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