Tuesday, May 8, 2012


As I explained in the previous post, we cleared into Turkey at the small port of Tasucu.  This is pronounced TASH-oo-joo.  I have a difficult time saying that.  And I never did master saying the name of the nearby slightly larger town of Silifke.

Abdullah with his Texas Sheriff patch
The harbor master at Tasucu is a jovial guy.  He had a great sense of humor.  And was helpful, which is a little unusual.  Harbor masters often are such serious men and never crack a smile.  If only more harbor masters were more like Abdullah Yuksek then clearances would be more enjoyable for cruising yachts.  Bill presented Abdullah with a shoulder patch from the Harris County Sheriff's Department.  The Harris County Sheriff is a long-time friend and he provided us with shoulder patches to pass out to officials as we saw fit as we travel around the globe.  Lots of policemen and officials collect these type patches.  Abdullah was proud to receive the Harris County patch and joked that he is now a Texas Sheriff.

Later, after we were completely cleared in, Abdullah came to our boat and invited us to his home that evening for tea.  We gladly accepted.  We understood that Abdullah would meet us at our boat at 7 p.m.  After a very frustrating afternoon dealing with Turkcell in Silifke (with nothing working yet and more aggravation to follow the next day), we grabbed a dolmus back to Tasucu so we could shower and be ready to meet Abdullah to accompany him to his home for tea.  At 19:00 we gathered on the dock at the stern of BeBe with Jorge and Isabel from S/V EXCALIBUR.

We waited.....and waited......and waited.

Ummmm......maybe something was lost in translation.  Maybe Abdullah said 7:30 and we misunderstood it as 7:00.  So we waited a little longer.

Really Chain plates!!!
Bill and I had skipped lunch while dealing with Turkcell all afternoon, and we were getting hungry.  At 19:50 Jorge decided we had waited long enough.  Bill wanted to wait until 8 p.m. just in case Abdullah had meant to say 8 instead of 7.  But we ended up walking away with Jorge and Isabel at ten minutes before 8 p.m.  We walked to a nearby restaurant and enjoyed a nice dinner upstairs overlooking the town and harbor.  Since we were right by the sea dinner had to be seafood; Bill had grilled sea bass and I enjoyed grilled calamari.  And the restaurant surprised us by serving each of us a lovely assortment of bite-size cut fresh fruits in large seashells.  Nice.

Our dock neighbor at Tasucu.  Tassels and all.
The next morning Abdullah delivered us a handwritten note saying that he had arrived at 8 p.m. the previous night to collect us to join him and his family for tea at his home, but that we were not at our boat.  We were so sorry to have missed him and to have missed to opportunity to visit with his family in his home.  We had understood him to have said 7 and he intended to say 8.  Communication problem.  Easily understandable since English is very rarely spoken in this area.  Abdullah invited us again to tea at his home this night; we would try this again.

Yep.  BeBe is nestled in there somewhere.
We spent another full day in Silifke going round and round the various Turkcell offices and getting nowhere.  Still no working 3G modem so still no internet access.  We returned to the boat at 5 p.m. to relax and let Bill work on the 3G without the 'help' of the Turkcell tech guys.

At 6 p.m. Abdullah arrived at our boat and presented us with a large bowl of beautiful fresh strawberries, all washed and ready to eat.  He also presented us with a cake his wife had baked the previous day intending to serve with the tea we had missed the previous night.  It was delicious!  So we enjoyed visiting with Abdullah, eating the strawberries and cake, aboard S/V BeBe instead of going to Abdullah's home.  Jorge from EXCALIBUR joined us.

Here we are!  Dwarfed by gulets.
Abdullah also presented us with a knitted cloth that his wife had made and a magnetic cluster of cherries.  This area of Turkey is renown for the agriculture.  Cherries grow here, as well as many fields of the largest and healthiest strawberries we have every seen.  Other crops also are grown in the area, but at this season the strawberries are very abundant.  These rival the strawberries grown in the Texas valley area.  They are that good!

Harbor Master Abdullah aboard S/V BeBe

We presented Abdullah with a stethoscope and a sphygmonanometer (manual blood pressure monitor).  His wife is a nurse.  Hopefully she knows someone who can use these instruments.  We have carried these items in our medical kit since 2006 and never used them.  We would rather see these instruments used by someone who needs them than to let them waste in our medical kit.  

The following morning (Sunday) Bill finally got the new Turkcell locked 3G modem to work with our boat network.  Weather was benign so we decided to boogie.  Unfortunately, we wasted well over an hour trying to locate the dock master so we could pay for our mooring and electricity.  Finally Bill put the money into an envelope and walked to the harbor master's office and slipped it under the door.  We sent an email to Abdullah asking if he would please see that the money gets delivered to the dock master.  (Yeah for the working 3G so we could send and receive email again!!)  It was almost 10:00 before we departed Tasucu.

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