Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Doing pretty much nothing

We have not done much since getting back into the water last Friday.  Yesterday was a productive day.  We hauled up the genoa -- what a heavy sail!  Re-attached the sheets (ropes) and tidied up the deck.  Bill went up the mast and re-attached the wind instrument.  I used the electric winch like usual to haul him up, but I know where the 2 breakers are located to shut the darn thing off if it malfunctions.  Yes, we have seen the safety notice from Lewmar about the horrific accident in Antigua recently where a woman lost her arm and the use of her other hand and a man lost 7 fingers in an accident involving an electric winch.  That accident is still being investigated so I cannot comment on what might have happened other than to say it is reported that the winch would not stop operating and an over-wrap happened.  In trying to free the over-wrap on the continually turning winch, both of the woman's hands became entangled.  A man tried to assist her and both his hands became entangled.  As we sailors know well, the loads on these halyards and sheets on the winches are tremendous and will cut off legs, arms and fingers.   Obviously, everyone who owns these type winches wants to know why that winch would not turn off when she stopped depressing the on/off button.  Consider this a reminder to never use an electric or hydraulic winch to hoist someone up the mast unless you know how to de-activate BOTH breakers in case of malfunction.  One is the low-amp breaker for the controls; the other is the high-amp breaker for winch motor.  Just deactivating the low-amp breaker probably would not stop a malfunctioning winch.  Be sure you know where the high-amp breaker is located and how to shut it off.

After taking care of the foresail and the wind instrument we took a dolmus (large van bus) into town to check on the bilge pump that Bill dropped off at a shop last Thursday.  It is a fairly new pump but the gear box had failed.  This pump is made in Italy and costs over $1,000 USD.  We had installed our spare but wanted to repair this one to be our new spare.  This pump had operated less than 100 hours when the gear box failed.  The shop in Marmaris sent it to a machine shop in Izmir to manufacture a replica of the original part.  Turned out that they did not have to manufacture the piece.  It is the same gear box used for windshield wipers on a Mercedes truck.  Only cost us 160 Turkish lira for repair instead of the original quote of 150 Euro.  Great!!  And now we know what part to buy the next time the gearbox fails on one of our bilge pumps.  Much, much cheaper than ordering the part from the pump manufacturer in Italy.

While in town we also bought a stainless steel reel to fit near our stern.  The local custom is to set your anchor and then take a line ashore to tie off.  They do this because almost all the anchorages have a very steep sloping sea bottom.  The anchor might be well-set but if the wind switches direction and the boat swings 180 degrees then the anchor will turn and have nothing to grab back into.  In the past boats tied off their stern lines to trees or rocks ashore, but that is forbidden today in many places in Turkey.  They have installed metal rings ashore to tie off to.  This was done in an effort to prevent damage to the trees and rocks by the ropes from so many boats.  We have seen some boats still tying to trees and are not sure exactly where it is still legal to do this and where this practice is now banned.  I am not looking forward to having to deal with this stern line custom.  It is going to be a pain doing this because we sail with the dinghy upturned on the mizzen deck and the outboard stowed in the stern lazarette.  It will be a hassle to lower the dinghy and install the outboard every time we want to set the anchor.  Guess we will start carrying the dinghy on the davits even though we do not like doing that.  But we needed to get prepared for this custom, so we bought the stainless reel fitted with 80 meters of webbed line.

Our cell phone time and 3G were expiring today, so we purchased the minimum amount possible to get us through the next week.  Hopefully the watermaker will be repaired by then.  The watermaker has always worked fine, but Bill replaced 2 capacitors last week because they were beginning to leak.  He tested running it yesterday for the first time since replacing those capacitors, and now the darn thing does not work.  The watermaker shuts down the generator when the watermaker starts to operate high pressure.  This is a Desalator brand watermaker that produces a minimum 160 liters per hour, usually closer to 200 liters per hour.  A Desalator repairman inspected the watermaker late yesterday afternoon and suspects a malfunction in the high-pressure pump or its motor.  He took both items back to his shop for further testing and (hopefully) repair.  

People seem to love to hate Americans.  That is all I could think of when we had an unpleasant experience with a Dutch man on Monday.  He circled his motor boat a couple of times in front of our boat, then he moved farther down the dock and moored into a slip.  Then he walked to the stern of our boat and said loudly and sternly "You are in my slip and you are using my electricity!"  Bill told him the marina staff directed us to this slip and that we were using the card for electricity that we had purchased from the marina office.  The man was adamant, loud and rude and continued to yell that we were in his slip and using his electricity.  Bill told him maybe he should go talk to the marina office and Bill walked back inside BeBe.  Not too long afterward the man returned with one of the marina staff.   This time I walked to the back of the boat.  I was sick and not in any mood to be yelled at by some irate man when we have done nothing wrong.  So when he started yelling at me I spoke quietly and slowly but just as sternly right back to him and explained that we were in the slip that the marina staff tied us into and that we had purchased the required electricity card from the marina office and inserted it into the slot when we plugged in.  He calmed a little bit and said that he had prepaid for one year at this marina.  Then the marina staff guy explained to him how things work here.  

Seems that the Dutch man had left early Friday morning and was returning.  He did not realize that this marina does not assign any yacht to a particular slip.  You might pay for a year, but if you leave and return then you very likely will be put into a different berth because boats are constantly coming and going here.  But when he left he had forgotten to insert his electricity card to stop his usage.   So when we later inserted our electricity card, it just added our card value on top of his remaining card value.  I told him that it was not our fault that he had forgotten to stop his electricity usage -- we had done exactly what we were supposed to do.  And I walked back inside BeBE because being yelled at because someone else screwed up seemed rather pointless.

If this man had acted more politely about this, we would have offered to pay him something for the electricity that we had used over the weekend -- even though he was the one who made the mistake, not us.  I assume that this usage was taken from his card rather than from our card because his was inserted first and never stopped.  The marina staff guy inserted the Dutch man's card to stop his card usage, and then inserted our card again to start our usage.  We have read the meter daily since then and the best I can calculate BeBe is using about 1 Euro of electricity per day.  So we probably should pay the Dutch man 3 Euro.  But after yelling at us rather than speaking politely, there is not a chance that we are going to walk over to his boat and give him even the minimal amount of 3 Euro.  Yelling at us and accusing us of stealing his slip and his electricity when he knew darn well that he was the one who had screwed up and forgotten to insert his card when he left!  And Americans are supposed to be the rude uncivilized ones!

I have bronchitis yet again from breathing the nasty air in the boatyard.  Our slip in the marina is fairly distant from the boatyard but the dust travels here when the wind blows from that direction.   After a full week of hacking coughing (driving Bill crazy!), this morning I finally broke down and started the antibiotics.  I know, I know!  Antibiotics should not be taken when infection is not present.  But that seems to be the only thing that clears up bronchitis for me and I need to get well for our passage to Athens soon.

As soon as the watermaker parts are returned and we know it is again operating correctly, we will make one final trip to the supermarket and then we will get out of here.  We like Marmaris but are more than ready to leave after being here since 15 April.  Looking forward to different scenery!  And anxious to get to Athens to pick up our son and grandson. 

BTW, since arriving in Marmaris we have dealt in currencies of US dollars, British pounds, Turkish Lira and Euros.  Different shops quote different currencies, although they all will take any of the 4 mentioned.  You need to pay attention to what currency is being quoted to you!  In fact, in the new West Marine store here the prices on the shelves are quoted in different currencies for different items.  On the same shelf right next to one another one finds goods priced in US dollars or Turkish Lira or Euros.  This is especially true in their galley ware section.  At least West Marine does not price items in British pounds; that is done only by local shops and restaurants for the convenience of the thousands of British tourists.  But, regardless of what currency an item is shown valued on the shelves, when that item is rung up at the cashier at West Marine then it is converted to Turkish Lira.  Can get confusing sometimes if you don't pay close attention.  I paid 69 TL for a serving dish at West Marine.  I wanted another serving dish until I saw that it was 69 Euro, so I decided the one for 69 TL was just as attractive.  For folks back home, that means one was $43.48 USD and the other was $98.49 USD.  Are the stores doing this mixed pricing trying to confuse us or to take advantage of the unaware?

One other tidbit I want to mention.  We have been trying to buy gasoline for the dinghy for over a week.  We have asked several people in the marina where to purchase gasoline and no one has any idea.  The receptionist at the marina office told us that petrol can be purchased at the fuel dock near the guard tower, and that it can be purchased only from the water side.  She said that we could not carry our fuel jug to the fuel dock and buy petrol; we could only but it from our yacht or dinghy.  This sounded ridiculous, but who can explain some things we encounter.  So Michael on B'SHERET put his dinghy in the water and went over to the guard tower.  Nope, no gasoline for sale there.  The next morning Bill inquired on the morning cruiser VHF radio net if anyone knew where to buy petrol at or near Yacht Marine.  Total silence.  L-O-N-G total silence.  No one had the answer!!!!  These are "cruisers" who have been here for years and no one knows where to buy gasoline for their dinghy outboards!!  We can only assume that is because the local experts don't go anywhere.  They camp out at the 2 marinas for years and never use their dinghies.

We later found out that the small grocery market in the marina will handle re-filling gasoline jugs.  There are 2 petrol stations in all of Marmaris and they take the jugs to one for filling.  Their fee is extremely minimal for this service -- and there really is no other choice as one cannot take gasoline jugs in the dolmus or in a taxi.  Gasoline here cost $12.04 USD per gallon at the moment.  And people back home scream about $4 gas! 


  1. $12.04 a gallon!! Guess we shouldn't complain here in Louisiana. =) Odd that so many boaters don't use their dinghies around there. Don't blame you for not offering to pay for the "rude" man's electricity while "in his slip". When will people learn that being a jerk right off the bat doesn't get ya anywhere. Looking forward to hearing about Athens!

  2. I look forward to meeting some angry europeans, resolving their anger sounds theraputic to me about now.

  3. Trey -- I think any angry European (or any other nationality except Samoan) would calm himself before yelling at someone your size.


Your comment will be posted after we confirm that you are not a cyber stalker.