Sunday, October 16, 2011

Countryside excursions

Life is still uneventful for us.  And that is still a good thing.  During the past few weeks we have made several excursions around the countryside and the routine shopping trips.  Neither Bill nor I can get enthused about doing any maintenance projects on the boat just yet.  Some days the weather is hot and we are unmotivated in the heat.  Some days the weather is gorgeous and we are unmotivated because we don't want to work on such beautiful days.

Any excuse to procrastinate work neither of us really wants to do.  Bill hates procrastination.  I revel in it.

My pet project is to remove all the carpets and clean them up in the cockpit using lots of plain water and the shop vac.  I last did this in Thailand and it worked extremely well.  I had been putting this off until the weather was a bit cooler.  Now the weather is perfect for this job, but another electrical problem has developed at the marina and shore power is turned off during daytime hours until that problem is repaired.

Rock damaged underground electrical cable
It seems that some electrical lines were run through the ground too close to the surface -- with concrete beneath the lines.  Heavy cranes were driven over these lines when the breakwater wall was built, forcing rocks down on top of the electrical lines and squashing them against the concrete below.  The rocks forced holes through the insulation on the electrical lines underground.  This problem did not become apparent until high winds forced waves to break over the wall and wet the ground where these damaged electrical lines ran.  The moisture in the ground caused the electricity to cut in and out.  Took awhile to find the problem, but now the repair work is almost complete.  We had no shore power for a few days.  Now the electricity is turned on at night from 18:00 to 08:00.  Should be restored full-time any day now.

Installing conduit channels
Conduit channels

Work is progressing on one of the floating pontoons.  The electrician claimed power would be turned on for that pontoon 2 weeks ago.

Installing conduit channels

Last Thursday he said power would be turned on for that pontoon on Monday (tomorrow).  Our optimistic guess is at least one more week -- maybe another 10 days.  The conduit channels are installed and about half the wires are re-run within the channels.  Work does not progress quickly in this part of the world.

Electrical repair

We thought workers in Malaysia were slow.  Work progresses in Cyprus just as slowly.  I am happy out here on the wall, so the date of restoration of shore power isn't a big issue with us.  A friend is coming to visit later this week and it will be easier to go out for a couple of day sails from this wall than it would be from the pontoon dock.  (Although at this moment the weather forecast is not looking great for those anticipated day sails.)

Fender board 
BTW, while docked to the breakwater wall we are using a fender board.  This is a board that hangs on the outside of the fenders, against the concrete dock wall.  The board protects the fenders from chafing against the concrete wall.  Bill ran the board support lines through a couple of pieces of PVC to help hold the board down during tidal range changes.  He placed an extra fender horizontally across the tops of the 3 vertical fenders to help keep those fenders from possibly riding up inside the board.  This arrangement works very well and protects the fenders.  Our fender board is very nicely finished and has a stainless steel strip that  faces away from our boat.  But any 2x8 or 2x10 could work just as well.  An idea that people just starting to cruise might want to consider adding on their boats.  Sooner or later you will end up having to dock side-to against a rough wall.

The latest cruiser rumor is that high winds toppled 20 yachts in the boatyard at Yat Marine in Marmaris this week.  Yat Marine is where we hauled out last May. This is not something that would likely be reported in the mainstream news media, so as yet I have not been able to confirm if this rumor is true.  There was a bad early winter storm a few days ago that hit that area of Turkey hard.  And if it did hit Marmaris, it would not surprise me if boats would fall as most of the boats are braced up with cut tree trunks rather than with proper hardstands.  But as yet all info we have received is second-hand or third-hand.  Until someone tells us he personally witnessed the toppled boats, I withhold judgment as to the truth of this rumor.

Turkish style outdoor wood-burning oven
One day while out driving around we stopped for several photos.  These outdoor wood-burning ovens look quaint to me.   These are common out in the rural areas of Turkey and here in Cyprus.  These ovens are usually rounded and are placed out behind homes.  I know that mountain bread is cooked on or in ovens such as these.  There are also a number of Turkish dishes that are baked in ovens such as these.

Wild olive tree

The rest of the photos are olive trees.  Olive trees dot the countryside -- especially out in the Karpaz area of Northern Cyprus.  Some resident British folks told us that the tops of these trees are cut back so that the trees remain short.  I'm not so sure if that is true.

Bill picking olives

Pruned to remain low?  Wild on the hillside

These trees are all over the mountainsides and hillsides.  These are not planted in groves.  Yet every one of them has a very thick trunk and is low-growing.  Some do appear to have had the main trunk pruned back, but there are far too many of these olive trees growing wild out on the hillsides that look just the same.  Certainly there are not people going out and pruning back every wild olive tree on this island.

Gnarled olive tree.  How old is this!

I do love the gnarled thick trunks on these trees.

Olives--very fresh!

Still wonder................what the heck does one do with fresh olives?


  1. There is one type of olive that can be eaten fresh, but I doubt those are these.

    Generally you have to ferment them for 2 weeks to 3 months to remove the bitterness and make them editable.

    You might be able to crush/pound fresh olives for their oil. Sounds like alot of work for so little oil to me...

    And trees can live to be 1000's of years old.

  2. Found out the story about winds toppling boats on hardstand in Marmaris was just a rumor. Did have high winds there and several boats drug anchor. One unattended boat at anchor washed ashore. So, from that one boat washing ashore the rumor grew to 20 boats falling over in the boatyard. No wonder we don't believe anything we hear anymore unless it can be verified.

  3. So far in our circumnavigation we have encountered several cruiser rumors...BUT, nothing like the barrage of rumors in this part of the Med. It seems that they really abound here. I think I know why, but I am not saying here.


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