Sunday, September 4, 2011

Nothing much happening

That blog title pretty much sums it up.  Been here for 10 days and nothing much is happening.  Still no electricity on the docks, which means there also is no water on the docks as these are both controlled together by a master control unit in the marina office.  Thankfully, the water is this marina is exceptionally clear and clean and there are very few occupied boats, conditions which have allowed us to run the watermaker as needed.   

Construction of the building that will house the mini-market and the laundry is complete.  The gondolas and other equipment for the mini-market are on site and the washers and dryers for the laundry are also here.  The contractor needs to finish a few interior items in the building (like the air-conditioning......a very important and much needed item in this climate) before the building can be turned over to the marina.  That should happen next week, so hopefully the mini-market and the laundry facilities will be operational within 2 or 3 weeks.

The best guess on restoration of electricity to the docks is "mañana" -- which as we learned in Venezuela does not mean tomorrow.  Mañana means "definitely not today."  

The so-called electrician is working ever-so-slowly on the docks.  He is installing grounding straps between each section of the pontoons and electricity pedestals, and he is almost finished with that part of the work.  They removed all the aluminum panels covering the wiring conduit for all the docks.  There were several areas of chafe through the insulation on at least one of the large wires.  That (those) chafed wires obviously will have to be replaced.  And that just happens to be on the dock where we are now berthed.  I do not think any electricity will be restored to any of the docks until the job is complete and inspected.  My best guess is another 2 weeks, but who knows.

BTW, we were informed by a local restaurant owner that it is normal here to NOT earth or ground the electricity when constructing homes or buildings.  He is from the UK (there are a lot of UK residents in Northern Cyprus) and owns a newly constructed home nearby.  He had a friend who is an electrician in the UK re-wire his new home and his restaurant so that everything is properly "earthed" or grounded as we would say in America.  I find it amazing that anyone anywhere would install anything electrical and not have it grounded.  In fact, I find this so amazing that I must doubt the veracity of the statement.  

At any rate, the electricity on the docks were not grounded and this fundamental error cost the life of a hard-working young man.  His widow visited the marina one day last week with her family to see the place where her husband died.  It was so sad.  And his death was so preventable!  I know what would happen in America -- the electrician would be sued; the project contractor would be sued; the dock manufacturer would be sued; the electric pedestal manufacturer would be sued; the marina management would be sued; and the developer would be sued.  One or all would pay dearly for their part in causing (or not preventing) the death of this young man.

The marina moved all the occupied boats that need electricity to the breakwater dock.  That is the only part of the marina other than the office and restaurant that currently has power.  About 5 boats moved out there so they could enjoy air-conditioning.  We have the built-in generator so we opted to stay on the regular docks.  It is a very long walk to the showers, restrooms, restaurant or office if you are berthed way out on that breakwater wall.  We prefer to deal with the heat rather than move out there.  The dockmaster moved us to our 'permanent' space a couple of days ago.  

Other than this electrical issue, this appears to be a first-class marina.  A huge amount of money is being poured into this project.   We have never seen a breakwater constructed so sturdily.  Shouldn't ever have to worry about bad northerly weather damaging yachts berthed in here!  The marina is extremely well-protected and sheltered.  The entrance involves a reverse dog-leg, with high breakwater walls on both the northerly and the westerly sides.  One could not envision a more sheltered marina.  Even if at the moment there is not much for entertainment in the area for liveaboards, this still would make a superb place to leave a boat for the winter.

We enjoyed properly prepared Fish & Chips at the local Brit restaurant both Friday nights since our arrival.  It is prepared from frozen cod, of course, and it is cooked to perfection.  A real treat since we have not had any form of seafood since arriving in the Med other than fried calamari a few times.  We have missed having fish.  This isn't fresh; but it is good nonetheless.  They had to explain 'mashy pease' to us; having never seen this before.  Mashy pease taste okay -- sort of like solidified split-pea soup -- but we both prefer normal garden peas.  We had never been served fish & chips with peas before, but apparently that is the traditional British way.

It has been too hot to think about doing any of our planned boat chores.  No hurry since we will be here so long.  Might as well wait for cooler weather.  We will be very glad to when dock water is restored so we can wash off all the salt topsides.  That is the only chore bothering either of us so far.  No one likes being on a dirty salty boat.  

Our time thus far has been spent reading books, watching DVDs and playing on the computer.  One of the marina workers had a cable made that will work with our "TV" so when electricity is finally restored we should have TV on the boat.  I understand we will receive about 25 channels, the only ones in English being BBC and CNN.  Guess that will be better than nothing although I would have liked something more entertaining other than just news channels.  Bill fell in the water (don't ask) with the iTouch in his pocket; so it instantly died.  He immediately filled it with alcohol and then submerged it in a sealed container of rice for several days.  It now turns on again and apparently works except for the touch screen -- which means it doesn't work since the touch screen is necessary to do anything with this device.  He was disappointed because he enjoys using it for mobile internet access when off the boat.  I was disappointed because that meant no more music until our visit home in December when we can get a new one.  I can't go 3 months without music!!!!  But Bill saved the day.  He loaded a few gigs of music on a USB thumb drive .  It is plugged it into the front of our JVC radio and music again plays at the nav station and in the cockpit.  I am a happy camper again.  Plus, this music is not our normal iTunes library; so it is a nice change of pace.  Mostly jazz, but a nice mix.

We have reserved a rental car for 3 days this week so we can explore the island a bit.

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