Jan. 2005
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Check out Weeks ending:   [1 Jan 05] [8 Jan 05] [15 Jan 05] [22 Jan 05] [29 Jan 05]

Week 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 places.

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.

Week 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 visit www.phukettsunami.com.

  • 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 www.langkawitsunami.net.

  • 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. 

Week 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 wee hours.

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!

Week 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 lot better.

  • 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 bit

  • 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 actions:

  • 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 to off-load.

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 think.


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