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  february 2009


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01/02/09  Another beautiful sunny day!  More fitting of 'new toys' and a trip into Marmaris for instrument panel switches.

02/02/09  Read this morning of heavy snow in London and Kent, confirmed by the BBC radio news at 7am.  Here, it's a little cooler than the last two days, but still warm and sunny.  Fitted new switch panel and wired it up in preparation for  powering the radar and chartplotter, measuring up for a new 'cupboard' to hide all the instrument backs and wiring.  Said 'cheerio' to Roger who was heading back to the UK for a couple of weeks, he's picked a good time - I hope that Gatwick airport is open for him.  Like me, he has gone back to pick up parts and equipment.  I also booked a second return flight to the UK to collect equipment left there on my visit a few weeks ago.

03/02/09  Into town for dvd discs (more film copying) and some cable for wiring in the new instruments.  Returned to the marina and dinner in the restaurant before watching a film in the evening and catching up with some e-mails.

07/02/09  Happy Birthday Roger!  Continuing the struggle with wiring runs to both radar and chartplotter, got the new wood panel in place to cover the back end of the radar display, and also the folding shelf in which to store the DVD player.

09/02/09  Last night saw winds in excess of 30 knots which brought the foreshore (rocks, boulders, pebbles etc) up onto the roadway outside the marina again.  This morning, all was still until 9.30am, then the rain started and the wind went from 0 knts to 43 knts in the space of a few minutes, and continued until 5pm before once again dying to nothing.  Dodging the heavier rain, I went into town for more electric cable and connectors.

11/02/09  Still cable running, chartplotter feed, radar feed, fan feed and additional LED lighting cable has now been run, some switching has been modified and the original switch panel repaired after several of the connectors broke off through poor soldering.  The marineros have today been and put two more stern lines to my boat - they are expecting strong winds again!

12/02/09  Woken at 5.30 by the reverberations through the boat caused by the rigging shaking in the wind.  42 knts showing on the wind instrument - and dead astern again.  The wind later dropped and we had a beautifully warm and sunny day - not that I saw much of it, as I spent the whole day trying to thread a 12mm cable through the saloon, in the small space between head lining and coachroof.  The marineros turned up again mid-morning and put two more bow ropes on for me, telling me that a storm was expected.   The office have been giving out gale warnings all day on VHF, advising everyone to take extra precautions with boat security for tomorrow and Saturday.

13/02/09  Friday the thirteenth.......I'm not a superstitious person....but the dire gale warnings from the office, repeated on VHF this morning DO have a worrying effect!  The gale is supposed to hit this evening and last throughout tomorrow, so we wait and see.  Weather sites and grib files show nothing out of the ordinary but most residents of southern England will remember Michael Fish's "There will be no hurricane" comment of some years ago.  This morning started with black skies, thunder, lightning and hailstones, the wind coming and going with the each downpour.

14/02/09  So......we all survived the night.....and the much publicised storm did not materialise!  Wind speeds stayed around the 30 knt mark, but nothing to worry about.  It's sunny at the moment but squalls are expected throughout the day - and it's Valentine's Day!  The appropriate parties are planned for the bar/restaurant, and also at Dominoes in town.  Not being part of a couple, I will not be attending any of the events and remain onboard as I did last year.

17/02/09  Not much happening at present, I'm gearing up for yet another return flight to the UK on the 19th to collect my (heavy) water-maker.  The inside radar work is all but complete now - some photo's here - but I should have thought to run additional cable for the water-maker whilst I was at it....never mind, another job to do!  My friend Jan has let her apartment for the next 12 months so I have removed the link to that and replaced it with another friend's apartment - which is available for holiday lets should anyone like to visit Turkey - take a look at the link below.

18/02/09  A morning of rain.....and problems with the delivery of my cruising chute.....which is being held in customs at Istanbul.   I spent most of the day on the telephone to either Joyce, Tolga Anik or Mr Volkan in Istanbul (who are all involved in this) trying to get it sorted out - and without success.  It seems that because my name isn't actually on the delivery notes, I cannot authorise customs clearance and that Tolga should phone the custom's office.  Furthermore, they are telling me that I will have to collect the package from Istanbul or alternatively, Izmir.  It's a joke.....Istanbul is some 14 hours away by road and Izmir is maybe 4 or 5 hours away.  The carrier, DHL, have been paid to deliver to an address here in Marmaris, not the other side of Turkey!

19/02/09  Off back to the UK again....taxi to Dalaman at 1240.....take off at 1635, anticipated arrival at Gatwick just after 7pm UT.   I'm not looking forward to the dreaded Thomas Cook flying cattle truck.  Still, I have no luggage for the outward journey, so no problems at baggage reclaim!  Coming back on the 26th will be a different story as I am bringing back my water-maker.  This photograph shows my boxed radar (front) which I brought back on the last flight, and the much bigger and heavier water-maker behind it.  I will have to split it down into more manageable sizes for travel as it's almost impossible to lift off the ground at present.   That's it, no more updates or e-mails now until I return to the boat in a week's time.


26/02/09  Just after 6am and I'm at the Custom's Office in Gatwick Airport getting my forms stamped for VAT return on my water-maker.  Fortunately, I wasn't asked to unpack the boxes and was able to go straight to check-in with them.  Excess baggage had to be paid, but that was expected.   Met up with Jamie from Esper and also Paul, Toni and Jordan from Zachariah, all returning to their boats in Fethiye and Marmaris.  Arrived back at Dalaman airport at 3.30pm (local time) and despite all the 'this way up' arrows on the boxes.......mine came out on their side! Turkish Customs pounced and I had to put them through the X-ray machine which gave an interesting picture and I was taken aside and told to open them up.  Luckily.....a better English speaking officer, after a few questions, decided I wasn't smuggling weapons of mass destruction and allowed me to leave without opening the packages. Roger and Astrid met me at the marina to give me a hand in getting the heavy boxes onto my boat and as soon as I stepped onboard, I heard an ominous loud splash.  "Oh no!" I thought,....."Roger's dropped my water-maker in the sea",  but when I swung round.....the boxes were still on the pontoon and he was swimming!  A slip of the foot and he had gone into the cold water!  If nothing else, it demonstrated the difficulty of recovering someone who is fully clothed in fleeces, shoes etc. from the water - there are no safety ladders on the pontoons of this marina.  After Roger had showered and changed, we went to the bar for a drink, and in my case some dinner, and I caught up with events of the marina over the last seven days.

27/02/09  I don't know where to start with all the equipment piled everywhere and the two large boxes taking up the cockpit space!  Went into town first to sort out a problem on my Turkish phone, which for some reason would not work on landing at Dalaman yesterday.  It appears that if you do not put any credit on your phone for a period of three months, irrespective of how much credit you have remaining, your phone is 'frozen' until you add extra credit. This is what had happened to me.  Another problem on landing yesterday .......a phone call (on my UK phone) from the shipping agent in Great Yarmouth, engaged by Jeckell's Sails to deliver my sail......they cannot sort out the mess in Istanbul and asked me to do it from this end!  I e-mailed Jeckell's and asked them to sort it out, it's not my job to organise delivery or custom's release - that's what the shipping agent is paid for.  A delivery address was given (which DHL got wrong), a delivery schedule was sent to me and the service paid for.  So far, the money has gone from my account, the sail hasn't arrived and the promised delivery schedule has gone out of the window.  I hasten to add that until now, Jeckell's have been great and that the blame lies with the courier and their inability to keep their promise, plus the Turkish 'job's worth' individual in Istanbul who is questioning the given delivery address.

28/02/09  A cold, biting wind from the North/North West blowing at around 25-30kts all day.  Warmer in the UK!






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