When you live on a small yacht like BeBe, you are always trying to get the most enjoyment out of the limited space and resources. With anything electric, resources means the amount of current that is consumed by the item bringing you enjoyment.
OK, most of you that know us, know that we consume more electricity than most anyone our size. Well, we have 2 freezers and a fridge/freezer, washer/dryer, dishwasher, 4 computers, hair dryers, fans, A/C and Heat, water heater, water maker, yadda, yadda, yadda. We use electricity!
We make our own electricity, 230vAC (European), with a 7.5kw Onan diesel generator and we store the electricity in a bank of 13 105 amp/hr batteries. When the generator is not running we have 24vDC & 12vDC available for DC gadgets and 230vAC - 1,800 watt from an inverter connected to the above batteries. So, we can basically run anything until the battery power is gone, then we start the generator to recharge the batteries. We normally run the generator for 3 hours a day (1.5 morning and 1.5 evening).
Now to my subject: Media Entertainment Center Perfection (almost). When we first moved aboard, I bought a portable 12vDC DVD player that lasted about a month. Then I bought a 12vDC car DVD player that lasted about 6 months. Then I changed out the boat's AM/FM radio (like a car) for a AM/FM/CD/DVD player that worked OK, but the DVD player could not be hacked to country code zero. You see the Hollywood music gurus invented country codes that prohibit you from running a DVD sold in Australia on a DVD player that is set for North America. You have 2 choices: Buy only Chinese knock-off/pirated DVD's which work on any country code, or buy a DVD player that you can get the hack codes to convert it to play any country's code. Got it? Those Hollywood geniuses came up with something that they thought was good for them, but it forced us to buy Chinese knock-off/pirated DVD's. OK, I admit we liked buying new releases for $2.00, but we were prepared to be law-abiding world-citizens, up to a point. Oh, get this, when I complained to the proper authorities, they suggested that I buy my DVD's from Amazon because Amazon will ship worldwide. I checked this out while in Malaysia. Buy the time that I paid for the $39.95 DVD, FedEx shipping costs and Malaysian import/customs duty, the total came to $136...and I might go to jail for life if I ordered something that this Muslim country deemed pornographic!
Long story, short version: For $59 we bought a JVC DVD player that we could hack to country code zero and play anything including Chinese knock-off/pirated DVD's. Unfortunately, it runs on 230vAC. But we have 230vAC available when connected to shore power anywhere in the world except Japan and the USA. And, we have 230vAC available when running the generator, or we can run the inverter and "convert" 24vDC battery power to 230vAC. Are you making notes, yet?
When we moved on the boat, I bought a 12vDC 17" monitor that had A/V inputs as well as computer inputs. So after I bought the JVC 230vAC DVD player above, we could watch DVD's at anchor while running the generator or the inverter. Problem is that this expensive $900 monitor was really a piece of trash. Additionally, it did not have HDMI. So, while in Singapore, we found a TEAC 19" monitor that would fit in our entertainment "hole" perfectly. It was also a TV with worldwide channel capability and had VGA, HDMI, Composite, S-Video and A/V inputs. Wow, almost perfect, but it uses 230vAC. At the time, I rationalized buying it because we had to have 230vAC to run the DVD player, oh well!
A year passed and things are changing rapidly. Look at the photo below. You will see the JVC DVD player and the TEAC 19" monitor. Look closer and you will see a WD TV Live Hub. This is a really cool product. It has a Western Digital 1tb hard drive (1,000gigs) and Western Digital software that helps you catalog videos, music, photos and more. The remote control allows you to easily page through selections and/or play lists and find and play what you want. We now have over 900 videos and 14,000 songs on this device.
Ah, you ask about voltage. Well this comes with a little power brick that accepts international voltage on one side and outputs 12vDC to the device...and, remember, we have 12vDC without running a generator or inverter. I took that little brick and snipped off the output wire and connected it to 12vDC...works great. This WD TV Live Hub connects via Ethernet to our network on BeBe. And our network connects to the Internet via either 3g or WiFi, so the WD TV Live Hub has Internet. It uses the Internet to get all sorts of content information about the videos and songs that you have, including minor things like album or DVD case jacket photos and reviews. But, the big deal is that it will also connect to about 30 streaming video sources and it works great. Also, note the USB connection on the front and back of the WD TV Live Hub. You can plug USB storage devices into these to either augment the total storage or to play a friends video or audio from a USB stick.
The WD TV Live Hub outputs video and audio to HDMI which we have on the TEAC monitor. It also outputs to AV, both audio and video. This is a good thing because we wanted to play audio without having the TEAC 230vAC monitor on all the time. But without the monitor's audio speakers ON, we needed an amp and speakers.
The Labtec computer speakers with sub-woofer was the perfect solution, and the sound is much better than the TEAC monitor speakers. Same as above, the Labtec comes with a little power brick that accepts international voltage and frequency on one side and outputs 15vDC...and we have 12vDC (close) without running a generator or inverter. I was not sure if the Labtec would work with a little less voltage, but decided to try it...took that little brick and snipped off the output wire and connected it to 12vDC...works great.
I only wish that I had a TV/Monitor that has a little power brick that I could snip and everything except the DVD player would be working on 12vDC. There is one on eBay, but getting it here is difficult, and the one I have works fine: http://www.ebay.com/itm/150705889384?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1438.l2649#ht_1706wt_754
So, all of you that have the ability to copy or Tivo good movies and TV series to a hard drive or some sort of mass storage, "all I want for Christmas is a copy..." and I will be bringing a USB 1tb hard drive home with me in December.
I guess I left out the part that since the TEAC is a TV and a monitor, all it took was enough coax cable to run to the TV connection when we are at a marina, and viola, we were watching TV. Only down-side is that we are not at a marina that often.
Questions or Comments, please.
Don't forget about Christmas!
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
Late Sunday afternoon we arrived at Fethiye after motoring 50 NM from Kas, and anchored at 36.37.478N 029.05.789E near the Yacht Classic Hotel that our friends Jorge and Isabel on S/V EXCALIBUR had recommended. This is a very calm anchorage in the far eastern tip of the large bay at Fethiye. This location appears to be very well protected with mountains on 3 sides and the bay opening and the large ECE marina on the 4th side.
This boutique hotel has a small dock and offers 6-month winter berthing for a very reasonable price. They do not offer long-term berthing during the tourist high season, but do offer dock berthing at a much reduced rate if you eat dinner in the hotel restaurant. For our 16-meter boat the cost would be 30-40 TL per night ($16.50 - $22 USD) to cover water and electricity. If we did not eat dinner at the restaurant, the rate would be 1 Euro per foot boat length or 53 Euros ($69 USD). We checked out the restaurant menu and the prices are very reasonable, and the offerings sounded delicious. If we were docking, we would definitely eat dinner in the hotel restaurant. But we anchored out this time.
|Note the snow patches still visible on the upper elevations farther inland. This is a huge bay!|
|Far eastern end of the bay|
|Boatyard in very end; town is at other end of bay|
We found Banuhan (manager? owner?) and she showed us around the buildings. We made an instant decision to winter here next season. We had been told by others that 5 Amels wintered here last year. It is safe weather-wise. It is a good price. The people at the hotel are nice. The showers and toilets are heated during the winter. There is easy transportation to the airport. There are cars available to rent. What more could we want for a place to winter.
We wrote the contract and paid the deposit. The only caveat is that the hotel plans to lengthen the dock next spring. Boats will be required to depart when that work commences. So, rather than being allowed to stay at the dock until the normal date of 30 April, we might have to leave the dock on 15 April. That is certainly not a problem. We planned to leave Fethiye as soon as the weather is good next spring and sail northward about 100 miles for haul-out to apply anti-fouling. So we might sit at anchor a week or so if the weather is inclement. No big deal in this very protected bay.
|Facing north; bay entrance at far right|
So, we now have an address for the winter in Turkey. Next step will be to deal with immigration visa legalities. We assume we will be applying for residents' visas but there is no hurry. Our current visas expire 2 August. We can wait a month before dealing with the residents' visas. One thing I have been told is that I will need proof that we are married......because our income is Bill's retirement Social Security. I do not have a copy of our marriage certificate. Heck; that was 42 years ago! Bureaucrats and their paperwork!
Monday, May 28, 2012
|Patara -- seating rows inside newly reconstructed|
Lycian League Assembly Hall
Many legends exist explaining the origin of the name of Patara. During the time of Lycia's domination by Egypt's Ptolemy, Ptolemaios II (reigned 285 - 246 B.C.) re-named Patara as Arsinoe in honor of his wife. That name did not stick, and the original name was soon again in use. The Lonely Planet states that Patara was the port where Saints Paul and Luke changed boats while on their third mission from Rhodes to Phoenicia. From the evidence visible today (without digging) Patara was a very large and very wealthy city.
During the Roman period, Patara was the judicial seat of the Roman governor, and the city became the capital of the Lycian province. Patara was called 'the chosen city' and 'the metropolis of the Lycian nation.' Around 128 B.C. Patara had a population of about 20,000 and ranked among the top cities of Anatolia and Ephesus. Remember, only the male Roman citizens were counted in the population.....women, children and slaves were not counted in the population. Add those, and the population of the city likely would have been 140,000.
|Patara -- all Greek to me.|
No idea what building this wall belonged to.
Absolutely no idea what the carvings say.
|Patara -- ruins of large Hadrian's Granary across the swamp, which|
used to be a deep harbor port. Large sand dunes
on left where river used to exit to sea. Beach is on other side of the dunes.
|Patara -- This site is huge! And only a tiny portion has|
been excavated. Archaeologists work 2 months each
year on this site. Lots yet to do!
|Roman Triumphal Arch near entry to Patara|
Shortly after passing the ticket booth one drives past a 2nd century triple-arched Roman triumphal arch. Then a necropolis containing a number of Lycian tombs nearby.
Also near the Roman triumphal arch was some sort of on-going excavation. Loved the signs telling visitors that entrance was forbidden. Entrance to what?
|What we are forbidden to enter|
|Patara--the Roman Baths complex. Pretty bad condition.|
Next is a baths complex. The baths are in pretty deplorable condition. If one is not familiar with what Roman baths were like, then it is not likely one would figure out what had been the purpose of this building. Heck, even though we know what Roman baths were like it still required active imaginations to guess what the purpose of this building had been.
|Patara--one of many buildings we could|
not identify. No maps or brochures and no guides here.
Very nice new roads, though.
Supposedly the next thing to see was the remains of a Byzantine basilica. We never found that. The was a large field filled with number stones. Maybe those stones have been excavated and cataloged in preparation of reconstructing the basilica.
|Patara--Roman gladiator style theater|
Back to the left was the theater. This theater was built for gladiator exhibitions. Some of the stones at the gladiator level are carved with gladiator paraphernalia. Sorry; but at this point we have seen too many Roman theaters. 'The thrill is gone' as the old song says. I just was not impressed with this theater. The one at Myra was in far better condition and was larger.
|Patara--where the gladiators |
entered the theater arena
|Patara--cisterns on top of hill in distance|
Behind the theater is a hill upon which are the foundations of a Temple of Athena and an unusual circular cistern cut into the rock with a pillar in the middle. There also are the ruins of an ancient lighthouse high on the far side of that hill which was only recently discovered and excavated. Chay and Jamie climbed to the top of the hill; Bill, Katie and I stayed at the lower level.
|Patara -- Active dig behind the recently reconstructed|
Lycian League Assemble Hall
Bill and I were more interested in the very recently reconstructed Lycian Assembly Hall. This is cool beyond belief! This is basically their parliament building. The building looks almost new.
|Bill & Katie sitting outside the recently|
reconstructed Assembly Hall
They took the old stones which were excavated and finished each one to what it would have looked like when first used in construction this assembly hall. For missing stones, they fabricated completely new stones. The result is that visitors can see which parts of the walls, seats and floors are made up of the old original stones but can also easily see which stones are new. The colors are almost the same but you can see the difference at close hand. The result is that the entire building appears to be recently built.
|Katie & Bill on glass floor in Assembly Hall|
The floor inside has been covered with an elevated glass/acrylic/plastic floor. You can see the original marble floor beneath the 'plastic' floor, but shoes of visitors won't further damage the original marble floor.
|Katie and Bill standing in front of stage inside the Lycian Assembly Hall at Patara|
|Bill in front of interior wall of Assembly Hall. Note|
the stones to see old and new
The stage looks just as it would have 2,000+ years ago. Wood has been used both on stage and as doors and a few beams........just as would have been when originally built. We were all very impressed with this reconstructed assembly hall. I would love to see a few more of these old sites reconstruct one major building on each site. As one travels through Turkey it would be possible to see examples of each type of building in its original state.
|Right side facing stage in Assembly Hall|
|Left side facing stage in Assembly Hall|
To the right of the newly reconstructed assembly hall stands the colonnaded agora. Much of the agora is beneath standing water. But most of the columns are in place. And the shop areas along one side are clearly visible.
|Looking from left to right in front of stage|
|Patara -- Exterior of the newly reconstructed Lycian League Assembly Hall.|
This is one cool building!
|Jamie & Chay near colonnaded|
agora. Shops to left of columns.
Follow the dirt path past the agora and it winds back to the ancient harbor area -- now just a marshy wet area filled with mosquitoes. At the harbor area is the enormous Granary of Hadrian and a Corinthian-style temple tomb.
|Patara -- Chay and Jamie on top of a building we never identified.|
Oh, to have the energy of youth to climb everything he found.
After all the walking and climbing at the ruins, we had to stop at a small roadside shop to check out souvenirs. This shop had some interesting antiques, but nothing that screamed "buy me!"
|Patara -- Bill doing the obligatory shopping, |
but no buying.
Saturday, May 26, 2012
|Gorgeous pocket beach accessed by steps from high road|
|This appears new to me|
Getting to Letoon involved narrow roads through tiny villages, most paved but not all. It is out in the country; not situated by the sea. Letoon was a religious center and is on the Unesco World Heritage List. There was never any large group habitation in the area. Letoon was just a site used for religious purposes, not as a city. Letoon takes its name and importance from a large shrine to Leto.
|Letoon--Temple to Leto|
|Letoon--Entrance to the theater from the temple area|
|Floor mosaic in Temple of Apollo|
|The real Letoon mosaic in museum in Fethiye|
|Note depth of silted landfill in center|
|Letoon--Jamie climbing & posing|
|Metal pieces held stones together|
and expand and would create a tight join between the two pieces. I do not understand how this process worked, but that was the explanation from the 'expert' guide. One section of the floor had 7 large pieces of similarly shaped metal that had obviously been used in this manner during the construction of the temple to Leto.
|Would you feel safe walking|
through 2,000 arched entryway
To the north of the temples and nymphaeum is a large Hellenistic theater. Our Lonely Planet guide states that this theater is in excellent condition. Not really. We have seen theaters in much better condition (like the one in Myra). Half of the ground area inside the theater has been excavated to the original ground level. Another example of how much the land has filled in during the past 2,000 years.
|Letoon--Looking from entryway into theater; Bill and Katie|
|Letoon--Hellenistic theater at Letoon; Bill, Chay & Katie|
Letoon is considered a double-site with Xanthos, which is located 4 kilometers northeast. French archaeologists have been excavating Xanthos since 1950. Xanthos also was a religious center; and this was our next destination. (We saw no archaeological activity in either Letoon or Xanthos, although the French are supposedly still excavating at both locations.) Xanthos was not only a religious center; it was also the administrative center.
|Xanthos--Roman theater; pedestal tombs at upper left|
The people of Xanthos put up heroic resistance to the Persian armies in 545 B.C. Finding themselves overwhelmed, the Lycians killed their wives and children, burned their homes and committed suicide. Only 80 families survived the slaughter.
|Xanthos--Katie schooling us|
Excavation have revealed that Xanthos was burned to the ground between 475-450 B.C. A further disaster overtook Xanthos in 42 B.C. when the city was occupied by Brutus. Refusing to surrender, the population fought to the death. Finally Brutus was able to capture only 150 men and a handful of women.
|Xanthos -- pillar tombs near theater;|
on right is Harpy Monument burial chamber
The first thing one sees when arriving at Xanthos is a Roman arch beside today's entry road. A tiny bit farther up that road one finds a large Roman theater. The first row of seats is raise high from the ground area, indicating that gladiator games participated in this theater.
|Xanthos--Reproductions near top of Harpy Monument|
Near the theater are several pillar tombs. One of the pillar tombs is extremely unusual. It is called the Harpy Monument. This sarcophagus consists of one huge piece of hewn rock 8.87 meters high and shaped with 4 sides as a square. Inside is a small burial chamber surrounded on all 4 sides by friezes and closed by a flat lid of stone. The monument's reliefs were taken by Charles Fellows to the British Museum in 1874. The reliefs seen today are clay copies of the original. It is believed that the reliefs were offered as a gift to the sarcophagus owner and his wife by other members of the family. Reliefs on the north and west sides depict creatures, half female and half bird, called sirens. The sirens are carrying the souls of the dead (symbolized as babies) to heaven.
rigged for gladiators
trench in agora floor
|Xanthos--Lycian cuneiform writing?|
Another thing we noted at the agora were many, many excavated stones inscribed with Greek lettering. The writing on one stone was definitely not Greek. Wondered if it was Lycian cuneiform since the Lycian culture was so similar to the Hittite and this writing looked like samples of Hittite cuneiform that I have seen previously.
|Xanthos--basilica mosaic floor (picture on sign)|
|Xanthos--basilica mosaic floor covered in pebbles to protect|
The basilica also must be viewed with an active imagination to envision what it must have looked like. A photograph on a sign showed the mosaic floors of the old basilica, so I took a photograph of that sign. The day we visited the entire floor area was covered in sand and small pebbles. I assume this was laid on in hopes of preserving the mosaic floors.
|Xanthos--Judy checking out|
one of many rock tombs
There are sarcophagi scattered all over the hillside. Even a few rock tombs.
|Xanthos--inside the rock tomb|
|Xanthos--the Lion Sarcaphogus (way out on hillside)|
|Jamie and Chay exploring|
rock tombs at Xanthos
Eventually we found the Lion Sarcophagus. Above it were several rock tombs. All robbed, of course.
|Xanthos--on backside of the mountain; a long walk|
The views of the distant mountains were pretty, but I had just about had all this fun I could stand for one day.
|Xanthos--Jamie and Chay at the necropolis (fortress)|
at top of the mountain
Chay, Katie and Jamie hiked up through the very badly ruined acropolis (fortress) at the top of the mountain. I opted to follow a dirt path that wound around those ruins and up to the top. Bill walked with me because it isn't wise to be out walking alone in the countryside (snakes, falls....things like that). We ended up reaching the very top of the hill at exactly the same time as Chay, Katie and Jamie.
The views up there were great. Provided us with a great view of the Roman theater far below.
|Xanthos--looking down on theater from top of the hill|
Finding our way down was a fool's task. The others went ahead and I trailed slowly behind.....slipping and sliding my way through tromped down weeds and stones. Bill noticed I was having difficulty and returned to help steady me on the slides. Eventually we did reach bottom. This is not something I would want to do again. Next time I will wear sneakers with good gripping soles.
We made one more quick walk around the theater grounds and jumped back in the car to find lunch in the nearby village. After lunch we drove to Patara; but this blog posting is long enough already, so I will save that for another posting.
|Thousands of hot houses here.|
They grow a LOT of tomatoes
in this part of Turkey.
We know from Hittite cuneiforms that the nation of Lukka was like the Lycians. The land of Lukka was conquered by the Hittites during the reign of King Suppililiuma in the mid-14th century B.C. The Lukka fought against Egypt in the ranks of the Hittites during the Battle of Kadesh in 1284 B.C. They possessed powerful sea and land forces by the second millennium B.C. and had already established an independent state.
Lukka’s were mentioned among Egyptian texts as sea raiders. This association with Egypt placed the Lukka also in Lycia. It was recorded by Heredotos that the Lycians originally came from Crete and for a time they called themselves the Termilae. According to legend, when Lycus, son of Pandion the King of Athens, was expelled by his brother Aegus, he joined Sarpedon and they took the name ‘Lycians’ from Lycus. Heredotos noted that the Lycian customs were partly Carian and partly Cretan, but one custom is unique to the Lycians – their lineage is not by the father, but from the mother’s side (matriarchal family).
Homer mentioned the Lycians in ‘The Illiad’ and told that during the Trojan War, under the commanders Sarpedon and Glaukos, the Lycians battled heroically on the side of the Trojans against their enemies the Achaeans.
The Persian King Harpagos conquered Lycia in 545 B.C. In 480 B.C. when the Persian King Xerxes assembled his huge force for the conquest of Greece, the Lycians contributed 50 ships to Xerces fleet. Persian rule ended when the region fell to the Macedonian King Alexander the Great. In 333 B.C. when Alexander crossed the Hellespoint and landed in Anatolia, he defeated the Persian forces in battle in the year 334 B.C. and gained control of Lycia.
In 309 B.C., after Alexander’s death, Lycia came under the power of his General Ptolemy, who had established himself as the King of Egypt. Ptolemaic control continued for about a hundred years. It was during this period that the Lycian language died out and was replaced by Greek.
In 197 B.C. Lycia was taken from Ptolemy by Antiochos III, the King of Syria. He was shortly afterwards defeated by the Romans. Lycia was given to the Rhodians in 189 B.C., who supported the Romans. In 167 B.C. Rhodian rule ended and Lycians became free.
During the Roman civil wars of the first century B.C., the Lycians again had to suffer from the depredations of Brutus and Cassius. (remember, Julius Caesar was assassinated in 44 B.C.)
Upon the Lycians defeat at Phillipi in 43 B.C. by Anthony and Octavian, Anthony received the east as his share of the Roman world and confirmed the freedom of Lycia. Even under the Roman Empire, the Lycian League continued to function. During this period the country was prosperous. Money was plentiful and huge fortunes could be obtained by private citizens. Money was minted at Myra in Lycia (where we visited yesterday).
Each city averaged 5,000 people to contribute to Lycia’s total population of estimated 200,000 in the early 4th century A.D. The boundary of Lycia was extended to the northwest to include the Carian city of Kaunos, which was still within Anatolia.
In the Byzantine period, 4th – 7th centuries A.D., Christianity increased in the region and Christian buildings were constructed throughout the land. In efforts to eliminate paganism, the new Christians destroyed many of the old buildings and statues.
There are 3 reasons that the Lycians have disappeared. In the 8th century A.D. Lycia suffered attacks from southern tribes and vanished from history. Earthquakes and disease are the other factors to their disappearance. Today Lycia is famous for its majestic snow-capped mountains, sweeping down to the blue waters of the Mediterranean, and for its unique historic sites.