Gladlee of Guernsey
October 1993 - December 1993
18th – 20th October 1993
We embarked on an overdue oil and filter change, discovering as we started that the bolt securing the main alternator to the engine block had sheared off, leaving the tail end of the bolt in the block. Our first test of the marina’s technical resources was reasonably reassuring (they fixed the problem), though Julie had a few anxious moments supervising the work while Nigel went into town for a food shop. We cooked an excellent dinner for Bob and Judy Bolt, the owners of “Kachina”, whom we had got to know and like during the previous few days (we were glad to discover that their association with “Aeolian Cat” was purely fortuitous, since the “cat”’s owners didn’t appeal to us at all!) – well-established cruising yachties, good company, from Tucson, Arizona. The 20th brought a very pleasant surprise – after a lengthy outing into town, first to the industrial estate of Sanayi to look for anti-fouling, an inspection light and the Yamaha service agent, thence to call at the Honorary Vice-Consulate, and on to the market: when we got back we were told that a party from Ankara had come to look for us (who?!), and Alex across the way had a note for us from, of all people, John MacGaffin, who’d got our postcard from Kalkan the day before leaving Washington to attend a conference in Antalya! “I came as quick as I could”, wrote John, and said he might have time free for a sail the following day. We’d planned a long weekend’s cruise with Brian and Julie, who readily agreed to postpone the start for a day, and Nigel eventually got hold of John by telephone to arrange a day sail and picnic for him and two colleagues.
We moved over to the fuel berth the following morning, where John, secretary Dottie and colleague Jeff joined us by taxi on the dot of 09.30. Another lovely day (we’d had marvellous weather for the past fortnight) but no wind, so we motored gently past Antalya and on towards Lara, eventually arriving at the Düden Falls, where a gullet skipper assured us that there would be no problem anchoring. Dottie and Jeff swam while we caught up on news from John, and our scratch picnic seemed to go down very well. We dropped them off at the old harbour of Antalya at 14.30, in good time to get to the airport – they clearly enjoyed the break, and we enjoyed the company very much. Back at the marina we went round to “Fareal” (on the hard by the fuel berth) for Brian’s fish pie, which was to have been the first supper of our cruise.
With fuel on board we could plan a reasonably early start, and we were out of the harbour with Brian and Julie on board by 08.30. We got the main up after a while in the hope that the light ENE wind might pick up a bit, but by the time we’d passed Kemer and rounded Ak Burnu the wind had veered and was scarcely making F3, so we lowered the main again for the last hour’s run to Phaselis. There were fewer boats around than on our previous visit, and a slight swell persuaded us to anchor in the same pot on the SW side of the south bay – the barbecue (pirzola, chicken and bananas to follow) was superlative and the weather perfect: even Nigel had a quick swim! On later to Cineviz, with no wind at all, where we arrived at dusk to find half a dozen yachts anchored, but again with plenty of room inshore. Most of the other visitors were gone by the time we surfaced next morning, and by midday we had the place to ourselves except for a couple of fishermen, who traded us a couple of substantial amberjack (normally TL 80,000 a kilo) for a couple of bottles of TL 10,000 wine – definitely a good deal (though they obviously enjoyed the wine with their lunch ashore) as we baked the excellent fish on the barbecue for ours. We had a great day, fishing (unsuccessfully), swimming and wandering ashore, or just idling about chatting. The return trip to Antalya was very pleasant, too: we even managed to sail for an hour and a quarter north of Kemer, but we had to give up when our speed dropped to 1 knot in 3 knots of wind!
25th – 31st October 1993
More work on the boat: Julie servicing winches and getting bent stanchions off, while Nigel sanded down and re-oiled the outside woodwork. Nigel did a (better) translation of the notes on the Transit Log, which Hasan had undertaken to forward to the Tourism Ministry – also attended Hasan’s twice-weekly Turkish class as a sort of assistant instructor! We had an excellent evening with Bob and Judy on “Kachina” (bizarre to hear Bob take a telephone call on his marina extension from his lawyer sitting in his car in the Tuscon morning rush hour!). We had high winds in mid-week, with the odd gust to 40 knots, but the weather calmed down for the National Day parade in Antalya on 29th – a slightly ponderous affair with lots of speeches and declamations of Atatürkisms and patriotic poetry, followed by a seemingly endless procession of detachments and drum corps from every school in the area.
A rather more light-hearted affair in the evening – a party on the gullet with a Halloween theme – saw Julie narrowly fail (thanks to some arbitrary and confusing advice to the little girl judging) to win the hat competition, with her magnificent witch’s hat, eye mask and pointy nose. Saturday was wet, the forecast wasn’t brilliant, and the marina scrubbed the planned Sunday trip – unfortunately without ensuring that anyone knew of the cancellation! Much disappointment as we showed up for a non-existent bus, but the ever resourceful Brian cadged the four of us a lift with some Americans who were planning a day out in a rented van. No sign of bad weather, and we had a very successful round trip to Aspendos and Perge, with a decent enough lunch overlooking the river near Aspendos (plenty of bonking tortoises in evidence at Perge, but no ripe blackberries – either Nigel’s memories of October 1985 were slightly adrift, or it had been a bad year for blackberries!) Back to the marina to find “Shiba” just arrived, and a joyous reunion with Helmuth and Helga.
1st – 15th November 1993
The marina wintering community started to take shape – apart from a few keeping themselves to themselves it promised to be an imaginative and sociable group, helped certainly by unanimous satisfaction with the marina itself. We got on with woodwork and polishing, and a chance foray into the forepeak to get out the cockpit cover finally explained why we could never get rid of a faint whiff from the loo plumbing – the holding tank had corroded and split along one seam. It was mot a pleasant job to clean out the compartment, wash the cockpit cover and finally flush out the ruptured tank, and we cursed Westerly for the umpteenth time for yet another bungled job 2½ years before. Zafer’s workshop had a go at re-welding the seam, but the metal was too far gone, and we eventually had to settle for having a new tank made. Meanwhile our stanchions were returned, straightened if somewhat scarred, and Julie refitted them, not without difficulty, with some locally-bought mastic. We acquired a set of Black Sea charts from Bob and Judy, saying goodbye as they set off back home, but planning a possible meeting in England (or even South Africa?) in the spring, and perhaps to return to Turkey together by car. More charts, for Aegean Turkey, came from the amiable Jean-Pierre, representing Belgium with his girl-friend Uschi. We exchanged tea and cake invitations with Brian and Julie (and defeated them twice, heavily, at Scrabble!): Helmuth and Helga came to dinner and treated us to Iskender kebabs in town before they left for Germany and then Australia for the winter, but we all expected to be together again at Setur for 1994/95. A strenuous but very pleasant day’s outing on bikes and foot took us up five miles of winding road to the revolving restaurant on top of the hill behind the marina: good company, as usual from Brian and Julie, and a stunning view from the top. Nigel gave a couple of basic Turkish lessons (!) to a few people who’d missed Hasan’s earlier lessons, and at Hasan’s request (good PR) he also started taking an English class for the customs officers stationed in the port nearby – another new activity was sounding out opinion on how the Marina clubroom, almost ready for use, should be operated, and then persuading Hasan that it could and should be run by the marina residents themselves. The weather finally broke, with pressure of 1055 mb. Reported in the northern Black Sea on 10th, and the Russians putting out a hurricane(!) warning for the Sea of Azov on 11th – we had a steady increase in wind from the north, with gusts of over 35 knots during the night of 11th/12th.
It was still very breezy as we caught a dolmüs into town the following morning at 07.30 to connect with a very comfortable coach for Ankara: a pleasant journey, and in spite of horrendous traffic on the approaches to the capital we managed to get to Ian and Simone Lancaster’s flat only an hour or so late for a cocktail party. Warm greetings from the waiters, and a few old friends of Nigel’s had accepted invitations. Ian and Simone were excellent hosts, and we enjoyed a weekend of good food, wine hot baths and multi-channel TV, in between various reunions with Turkish friends; including Engin and other Embassy staff, Nedret the carpet dealer, and a couple of Hash veterans (the Hash on Sunday was bitterly cold after overnight snow), not to mention Nigel’s old cleaning lady Nazli. Engin treated us to lunch, and Deniz Kilicer of the MFA (whom we’d narrowly failed to meet up with during our Netherlands cruise in 1991) gave a buffet supper party in our honour, complete with nautical cake – there was even a Saturday night thrash to go to at the Red Lion. We hadn’t been altogether sure what it would be like to go back, but it was touching to find such genuine pleasure to see us after our five-year absence, and interesting to see how the Ankara landscape had changed since we’d last seen it.
16th – 30th November 1993
The return trip didn’t go quite as smoothly: the coach developed a suspension problem soon after leaving Afyon and eventually stopped for repairs at Burdur, so after waiting an hour we hopped on another company’s coach for the last leg to Antalya – then got a thoroughly bolshie dolmüs driver whom we had to shame into taking us and our luggage the usual extra few hundred metres beyond the official stop to the harbour gate. The following evening saw the very successful launch of the clubroom,, and Nigel spent much of the rest of the week organising a general meeting to discuss proposals (mostly ours!) on how the club should be run. Julie meanwhile finished cleaning the deck whit-work and started repainting. We managed to book an amazingly cheap (if slightly uncertain) flight home from Izmir on 20th December. The club meeting seemed to go quite well, with a preliminary session for the German speakers which taxed Nigel’s linguistic skills (fortunately he wasn’t called upon to perform in Turkish as well!) The following day (Sunday 20th) we took Brian and Julie out for the final “sail” of the season – a virtually windless but warm and sunny day as we motored a couple of miles down the coast to anchor behind Sican Adasi, a lovely setting for our cold chicken lunch, courtesy of “Fareal”. Brian had brought prawns to go with avocados, but decided they were a bit odd and dumped them: he was persuaded to retrieve them for fish bait, which was just as well, since the only thing odd about them was that they hadn’t been cooked! Nobody followed Aussie Julie into the water, but it was certainly warm enough out of it to bring happy memories of the summer.
We carried on with boat maintenance, concentrating on the fresh water system (at last replacing the innards of one of the sink taps that had kept seizing up), while Nigel started his Customs pupils off on a course we’d copied at the British Council in Ankara – meanwhile activities at the club were gathering momentum, thanks to the usual hard core of people with enthusiasm and ideas. Nigel hadn’t been feeling too well for some days, though, and during the week after our outing with Brian and Julie he started to develop symptoms of liver trouble – two visits to a clinic in town, and a battery of tests, positively identified the problem as hepatitis B. Although he was actually feeling rather better, he was ordered to bed on a minimal fat diet – no alcohol, of course (he’d given that up earlier in the week), though he was encouraged to eat lots of honey and jam! So Julie took on the rest of the boat jobs single-handed, while Nigel resigned himself to being waited on hand and foot for at least ten days. In between books he did manage to get the diary more or less up to date and write almost all of our Christmas cards. Julie enjoyed a Sunday trip to Köprülu Canyon, but November ended with two very wet days and Nigel distinctly yellow…
1st – 20th December 1993
As a spell of wet weather cleared up, Julie made good progress on decommissioning the boat, washing sails and sheets and getting the anchor cleaned off ready for painting. Nigel stuck to his bunk, getting steadily thinner and yellower, but visits to the clinic for tests on 8th and 17th showed steady progress. Julie had a few sessions of bridge at the club, which was becoming the social centre it was designed to be. On 13th a storm came through, with gusts up to 50 knots and a good deal of late-night activity by the dutiful marina staff to make sure unattended boats were secure. On 15th the unpleasantness had passed, and we were lifted out punctually at 09.30 after topping up the fuel tank. With pressure-washing half completed the staff knocked off for elevenses and Nigel went back to bed, subsequently having the slightly disconcerting experience of being driven round the boatyard on the travel lift while reading in his bunk! Inspection of the hull revealed some blistering, which we concluded (with expert advice from Zafer and both Brians) was caused by moisture getting under the epoxy seal – the gelcoat itself seemed unaffected. We agreed a remedial plan with Zafer and Co. – stripping the epoxy off and recoating – but otherwise everything seemed in good enough shape.
Last minute packing, a club meeting, and a farewell drink with Brian and Julie on “Fareal” nearby: Hasan turned up late on Sunday evening, 19th to offer us a çay and give us a lift to the bus station after a lovely sunny and warm day. The overnight bus dropped us off at Izmir airport entrance in good time, and Onur Air flew us punctually to Heathrow – even if they did lose our favourite kitchen knife on the way!
Statistics for 1993: 3179 miles logged, engine run 555 hours, stayed overnight at 94 different harbours or anchorages in 9 countries on 3 continents….