ending 1 January 05 (Bob)
Asia Tsunami - We, along with most people
in the world, awoke the day after Christmas to hear about the earthquake and
tsunami that devastated Indonesia and much of the coastline of Asia. We
were shocked and saddened by the news, particularly so after having had the
opportunity to meet so many wonderful people in Thailand and neighboring
countries. We started to receive emails from friends in the area, and 1st
hand account from cruisers who were in Phuket or Malaysia at the time. We
remembered sadly how we had been anchored in many of the places being mentioned
in the news, Phuket, Langkawi, Galle, Maldives only 2 years ago. Friends who
crossed the Indian Ocean last year had even more recent memories of the same
New Year's - With spirits somewhat
dampened by the events in Asia, many of us from the marina gathered on New
Year's Eve to ring in the new year. The marina restaurant put on a good
spread and the DJ played 'golden oldies' so we kicked up our heels. Once
he switched to new 'techno' music the oldies started to fade - but a good time
was had by all.
ending 8 January 05 (Bob)
Tsunami Toll Becomes Clearer - The news of the week continued to be the
toll from the tsunami in Southeast Asia as evidence showed that the toll was
closer to 150,00 than the original much lower estimates. Since cruising
yachts are such a small community compared to the ravaged local population it
took a while to get a picture of the state of cruisers in the area.
Although insignificant by comparison to the suffering of the local communities
and land tourists, cruisers seem to have fared reasonably well.
Information from some of the cruiser destinations we have visited include:
Phuket - some yachts damaged and at
least one lost but most rode it out or were able to motor away from danger
as the dropping water was a signal that something was wrong. The
marinas had some damage but are operational. For more information
Langkawi - the prime cruising stop in
Malaysia, it was hit hard by the tsunami with the two major marinas
destroyed and several yachts lost. There is more information on
Galle, Sri Lanka - heavily damaged and
now being used for relief efforts. No known yacht loses. Cochin,
India suggested as an alternative.
Uligan, Maldives - seems to be OK as
best we can tell.
Once again, the occurrence of the earthquake and
the tsunami show that we can plan for all types of events, but much remains out
of our control and chance plays a large part in our life.
ending 15 January 05 (Bob)
Progressive Dinner - Following a tradition carried over from cruisers in
Rome, crews from 12 yachts embarked on a choreographed movement from yacht to
yacht meeting new people, tasting delicious food, and tipping back a little
wine. It went like this:
Each couple prepared one of three courses for
the evening and ate the other two courses on someone else's yacht.
Each yacht was visited by four people when it
was their turn to host a course.
The identities of visitors to each yacht were
known only to the organizer, so you didn't know who to expect, nor who you
would meet when you visited another yacht.
It was a lot of fun, and the dessert
preparers for our group had to put up with our talk and laughter until the
This has been a monthly event, although it is our
first time in it - we hope to sign up again although Judi hopes not to get the
Main course again next time.
Web Site Changes - The keyboard has been
smoking for the last couple of weeks as Judi (with a little help from Bob) as
made significant changes to the appearance and organization of our web site.
Stay tuned for an announcement!
ending 22 January 05 (Bob)
Rain, Rain, Rain! - We really can't complain since the weather has
generally been nice all Fall and Winter so far, but this week it threatened to
make us forget the good times. We have had squalls, pouring rain for hours
on end, hail, lightning, and then some more rain most of the week. The bad
news is that it found a few openings to drip on us, but the good news is that is
was only two openings.
Holiday in Turkey - This week is
Kurban Bayrami, a 4-day holiday celebrating the Biblical and Kuran's
account of Abraham's near-sacrifice of his son Isaac on Mount
Moriah, proving Abraham's complete obedience to God. The country's
business stops and the head of each Turkish household hopes to sacrifice
a sheep on the morning of the first day of the holiday period to
celebrate the event. A lavish meal is made from the meat, friends and
family are invited to feast, and the excess meat and the hide are donated to
charity. In Saudi Arabia the Hajj occurs at the same time with several
million pilgrims going to Mecca and Medina.
Wine and Cheese - The marina does very
little in the way of activities for the cruisers, but this week the restaurant
collected an endless supply of Turkish wines plus some decent cheeses and threw
a party. Gallons were consumed, and although Turkey does not yet rank up
there with Spain in our estimation, they had a good selection and did not skimp.
A good time was had by all (except Judi who was suffering from a sore throat).
Scary Inauguration - We, along with many
Americans, listened to the opulent goings on in Washington and Bush's 2d
inaugural speech. We were struck by the challenge he laid down to many
countries in the world, where the US would decide what type of governance other
countries should have and the implication that the US would enforce it by use of
arms. We fear the toll of dead Americans and citizens of other countries
will grow substantially during his 2d term.
Week ending 29 January 05 (Judi)
Busy Week of Social Activities
- Despite the really 'yukky' weather, we had a week of many social
activities. Sunday, was a beautiful warm, sunny day, but by
Monday we had gale force
winds, rain and lightning, but it did not stop a large group of
vocalists and 'others' who turned up to sing
Sea shanty songs in English, Dutch
and German. After a few beers, everyone started to sound a
Tuesday, Judi had
Spanish class and we hosted a
dinner for Jeanette and Peter (Voyager) on Long Passages.
Wednesday, the gale was
blowing full force, but a large group turned up at Sunmarine
Restaurant for quiz night.
Thursday the rain abated
enough for everyone to visit the Farmers' fresh fruit and veggie
market in Marmaris. Later in the afternoon Bob joined a
group of 15 cruisers to go Ten-pin Bowling
at the Sport's Center in Marmaris. His form was a bit
rusty, but he had good fun. This is to be a regular weekly
event. Judi attend her Spanish Class,
but was a naughty student as she did not complete her homework.
Friday we finally rested a
Saturday we go
souvenir shopping in Marmaris and
then attend a dinner onboard Voyager
where Jeanette prepared a wonderful meal.
Sunday, Bob packs his bags
for a trip to the US.
Off to the Land of Stuff -
Late, the previous week, Bob decided that he should go to the US to
see a doctor about a mysterious bump that appeared on his chest and
is not responding to any treatment prescribed by doctors here in
Marmaris. Talking to a doctor who does not speak English as a
first language is always a problem when cruising so Bob has decided
to see a doctor who may be able to better understand and,
hopefully, vice versa. So, by the miracles of internet
and email, within two days, he alerted his son, Denis, in Florida
that he is about to get a visitor, flight arrangements were made and
the bus ticket to Istanbul was purchased.
That decision prompted the following
Shop for Turkish souvenirs that
we wanted so Bob could take them back with him
Start a shopping list of things
we want from the US so that he can bring them back.
Search the boat for items we want
So loaded down with 2 bags stuffed
with old charts, a water pipe(hubbly-bubbly), books and a few clothes, and a backpack with
computer and camera, he is ready to head off to Tallahassee and,
hopefully, better and warmer weather. While he is gone, Judi
is going to take advantage of his absence and do some sewing
projects, varnish some of the interior and generally try to keep
busy so that she won't miss him too much. She also plans to
shop 'til she drops on the internet for things that she cannot get
here in Europe. Last year when Judi visited her sister in Oregon,
Bob went a bit crazy on the internet, buying so many new electronics
and boating equipment that Judi had to buy a another bag to bring
everything back to Turkey. Payback is hell!
New Long Passages Website -
You probably have noticed the new look to our website. While
closed in on the boat during all the rain and cold weather here in
Marmaris, we found the time to do some work on the site. We
have been somewhat unhappy with the appearance of the site for a while and
felt that the old layout allowed for too much unused space on the
screen. We also wanted to change the "homepage" in order to
allow people to see, at a glance, most of what was included in the
site and link to it directly. We hope that this is an
improvement. Let us know what you