Gladlee of Guernsey
March 1995 - April 1995
10th – 31st March
The following few days were spent getting reacclimatised to life afloat, but meanwhile there was plenty to do. We picked up our “Porthole Club” T-shirts in time to sell 62 of them at the Boat Jumble (which also added a Fisherman’s anchor and three fuel cans to “Gladlee”’s inventory), we worked the computer hard producing more pages for the cookery book, and Nigel spent several hours installing wiring for the solar panel and wind generator, now mounted on the “goalpost”. This last operation was almost a triumph (it included some quite fiddly rewiring of the main distribution panel in the deck locker), but sadly Sanayii’s inability to supply AWG 10 cable in any colour other than red proved to be Nigel’s downfall – he managed to get the two (red) cables from the Aerogen back to front at the battery box and inevitably blew the rectifier a soon as they were connected. Fortunately the Tebbits were about to set out for turkey: Alison had brought us a replacement Aerogen blade the previous Autumn, so it was straightforward enough to arrange for her to bring out another rectifier! A confused telephone conversation with Mehmet at the Honorary Consulate eventually delivered us three letters sent poste restante to the PTT in Samsum the previous summer, which had been forwarded to the Consulate-General in Istanbul and in due course followed us down to Antalya. The second issue of “The Porthole Siren” neared completion (a full three pages), and Nigel started English lessons for the staff at the “Ship Inn” – quite fun, given keen and bright pupils, and earning us a substantial discount on our chits there. John and Francine entertained us to a splendid breakfast (waffles!). The weather broke, and we had torrential rain for a couple of days, the 17th saw a memorable party for Roger and John’s 50th birthdays (and various other friends’ anniversaries), slightly marred for us by another barney about smoking in the Club. We got Club caps and burgees delivered in time to sell a few at a Sunday pizza lunch at the Ship, and the following evening we stood Roger and Penny dinner at the Ship to say thank you for Roger’s work on our ‘P’ bracket – coffee and stickies on “Layla” afterwards.
Unsettled weather or the rest of the week, but we had the shaft realigned and got out for an hour to test the engine and get the new main up. On Thursday Julie went off bird-watching with Gary and Debbie (“Metisse of Arne”) but got caught out in thundery showers which persisted until the evening. Later the same day a 7kg amberjack jumped onto our pontoon, almost at the feet of Joe, our diminutive fellow CA member from Malta. It was swiftly knocked on the head and turned into steaks by our Dutch neighbour and fish expert Koen of “Njord” (also a CA member, as it happened!). There was a particularly good sing-song in the Club that evening, led as usual by Roger, Gernot (of “Rigoletto”) and Gary (“Enshallah”). The weekend should have been a busy one, with Stephen’s dinghy race scheduled for the Saturday and the yachties’ party for the marina staff on Sunday, but a fresh cold wind put paid to both – we took our video (sent by James) of the Calcutta Cup game round to “Royal Salute” on Saturday and invited Norbert and Gernot round on Sunday to help eat the food we’d cooked for the staff! A brief break in the bad weather early the following week enabled us to get on with whitework, woodwork, painting the anchor and chain and servicing the winches, and we were entertained to a superb Chinese/Korean dinner on board “Peru”. Wednesday, though, brought rain and wind overnight and a near gale from the south during the day, accompanied by a torrential downpour lasting several hours. There was quite a swell at the northern end of the marina, with waves actually breaking over the most exposed of the pontoons, and we stood Francine down from her invitation to give us supper on a rocking and rolling “Baron Rouge” – instead we had a snack together at the Ship before going up to the Club for our bar night (a good one, finishing well after midnight).
Next day was brighter, though there was still some threatening cloud about, and we got on with our jobs on deck until late afternoon. At this point Nigel discovered that we could take on duty-free fuel ahead of the scheduled delivery next day (the first under the new exemption for foreign yachts). It seemed a good opportunity to beat the crowds (and possibly the weather), so we made a quick dash to the fuel dock and back. Next day it poured with rain, so this turned out to be a good move, and we also earned the distinction of being almost certainly the first yacht ever to get duty-free fuel in Turkey! The wet weather was also an unwelcome surprise for the Tebbits, who’d arrived from Ankara on the overnight bus and checked in to the nice pension we’d found for them in the old town. We took them out for a wander round the market as soon as the rain stopped, then caught a dolmus back to the marina as the heavens opened again. We cooked them a good dinner before pushing them out in the rain to catch a cab back to town. Nigel, meanwhile, was called out in the downpour by Hasan and Zafer to help draft a fax to the manufacturers of the travel lift: one of the winches had failed, dropping its strap and buckle, but be good fortune there wasn’t a boat in the lift, nor anyone underneath…….
1st – 11th April
Our 1st April leg-pull in “The Porthole Siren” (a new municipal regulation prohibiting the hanging out of laundry) was still fooling one or two people, it seemed. Zafer also showed a nice sense of humour with his deadpan announcement to Nigel that a reply had arrived to the fax about the travel lift – the manufacturers said they couldn’t understand the problem and could Setur explain in clearer English! The weather looked a bit brighter, and the Tebbits looked after themselves in the morning, joining us later in the day for dinner at the “Ship” with Myrna and John. It was at this point that the cookery books arrived from the printers, Hasan having persuaded Linda (whom Myrna had left in charge while she took an expedition off to Cappadocia) to use a contact of his and get the job done for next to nothing. Unfortunately the result was less that satisfactory, and poor Hasan was confronted by a decidedly displeased editorial team at the “Ship”! In the end Hasan got a few pages reprinted and the final version wasn’t too bad – it certainly sold like hot cakes…… After dinner we went up to the Club for the last night party, which went very well until the small hours of the morning, when the wretched Brian of “Giotto” made a remark to Koen behind the bar which the latter interpreted (quite correctly) as implying that either funds or stocks had gone missing. Brian was lucky not to get clobbered (Koen being a very large ex-policeman) as Koen angrily closed the bar and ordered the remaining company out: this unfortunately included Hasan and young Tuncay from the office. It was a rather sorry ending to what had been a very successful winter in the Club, but it reflected an increasing amount of tension and the breaking up of the winter community, as boats left (”Layla” had gone earlier in the week) and those who’d been away most of the winter started filtering back to Antalya.
The following morning was still a bit grey and showery as the Tebbits turned up with a hire car and took us off to Phaselis, then towards Olympos with a picnic in the valley on the way down. We had to wade a very cold river to get along the beach to the site, but we couldn’t find a way across the next one to the theatre and tombs. The weather brightened up a bit as we followed the dirt track to the car park for the Chimera; and we had a pleasant climb up through the woods to the bare hillside where the natural fires still burn as they did for the ancients. Later we detoured to Kemer to find Susan and Hüseyin at the “King Pension”, where the Tebbit family had occasionally stayed ten years before (Nigel had also been there once, with the Tebbits and James). It was quite late by the time we got back to the marina, so we opted out of supper in town and left the Tebbits to get organised for their move on board “Gladlee” next morning. We arranged to pick them up at 10.00 from the fuel quay at the old harbour, and they evidently had some difficulty persuading a taxi driver (not to mention onlookers at the harbour) that this was really where they wanted to be! Meanwhile we motored across fromsetur into a brisk NNW breeze and turned up dead on cue, after one tight turn inside the harbour we laid the boat neatly alongside the quay, embarked passengers and luggage and left within a couple of minutes, to Kevin’s astonished delight. After a good reach down to the islet south of the commercial port we found it was too breezy to anchor there for lunch, so we beat back up to Setur in a good F5, with Kevin helming as if to the manor born. It was an excellent outing for him (Alison had seen it all before, of course), as well as for us to test the boat in a bit of wind before our planned excursion to Cyprus. We had a quiet afternoon after a late scrap lunch, then walked over to the restaurant at the campsite for dinner (a rather gloomy old-fashioned place, at which the only customers besides ourselves were a pair of newly-weds – she still in wedding dress – having dinner with just two others…..). Kevin’s entertainment for the day was completed when we got whistled at on our way back by the guards at the coastguard compound: Nigel dowsed his torch, and we went on in darkness (and fits of giggles) to reach the safety of the marina!
We had planned an excursion with the Tebbits to Termessos for Nigel’s birthday, and Myrna had long since announced her intention to organise a party to go with us. Quite a crowd signed on for the trip, and the weather was again lovely (as always for Termessos). This time we struck off uphill to the left of the track through the main area of the necropolis (at least most people did – we managed to lose each other for half an hour or so!) and came out through pine glades, with several fine tombs, to a ridge with a magnificent view over the next valley towards the distant sea. Here Myrna had discovered “The Big Foot” – the only remnant of what must have been a very large statue – and Nigel and Helmut of “Shiba” (his birthday too, of course) duly posed for photos by it. A chorus of “Happy Birthday” was to be expected, but Nigel was quite taken aback to be presented with a card, hand-designed by Elizabeth of “Whanake”, with birthday greetings from friends off some 40 yachts, as well as from all the senior marina staff. We went on to lunch out of doors at a nearby trout farm, and later the bus dropped the Tebbits and ourselves at the Bagana ranch. After a pleasant evening walk through the fields behind the stables we were given an excellent dinner by our charming hosts (including a surprise birthday cake produced at less than two hours’ notice), followed by a peaceful night in their simple but comfortable rooms. In the morning we hired a car and driver from the village nearby to drop us in Antalya and take the Tebbits on to the airport for their flight home.
We spent the rest of the week putting the finishing touches to our work on the boat, tidying up the cabling of the solar panel and Aerogen (finally persuading the latter to work with its new rectifier) and fitting the stanchion we’d brought back to replace the one broken in Romania. We stocked up with food and drink and did a lot of laundry. The last bit of Club business involved tidying up the accounts (a muddle here and there, but they balanced) and presenting them to the tiresome Brian, together with a rebuttal of ridiculous claims he’d made about the Club’s finances in a seven-page letter to (of all people) Koen. Copies to various other people concerned ensured that the word got round – and perhaps the air was cleared a bit. By the end of the week we were anxiously eyeing the weather: the staff party had had to be cancelled two weeks running, and this was really the last chance to have it. We kept our fingers crossed as we assembled our third chicken pasta salad in a row, and Sunday dawned calm and reasonably fine. The party, co-ordinated by E.J. and Linda, was a great success, notable highlights (apart from the food) being the “welly-throwing” competition and the performance of “Üsküdar” in costume by a gallant group from Hasan’s Turkish class. Afterwards an impromptu drinks party gathered on “Cordelia”, and the bar at the “Ship” was full and noisy by early evening. Nigel had prudently secured a table for dinner, though, and we picked up a dozen or so friends to share it. Gordon and Marnie insisted on treating us as a “thank you” for Julie’s keeping an eye on “Nayiri” while they were away. Very low pressure persisted after the weekend, and we decided against leaving – just as well, since a southerly F6-7 got up out of nowhere on Monday and blew for most of the day (the delay gave us the opportunity to have dinner on board “Royal Salute” with Stephen and Estelle). We settled our account with the marina and got ready to leave on Wednesday.