Gladlee of Guernsey
January - March 1995
1st – 15th January
We spent the first fortnight of the New Year much as we had in 1994, seeing family and friends and visiting the Boat Show (twice this time courtesy of overseas visitors’ tickets). On our second visit we met Jeremy Varcoe and firmed up our invitation for him and his new lady to come with us on the East Mediterranean Yacht Rally in May. We also picked up a solar panel, a portable VHF, a battery volt/amp monitor and various other bits and pieces. Nigel was invited to the annual HLRs’ lunch at the new CA headquarters: we both went to the CA’s East Mediterranean party a few days later (we were rather chuffed that the President, Tony Brett-Jones, immediately recognised us as the “Morley/Smart” he’d often quoted as editor of the periodic Harbour, Anchorage and Navigation Notes – and singled us out as model reporters in a subsequent article for “Cruising”). We called on Elaine Thompson at “Yachting World”, who’d accepted our pieces on Bulgaria and Romania for the January and February issues and was happy to take one on the Turkish Black Sea coast for publication in March. A quick pub lunch with Margaret Wildig, visiting from The Hague, brought fascinating news that she and Tony had more or less decided to buy a Westerly Oceanquest, the latest evolution of our Seahawk. After a fairly hectic final few days, the evening of 15th saw us and our baggage (solar panel, engine spares and all) safely back on board “Gladlee” in a cool and breezy Antalya.
16th January – 19th February
No sooner were we back than Nigel contrived to dislocate his shoulder again, this time overbalancing and falling on “Layla”s foredeck while delivering a couple of bottles of turps to Penny (Roger being away in UK, this prompted a suitably scurrilous item for John’s gossip column in the first issue of “The Porthole Siren”). The shoulder was rapidly fixed at the local clinic, and Nigel spent most of the rest of the week practising on the computer, at last, thanks to Richard Nichols, restored to us in working order. Meanwhile Levent and his lads brought back and refitted the top end of our engine, which seemed to work quite smoothly except for one leaky injector. Penney came round to dinner with John (“Baron Rouge”) as escort, the weather brightened up, and Levent finally identified and sorted out the source of our fuel leak. We dismantled the heater again to fit new gaskets, set about installing the “Battman” volt/amp meter and reorganised the switching and wiring of our batteries. Sam and Heather from “Cordelia” and Myrna from “Half Time” came round for dinner, and on a wet, windy evening the next day our neighbours Andre and Greta from “Ternen” invited us for a meal at the “Ship Inn”. On the 1st February, the first day of Ramadan, a bus-load of us went up to the ski resort of Saklikent to join a group spending a few days up there. This was a great day out, with brilliant sunshine and plenty of snow for the skiers, and it was fun for the rest of us to see how our friends (particularly the less experienced, such as Sam, Stephen and Estelle) performed on the slopes!
A couple of days later Nigel brought out the first edition of “The Porthole Siren” (well received). Julie started installing the new Autohelm control panel and compass, and we had another excellent day at the prehistoric Karain cave, followed by a leisurely lunch in the sunshine at the Bagana Ranch riding stables. The weather broke for a couple of days as Nigel went in to the clinic for a computer tomography scan (leftover business from his hepatitis the year before), we got nearer the end of our electrical works on board, and Hakan came round to take first measurement for the “goalpost” on which we planned to mount the wind generator and solar panel.
Ramadan also brought an end to the English lessons Nigel had restarted for a group of Customs and police officers from the port (numbers dwindled to zero), but other spare-time activities included tennis for Julie, aerobics sessions for Nigel and a weekly joint bar night at the Club. Another flurry of entertaining saw Bev and Larry (“Canadian Flyer” come round to dinner (with John again), and we spent the following evening on “Layla” in the very easy company of Penny and Roger. Myrna’s next Sunday outing wasn’t one of her best (visit to the museum and walk round the old town, unfortunately with a rather poor guide, followed by a long detour to a carpet-making village), but the weather was so lovely that nobody minded too much. St. Valentine’s Day was marked by a party at the Club featuring all sorts of chocolate and other sweet concoctions, frog racing, and some lively dancing later on. Next evening Dietmar of “Magic Carpet Ride” drew an unusually large crowd to our bar night for an excellent selection of his slides of Greece. We’d arranged with Dietmar, meanwhile, to go out in our respective boats for an afternoon to test repairs and take photographs of each other, so another fine day on 16th saw us heading out towards the Duden Falls. An immediate concern was that while the engine seemed to be running fine we couldn’t even get 5 knots out of the boat, but it was very nice to be under way again. We circled the falls for a while to take photos, then anchored for a snack lunch, with Dietmar a short distance away. A gentle breeze got up from the south as we started off back towards Antalya, Dietmar spread his sails for the camera and we set about hoisting our new main for the first time – all to no avail as the top slide jammed a few feet up the track! After a few frustrating attempts to clear the jam we gave up and settled for a gentle motor-sail with the genoa out, which fortunately still gave Dietmar scope for some excellent photos. On the way back in to the marina we managed to work out how to calibrate the autopilot compass (no thanks to Autohelm’s unclear instructions), so on balance it wasn’t too disappointing an outing.
Things looked even better the following day, when we solved (at least partially) the mainsail problem and heard the general view that if our engine was running up to speed we probably had no worse a problem than a foul bottom and/or propeller. Dietmar came round to one of our better dinners (roast lamb followed by strawberry tart), together with South Africans Stephen and Estelle from the osmosis-stricken “Royal Salute”. Stephen and Estelle planted the dangerously attractive notion in our heads that we should head for the USA by way of East and South Africa rather than going back down the Mediterranean: Dietmar subsequently suggested that we might like to sail with him if he took “Magic Carpet Ride” down the Red Sea to the Seychelles the following winter…… The weather stayed fine for a marvellous excursion to Köprülü Canyon and Selge. We stopped by the Roman bridge and walked some distance up the side of the canyon, where the river races down between steep cliffs and outcrops of rock in the river bed. It was warm enough for Julie to strip off for a quick dip, though the icy-cold water didn’t encourage her to stay in very long! We enjoyed our picnic lunch above the river before heading back to the main group for the spectacular drive up a narrow winding road to the village built among the ruins of Selge, some of the houses lying along the middle of the old stadium below the huge theatre. The view from the theatre towards the snow-capped Taurus mountains was magnificent, and the village children who turned up to show us round seemed unusually bright and well-mannered. Back at the marina we found the tail end of Stephen’s birthday party in progress on the hard underneath “Royal Salute”, which rounded off a really excellent day.
20th February – 9th March
We’d hoped to get out for another engine test after the weekend, having invited Roger and friend Kerry along for the ride, but frequent torrential showers on the Monday put paid to that idea. Instead we took out the water tank and inspected the top stud of the ‘P’ bracket, where water had obviously been seeping in. Helmut of “Shiba” appeared, looking decidedly the worse for wear (it transpired later that he had an allergy to the anti-fouling he was trying to strip off), and Ken and Jo of “Kishorn” also returned from a visit home. The weather improved next day, when we were hauled out, parked alongside “Shiba” and set about trying to drop the rudder preparatory to getting the shaft out. This proved a frustrating exercise, even for the ever-patient Julie, as the emergency steering column had seized on to the top of the rudder stock and refused to yield to WD40, levers, hacksaw or hammer! Eventually we had to summon help (a bigger hammer, wielded by “Rambo” Ramazan) to free the thing, whereupon we found that we’d just miscalculated our chocking height so that there wasn’t enough clearance to release the top of the stock from the rudder tube……. In due course Bilal came round with the travel lift to hoist us the extra few centimetres, the rudder came down (reassuringly heavily!), and meanwhile we’d started work on the ‘P’ bracket and on servicing the steering gear. The shaft coupling came free with only a couple of stubborn bolts, and the shaft slid easily out – simple, really! Meanwhile the stern cabin was uninhabitable, so we had a couple of none-too-comfortable nights in the saloon “double” berth. The next problem was the Cutless bearing, which didn’t want to be knocked out (we eventually realised that it was held by the screws of the rope cutter’s fixed mounting) – more seriously, Westerly had supplied us with the wrong sized replacement. Fortunately a quick trip up to the chandler in Sanayii produced the right one (and considerably more cheaply), and Bernard of “Peru” kindly carried the unwanted bearing back to UK along with a stiff letter to westerly’s spares department! A Sunday trip to Termessos was a welcome break, with Myrna leading us, Chris and Thea (of “Bora Bora”) off the beaten track to find the tomb of Alexander’s general Alcetas: from there we climbed up to the ridge above for a superb view over the site and away down to Antalya, then down through the undergrowth to the necropolis and the watchtower above it. We rejoined the group for lunch at the theatre, came down the back way to the car park (Julie spotting several birds on the way) and finally had a quick explore of the “Soldiers’ tombs” nearby – all new to us, even after two or three previous visits to the site.
The following week was busy, as we worked hard on the boat (propeller, shaft, anode and rope stripper cleaned up, stuffing box cleaned out and repacked, with a new hose procured from Sanayii, epoxy repairs to hull and rudder, shaft back in). Roger applied the first layers of cloth and epoxy to the ‘P’ bracket, Ramazan brought the “goalpost” along for a final fitting, and the painters came to redo the duff job they’d made of our boot-top a year earlier (most of it had been removed by the pressure wash!). Meanwhile we’d got involved in various other projects. Myrna had finally focussed on getting her collection of yachties’ recipes into print, and as proud owners of one of the more sophisticated WP packages in the marina we soon found ourselves in the publishing business! We also designed and commissioned a “Porthole Club” T-shirt from contacts of Hasan’s, later adding a cap and a burgee to the range of merchandise, all due to be launched at the “Boat Jumble” planned for 11th March. The beginning of the week saw Hasan’s birthday, when we gathered to sing “Happy Birthday” in front of his office before presenting him with a couple of cakes. We had another slide show from Dietmar and a video film from “Half Time”.
The Bayram for the end of Ramadan started before the weekend, and a few committee members took the decision as short notice to spend some of the Club’s money on presents for the children at a local orphanage: we little suspected what a fuss this would cause in certain quarters! On a less controversial note we organised an impromptu barbecue lunch for 18 at the back of the hard, providing a welcome break from work on our respective boats. Julie was quite knocked out after this and spent the weekend in bed, while Nigel cleaned and oiled woodwork and attempted to stop the leaks from the stern lockers into Julie’s now pristine steering gear in the compartment below. The huge aircraft carrier USS “George Washington” came and anchored off the harbour. Julie was no better after the weekend, but tests at the clinic revealed an infection which responded rapidly to antibiotics. Roger put the finishing touches to the ‘P’ bracket repair. We anti-fouled in changeable weather, some of it actually under the boat in the rain, so that our planned launch had to be put back a day (Bilal pulling Nigel’s leg by saying that since we’d missed our turn we’d have to wait a week!)
The 9th was a fine morning, though, as we slapped on the last of the anti-fouling, Ramazan and his mate turned up with the “goalpost” and bolted it on, the rudder was heaved back in with some help from Ken’s jack, Bilal and the lift arrived just as we finished work, we were launched smoothly, the engine started easily, and there wasn’t the vestige of a rattle from the ‘P’ bracket as we motored to our berth – definitely a red-letter day!