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  march 2009


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04/03/09  March has brought a wonderful change of weather (shouldn't say that - it'll probably change again now!), the high winds have gone, taking the cold with them and we have sunshine and warmth again.  I'm busy trying to get some semblance of order on the boat so that I can work on fitting the watermaker.  It will have to go under the galley sink - which will mean a cupboard rebuild as the current doors are not wide enough.  My cruising chute is still causing needless grief in Istanbul and Jeckell's are having trouble retrieving it from there.  E-mail server problems are hindering my contact with Jeckell's also - I receive mail but cannot send it for some reason.  Spent the evening with Roger, Astrid, Jordan and Leah, playing (and losing) the card game 'Uno'.

05/03/09  The last few days have brought the realisation that I'm going to have a big problem with the radar scanner cable!  (Nothing new there then!)  The construction and configuration of the mast base is such, that existing cables exit through the foot casting rather than the mast itself, with the 'holes' facing downward.  I cannot see an immediate way of pulling the cable through without un-stepping the mast to either enlarge the hole or drill a new one.  Alternatives would be to run the cable down the outside of the mast (not aesthetically pleasing) or perhaps to use one of the vacant halyard sheaves, or maybe it would be possible to have the cable exit the mast a little way up from the foot?  I decided to call in Bahattin Engineering for their opinion, but the usual Turkish aversion to punctuality kicked in, and an appointment made for 10am on the 3rd came and went without any appearance being made.   Another for 9am this morning also came to nothing.  Being ex-military, this is the one thing guaranteed to annoy me, and probably much more than it irritates others in the same situation.  A loss of two days pay and a days leave for each hour, or part thereof, that you are late, soon makes for good time keeping! 

Attended an informal meeting of around twelve boat crews, held in the library for those thinking of heading eastward through the Suez Canal into the Red Sea and beyond, the idea being to share information regarding port dues, visa's, immigration laws, piracy, medical requirements, insurance, etc.

On the weather front.....the wind is back with us and currently blowing from the southeast at 37kts, forecast to continue for a day or two.

06/03/09  Happy Anniversary to Roger & Astrid.

08/03/09  The strong winds of yesterday had abated this morning - I'm told the 41kt blow from the south had brought up the rocks from the beach again, throwing them across the roadway outside the marina.  However, this morning it was still, not a ripple on the surface of the marina, then came rain, then thunder!

The water-maker is giving me some headaches.  First is location....where do I fit it?  My only real option is to site it, as mentioned earlier, in the cupboard under the galley sink.  This is the deepest cupboard on the boat (width wise) and it seems criminal to use up that space for the membrane unit, as it would only take up the front half of the cupboard - and render the rear, outboard half un-usable, thereby wasting a lot of valuable storage.  There is space to fit it in the cupboard under the head sink, but this is on the port side (same as the fuel tank) and I would really like to balance the weight distribution by fitting it to stbd.  It has made me wonder about the boat ......there's only me onboard and I have difficulty with stowage space......just how do other Warrior owners cope with several people onboard?  There are seven berths but I simply cannot imagine where gear would be stowed for two crew plus two guests.   Three crew and four guests?........forget it!

11/03/09  Into town again, searching for makers of an 'official' boat rubber stamp which drew bewildered expressions from the shopkeepers - imagine if you will, standing in a shop full of people, doing your best imitation of a sub-post office worker going hell for leather with his stamp - complete with sound effects.......  maybe I should get one made in the UK!   Visited the barber's again.....nothing like the ones in England of course.  The first time was hilarious, I found this one in a back street, sat down and instantly had my t-shirt pulled off over my head and the towel wrapped round my neck.  During the course of haircutting, my eyebrows were trimmed, armpits shaved (with a cut-throat razor), nostrils had scissors whizz around inside and my ears were filled with hot wax which was then pulled off......jeez.....now I know how the ladies feel about waxing!  Since then, there have been variations - such as flaming torches setting fire to nostrils and ears, the smell of burning hair wafting around, neck and shoulder massages, hair washes, creams and lotions - all with the ubiquitous Turkish tea, coffee, soft drink or beer.  My now 'usual' barber is a little more 'westernised,' is very good, and charges the princely sum of 8 YTL (under 4) - a 'proper' price, unlike the rip-off poncey establishments that now flourish in England.

13/03/09  Friday!  I've said before that I'm not superstitious and do not suffer from paraskavedekatriaphobia which is just as well because there are three Friday 13ths this year.   My son David, was born on Friday the 13th, so was Maggie Thatcher .......yeah right, no comments!  There were thirteen of us on my first aircraft flight, on Friday the thirteenth, on flight number 13......and I'm still here!  Strange how quickly this folklore has 'caught on' as it's only a hundred years or so, since it was first mentioned.  Back in my old job (in my past life!), we would have candidates not turn up for their appointments because of the date - fine, gave us time for an extra coffee!

Light rain overnight and this morning, but it could be the last for a while as the forecast is for sunshine - spring and summer are on the way!

15/03/09  A lovely sunny day for the Spring boat jumble in the restaurant garden - well attended by both yotties and local Turkish people.  I shared a table with Jan of Luturna and managed to get rid of a few items from the boat which have been carried and unused during the last year or so.  Joined in the BBQ, sitting with Roger, Don, Remi, John, John, Leah (and the kiddies from Grace) plus one or two others, then adjourned to the bar to watch England annihilate the French at rugby, much to everyone's delight - except for the two long faced Frenchies at the bar.....Awwww, shame!

18/03/09  Still in sunshine, butterflies are about and it seems that winter is fading into memory.  Woke with a bit of a fragile head on Monday morning, also a sunburnt face!  Anger in the marina over a cat incident - there are lots of cats around, some feral, some belonging to boat owners and well cared for.  One of the latter was recently called by a despicable woman and when it approached her, she picked it up and threw it into the marina.  I appreciate that some boats have a problem with cats boarding and spraying the decks, but there are ways and means to prevent that, and cruelty is unacceptable in any circumstance.  Had I actually seen the incident, the woman would have followed the cat into the water.  As it is, the incident was reported to management and the live-aboards in general are now shunning the company of the woman concerned.

19/03/09  Received a contact mail today from long time friends, Bob and Sue, via Skype.  Bob was my 'oppo' on HMS Hermes and although we'd lost contact for many years, we had been in touch again about 4 years ago, but at that time, they were in the process of selling up and moving to Cyprus and we again lost touch.  Whilst in Cyprus last year, I had attempted to find them without success - so it's great to have regained contact with them both.

Attended another meeting of the Red Sea/Indian Ocean group in Sailor's Point at Netsel Marina and distributed the fuel filters that I had ordered from Istanbul to all who required one.  Went to the bar during the evening with Remi, joined later by Roger and Astrid (who today returned from a week in the UK) and it turned into a 'bit of a session.'

20/03/09  Had a long chat with Sue and Bob on-line, catching up with events and news of the last few years.  They plan to come over to Marmaris for a weekend visit - it will be great to see them both again after thirty odd years!  Dinner in the restaurant with Roger, Remi and Astrid, followed by the inevitable session in the bar again.

22/03/09  Strong winds during the night woke me a couple of times, finally getting up at 5am and turning on the instruments.  The alarm started sounding almost immediately (set at 40knts) and is sounding now as I write.  A quick check on-line of Windguru, US Grib and the Turkish Met site all show much less - you just can't trust weather forecasts!  Current wind speed (0530) is 46knts.  By 9am, the wind had dropped to zero but in between time we had heavy rain, thunder, lightning and .......hailstones!  Also, the three wooden steps I have on the pontoon which make boarding over the bow a little easier, disappeared in the strong wind, eventually washing up against Hotel pontoon.  Kindly, the marineros recovered them for me!  The remainder of the day was mostly sunny with a chill wind.

23/03/09  More chaos and disruption onboard!  I emptied the cupboard under the galley sink, primarily to see if the membrane unit of the water-maker would actually fit there without major cupboard reconstruction.  After turning, tipping and wriggling the membrane about, I was finally able to place it on the shelf, more or less where I wanted it to be.  I had to remove the sink waste to get it into the cupboard, replacing it once the membrane was in situ.  This took all day and before I knew it, daylight was fading and I hadn't made any real progress.  It remains to be seen whether the associated pipework can be routed into the correct connectors, or if the bends required will be too much.  The pump and filter will have to be positioned in the fwd cabin wardrobe and the pipes fed through the bulkhead.

25/03/09  Booked a room with Karen at Domino's, for Sue and Bob's weekend visit from Cyprus, then went into town to buy some plywood and extra storage boxes, along with the usual shopping at Tansas.  I now have the wood needed to fit shelves into the fwd cabin wardrobe above the site earmarked for the water-maker pump and filter.

26/03/09  Happy Birthday to Clive - my 'older' (now even older still) brother!  Quite a dramatic thunderstorm in the early morning which fizzled out around 6am, I wasn't able to capture any of the lightning on my little compact digital though.

29/03/09  Hope you all remembered to put your clocks forward?  "Spring is sprung, the grass is riz" and all that - and a great sunny day as well.  Gave myself the day off from water-makers and went over to Netsel Marina for their boat jumble - not nearly as good as the ones in Yacht Marine!  Came back with Roger, Astrid and Leah in their RIB after lunch in town.   Today was election day for the new Mayor of Marmaris, the run-up to which has been weeks of vans touring the streets with loud music playing, election gatherings in vacant shops with folk sitting drinking tea, blocking the pavements, and talking politics all day long.  It will be a relief to get back to normal for us 'foreign visitors!'

31/03/09  Continuing with water maker installation - all the pump and filter units are now installed in fwd cabin wardrobe, new shelves need to be made, pump suction filter (50 micron) proving difficult to source, membrane needs plumbing and electrics hooked up to main panel.  No further progress made with the radar scanner fitting despite chasing up Bahattin Engineering on several occasions - need to look for someone else I think!






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