Feb. 2005
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Check out Weeks ending:   [5 Feb 05] [12 Feb 05] [19 Feb 05] [26 Feb 05]

Week ending 5 Feb 05 (Judi)

Long trip to Florida -The trip to Tallahassee was a long and arduous one.  It starts with a 13 hour bus trip from Marmaris to Istanbul.  Bob spends 1 night in Istanbul, arising at 3:30 am to catch a flight to Milan.  A change of planes puts him on one going to Newark, NJ.  Another change of planes and he arrives in Jacksonville, FL.  Not done yet though, as he now catches a bus to Tallahassee.  So 3 days after leaving Marmaris, he finally arrives at his son's home. 

Good news (of sorts) on the Medical front - The main reason for the trip to the US was to have a doctor look at a bump on Bob's chest.  It turned out to be a dislocated clavicle (collarbone) probably caused by hauling our 13 year old niece's bag  around this summer.  As Bekah would say "Ce n'est pas ma faute."  We loaded her bag down with all kinds of stuff that we wanted to send back to the US.  The doctor said as there was no socket, of sorts, on the collarbone, there was no way to repair it and since it does not pain him, they agreed to just leave it that way.

The buying frenzy starts - Bob left with another long shopping list of things needed or wanted for the boat.  Top of the list was a list of charts required to cross the Mediterranean.  Judi's sister was contacted to dig out our old Caribbean charts she was storing to send back to us in preparation for our crossing of the Atlantic and back to the Caribbean in 2006-07! A new watermaker purchased on Ebay and large part for the Monitor windvane will insure that he is fully loaded down coming back.  Judi has done her part by shopping online for a few items not available here in Europe.  Hope he doesn't injure the other collarbone!

Judi covers the boat in fabric - While Bob has been away, Judi has been on a sewing binge, coming up with lots of covers to protect things on the boat from the sun and weather.  The first project was a cover for the boarding ladder which will protect the boat from the pointed ends and screws of the ladder.  She has been well taken care of by friends in the marina, having dinner and drinks with them and keeping her supplied with lots of movies for nightly entertainment.

Cold, Wet weather in Marmaris - This past week was another cold, wet and windy one, with thunderstorms.  But by Friday things had improved dramatically and we have lots of sun, but Brrrrrrr! cold temps.  It has been about 48 degrees onboard in the morning - prompting Judi to go to bed with a down comforter, down sleeping bag and a hot water bottle, since her snuggling partner is missing.  Fortunately it warms up to about 60 degrees under full sunshine during the day.

Week Ending 12 Feb 05 (Judi)

Sports and Food Activities in Tallahassee - With the medical chores out of the way, Bob has been making the rounds of social activities with his son, Denis, in Tallahassee. The week started with watching the superbowl on TV with Denis (this year in Jacksonville, Fl, just a few hours away) - a few brews were consumed, I'm sure.  Several dinners followed with family and the family of his son's girlfriend.  Hotdogs at a baseball game at Florida State Univ. (his son's alma mater) and fast food lunches as he continues his shopping for needed items. His weight (both luggage and body) is increasing as his bank account is decreasing.

Week of sewing frustrations for Judi in Marmaris - Meanwhile Judi continues to pine away in Marmaris while Bob parties in Tallahassee.  She finally finishes her sewing projects, but not without a few dramas.  Just as she was about to finish up, the bobbin thread jams in the housing.  With Bob not around, she attempts to fix it herself by removing the bobbin, but no good - could not get the thread out.  So now she  has to remove the tiny, tiny screws of the housing, but in the process of trying to pry the housing out with a screwdriver, a part of the metal edge breaks off! The good news is though is that she got the thread out.  Well, what to do now.  So she thinks maybe she can glue it back on with superglue!  With superglue in hand, she delicately places the 2 pieces together and voila! they are back together.  After a few minutes to let the glue set, she spends the next hour trying to put it back in place with the 6 tiny screws.  Then the bobbin back in, but it fits in a little too snugly since the glue now takes up some space.  So when she tries to remove the bobbin (again with a screw driver), the lever used to lift out the case breaks off and the piece that she just glued on breaks off as well.  Remove the tiny screws again and re-glue, put tiny screws back in (another hour).  Now she she knows that she cannot glue the lever back in place, so she places the bobbin in the case, puts the case back into the housing without using the lever, rotates everything to see it will move as required and places a piece of test fabric on the machine.  Can you believe it, it WORKS!!  So for the rest of the week, every time she needs to refill the bobbin, she gently pries the bobbin out, fills up the spool and then pushes it back into the housing.  Total time spent on the repair - about 5 hours.  The sewing projects are finally finished.

So the moral to this story - Don't use a screw driver to pry something loose and wait for Bob to fix things mechanical.

Visa Run to Rhodes - It has now been 3 months for Judi since we returned to Turkey, so she has to leave the country for a few hours.  Fortunately Rhodes, Greece is only 25 miles away.  So up at 7am to catch the ferry.  It was a very beautiful day (which was good, since they do not go in bad weather) for the 3 hour trip.  With just 2 hours in Rhodes, she rushes around to the Greek supermarkets to get cheese, bacon, peanut butter and other things that are not available in Marmaris.  Back on the ferry at 1:30pm for the 3 hour trip back to Turkey.  She is now legal here for another 3 months.

Week Ending 19 Feb 05 (Judi)

Judi's visit to Istanbul Boat Show - Just before Bob left for Florida, our marina, Marmaris Yacht Marine, was putting together an excursion to Istanbul to visit the big boat show there.  This was going to be partially funded by the marina, with the cruisers contributing to fuel for the bus and our own accommodation.  Since Judi wanted go back to Istanbul, she decided to sign up.  The trip went like this:

  • Monday - Bus leaves marina at 0830 in driving rainstorm and gale force winds.  4 hours later we stop for lovely lunch which is paid for by Yacht Marine.  Several stops later, we finally arrive at our hotel in Istanbul at 2230 hrs.  Along the way the marina staff handed out knit jackets for all with the marina name and logo which we were to wear at the boat show.
  • Tuesday - Up at 0830 for breakfast (included in hotel price) and on the bus at 1100 to travel to the boat show (tickets provided by the marina).  We make our way to the Marmaris Yacht Marine  booth where wine, beer, other beverages and snacks waiting for us.  The marina has a camera crew to film the event and we are all interviewed by the media.  Everyone felt like celebrities.  Additionally there was a 3-piece band which serenaded us for the afternoon with everything from pop music to opera.  The cruiser "Shanty Singers" perform with the band and everyone has a wonderful time, singing, dancing, drinking, eating and Oh yeah! wandering around the boat show.
    Later that night the Marina owner takes all 40+ cruisers out to dinner at a Turkish restaurant where we dine on fine wine and all manner of wonderful traditional Turkish cuisine.
  • Wednesday was a free day in which Judi, Peter and Jeanette and Dan (Dakare) spend seeing some of the wonderful sights of Istanbul.  We visit an underground palace which is still being excavated.  Next was the Basilica Cisterns - a beautiful underground Byzantine water cistern built by Justinian in 532.  We wandered around walkways in the underground, beautifully lit, cavern to the sounds of classical music.  A very unusual experience.
    Onto the incredible 1,400 year old Aya Sofia Museum.  The Aya Sofia,built by Justinian in the 6th century, was designed as an earthly mirror of the heavens.  In the 15th century, the Ottomans converted it to a mosque.  It is now a museum  The architecture and the incredible Byzantine mosaics make it one of the most beautiful sights in Istanbul.
    Dan and Judi visit the fabulous Blue Mosque.  After lunch, Judi and Jeanette drag Dan off to the Grand Bazaar for some shopping.  Incredibly, Judi buys nothing, even though Jeanette and many vendors try their best to persuade her to do so.
    The previous night Dan had been handed an invitation to a hospitality party at a night club hosted by the Turkish sailing magazine, Naviga.  The big attraction for us all was that the great band who played for us at the boat show, which was only 3 of a group of 8, was performing at this party.  The invitation was for 10 people only, and Judi was one of the lucky ones.  So she, along with 7 others showed up at the Babylon Jazz club to party until 2 am.  The band performed all manner of music from Abba to arias from the opera, Carmen.  We learned that Turkish men and women really know how to party.  It was a fun night for all.
  • Thursday, we were all up at 8am to get ready for the long bus ride back to Marmaris.  We left at 0930, stopped for lunch and dinner (paid by marina) and arrived back at the marina about 12 midnight. 

To see pictures of the trip, click here.

Flashback to the Past - While wandering around the boat show, Judi, Peter and Jeanette (Voyager) find Osman Atasoy - a Turkish cruiser that we all met 10 years ago in the Pacific.  He was the first Turkish cruiser to sail around the world and has written a book that he was promoting.  He is somewhat of a celebrity and is now a weatherman on TV.  He has a newer and bigger boat and is planning to go off again, this time to Cape Horn and other far reaches of the globe.

Osman and Peter

Week Ending 26 Feb 05 (Judi)

Website problems -  One morning, Judi decides to visit our website, to check the hit counter but is unable to find it.  This was like deja vu all over again, as about 2 years ago, in Thailand we tried to check our site and there was another page showing where ours should have been.  This problem was a little different in that she couldn't get to the site at all.  A quick email to Bob in Florida to ask if he can get to the site and he emails back that everything is OK.  Judi is sure that he is thinking that she is having a "blonde" moment, but NO!, there really is a problem accessing our site from Turkey.  Bob calls our hosting service in the US and they verify that yes, they are blocking all IP addresses from Turkey, due to hacker attacks.  Not only was she unable to view our site, she was not able to update it or retrieve our email!  Additionally, she cannot get to our hosting service website in order to log a trouble ticket to tell them that we have a problem!

Since Bob is in the states, he tries to solve the problem from there and decides to extend his stay a few days to do so.  No luck, either he must leave in 2 days or extend for 1 week.  So he changes his booking to come back a week later.  Judi is very sad! 

Fortunately, there is a networking expert (Lars - Danish cruiser) here in the marina and after several days of trial and error, Lars finally develops a temporary, but cumbersome, workaround.  We are continuing to work with the hosting service to get them to unblock the IP address from the Yacht Marine server.  We hope (fingers crossed) that this will only be a problem while we are in Turkey and that once we travel to Greece and parts west, this will no longer be an issue.

Visit to Marmaris Carpet Shop -  Every Friday morning, the women cruisers get together for morning coffee to discuss "secret women's business."  This week we decide to visit a local carpet shop owned by Engin, the guide who accompanied us to the Istanbul Boat show.  We had asked him to give us a lecture on Turkish carpet types, quality, and how to identify a good carpet or kilim.  So, early Friday morning, about 22 women invade his shop.  In true Ottoman tradition, he quickly offers us Cay (Turkish tea) and then proceeds to show us all 3,000 (or almost all) carpets in his shop while discussing the various attributes and qualities of them.  After about an hour 22 women are crawling all over the floor, flinging carpets about, and purring, oohing and ahhing over all of the beautiful pieces Engin has available.   You could tell he loved each and every carpet and really enjoyed showing them to such an appreciative audience.

Ottoman Dinner - In Yacht Marine's continuing effort to provide entertainment to the cruisers based here, they organized a dinner buffet at the marina restaurant.  A local winery provided free wines and a Turkish group played traditional music on authentic instruments.  The buffet was huge and filled with all kinds of delicious Ottoman cuisine from Lentil soup to honey-sweet Baklava.  Judi's big decision was to decide what items to try.  Unable to make up her mind, she tries them all.  Everything was Cok Guzel (very good).

Meanwhile in Tallahassee, Bob continues to expand his waistline as well, with several family dinners and popcorn at cinemas.  Next week he will be trying to get his trousers closed as well as the overflowing bags of luggage


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