[KensBlog] The Perfect Anchorage

Greetings all!

Sans Souci is back on the move!

After spending several days in the big city of Izmir, we returned to the boat at the Didim Marina, where we spent several more days. Our son, Chris, isn’t into cruising, so this left us seeking ways to stay entertained on land.

I’ll start this blog entry with a few pictures…

Chris convinced me to visit a water park near Didim. Water parks are pervasive, and extremely popular, here in southern Turkey.

Chris is 33 years young, and was probably the second oldest person at the water park. You can guess who the oldest was. The park was HUGE, and incredible. We left the park after I experienced freefall on one of the slides, and my back decided it was time to go home. Roberta wisely declined visiting the park.

The beach at Altinkum is next to the Didim Marina. I could not believe the crowds, mostly British. Normally, I like beaches, but not when they are this crowded!

A highlight of the marina is their coffee shop, which has a rooftop deck with a 360-degree view of the marina and sea. Chris and I would go there each morning for coffee, and then sometimes for dessert late at night. Called Kahve Dunyasi, it is part of a chain, and seems modeled on Starbucks, although they have more desserts, chocolates and ice cream than Starbucks.

During the morning, Chris and I were usually alone in the place, but when we (including Roberta and the pups) would visit at night it was almost impossible to find a table. Despite being located in a marina, the night crowd was young, hip and extremely well dressed. Unlike at nearby Altinkum (British) the crowd at Kahve Dunyasi was Turkish. We would stop by late — around 10 or 11 p.m. — and the action seemed to just be starting. My guess is the crowd would build as the evening progressed.

On Chris’s last night, we found a table, but then had to convince someone to take our order. After a 30 minute wait without our desserts/drinks, I called over the waiter, who apologized. 30 minutes later, still without being served, we walked out. I hated doing that but it was getting ridiculous. The next morning, bright and early, Chris and I returned for our morning coffee. I wasn’t sure if they were going to call the police on me for skipping out the night before, or if there would be harsh words, but it was fine. Our waiter from the previous night was there, and even though he spoke no English, he greeted us warmly at the door apologizing profusely. They had been slammed, and we fell in the cracks. I smiled and said, “No problem.” We shook hands, and all was good.

My theory, about the popularity of this coffee place, is that some percentage of the Turks, being Muslim, are non-drinkers. The lack of alchohol doesn’t mean people stop having fun, though, or that dating stops. The coffee shop was a popular, evening venue and meeting place. I didn’t have to stretch my imagination too far to imagine what these people must think as they pass by the noisy, tacky, party-zone bars of Altinkum.

This is the entrance to the harbormaster’s office at the Didim Marina. Note that the green light is on the right side, a reminder that the “Red Right Returning” rule is reversed here in Turkey.

After Chris flew home to Seattle, we were stuck in Didim waiting for high winds to subside so that we could depart and start working our way back to Gocek, our starting point and Sans Souci’s winter “home.” Didim marks the furthest point of our cruise this year. From now to the end of the trip, our only goal is to revisit the places we liked the most, and to take our time doing it.

Finally, after two days, the winds dropped and I called the marina to send staff to help us untie the boat. As the lines were being untied several of the marina guys, as had those in the front office, asked when they’d be seeing us again. The truth is, we never really bonded with Didim or Altinkum. But even if we had loved the area, we will be heading to Greece and Croatia next year. My guess is we won’t return to Turkey any time soon, other than to pick up Sans Souci next June and start heading west through Greece. The marina itself and the marina staff were incredible, though — so I fibbed and said, “Maybe. I don’t think so, but, we shall see.” With that, we left the marina and started the return journey.

Sans Souci, back at sea, finally….

We passed by this little island with several boats anchored near it. Note the castle on the hill. Ancient remains are everywhere in Turkey.

This island is not listed on the charts as an anchorage, but boats are anchored. My perception is that the anchor symbol on a chart means only, “this location has reasonable protection from the wind, and almost certainly has a restaurant.” In other words, there are thousands of places to anchor. A lifetime could happily be spent cruising southwest Turkey.

Let’s have a contest!

As we were running along the coast of Kos, a nearby Greek island, this freighter passed in front of us. As it went by, I noticed a small, strange “boat” on its stern. Roberta and I debated what it was, and arrived at our conclusion.

Would you like a free copy of one of my books? Send an email telling me your guess as to what that thing is, and I’ll award a free book to the person I think got it most right, plus another book to the person with the funniest (albeit wrong) response. In the event of a tie (which is almost certain) I’ll look to see who responded first. Email your guesses to: whatIsThatThing@kensblog.com

Our first day back at sea was a long one, approx. 80 miles. We decided to stop for the night at a place we had bypassed on our trip northwest, when we had stopped at nearby Knidos. It is called Palamut Bay. It has a nice beach and a small town, and we were able to anchor just off the beach in front of the long swimming area. We actually had some trouble dropping the hook because swimmers were nearby (outside of the swimming area), and didn’t seem to understand that getting too close to a moving boat is a bad idea. We had to proceed very carefully.

Within 30 minutes of dropping anchor I noticed smoke on the hillside and remarked to Roberta that I thought there might be a fire starting up.

Smoke on the hillside. Fire? No one seemed to be very excited, so I took this picture, and forgot about it — until we heard a helicopter outside our boat.

I couldn’t believe it. The helicopter was collecting water, right next to our boat!

The helicopter dumped the water on the smoke, which had little impact. The smoke was getting worse, and for the first time the crowd on the beach was starting to pay attention. Everyone stopped swimming, stood up and stared.

Minutes later, the helicopter was joined by a friend. They set up a rotation where one was dumping water while the other was collecting water, and were flying a clockwise rotation.

Even with two helicopters, the smoke was thickening, and it was becoming obvious that the fire was more serious than I had thought. When suddenly a plane appeared, I wasn’t sure what it was going to do.

The plane looked like it was going to land next to us, when it scooped up a bunch of water, and took off again, taking its turn in the rotation with the two helicopters.

Soon a second plane joined the fray. The noise was deafening!

It took over an hour to put out the fire. But it was quite a show!

The bravery and skill of these pilots is amazing. What the pictures don’t show is the incredible turbulence as they were flying over the flames. I could see the planes shaking as the pilots fought to maintain control as they dropped water. Imagine being close to the ground, the weight of the plane shifting radically as the water in the belly rattles side to side then drops, the smoke cutting visibility, and the hot rising air creating strong random currents.

Our night at Palamut was ok, but not great. One thing I have discovered is that, often, when you see a wide beach, it might be a fun anchorage, but it is rarely a comfortable anchorage. I remember when we would go to San Tropez as tourists and visit the 7-mile wide beach. I would be envious of the many boats sitting at anchor in front of the beach. Years later, we were one of those boats (in our Nordhavn 62), and we discovered that the fantasy is often better than reality. A busy, rolly anchorage means little sleep. After Palamut, our next stop was Bozburun, which readers of my blog may recognize from over five weeks ago. We had had an amazing anchorage then, complete with what we had called our own “private swimming pool.”

Unfortunately, when we arrived back, our previous anchoring spot was taken. On our last visit we had anchored at the entrance to the bay, but now another boat was there – a gulet.

Roberta suggested heading to the back of the bay. The bay wasn’t small, but was small enough that on the chart it mostly showed as too shallow to merit providing depths. The one depth that did show on the chart was only 14 feet. From our previous stay, we had noticed a few gulets heading to the back of the bay to take guests swimming, and even a few who stayed the night. But they know where the deep places are, and where rocks may be hiding. As usual, I said “No.” And Roberta said something similar to, “Don’t be a wussy. If those boats can do it, we can do it.” So, with courage on loan from Roberta, I fired up the sonar, sent her to the bow to watch for rocks, and headed for the back of the bay.

I quickly discovered that sonar is useless in water so shallow. What I should have done was have Roberta drive Sans Souci, while I explored the bay in the tender, checking the depths. However, the water was so clear that I felt confident we could explore by eye. And, truth be told, there was nothing to see but clean, white sand – beautiful!

With Roberta’s guidance, we did make it to the back of the bay, and I dropped anchor in 35 feet of water. We then started backing slowly towards shore. As we went, we were constantly monitoring the depth. Soon, the depth gauge read 6 feet, and stayed there as we nudged our way backwards. The 6 feet on the gauge, added to my own 7.5 foot draft, confirmed the 14 feet shown in that area on the chart. As near as I could tell, the bottom was very flat and sandy, stretching for a hundred feet in every direction. I dropped far more chain that I probably should have, putting out over 250 feet, before swimming two stern lines to shore. It looked like a pretty awesome spot, and I wanted to make sure we could stay should the wind come up.

Sans Souci, stern tied near Bozburun. The water is 85 degrees. We have total privacy, except a few times a day when tourist boats drop by for a quick swim. The depth shows as 10 feet or 14 feet, depending on if you use the depth gauge on the boat, or the one on the tender. Luckily there are no tides here. There’s a cool little town a tender ride away with at least one great restaurant, the Karia Bel. The bottom is white sand, and is holding the anchor perfectly. I doubt we’ll ever see another anchorage this perfect in quite a long while!

Here are links to a couple of 360-degree pictures showing how we anchored: (don’t forget to look for the little icon that makes the picture full-screen. It’s worth it!)

Our view at night, while dining on the upper aft deck. The landscape around the boat looks like the moon surface.

Note that the lines from Sans Souci extend straight back to shore (in the picture it looks like they converge, which is an optical illusion.) This is an error on my part. They should actually be spaced more widely apart, extending outward in a giant “Y.” Roberta and I are getting much better at stern tying, and have come to prefer it. It’s nice not having to worry about rotating into other boats, and to be able to anchor in tight bays where anchoring would not otherwise be possible.

Tendering into town.

A very real side-benefit of my blog is that, no matter where we go, there seem to be people who read my blog, and they are as eager to share their country with us, as we are to learn about it. Here we see Alvi with his wife Cynthia, and brother Ari. They are readers of my blog, and, over the past few months, have shared a wealth of information about anchorages, cruising tips, anchoring tips, restaurants, where to buy good wine, bread, etc. The blog, and our cruising, wouldn’t be what it is without the help of people like Alvi.

A highlight of the trip was getting a tour of Alvi’s boat, a Trader 64, by Sunliner. It is interesting to see how the boat was optimized for Med cruising. For example, the boat was designed with outside living and entertaining as a primary goal. There were huge, comfortable seating areas, both on the aft deck, and on the flybridge. The aft deck had a large automated passarelle (gang plank), which integrated into the deck when closed. There were little details that are uniquely designated for stern tying, such as anchor chain controls on the stern. The boat felt spacious for its size and had many sleeping areas, plenty of room for Alvi’s group of ten — plus two dogs.

I also admired Alvi’s tender – a jet tender, from a company with a good name (Williams). I was blown away when Alvi just drove over my stern lines — as if they weren’t there. The absence of a prop also makes it easier to take lines to shore, without worrying about banging the prop. I went to the website, and discovered they make a diesel jet tender: http://www.williamsjettenders.com/D445 I “might” consider one, but it isn’t clear how a bimini top could be attached. I spoke with their dealer in Istanbul, and they sent a picture showing the top glued to the tubes. I’ve been down that road, and it is a dead end. The poles glued to the tubes only stay glued until you leave the showroom, and then no amount of re-gluing will ever get them to stay attached. Darn — because it looks like a fun tender!

As we said good-bye to Alvi and Cynthia, their dog, Sheba, dived into the water and followed us on the tender. Here we see our dogs, Keeley and Toundra, watching Sheba as she nears us.

One topic Alvi and I discussed was the internet here in Turkey. Sans Souci has a satellite internet unit (called VSAT) which is incredibly expensive (I pay over $5,000/month for internet). Although I have the VSAT, I haven’t used it this trip, instead I’ve been relying on the fast, and very inexpensive, internet that they have here. Turkey “gets it” when it comes to tourism. I mentioned in an earlier blog that it is almost as if someone planned southwestern Turkey as a “theme park for cruisers.” There is some truth to that. Some government person took the time to think about where the boaters would be, and put cell towers (along with other nice amenities). We hit only one dead spot this entire trip on internet, and it was when we were somewhat out of Turkish waters, cruising along the coast of Kos, Greece. I’ve never seen it like this, and it is great.

All of the attention that Turkey puts on tourism works. Turkey is now a top-10 worldwide tourist destination, raking in over 25 billion a year in revenues from tourists, and tourism has tripled in just a decade. I’d contrast this with some other countries in Europe that seem to throw roadblock after roadblock in the path of cruisers, and are losing tourist revenues as a result. I know of several cruisers who have left Europe, or not come over, due to the hassles (and fees) associated with keeping their boats, and themselves, in the country.

Let’s talk technical issues for a minute…

This has been a very good year mechanically on Sans Souci. Thus far, nothing has broken. Actually… almost nothing. There have been a couple of very interesting challenges.

Sans Souci’s diesel furnace, used for water heating, warming the hot tub and space heating.

Sans Souci has a diesel furnace which takes care of all the heating needs aboard ship. It has been one of the most reliable pieces of gear on Sans Souci. Early in the trip, it stopped heating our hot water. The air temperature has regularly been in the 100 degree range, so it has been only a very minor annoyance. I knew the Kabola was still working, because it heated the hot tub just fine. My suspicion was, and is, that the problem is with the sensor at the hot water heater that sends a signal to the Kabola asking for hot water. That said, I did a test one afternoon, and noticed that the Kabola heated up well beyond the maximum temperature it was set for. I immediately shut the Kabola off. On Sans Souci, we have backups for everything. My thinking was that I could either lose a day debugging the Kabola, or use the backup and let my mechanic Jeff worry about it at the end of the season. A very easy decision.

The hot tub has a built-in electric heater. It is very low wattage and doesn’t heat the hot tub quickly. In Alaska, where the ambient temperature is in the 40s (fahrenheit) it might take a couple days to heat the tub. But, here, with the air temperature over 100, heating the tub (to 98 degrees) took only about six hours.

For water heating, I have electric heating elements inside the water heater. There are two small heating elements (I think 2kw each) plus one mega-heater (8kw). Once a day, I shut down the chiller on the air conditioning system, for about ten minutes, and turn on the mega-heater. In 15 minutes, there is plenty of hot water, and I turn the chiller back on. No problem.

Sans Souci has two 800 gallon per day watermakers, from Village Marine.

Whereas we can live without hot water, we can’t live without water, and I’ve been fighting watermaker problems since the start of the trip. Here’s an email I sent to an engineer describing my issue:


I have two watermakers: WM1, and WM2.

Status of WM1:

The salinity probe is bad. Actual salinity is around 400, but is reporting consistently as around 200 — even when the watermaker is first powered on. It doesn’t countdown as most watermakers do. It shows as 200 (+/- 50) right from the beginning. In other words, it is dumping salt water into the fresh water tank.

Status of WM2:

It is consistently reading around 550. In order to be able to use the watermaker I set the “good water” set point to 850. I’ve back flushed the sand filter, replaced the watermaker filter, and flushed the watermaker (several times). Nothing will get the salinity down. I assume I need new membranes.

-Ken Williams

To interpret this email, here’s a bit of background. Watermakers take in sea water, run it through filters, that hopefully take the salt out, filter the water, and then route good water into the boat’s fresh water tanks. While they are functioning, they constantly measure the quality of the water they are producing. Specifically, the watermaker measures the salinity of the water in “parts per million” (ppm). Most city water ranges from 100 to 400ppm, although some states, such as California, consider the acceptable salinity threshold as up to 1,000 ppm. Sans Souci’s watermakers are set to reject any water with a salinity content higher than 500. My second watermaker was rejecting all water, because the membranes (filters) had deteriorated to a point that they could not produce sub-500 ppm water. My goal was to readjust the watermaker’s threshold for clean water, so that we could get it back online.

I included the picture of the circuit board above, because I couldn’t figure out, from the manual, how to tell the watermaker not to be so darn picky. One of the great things about owning a Nordhavn is that there is a large owner’s group. I posted a message to the group asking how to readjust the salinity threshold higher, and even though I posted my question at what would have been the middle of the night US-time, I started receiving responses in minutes. I would have preferred a response that told me to push buttons, but instead, I had to take apart the watermaker and dig out this circuit board, where I was supposed to turn a dial. What dial? I posted the picture above to the group, and once again, within minutes, someone pointed me at a little, well-hidden, knob that adjusts the salinity. It worked!

This is the most frightening picture I’ve seen in a while!

The picture above takes some explaining, but it’s a very scary photo, and has to do with this watermaker discussion.

Sans Souci has an ice machine. I don’t know why, but I haven’t used it much this year. In Europe they drink their cokes without ice, and I suppose I’m readjusting. However, one day recently I decided I wanted some ice in my diet coke, and went to the ice machine. Because I hadn’t taken any ice in over a month, instead of seeing nice, neat, ice cubes, I was confronted by a huge block of stuck-together ice. The right thing to do was to take the entire tray (about a cubic foot of ice), and dump it into the water, and start over.

As I went to Sans Souci’s swim platform, I realized that a gulet had come in, dumping dozens of swimmers into the water around Sans Souci (tourists on a day trip). Pitching hundreds of stuck-together ice cubes into the water could be misinterpreted as a hostile action. I didn’t want to put the ice back, so I turned the tray upside down on the swimstep, and left the giant ice-block there to melt peacefully.

The next morning, as I went out to swim, I noticed the mess of “white goop” you see in the picture above, on my swim step. It took a minute to realize what it was. It was the minerals (salt?) left over from the melted ice!

Now, I’m totally stumped. The ice was made from clean water, from before I started having my challenges with the watermakers. Is this what we’ve been drinking? I’m sure it is. What must my liver be thinking? (Although we’ve felt fine.)

We are now drinking bottled water on Sans Souci, until I know more.

Sans Souci’s monitoring system, called Simon.

There is one piece of equipment on Sans Souci, which most boats do not have, that I consider essential equipment: Our Simon monitoring system. While we were in Didim, Simon just suddenly stopped working. The screen said “Abnormal program termination” and no amount of coaxing would bring it back to life. I had to make the 80nm passage to Palamut Bay without Simon and it drove me crazy. With Simon, I can instantly review hundreds of little sensors around the boat, and see what is happening. For instance, the screen above (one of many screens) shows me the load on our generator. Power management on a boat is a big deal, and it is nice knowing exactly what the load is on the generator at all times. I can call up screens which show me obscure, but critical, details, such as my transmission temperatures, the gallons per minute of cooling water flowing, or even the pressure in the hydraulic lines.

Most importantly, Simon monitors all of these things, hundreds of them, constantly. If anything looks suspicious, Simon has a large glowing ball on my dashboard. If it is glowing green, I know all is well. If it is yellow, I investigate, and if it turns red, I prepare to swim (not actually — but, red does get my immediate attention!). Without Simon I doubled the number of engine room checks, but still felt out of touch with the boat.

The people at Palladium, makers of Simon, were incredible to work with. They assigned a support person to me, and one of their senior engineers. For literally two days, we worked together in a way that can only be appreciated by a true computer geek. Garvis, Palladium’s support guy in Florida, and Chris, their engineer in Dallas, used a desktop sharing app to watch, and control, my computer in Turkey, as I linked remotely into the Simon computer on Sans Souci, and the three of us conducted intricate surgery on Simon. It wasn’t easy, and it took a lot of time, but when Simon’s track-ball started glowing green again, it was a big moment for me!

Which, brings us to: READER MAIL!

Drogue, or Sea Anchor?

Hello Ken, We have Nordhan 57-[…] We are planning on cruising from San Diego to Hawaii, late Oct-early Nov. We have been talking with the people at Ace Sailmakers re: Jordan drogue. They incicated you bought one from them… Can you please give us your opinion on their product.. and any other thoughts on the whole concept.. Thank you so much for your help, Larry and Mary

—————-Response by Ken——–

The truth is that I haven’t tried it, and it isn’t even on the boat. I’m not sure where it is sitting…

I did a lot of investigating, and even spoke with the creator. All of my investigations indicated that the drogue is the right solution, and much easier to deploy than a sea anchor.

Thus, I bought one and put it on the boat.

Then, for the Bering Sea run, I had a friend/captain along for the ride, plus, an Alaskan commercial fisherman, both of whom have a long history with sea anchors. They ganged up on me to swap to a sea anchor. The winning argument was, “It’s what we’ve got experience with, and know works.” There’s a lot to be said for experience, and these guys have me beat. I’ve never actually deployed either a sea anchor or a drogue.

The bottom line is that I bought a sea anchor, which I “think” is onboard, somewhere – but, am now doing coastal cruising in calm conditions, and not focused on it.

So.. I’m not sure if this helps, but, I believe I was on the right track with the drogue, and that particularly with just Roberta and I, it would be much easier to deploy.

Good luck with a tough decision!

Med Mooring?

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

Dr. Steve

——————Response from Ken ———

Steve, there are marinas where med mooring is accomplished using your own anchor to hold your bow, particularly with the larger boats. However, at the Didim marina, the bows are held by lines tied to the bottom of the marina. The process of mooring is tough to explain, so I threw together some pictures explaining the process.

Check out: http://www.kensblog.com/aspx/m/med-mooring

You’ll notice in the pictures that several marina employees get involved anytime a boat enters or departs the marina, to assist with mooring. This is not typical, except here in Turkey. In Spain and France, we were usually left to ourselves to figure it out. In high wind, with just two of us onboard, it was never fun. Usually, we would anchor out, and tender into the marina, to scope out the situation, then stay at anchor until the winds were calm.

Here in Turkey… they make it easy.

What’s up with the blog?

Hi Ken,

There are many of us dreamers who rely on the best Nordhavn blog there is. That blog would be yours. You post the best pics and descriptions of Nordhavn life there is. But…..recently you have cut us off, and you are making us work hard in this “relationship”. Therefor, you must do the following:

1. Finish that glass of wine in your hand.
2. Get out of the hot tub
3. Fire up that laptop, log into kensblog, and type away!

Hope you & Roberta are ok.

Dan ——————-Response by Ken —————-

Thank you Dan! I am blushing as I type this, as is Roberta. Although I try to take all credit for the blog, it really is a team project for Roberta and I, and a fun one.

This has been a rough year for the blog. I have a rule that I won’t write anything unless there is something to write about. I always say that my blog is a tug-of-war between myself and the readers. Either the readers are winning, and I’m struggling with some disaster, or I’m winning, and sipping wine from the hot tub. Have you ever noticed that on freeways, everyone stops to look when someone’s car is flipped over on the side of the road, but if the exact same car were right-side up, everyone would speed on by? This has been my year, and I’m savoring my victory.

Next year will be different. I’m going to do everything in my power to make traversing Greece boring, but I suspect it is a battle I will lose. There’s a lot of wind, a lack of good anchorages, and some long-ish passages. We’ll also run the coast of Albania, and I’d like to try to stop there. And, then there’s Croatia, where we’ll do most of our cruising. It should be a fun, and exciting year, full of adventure!

I am not unsympathetic to your pain, so I have taken the liberty of pre-writing the blog for the next four days, and here it is:

[KensBlog] Wake up, answer email for hours, dive in the water, play with computer, tender into town for lunch, back to the boat, swim, play with computer, open wine, barbecue, hit the hot tub, watch tv, sleep.

Life is good!

And, in closing….

I’ll close out this issue of the blog on a somewhat serious note. As our time in Turkey winds down, it is impossible not to think about Turkey and its future. There are elements of Turkey that seem too good to be true, and my rule of thumb is: If something seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Turkey is in a unique position, in that it is a place where highly dissimilar cultures are thrust together. Turkey borders eight countries: Bulgaria, Greece, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Iran, Iraq and Syria. It’s an East meets West meeting of cultures. Sometimes, when cultures bounce off each other, good things happen, and sometimes, there are sparks.

I’ll share a couple of memories from the last few weeks:

We were anchored in a bay, behind a gulet with several female passengers. From their appearance, I’d guess they were lesbian, although I really have no idea. Some of the girls were topless, one of whom was paddling amongst the anchored boats in a kayak. A panga, with a local lady selling clothing, approached the gulet. It became a bit of a fashion show, as several of the girls tried on clothes. This caused several other pangas of merchants to rush over, in hopes of getting business. No one cared, or thought it was a big deal (which it wasn’t.) However, there’s a part of me that questions the sustainability of several pangas of conservative Muslims, in a country bordering Iraq, Iran and Syria, interacting with semi-nude women. Maybe that’s a good thing — maybe no. Don’t know.

A different memory, on a much less striking, but probably more culturally interesting scale: I’ll refer back to our evening at Kahve Dunyasi (the coffee-shop mentioned earlier). I mentioned that the crowd was all Turkish. Most were wearing western attire, but some percentage, perhaps ten percent of the women, were wearing head-scarves and conservative clothing. The conservative ladies were at the same tables as other women in very western evening attire. How do you mix racy mini-skirts and high-heels at the same table as head-scarves and conservative garb? Everyone, though, was laughing, listening to music and having a great time. There was no tension anywhere.

Perhaps Turkey has pulled it off, and proven that culturally diverse people can live together happily everafter. I certainly hope so, and want to believe it is possible! It does feel right. That said, even though we’ll leave Turkey next year, you can bet that over the next decade I’ll be watching to see how this all plays out. We hope for nothing but the best for Turkey!

Thank you!
Ken Williams

8 Responses

  1. Have a couple of questions about Long Range Cruising.

    Going as slow as 10 kts how do you manage the nighttime travel? Shifts or autopilot.

    Does your boat require someone to a very skilled boat person?

    ————Response by Ken 2012-09-29—-

    Greetings Bob!

    Nighttime travel is a combination of autopilot and doing shifts. Roberta and I normally do fairly short three hour shifts and take turns.

    As to experience required: It really depends on where you are cruising. If running the boat in a modern country, fairly close to shore, then no experience is required. You can learn as you go. But, once you start crossing oceans, or heading to the boondocks, you need some serious experience and mechanical training.

    -Ken W

  2. I think after the “Turkey has pulled it off” closing, the Republic of Turkey Ministry of Culture and Tourism won’t let you go so easily.

    By the way, I’m a complete nonprogrammer with several domains looking for homes, and Talkspot looks great. I’ve been looking for a WSYWIG site builder. Thanks for the link.

  3. Hi Ken,

    Have been following your blog for years. Thank you for the very interesting and enjoyable hours reading it.

    One question, which came to my mind while reading your stories; when you leave Sans Souci at an anchorage alone, such as in Bozburun, Turkey to go to a restaurant, how to you protect your ship while you are gone against intruders, and such?

    Regards, Ross

    —————Response by Ken — 2012-08-27


    The quick answer is: I don’t really have much in the way of protection. Someone could theoretically break-in and steal everything. It’s no different than when you leave your “real” home to go to the store. I guess the way I look at it is: If they are going to break in, and I have my choice, I’d much rather they do it while I’m at a restaurant!

    We do lock the doors when we leave, and we don’t anchor in locations we’re worried about. Here in Turkey we feel exceptionally safe. I also use a “dog barking alarm” which sounds exactly like a huge guard dog, and goes off if anyone gets very close to the boat.

    And, of course… the bad guys don’t always know if anyone is on the boat, or what weapons they might have.

    The bottom line: No one is ever completely safe anywhere .. but, overall, I feel safer on the boat than virtually anywhere else.

    -Ken W

  4. i would do research before buying a tender such as the williams. they use a diesel jet and from what i have read theres a lot of problems with them, reliability being one of them. jon

    ————Response by Ken — 2012-08-27


    You can bet I’ll do LOTS of research before buying something. Williams does offer their tender both in diesel and non-diesel. Your comment surprises me. Normally, nothing is more reliable than a diesel engine.

    In any event, I don’t need to make a decision until next year. My guess is that I’ll go to the Miami (or Ft Lauderdale) boat show, and that before I leave the show I’ll have changed my mind twenty times as to what I want.

    I won’t really know until after the show, when I get home, and ask myself if there was anything that really excited me enough to write a check. My current tender is a mess, but it does move me from point A to point B .. and that’s all I really need.

    Thank you!
    -Ken W

  5. These lifeboats are called Free-Fall Lifeboat Tanker version and are normally installed on tankers and gas container ships; specifically for the last ones to leave in cases of emergency. They have there own water spray system to prevent fire damage and normally 10 minutes of air to get away from a chemical cloud.

  6. SUBJECT: Tender

    Hi Ken,

    If you are truly interested, you might want to give the Williams another look as the bimini is not glued to the tubes per se. The two forward and aft supports are firmly attached to the boat itself and the two side braces are attached to a built-in mount amidship that is incorporated in to the side tubes in the same manner as the hand-holds and line tie points. A couple has a gas one here in MdR and their bimini is still doing fine after 4 seasons…




    ————Response by Ken 2012-08-27—————


    Thanks for the info. I was planning to circle back to the dealer (in Istanbul). My assumption was that the dealer would “figure it out” rather than lose a sale. Your message helps.

    Now, the decision is: gas, or diesel. I want to confirm what the fully loaded weight of the diesel is, and if there are any downsides.

    Also.. I need to do a bit more selling on Roberta, on the idea of a jet boat. We had a jet tender before and it was always broken. Ultimately, we sold it .. at a big loss. The problem was that it was two-stroke, but Roberta equates Jet with “always broken.”

    -Ken W

  7. SUBJECT: Internet

    Hi Ken,

    I do have to ask: Was the figure of 5,000 a month for Vsat internet on your boat actually correct or did a decimal point get misplaced? If that figure WAS correct, you have my deepest condolences! (And I thought that *I* was addicted to the internet!)



    ————Response by Ken 2012-08-27 ——–


    Actually, it’s even worse than that. I pay $5,999 (plus extra fees they tack on) monthly for internet. VSAT is expensive, and is primarily intended for use by commercial freighters. The fee ranges from $1,000 per month for 256kb speed access to the $6,000 I pay for a 2mb connection (their fastest speed, but still slow compared to what I get at home).

    I’m retired, but started a small “dot-com” company (http://www.talkspot.com (http://www.talkspot.com) ), which I’m working very hard on. I need the high speed in order to stay on top of my business, and keep everything going. So… it’s expensive, but without it, I’d be stuck in Seattle, and not able to travel the world. So .. it’s a necessary evil.

    -Ken W

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Be the first to know when

the game releases!

Plus, receive special insider, behind the scenes, sneak peeks and interviews as the game is being made. Don’t worry. We will not spam you, and we will not flood your box with too many emails.
 — Ken Williams

Credits     |     Video produced by: Rock Steady Media     |     Teletype photo: Arnold Reinhold     |     PDP-11 photo: Trammell Hudson