Monday, 21 July 2008

High on a Hill

Hi from Clare, Monday 21/7

Photo 1 - Andrew high on a hill
Photo 2 - overlooking main harbour Castellorizo
Photo 3 - Clare, a bit sweaty
Photo 4 - At the waterfront

We spent a day in Kas Turkey provisioning the boat and enjoying some peaceful time in the pretty bay (without wasps). As we were here two years ago no further touring of Kas was necessary, so we left Saturday morning for the Greek island of Castellorizo. The trip didn't take long as the distance is only three miles.

We anchored in a small bay next to the main harbour and stayed for two days. One of the challenges on the island is to climb the 400 steps to the top of the hill. We did this before the heat of the day and were rewarded which a terrific panoramic view of the island and surrounding waterways. On the way down we meet a Sydney guy running up the stairs for exercise (makes us feel old). He was Syrian born and his eyes fairly lit up when he discovered we had recently visited Syria and toured all the historic sites.

We spent some time in the township of Castellorizo having lunch and people watching at one of the many waterfront restaurants. We then bought up big on kalamata olives, Greek yogurt and tinned ham/pork products which we can't buy in Moslem countries like Turkey. Bacon bacon and tomatoes for breakfast will be a treat.

We returned to the Turkish coast late yesterday and we are now anchored off the township of Kalkan. We will go into town shortly to visit an internet cafe and have a look around.

We are both well and enjoying every day.

love CANDY

Friday, 18 July 2008

Total Peace

Hi from Clare, Thursday 17/7

Since I last wrote, we have shifted the boat a few times to either go shopping or to achieve the best protection from the wind. For the past three days we have been in Woodhouse bay which we affectionately call "gunshot bay". When last here two years ago there was an incident between two gullets playing very loud music at midnight. We thought it was a bit much and I'm sure so did everyone else in the bay. It all came to an abrupt end when the skipper of a third gullet fired three gunshots in the air and the music stopped immediately. I'm pleased to report that this year Woodhouse bay is very peaceful. We wonder if the gullets (which usually carry a dozen or more guests) have been asked to keep the noise down, because so far this season they are noticeably quieter.

We have been sharing the bay with some friends Bridget and Peter from the rally. Most days we have got together for a chat over coffee or drinks at night. It is great to have some company and it is also OK being alone. This morning they left early and we had the bay to ourselves. It was so quiet and still, we listened to the birds and soaked up the sun in total peace.

There is a fresh water spring that runs into the bay and provides freezing cold water to the top six inches of the otherwise 28 degree sea water. It is very refreshing and we have really enjoyed our time here. I go swimming after breakfast to get some exercise and then onto rowing lessons. I think I am improving (I've stop laughing - mostly) but one thing's for sure, the Olympic Rowing Team is not under threat!

We have fallen into a routine of doing chores in the mornings before it gets too hot and then relaxing in the afternoon. Yesterday morning I did some cooking and this morning I did two weeks washing which consisted of four pieces of clothing. That's one of the good thing about cruising, we live in our swimmers. It is now 4pm and Andrew is lying in the cockpit reading "A world of my Own" which is the account by Robin Knox-Johnston about his solo around the world trip in the late sixties. Not the sort of terrifying book one should read while doing any long sea legs. But compared to the equipment and comforts he didn't have, Eye Candy should be considered a luxury vessel.

When at home last I made net screens for the hatches and companionway. Good thing I did, they have proved invaluable not only for keeping mosquitos out but also wasps. They come round early morning and at dusk. It is almost impossible to eat meals in the cockpit because the smell of food attracts them in droves.

Early tomorrow morning we will go to the town of Kas to shop at the fresh market. I love the fresh markets the food quality is fantastic.

After that I guess we will find another quiet bay and chill!

love CANDY

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Monday, 14 July 2008

Great Little Spot

Hi from Clare Sunday 13th July

Photo 1 - Our gorgeous well protected bay Photo 2 - The three entangled gullets - the power boat is behind the brown gullet

Friday morning we left our large bay and came around to a much smaller one on the outside of Kekova Island. The bay has a small opening from the sea, but once inside it dog legs to the left giving wonderful protection from the ocean swell. We anchored here a few years ago with Colin and Denise in 2006, nothing has changed it is a truly a gorgeous spot.

On Friday there were two boats here enjoying the sunshine, peace and quite. However the peace was interrupted when a couple in a hire boat arrived and tried to anchor. They reversed the boat in but took too long getting a line ashore. The boat, ably assisted by a panicking skipper, ended up bow first to the shore and drifting sideways to the rocks.

Andrew to the rescue boarded their boat and took over the helm. It turned out that the couple rarely go boating. They were very grateful for the help and I must say Andrew, as usual was so diplomatic, he's great!

The daily temperature is around 32 degrees with a steady cool breeze blowing down the gully into the bay. The water is a crystal clear 28 degrees with perfect visibility. Our morning exercise is swimming back and forth across the bay ten times; only getting out when our finger tips start to shrivel up. Another part of my daily routine will have to include rowing practice because mostly I row around in circles. Perhaps if I could stop laughing that would help!

Late Saturday a few Gullets arrived, some intended staying the night others were day trippers. All was well until one of the day trippers left at full speed pulling up the anchors of two other Gullets. At this time the steady breeze coming down the gully had turned into a serious blow. We had already dropped our tarp (sun cover) put away all loose objects in the cockpit and were ready to get out of here if necessary.

Fortunately for us the pantomime of "The Three Entangled Gullets" was played out far enough away to watch with interest, not fear. This I'm sure couldn't be said for the people on a small motor boat pinned against the shore and watching the gullets drift towards them. How quickly things can go wrong!

Thinking about how quickly things can go wrong, this is not the first time something like this has happened when I'm pouring us a beer. Maybe we should give up drinking? - No don't be ridiculous!!

Tonight we are having dinner with friends Peter and Bridget, an English couple we met on the rally. Looking forward to having a good chat and a few drinks - dare I say that?

love CANDY

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Friday, 11 July 2008

It's not all fun

Hi from Clare, Thursday 10/7

We decided to check into Turkey at Kemmer. For me checking in is often "tear my hair out time" because invariably we are mucked around a treat. Andrew copes with this very well as he has the patience of a saint but for me I can get quite Scotty. My sister Pat (when with us recently) pointed out that I inherited this trait from our mother - thanks Mum.

Anyhow, we had heard that in Kemmer all the necessary authorities are close by and therefore the tedious process should only take a couple of hours.

The steps in the process are:
Acquire a transit log from marina office (authorization to cruise in the country)
Passport police (for a visa)
Doctor (to check for infectious diseases)
Customs (authorizes the boat to be in Turkey)
Harbour master (authorization to sail to different ports).

Now for the "tear my hair out" news, in Kemmer this process took three days. On day one there were no transit logs available. The morning of day two we had the transit log and the passport police. Customs had to be called and came at 3pm, the doctor arrived 7pm. The poor man had driven 40 kilometers from Antalya to ask "has anyone died on board?" which I guess is a big improvement from a few years ago when another Doctor's first question was "what is the registered tonnage of the yacht?" On day three the harbour master arrived to finish the process.

For the three days, we were told we must stay on the boat and we couldn't go shopping. We ignored that directive and went shopping as the 90 day visa we received in April was still current. This would have to be our worst check in experience to date. No, I'm not bald, but that's a wonder!

Just to add salt to our wounds we then traveled to Finike, met up with some friends who had checked in there and it took one hour. I guess it's all just the luck of the draw.

We are now anchored in a peaceful bay at Kekova. Plenty of swimming, reading, relaxing. Yesterday it was very hot (30-35 degrees) with warm winds, thankfully today is much more pleasant, the temperature is around 30 degrees but the breeze is cooler. We are very glad to have our Aussie silver tarp to keep the boat shaded and cool.

We don't know where we are going next, but for the moment here is perfectly fine.

love CANDY

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Friday, 4 July 2008

We have arrived

Hi from Clare,

Photo 1 - Sunset underway Photo 2 - The journey is over Photo 3 - Having fun? - nobody we know Photo 4 - A gorgeous bay for us to enjoy

We completed the 350 miles to the Turkish coast around midday yesterday. We hoisted the spinnaker and traveled along the coast for 15 miles to a lovely bay for the evening. The sailing was good, our first swim in 28 degree water was even better. Yesterday was 36 degrees and windy but fortunately the mountains provided shade for the bay around 5pm. It is now 8am the following morning and Andrew is in the water, I will join him shortly, what a life!

After breakfast we will head for Kemmer and stock up on fruit and vege at the fantastic open market. I can almost smell the freshly roasted peanuts from here.

All is well and we are happy! love CANDY

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Wednesday, 2 July 2008

Good Sailing

Hi from Clare,

We are currently sailing past Cyprus and have 130 miles to go to Finike. Another lovely day and still sailing on a beam reach doing around 5 knots; all is well.

love CANDY

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Tuesday, 1 July 2008

On way to Finike, Turkey

Hi from Clare, Tuesday 1/7

We left Ashkelon Israel yesterday at 5pm. After talking to the marina manager (who said there aren't any suitable ports in southern Cyprus, so unless we really need to go there don't bother) we decided to head straight for Finike Turkey. So far we have been covered 87 of the 350 miles and at present we are sailing on a bream reach doing 6.5 knots.

All is well on board, Andrew is sun baking, it is a beautiful day and I am reading a great book. I can't send photos when at sea but you can imagine blue sky, white clouds and ink blue sea, all very beautiful.

love CANDY

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