[Kensblog] Ancient Turkey

Greetings all!

It has been a while since I last sent a blog entry, because Roberta and I are currently off the boat,staying in a hotel in Izmir, Turkey.

Our son, Chris, is visiting with us, and he isn’t much into cruising. Instead, he wanted to spend a couple weeksdriving around, seeing Turkey and visiting the historical sites. Roberta and I still have another month on the boat,with plenty of cruising ahead. But, for now, we’re “land-cruising.” We put Sans Souci into a marina (Didim, Turkey),and are using our rent-a-car to explore.

The Didim D-Marin Marina

Didim is above the primary cruising area. Most of the gulet cruising, and sailboat charter, happens farther south,between Bodrum and Kekova Roads – south of Gocek.One of the reasons for this is that as you move farther north, along Turkey’s west coast, particularly in summer, themeltemi winds become a bigger factor.

We’re now somewhat outside the traditional, tourist cruising area, in Didim, Turkey.

This shows our journey so far. We’re slowly working our way north, and have covered just over 300 miles of coastline.

To reach Didim, Roberta and I would need to make a short, 40-mile passage.We waited four days at anchor in the bay at Bodrum for the wind to calm down,and then headed north. We timed it perfectly, leaving at 5 a.m. from Bodrum. Our arrival at the marina was in perfectly calmconditions, although, it became windy an hour or two later.

The marina is incredible, less expensive than those further south, and has a great haul-out facility, with a 400 ton lift. I seriously thought about hauling out the boat here, but have already committed to do so in Gocek, plus we still have more cruising to do.

The Didim D-Marin Marina has its own yacht club/gym/pool, tennis courts, shopping center, several restaurants and more

Roberta wanted to bring Sans Souci to Didim, because, at this point, we would primarily be land-touring, and thiswould put the boat closer to some major historical sites. Also, Chris wanted to be near a major “real” Turkish city (i.e. nottourist-centric), so that he could go to movies, concerts, museums, etc.

The Didim marina is amazing! It has only recently opened, and excels in all ways except one…

Most of Turkey is hilly and mountainous. However, the Didim marina is located in a “what were they thinking?” location.The terrain around the marina is flat and dry, as in “no protection from the wind.” We’ve only been in the marina afew days, but since our arrival the wind has often been in the 17 to 25 knot range — inside the marina! I’m notaccustomed to seeingwhite caps inside a marina. Googling Didim Marina, we ran into one blog entry claiming gusts up to70 knots inside it, during a winter storm.

That said, once the boat is moored, the wind, unless it gets truly crazy, is irrelevant.I still look at the wind gauge from time to time, but now that Sans Souci is safely tied up, the wind has no meaning.

The marina staff was awesome when we arrived here. I radioed ahead and asked if they could puta couple people on the boat to help with line handling while docking, and they put three people onboard,plus had an additional person on the dock, and another in a tender. It made docking very easy.

Overall, the Didim marina is an amazing, brand new facility, with an incredible staff, and I highly recommend it.

Electricity can be shocking

The marina handles electricity via a “debit” system. The marina staff issues you a little computerchip, and then sells you credits, which are placed onto the chip. By pressing the chip against my power pedestal,the power turns on, and my credits start ticking downward.

Strangely, the credits are sold in euros. The marina askedhow many euros of electrical credits I wanted to buy, and I guessed at 200 euros (about $250 USD).

The next morning, I checked the LED on the power pedestal, curious to see how muchmoney I had left on the meter. It was down to 158 euros! I had somehow burnt 100 dollars ofelectricity in about 18 hours. This triggered a quick trip to the marina office to askthat someone check the meter. After being assured that the meter was correct, the girl at thedesk asked whether or not I was using air conditioning. Other people in the marina officeall looked at me to see how I would answer. Given the 100+ degree heat, I thought theanswer was obvious, but suddenly I felt on the spot. “Yes,” I responded rather sheepishly. She looked surprised,and they all exchanged knowing glances and words in Turkish.

We were going to be in the marina for two weeks. I started doing math in my head, and didn’t like the numberI was arriving at. This would be the first time in my life that the bill for electricity would exceed thebill for moorage. I said, “1,000 euros please.” The girl assumed she misheard me. As she realized I was serious,she translated my comment to the girl next to her, in Turkish, and now all eyes, behind, and in front of, thecounter were directed at me.

Realizing that I had apparently said something stupid, I softened it, and said, “500 euros please.” Thisseemed to be more palatable, but still amusing. I personally preferred getting it all out of the way atonce rather than hiking every few days to the marina office, but…I’m a team player.

Walking back to the boat, I studied the powerboats around me. Most had someone on them, but all had the doorscracked and windows open. [NOTE: I did a little research after writing this.The marina charges .4 euro/kwh (52 cents) versus in Seattle the typical rate runs from 4 cents to 10 cents / kwh.I do not believe the marina is gouging. Energy is expensive here. $10/gallon fuel has an amazingimpact on conservation! ]

Essentially all power boats have crew on them – not the owners. Myguess is that when only the crew is on the boat, the standing orders are, “No air conditioning,” but that whenthe owners are on board, the rules change. It’s possible the marina office thought I was crew (what owner woulddrive his own boat?!) and that I was going to be in big trouble when the owner discovers the air conditioning hasbeen running non-stop.

Altinkum – A long way to go, to wind up in a seaside resort in England

The adjacent town, Altinkum, is somewhat “unusual.”I had heard before our arrival that British people here outnumber Turkish duringthe summer. Now, having been there, it seems to be true. I had thought this meant Alktinkum is aBritish ex-pat retirement community.It may be, but most of the British I saw were young, like to sleep late, hang out at the beach,drink beer, choose restaurants based on price not quality, and like to party all night.None of which I fault, but I can’t say that it’s my scene, at least not these days!

Altinkum has nearly a mile of white sand beach! We did see a few boats anchored offshore, but it is not great anchoring. When I asked the marina if there was a nearby place to anchor, if it was too windy when I arrived at the marina, they said, “None — it’s too dangerous.”

We’ve struggled a bit trying to find a great restaurant in Altinkum. Thinking it might be a good idea toask a local, when we encountered one of the marina staff who seemed to speak some English, we asked himwhat the best restaurant in town was. His answer, “There are mostly restaurants for British tourists.”Roberta responded, “We know that. But, where do you eat? What’s your favorite restaurant in town?” His response,”When I go into town, I usually eat at McDonalds, Burger King or Dominos.” Roberta and I found it hilarious,and all Roberta could think to say was “Oh! Classic Turkish food.” The marina guy didn’t understand the joke.

The Temple of Apollo, at Didyma

Over the next few days, we explored some of the most impressive archeological sites Turkey has to offer.

The Temple of Apollo, at Didyma. Commissioned around 300 BC by Alexander the Great. It was never finished, though, despite being worked on for hundreds of years.


Ephesus, near Kusadasi, Turkey, dates back to the neolithic age, and has been a Greek city, a Roman city and a Byzantine city. At one time over 250,000 people lived at Ephesus. It is an active archeological site, and estimates are that only about 15% have been unearthed. For far better, and more accurate, information about Ephesus than I can provide, try this link (or, just google Ephesus):


To explore Ephesus, we parked our car at one end, took a taxi to the other end, then hiked a kilometer through the ruins back to our car. We arrived at opening time, 8:00 a.m., in order to get ahead of the crowds of tourists – and to also beat the heat; it was still hot, though! Afterwards, we drove to the wine-producing village of Sirence, about 10 kilometers from Ephesus, for lunch.

I put our pictures of the Temple of Apollo and Ephesus into a photo gallery, here:


I also took a few 360 degree pictures:

Of the Temple of Apollo:

http://photosynth.net/view.aspx?cid=b2bc49c0-8b8d-4761-b8ae-2219f22a6b9f (apologies for this one. It didn’t work out.)

And, of Ephesus:


For those of you who took the time to click on the pictures above — very cool, huh!

Starting to think about next season

I’ve been using the time ashore to start thinking ahead to next season.

We are just starting to think about next year. Generally, I like to keep our schedule as loose as possible, for as long as possible.

Our current thinking is to use June 2013 to traverse through Greece, then head north past Albania into Croatia. We’ll then cruise Croatia for a couple of months.

Our big picture plan is to work our way slowly west through the Med over the next few years.

For the 2013 cruising season, we are planning to spend a month on variousGreek islands, and then cruise Croatia.

I’ve started researching the various marinas in Croatia. Even though we spend very little time in a marina,we like to have some marina that we call “home.” It is also important to find some local person, preferablysomeone who runs a boat maintenance company, who can help us should we need mechanical assistance during the season, and whocan look after the boat during the off-season.

Annual Maintenance

Even though we still have another month of cruising, I’m assembling now my list of maintnance itemsto be done over the winter. As I’ve mentioned in prior blogs, I have an engineer/captain, Jeff Sanson,of Pacific Yacht Management in Seattle,who prepares my boat at the start of each season. My goal each year is to arrive at the boat, have Jeff throw me the keysas he heads to the airport, and we immediately start provisioning the boat for departure. I can’t say that we alwaysachieve that goal, but it’s darn close. Jeff spoils us, and makes life easy.

This year is a little different than usual. Our plan is to return to the boat earlier next season, by mid-May, in hopes of getting throughGreece as early as possible. Greece, unfortunately, has the same meltemi winds as we are experiencing in this region of Turkey,and those winds will be in our face as we head northwest toward Croatia. On a boat, if the wind is behind you,it is usually not a problem.However, if you aregoing straight into it, the ride can be very uncomfortable.

As part of our research, I’ve been emailing anyone who has cruised Greece before,trying to learn all I can about our upcoming journey. One thing that is comingthrough is that we need to get moving early, before the summer meltemi winds kick in, hence the desire to get through Greece in June.

Email about cruising in Greece from another Nordhavn owner

…Getting across the islands is quite easy really because nothing is too far apart,except heading west, it is a good idea to get going early because of the Meltemi.From north of Mykonos down past Kos, it blows hard all the time from the NW after June.We loved Kos, the town is a bit similar to Marmaris but with a magnificent old castle,a good marina that is far enough out of town to be quiet and comfortable, also some nice anchorages on the South side.North of there Kalimnos and Leros have good anchorages.

We did a long hop to there from Mykonos because a Meltemi was on it’s wayand we couldn’t afford the time to hole up. Ornos Bay on the south side of Mykonosis a good anchorage with a bus service into town and you can easily day sail to Pireausfrom there with easy (although not that pretty) anchorages along the way.We want to see Naxos and Paros on the way back, which we missed, again because of the Meltemi.

Generally speaking, the islands are barren and personally think they are a bit overrated,Turkey is much better in our opinion. Mykonos and Thira are quaint and typically Greek but crowded(just about impossible to get into Thira for us but worth a ferry visit), Crete would be good but gettingback north is a bit of a bash. The seas in the Med are like nothing we have experienced elsewhere,they are not particularly big but they are short, typically 4 seconds, so beating is an arduousand uncomfortable affair…

Rather than waiting until the start of next season to do the boat’s annual maintenance, we are going to do itat the end of this season. I’ll then shrink-wrap the boat, haul it out of the water, disconnectthe electricity, and let it sit until we return next year.

I’ve never left Sans Souci out of the water during the off-season before, and am a little nervous about it. I have to believe there is humidity inside all that shrinkwrap, and I’m not sure that my electronics, and humidity, will get along well.

My maintenance list for this year is fairly short. I’m pleased to report that nothing major needs maintenance (although,I really shouldn’tsay that, as we still have another month on the boat, and anything is possible. At this point, the only significant items tobe fixed are: 1) We heat water on the boat with a diesel furnace (Kabola). For some reason, probably something simple,the Kabola and my hot water heater, have stopped talking. I have an alternate way to heat water, so it is only a minorannoyance. And, 2) One of my two watermakers has a failed salinity sensor. It is producing water which may not be good. Ihave a second watermaker, so not a big deal. I will still have Jeff go through everything on the boat, to perform annualmaintenance, but overall, it should be an easy year.

What Turkey Is Really Like

In addition to Jeff, I have another electronics specialist I’ve asked to come to Turkey. I have several minor, butannoying electronics issues around the boat. I upgraded my navigation software this year, plus upgraded thecomputer that monitors the various systems on the boat. Neither upgrade has gone smoothly (do they ever?).My various navigation electronics aren’t working together as they should.I’m highly technical, and am arguably the best person to solve all these problems, but its not really how I want tospend my time on the boat.

Interestingly, after identifying, and interviewing, a technician, I was blindsided by this email from the salesmanat the electronicscompany…

Email declining trip to Turkey

“… Well, [the technician] just informed me that he has decided that he would not like to go to Turkey.He says it looks a little unsafe. I will talk with [the technician] and see if there is any other tech that would make sense.Sorry Ken…”

The email caught me completely by surprise, and shouldn’t have. I remember having a similar reactionwhen we first talked about bringing the boat here. Amongst other countries, Turkey shares borders with:Iran, Iraq and Syria.

However, now that are actually here in Turkey, I’ve seen no signs of any problems or tensions.We are in western Turkey, hundreds ofmiles from these other countries. The Turkey we see around us is a modern country, and one very similar to our own.

The town of Izmir. We were advised before heading there, that “it is a real Turkish city.” After spending too much time hanging out in tourist-centric towns, we were looking forward to seeing the “real” Turkey.

In the off-season, Roberta and I divide our time between Mexico (Cabo San Lucas) and Seattle. This picture shows a Tex-Mex restaurant in Izmir. Roberta didn’t want to go there saying, “What are the chances it would be good?” I wanted to try anyway. The margaritas and ambiance were great, and the food, well…a reminder of how far from Mexico we really are.

Hanging out in a shopping mall in Izmir. As always, Roberta’s first priority when hitting town was to find a Starbucks for her morning latte. Chris and I spent an afternoon at the movies seeing the movie, “Total Recall.” The theater was awesome, but with only a couple of differences from at home: 1) They asked me to pick our seats going in, and 2) Suddenly, in the middle of the movie, the film just stopped, and a message was announced in Turkish. The lights came on and the theater emptied. Chris and I looked at each other, “Fire drill? Fire?” No one seemed concerned, and outside the theater, we figured it out. 10 minute intermission.

We feel very secure in Turkey. Thus far, I’ve seen zero grafitti, and have never felt concerned walking the streets, even at night. Interestingly, there are metal detectors at the entrances to all the major malls, movie theaters, and at the entrances to the hotels. We also went through metal detectors to get into the concert at the park. I don’t know if there have been problems, or they are trying to ensure there aren’t problems. But, security seems to be taken very seriously.

On Wednesday, when I received the email about the hesitant technician on my iPhone,I happened to be standing in a giant, modern shopping mall.Chris (our son) had wanted to spend the afternoon shopping. As I was reading the email, I was surrounded by busy shoppers.We had just stopped by a couple of multi-screen theaters to see what was playing, and had another mile (literally) ofshopping center to run through. Had I just woken up and looked around, nothing would have indicated I wasn’t back homein Seattle.

I have seen a few women wearing the conservative garb, but 99% of the ladies wear the same western clothes I’d seeat home. And, as I look at the people, at least here in Izmir and in the shopping center, nothing about them would tell me I’m not in Seattle.

The concert at Gasworks Park.

Chris saw an announcement of a free concert, in Gasworks Park. This seemed too bizarre a coincidence to pass up. At homein Seattle we have our own Gasworks Park; in both cases a park which used to be a giant gasworks company. The concert was fun! The large crowd was very polite, and the bandgreat. I’d call it traditional Turkish music, done in a contemporary, new age style. If curious, Here’s a link to a YouTube recording of their music:(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FNkTNauZdbc).We liked the band enough (called Yansimalar) we tried to buy a CD, but they didn’t seem to be selling any there.

The crowd was of all ages, and, seemingly, no different than what we would have experienced in Seattle. Perhaps fewer tattoos,but not by much.

On a vaguely related note, a few months back, when I was in Seattle at one of the fanciest of hotels, I happened to bechatting with one of the senior concierges. We were just making small talk, talking about the multitude ofhotels he had worked at around the world. Roberta and I are always seeking new places to go,so I asked where he had liked most. His response, “Syria.” This made no sense. I’ve been watching the news,and Syria doesn’t look like a place I’d want to hang out. Apparently, as I’ve discovered here in Turkey,perceptions are not always reality. It’s sometimes easy to forget that these countries are big places and thattelevision news reports focus on only the most newsworthy events, without always showing there is a world beyond thenews stories they focus on. (We also know this from living in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, and are always frustrated by theuniversal “fear of Mexico”generated by the news media.)

The bottom line on all of this. Turkey is safe — and a great place to be!By the way, the technician has now changed his mind, and is once again slated to come this direction.

Across from our hotel in Izmir was a warship and sub. I didn’t see anyone touring them, but saw what I thought might be a ticket booth.

As Chris and I were standing at the ticket booth, I really had no idea what the ship was, or whose it was, but figured it was an old Turkish battleship. There were several very official-looking people standing around, in naval uniforms. I asked if any of them spoke English, wanting to learn more about the ship. A gentleman in plain clothes, who seemed to be there in an official capacity said he spoke some English. “What can you tell me about the ship?” I asked. “Is it Turkish navy? How long has it been here?” He asked where I was from, “Seattle.” He said, “I have been to America. I was in Norfolk, Virginia, ten years ago. The ship is American! And, so is the sub!” I then asked, “Then, why are they here?” To which he responded with a big smile, throwing his arms wide-open, “We are friends!” It wasn’t how I intended the question, and didn’t give me much information, but…I liked his attitude.

The ship and sub were well worth touring. They both looked ready to go to sea. Some of what I saw was in English, and some was in Turkish. Our tour guide spoke only Turkish, and knew Chris and I couldn’t understand, so he made no attempt to explain what we were seeing. Basically, Chris and I ran through the two ships wondering what we were seeing. After the tour, I did some googling, and discovered that it was indeed a US frigate (the USS Ainsworth), commissioned in 1971, and serving the US for twenty years, before budget cuts caused the ship to be given to Turkey, where it served another 10+ years (as the TCG EGE).

Upon returning to the hotel, Chris and I noticed that something had changed. A huge wedding was being organized, but it didn’t seem like an ordinary wedding. There were as many police as balloons, and lots of very serious looking guys who clearly were security forces. All we could think was that someone VERY important must be getting married at the hotel. Hours later, as we were heading to lunch, we saw that security was even more intense and that the lobby was loaded with photographers, security, and wedding decorations. We walked through it with our two dogs, asked for a taxi, and, as we left the hotel, we realized that the hotel was the epicenter of something big. There were police positioned along the road and police boats offshore. I saw snipers on the freeway overpasses, with police at the off-ramps — even two miles away. I asked the taxi driver what was going on, and it took a while for us to communicate. Finally, he said something that I could google and get a response. “Abdullah Gul” he said. The President of Turkey! “Abdullah Gul at hotel.” OK. Now it makes sense.

Bizarre Incident Du Jour

Sometimes, language can be an issue.

Roberta, Chris and I were in a taxi yesterday, returning from a restaurant. As I was gettingout of the cab, I asked what I owed. The cab drivers never seem to speak English, but they all knowhow to point at the meter at the end of the ride (this is not unique to Turkey).It said I owed 39 turkish lira (approx $20).I gave the driver a 50 TL note, and watched as he searched for 11 TL in change. I said,”Five lira is fine,” which had no impact on him whatsoever. I wasn’t sure what to do, so I just held up fivefingers, and said, “Give me five.” This caused him to smile ear to ear, slap my hand, and stuff the fifty in his pocket.At this point, I realized my error. He was still smiling, but had a “Thank you, and goodbye” look on his face.I couldn’t figure if he was kidding or serious — so I reached in my pocket for five lira, and showedhim a 5 TL note, and pantomimed “You to Me”. He got the message this time, and lookedhorribly embarrassed. Sheepishly, he fished around for 5 TL, gave it to me,and we parted company, each a little worse for the experience.

Reader Mail

From a Nordhavn owner, about his anchor

Just thought I would post this to the site in the hope others can learn from myown misfortune. Certainly lesson learned on this side of the world. I may notethat the same goes for the tender and making sure it is also properly secured.

Morning of day three return trip from the Gold Coast to Sydney in what was arough ride we were now only five hours out from the calm waters of our home portand all aboard were looking forward to a change of pace after what had beenthirty six hours of uncomfortable conditions which to say was tiring, wouldunderstate the reality. One hour out and disaster struck.

With a sound reminiscent of a giant opening and closing his fly quickly our lovely(magnificent) 300lb stainless anchor decided to let go and head into 44 metersof water. What? How could this happen? Steve, a friend of mine quickly raninto the anchor locker to see what had happened and came up with the news thatthe hydraulic motor that attaches to our Maxwell 3500 windlass had come awayleaving the anchor at the mercy of the rode we had tied to her.

With [the boat] now wallowing in 2-3 metre seas and 30kt winds we tried to refitthe motor but without luck. We also tried to tie a large fender ball to theline but with the bow pitching the way it was it was impossible so after twentyminutes I made the call to cut the anchor free and with that she was goneforever. What was jubilation of our imminent arrival soon became sadness at theloss of our anchor.

Our anchor was secured to the boat three ways and even this was not enough. Wehad an anchor lock, line tied to the anchor and back to the boat as well ofcourse we also had the windlass. All three failed and while a trip south wasrough [the boat] has been in a lot worse. We will never know exactly what happenedbut we do know our anchor lock had popped early on the final morning but withonly a few hours to run and with the bow pitching the way it was we decided thatwe still had line securing the anchor to the boat as well as the windlass.With the windlass hydraulic motor coming loose without our knowledge all that washolding the anchor to the boat was the line which as it turned out was simplynot up to the job.

I guess the lesson here is that from this point forward I will be securing thenew anchor via chain directly to the boat this way if lock and windlass fail itwill still hold. [The boat] did not sustain any damage which was lucky with the400ft of 1.2inch anchor chain free-wheeling into the sea in front of a 75T boatdoing 7kts it could have been a lot worse. Lesson learned that is for sure.Also from now on I will check the windlass bolts before heading out!

Hope my misfortune averts others from making the same mistake.


One of many emails, suggesting new tenders for Sans Souci


Just read your latest blog. Great as always. Never worry about writing too much. You will always hit the mark with someone on just about any topic.

A couple of suggestions for your consideration:

1. I, too, have always worried about puncturing my dinghy for years.On my new boat I am putting on a 15 foot Stabicraft 1530 Fisher as my large dinghy.It has a tubed ring design just like the RIBS but it is all aluminum. They will customize quite a bit in terms of biminis,seating layouts and will even give you the option of a commercial hull with thicker aluminum in case you really want tobash the rocks. They are fairly light for lifting with the davit. With a slightly smaller tubular ring than aRIB they also have more room inside. I am dealing with Marty Smith (marty@stabicraft.com) in Everett but I am surethey can be delivered anywhere as they are made in New Zealand.

2. You may want to consider a “dead man” for stern tieing in certain situations where there are no trees, etc. to tie to. Basically all you do is carry a few 3 foot long ¾” or 1 inch steel spikes and some short pieces of chain or line. When you go ashore you pound the spikes into the ground with your fire axe leaving a few inches out of the ground depending on how hard the pounding is in a line with your stern line (in sand you might need to pound well down but in hard dirt you don’t really have to pound that far). Then tie each of the bases of the spikes together with chain or line at ground level and finally tie your stern line to the closest pin to the boat. The principle is that you are pulling perpendicular to the way the spikes are driven into the ground and each spike, in turn, is pulling against its neighbor so it provides a great deal of resistance much like using multiple anchors. When you are finished you pull up on the spikes vertically which is their weakest point of resistance and the spikes should come out fairly easily. You might have to wiggle them a bit but in the worst case scenario you have to leave one behind. I have used these to pull very large trucks out of mud and sand with winches where there was nothing else to tie on to. If you put them at a bit of an angle to the direction of pull and tie a number together it can provide a very strong tie point. For boating you don’t usually need more than 2 or 3. The best source for them is concrete contractors as they often use these spikes to hold boards for temporary forms for things like sidewalks, walls, etc. Home Depot might have them. I have never checked. They are very cheap. I would wrap them for storage as they are just low grade steel and will rust unless you paint them.

I hope these suggestions prove useful.


——–Response to Murry, and the many others who wrote to suggest various tenders:

I’m not sure what we are going to do about a new tender. I did find that the cost of a newtube for my existing tender, including delivery and installation, is $6,000,and buying a whole new tender will probably run $10,000 to $20,000.

I have just made the decision to replace the tube on my existing tender, and think about gettinga new tender sometime in the next few years. The biggest problem is “buying sight unseen.” It’s toughto go to various websites, and look at tenders, and know what you want. I’d rather go to aboatshow, and see something that excites me, and then place an order. Our current tender is onlyfifteen feet long, which seems good, but as I look at other tenders, all the ones that I like seem tobe slightly larger. I want to do some measuring and see if I couldn’t fit a larger tender onto Sans Souci.One idea I’ve had is to get rid of my smaller tender (which never gets used) and put a larger tender athwartship, or slightlydiagonal on the deck. With a new tube, the time pressure is off.

Thank you to everyone who sent ideas. It has made for some fun research!

Email, asking about Grey Pearl and Seabird

Ken and Roberta,

I have been following your blogs since you left Seattle with the other two boats. What are your partners up to?I want you to know your blogs are truely a high light of my day. I would love to have a boat even a 24 foot overnighterfor here on Puget Sound, the economic gods have not been very faithful, so probably won’t happen. But I get enormousvicarious pleasure from reading your excellent blog!

Happy and Safe Cruising!Jim

—————Response from Ken


Steven and Carol, on Seabird, are still in Thailand, but starting to think about “what comes next.”Meanwhile,Braun and Tina, on Grey Pearl, have just taken delivery of a new boat (the Ocean Pearl) and arehappily enjoying getting to know the new boat, and are cruising the east coast of the US.

We’ve been corresponding regularly, and I’ve been lobbying them to meet us for the run to Croatia.Transporting these boats around the world is expensive, and the schedules of the shipping companiescan be “random” at times. I hope we find a way to cruise together again, but it’s tricky to get allof the boats in the same place at the same time.

Good luck getting a boat!

Email about clearing into Greece

Hi Ken,

Last year I pulled into Symi and anchored in the bay on the right close to shore. My boat was Delaware registered and I was flying an American flag. I stayed a whole day an no customs people came to see me. You do not need to go through cuctoms as they are used to casual visitors who shop and buy cheap diesel.

—————–Response from Ken

I’m compulsively paranoid about these sorts of things. I have visions of hordes ofmilitary descending on me, and a life sentence in some dungeon,if I were ever to attempt sneaking an extra bottle of wine through customs.

It was difficult to be so close to Greece and not be able to spend even one night at anchor (without lotsof hassle and expense.) I did seriously contemplate having a mechanical problem, which could onlybe resolved by dropping anchor in a bay at Symi, but chickened out even on that. Oh well… this year is aboutTurkey, and next year we’ll see plenty of Greece.

That’s it for now! We have another few days on shore, then our cruising resumes.

Thank you!
Ken Williams

4 Responses

  1. Ken,

    For how long are you planning to be in Turkey this season? The reason I am asking is: it gets really pretty for the areas from south of Didim to all the way to Antalya in September and October. Air gets cooler, but water temp remains nice and warm.

    Regarding Izmir – it’s by far the most western (culture-wise) city in Turkey. If you decide to drive into more interior land, you will notice that things will start to change. However, safety and hospitality will remain the same allover the country, never worry about that part.

    Hope you enjoy your trip.

    John Osten
    San Antonio, TX
    & Izmir, Turkey

    ——————Response by Ken 2012-08-20

    John (Can),

    We were in Turkey later last year (until mid October I think), and it was great. The air was cooler, and as you said, the water was still warm. We start hitting dicey weather in mid October.

    Thus far, Bodrum is our favorite city, with Izmir not far behind. If we lived on this side of the world, I could easily see having a second home in Bodrum.

    We’re currently sitting in Didim waiting for the wind to let us get off the dock. I need a window of about an hour, with winds under 15 knots, in order to safely escape. Once we’re out of the marina, we’ll be fine.

    Our goal for the next three weeks is to go back to those places where we had the most fun. It won’t make for a great blog ….but, we’ll enjoy it!

    Next year, unless something changes, we won’t cruise Turkey at all. We’ll clear out in May, and start our way across Greece, on our way to Croatia. It’s tough to believe that Croatia will compare. We’re pretty spoiled here in Turkey.

    -Ken W

  2. SUBJECT: Re: Croatia

    Sent from iPad

    On 2012-08-15, at 10:05 AM, Patrick Festing-Smith wrote:

    > A friend of mine following your blog passed it along to me.
    > I’m a Canadian living in Split now for three years. I’ve spent a lot of that time skippering around the Dalmatian Islands between Split and Dubrovnik and know the area and marinas pretty well. Happy to help with any Qs on Croatia that I can.
    > Cheers. Patrick.
    > Sent from iPad

    ———-Response by Ken 2012-08-15


    I am doing my research now, and need all the help I can get. I’ll send you an email. Current momentum is towards the Mandalina marina in Sibenick.

    -Ken W

  3. Hi Ken, at the Didem marina how are the boats secured. From the photo it looks like they are med moored but I dont understand how the anchors do not get fouled and how it really keeps the front of the boat from moving side to side in those winds? thanks

    —————–Response by Ken 2012-08-15


    I’ll try to post some pictures on the next blog. Surprisingly, I’m no expert. When we arrived, three marina employees jumped onto the boat, and did everything, while I was at the helm. They worked hard at it, and had me moving the boat forward and back several times. It was probably a 15 minute process to get tied up.

    Here’s the quick story. I’m not sure you know about Med Mooring, so I’ll do what I can to describe the process. Without a picture, this may not make sense…

    At the Didim marina, none of the boats use their anchors, not even the big boats (I see several boats in the 100-150 feet range around me). Instead, there is a chain running down the center of the fairways, with thick lines attached to it, every 20-30 feet. These lines vary in length, but are generally around 1″ thick by about 40 feet in length. Tied to the end of the line is a much smaller, quarter inch line, which is long enough to be tied to the dock. While I was being guided to my slip, by a tender, another marina tender was grabbing the small line from on the dock and using it to retrieve the thicker line, which is tied to the bottom. Once my boat was backed into position, one of my thick mooring lines was lowered through one of the hawseholes on my bow, and secured to the marina’s mooring line. This was done on both my port and starboard bow.

    I then backed to the dock, and stern lines were put on. My bow was being held in place by the mooring lines secured to the bottom. The person on the bow left just enough slack that I could back up to the dock. Once stern lines were attached, it was just a matter of going forwards, and backwards, in order to tension both the bow and the stern. They take this tensioning serious at this marina, because of the extreme wind conditions. My boat has been help solidly in place since I’ve been here, despite the high winds.

    Hopefully this makes some sense….

  4. In regards to shrink wrap, around here (Toledo,Ohio ) they put vents in the shrink wrap for ventilation.

    I didn’t see any vents in the picture you posted of a shrink wrapped boat.

    Bill Kelleher

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