Saturday, August 3, 2013

Frank's birthday and a few tidbits

New villas and pools added to Yacht Classic Hotel
We have been anchored in Fethiye for days; going into the hotel dock today and tomorrow to get a break from the heat and to enjoy the swimming pool and restaurant dinners.  Yacht Classic Hotel dock will be our home again this winter.  The changes in the hotel from last year to this year are surprising.  When we left early last December the area to the right of the hotel was under construction.  They had just completed building the retaining wall to the edge of the roadway on the rise of the hillside.  The rest of that land was just boulders and heavy vegetation.   The manager, Banu, told us that a new dock was going to be built off the piece of land, including new facilities for boaters.  Supposed to have a separate swimming pool and toilets/showers and some shops.

Notice the heavy vegetation to the right of the
 hotel, beneath the green minaret on the hillside.
That is now new villas and swimming pools.

When we returned in July, the changes were shocking!  Man! Did they ever get this built fast!  Five new hotel villas with their own private pools, overlooking the new large pool and new bar and a large lounging area as well as a tiny beach.  It is all just beautiful.  Just very surprising that it happened so quickly.  Turkey is not known for rapid construction.  This looks top-notch.

How it looked when we left early Dec 2012
The new dock(s?) is/are not yet in place.  Two sections of floating dock have been constructed and are secured in place alongside the lounge area, between the new little beach and the old dock.  They are waiting for bureaucracy to spin its slow wheels, for the final okay paperwork to circulate from one desk to another ever-so-slowly getting the required signatures and stamps.  The building permit was issued last year; the dock(s) built months ago; just need that final paperwork before the dock(s) can be put into permanent position and secured.  Then electricity and fresh water can be installed.  If this gets completed in September as hoped, then there will be plenty of docking space for the winter, even with all The Moorings boats that now base out of this hotel.  If the dock(s) do not get completed in September, there might be a shortage of docking space this winter.  Sure hope lots of Moorings boats go on the hard for the winter season so some room can be made available on the old hotel dock.  This is especially important to us because we really need to be at a dock on October 15 (as per our contract) because we have booked a land tour trip starting October 21.

Guy in the blue boat yells instructions to the rowers

We enjoy being anchored here.  Almost every day there is some form of entertainment on the water.  A guy in a small blue boat operates some kind of school teaching various forms of water sports.  

These young men row really fast!  A few rowers are girls,
but they are always in a single person boat, never with boys.
Some days he follows teams of crew boats, loudly yelling instructions to the rowers as they speed through the anchorage.  Some days he follows younger kids in small sailing dinghies, loudly yelling instructions as the kids learn to tack back and forth through the anchorage.  No accidents yet, although a few have come really close to our boat and others anchored here.  And some days he follows teenage kids on some kind of things that look like sail boards, yelling instructions at them.  These kids are sitting down on flat boards that look like surfboards but have a mast and sail.  I assume eventually they will learn to stand up and sail on their own.  Please let them do that somewhere else or do it here when we are somewhere else.

Finally can drive the dinghy --- slowly.
Bill has started letting Elisabeth drive the dinghy.  Grandson Zachary can drive that dinghy like a pro, but Elisabeth is much more hesitant about it.  She has no upper body strength at all; very girly girl.  She can steer the outboard engine but no way she can start it -- just like her grandmother in that regard.  This outboard requires good muscles and shoulders to pull that start cable.  But she is so weak that she cannot even twist the throttle on the handle to go faster.  Guess that isn't a bad thing since it means she won't be speeding in the dinghy.  She is getting better at steering and has managed to learn to take us right to the stern steps of the boat.  Good job!

This week Bill discovered a new way to lift the dinghy.  Only took 7+ years to think of this.  We usually lift the dinghy at night.  Not always; but usually.  It helps prevent marine growth from fouling the bottom, which reduces our scrubbing maintenance work.  In the Caribbean the mantra is "Lift it; Lock it; or Lose it" because the theft problem there is so bad.  A dinghy like ours and outboard costs about $6,000 to replace, so sailors do whatever they can to prevent theft.   Not so here in the Med and especially not here in Turkey.  Dinghy theft or outboard theft here is almost unheard of.  Nice!  Anyway, back to the explanation of the new way to lift our dinghy.

We used to own a sloop and sometimes we still think like sloop owners rather than owners of a ketch.  For years we either lifted the dinghy on the stern davits at night when at anchor or we lifted it alongside in the front area.  Because we used the winches and halyard on the mainmast to lift it.  After all, that is what sloops do.  Unfortunately, our winches on the mainmast are all manual.  That meant I was the one cranking and cranking and cranking to raise that dinghy while Bill fended it off the side of the boat.  Don't want any rub marks on the hull, not even rub marks from soft hypalon against waxed gelcoat on fiberglass.

New place and method of lifting the dinghy -- almost effortless!
It finally dawned on Bill that we could use one of the halyards on the mizzen mast to raise the dinghy.  DUH!!  Why didn't we think of this years ago!  There are 3 large electric winches in the cockpit, one of which is located on the mizzen mast in the rear of our cockpit.  We really should start thinking like ketch owners.  

When we were in New Zealand Bill purchased a new preventer for the mizzen boom.  The one we had was still serviceable but had developed a tiny crack in the wheel of the block.  Luckily, Bill saved this old cracked preventer.  He used it to replace the forward attachment line of the 3-point lifting harness that we use to lift the dinghy.  Now it is really simple to change the length as needed when lifting the dinghy whether or not the outboard is mounted on it.  The weight of the outboard obviously changes the centerpoint of gravity when lifting and storing the dinghy on the halyard.  Using this old preventer makes this job ever-so-simple.  Now we can lift the dinghy in a couple of minutes with almost no effort at all.  It does still require Bill being physically capable of climbing from the dinghy at water level up onto the deck of BeBe.  Thank goodness he is still physically capable of doing that; I'm certainly not.  If he continues to do this every day or two, maybe he will be able to do it for years.

L-R: Barbara &Frank of DESTINY; Paul & Gloria of
SKALLIWAG, Elisabeth, Judy & Bill of BeBe
and Riza, everyone's newest Turkish friend
Last evening we joined a fellow cruiser to celebrate his 65th birthday.  You know that is a big one, especially to Americans.  It was a very fun evening.  Frank and Barbara treated everyone to all we could drink and eat at the restaurant at Yacht Classic Hotel.  Their guests included Paul and Gloria aboard S/V SKALLIWAG, Riza of Emek Marine who has become a good friend to all of us, and the 3 of us aboard BeBe.  Bill arranged for the restaurant to provide a birthday cake for Frank.  It was indulgently delicious; chocolate, of course.  

Birthday boy in his hat
Call us the giggle girls
Barbara had decorated a birthday hat for her hubby Frank, and brought party whistles and other celebratory trinkets.  Frank donned the hat a few times for photo opportunities but said it was too hot to wear.  Dinner was wonderful.  And the company even better.  Lots of fun.

Bill made a Certificate of Entitlement for Frank, complete with wallet-sized cards, since Frank has reached the official age of several types of entitlement.


1 comment:

  1. Welcome to the Old Fart's club! I'm not there yet, but my husband has been a member for 5 years. He is an active member. That's the important part -- being an ACTIVE member. Haha!


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