turkish Evil Eye symbol. For years I have collected buttons and when we moved aboard 10 years ago I brought all of the buttons with me——I had done nothing with them until early December when I made two button bouquets and used them for gifts. Not only did I enjoy making rather than buying, I was off loading “stuff” from the boat. Catamarans are very weight sensitive, am sure that 30 small buttons out of 200-300 made a difference!
Diane and I taxied into town and went to a huge Christmas Bazar.
There were many international food booths, craft tables, singers, dancers and, of course, a few Santas. Although the country is primarily Muslim it seems that all religions are accepted.
We spoke nightly with our friend Daniel who was helping me with my “Partner Visa” for the UK. Daniel had sailed with us from New Zealand to Papua New Guiana and currently living in Belfast,Ireland.