Log #24a Return to Turkey

May 6, 2002 in Log Series 20 - 29, Logs by Series, Series 24 Turkey, The Logs

Kemer, Turkey
March 6, 2002

Hi Folks,
This is my first new log in Turkey, since we landed here from Rhodes on Nov. 19 last year. I have my new Dell laptop over here and am able to send directly from Veleda via a land phone line hooked up here at the Kemer Park Marina. However, since arriving here I some how have gotten onto a spamming list and have anywhere from 70 to 200 junk messages waiting for me every few days! I don’t know how that DTL system got my address, but it claims I signed up to it and has sent my address to hundreds of E-mail entrepreneurs and hucksters who are deluging me with their garbage. This happened between my last messages from Toronto Feb. 20, and my first access to the internet about Feb. 27. The “service” started Feb. 25. I am taking steps to try to block this garbage. AARRGGHHHH!

However, it is good to be back on Veleda and we are looking forward to an interesting sailing season this year. We enjoyed showing our slides to several sailing groups back in Ontario, and will probably do a similar tour next winter as well. If you know of any organizations that would like a presentation from us next Jan. or Feb., let us know. We already have three engagements booked. We enjoyed seeing our slides projected for the first time. Now that we have a digital camera, we can take digital pictures, and possibly do a Powerpoint presentation. But, I need to consider the cost of scanning a few hundred slides to disc. I’ll have to give it more thought.

I have several new individuals on my mailing list now. Welcome! I met a few back in Canada whom I had not met before, except via E-mail. I will send digital pictures relating to my logs to the www.searoom.com  site, but if any of you who can download images would like to get them directly, let me know, as I will be setting up a separate address list for those who are able and interested to get digital pictures of our travels.

I’ll close now and have Judy edit it before sending it off.

All the best,
Aubrey

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Log #24a Return to Turkey

Kemer, Turkey
Feb. 24, 2002

This is my first log since arriving in Turkey Nov. 19 last year. Happy we were to arrive at Kemer Park Marina to get out of the nasty winter weather here in the Med. After being hammered by several storms as we came across the Aegean Sea from the Peloponessos, and having our dinghy destroyed in one of them, wintering in the well sheltered marina here at Kemer was a very attractive change of pace.

March 6, 2002

I didn’t get very far on the above first attempt, so I’ll try another one now.

We are back in Kemer Marina in Turkey, after having been to Canada from Dec. 12 to Feb. 21. We left Veleda up on the hard with many long overdue maintenance tasks to be done by their boatyard in our absence. These included: fairing, preparing and painting the hull (the original gelcoat was heavily oxidized, and had been badly scratched in a storm while we were alongside a run-down boatyard in Sete, in the south of France, around Christmas of 2000); cleaning (scraping off the barnacles coating the entire underwater hull), preparing for, and applying two coats of bottom paint (semi-hard, and the first bottom paint since Jersey in the Channel Islands in September of 2000); fixing damaged pulpit and stanchions (the storm in Adhamus on the island of Milos in the Aegean); installing a larger 16 x 14 RH propeller (after installing the new 3GM30 Yanmar diesel in 1998, we had the original 14 x 10 RH prop re-torqued to 14 x 13 in Key West in January 1999); replacing the cutless bearing (ropes wrapped around the prop take their toll on the bearing) and strengthening the cutless bearing bracket; straightening a bent anchor (courtesy of a storm in which we were anchored off Las Ilettas near Palma in Mallorca in March of 2001); fibreglassing the tip of the rudder (damaged in “Scalpay on the Rocks” in the Hebrides in the summer of 2000); preparing new shrouds and backstay with 7 mm 316 stainless steel wire, swaged and ready for us to install (the old standing rigging was 24 years old); and freeing up and servicing our eight through hull fittings.

Most of this work was done by the time we returned, and we were back in the water five days later, Feb. 26. The hull looks beautiful, a nice dark royal blue, makes Veleda look regal and brand new.

In the few days before launching we completed several other maintenance and replacement tasks, including: installing the repaired Benmar Cetek autopilot (we had it repaired in California and shipped to us in Canada), installing the repaired water maker (we had mailed it to Colorado where they replaced the membrane and seals and did  general maintenance on it, and returned it to us in Canada), repaired our Jabsco water pump (a sheared bolt and we had to have the pump body retapped, thanks Mike), bought and attached a second hand 35 lb. CQR anchor to our anchor chain, cleaned the bowl of the first Racor filter (we got the gaskets in Canada), took off the old and installed a new barbeque (brought from Holland Marine in Toronto), installed rubber washers on the base of the Dinghy-tow arms (courtesy of Davron Marine at the Toronto Boat Show), installed the brackets over our new paint job for the overboard ladder, installed the new transducer for our depth sounder (bought from Holland Marine), and installed two brass strainers on our engine and galley water intakes (I hate drilling holes in our hull, and thank heaven for silicone sealant). The joys of keeping a 24 year old boat. This confirms Judy’s definition of cruising as being the art of doing maintenance in exotic locations.

We brought the bad weather back with us. Apparently Jan. and the first part of Feb. were lovely here in Kemer. However, shortly after we arrived we had two heavy storms go through before we were launched. Launch day went fine, except our start battery was dead, and our packing gland leaked like a sieve. We got it tightened up and were towed over to our berth, #4 on “G” dock. It was good to be back in the water. There is a different feel to a boat on land – it is dead, solid, unmoving. In the water it is alive, responsive, in its element.

Oh yes, we also brought back a new Zodiac Cadet 285 inflatable dinghy with us (this was a happily settled insurance claim that I will discuss in a future log). We bought it at the Toronto Boat Show, at a good price and were able to get it tax free as we were bringing it back to Turkey with us. We furnished proof of this with our return tickets and a copy of our travel itinerary from Kemer to Antalya to Chicago to Toronto and return. We were informed by Gilbert, a travel agent and friend of the family, that the coding on our tickets allowed for two bags each of 70 lbs. (32 kilo). Hey, no problem, the dinghy only weighed 75 lbs., and with all the other gear we had plus our regular baggage would not total more than 280 lbs. However the operative word is “each”. No bag could be over 70 lbs., otherwise excess baggage would be charged at an astronomical rate. The dinghy bag with a few other items stuffed in weighed in at 90 lbs, and would cost almost $500 excess baggage. So in the middle of the airport, after I went and purchased a large duffle bag, we repacked all the bags until they each came in at less than 70 lbs., and thus did not pay any excess.

The next problem was US Customs. They searched everything and x-rayed several items. We had to leave some fresh ginger, and an aerosol water repellant spray that could not be taken on board. Judy had to go back to the check-in counter to check a fifth bag (no extra charge as it was a security requirement), as she had left a screwdriver in what had become, after the repacking, her carry-on bag. We were in, with our bags shipped right through to Antalya. Whew! They were heavy, and we had to use two carts to carry them. We were glad we didn’t have to reclaim them and re-check them at Chicago or Istanbul. We had allowed plenty of time for all the baggage problems, getting to the Toronto airport by 0930 for a 1400 departure. Our last hurdle was Turkish Customs at Antalya. Would they accept all this gear and the dinghy as tax exempt for a “Yacht in Transit”? They looked at the battered old bag we had put the new dinghy into, and our other tattered baggage (several bags were torn in flight), and waved us through. Our taxi was waiting and we heaved a sigh of relief to be back “home” in Turkey with Veleda. We did not arrive at Veleda until 2030 next day (1330 Toronto time), 28 hours from when we arrived at the Toronto airport.

We were greeted by several boaters who welcomed us “home”, and after getting our bags on board, went over to the Navigator, the local bar/restaurant here at the Marina, where we enjoyed the special of barbequed wild boar, and got caught up on happenings here in Kemer from other cruisers. It is good to be back.

The second day back we were awakened by a knocking at the ladder by Kathleen and Mike Neill, and their backpacking companion, Colin Peters. We had not met them before, but had corresponded with them via E-mail. They are friends of Michael Swan, a Canadian whom we met over in Ballyhome Bay outside of Bangor, Ireland, a couple of years ago, and as soon as they said they were from “Three Sheets To The Wind”, we realized who they were. We had a good get together with them for several days as their boat, a home built trimaran, was at anchor in Moonlight Bay, next to the marina. Mike has considerable mechanical know-how and helped us with several projects over the following week. A big one was modifying our anchor well. He cut the bottom out, and fibreglassed in a deeper base. This will allow us to install an electric anchor windlass when we can afford to get one. The original well was too shallow for the drop of chain required. We saw a modification like this on a friend’s Ontario 32 back at our Toronto Hydroplane and Sailing Club last month, and greatly appreciated Mike’s work on that major project.

Even though they were not staying at the marina, they were welcomed as our guests, and enjoyed several good parties, as well as getting showers and laundry done. We will meet them again later this spring as they will be going on the East Med Yacht Rally. We have signed up for this rally that will take us from Turkey (it starts in Istanbul, and works its way down to Kemer), to Northern Cyprus, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Egypt and back to Israel. After that we will probably sail to Crete, and spend the rest of the summer and fall in the Aegean Sea, before returning to Turkey for the winter again (possibly back here to Kemer, as we enjoy it so much).

We went out for our first sea trial in Veleda yesterday (March 5), and enjoyed it immensely. It was good to be on the open water again. The weather was warm and sunny, with a light southerly breeze. We checked out all systems. The new propeller works extremely well. Before we had to use 3200 rpm to get to a maximum cruising speed of 6 knots. Now with only 2500 rpm we are doing 6.5 knots. The larger 16 x 14 (16 inches in diameter with a 14 inch pitch {i.e. one revolution advances 14 inches}) moves us through the water far better. Of course a clean bottom helps, as the barnacle encrusted hull, I am sure, slowed us down by over a knot before we had it cleaned. Veleda performed well under sail too. We had a lovely spinnaker run for over two hours while we had lunch at sea. The larger prop does not seem to add any significant drag. The depth sounder works well! It had been a problem for several years, frightening me by randomly cycling down to zero and back to the true depth every time we came into shallowing waters under 40 feet depth. Peter at Holland Marine in Toronto advised us it was probably the transducer and ordered a new one for us. Thanks Peter.

The Simrad Wheel Pilot worked well, but there is a stiffness in the course setter of our Benmar Cetek Autopilot that we will have to free up before we can use the repaired drive assembly. The GPS, VHF radio, Navtex weather receiver, water maker, and overboard holding tank pump all work well. There are several other small things we have to check as well, so I am looking forward to doing another sea trial next week, and hopefully staying at anchor overnight down the coast at the ancient harbour of Phaselis. We should also have our new Zodiac (to be called Sprite II) hooked up to the Dinghy Tow by then. The weather has been so nice, we will probably depart Kemer on March 19 rather than staying on another month waiting for better weather.