New Year's Eve Party in Turkey - A multi-cultural group met at the marina clubhouse for the end-of-year celebration, and fun was had by all. Curry was the theme, and we had 6+ varieties ranging from spicy Thai curry provide by Judi to tasty lamb curry - we were all so full we could barely participate in the parlor games that livened up the evening. Luscious desserts and champagne topped off the evening as most cruisers faded shortly after local midnight.
Quiet Week - Other than the party, the week was pretty quiet, with a few boat chores, setting up to catch rain water (a free supply of non-brackish drinking water) and mailing this year's Christmas cards (finally!).
Winter Gales - Saturday evening we started to feel a gentle rocking, and then a stronger swell. At about 10 PM we heard a sound like a freight train in the distance, and within 5 minutes it was pouring and blowing 20 knots. The storm built during the night and by 4 AM we were seeing 55 knots in the gusts, and we were somewhat protected by larger boats. At 0730 we started to smell diesel fumes, and dug around the engine compartment to confirm that it was not us. As the sun came up, we started to see debris in the water and as the day unfolded we found out what had happened: a 60-70' wooden charter boat moored between the inner and outer breakwaters had broken it lines and was smashed on the rocks. All day the marina crew worked on the heaving docks to clear the water of smashed planks, life-jackets, furniture, paperwork, plastic foam, and other debris. At the entrance to the marina all we could see were masts protruding from the water where the hulk rested on the bottom - it was a sad and sobering incident. The yacht next to us suffered a broken line, but fortunately were able to get a new one connected at 4 AM with minimal damage to their stern. The marina staff say this is unusual, but 2 dangerous storms in as many weeks is a little scary.
Judi off to USA - As the storm raged outside, Judi was packing her final items as she prepared for an impromptu trip to Oregon to visit her family. Fortunately, by the time we drove to the airport the winds were down to 20 knots and the rain was light. She is taking the scenic route with stops in Istanbul, Milan, Newark and Los Angeles en-route to Klamath Falls, Oregon.
Judi completes her circumnavigation - Despite all of the dire warnings of stepped up security at airports in the US, and work stoppages in Italy, Judi's trip to Los Angeles was l-o-n-g and tiring, but went smoothly - even the baggage made it!. A 1-night layover at the Adventurer Motel, our favorite backpacker's place in LA, gave her a chance to catch her breath for the final leg to Oregon. In the process of crossing the Atlantic, she completed her trip around the world, beating Long Passages by probably 2 years!
Quiet in the marina - Besides Judi, crew from half of the boats are traveling to Austria, Switzerland, Venezuela, the USA, Australia, and other places so it is pretty quiet here. Our weekly excursion was an 11-km hike through pretty pine forests near the marina at Kemer. The few of us left had a good, though tiring, time. Bob is planning to change some of the electrical power distribution system, so the interior of the boat is gradually taking on a bombed-out look - Judi is glad to not have to put up with it! In the aftermath of last week's storm, the hull of the yacht that was wrecked was retrieved from the entrance to the marina, and workmen set about trying to salvage anything that they could.
Another week - another storm - This is getting tiresome, and this one followed the pattern established by the last one:
Wandering the marina later in the afternoon shows more evidence of damage, lots of scratched hulls, a 100' mast on moveable supports blown 50' onto the roof of a car, painting canopies shredded, and the damaged yacht, already hauled so that it would not sink. We keep telling ourselves that this cannot be normal, this is too much damage on a recurring basis. We will have to explore whether other marinas have the same winds strengths, or whether the Antalya geography accelerates the winds in the area.
Bob eats the stores - Judi's instructions, when she left for Oregon, were to clear out the food stores that we have accumulated for offshore passages and to tide us over places where Western food is hard to find. With zeal, he rummaged through all lockers and found an abundance of goodies (small sample shown) ranging from smoked salmon from NZ, creamed corn from Australia (we never eat creamed corn), to dried beef packets (it tasted as bad as it sounds). The goal is eat (or otherwise dispose of) it all before Judi returns to make room for the Reese's cups she is sure to bring back!
Winter in Turkey - The news reports from Istanbul in the north show deep snow drifts, slippery roads, and stuck cars reminiscent of winter in New York. Antalya, on the warm (?) Mediterranean it reputed to not get snow, and so far that is true. However the winter gales do bring hail, and the last one left us a calling card in the cockpit, not enough to shovel but it made for good conversation.
Boat projects - Living in a boat designed for US power, it has always been a challenge operating on 220 volts in most countries outside of the US with extension cords running everywhere for heaters and 220 volt appliances. A re-design was called for, and so a new panel is being built to house some controls, plus to bring the battery switching and charging functions up to the latest recommendations. It will look something like the one to the right---->.
Judi in Oregon - Judi continues her visit with her sister in Oregon where all goes well. She is being inundated with shipments from chandlers and others as Bob tries to find the limits of their credit cards on the Internet.