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  october 2008



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01/10/08  A busy day......completed fitting of my galvanic isolator parts, then decided to tackle the non-working compass light which had been bugging me for a while.  No obvious faults at the switch and fuse end and current drop on the battery monitor showed the power was going somewhere, let's trace the wiring thinks I.  Not that easy!  OK, start at the other end, work back from the compass - this led to compass removal from the steering pedestal, then the plate securing the grab bar which in turn exposed the bevelled steering gear (filled with grease)....and a broken wire!  No problem, tie a mouse to the wire, pull the wire down through the pedestal and into the engine compartment, then run a new wire using the mouse.........except when I did that, the mouse parted company from the wire!  Struggled (and failed) to pass new wiring through and decided to leave it until tomorrow - jobs like this are often much easier when you go back to them!

02/10/08  Grrrrrr.....no amount of fiddling and poking got my stainless steel mouse through the pedestal.  Lying on the cockpit deck and hanging upside down into the engine compartment in an attempt to find the hole where the wire originally emerged into the compartment was fruitless - not that passing the mouse upwards would have worked either because the top exit is only a very small hole in the bevel gear housing!  So, today can be summed up as:

  • Number of knocks on the head = 4

  • Grazed knuckles = 2

  • Banged elbows = 1

  • Grazed kneecaps = 1

  • Stubbed toes = 3

  • Grease transferred from engine bay to me = 90%

  • Curses uttered = plenty 

  • Objectives achieved = Nil

I can't figure out if the old wiring was a retrospective DIY project or whether it was original part of the pedestal when supplied.  If it was the former, then how did the previous owner get the wire down the pedestal?  Even if I removed the whole pedestal, for which I would have to first dismantle the steering torsion bars, would I even then be able to thread another wire through?    Awww, shucks,  I didn't want a compass light anyway!

04/10/08  I know, I know....no entry for yesterday.  That's because I had a day off!  Gave the pedestal, compass and associated wiring a day off too whilst I went into town with Astrid.  We caught the Armutalan dolmus from there up to Kipa supermarket as an alternative to Tansas, buying only what was feasible to carry back in our rucksacks.  It's a shame that the courtesy dolmus which used to run twice a week to Kipa, was vetoed by the dolmus drivers working for the Marmaris 'council' - it was always full on leaving Yacht Marine!  We also went to the bar during 'happy hour' -  first time in a long while - but only stayed for the one beer.  This morning (just after midnight actually), I was woken by the sound of heavy rain - which had been forecast, and which continued drumming noisily on the deck until around 4.30am.   My day job for today was to reconnect the engine bay air intake trunking, which I had inadvertently dislodged whilst fitting the galvanic isolator.  Ha! Another 'difficult' exercise!  Everything on a boat is inaccessible and this is no exception - I need a screwdriver which goes around two corners!  After getting cramp because of my position under the stbd. cockpit seat, I abandoned that job until tomorrow, concentrating instead on refitting the nav. berth deckhead (this ought to be fixed with velcro as it gets taken down so many times!).  The 'End of Summer' party is on in the marina restaurant tonight, but not being a party animal ....I gave it a miss, watched a DVD and had an early night.

05/10/08  This morning's boat jumble and BBQ have been postponed for a week because of the weather, it isn't raining but it isn't sunny either!  The credit crunch bites again with the collapse of a German Bank/Mortgage company today, following on from American Banks, Bradford & Bingley, airline operators and travel companies.  See here for a further effect of this within the United Kingdom.   Spent the evening with Jan, Astrid and Harry in the bar and restaurant.

09/10/08  Actually gave in one evening.....and wore jeans, socks and shoes.....arrrgghh!  Back in shorts now though!  The compass saga continues - in the past, the card inside has swung wildly in anything but a calm sea, rendering it almost useless as a steering aid in bad weather.   Roger's compass (same make and model) on the other hand, is well damped.  Looking at both of them, I'm beginning to think that there is no fluid in mine and have posted requests for information in several on-line sailing forums, and also mailed the manufacturer.  I described the perspex bowl as being less opaque than Roger's, and one forumite asked if I meant it was more transparent.  Er, what's the difference?   Anyway, I can't figure out how to get it apart at the moment without risk of altering the compensation magnets, or perhaps losing the fluid (should there actually be any inside!), so I await a response from the manufacturers, who ironically, are located in Wrotham - just a couple of miles from where I lived in Kent!  Meanwhile, the nav. berth has been re-assembled and the battery charger and shore power circuit breaker board replaced.  Late afternoon.....figured out how to get the compass out of it's binnacle and found the fluid fill point.  Also found a split in the lower diaphragm which had leaked out all the fluid!  It must have been like that ever since I've had the boat - so now I need to get hold of a new diaphragm and gasket from the UK before I can refill with fluid (still to be determined, but likely to be Bayol-35).

11/10/08  OK the compass fluid is Bayol-35 and I have prices of the parts I need.   Now, does anyone know of a bank which isn't going to collapse in the next week, and that will loan me the money to buy the parts?   It's a joke....the prices that companies charge for items which must cost pennies to make....so annoying!  The diaphragm I need for instance.....it is basically a thin plastic dish (about the size of a small ashtray), something like tupperware material - and the price?   28.50!   The gasket (a rubber 'O' ring)....14.00!  And the Bayol.....13.90 per litre (and I need 2 litres).  However, I have to add that Annette, the lady with whom I dealt when ordering the parts, was charming and friendly, and a credit to the company concerned.   At some stage, I will start some new pages on this site, with photo's, instructions, suppliers etc., which may come in useful for fellow cruisers and liveaboards.

On lighter subjects......the boat jumble in the restaurant garden went ahead today in glorious sunshine, I picked up another 12v fan for the saloon, a fid and a ratchet wire crimping tool.  It's remained hot all day but the evening has brought strong winds from the north, causing the boat to heave about somewhat, accompanied by the sound of frapping halliards everywhere.  The boat on my starboard side hasn't been secured very well and is slewing into mine.  I hope everything holds throughout the night and I'm glad I'm not in town this evening!

14/10/08  I have now given up on the task of running a new compass light cable through the steering pedestal - further investigation has revealed the impracticality of it and I can't even find the hole in the engine compartment from where the original wire emerged despite using mirrors, taking photographs and feeling around for it.  Even if I were to remove the pedestal (a big job), it's unlikely that I would be able to thread a new cable through without further dismantling of the pedestal, so until I actually have to do that for either maintenance or repair, I will just have to put up with having the cable run up the outside of the pedestal.   I have now re-installed the alternator and tension bar (which wasn't bent at all - see log entry for 13/09/08 - but fitted incorrectly in the first place) and connected  the wiring again.  I've replaced the engine/gearbox earth lead which was showing signs of corrosion and now await Mehmet, of Cetin Marine. to return with my modified engine air filter before I can run up the engine for test.

15/10/08  Woken at around 4.30am by loud thunder and heavy rain.  'Light showers overnight' they said!!  I suppose it saves me from doing my dhobying today and I can get on with other things.   Went shopping in Tansas during the afternoon before having a curried chicken dinner aboard Storm Dodger with Astrid, Jordan and Leah, returning to my boat at 10pm for an early night - have to catch up on sleep lost last night because of the thunder!

16/10/08  Into town again, this time to book a ticket on the catamaran to Rhodes for the end of the month - yet another 'visa run'.   Astrid also wanted to get tickets to take Leah to see the tombs and turtles at Dalyan, and as Roger will not be back in Turkey before the trips end, she asked if I would come along too.   It's exactly a year ago today that I went there on the same trip.......but we booked tickets for this coming Saturday, the 18th.   I actually went to the bar in the evening for a couple of beers, the place was packed - lots of new faces for the coming liveaboard season.

18/10/08  Astrid, Leah and myself were on the 0845 ferry to Marmaris for our day out in Dalyan, joining the couple of hundred other 'tourists' onboard the 'Orca Boat' for the two hour trip down to Dalyan, stopping first in a small cove outside Marmaris Bay for a swim.  As before, on arrival at the anchorage off Turtle Beach, we transferred to smaller boats for the entertaining trip through the Dalyan Delta to the King Tombs, Dalyan Spring mud baths and Turtle Beach itself.   We all went in the mud bath.....stinks to high heaven.....but was a good laugh.  The sulphur springs, also smelly, were great though - constant 39o temperature, and wonderful after the post mud bath cold showers! (photo's) The return through the delta was farcical - 'our' boat broke it's steering and another came alongside to take us off.  We were now overloaded and it was obvious to myself, there was no way we would successfully cross the sandbank at the entrance - but the young skipper/driver tried.  The inevitable grounding happened and we stuck fast, despite two other boats trying to tow us off.  Then a third boat came in too fast, and 't-boned' us, causing substantial damage to our boat and screams and yells from the passengers at the point of impact.  We then transferred to the third boat, made our way to Turtle Beach and split the load into two other boats (which is what he should have done in the first place!) before re-boarding the 'Orca' for our cruise back to Marmaris.  On the way back, Astrid and I were 'forced' to drink a fishbowl (accurate description of the drink!) through straws, without stopping, to the cheers of the other passengers, as a result of Leah winning first a raffle and then a game of musical chairs.  Let me tell you, ......you can fit a lot of drink into a fishbowl, and it took the pair of us 90 seconds of straw sucking to empty the bowl.  Thanks Leah!!

21/10/08  Happy Birthday Sandra!   For some reason, the marina seems to have more than it's fair share of French cruisers at the moment, but strangely.......none seemed to be celebrating this historic day......I wonder why?  Whilst on the subject of battles past, just how close did we come to another all out war during this week some forty odd years ago?   Last month, there was an article in the Daily Mail which I've reproduced here..........things could have been so different today!

23/10/08  Would someone please tell me what it is about gossiping old cronies?  Am I missing something.....what 'pleasure' do they get out of it?   Yet again, in the marina today, one hapless victim was hounded by a rumour monger, to the point where they were reduced to tears.  That must have been real 'fun'.  Do these obnoxious people truly have such boring and meaningless lives, that their only pleasure is destroying other people's happiness?   Maybe they feel they missed out on life, or is it the result of a lousy childhood?  Did they spend their schooldays bullying smaller children?  Were they themselves bullied?  Were they the youngest child?  Or an only child?   Perhaps they just want to take some sort of perverted revenge at society in general?  Or is it just plain and simple jealousy of others friendships?  I don't know the answers but one thing is certain,  if you are friends with someone who is gossiping to you about others - then in your absence, they are gossiping to others about YOU.

Think about it - and then get a better friend.

24/10/08  Not fancying the usual kebabs, pastas, chicken or steaks this evening, I suggested to the Storm Dodger crew that we visit Portofino restaurant for some good 'ole British fish 'n' chips with mushy peas.  "Yeah!" says Jordan and Leah, so off we trot on the dolmuş into town.   Astrid and myself have the aforementioned fish 'n' chips, but what did the youngsters order?   Steak pie and chicken nuggets!   I give up!

26/10/08   So, did you all remember to put your clocks and watches back at 0200 this morning?  Not only did I have my extra hour in bed.......I went back and had another couple of hours!  Well, it is Sunday - day of rest and all that.  This coming Tuesday's ferry to Rhodes has been cancelled (no reason given), so I will have to go tomorrow instead.

27/10/08  Caught the 8am dolmuş and the 9am catamaran to Rhodes in order to renew my visa.  Perhaps I should explain for those of you not familiar with the need to do this.  When you enter Turkish waters, apart from a passport visa, you  also need a cruising permit for the boat - allowing you to 'cruise' in their waters.  The visa is valid for a period of 90 days, whereas the cruising permit is valid for one year - both of which have to be renewed on expiry of course.  If the boat is to leave Turkish waters, then you need to go through the rigmarole of 'checking out' which means visiting the passport police, the immigration office and the harbour master, to whom you then surrender your cruising log.  Returning to Turkey, you have to buy a new cruising log (or transit log as it is also known) from the Chamber of Shipping Office, and then go to all the above offices plus the Health Department, which takes the best part of a day.  If you simply need to renew your passport visa alone, then it's much easier to jump on the ferry to nearby Rhodes, thereby leaving Turkey, then return on the same day and buy just a visa......no need to go to all the other offices!

Anyway, it was a pleasant day out albeit a little windy, and the trip is worth it just for the huge full English breakfast served up in 'The Walk Inn' - tucked away in a small cobbled back street, out of sight of 'tourists!'  Two eggs, done just right, big pile of bacon, two sausages, mushrooms, beans, toast and coffee....all for 8.  It would have been nice to see Suzanne again while in Rhodes, but I was unable to contact her by phone.

28/10/08  A basically lazy day!  Busied myself with a few minor things onboard but not much else.

29/10/08  Shopping in town this afternoon and dropping several pairs of new shorts off at the tailor for alteration.  Today is Republic Day in Turkey (known as Cumhuriyet Bayrami), a celebration marking the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire on this day in 1923 - and the number of Turkish flags being flown has increased ten-fold for today, almost every shop has one outside, flags are on the front and rear of buses, all the kids are carrying small ones.....ah, if only our own government were proud enough of the Union Flag, or unafraid of what immigrant cultures may think, perhaps the British Isles would be a better place.    Returned to the marina on an overloaded dolmuş, driven by my least favourite driver - a miserable plonker who was singularly responsible for getting the courtesy dolmuş to Kipa cancelled some time ago, and continually demonstrates  his lack of customer service skills whilst trying (and failing) to attain the abysmally low standard he has set himself.

30/10/08  Welcome back to Roger who arrived back from UK late last night, bringing with him the required parts for my compass refurb., amongst his 30Kg of baggage!  Had coffee with him, Toni and Astrid before going once more into town to collect my shorts and get some tea and milk.

31/10/08  Hallowe'en - not an evening that I have ever been a fan of.   I mean, what's it all in aid of?  It's become just an excuse for gangs of oiks from homes with limited parenting skills, to go around in a ritual of begging - terrorising old folks in their homes by demanding money or 'treats' under a threat of vandalism to their homes and gardens.  This American garbage has unfortunately been imported into the United Kingdom (and other countries) and in my humble opinion, should have been left firmly where it belongs - in the USA!   It would have more appeal had it retained it's original American concept, where the 'trick' part was just an idle threat.....but it was corrupted  in transit and is now used by city yobs to lob fireworks and petrol through letterboxes.   That aside however,  there is a fancy dress party in the bar this evening, organised by Karen of Antigua Lady, who selflessly works hard to organise events and liaise between liveaboards and marina management, and I've no doubt that (having seen Astrid's dress) there will be some excellent 'costumes' there tonight.   Roger, Astrid, Toni and Paul have put me under pressure to go along, but it simply isn't my cup of tea, so I declined.    But - it will give the fully paid up members of Marmaris Yacht Coven the perfect excuse to park their brooms on the hard and wear their traditional clothes openly, whilst gathered around their cauldron of rumour and lies at the normal place in the bar!! 


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