Sunday, 4 October 2009

Back to Marmaris

Hale and Alan - long term Aussie cruisers bound for Thailand
Wall Bay goats Not a bad view from Wall bay
Donkeys at our back door
A long term marina resident
Hi from Clare, 2nd October 2009

THE EASY LIFE We are now back in Marmaris Marina packing the boat up in preparation for heading home. We have had a very relaxing four months enjoying the sailing, sun and sea. We spent the first two months in the Aegean Sea visiting some of the Greek Islands. The weather was windy, the sea lumpy and the sailing invigorating. The last two months was spent at a more leisurely pace cruising the Turkish coast. We have enjoyed meeting new friends and catching up with long term cruising friends.

WHAT A DIFFERENCE A DAY MAKES But now the season is over for us and the coming week will be spent doing numerous maintenance jobs. We have been here less than twenty four hours and made a "start" on a number of jobs. Sails have been pulled down, the outboard pulled apart, lockers emptied out and cupboards stripped bare. There's washing on the foredeck, dishes in the sink, friends are dropping in, Andrew's has dashed off to a dental appointment and I'm making soup. At the moment 'everything back in place' seems a million miles away, but it's all good fun.

We leave the marina the evening of the 9th and fly out of Istanbul on the 11th. We are looking forward to going home and sharing time with family and friends.

So until next season stay safe and our love to all. CANDY

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Sunday, 20 September 2009

Here are the photos for the Irmas Birthday blog

Hand me the ICE

It is a long way down.

Thats us in the bottom of the photo

Ulf and Irma on her birthday

We won't get wet with this

Sweeping water

One way to keep your feet dry

I hope this works. I was not able to open the blogspot site via this connection. Sometimes the Turkish system does this. They have censorship here.


Irma's Birthday in Gocek

Hi from Clare, Friday 18th September 2009

We went out on Saturday night with our Swedish friends to celebrate Irma's birthday. I am happy to report that the night did not include a cow eating from the restaurant's salad bar. Instead, we only had to weather a storm; we think the Swedes are jinxed.

After weeks of perfect weather the sky was looking very threatening as we joined our friends on the balcony of their motel for pre dinner drinks. A very pleasant hour was spent before the skies opened and sent rivers of rain water gushing through the streets of Gocek. We were overdue for the restaurant so we borrowed a couple of large umbrellas from the motel's pool area and dashed up the street. The canvas over the outdoor eating area of the restaurant was sagging with pools of water. The waiters were frantically poking at it with poles to disperse the water before the whole lot came down on the diners. Our table for eight was nicely laid out on the other side of a stream of water rushing through the restaurant. Not to be beaten by a mere flood the waiters were out with brooms sweeping with great flurry. But the show must go on, so plastic beer crates were placed under our table to elevate our feet. Maybe they thought our feet were dry - I have no idea why they would think such a thing!

Since the rain, the days have been sunny, humid and very hot with temperatures in the mid thirties. Ice cold drinks on Eye Candy have been achieved with a little lateral thinking. We have discovered that by placing a water filled plastic bag on the cold plate in the fridge, we can make enough ice for our drinks at night. The only problem is that the ice is in big lumps (icebergs)which need cracking with the hammer thus puncturing the plastic bag. The thought came to me (when dying my hair)that a pair of rubber gloves might be the solution. It works well and the ice is easy to break off and the gloves can be refilled. The question now is "how many fingers of gin and how many fingers of ice". Andrew (Mr Invention) thinks this is the best idea I have come up with - I'm not going to tell him about the others, ha ha.

We have stayed around Gocek this week traveling between the many bays to catch up with friends for coffee, board games, cards, meals or having a quiet drink or two. We are currently anchored in Deep Bay near a small beach. Yesterday Ulf took the attached photo showing Eye Candy on the left and their boat Emma Lyn on the right. He was the only one energetic or crazy enough to climb the hill. This morning the Swedes moved on and so we have the anchorage to ourself. So far we have been left in peace.

A lot of our cruising friends are now returning to Turkey as the season is coming to an end - boo hoo. We have been in touch by email and hope to catch up with them before we go home in three weeks - yes that's right, only three weeks to go.

love CANDY

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Saturday, 12 September 2009

A very social week

Gocek market day
Firm sweet tomatoes Water Natzi cuts loose
Tomb bay
Lycian Tombs
Playing Rummie with Roger & Alison
Morning coffee with Les & Fran
Hale's fresh bread
Hi from Clare, Friday 11th September, 2009 FABULOUS FOOD We called into Gocek last Saturday to take advantage of the fresh produce market. I bought beautiful quality fruit, vegetables, fish, nuts, eggs and local cheese at little cost. The fresh tomatoes in Turkey are delicious, firm, meaty, a gorgeous colour and sweet to taste. Once chilled I could definitely eat them as a fruit. LOTS OF LAUGHTS On our way back to our boat we were waved in by our Swedish friends Ulf and Irma (U and I) on 'Emma Lin' to have a beer. They had left the grandchildren and parents in Gocek to enjoy some space. U and I told us a very funny story about their dinner the night before at a summer restaurants. These establishments spring up to cater for the boating season. Most are good but some are a bit dicey and operating illegally. The buildings are basic and often with outdoor kitchens operating from a tow away pontoons. At the end of the season the whole thing is dismantled and removed - the quintessential 'Take Away Restaurant'. Unbeknown to U and I, their chosen restaurant had been closed down by the Jandarmes earlier that day for illegal operation. They had taken away the plates, cutlery etc. But with three groups of customers booked for the evening the restaurant stayed open. They told U and I to bring their own fish, which they did. U and I's party consisted of six people but the restaurant only had five plates so Ulf ended up with a fork only. The grandchildren ordered chicken but ended up with a plate of potatoes. A motor bike drove through the restaurant followed by a cow with a Turkish woman in hot pursuit waving a large stick. The cow stopped at the salad bar and with one gulp demolished one of the three salads. The next group of people had arrived for dinner but couldn't start until U and I had finished with the only five plates left by the Jandarmes. Perhaps not such a great dinner but definitely a night to remember. The grandchildren have written down all the details to tell at school. WATER, WATER EVERYWHERE We continued on to Boynur Bay and met up with Roger and Alison on 'Silver Beat' and had a few drinks on 'Eye Candy'. They told us of free spring water nearby at Laundry Bay. The local water boats fill up there and deliver to the many legal restaurants. The following day we filled up with water and washed the boat pouring water over the dusty dodger, bimini and boom bag. The fibre glass deck and cockpit is now very clean and smooth to touch. I'm sure we will visit here again before we leave the area. LET THE GAMES BEGIN Since Monday we have been in Tomb Bay named that because of the Lycian rock tombs which were carved into the hillside around 2000BC. It is a very popular and pretty spot with steep land, lots of pine trees, clear water and good anchoring. We arranged to meet Roger and Alison here on 'Silver Beat' and we spent two great days together. They taught us how to play the Turkish board game of Rummie on their boat on night one. Once mastering the game, the second night's battled was conducted on 'Eye Candy'. There is skill and some luck involved and after two nights we were fairly even. We enjoyed the game immensely even though on night two poor Andrew had the worst hand deal to him, probably in the history of the game. A COFFEE BREAK In Tomb Bay we were anchored with Roger and Alison on one side and Les and Fran from the Terrigal(NSW)Dive Shop on the other. It was like a little Ozzy corner of the bay with much talk and shared cups of coffee between the boats. BREAD AND CAKE On Wednesday we went two and a half miles across the bay to Tersane to met up with another Ozzy couple Allan and Hale on 'Alice'. They are shortly heading to Isreal and then down the Red Sea to Tialand. They have been around the world and in and out of the the Med for ten years. Their boat is in a state of disarray as everything is being checked, repaired and stored for the trip. Andrew was intending to help Allan with the removal of his rudder, but the job went smoothly for Allan and was finished by the time we arrived. Hale has bought a bread maker and is enjoying baking perfect specimens and tantalizing the taste buds of others in the bay. We spent a few enjoyable hours together sampling a cake made in the new bread maker before returning to Tomb Bay. OH NO NOT VODKA I was pretty tired after two late games nights so we had an early dinner. We were just finished a glass of wine when an Israeli guy from a boat two across invited us over for a Vodka. Andrew thanked him for the kind offer but declined. The Israeli was very enthusiastic and no put off. He said "You are most welcome, if you change your mind, you are most welcome" We felt a bit awful, but I couldn't face another late night and the mention of Vodka was enough to scare me off. In the end Andrew took a beer over and I had an early night. INSPIRED BY DISORDER So yesterday was supposed to be a quite day doing nothing. Inspired by Allan and Hale we ended up sorting through the boat and separating out things to take home. We opened every locker and moved everything around. Not sure after hours of reorganizing if we actually achieved anything, but at least we know the location of everything. We always start the day with no real plans giving the illusion of plenty of spare time. But while I have been typing this Andrew, probably inspired again by Allan and Hale, decided to remove the top rudder bearing for lubrication. He is now on deck with a tape measure hatching a plan for other improvements. Stop press, he has been interrupted to fend off a boat heading towards us. I just don't want you to think we are doing nothing out here. A NIGHT TO REMEMBER Tomorrow night we are going out to dinner with our Swedish friends U and I to celebrate Irma's birthday. We are a little worried as they have chosen the restaurant, we can only hope they have learnt from their last experience. But just in case a cow passes through for salad, I will have the camera ready. love CANDY

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Sunday, 6 September 2009


Hi from Clare, Saturday 5th September 2009

AS GOOD AS IT GETS We have had a great week enjoying flat calm conditions, sunny days, warm nights, 29.6 degrees water, picturesque anchorages, good food, fine wine, peace and quite, no mosquitos - sounds too good to be true? well I forgot to mention that the flies bite. Nasty little black flies that inflict a 'drive you out of the cockpit' type bite. I settled down to have a relaxing read and instead had a full on game of tennis in the cockpit with the fly swat. Oh well, I guess we haven't arrived in heaven after all.

FABULOUS SAILING We had a good sail from Marmaris to Gocek. We were close reaching and Andrew was feeling a bit competitive so the boat was well trimmed. We passed a fifty footer much to our delight and the other skipper's surprise - he turned his engine on. We changed course around the headland and put the spinnaker up sailing at a comfortable 7 knots in a 10-12 knot breeze. The first time we did this trip a few years ago with our Australian friends Colin and Denise the wind got to 20 knots, it developed into a wild ride as we had trouble getting the spinnaker to furl up. Thankfully we had experienced people with us and since then Andrew has made some modifications to improve the furling. This year's trip around the same corner with the spinnaker up was very pleasant.

THE PEOPLE YOU MEET We have met up with our Swedish friends Ulf and Irma who we first met in Crete last year. Recently we have been in contact with them via email and so we rendezvoued in a bay south of Gocek. They moored up against us and we shared the evening catching up. They have family with them for the next two weeks so we have committed to met on 13th to celebrate Irma's birthday together. The family leave on 14th so we we are looking forward to spending some time with Ulf and Irma after that date.

We also met an Aussie couple, Les and Fran, who own the Dive Centre in Terrigal NSW. Although working full time, they have an yacht in Turkey and come here for holidays whenever possible. We came into their anchorage to buy bread and they invited us over for a morning coffee and a chat. It's always nice to met Aussies and to hear the chant Aussie Aussie Aussie is music to the ear. They are at an exciting time with their dive business. The Navy has decided to sink an old warship right outside their shop and they can't wait 'till the artificial reef proliferates.

Recently we were anchored next to a charter boat and they asked if we had one or two onions they needed for dinner. No problems, so the onions were handed across and in return they offered six bottles of beer. I was embarrassed by their generosity and said it wasn't necessary, but it was their last night on the boat and the beers would be left in the fridge, so we accepted them gratefully - and enjoyed them.

STOP PRESS While I'm typing this Andrew (who is rewiring the fridge to reduce the voltage drop) is poised with the fly swat trying to kill the little biting demon that just caused him to kicked over his tool box and utter a few expletives.

HA HA, VERY FUNNY We are having a wonderful relaxing time in a small and private anchorage near Gocek. At night we presently have a full moon and the water is so clear that we can see the bottom in the moonlight. It is like having our own floodlit heated pool at our doorstep. We have our last swim and shower just before going to bed and sleep peacefully. It is so lovely I could stay forever. A man selling fresh (still warm) village bread arrives each morning around 7.30am. The bread is baked in temporary stone ovens by Turkish peasants who camp here in tents for the holiday season and cash in on the tourist trade. They are doing a roaring trade with the yachts and good luck to them, the bread is delicious.

This is a ideal bay for me to practice driving the dinghy. I can start the outboard, reverse, drive around the bay and come back to the boat without crashing into the side. This is a big improvement on a few years back when in the Bahamas, I just about drove the dinghy onto the wharf because I went faster instead of slowing down. I now feel confident I could take myself into town and back. I haven't done it yet, but I will soon. When I'm leaving the boat, Andrew (living dangerously) makes comments like "Do you want to take your fins incase you have to swim back?" Ha ha very funny, his confidence is overwhelming.

WHAT HAPPENED TO PEACE Oh no! our bay is filling up with other boats. There is a yacht, a power boat and a day tripper boat from Gocek. There are children everywhere and guess what, crying sounds the same in Turkish.

Oh well that's life. love CANDY

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Sunday, 30 August 2009

Bodrum to Marmaris

Captain Andrew Calm and Warm More Motoring
Getting the Shore Lines out
Swimming in 200m at 2 knots
Steve ever hopeful
Checking where we've been
Steve retrieving the shore lines
Trim Consultant
Hi from Clare, Saturday 29th August THE WEEK THAT WAS Well we had a great week with our Turkish friend Steve sailing from Bodrum to Marmaris. With a 15-20 knot wind behind us, we enjoyed gentle sailing to seventies music via Steve's IPod, sunny days, 29 degree water temperature, warm calm nights, a few DVD's, lively conversation and some extended happy hours. (I have made mention of the 29 degree water because our Aussie friend Patrick mentioned the water temperature in NSW in currently 14 degrees and asked us to stop saying in our emails that the water temperature here is 28 degrees - so how's 29, sorry Patrick). THE PRICE OF FISH So back to our week, we were in no hurry to reach our destination and so we explored many anchorages stopping for lunch and a swim in one bay and then somewhere different for the evening. Steve who knows all the towns we stopped at gained a new perspective approaching the same by sea, he mentioned how amazingly different things look. Steve was very good a negotiating a low price for tasty fresh fish for dinner. Andrew and I fail miserably at haggling on price. We can't identify the type of fish and its value and we can't speak Turkish. There is only so much one can achieve with sign language and even then you run the risk of offending if you don't get the sign language right. We don't know if haggling on price is appropriate when dealing with the local fishermen. They spend most of the night at sea and come into the anchorage exhausted, it somehow doesn't seem right. After a week with Steve I now know to haggle, our fish for dinner started at 30 Liras a kilo and ended up 15 Liras a kilo cleaned. LIFE BACK TO NORMAL We arrived in Marmaris yesterday and Steve caught the local bus back to Bodrum this afternoon. After a week away from his wife he was looking forward to some pampering, air conditioning and his large LCD screen. Andrew and I are quite happy to be alone again and that reminds me of a comment made on the Cruising Net recently. A couple reported that they had delivered the grand children to Lufthansa and intended to live happily ever after. The Net controller's reply was "I'm glad to hear the grand children had such a good holiday..."

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Thursday, 20 August 2009

Leros and Gumbet Bay Turkey

Trimming the Spinnaker Leros Castle
Birthday Dinner
The downwind rig
Kaori, Steve, Andrew and Clare in Bodrum
Gumbet Bay, Turkey
Hi from Clare, 20th August 2009

LET THE GOOD TIMES ROLL The Gods were smiling on Andrew for his birthday. We had a very pleasant spinnaker sail to Leros with Andrew sun baking on deck taking it easy. Leros is a pretty spot with a castle on the hilltop and a line of old style white windmills dotting the horizon. The village has spread up the hill and down the other side. Shopping is a bit of a walk especially when the post office has been moved since our last visit. Suffice to say (and despite getting directions from the locals)we climbed up and down the hill three times before we found the new establishment. We had dinner out for the birthday boy. We choose a restaurant with tables set up on the water's edge. The scenery was spectacular, high mountains all around, flat calm water and a glorious pink sunset. The food was traditional Greek cooking and we finished the evening on a English boat having a nightcap with our recently meet neighbours. GOOD FRIENDS, FINE FOOD On Tuesday the 17th we came across to Turkey. The objective was to get away from the wind and find warmer water for swimming. We have achieved this, there is absolutely no wind this morning and the water is flat calm and 27 degrees. I can't wait to relax and enjoy. We have meet up with our Turkish friend Steve and Kaori, they spent Tuesday afternoon on Eye Candy with us. Yesterday Steve helped us check into Turkey (so much easier with an interpreter) and then sailed with us to Bodrum. Last night we had drinks at Steve and Kaori's house and then out to dinner for a wonderful Turkish meal. THE COMING WEEK This morning we are off to do some shopping and then Steve will join us for a week's cruising along the Turkish coast to Marmaris. Kaori has opted to stay at home, have some time to herself and practice the piano. We are looking forward to sailing the boat with Steve, we will have some fun together.

love CANDY

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Friday, 14 August 2009

Mikonos to Patmos

Eye Candy sheltering at Mykinos Weather on the other side
Where all the others anchored
Not a bad holiday house
Meltemi-ised Greek flag
Hi from Clare, Friday 14th August THE WIND

We enjoyed a short stay on the southern end of Mykonos away from the NW (the Meltemi) wind. Each day we walked over the hill into town for exercise, provisions, lunch and to check the sea conditions on the weather side. The wind by itself is OK but when interrupted by the islands it causes confused wave patterns making for a very bumpy ride. Better to stay put and learn about patience.


We have been to Mykonos three times and seen most of the sights. It is a popular spot particularly for the young with sandy beaches, restaurants, bar and all night discos. The island has a reputation of "anything goes" and is overrun by tourists. Cruise ships arrive throughout the day spilling hundreds on to the fore shore. Unfortunately the area is grubby, dusty and run down and for this reason Mykonos is not onr of my favourite places. However along the coast there are some lovely homes with swimming pools, helipad's and established gardens. We saw many large expensive power boats and huge yachts. People were making the most of the water, swimming, wind surfing and riding jet skis. We spoke to the skipper of the expensive power boat we were anchored near. He was looking after the boat while the owner was in Athens. The owners holiday house was directly above us on the cliff. Nice work if you can get it.

FAST SAILING We had a terrific sail to Patmos on Wednesday. We left at 6.30am (passing by the disco still in full swing as dawn broke)and took nine hours to travel the sixty miles averaging 6.8 knots. The wind was on our beam and our maximum speed was 8.6 knots. We must have picked the right day, patience paid off. Yesterday we had a repair day washing the boat, the clothes, dying my hair and repairing our Aussie flag. Our Greek curtesy flag, although new six weeks ago, has flapped and frayed in the wind to half it's original size. Good thing we plan to leave Greek waters soon.


We will head out tomorrow for Leros. It is Andrew's birthday and so going sailing seems appropriate. We might even go the ship chandler (where else?) and find him a birthday present. Which reminds me of a conversation we overhead between two couples where one husband said to the other husband "What! don't you buy your wife boat parts for Christmas?" I'm pleased to say it hasn't come to that yet. love CANDY

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Monday, 10 August 2009


Seatbelts not to be used! Great view
Stairway to Heaven
Town square, Serifos
Eye Candy, Delos in foreground
Delos Lions
Delos Statues and Mosaic
Minoan artefacts at Delos
Hi from Clare, Sunday 9th August THE FISH WAS HOW BIG? We left Paros Sunday 2nd August and sailed 30 miles to Serifos in five hours averaging 6.5 knots. It was a boisterous trip, close reaching and ended with two reefs in the mainsail. We headed for a large bay (Koutala) on the south west corner and tied to shore at the base of a cliff and stayed for three days. We enjoyed the sun and the sandy beach. The guy anchored next to us caught a metre long fish. This is such a rarity in the Med that he immediately got his camera out and Andrew rushed for his video camera. My guess is photographic evidence is a must for future story telling.

SUNDAY BLOODY SUNDAY We moved to the Serifos town wharf on Wednesday and took the local bus up to the hora on the highest peak on island. From here we could see in the distance the islands of Paros, Sifnos and Siros. In the past this strategic vantage point was used to see any attacks by sea. Today in peaceful times, it's just an old Greek village with a very spectacular view. We climbed many stairs to reach the church at the top. I couldn't imagine doing this every Sunday especially in the winter months. How easy we have it at home, we just take the car.

I LIKE NEAT The town bus was an old fashioned square rattler that could only be described as basic. As always, I sat by an open window. My logic is that if the brakes on the bus fail and we end up in the sea, I want to be able to swim to freedom - how's that for confidence in the local transport? However in all fairness, this bus was not entirely void of safety equipment, it had seat belts on the front seats - but they were cable tied together so they were unusable. They did look neat.

ANCIENT CIVILIZATION We planned to visit the island of Delos. In the cruising community, there is much conjecture as to whether anchoring is allowable at the island. Over a period of years, regardless of how many people we asked we got conflicting answers. So we anchored for two nights on the small island of Rinia three miles from Delos. Andrew watched various ships and a few yachts disappear up the channel towards Delos and they all stayed for a some hours. It looked good to us, so we headed around Saturday morning. What a lot of fuss about nothing, there are even signs up saying you can anchor until 3pm. Delos, being the birthplace of the Gods Apollo and Artemis, was a sacred place for ancient Greeks. It's earliest inhabitants date back to 2500 BC and by 1st century BC 30,000 people lived on the island. We spent a few hours exploring the site and the museum containing statues, mosaics, and artefact's uncovered since excavation commenced in 1872. In their time some of the houses were pretty impressive, large and ornate, obviously the wealthy lived very well. POWER BOATS GALORE We left the site at noon because the wind was blowing 25 knots down the channel and we weren't confident of the holding. We put the storm jib up to cross the channel from Delos to Mikonos, a known windy funnel. We headed for the southern end of Mikonos to escape the n/w winds. It was supposed to be a quick trip and then lunch, but it took four hours to find a suitable place to stop. All likely spots were taken up by large power boats with numerous shore lines out. It's every man for himself and first in best dressed. Eventually we found a spot in front of a power boat who told us he was there for the next ten days. No wonder there is no room. We will stay for a few days until the weather calms down a bit.

love CANDY

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