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  december 2008


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01/12/08  Happy Birthday Ann!   It's incredible that installing a simple socket can be so difficult!  The cable run for the galley socket is just under 5 metres but only about 1.75 metres in a direct line, and you would not believe the problems I've had in getting it to run in the preferred route.  However, it's now in place and just needs to be wired in to the mains with the appropriate socket on the other end.......which is a problem because I don't have one!   I was sure I had a double UK socket in the after cabin, but try as I may, I cannot find it and the final connection will now have to wait until I've been back to UK in January. 

Early this evening, the Moon and Venus were in almost perfect alignment as a representation of the Turkish Flag - I did try to get a photograph but despite taking eight shots, none were suitable .......the problem of keeping the camera still for a long exposure isn't easily overcome on a boat!  However, the photo on the left was posted on the YBW Forum and shows the view from Malta - a slightly different aspect, in that Venus isn't central in the moon's crescent, as it was here in Marmaris.  A good photo nonetheless.   Jupiter is the other planet visible at top right.


04/12/08  The strong winds are back with us, again from the South and the boat is rocking quite a bit.  I have had a couple of days of calamity - firstly a burst water pipe which soaked everything in a locker under the saloon seat, including all the new shore power electrics, and secondly a spillage into my computer, which may mean fewer entries in this log until the end of January.  Although I have managed, at least get the computer running and saved most of my document files to an external source, the keyboard is doing it's own thing by typing capitals willy-nilly, missing keystrokes altogether and omitting various other key inputs.  So what used to take minutes to type, now takes much, much longer because of having to go over it all again and correct typo mistakes.   My apologies for any mistakes remaining.......it's not me, it's the computer, which will be replaced in January.   Obviously, the same keyboard fault is apparent on my e-mail programme, which again makes writing mails somewhat tedious, so bear with me if you are waiting for a reply, or if you get one which is full of mistakes.

07/12/08  Again the strong winds are with us.  I awoke this morning to the sound of it whistling in the rigging, noted the windspeed instrument showing in excess of 30 knots - and then the rain started.  It's just after mid-day now and there is no sign of it abating in the near future.  Over the last day or so, I have completed my shore power wiring job, found a single socket for the galley (which will suffice until I can purchase a double in UK), installed a flat screen TV and DVD player, downloaded around three dozen more films from the internet, and now use an electric kettle and toaster instead of using gas all the time!  My computer is over the worst of it's damp mode and it's just certain keys which will still not work - the left shift key being the most irritating - and I'll have a look at that later.  8.45pm...the rain has stopped and the winds have died!

08/12/08  Transferred my dinghy onto the pontoon and inflated it, then gave it a good scrubbing inside and out before filling it with soapy water and dunking several of my warps in to soak for a while.  No doubt the little guy on his scooter will be around before very long, to complain about the pontoon being 'blocked'.  Quite a drop in temperature this evening because the wind has gone round 180o and is now from the  chilly North - and I think I'm coming down with a cold!

09/12/08  Didn't fancy standing around on the pontoon sorting out warps and dinghy today because the wind is still northerly and chilled, so after I had done my washing and had breakfast, I did some more scraping of varnish from my drinks holder and around the companionway entrance, though there is still much more of that to do, followed by several coats of varnish of course!

10/12/08  A lovely sunny day.....and more scraping and sanding around the companionway and the grabrail along the port side of the coachroof, I may as well do all the woodwork whilst I'm at it!

11/12/08  Sunny again, but with somewhat more wind - which is forecast to increase through the day and night.  Scraped all the varnish from the starboard grabrail and sanded it down in preparation for varnishing, before the chill of the wind became too much and I retreated into the warmth of the cockpit.

12/12/08  Not a peaceful night.  Because of the strengthening winds blowing 30o off my starboard quarter, I stayed up until almost 2am to make sure my bows did not hit the pontoon.  At 5.30am, the sound of my anchor pushing the steps along the pontoon had me up and dressed as the boat rolled and slewed uncomfortably between it's neighbours.  The wind instrument showed 40 knots and forward movement had allowed my bow to close the gap between boat and pontoon.  Once more, using a second rope and rolling hitch, I again winched in more of my stern line but constant twisting of the laid mooring prevented me from gaining much slack, just enough to lessen the incidence of anchor/step contact.  At least my dinghy hasn't blown away - but then again, it does have several hundred kilos of water and rope in it!   What an 'orrible day - by 11.50pm the wind had been gusting up to 40knts, then back to 15, then up to 40 again in a monotonous cycle throughout the day, but then steadied to around 20knts with persistent rain.   At least it allowed a good night's sleep!

14/12/08  Very little happening at the moment.   For some reason, the marina is eerily silent during the day - even though the Turkish holiday period is over, very little can be heard except the chirruping of the many kingfishers perched on mooring ropes.   During the evening I went up to the bar, bought my drink and went to sit in the restaurant annexe to watch the Sunday film......Anthony Hopkins in 'Fracture'.   I have added a new page to the site - my friend Jan is selling her apartment in Kusadasi, so if anyone would like their own Place in the Sun, take a look at this one by clicking on the link below.....and get yourself a bargain!  (edit: apartment has now been let for a 12 month period and is no longer available - link removed.)

15/12/08  So, another Internet Explorer problem!  Microsoft have advised users to change to another browser whilst a security danger is rectified......so....I'm back using Firefox for a while.

16/12/08   This morning's liveaboard 'net' warned of the IE security problem (a bit late!), and I expect a great majority will today be changing over to Opera, Firefox or some other browser.  Update on the RTW solo yachtsmen I commented on in November 20th's log:   Thomas Colville has been losing time in the Indian Ocean, and is now 2 days and 18 hours behind Joyon's record.......the youngster Mike Perham's bid to go around as the youngest ever is dogged with autohelm problems, having stopped in Cascais for repairs and again in Gran Canaria.  He now hopes to start and finish there on his solo non-stop circumnavigation.  I think maybe he has 'bitten off more than he can chew,'  for someone so young.  For some days now, I've been wrestling with the 'do I put some Xmas lights up or not' question - I don't generally take any notice of Christmas, it's a period of the year that used to annoy me intently when in the UK - the madness of it all, shoppers going berserk, traffic congestion, never knowing what to buy for someone, the false 'jollity' of the season......bah! humbug!, it drove me mad!  However, I do have two sets of lights onboard, and they are sitting there in the box 'accusing' me, along with Astrid from Storm Dodger giving me grief.....so, maybe tomorrow?

17/12/08  OK......I gave in and put up some lights this morning - but it was a compromise m'lud....I only put up one set,  just plain white from bow to spreaders and down to the stern.   Retrieved my warps from their soaking in the dinghy and rinsed them off before hanging on the gantry at the stern, then gave the dinghy another wash out and inverted it to dry.   Tonight's film....'Good Luck Chuck'.

18/12/08  Bit of a windy day again today (up to 30knts), so didn't do an awful lot, just a little re-organisation of a couple of lockers.  Microsoft have released a security patch to rectify the threat to Internet Explorer users.  It mainly affected IE 7 (which I use), but other versions are also at risk, so I downloaded and installed that.  Firefox (latest version is 3.0.5), Opera and Safari have all issued updates too - so make sure you all have the most up-to-date versions/modifications!  Tonight the film onboard is 'The Guns of Navarone'......collect your popcorn and ki-ora before taking your seats please - and don't sit on the Christmas tree Madam!

19/12/08  Rain!   All morning!  It cleared up in the afternoon and became quite warm, though I wasn't tempted to chance it and go into town, I would much rather go in the mornings.   A lot of 'secret squirrel' chat on the VHF during the day, about something happening tomorrow - pathetic, because everyone knows what's going on in the marina, yet no-one wants to say anything - and basically it's about the (un-expected?) forced expulsion from the marina, of Antigua Lady with Karen and Paul.

20/12/08  There was a party last night for yotties to bid farewell to Karen and Paul which I understand was well attended - but had it been announced.....then even more would have been there!  Rumour has it that they were asked to leave because they furnished information to liveaboards as to where to buy supplies cheaper than in the marina shop.  However, as I first heard the rumblings of their eviction some four weeks ago, I somehow doubt the authenticity of that, and suspect the more plausible explanation of enticing custom to their own hotel/restaurant (Dominoes),  exacerbated by ill-advised, third party, daily 'net' announcements.   Whatever the reason, in my opinion, marina management have over-reacted and have effectively 'cut their own throats', as in all probability, both restaurant and bar takings will fall even further than current levels, in a mini liveaboard rebellion.   An engine-less Antigua Lady was towed by joker boat from the marina at 10am this morning, amidst noisy klaxon soundings, before being taken in tow by Jo and Foxy aboard Aventura for the short trip across the bay to Netsel Marina.   My best wishes to both Karen and Paul.   You will both be missed.

23/12/08  Today has dawned bright and sunny - a change from the last couple of days which have seen grey skies and showers - fairly miserable weather, but infinitely preferable to the cold winters of the UK.  Turkey weather sites are showing considerable amounts of snow just to the east of Istanbul (40cms) but it's unlikely to spread this far south.  However, we are expecting some strong winds yet again, the central Aegean taking the brunt of it and Marmaris catching the edges of the blow. 

24/12/08  Reading last night of UK Tesco stores being bare of fresh veg, fruit etc.....you guys have no idea how great it is to be away from all that - the annual locust swarms hit the supermarkets, buying trolley loads of stuff they don't need, car parks clogged with frantic shoppers laying in for a siege when in reality the need is only for a couple of days, piles of bread that could feed the five thousand for a month, chocolates and nuts they won't ever eat, turkey they'll still be eating at Easter.....the list goes on!

So, up this morning at my usual 6am, two cups of black coffee laced with Cap'n Morgan's dark rum (it's Christmas isn't it?)  whilst reading the Daily Mail and Kent Messenger online - Noel Edmonds proposes to girlfriend - dipstick - Pixie Geldorf falls out of a nightclub again....looking like she got dressed in the dark using clothes from the ragbag, (so like her Dad), Madonna goes out with Jesus, Kate Winslett gets naked in a new movie whilst every other woman wants a bum like Kylie's - and the usual spattering of muggings and burglaries on the Christmas run-up.   Nothing new there then!!  Listened to Radio Kent whilst having my breakfast of steak and eggs with mushrooms and caramelised tomatoes - and more coffee!  Went into town with Astrid in the afternoon for a couple of hours and on return to the marina, the winds had kicked in from the north as expected, so it was nice to get back onboard, switch on the heating and settle down to dinner and a good book.


26/12/08    I hope everyone at home, fellow sailors and visitors to this site from all over the World, had a good day yesterday!  Thank you all for the e-mails, sms texts, phone calls and other messages of seasonal greetings which I've received over the last few days - they are, as always, very much appreciated.  Here, we have had two days of glorious sunshine, albeit a little chilly yesterday, with more of the same good weather forecast over the weekend.  I've had a two great days of relaxing (not picking up any tools!), either reading, surfing the net or watching films, aided and abetted by Captain Morgan!   Those liveaboards, who yesterday went to 'organised' dinners, were not exactly ecstatic about their day, so once again, I'm thankful that I opted to spend my day quietly onboard.  This evening will be much the same, dinner is cooking, I'll have that before settling in to another film.....title to be decided later!!

28/12/08  0800hrs.  Not very much happening.....seasonal lethargy at it's best!  The promised 'good' weekend weather failed to materialise and yesterday saw gloomy skies and some heavy rain.  This morning......well,.....it's much the same, there's a fairly brisk breeze from the south, grey skies and showers.  The internet is currently down, but the intranet is not - so I took the opportunity of downloading some more films, another six or so, at around 8 minutes per download, bringing my total number of films on hard disc to around the 100 mark (plus another 300 on dvd disc) - that should keep me occupied for a few evenings!  What I didn't know until yesterday, was that, of the top ten best films of 2008 (as voted by MSN readers)...I have eight of them onboard!  Later afternoon brought yet more rain, sometimes heavy and with the accompaniment of thunder and lightning.








30/12/08   Not a very pleasant evening yesterday - we continue to have fairly strong winds and these were blowing at around a 45 degree angle to my stbd bow (north-easterly), at speeds of 35 knots.  This slews the boat from side to side and into the neighbouring boats (both un-attended).  The sound of rubbing fenders coupled with frapping halliards, which I was unable to stop, made for a noisy few hours.  Looking at the weather sites this morning, in particular the Turkish Met site......it seems there will be little change in winds before 11pm tomorrow night, so....more of the same today then!

31/12/08  .....and so we start the last day of 2008!  The piccy to the right shows the the type of wind pattern files that yotties look at each day, this one is from the Turkish Met site (reduced in size), and is for 0600 UT today (0800 local time).  The red areas are strong winds - blowing straight down the Aegean Sea.  Marmaris is just on the edge of the blow and my wind instrument is currently showing a speed of 36 knots (0430 UT).  The Greek islands of the Aegean must be taking a bit of a pounding at the moment.  Anyone want a quick passage to Port Said??

Other than the noise of the wind.......a quiet New Year's Eve for me, brought in with a glass of Imperial Speyside single malt whisky (16 year old!).

Thanks to all the 'regulars' (though I don't know who you are) who have  dropped in to have a look at my site over the last year, from the UK, Germany, Argentina, Canada, Australia, Norway, Denmark, Belgium, Finland, Turkey, India, Romania, Croatia, USA and many more -  thank you very much.

Now let's see what 2009 has in store for me!


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