Wednesday, 30 April 2008

We are back in the water

The weather got better on launching day after raining the 3 previous days. It is still a bit cool though at night. It is SOOO good to be back in the water. Everything is going according to plan. AIS and G upgrade to the autopilot were a snack to install. The new plotter has been connected and works –yippee. The Aust govt even gave me back $659 and no customs at Istanbul. I think they look at the colour of your eyes. I have yet to finally fit the plotter but it is all cut out ready to go.

Only drama here is that the 330T travel lift broke down 4 days ago. And they did not tell anybody for 2 days. We use the two 30T lifts but all the big boats and ALL of the catamarans are stuck on land until it is repaired. Our friends Peter and Penny on INFORAPENNY and Keith and Jean on La Liberte are stuck. Said to take a week at first but now 9 days and nothing is happening on the lift. I can't think of anything that would take 9 days. You could fly to the USA and bring a part back in that time or replace the whole engine, or ropes. It is not over yet. A very sad thing for several boats due to be in the EMYR with us at Gocek by 6th April. As I said it is SOOO GOOD to be in the water.

The joint at the back of the keel was expertly filled with sikaflex AND it did not open up when they lifted the boat. So I am very pleased.

I put up the new storm jib yesterday and it looks great. Everybody in the marina liked the bright orange colour. Tell Broadie it fits perfectly. It misses the Radar and the mast as per requirements.

Back to the cleaning and polishing and making ready for sea.

Bye for now

Andrew and the mighty Clare

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Tuesday, 29 April 2008

Ready to Launch

Hi from Clare,
Well we are sitting here on props waiting for the travel lift to arrive and put us back in the water. The large travel lift (up to 300 tonnes) has broken down and won't be available for one week. This doesn't effect us as we go on the 50 tonne lift however the ramifications of such a situation makes us realise how vulnerable we are when scrambling to join the EMYR on 6th May. Could be a total disaster!

The weather turned sour the day after we arrived and so we have been ducking between heavy showers for the last three days.
Andrew has painted the bottom of the boat with anti foul and fitted the additional chart plotter. I have been cleaning, sorting, washing and provisioning.

Late yesterday we spent about 2 hours scrubbing the deck; boat wash and bubbles everywhere. Can't do this in the water as the coast guard has helicopters circling looking for bubbles and diesel spills in the marina compound. There are very heavy fines if caught, so there is a notice on the office window, requesting that you wash your boat after 6pm once the coast guard has gone home - only in Turkey!

Today it is back to sunny weather thank goodness and so I must away and do some stainless steel cleaning. We are both well, happy and busy.

Love to all

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Saturday, 26 April 2008

We made it!

Hi from Clare
Well we are now in sunny Marmaris, perfect days and cool nights. We found the inside of the boat spotless and thankfully she still smells like a new boat. However the outside is coated with desert dust and it will be hours of work before she looks like Eye Candy again; all to be expected.

The flight over with Singapore was good. We were 7 kilos over our 40 kilo luggage allowance but fortunately they let us through. The plane was packed with Aussies heading over to Gallipoli for Anzac Day, certainly no spare seats to spread out on for a sleep.

Arriving at Istanbul airport (after 23 hours) at 7.30am we booked the overnight coach to Marmaris. Last year when we did this we took a hotel room for the day for showers and sleep. This year however it didn't quite work out that way. Being a bit later in the season, we had difficulty getting a seat on a coach (even though there are a number of companies doing this trip). Eventually we got seats (or so we thought) with the most expensive and reputedly the best coach line. By this time it was about
9am and we had to present ourselves at the bus station by 2pm to pay for our trip at 5pm. Not much point booking a hotel room and so we just hung around the airport, which believe me, is a better option than sitting around the bus station. Arriving at the bus station at 2pm, we discovered that not only didn't we have seats on the 5pm trip; there in fact wasn't a 5pm trip. The only trip to Marmaris with that company was at 10.30pm and it was full.

This was the last straw for Andrew, we were running out of time, the airport agent had clearly messed up the booking and in addition he told us that the metro line leaving the airport didn't go close to the bus station and organised a taxis "ride" (probably his brother) for the price of $45. The metro line in fact was 50m away from the bus station and it would have cost us $1 each, (we are back in Turkey - stay awake) Standing next to Andy, I could feel his blood pressure rising. He had his teeth
fairly sunk into this guy's ankles and he was not letting him go until a suitable solution was found. After much arm waving and a number of phone calls we got two seats on the 10.30pm coach. It was now about 3.30 pm and we had to be at the bus station by 8.30pm to be relocated to another bus station in Istanbul to pick up the 10.30pm coach to Marmaris. We checked in our luggage and spent the next 5 hours trying to amuse ourselves.

The coach trip which usually takes 14 hours started out OK (in flight TV and 8 music stations, more leg room than Singapore airlines, plenty of drinks and refreshments) and we slept most of the dark hours. But about 50 km out of Marmaris Andrew heard a bang underneath the coach then lots of smoke passed our window as we slowed at the traffic lights. The driver pulled over just out of town and the bus dumped all its coolant on the road. To their credit the drivers (2) put on overalls and crawled
under only to find a hole in the cooler. A second coach was ordered and we all had cups on coffee on the side of the road and waited.

Eventually we arrived in Marmaris and caught a taxi to the boat. We felt pretty good considering and after the basic settling in, we showered and caught up with some friends for a drink. Since arriving we have been busy putting the boat back together and Andrew has been installing some of his new electronic toys, so over to him.

Hi from Andrew
All the equipment has arrived safely and as usual we were waived through customs at Istanbul. I think it is the colour of our eyes. All the "brown eyes" from Arabian countries get to be xrayed.
As Clare said, the boat was good except for the dust all over the outside. So the first job was washing the deck, topsides and the bottom in preparation for painting. The first coat of antifoul is now on. The mainsail is back on the boom and all hooked up and last night I got into the new AIS receiver and Gyro upgrade for the autopilot. Like the man said "it isn't rocket science" and in about 3 hours I had both units installed and working. We can now see the ferry to Rhodes leaving at 25 knots
plotted on our chart plotter. We can also see their name and MMSI number should we need to call them on the VHF to see if they have seen us - a great safety asset. I have yet to test the autopilot but that needs the boat to be in the water. The second chart plotter can wait till we are in the water and as we relaunch the boat on Tuesday, this will not be long and I have already borrowed a jigsaw to make the hole.
So all in all, a good start to a promising season.
There is lots of work to do today like the second coat of paint on the hull and sending this email so I will say bye now.

stay tuned

Andrew & Clare

Tuesday, 22 April 2008

Ready to Fly

The last week has been a blur. We have done all the packing, repacking and weighing and reweighing and cleaning and washing that we have time for. We have decided which stuff to leave for Pat and Ron to bring over to Turkey for us but it started at 8kg but the scales hover at 12kg now. I hope they are fine with that.
We had a little emotional farewell with Colin and Denise at the CYCA. As ever, they are very supportive of us and always make us welcome in their home while we are in Australia where hours are spent discussing all facets of cruising, investing, children and life in general. We truly appreciate their love and support.
Andrew had his last sail on Never A Dull Moment for at least 6 months and Clare had her birthday on Monday so we are all ready to go. As I write, we are at Carolyn's having breakfast and all we have to do is go to the airport and get on the plane. Great if it is that simple. I have a lump of GST to recover at the Customs desk and I am a bit attached to the outcome. So there is no turning back now and in about 48 hours we will be on board Eye Candy again. WOO HOO.

Talk soon
Andrew and Clare

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Tuesday, 15 April 2008

We are going down the tube

Hi everybody, Well now it feels as if we are being drawn down a tube that leads from here to the boat in Marmaris. We are only a week away from the flight to Turkey and this means that we have only one chance to finish or do or organise what ever needs to be done before we go. On Saturday last we had dinner out with our children and their partners Carolyn, Susan, Paul, Matthew, Mim, Sarah, and Brad. This has become a tradition over the last years and it was good to have them all together to talk over their plans and ours for the next 6 months. So over the coming days we will be packing, sorting, returning stuff to storage, cleaning the flat at Col and Denise's, packing away the car etc as well as saying goodbye to friends and family. The excitement level is rising and soon we will be back aboard and setting off on the Rally.

'till next time

Andrew and Clare

Thursday, 10 April 2008

Just 11 sleeps to go

Hi everyone, Well it is nearly time to get going again. We leave Sydney for Istanbul on 22nd April where we will catch a bus to Marmaris where Eye Candy is waiting for us. We have lots to do in a short time to get the boat ready for the East Mediterranean Yacht Rally. The EMYR is a rally of 80 yachts and we will travel with them from Marmaris, Turkey, eastwards to Cyprus, Syria, Lebanon, Israel and finally Egypt by the end of June. Clares sister, Pat, and here husband, Ron, will be with us for the entire trip and we are looking forward to having them aboard. We will enjoy their company and help. We have arranged to meet up with our friends Patrick and Leanne in Egypt at the end of the rally to tour Egypt for 2 weeks and also visit Kathryn Turner (from my time with Boral) in Alexandria. With this blogsite we hope to keep you all up to date as we go by using our yacht email on a more frequent basis.

Bye Andrew (and the mighty Clare)

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