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November 2007

01/11/07    After my second visit to see Mum (who is well, but very forgetful), I drove up to the Lake District to visit Vic, staying with him overnight.....he owns a pub/restaurant......which meant a very late night!!  Vic has a chocolate Labrador aged 10 months named Max who is typically boisterous and into chewing everything up but he enjoyed having someone to follow around and play with.   Being in the Lakes reminded me of many happy days spent there in my youth, including a three week cycling holiday staying in youth hostels when I was aged 12.......kids couldn't do that alone these days unfortunately.     And here I am - still travelling around alone - maybe it was that holiday that gave me the travel bug!!

02/11/07    Returned to Clive's in time for us all to go out to the Black Bull for an evening meal, enjoying the usual huge portions served at this hostelry.

03/11/07    After visiting Mum again and saying farewell to Clive and Barbara, I drove over the Pennines to Brighouse (more road closures and accidents), to see Rob, Karen, Ben and Amy who are all missing the sunshine and cruising lifestyle now that they are back in England.   The youngsters were their normal excitable selves, wanting to jump all over me and Amy either sat on my knee or held my hand whenever possible!   Rumours that I had come to Yorkshire only for our wedding drew the usual Amy response of "Give it up!"    Rob and Karen kindly allowed me to stay with them for two nights (for which I thank them) and we all went to a very good organised firework display, to the accompaniment of Elgar's Pomp and Circumstance and Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture, at the local football club on Sunday evening.

05/11/07   Monday morning......grey skies and drizzle!  Rob and Karen start their working week and it was time for me to head south to Kent again - but not before Amy insisted I walk hand in hand with her and Ben  to school - something I haven't done in many a year!!   The drive south was better than anticipated and I made good time to Maidstone, arriving at Trevor and Babs's house around 2.30pm. 

06/11/07   Twelve months ago today, we were sailing out of Bayona on a fruitless search for Darren and Vicki's boat Sentito.   I received an e-mail from them whilst staying with Rob and Karen -  they are presently in Portugal with their new boat Nocturne, awaiting a weather window before setting sail to the Canary Islands and I wish them fair winds and safe sailing.  Here in Kent, it's a bright, sunny but chilly morning!

10/11/07    I should have flown into Manchester and stayed for just the week!   Still staying with Trevor and Babs, who have been great, I now find myself just killing time until my return flight to Marmaris on the 16th.   It's been good to see the friends I wanted to see, but this will be my last ever visit to the south of England and I now can't wait to go 'home' to Rhumb Do.

15/11/07   Took Trev and Babs out for a meal as a small thank you for putting up with me and joined Ann and Sandra at The Honourable Pilot in Gillingham, where all the jokes were directed at my problem of transporting a new anchor from Gatwick to Dalaman!

17/11/07    Home again!  Ann drove me to Gatwick for the 9pm flight last night (and I had no problems with the new anchor at the airport!).  We pushed off from the stand on time and took off on schedule for the short flight back to Dalaman airport.  The airbus A321 was all but empty - maybe forty passengers, and 220 seats - so I was able to stretch out across the whole row and get some sleep before landing at 0305 local time.  The mountain road from Marmaris to the marina was partially blocked in places due to landslides in recent rainstorms, but it was good to return to the warmth of Turkey.   A late breakfast with Gina, overlooking both the pool and the bay, turned into a lunchtime drink with Sam, Mike, Kevin and Karen, catching up on all the news of the marina.  Temperature of around 220C brought out the bikini clad  ladies by the poolside......it's so good to be back!!

19/11/07  Ha! The sun was playing games with me......now we have thunderstorms rolling in each day, torrential rain, then sunshine, then thunder and lightning again, ......what to wear?   Shorts one moment, rainproof clothing the next!   Joined the losing team of Gina, Tom, Louise, Mike and Sam at the marina quiz night tonight, but hey!..... someone has to come last.......and I think the Swiss team who set the questions were hard task masters!!

23/11/07  I went last night with my neighbours, Mike and Sam (Mystery Spy), to their friend David's house in Marmaris town for dinner.  Gina also came, along with our friends Tom and Louise from Freya.  Already at David's were Marlene, Diane, Debbie, and two Turkish friends - Erdal and Yalgin (professional footballer).   It was a great evening, thoroughly enjoyed by all.   Today, Gina and I caught the mid-day domus into town for a walk round and to get some bits and pieces from electrical stores.   Much evidence remains of the flooding from last weeks rainstorms and Tansas, the large town centre supermarket, is still closed because of it.   David was last night showing video footage of cars and vans floating down the street past his house.

24/11/07   Tonight there was a 60's, 70's and 80's party in the marina restaurant, Gina, myself, Mike and Sam went along and joined David, Debbie, Diane and Yalgin for an enjoyable evening of entertainment and quite a few yotties had chosen to attend in fancy dress.  My favourite waitress, Meliha (whom Gina and I have re-named 'Jamie' because of her likeness to Jamie Lee Curtis!) attended our table throughout the evening.....and again, a good night was had by all...!!    Some photo's of the evening

25/11/07    Spent the morning re-vamping the 'family and friends' page of my photo album, but the internet is down yet again, so I am unable to update the site at present.    I went to the marina chandlery  to buy an electric switch and gas regulator.....and came away with a bicycle!!   I know - how the hell did he do that??   The answer is, I don't know!!  Anyway, it's a folding bike, made from aluminium, so it's light and compact......but it's years since I rode a bike and I guess I'm going to get somewhat saddle sore and have aching legs too, but at least it will get me around in some of the ports of call next year.   Gina also bought one, so it's probably her fault that I now have one, but we spent the afternoon putting them together before having a practice up and down the very long pontoons here.

26/11/07   All the paperwork has now been done in the office and my berthing contract sorted out for the coming months, with a hoist out of the water booked for 15th March 2008.   I now have to think about renewing my visa in order to stay in Turkey for another three months, this will mean either a long-winded paper chase or, alternatively, take a trip across to Rhodes and get a new visa on returning, which is probably the easier option - whether I take Rhumb Do or the ferry is yet to be decided.    Monday evening is quiz night in the staff canteen, and we again attended - only to walk out half-way through the night because of the questions set by the French and German team.  It's supposed to be general knowledge - not a Turkish history inquisition, a mathematician's convention or an interview for the Mastermind research team!!   I heard from my friends Darren and Vicki, aboard Nocturne, they are doing well but still awaiting a suitable weather window in Portugal and have now started their own website/blog for family and friends - address on my links page.

28/11/07  Gina and I went into town again (10am dolmus) for some bacon and other bits, returning to the marina around 4pm.   Joined Mike and Sam in the bar before going into the restaurant for an evening meal.   David and Yalgin, who won a raffle prize of a champagne Jacuzzi onboard a 'superyacht' during Saturday's 60's etc night were also in the bar and were raving about how beautiful the boat was inside......gold taps, marble floored bathroom and so forth - suppose it's a bit like Rhumb Do then.......only not as luxurious?!?

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