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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