Gladlee of Guernsey
January 1996 - March 1996
Monday 22nd January, Setur Marina, Antalya
We’re back on board "Gladlee" after a fairly hectic first three weeks of the New Year in UK. We had the usual problem-free flight back from Stansted, getting all our stuff on the plane without surcharge. Unfortunately, though, the box containing our new radar was too conspicuous to get past Customs at Antalya, and once the game was up the HF radio transceiver and tuner had to come out as well. The admirable Tuncay should be able to extricate them for us within a few days, though.
The weather was duller than in previous years during our last three weeks in UK, but we managed our usual busy travelling programme - up to Nottingham for a pleasant evening with David Morley and family, lunch with Tom and Roseanne Barneveld in Leamington, tea with Gill and the kids at Badby and another couple of days at Wellingborough, before Nigel peeled off to do his HF radio course at Southampton. This was fortunately quite straightforward, since due to a muddle on John Finch’s part Nigel missed the first day of the course (and incidentally saved £75 of licence fee which Finch paid by way of apology!) . Meanwhile we’d started the process of looking for an SSB transceiver, visiting “ham” radio shops in Nottingham and Southampton, and our final call , at a place in Essex, turned up trumps - we picked up a second-hand Yaesu and the recommended American-made ATU for no more than we’d have paid if we’d ordered from the US. Back in London we paid two visits to the Boat Show, on the first of which we ran into Joe and Judith of “Sliema” and Paul and Mary of “Hathor” - the same evening brought further reunions at the CA’s annual East Mediterranean party. We sandwiched a second Boat Show visit (ordering a radar, amongst other things) between overnight stays with Chris and Deborah and the Tebbits; spent a Sunday with James in Clapham; got yellow fever and typhoid jabs; met Richard and Judith Nichols in town for lunch; spent a day spring-cleaning 101, Woodwarde Road; drove down to Canterbury for lunch with Bill and Betty; lunched with the Chilcotts; did a final shop at Telesonic, and picked up a fat envelope full of dollars which one of James’ friends had kindly bought for us on the foreign exchange market. All in all a pretty busy programme, in the course of which we scarcely saw the sun, so it’s nice to be back here again for a rest (it’s surprisingly cold, though!).
Monday 5th February, Antalya
It’s been cold and wet for most of the past fortnight, but we’ve managed to make a start on various jobs, notably on planning the installation of the HF radio. This is going to involve routing cables, and copper strip for grounding, from the tuner in the stern compartment through the bilges to the transmitter unit itself, which will be mounted in two sections above and underneath the chart table. Fortunately there is plenty of expert advice on hand, in particular from Peter of “Petrika”, who used to install transmitters professionally and always makes things sound reassuringly simple. Nigel and Tuncay cleared the radio (and the radar) through Customs earlier in the week, and yesterday we bought a large sheet of copper (far more than we needed, but we flogged the rest to Frank of “Intuition” ) and the co-ax cable to connect the tuner with the transmitter. Julie’s been getting the transmitter end of the installation ready, and with luck we may be able to finish the job (except for the backstay aerial) within the next couple of weeks. Otherwise we’ve had an unforeseen problem with our hot water tank, which has sprung a leak - we’ve removed it to Technical Services for fixing.
Meanwhile we’ve got on with various minor jobs around the boat, and social life has been as busy as usual at Setur: the “Ship Inn” laid on a good Turkish buffet dinner last Wednesday, though unaccountably only Talon, Hans and Gisela and ourselves turned up for it; on Friday there was a highly successful Casino Night at the “Porthole” (Nigel playing his customary part as roulette croupier), and yesterday we had a fairly riotous barbecue party on board the “pirate ship” (alias the gület “Galatea”), moored alongside in the outer harbour. This went on until clouds came over at teatime, whereupon much of the party adjourned to the “Porthole” and carried on until almost midnight (Nigel had a first lesson in “techno dancing” from young Dan of “Lady Isabel” ). At least some of these activities are raising money for a planned day out at the marina for 120 kids from the local orphans’ home to which we gave money last year - the project seems fraught with potential problems, but Harry of “You & Me” and June of “Twelfth of Never” are probably determined enough to make it happen!
Sunday 18th February, Antalya
The highlight (if that’s the word) of the past fortnight was the exceptional storm which hit the whole south-west coast a week ago last Thursday. There’d been unsettled weather for the previous three days, with heavy rain and thunder on Wednesday afternoon which flooded the Sheraton’s squash court. On the Thursday the wind got up from SW at around 08.00 and increased quickly to F9, gusting over 55 knots and blowing steadily above 40 for minutes at a time. In between rain squalls everyone was out checking and reinforcing moorings, and we helped marina staff secure one or two unattended boats nearby. A couple of hours later there was a lull, and various people congregated outside the “Ship” to see what was going on - a huge sea was rolling over the outer harbour wall and breaking over the cranes on the inner wharf, while the surge inside the harbour was sending water over the breakwater outside the “Ship” and almost knee-deep along the quay towards the marina office!
Soon afterwards the wind picked up again, there were more heavy rain showers, and when the weather eventually calmed down we got a minor sandstorm......... We gathered that the road into town was cut by flooding, and later we heard that the storm had breached the harbour wall at Kalkan. Fortunately there seemed to be only minor damage to boats in the marina, though “Galatea” took quite a pounding on the outer quay, and a gület moored inside the marina lost the bitts and most of the ornamental woodwork off one side of its bow.
Despite that week’s dreadful weather we made quite a bit of progress with the radio. Julie installed the control panel and transmitter unit at the chart table, and Nigel started connecting up copper strap through the back of the bedroom locker and wardrobe, thence to one of the port side keel bolts: the co-ax connection between ATU and transmitter went through rather more easily under our bed and through the main locker. We also managed to get the repaired HW tank back in place in between showers. Nigel restarted the English class he’d run for a few of the lively French group before Christmas, though with numbers inevitably down this has turned into informal conversation practice on board “Tournesol” : Julie, meanwhile, has been going from strength to strength at the bridge table. On the debit side Nigel ricked his ankle quite badly at a further session of disco dancing with Danny, and Dietmar of “Magic Carpet Ride”, who’d been obviously out of sorts for some time, came round to confess to a recurrence of clinical depression for which he’s already had treatment twice over the past few years. There isn’t much we can do except offer a discreet ear and our company when required, but this seems to be all Dietmar needs for the moment.
This past week we’ve got Hakan focussed on some of the jobs we want done, including a new sprayhood and a steel plate on the bow to stop the anchor denting the gelcoat - both are already in place. We’ve finally finished the radio installation and restored some order to the boat: on Friday Peter came and tested our transmitter output from an improvised aerial and pronounced it satisfactory (we’d picked up Radio Australia meanwhile). Dietmar’s stopped by a few times for moral support and has come to supper twice this week, but he doesn’t seem to be getting any better. There was an excellent Valentine’s Day party at the “Porthole” last Wednesday, Bryan and Sheenagh of “Giotto” repeating their previous year’s success with Frog Racing - as usual we were the last to leave!
Thursday 7th March, Antalya
We’re off to Ankara tomorrow to get Nigel a new passport (Israeli stamps won’t do when we set of down the Red Sea) and to take a last look at our old haunts there. We’ve continued to tackle a lot of small jobs on the boat (grab rails in front of the windscreen for water can stowage, replacing the gas locker bracket, repairing a fault on the Aerogen, cleaning up bonding to the anode) as well as experimenting a little with the radio - it was very exciting to make contact with Monaco Radio and to get our first Weatherfax picture from Rota in Spain. Our mast steps have arrived from the USA, but otherwise we seem to have wasted a lot of time chasing around for bits and pieces in town - shops are either closed or don’t have the things we want anyway. Meanwhile we took it upon ourselves to organise a leaving present for Sevil, the marina telephonist, only to discover as we turned up to present it that Hasan had persuaded her to stay on for another month! We helped raffle a collection of cakes at last Sunday’s barbecue, and it was fairly indicative of Dietmar’s present fortunes that he got the booby-prize (a dummy cake Julie had concocted out of wood, cotton wool and a candle!). We’ve seen a lot of poor Dietmar, who really has been in a bad way, and we eventually helped him to get some medical advice earlier this week via our contacts at the Akdeniz clinic. He seemed a lot better when he came round to eat our roast lamb with the “Tunnix”es yesterday evening (Gisela has also been providing Dietmar with a shoulder to lean on, quite unbeknown to Hans - her slightly tomboyish manner conceals an extraordinarily sensitive and observant lady). Our other bit of welfaring followed an excellent excursion to the Manavgat Falls and Seleucia last Sunday (fine ruins of the forum at Seleucia made a long walk unexpectedly worthwhile). Later on Harry threw Bev off “You and Me” after a few hours’ drinking on board “Daphnia”, so she slept in our saloon until Harry got his act back together next morning! The only other highlight of the fortnight was Julie’s bidding and making one grand and one small slam during a single session of bridge last Friday - the weather’s continued unsettled, though with a few fine days.
Thursday 21st March, Antalya
We’ve had an intensely busy time since "Gladlee" was hauled out a week ago, and she’s due back in the water tomorrow. We’d expected to work hard on fitting the mast steps and radar aerial, installing insulators on the backstay, fixing the rope stripper back on and all the usual out-of-water jobs like cleaning up the seacocks and anode, servicing winches, sanding and oiling the woodwork and polishing the hull......... We hadn’t, however, expected to find blisters on the hull after the Gelshield treatment two years before, and this meant an urgent reconsideration of our spring cruising plans. In the event we’ve decided to patch up the problem for the time being and to tackle it more thoroughly (and decide who pays!) on our return to Antalya in June. Otherwise the work has gone rather more easily than we’d feared. After a bit of practice with Dietmar’s heavy-duty rivet gun Nigel managed to install the mast steps and radar mount inside a day, discovering (inevitably) in the process that we’d ordered one step too few - fortunately Dietmar was able to let us have one he’d got spare. Fitting Sta-Lok insulators to the backstay proved straightforward enough (though will they really hold...... ?), and we’ve a fair amount of experience by now with the other more routine jobs. This afternoon we set about anti-fouling, and it was just as well that we’d decided to do only a temporary job: the paint we’d bought cheaply in Sanayii didn’t mix properly and turned out to be a rather nasty shade of racing green!
The only other highlight of the week has been “Orphans’ Day”, which seems to have turned out a huge success. Fortunately the weather stayed fine last Sunday, if a bit breezy for comfort as “Galatea” struggled to get back to the quay with the second shift of 60 children on board. However nobody fell in, there were no other serious mishaps, and the kids were obviously thrilled to have had so much entertainment and affection lavished on them. We were excused duty as we worked on "Gladlee”, but Nigel and Rocky did put in a brief appearance later in the day: it was touching to see the younger ones’ reaction to Rocky - most of them asked whether he was real - and slightly embarrassing that a photo of the pair (whose contribution to the day had been minimal) was chosen to illustrate the Turkish Daily News’ report on the day’s events!