01/02/08 Liveaboard Night....had a
great evening with Jan from Luturna, Ted and Pam from Radha
and half a dozen others, all of us enjoying the meal and the live
music/karaoke into the early hours of the morning. Jamie and Liz's
attempts to get me singing were to no avail despite several glasses of
the local brew
......I really would have to be out of my mind to get up and sing in any
place other than the shower....so if you can come round to the boat
tomorrow morning guys........!! It's the
Istanbul Boatshow on the 20th of this month, so I booked up my hotel in
Istanbul and put my name down on the transport list, I will be away from
the boat for 3-4 days along with about 160 others from Yacht Marine.
02/02/08 Out again this evening!
This time to the Portofino for the six nations opening match between
England and Wales. A crowd of us went, including Jan, Ted & Pam,
Gina, Richard, Paul & Jill, to see England lose miserably to the
Welsh side....but the fish and chips were good!!
03/02/08 A quiet, sunny Sunday!
Astrid and Roger very kindly invited myself and a small group of others
to share a lovely roast turkey dinner onboard Storm Dodger
extra 'oven help' coming from Gina on Impulse across the pontoon.
The problems with internet connection go from bad to worse.
Firstly, I only have a small Netgear wi-fi antenna in the cockpit, I'm
three quarters of the way down the pontoon and distant from the location of the
marina antenna, so the already weak signal has to battle through a
forest of masts to get to me. We
have an IT guy in the marina office who has taken it upon himself to be
the power crazy censor of Turkey, all incoming and outgoing packets of
info are filtered - which slows the whole system down, until it crashes - what used to be
'broadband' is now so slow that you would think we were on the old 'dial
up' connection, and a faulty one at that. IP addresses are
blacklisted at the push of a button whenever he decides you have
breached his rules. There have been several meetings
between he and representatives of the liveaboard community and despite
some hardware improvements, the connectivity problem continues to
worsen. The Turkish authorities also monitor and censor
sites, cutting off whatever they don't want you to see, last week it was
'You tube' because of a video, alleged to be an insult to Ataturk,
was uploaded by someone in Greece. Couple all this with my
now old computer (which is playing up), and you can imagine the problems
I have when uploading this log, or even sending and receiving
simple e-mail. After twenty four hours of trying to update the log,
perhaps I'll get lucky tomorrow! Whinge over!!
04/02/08 OK, I managed to update the log
at some god-unearthly hour this morning! Kevin from
Nadine is making a special trip back to the UK to purchase various
bits and pieces of wi-fi equipment in a few days time......I have my
list ready for him! Today, I borrowed his 15db gain antenna
and booster and what a difference it made, 80% signal strength (a 25%
improvement) and a link quality of between 90 -100%. It doesn't
stop old 'jobs worth' in the office cutting you off though - as he did
to me, presumably because I was 'hogging' the signal. This
guy does not realise that in today's world, internet connection is very
important to yotties, and without it.......the marina will lose boats to
other marinas. I wonder if he has ever heard of customer
06/02/08 Fifty years ago today, after a
3-3 draw against Red Star Belgrade, the Manchester United
football team were returning home on a chartered Elizabethan aircraft.
After a re-fuelling stop in Munich, the aircraft crashed on it's third
attempt to take off, and 23 people onboard lost their lives, including
eight of the players. It
was a sad day for all Man. U. fans.
Onboard......A hot, sunny day and Macit the
electrician turned up to take out my cockpit instrument panel and rewire
it, the boat is now in an even bigger mess! The panel is a
design fault, the engine ignition switch corroding when goffers come
inboard and twice I have broken off the key in the switch when I've
caught it with the heel of my shoe when stepping down into the cockpit!
Now, the switch has been removed and replaced with a push button
starter, isolated by a switch and 70amp relay in the saloon.
In the early evening I went round to Storm Dodger where Roger has
also got an electrical problem. At some unknown time, all the
wiring in the forepeak has burnt out leaving melted wiring and
charred woodwork - it could of course been much worse and he and Astrid
could have been dealing with a full blown fire at sea, which is every
sailor's worst nightmare. It is going to require a total rewire of
the windlass, the genoa furling motor and the bowthruster - none of
which I have onboard, all my gear being 'handraulic!'.
I stayed for a drink with them and that in turn evolved into a
pre-birthday celebration with the crews of Impulse, Eve, Pink
Panther, and Nisroc which lasted until the early hours.
Birthday Roger! I think we've already done
that in song early this morning! The southerly wind has brought
warm air and rain, so the planned deck birthday party on Storm Dodger
has to be postponed for a few days, and in any case we drank all the
supplies last night!
Last night was another great liveaboard night and Liz's karaoke skills
get better and better with even one or two dancing on the bar
Coyote Ugly style (?) I somehow finished up in the middle of a
'girls night out' at dinner when Jan (Luturna) had friends over
from Marmaris - but I drew the line at their demand to wear lipstick as
'an honorary girl'....so, hot chicken curry for Jan, Linda, Joyce, Sarah,
Trish, Julie, myself and last minute reinforcement - Paul. As usual, there are some
Today, the weather has been awful, it hasn't stopped raining and we've
had possibly the loudest crack of thunder that I've ever heard.
Strong gusts of wind from the south had me continually checking my
distance from the pontoon and I did have occasion to start the
engine and hold the boat away to avoid damage to the self-steering gear.
12/02/08 After a couple of days of
rain, we have the sunshine back. During the morning I caught the
courtesy dolmus to Kippa to stock up on essentials and late afternoon
saw Astrid and myself onboard Gina's boat ostensibly for coffee but
which turned into a bit of a wine tasting event and then developed into
an impromptu party (the best kind)! The usual crowd dropped by,
Jordan was despatched to the restaurant for fish and chips and we were
joined by Maxine ("I don't drink red wine"...yeah!) and Steve (Pania), Michi (Cirque de Soleil)
plus one or two others who had the odd drink.
So.......thirteen litres of wine later and an unscheduled dip in the
marina for Dave of Sunshine, I decided to call it a night and
made my way back home.
14/02/08 St Valentine's Day = party
time. Oh, no.....not another one! The theme in
the bar/restaurant is 'Vicars and Tarts', however, I decided to give
this one a miss and stay onboard.....leaving it to the 'couples'.
It was a cold night anyway, and much more comfortable in the warmth of
the saloon with a DVD. Giri-choko would be better, but
as far as I know there are no Japanese ladies in the marina, so there is
little chance of that. If I can steal any photo's of the
evening from Jamie, I'll add a couple to the web, I'm sure they would
have all had a great party.
16/02/08 Returned to Kippa with
Astrid on the courtesy dolmus for more shopping, then collected freeby
jacket for the Istanbul Boat Show before assembling outside the gate for
a group photograph. Kev and I decided to have a lunchtime drink in
the bar on the way back......big mistake! A few others joined in,
then it started to rain hard and we couldn't get our new jackets wet
could we? We had to wait until about 11pm before it
stopped, it was a terrible experience being cooped up in the bar for so
17/02/08 A cold day!
The kids in the marina got excited when we heard it was snowing in
Marmaris, just 8 kms away - fortunately we didn't get any here!
The north wind drags down cold air from the land mass north of us
whereas the southerlies bring us the warmth of Africa and Egypt.
It is a bit strange to be wearing fleeces and coats today when just two
days ago whilst having lunch, I was watching two girls swimming and
sunbathing at the marina pool.
18/02/08 Another cold one, the
Accuweather connection below is showing a temperature of 6oC
but with a real feel of -11oC......I can vouch for that!
The wind is again from the north, blowing at 25-30 knots and is bitingly
cold. We are still due to go to the Istanbul Boat Show the day
after tomorrow and at this very moment the snow is six inches deep in
the hotel car park there, and it is still snowing. The motorways
into Istanbul are all closed because of heavy snow.
However, the temperature is forecast to rise to around 14oC
on Wednesday, and the coach driver is confident that we can get through,
so fingers crossed that we will be OK. I'll be taking warm
23/02/08 Well, the last few days have
gone by in a blur of partying....I really must get back to sea and out
of this social debauchery! About a hundred and fifty of us left Yacht Marine at 06.30 on
Wednesday and journeyed north westward to Istanbul, skirting Izmir along
the way. The change was noticeable in the dress of the local
people, from western fashion to shepherds tending their sheep dressed in
traditional cloaks and headgear, like a scene from a biblical tableau. In the mountains we
came across the snow, and at one stop for refreshment, the anticipated
snowball fight broke out! On arrival in Istanbul some 14 hours
later, the evidence of heavy snowfalls remained but the temperature was
high, although that didn't stop the coach having some difficulty with
wheel spin whilst negotiating the narrow cobbled streets to our hotel,
The Antique Hostel, in the Sultanahmet district of old Istanbul . After a few beers in the Istanbul Hostel, (1am), we
turned in for the night. Next morning we boarded the coach
and drove the 25km or so to the boat show where marina management had
laid on food and drink, some choosing to stay at that stand rather than
look around the show!! In the afternoon, we decamped from
the show and joined the river cruise boat for a trip up the Bosporus
toward the Black Sea, management again laying on a superb meal and free
drinks, followed by music and dancing. On our return to Istanbul,
we again found ourselves in the Istanbul Hostel until the early hours,
after which Roger, Eve and I hailed a taxi to Taksim Square on the other side of Istanbul,
and the nightlife scene. It was 6am before we got back to
the hotel, somewhat worse for wear!! On the Friday, the
three of us wandered around Sultanahmet Camii
Muzesi - the Blue Mosque.
This mosque was completed in 1616 and dominates the skyline of Istanbul,
vying with the Suleymaniye for the title of supreme imperial mosque of
Istanbul. Inside is unusally light, with 260 windows and it's dome
is supported by four marble columns, each 5 metres in diameter.
Later, we walked up Divan Yolu, then downhill through the markets of
Tayahatun, which were jammed solid with local shoppers, to the
Egyptian Spice Bazaar,
savouring the exotic smells and colours of eastern spices and
feasting on wonderful spicy doner kebabs. Roger was suffering a
little from the previous night and cut short a repeat performance in the
Istanbul Hostel that evening, though Eve and I continued until 2am
before having an early night! All too soon it was
Saturday morning and time to head off back to Marmaris, the coach
leaving around 10.30am and arriving back in Yacht Marina at midnight,
bringing one extra passenger in the form of a tiny Siamese kitten
(nicknamed 'Velcro') which sat
next to me the whole way back and was a gift from Nazli, the marina
manageress, to her father-in-law. A midnight arrival at Yacht
Marina meant we
just had time to have a few beers in the bar until 2am!!!
24/02/08 Is there no end to this?
Party time again, .....Sylvaine Ilario, the French classical pianist featured
in Issue 6 of The Porthole (see Links page) gave a superb performance in
the club bar, which was enjoyed by all present - how she manages
single-handed sailing and public appearances is beyond me. We were
indeed privileged to hear her play and you can experience a little of
her music at
was followed by the liveaboard karaoke evening postponed from Friday because we were
away at the boat show. I now began to feel the pace and as Roger
had already left the bar, I decided at 10pm that it was time for my bed
too, leaving Astrid with all the others to party on.
29/02/08 Into town on the 0800
dolmus, catching the 0900 ferry to Rhodes to renew my visa. I
should have gone on Tuesday but another impromptu party onboard
Impulse the previous night was responsible for my oversleeping and
missing the ferry! However, today went without hitch and
unlike the last crossing, it was calm and sunny all day. It's a
bit of a pain having to do the trip, but at least I now have another 90
day stamp in my passport and it made a pleasant change to have Greek
food again.....I think this one was called Giuvesi...or something like
that! Just as we started the month, so we end it with liveaboard/karaoke
night.......another 2.30am finish!
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