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.