We are free from the marina at long last. We left this morning after one month of hard work and frustration waiting for trades' people to turn up and complete other jobs needed on the boat. TRAINS, PLANES AND AUTOMOBILES Our journey from Australia to Turkey started with Colin and Denise driving us from Kiama to Dapto to catch the train to Sydney airport for a 9.30 pm departure. They had very kindly offered to take us to Sydney but as it was Easter Thursday and the traffic to the south coast was bumper to bumper, we insisted that the train was the best option.
The flight with Etihad airlines was pretty good, despite the fact we were delayed at the check in counter for forty five minutes because we had a one way ticket into Istanbul. Fortunately Andrew had our ships papers and the receipt for our booking for Monastir marina in Tunisia at the end of the season. Hopefully this would prove we had the means and the desire to leave Istanbul. After a lot of fluffing about and a phone call to Istanbul for a decision (that worried us) they decided to let us through. The up side of this was we got an apology for the delay and an express card through customs. We felt very important being ushered through the side gate bypassing the long queues. The flight was uneventful and we managed to get a good amount of sleep despite feeling like you were in a shoe box. The seats although very comfortable were so tightly packed it was impossible to retrieve anything that fell on the floor. The food was good, the movies were great and the hours seemed to pass quickly. We spent one night in Istanbul to recover before tackling the overnight coach trip down to Eye Candy in Marmaris. The coaches in Turkey are first class. The one we traveled in looked like a space ship with a big curved windscreen that continued up over the first row of seats giving us a great view of the stars. The driver sat down low almost at road level in front of an impressive array of soft blue lights and instruments on the dashboard. The fourteen hour ride was comfortable, quiet and warm even though the temperature outside dropped to six degrees overnight. A waiter served hot and cold drinks and light snacks frequently throughout the trip. We also had headphones for either music or a movie. The fare is only 50TL which is equivalent to $40, amazingly cheap. OLD DUDES I am pleased to say that the boat was in a lot better condition this year then previous years. No paint overspray and no rust spots from steel grinding. She was pretty dirty but I was extremely happy not to spend days on my hands and knees applying sodium hypochlorite for rust spots. Instead I spent days on my knees polishing every inch of Eye Candy until she looked glorious. I managed to pinch a nerve in my hip which caused me a great deal of discomfort for the following eight days (just a reminder that I'm not as young as I once was). Andrew rubbed down the bottom of the boat and painted it with antifouling. With all the overhead work an old Rugby injury to his shoulder flared up causing him equal pain. So for days we kept uttering involuntary noises (groans) with every movement. We sounded like a couple of 'old dudes' but that can't be right can it? Andrew also installed a fresh water tap in the anchor locker so we can wash the anchor and chain when it comes up all muddy. While we were away from Turkey the anchor chain was regularized and Andrew painted the anchor with silver epoxy paint. The anchor locker hasn't looked this clean since the boat was new. Andrew also took the anchor winch off and removed the corrosion and installed a fifth hold down bolt. The only way this sucker is coming off the deck is if we slice the front of the boat off, and hopefully that won't happen, but I guess if it does we won't be worrying about the anchor winch. SUNNY SIDE UP While we were away we had our sails washed, a third reefing point put in the mainsail and blue sunbrella applied to the leech of the jib. We had an arch build on the back of the boat which now supports two additional solar panels which tilt to capture maximum sun. We had a new bimini constructed so we can collapse it more easily while underway. Because we changed the shape of the bimini we needed new canvas and so we took the opportunity to change all the canvas in the cockpit from navy blue to light grey. We have noticed on other boats that light colored canvas reflex the heat making it much cooler to sit under. We have also had side shades made of shade cloth fitted to the cockpit area. I love these as I have wanted them for a long time. Andrew thinks we now look like a covered wagon, all we need is a couple of bullock at the front and Billy at the side to complete the picture, but I'm so happy, I'll even buy the Billy! NEAT AND CLEAN Whilst in Australia I got replacement cushion covers for the main cabin. They came off another Bavaria 39 in Sydney and are better quality and not faded like the ones on Eye Candy. When I was at home I washed them and then spent a few days on the over locker neatening all the seams. The photo shows the lounge area with half the new covers on, what an amazing difference. Now with all the new covers on it looks a million times better and I am much delighted. LIGHT RELIEF Apart from the work we have managed to catch up with some friends. We have had a few dinners out at restaurants, (and too many drinks) some evenings with friends either on their boat or our (and too many drinks). We have had morning coffee meetings, skipper meetings and a few nights in the crowded marina bar (and you guessed it). However, it's a good place to catch up with everyone and meet new friends, not that you remember. HOORAY, HOORAY So this morning we escaped marina life very aware that all the work and frustration is behind us and freedom and adventure is ahead. Andrew has starting up the water maker and filled the rear tank with excellent quality water. With all our additional solar power, we can now make water, run the computer and fridge and still have a little left over to put into the batteries. For Andrew this means no more running the engine to generate enough power to run the boat. For me this means no more concerned conversations about amps and volts, FANTASTIC. We will be saying goodbye to Turkey in the next few weeks after stocking the boat and visiting our Turkish friends for the last time. Our plan for this year is to travel west to Sicily, Sardinia, Malta and Tunisia. We will be leaving Eye Candy in Tunisia when we return home later in the year. At present the days are a pleasant 25 degrees but the sea water is only 19.8 degrees so no swimming at this point. FRIDAY 8th MAY - TO GOOD TO BE TRUE We escaped the marina for one day. As we departed on Wednesday a strange noise developed in the engine. So we turned back and now we await the mechanics, who have taken the head off the engine, to tell us the good news. . Somehow we are losing compression pressure from #2 and #3 cylinders. Valves, head gasket or cracked head are the likely culprits. At this stage we expect to be here another week to sort this out. Well it could be worse, we are safe in the marina and surrounded by friends. Looks like a few more happy hours coming up. Love CANDY radio email processed by SailMail for information see: http://www.sailmail.com/