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  january 2009


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01/01/09   I would like to wish family and friends, and fellow sailors all over the world,


and all the very best for this year, 2009.

The plan:   Attend both London and Dusseldorf Boat Shows mid month with a view to sourcing the most suitable water-maker and radar for me.  Fit both on return to Turkey.  Have the new cruising chute (which is waiting for me in Norfolk) delivered to Marmaris.  Lift out of water in March for new skin fittings and full survey (insurance requirement).  Sail locally during April, maybe to Rhodes or Antalya area, possibly northern Cyprus.  If all OK, then head eastward.....Lebanon or Egypt?  So that's it, all settled and firmly set in jelly.......ready to change at a moments notice!!

02/01/09   Breakfast over.....get on with dhobying whilst the sun shines.  Then took down the Xmas lights and packed them away in readiness for the next occasion (birthday?).  Need to find a box now, in which to store my little Christmas tree!  Fitted the modified engine air filter - yes.....I finally got it back!  However, I still needed to make alterations to, and fit the reinforced piping from the crankcase breather pipe to the filter, but after heating it and smothering the steel pipes at each end with washing up liquid, the job was finished.   Showered and went along to the office to pay my berthing fees up to April 21st.  Also paid my  electric and water bill to date from last March (!) which didn't amount to much - due in the main to my solar panel.  Started to make a list of all the things I need to buy in the UK......flight to Gatwick is only 10 days away, so I've got to get everything sorted by then.

Flash player plug in required

06/12/08  As I will be flying back to the UK on the 12th, I found this speeded up video clip rather interesting.  It shows the movement of aircraft (the yellow dots) over a 24 hour period.  The skies over Europe and North America are somewhat congested during daylight hours.......who would want to be an air traffic controller?  Also reading of snow across Kent and the Midlands - temperatures of -10 overnight?  Here, it's around +10 with thunder, lightning and rain throughout last night and today.

I've deflated my dinghy and stowed it away on deck, fixed a problem with three 12v  sockets (two more to go!) which I think was caused by Christmas tree lights, been into town for a bit of shopping and had my hair lengthened in preparation for the cold weather!!  Actually I've had it cut.....but I do wonder.

07/01/09  The problems of internet purchase!  Ordering my new laptop has been a frustrating experience with rejected cards, inability to access banks because of my location (outside UK) and other vagaries of cyber buying, finally getting a confirmation of my order some days ago, only to receive a phone call today notifying me of yet another declined card!  Lengthy calls to my bank have hopefully now resolved the problem and my laptop should be delivered in the next day or so.  (fingers crossed!)  I do have to say however, that Sham, Grace and Darren, the three people I spoke with about my order, were exceptionally helpful during my re-ordering problems.

Bad news, via e-mail from my brother this evening, has just about put the cap on this awful day.  It seems that his house has been severely damaged in a fire which broke out in the early hours of Monday morning, leaving he and Babs homeless for the next few months.  Fortunately, both are OK following hospital treatment for smoke inhalation.  What a terrible start to 2009 for them.

12/01/09  Spent the last few days clearing away gear and doing odd jobs prior to heading to Dalaman airport and my flight back to UK this afternoon.  This morning, it's packing.....won't take long because I'm not taking much!  Nine of us from the marina took a mini-bus to the airport for the Thomas Cook flight to Gatwick ........what an awful airline!  An airborne cattle truck - packed into seats with absolutely no leg room whatsoever, and roasted with high cabin temperatures.  Given the choice, I would never fly with them again.  At Gatwick, said cheerio to Astrid and the others, and was picked up by Ann.

13/01/09  Cold, wet UK and the start of a manic two weeks of rushing around trying to get all the things I need.  Dropped Ann off at work and used her car to go into Maidstone and Larkfield.  Managed to call into my old office in Maidstone and see the guys there.

14/01/09  Drove up to London and the International Boatshow at Excel, where Ann and I spent a tiring day shopping for radar and water-making equipment, along with specialised electrical gear which Roger had asked me to find - and whilst on the phone to him back in Marmaris, wondered why I was surrounded by police, until I realised that HRH Princess Anne was standing just four feet away from me.   Nice of her to come and see me!

15/01/09  More shopping ....Pirates Cave chandlery, Gillingham Marina chandlery.   Started re-formatting the hard drive on my new laptop (yes....it did arrive....but I'm not using it for this log as yet).

16/01/09  A few days in Germany meant picking up my friend Geoff from his home (he was to drive Ann's car back) before going up to Stansted Airport for my early morning flight to Dusseldorf.  What a refreshing change with Air Berlin.....comfortable seats with leg room, breakfast provided.... and non-surly staff.  The descent into Dusseldorf revealed a snow covered countryside - it was going to be cold!

19/01/09  After a couple of days exploring freezing Dusseldorf and using the trains and buses to travel out to Bonn, Cologne etc (mainly to keep warm!  I'm told that it was -26C last week!), I made my way to the Dusseldorf Boat Show - 220,000 square metres of boats and bits, spread over 17 display halls.  Unfortunately, I cannot say that I was impressed with the show - it was fine if you were looking to buy a new boat, but the equipment halls were somehow lacking, and everything (as in the rest of Germany) was expensive.

20/01/09  Flew back into Stansted and was picked up by Geoff.  Drove back to Maidstone and collected my pre-booked rental car before more shopping at Ikea on the way up North to see family.

23/01/09  It was great to see Mum, Clive and Barbara again - but upsetting to see the fire damage caused to C & B's house.  It's going to be some time before they are able to move back in, and are currently living in rented accommodation close by.  Today's drive back south was marred by long delays, traffic accidents and lengthy detours.   News from Roger, relayed by text from Astrid, that Marmaris was suffering huge storms and that lots of boats had been damaged was very worrying.

24/01/09  Returned the hire car and went shopping!

25/01/09  Most of the day was taken up with packing in an attempt to avoid overly high charges for excess baggage, though I knew I would have to pay a considerable sum despite leaving my water-maker behind.  I would just have to come back for that - the box is just too big and heavy and will need to be re-packed into smaller boxes.  Also watched some video footage of the storms in the marina.....again very worrying.

26/01/09  Made another early start on the drive to Gatwick, allowing myself extra time to find customs and claim back the VAT on some of my purchases.  Met up with Liz, Tony, Astrid, Ted, Pam before checking in.  What a shambles that was!!  Thomas Cook were weighing all hand baggage and making everyone unpack and repack at the check-in desk.  This caused huge queues of frustrated passengers who were then redirected to another desk to pay for the excess baggage before returning to the first desk to collect boarding cards.  Couple this with the requirement to take my radar box to the oversize check in, the off-hand manner of the TC staff and the futility of some of their requirements, and it's understandable why the tempers of some passengers began to fray a little.  At the departure gate, hand baggage was again weighed (in case you'd bought anything else in the duty-free!) and people were asked to remove items from their bags to meet the 5kg limit - then carry the excess items on separately!  Can someone explain the logic behind that?  Does carrying something under your arm make it lighter than when it's in your bag?

On arrival at Dalaman, the nine of us again took the mini-bus back to Marmaris, arriving in the dark (it's been a long day) and I got my gear onboard and had a preliminary look around for damage.  Everything in the saloon which hadn't been nailed down, was on the deck and slack guardwires indicated bent stanchions.  It was too late to do anything tonight other than clear up the stuff rolling around on the deck.  I took some of Roger and Astrid's kit out of my bags and took it over to Storm Dodger, where we had a few drinks and heard all about the storms - more of which is still to come!

27/01/09  Poor weather conditions prevented me from doing much today.  Several of my stanchions have been bent by the boats on either side, there is some gel-coat damage to my bow and hull sides and the zips have been torn out of the bimini sides.  Other boats have suffered much more damage than I, so I guess I'm relatively fortunate.

28/01/09  Woken at 6am by the wind alarm sounding - over 45 knots of wind from the southeast and the boat is pitching around.  Marinero's are busy on adjacent boats, re-securing mooring lines as the winds increase.  Over 70 knots were recorded during the storm of last week, which demolished a large shed on the hard, damaging boats there.  Boats in Netsel were also damaged, others at Pupa were pushed up onto the beach.  Let's hope it doesn't get that strong again.

30/01/09  I have downloaded the site onto my new laptop ......and there may be a few glitches!   If you notice any, please mail me and I'll try to put them right.  The weather has moderated and we now have little wind but generally overcast skies.

31/01/09  A gloriously sunny day!  It's warm enough for shorts today, hard to believe that it's still January (just).   I started the fitting of my radar display head by cutting a hole in the forward bulkhead of the cockpit - the easy bit - leaving the difficult cable run up the mast until the end!





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