Saturday, 31 May 2008

Third Day Tour of Syria

Hi from Clare. Photo 1 Fertile Valleys Photo 2 Citadel at Aleppo Photo 3 Water Wheels We set off this morning and headed north through vastly different countryside from yesterday's dessert area. We traveled through rolling hills and fertile valleys which were heavily cultivated, producing food for the 21 million Syrians. The people once again were waving and happy to see us. Some of the yachty's were wearing shorts which caused a few giggles from the local Moslem ladies, can't say I blame them! Families travel by motor bike with as many as four people on one bike. They drive at high speed along the highway without helmets or protective clothing. We saw many children hanging off the back of tray trucks or sitting with legs swinging. The best one though was a couple of kids sitting on plastic chairs on the back of tray truck. Although we were horrified, nobody seemed to take any notice and that includes the local police.

We visited the old city of Aleppo which has a history of over 4000 years. It has a huge Citadel built around the 10th century. It was home to 3000 people and 500 horses and it is so big I couldn't fit it in a photo. The Mosque within contains the tomb of Zacharias, the father of John the Baptist(looks like we can't get away from this guy).

We had lunch at an Albanian restaurant. The food was good but I am longing for something simple like a peanut butter sandwich. We have many Americans on the tour who constantly complain about the spicy food, guess they just want to see a Mac Donald's!

We also saw an ancient water wheel that dates back 2000 years. There are only 17 left now but originally there were hundreds delivering water for irrigation via a aqueduct.

We arrived back to the boat around 6.30pm for dinner on board and a few drinks.

Tomorrow we have another half day of touring before leaving around 4pm for Lebanon.

love CANDY

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Second day Tour in Syria

Hi from Clare, Photo 1 Damascus Photo 2 The Great Mosque Photo 3 Lunch at Oriental Restaurant Photo 4 The Expert Salesman

Well after a good night's sleep and a luxurious bath this morning (just because we could) we set off for another day of touring.

Damascus is a thriving city which is packed tight with multi storey accommodation. The housing is very drab as the buildings are mostly constructed with cement blocks. There is no paint or colour to be seen, no house gardens or lawns. Most buildings are covered with black pollution stains and have washing hanging out the windows. The traffic is horrendous and you risk being killed crossing the road. There are no pedestrian crossing and limited traffic lights. It's a matter of holding up your hand and running like mad, praying you will reach the other side.

Our first stop was the National Museum where we saw artefact's dating back to 3000BC, including the first alphabet. Then on to the Mosque of the Umayyads (the Great Mosque) which contains the relic of the head of John the Baptist. We then had a buffet lunch at the Omayyad Palace Restaurant. The restaurant had beautiful oriental gift ware stacked on every spare surface of the place.

We then had some spare time so down to the bazaar. Pat and I bought a a few dresses for very reasonable prices. Ron was quite amused by the showmanship of the salesman and decided he deserved the sale. He even suggested he should come to Australia and sell cars but I think he is too busy in Damascus to make the move!

Although we enjoyed Damascus we were glad to get out of there; reminded once again how good we have it in Australia! We arrived back at the boat around 8pm and enjoyed a G&T and beer in the peace and quiet.

love CANDY

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First Day Tour in Syria

Hi from Clare,

Photo 1 Krak Des Chevaliers (Crusader Fortress) Photo 2 Lunch in the Bedouin Tent Photo 3 Ancient City of Palmyra Photo 4 Restaurant (Arabian Palace) Photo 5 Landscape showing trees on slant.

We have been pretty busy for the past few days touring Syria. We arrived here Wednesday afternoon after a slow trip averaging 4.5 knots due to a 1.5 knot current running against us. We took turns on watch overnight which allowed all of us to get some sleep. Any apprehension we may have had about entering Syrian waters was quickly put to rest by the Coast Guard. As we approached Lattakia Syria they welcomed us on the radio and one coast guard boat sounded its horn to welcome each of the 80 EMYR yachts as they entered the harbour.

After a customary welcome dinner on Tuesday night with dancing and entertainment we set off Wednesday morning on the first of 4 days touring. Just briefly, on day one we say a Crusader fortress built in 1170AD (it was in excellent condition and at 2300 feet above sea level it was never taken by force) Then the ancient site of Palmyra situated in the middle of the Syrian dessert and dating back 2000BC (it was the shopping place of caravans coming from Arabian to Mediterranean lands taking the silk route). We had lunch in a Bedouin tent with live music and camels parked out the front. We traveled to Damascus (one of the oldest cities in the world with a community dating back to 2000 BC)and checked into a five start hotel. Andrew and I then continued on to a Gala Dinner at an exclusive restaurant decorated like an Arabian Palace. We were entertained by a full stage performance of Arabian dancers plus a manned flying carpet which flew across the top of the dinner tables. Pat and Ron opted to stay at the hotel (we had started the day at 7.30am, traveled 600k in the coach and tramped around in the heat)so they had a cool beer and a light meal in the paino bar, then a bath and into bed by 10pm. We got back to the hotel around 11pm.

We saw a lot of the Syrian desert today, bedouin and gypsy settlements. Children waved happily as our busses passed by. The Muslim woman were all fully covered. A huge number wore black and some poor souls were totally covered, not an inch of flesh to be seen. I can't understand why they would wear black in such a hot environment, they must have been roasting. The landscape today was dry, hot, dusty and flat. It is obviously windy at times as the only trees to been seen were all slanting in the same direction. We had a great day and the sites we visited were very impressive. We are looking forward to tomorrow and more adventures.

love CANDY

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Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Stuck in Iskenderun, Turkey

Hi from Clare,
It is now Monday afternoon and although we were due to leave Iskenderun late yesterday, we are still stuck here due to very windy weather.

The eighty visiting yachts in Iskenderun have caused quite a stir. The town which is a Moslem community has had little exposure to the outside world. We have been asked by the EMYR committee not to wear shorts in town and to respect their ways. The people are very friendly and never fail to say hello and welcome. The shop keepers speak some English and go out of their way to help. The town has experienced a power black for the past two days. It must be a regular occurrence because nearly every shop has a generator running. No internet cafe's open so Andrew and I sat outside the only hotel to send photos to the blog site. You better enjoy them!

Saturday night we had a 'Pot Luck Dinner' on the wharf. The local council provided alcohol, nibbles and a terrific musical quartet for dancing. It was a happy night and many of the locals strolled along the wharf. Our trusty local barber, who has been a permanent fixture since we arrived, invited himself for dinner. The council nibbles provided for us, were eaten mostly by the locals (as it is their culture to share). One local family stopped at our table helped themselves to our 'Pot Luck' dinner, nodded and moved on. Ron took a couple of trays of nibbles over to the local police who were in attendance around the clock. They were very grateful and scoffed the lot.

We headed out late yesterday as planned and motor/sailed into a strong head wind. We traveled ten miles before the Coast Guard requested that all EMYR yachts return to port as the wind was 27 knots and gathering with 2 meter seas. A few miles ahead the wind was clocking 35 knots. By this stage we were all drenched by unexpected waves that jump into the cockpit. Pat and Ron were in good spirits and in fact didn't want to turn around - I think they have gone crazy!

We arrived back in the dark to moor up three deep. The volunteer co-ordinator for this procedure, had by this time, completely lost the plot. We were told to come in stern first (so we prepared the bow anchor and stern lines) then we were told to come in bow first (so we got out the stern anchor and prepared bow lines) then stern first, then bow first. We were swapping anchors and lines at a frantic pace (muttering a few obscenities) until I managed to smack myself just below the left eye with a piece of retracting sock cord and hook. Believe me the muttering gave way to something else - today I look like a battered wife!

While all this was going on Pat went below, and in very hot and stuffy conditions, prepared a fabulous dinner - what a legend, what a team! We ate about 9.30pm and after a few G&T's we felt much better.

Now for the good news. My wonderful Andrew has repaired the watermaker. After trouble shooting with the manufacturer (Spectra) he found small hard pieces of blue plastic blocking the inlet and outlet area of the pressure pump. It is a mystery how this material got there. The offending bits have been taken into custody and photos have been sent back to the manufacturer, so the inquiry is underway.

Now for the bad news. We made 50 litres of good water last night when sailing but Andrew didn't reconnect the pipe going to the water tank and so the fifty litres ended up in the bilge. When I came below after docking I could hear bottles of wine rolling around in the bilge. Initially they were tightly packed away in a cardboard box but the 50 litres of water had made pulp of the box. Poor Andrew spent a couple of hours sponging out the bilge, but every cloud has a silver lining - the wine bottles didn't break.

Today has been a pretty quiet day, we all had a sleep this afternoon in preparation of leaving for Syria around 10pm tonight.
Let's hope this time we make it!

love CANDY

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Sunday, 25 May 2008


Hi from Clare,
Photo 1 The outdoor shower
Photo 2 Tread the seawall or wade through water
Photo 3 The Turkish barber on the phone
Photo 4 Diner service was slow
Photo 5 Traditional Village Dancers

We left Mersin around 3pm and set sail for the 80 mile trip to Iskenderun Turkey. We had some good sailing and also some motoring. Pat has mastered cooking underway and was busy stewing apricots when I came below to see her holding the pot on the stove. I put the stove on gimble as this allows the stove to stay level when the boat heels over. It started swinging wildly, Pat looked totally alarmed and stood in a crouched position waiting to catch the pot. In the end she went upstairs because she couldn't bear watching it and promised "if the pot ends up on the floor, I'm not cleaning up the mess". The cooking went without incident and Pat now understands, but doesn't necessarily enjoy, the advantages of a gimble stove.

On a earlier occasion (when underway)Pat heated Pizza for dinner and as she lurched across the cabin towards me the pizza flew off the plate and landed on the table next to me - she said "There you go, express delivery - better than Dominoe's" we both roared laughing!

Pat and Ron did their first overnight watch from 9pm to 1am giving Andrew and me an opportunity to sleep. Andrew then did 1-4 and I followed 4-7am. It was a terrific help and I wasn't my usual grumpy self after a night sail.

The town of Iskenderun is the last stop before Syria. Tourism hasn't reached this part of Turkey yet and the fishing port has very few facilities. One outdoor cold water shower on the brick wall; privacy is covered by a large smelly fishing boat; one problem - there are men working under the fishing boat. The few power outlets available have numerous adaptors and cords running off in all directions to the yachts (definitely wouldn't pass safety regulations in Australia). The power trips out regularly when the pins arc. Andrew tested the local water and it is six times more salty than what is consider acceptable according to Australian standards. No one is filling water tanks here, no surprise! A walk into town means wading through knee deep water (there's a dip in the wharf) or climbing onto the sea wall via whatever junk has been stacked up against the wall. The walk along the sea wall (although dry) is far from safe. The width narrows dangerously and we have to straddle a water pipe before descending the wall via a make shift ladder. The whole process would be a lot safer if we could stop breaking up with laughter.

Shortly after the eighty rally boats tied up, a Turkish barber arrived on his motor bike equipped with a stool and started cutting hair and shaving faces. Of course (being Turkish) there was no sterilizing of the comb between cuts, (let's hope no one has nits)big clumps of hair were left on the dock behind the boats. He chatted on his mobile during haircuts which might explain why some of his work wasn't too good. He also offered the service of "defluffing" women's faces with a piece of fine string like dental floss. He came up close to Pat, inspected her face and said "Not too bad" - I was hiding below!

We went out last night to the Iskenderun Yacht Club for dinner. We soon came to understand why the club couldn't cater for 80 visiting yachts. They were totally stretched coping with 250 people for dinner. The waiters were running around in circles, three came to our table when we ordered a bottle of wine. One waiter carried the bottle, one opened it and one poured the wine, it was quite comical. The dinner service was slow and some people nearly fell asleep waiting. The meal however was very good with a Mezze Platter (variety of cold and hot appetizers) local fish and fruit. Once again we were entertained by local village dancers. The local dancing throughout Turkey has been wonderful, not only are the participants talented, they are just aglow with smiles.

Today we decided not to go on the organized tour as the boys want some time to fix the water maker. It has failed us and although there is never a convenient time for the watermaker to die, we really want it operating for the trip to Syria, Lebanon and Israel. I will give you an update on progress when next I write.


Thursday, 22 May 2008

Sailing with a full moon

Hi from Clare,

We left Cyprus late Monday afternoon to cover the 107 miles to Mersin Turkey. Before leaving we anchored out to have a swim. At first Pat was a bit reluctant, the water was only 22 degrees; once in we had difficulty getting her out. With our busy schedule, we have very few opportunities to have a swim.

We sailed with spinnaker up for 8 hours clocking between 5 to 7 knots. It was very pleasant and when night came we had classical music and a spectacular full moon illuminating the sky and reflecting on the water. But all good things come to an end so after midnight, when the wind died, we motored to Mersin arriving around midday Tuesday.

Tuesday night we were welcomed by the Mayor of Mersin at a Cocktail Party. The mayor fancies himself as a bit of a singer and so he graced us with a few numbers - like most karaoke singers he was tone deaf, but we all clapped politely, we wanted to get out of there in one piece. Pat said he shouldn't give up his day job!

We were warned by the rally committee that the normal nibbles at these functions were comprehensive in Mersin - they weren't joking. It was a full on dinner with both hot and cold buffet. They also provided entertainment and dancing. We had a fabulous night and although the grog was free it wasn't the easiest to actually get served. They had two tables set up with one bar man who had no chance against 250 thirsty yachties! Anyhow we were OK, Ron and I were charged with getting the drinks, so I taught Ron how to hustle - we were served within the first ten - or should I say , we served ourselves! (Ron thinks we have both completed successful courses in queue jumping!)

Mersin is a full on city of one million people. It is a mix of old and new, rich and poor, traditional Turkey and God Dam American. All the trendy designer shops, and around the corner the open market with magnificent fresh produce sold by local farmers who speak very little English. Pat and I hit the market this morning and bought heaps of fruit and vege, no scurvy on this boat. The photo attached shows our $28 purchase of eggs, cheese, bread, nectarines, apricots, bananas, oranges, apples, lemons, honeydew, fresh herbs, lettuce, spinach, carrots and onions. We actually only wanted 1 kilo of onions but they were selling 3 kilo for $1 - at that price, who would argue?

Andrew and Ron spent the morning (stacking beer in the fridge) realigning the steering, putting a new O ring in the toilet and repairing a small hole in the dinghy. At present the guys are on deck trying to retrieve a tool that fell overboard when repairing the dinghy. I'm not sure what is going on up there, but they are cackling like school boys and reportedly retrieving stuff we wouldn't want to know about.

We decided not to go on the organized tour today, there is a limit to how many ruins we want to see. We have had a good day just pleasing ourselves. Tonight we are looking forward to a Rally Dinner at the Hilton Hotel. But now I must close and try to get to the Internet Cafe and send some photos. I will try and put the appropriate ones against the last two emails.

love CANDY

Tuesday, 20 May 2008


Hi from Clare, We arrived in Girne Northern Cyprus early Saturday morning after a slow trip with little or no wind. The new AIS system is brilliant on night passage. It shows the direction and speed of all large vessels within a forty mile radius and calculates how close they will be when passing our boat. It also gives the ship's name and call sign in case we need to call them. So with no worry about being run down and no yachts close by, I kept one eye on the instruments and the other on my portable DVD player - Woo Hoo!

The semi circular harbour at Girne is very quaint with a 12th century castle at one end and restaurants lining the shoreline. Our first function was 'welcome cocktails' at the castle. It was my turn to carry the Aussie flag and thank the President of the Turkish Republic of North Cyprus for his hospitality. Pat and Ron stayed on the boat and cooked us roast lamb for dinner (yum). We are eating out so much, our supplies are going off before we get a chance to eat them.

Sunday we went on a bus tour to see St Barnabas Monastery dating back to 52AD, Othello's Tower 11 century BC and St Nicholas Cathedral which was built in 1298. The weird thing about this beautiful Gothic Cathedral is, it is now a Mosque with a minaret attached. It just doesn't look right! We had lunch at a restaurant by the sea and then we had swimming time before continuing on the bus. This was my first swim for the season. The water is about 22 degrees and the days are sunny; the night air is still cool.

I came to Cyprus believing it was a beautiful place, but so far I have been disappointed. The people here are keen to attract the tourist dollar. We were told that the wages in northern Cyprus are one fifth of that in the south. The housing and shops are very basic; certainly no fashion here. The island is suffering from severe drought; the land is arid and dusty. During our bus tour we saw army barracks manned by young men doing national service. Behind barbed wire, isolated in sentry boxes, stuck out in the middle of nowhere, they waved as the busses drove past. My guess is that they were bored stiff. Pat said she would describe the land as "totally soulless" it reminds her of a huge beach with sand dunes, spinafex, tufts of grass and dry dusty tee tree look alike's.

Sunday night was another Rally Dinner at a very posh restaurant. The rally theme was a Pirate Party and so the 250 rally participants dressed in pirate costume and walked in procession to the restaurant singing "What can you do with a drunken sailor" We carried our sixteen national flags as well as a number of pirate flags. Pat was the flag bearer for the Aussie contingent. The local people were quite intrigued and they took many photos. They probably thought we were all mad! The local paper had a photo of "Eye Candy" and other participating yachts on the front page. Unfortunately we can't read Turkish so we hope the report was favorable.

As usual the dinner was magnificent. We dined on the terrace overlooking the beach and the buffet dinner was an endless excellent variety of hot and cold dishes and sweets. Pat and I probably ate too much baklava but yummy yummy (gives you a tummy). Oh that reminds me, we also had entertainment and a belly dancer. She was a very pretty girl, had a great figure, danced beautifully, I only regretted that they brought her out while I was stuffing my face with sweets.

Today (Monday) we are preparing for an overnight return trip to Mersin Turkey. As soon as we have internet connection I will send some photos.

Until then take care and love to all CANDY

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Friday, 16 May 2008

Alanya and Pot Luck Dinner

Hi from Clare, The eighty rally boats packed in tightly at Kemmer marina managed to get away promptly at 4am to travel the 68 miles to Alanya Turkey. The trip consisted of pleasant sailing, a thunder storm, rain and 20 knot wind. We arrived late afternoon at Alanya marina which will not be completed until October 2008. No water, no electricity, no showers or toilets. All this we can cope with but two metres of murky water and a 2 metre keel caused a few problems. We nudged a rock backing into the marina and we could felt the boat gently bumping the bottom whenever we drifted sideways in the pen. This happened 3 times and twice at about 2:30 am. waking Andrew up.

On arrival we did not have the usual cocktail party and so we had a pot luck dinner on the marina. Everyone brought a dish and we erected some crude tables behind the boats and ate like kings. I was amused watching Pat throughout the day swinging around below preparing dinner. All the initial sea sickness gone she has mastered propping herself against the furniture whilst cooking and running along the bench couch to get to the cupboards.

Thursday we went on a bus tour around the extremely modern and almost European looking city. It is a popular tourist destination with beautiful sandy beaches,high rise hotel accommodation, endless restaurants, shopping complexes, palm trees and gardens with fountains; not at all like other Turkish towns we have seen.

We visited "The Cave of the Dripping Stone" with stalactites and stalagmites, but no better than what we have in Australia. Then onto Kale (fortress) and the ancient city dating back to 44BC. We went to lunch at another trout farm and had a fantastic smorgasbord lunch. In the afternoon we went to more caves and came back to the marina via one of the newest shopping complexes with exclusive shops. All bags and people were scanned before entry, just like an airport.

We had welcome cocktails organized by the Alanya Municipality then onto a restaurant for our second five course Rally Dinner with dancing and entertainment. Ron had the honor of presenting the Australian flag to the Mayor of Alanya and did us proud with a short and very gracious speech. The venue was beautiful and the food delicious. The entree was a huge mezza plate each (two plates would have been enough for our table of seven). I stopped eating after the entree and although the rest of the dinner looked lovely, I just couldn't eat anymore. I noticed the Mylanta on the breakfast table this morning, so I guess our other crew members were suffering!

This morning Pat and I have been cooking meals in preparation for the 120 mile overnight crossing tonight to Cyprus. Andrew and Ron have been going to the necessary information meetings and doing boat chores.

The engine is now running, Pat is washing the dishes, Andrew is like a thoroughbred at the starting gate, Ron is the first mate and line handler and I had better go.

love CANDY

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Wednesday, 14 May 2008

Olympic Champions

Attached photos: Rally Dinner Flag Ceremony Egg Catching The Mighty Orange Team

Hi from Clare We left Finike around 4.30am Sunday morning after waking up the Skipper of a Belgium boat blocking our way. He had slept past his 4am departure time and so Andrew had great pleasure in banging on his door.

We motor/sailed arriving at Kemmer around 2pm. There are now 80 boats in the rally and we have been divided into colour groups (the boats are grouped by size) and the marina determines which order the groups are called in for docking. It is highly organized with 80 boats being docked in record time - pretty impressive actually! Kemmer marina is packed tight with boats rafted together. We are in orange group or should I say 'the mighty orange group'? - but more on that later!

Each afternoon there is a Skippers meeting for information sharing followed by cocktails and nibbles which are provided by the host marina. It is a great opportunity to get together and meet all the rally participants.

Monday morning a cable car trip from 'sea to sky' was organized to mount Tahtali 2365m. We opted not to go on this trip as we had a busy day ahead. After a sleep in, leisurely breakfast and the necessary domestics, Pat and I went to the local farmer's market to stock up on supplies. Pat was blown away by the superb quality and cheap prices. We mostly bought kilo lots owing to low prices and the fact that the local farmers speak very little English. To give you some idea of price, the following is converted into Australian dollars.

Strawberries $2.00 per kilo Lebanese Cucumber $0.28 per kilo Apricots $0.28 per kilo (Pat stewed them for breakfast yum yum) Peas - already shelled, $1.80 per kilo Bananas, $1.80 per kilo 15 eggs Eggs for $1.80 Herbs such as Basil, Mint, Rocket, Parsley $0.40 a bunch. Lettuce $0.80 each. Lebanese bread $0.24 Hot roasted peanuts $6.80 per kilo. Remember the quality is to die for!

Monday night we attended the first of seven Rally Dinners. This was hosted by the marina as a public relations exercise. It was located at the water's edge with a gorgeous pink/gray sunset with a backdrop of stunning mountains. The tables and chairs for 250 people were set up like a wedding breakfast. Chairs with white covers and big blue bows, tables with starched white clothes, flowers and candles. The five course meal was delicious and the alcohol flowed freely. A quintet played quiet dinner music then Latin dance music, we danced the night away. Dinner wear was formal so the grotty yachty's had to dress in dinner jackets, shirts and ties and the ladies in cocktail dress. We had a 'presentation of flags' from the sixteen participating countries. Andrew was the barer of the Australian flag. It was a most enjoyable night.

This morning we competed in the 'Kemmer Olympic Games'. This was hosted by the marina and sponsored by Pepsi, Coca Cola, Effes Brewery and the Fire Brigade. The six colour groups competed in: Tug of War Egg throwing and catching A Wheel barrow race Rope and shackle (threading a thin cord and shackle down your T shirt and shorts and on to the next team member until all team members were threaded together). Balloon race (a male and female team had to hold a balloon between their chest while running a course)


We returned to Eye Candy with the spoils of victory - beer and beer glasses, Pepsi and a flower garland. But the sweetest victory was showing all the other teams, we are a force to be reckoned with!

This afternoon we had a meeting in the town hall for all participants outlining the program ahead. It certainly looks like we are in for a good time. I must admit the town hall leather seats were so comfortable I was fighting to stay awake, but I don't think I was on my own!

The rest of the afternoon was free time, so Pat and I prepared dinner, had a quiet drink on the boat and we are all now preparing for a 4am departure to complete the 68 miles to Alanya, Turkey.

Will write again soon, love CANDY

PS I didn't manage to escape the heavy cold Pat brought over from Australia, so I am now sounding very husky.

Sunday, 11 May 2008

The Birthday Girl

Hi from Clare,
Last night's trip to the Hamam (Turkish Bath) was a fabulous experience for Pat and me. Not so for the boys unfortunately as yesterday turned out to be a girls only day. Pat (who had never had a Turkish Bath) and I enjoyed a few hours of Sauna, scrubbing, washing and massage. Water was poured over us starting at body temperature and gradually working down to ice cold, making the experience both relaxing and invigorating. We were squeaky clean and soft as silk by the time we floated out of there. Andrew and Ron could have gone today only we had a day trip booked. Perhaps they will get a chance to enjoy a Hamam before we leave Turkey.

Today we went on a bus trip to see St Nicolas's Church built around the 8th Century, (Ron claimed to be upset finding out that Santa wasn't true). The ancient city of Myra with it's Lycian Tombs and Greek/Roman theatre built 200BC. We then went on to lunch at a trout farm high in the mountains. The food of endless warm Turkish bread, gorgeous salads and a whole trout per person was magnificent. After lunch we went on to the Lycian city of Arykanda dating back to 2000BC. It was perched high on a hilltop with sweeping views of the valley below. The city, although decimated by a earthquake in 141AD was still in remarkable condition.

We arrived back at the boat at 5.45pm and before attending the cocktail party at 7pm, we had enough time to give the boat a wash with fresh water in preparation for leaving first thing in the morning. The cocktail party was hosted by the Finike Marina as a Public Relations exercise for the Rally. Drinks and nibbles were in abundance and before the evening was over, the people celebrating a birthday were presented with a birthday cake. Pat and Ron had just left the party and were back at the boat when Pat's name was called. So I doubled for Pat and accepted the birthday cake thanking the organizers for the unexpected acknowledgement.

Tomorrow morning we head out at 4.30am to travel down to Kemer. This is a 45 mile trip and the weather forecast indicates that we will be motoring most of the way due to lack of wind. However one can never be sure, we will see what tomorrow brings!

It is now 10.30pm so I must away and get some sleep.

Attached photos:
Andrew and Ron at the Santa monument at Demre.
Ron, Pat, Clare and Andrew - lunch at Trout Farm.
Theatre at Arykanda with spectacular view.
Pat's birthday cake after attack.


Saturday, 10 May 2008

Sun, sea and sailing

Hi from Clare, Yesterday we set off on our first day of the rally. We left at 4am to travel 74 miles from Gocek to Kekova. The sea was fairly lumpy and the breeze was all over the place. We started off motoring due to lack of wind and before the day was out we were doing 8.7 knots with the wind behind us.

My sister Pat, who has a very heavy cold, spent most of the day in bed or on the couch. She didn't eat all day in fear of throwing up. Ron managed to stay on deck but he threw up twice. It was a baptism of fire and we were all glad to arrive at our destination around 4pm.

We were due out at 7pm for a cocktail gathering in the local village. Andrew and I went but Pat and Ron opted to stay on board and watch a video. I sensed they didn't think much of sailing but after watching Touching the Void (an horrific true account of a mountaineering accident in the Andes)they decided never to complain about sea sickness again. I must remember this therapy for next time!

Today is a magnificent day. We started out this morning doing a tour in a glass bottom boat of the sunken city of Kekova. Then we did a short but steep walk up to the Castle on the island of Simena. After we set out on our next journey an 18 mile trip from Kekova to Finike.

The sailing today is very pleasant. We have a gentle breeze, spinnaker up and clocking around 5.5 knots (perfect conditions). In comparison to yesterday Pat is up and about and has just cooked dinner for tonight whilst we are sailing. She is now sitting out the back enjoying the sunshine. Today Ron has helped hoist sails with Andrew giving me the opportunity to catch up on some emails. He is now lying on the cabin top soaking up the sun. Looks like our visitors have turned the corner and I no longer fear a walk out!

When we arrive in Finike, we are going to a Turkish bath. This is a fabulous thing to do and what would a trip to Turkey be without a Turkish bath?

love CANDY

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Thursday, 8 May 2008

Away we go

Hi from Clare
After ten working days to prepare the boat, we left Marmaris Marina on Sunday to have two free days before picking up my sister Pat and husband Ron and joining the EMYR rally at Gocek.

Our first night out was peace and tranquility on the water in Wall Bay. The second night however was upset by Fritz the German and friend in a rental yacht. Fritz dropped the anchor, his friend took too long to launch the dinghy then discovered he only had one oar (a boat with one oar goes around in circles) by the time his friend got a line to shore Fritz had drifted down onto our boat with a loud smack. Andrew wasn't impressed and swore at the guy. The situation was ridiculous really, we were the only two boats in the bay and there we were fending off. We discovered in the morning that Fritz had also managed to drop his anchor over our anchor line. A good effort all round!

We arrived in Gocek and Pat and Ron turned up on queue. We have spent the last two days settling in and getting familiar with the rally procedures. The participating boats have been given identity numbers and purchased a set of code flags. Tonight we attended a cocktail evening put on by the EMYR committee. People are very friendly and we also caught up with some sailing friends from previous years.

Tomorrow morning around 4am we take off for Kekova which is a 68 mile trip. The weather is warm in the day but still cool at night. The water temp is around 18 degrees. Andrew and Pat have heavy colds, Ron has just gotten over one and so far I have escaped catching a cold from them.

The attached photos are of our anchorage at Wall Bay, Rally boats "dressed" with their code flags and the cocktail party at Gocek Marina.

love CANDY

Friday, 2 May 2008

Rub a Dub Dub

Hi from Clare,
I have spent the last two days on my knees scrubbing and cleaning the deck and polishing the stainless steel. Six months of neglect on the hard was topped off by a splattering of rust. Someone close by must have been grinding a steel boat and poor old Eye Candy was covered with freckles. However not any more, she is now squeaky clean and lacking sparkle but that will be rectified today by applying a liberal coat of polish - then she will look gorgeous!

Andrew has completed fitting our new chart plotter to the pod in the cockpit. He has done a fabulous job working with minimum tools. He has also been busy at the top of the mast fitting a new radar reflector, masthead light and putting the wind vane back up. Today he is pumping up some additional fenders and stitching the luff tape to the bolt rope on the spinnaker in an attempt to improve the furling process.

Tonight we are going out to dinner with two English couples. They are heaps of fun and it should be a good night. I better get the polishing finished as there is a good chance tomorrow will be a less vigorous day.

My sister Pat and her husband Ron will be joining us on the 6th and coming on the EMYR with us. They are flying to Istanbul as I type. Soon the work will be over and the fun will begin - bring it on!

love CANDY