Log #28b Marina life Part 1

March 18, 2003 in Log Series 20 - 29, Logs by Series, Series 28 Winter in Turkey, The Logs

Kemer, Turkey
March 18, 2003

Hi Folks,

Here’s the next log of our winter in Turkey. Activities are increasing here as we get ready for the next season sailing, which for many starts in April. I am sure similar activities go on in yacht clubs, sailing clubs and marinas all over North America and Europe. Here the sailing season is from April to the beginning of November, whereas at my club back home, the Toronto Hydroplane and Sailing Club, the season goes from late May until early October. We have a little hankering to get back to the Caribbean so we can sail year round (in appropriate parts of course). Maybe in a couple of years? This is our third year in the Med., and we’ll be here for at least one more after this, possibly exiting Gibraltar the winter of 2004/05. Who knows?

Enjoy the log. I will try to catch up on the logs I didn’t write on our return to Turkish waters last fall, and some of the excursions we have taken over here.

All the best,


Log #28b Marina life Part 1

Kemer Marina
March 18, 2003

Hopefully we will be underway in about two week’s time. The weather is still unsettled with a stormy cold rainy low passing through about once a week, as it is doing this present moment. Large volumes of rain, wind and cold weather dominate. The daytime temperature gets up to only 16 C. and down as low as 6 C. at night. However the intervening good days are really good, clear, sunny, and warm, with temperatures up to 20 C.; shorts and short sleeves are the rig of the day. Several who have spent the whole winter here say it was the worst they have had. The first part of April can still have some bad stuff, but by mid April things should settle down to the more pleasant summer weather.

We still have many maintenance tasks to complete before leaving. Our new anchor windlass is installed and operational, but we have yet to go out for a trial anchoring to see how it works, and to establish our routine for its use. A small but lengthy complication was how to mark the depths on new 8mm chain. At first we were going to mark it with metal paint, but decided this would wear off too easily. Then we thought we would use electrical cable ties, but thought they would jam or break. Tony across the dock from us said he had used coloured lengths of line to mark off the distances. OK, but the chandlery did not have any coloured line in yet, so we tied blue and white twine at ten foot intervals. The system was to be one white tie at 10’, 2 at 20’, 3 at 30’, four at 40’, a white and blue at 50’ (and each multiple of 50’), 1 blue at 60, 2 blue at 70’ and so on. After we tied all these on, we then wound the chain from the dock into the chain locker, or rather we tried. It frequently bound in the pawl of the windlass. Should we have used larger line? Another suggestion made was to weave coloured line through the chain at the different depths, and yet another suggestion, that we accepted, was to tie coloured strips of spinnaker cloth at the different depths. We did (after cutting off all the white and blue twine and stabbing myself a couple of times), and it worked, to the extent that the spinnaker cloth ties did not jam when we wound the chain in for the second time. Let’s hope it works OK out on the water.

We have yet to re-bed several stanchions, replace the life lines, replace the wind generator arms, take down the bimini to have the window replaced (We have already had the windows replaced in the dodger last week.), and get Sprite operational with its outboard and hooked back up to our “dinghy-tow”, and go out for a couple of sea trials before finally shoving off from Kemer in early April. (I like the 1st but there is a final marina party on the 5th… Decisions! Decisions!)

Life in this marina is enjoyable. I think any other marinas for wintering will suffer in comparison. It is like a small town or village, but far friendlier and more supportive than any shoreside community. The only minor problem is that there are so many activities, classes, sports, movies, concerts, seminars, excursions, and parties that some find it hard to get all their winter maintenance done.

A typical day starts off at 0800 with the Kemer Net on VHF channel 69, managed by a different boat each day of the week, and lasting for about 20 minutes. The first part asks for any emergencies or immediate problems people might have. No one has ever responded to this opening, but it is necessary. Then there is a detailed weather report of local weather for the day, and up to five days distant, as well as some comments about weather in various countries of the boaters. Canada has been getting a bad rap for the very cold weather we have had there this winter. This gives people planning departures or other events, information about good weather windows. There may be some news stories from BBC or CNN, about America’s Cup, World Soccer, the assassination of the Serbian president, the upcoming war with Iraq or other events. The lunch menu at the Navigator restaurant is described and its cost, usually between 4 to 6,000,000 Turkish Lira ($3.50 to $5.50 Cdn). The Turkish word of the day is explained and repeated in an effort to help people acquire a few useful words. The day’s activities are summarized, and any left out will be commented upon by interested boaters. For example Judy and I are co-ordinating a clothing drive about which we remind the other boaters each day.

Then boaters are asked if there are any birthdays, anniversaries, or national holidays in their home countries, and any responses result in a party that night at the Navigator. Arrivals of new boats or departures of any liveaboard boats are announced, as are departures and arrivals of crews from winter visits to home countries. Such people are often asked to take mail or bring back small items unable to be purchased in Turkey. “Treasures of the Bilge” are then called for, i.e. things people want to sell off their boats. Then parts, tools, charts, information, or other help can also be requested over the net. Liveaboards are then asked if there are any other queries, comments or suggestions just in case anything has been left out. Sometimes a bit of repartee takes place, such as an ongoing plan to build and crew a “Noah’s Ark” because of all the rainfall. The net then closes, to allow boat to boat traffic. Most people leave their VHF’s on channel 69 all day, and if you want to reach anyone, just call them on 69, and switch (or not) to another working channel (to which I’m sure many others listen in). It is far better than the old fashioned party line telephone system in some rural areas long ago.

Then at 0830 three days a week is aerobics on the tennis court. Kit, on Nerissa, conducts English classes several mornings a week for those wishing to improve their English. Hasan has Turkish classes two afternoons a week. There is a cruising seminar on different sailing areas of the world Tuesday afternoons conducted by resident sailors who have visited those waters. There is usually a special evening menu at the Navigator on Thursdays. This week it is roast boar. Incidentally, the Navigator staff are very co-operative and will make special national dishes from different countries under the guidance of boaters from those countries. We have enjoyed Hawaiian, Australian, German, French, Swedish, Scottish (including haggis on Robbie Burns Night), Irish (including green beer on St. Patrick’s Day), and American (Thanksgiving turkey), and a fantastic multi-cultural Christmas dinner.

Wednesday afternoon there is a bus taking movie goers into Antalya for movies and shopping at the Migros in a large shopping mall. Every second or third Friday there is a bus going into the Antalya Culture Centre for a symphony. In March there are three Saturday afternoon barbecues, one here at Kemer, another up at the marina in Antalya, and the third at the marina in Finike. There is a tennis clinic three days a week. A separate room has been set aside for a play room for the 7 or 8 children living on board. The library in the Navigator has periodic movie nights. We have seen six episodes of the “Hornblower” series. Once or twice a month on Thursday evenings a quartet (violin, cello, oboe, and flute) from the Antalya Symphony orchestra presents a recital.

Speaking of music, we have a Kemer Khorale of singers who serenaded the marina, local hotels, the Police station and the Jandarma Imdat (military station) at Christmas, including this sailors’ version of the Twelve Days of Christmas:

On the twelfth day of Christmas
My skipper said to me:
Twelve piles of droppings,
Eleven sails for sewing,
Ten heads a blocking,
Nine anchors dragging,
Eight gales are forecast,
Seven Seas for sailing,
Six chart amendments,
Five warning blasts heard,
Four sickly crewmen,
Three hour watches,
Two dying batteries,
And a cormorant on the crosstrees.

We are preparing another nautical cruisers song to the tune of “SO LONG IT’S BEEN GOOD TO KNOW YOU” to sing at the closing barbecues, called “Fair winds we gotta go sailing”.

We’ve sung this song and we’ll sing it again
Of the people we’ve met and the places we’ve been,
Of some of the troubles that bothered our minds,
And a lot of good people that we’ve left behind.


Fair winds we gotta go sailing
Fair winds we gotta go sailing
Fair winds we gotta go sailing
It’s a long, long time since we’ve set sail, and we got to be moving along.

We’ve sailed across oceans and through the great sea
We’ve traveled the lands and all through Turkey,
But one thing we’ve learned that they can’t take away
Is we must move on, and one place we can’t stay. Cause it’s…

The friends we have made as we travel all o’er
Are the best kind of people the world has in store
They play hard at work, and they work hard at play,
But never in one place too long do they stay. Cause it’s…

Now Kemer Marina is our favourite home
When throughout the world we set sail and we roam,
Our thoughts will return to the folks we’ve met here
And in all our hearts we’ll hold them most dear. But it’s…

You can see from the heavy schedule above why some may find it difficult to squeeze in maintenance tasks. In my next log, I’ll talk about the maintenance activities going on as we prepare our boats for another season sailing the glorious waters of the Mediterranean.