Monday, May 30, 2011

Making our way north

We departed the marina in Marmaris Sunday morning.  Had planned to leave Saturday but rain and cold temperature changed our minds.  Sunday dawned clear enough, so we headed out.  It felt so good to finally be moving again!!  After sitting in the marina in India for over a month, then sitting at anchor in Male for exactly a month, then waiting for the transport ship to arrive, and then dealing with an abnormally long haul-out, we were more than ready to sail again!

Looking out from inside Serce bay

We did not go far -- only about 25 NM -- to Serce, pronounced SER-chay -- latitude 36.34.63N longitude 028.02.83E.  The entrance to Serce is almost hidden.  You must get right to the entrance before you can see the opening.  There is a reef on the southern side of the entrance, so we hugged the northern side closely until we were well clear inside the bay.  The bay then does a right-turn and is more than a mile long.  We opted to anchor on the left (south) side just inside the entrance.  There were 4 large gulets there and one cruising yacht, with just enough space for us to squeeze in.  

Soon a man rowed out and offered numerous items for sale -- tablecloths, honey from his yard, shirts, very pretty bowls and various nuts and dried figs.  I wanted one of the pretty small serving bowls but already have way too many things like that on the boat, but I felt like we should buy something from him.  So we opted for a small bag of sesame coated peanuts.  How could we go wrong with that!  Within a half hour another man rowed out.  This time I bought a small bag of dried figs -- from his own yard (if I chose to believe that story).   These figs were much better than others I had tried a month ago.

Moorings at far end of bay at Serce
A couple of hours later the 4 gulets hauled up their anchors and left to take their tourists to another anchorage for the night.  Must show these tourists as many anchorages as possible so they feel they get their money's worth.  We did not like being so close to the cruising yacht, so as soon as the 4 gulets left we pulled our anchor and moved over.  Ahh; much better.  Then cruising yacht weighed anchor and left.  Guess we did not need to move after all.  Later, another smaller gulet arrived and anchored well away from us.  Down at the long end of the bay there were moorings being filled with one yacht after another.  We liked being well away from them.

Rain started pouring and then a catamaran arrived.  For some inexplicable reason, he felt compelled to anchor between us and the small gulet.  What the hell!  There was a wide open space off our port side, but he had to squeeze in and nearly hit our starboard side.  He immediately pulled his anchor and re-set even closer to the small gulet.  Will never understand why he did not anchor in the open space and crowded in between the only 2 boats in this end of the bay.  But at least now if he hit another boat in the close quarters, it would be the gulet and not BeBe.  I would have stayed in the cockpit all night if he had not moved closer to the gulet.  Now at least we could sleep without worrying about a collision during the night.

Monday morning we leisurely enjoyed being back out on anchor.  Finally left Serce around 09:00 with intentions of sailing to Datca (pronounced DAH-cha).  As we rounded the tip of the peninsula we breezed by Bozuk Buku, previously known as Port Apolotheka of ancient Loryma, and were afforded a very good look of the ancient citadel.  This citadel is of Hellenistic origin and is preserved virtually intact.  Amazing that with all the earthquakes common to this part of the world that this citadel remains as it was built so very long ago.  It is possible to anchor in the large bay and walk around the citadel, but the view from the water was good enough for us.

We skimmed around the Greek island of Simi headed towards Datca.  Technically we were briefly in Greek waters but never touched land.  The weather was just plain weird.  It was so hazy it seemed like fog.  We could not even see the high mountains of Turkey just 2 miles away.  Rain clouds formed over some of the mountains that we could see farther out on the peninsulas, but nary a drop found us.  There was positively no wind at all, so we motored the entire way.  As we reached the top side of Simi we changed our destination from Datca to ancient Knidos.  We had already see Datca during our road trip, and it made sense to continue farther while there was no wind against us.

Entrance to Knidos; sunken breakwater on left.
Shortly before 15:00 we arrived at ancient Knidos, latitude 36.41.09N longitude 027.22.47E.  There is a visible old stone breakwater on the western side of the entrance to this tiny harbor, and a sunken breakwater on the eastern side of the entrance.   The 8th edition of the Turkish Waters Pilot provides the waypoint for the center of the entrance between these 2 hazards.  Our electronic chart was almost exactly correct, but it was nice to have that precise waypoint for reference.

Restaurant at Knidos

The tiny harbor was already filled with 11 boats anchored and 3 boats tied to the dock in front of the single restaurant.  I was ready to just forget about staying here overnight and find another less-crowded anchorage when I heard a whistle from a guy standing on the dock.  He motioned that we could fit behind another boat on the dock.  I hurriedly pulled out fenders and lines and barely managed to get these in place as Bill backed BeBe alongside the dock.  Worked perfectly!  Just barely enough space for BeBe to be securely tied to the dock.  

Knidos anchorage

The owner of the restaurant helped with our dock lines, and I assured him we would eat dinner with him tonight.  The cost of docking here overnight was 25 Turkish Lira, with free electricity.  What a deal!  Sure, we will eat in his restaurant in exchange for such a cheap rate for docking.  Otherwise, we would have had to either backtrack 5 miles or continue another 12 miles to the next anchorage -- and who knows how crowded it might be this late in the day. 

Ruins of Knidos
Sitting in the cockpit we were staring at the ruins of ancient Knidos all around us.  The Dorian Confederacy had quite a city built here at one time; Knidos was one of the Dorian hexapolis, the six cities of the Dorian Confederacy.  This was a prosperous city.  Knidos was renowned for two things:  its statue of Aphrodite and the scientist Eudoxos. There are ruins of 2 theaters, one temple, an Army post, the city itself and an Acropolis a short distance away.  Due north of this harbor, across a tiny spit of land where the restaurant is located today, is the ancient Trireme Harbor.  So the Dorians and Greeks had one harbor us utilize when winds came from the south and another harbor to use when the winds blew from the north.  Both harbors were equally adjacent to the city.  A very nice arrangement.

Ruins at Knidos

The famous statue of Aphrodite was by Praxiteles, one of the greatest Greek sculptors.  In the 4th century B.C., the statue was one of the first of a naked woman.  Only male nude statues had been made until this time.  The sexy Aphrodite was believed to bring good fortune to seafarers.  It certainly brought a large numbers of tourists to view it.  Several stories are told of the statue.  One relates how an admirer crept into the shrine and kissed it on the thigh.  Thereafter, it was said to bear a dark stain on the inner thigh.  Another story relates how the shrine had a back door, so that admirers could view Aphrodite's shapely posterior.

Ruins at Knidos

The scientist Eudoxos was an astronomer and mathematician who lived in the 4th century B.C. and is considered one of the founding fathers of Greek geometry.  Eudoxos built an observatory at Knidos in his declining years and spent his time here watching and mapping the night sky.  The architect Sostratus, who designed the Pharos lighthouse of Alexandria -- one of the original Seven Wonders of the World -- was also a native of Knidos.

Ruins at Knidos

As we motored along the southern coast of this long peninsula toward Knidos, we saw a half-dozen areas that very obviously had been terraced in ancient times.  We have no idea why.  But possibly it was to quarry stone or granite or marble.  The Egyptians during Ptolemy reigns frequented this area.  We assume they traded grain for stones.

Ruins at Knidos

At one especially noticeably terraced area there were also 2 large caves or remnants of stone homes built into the mountainside.  To the right of these 2 large caves or homes there was the upper torso of a very large white statue.  With binoculars we could make out the head and shoulders and upper torso, with a large urn or vase at waist level -- also carved from the white stone. 

We have no land guide book for Turkey and this huge statue is not mentioned in our Pilot, so we have no idea what the story is for this obviously very old and very large statue.

It is 18:00 as I write this.  There are now 14 yachts anchored in this tiny harbor, and 10 double-rafted to the restaurant dock.  And I bet more show up before sunset!  Hope the restaurant isn't over-loaded with this crowd.  Looking forward to a fish dinner tonight! 

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


For years I have read about how difficult sailing can be in the Mediterranean Sea -- rough, choppy waves and winds that can switch direction instantly without warning.  The eastern Med is known for the Meltimi -- very strong winds from the north during the summer months.  Yachts can be locked into anchorages for shelter for days at a time when a Meltimi is blowing.  The Meltimi is strongest in late July and the month of August.  But Meltimi can start in late May or early June with less frequency than occurs in warmer months of summer. 

This morning was our first exposure to a very short-lived Meltimi experience.  While I was hanging laundry on the deck the wind was blowing nicely from the south.  Suddenly, with no light variable differences in direction like one might normally expect, the wind switched 180 degrees and increased force significantly.  The much stronger wind from the north lasted only an hour or so, then all wind died completely -- resulting in a much warmer day.

This sudden 180 degree switch of direction and the stronger force got me to thinking.  How does a boat sailing with wind vane steering handle this sudden change?  Can't think that would be a pleasant experience.

Doing pretty much nothing

We have not done much since getting back into the water last Friday.  Yesterday was a productive day.  We hauled up the genoa -- what a heavy sail!  Re-attached the sheets (ropes) and tidied up the deck.  Bill went up the mast and re-attached the wind instrument.  I used the electric winch like usual to haul him up, but I know where the 2 breakers are located to shut the darn thing off if it malfunctions.  Yes, we have seen the safety notice from Lewmar about the horrific accident in Antigua recently where a woman lost her arm and the use of her other hand and a man lost 7 fingers in an accident involving an electric winch.  That accident is still being investigated so I cannot comment on what might have happened other than to say it is reported that the winch would not stop operating and an over-wrap happened.  In trying to free the over-wrap on the continually turning winch, both of the woman's hands became entangled.  A man tried to assist her and both his hands became entangled.  As we sailors know well, the loads on these halyards and sheets on the winches are tremendous and will cut off legs, arms and fingers.   Obviously, everyone who owns these type winches wants to know why that winch would not turn off when she stopped depressing the on/off button.  Consider this a reminder to never use an electric or hydraulic winch to hoist someone up the mast unless you know how to de-activate BOTH breakers in case of malfunction.  One is the low-amp breaker for the controls; the other is the high-amp breaker for winch motor.  Just deactivating the low-amp breaker probably would not stop a malfunctioning winch.  Be sure you know where the high-amp breaker is located and how to shut it off.

After taking care of the foresail and the wind instrument we took a dolmus (large van bus) into town to check on the bilge pump that Bill dropped off at a shop last Thursday.  It is a fairly new pump but the gear box had failed.  This pump is made in Italy and costs over $1,000 USD.  We had installed our spare but wanted to repair this one to be our new spare.  This pump had operated less than 100 hours when the gear box failed.  The shop in Marmaris sent it to a machine shop in Izmir to manufacture a replica of the original part.  Turned out that they did not have to manufacture the piece.  It is the same gear box used for windshield wipers on a Mercedes truck.  Only cost us 160 Turkish lira for repair instead of the original quote of 150 Euro.  Great!!  And now we know what part to buy the next time the gearbox fails on one of our bilge pumps.  Much, much cheaper than ordering the part from the pump manufacturer in Italy.

While in town we also bought a stainless steel reel to fit near our stern.  The local custom is to set your anchor and then take a line ashore to tie off.  They do this because almost all the anchorages have a very steep sloping sea bottom.  The anchor might be well-set but if the wind switches direction and the boat swings 180 degrees then the anchor will turn and have nothing to grab back into.  In the past boats tied off their stern lines to trees or rocks ashore, but that is forbidden today in many places in Turkey.  They have installed metal rings ashore to tie off to.  This was done in an effort to prevent damage to the trees and rocks by the ropes from so many boats.  We have seen some boats still tying to trees and are not sure exactly where it is still legal to do this and where this practice is now banned.  I am not looking forward to having to deal with this stern line custom.  It is going to be a pain doing this because we sail with the dinghy upturned on the mizzen deck and the outboard stowed in the stern lazarette.  It will be a hassle to lower the dinghy and install the outboard every time we want to set the anchor.  Guess we will start carrying the dinghy on the davits even though we do not like doing that.  But we needed to get prepared for this custom, so we bought the stainless reel fitted with 80 meters of webbed line.

Our cell phone time and 3G were expiring today, so we purchased the minimum amount possible to get us through the next week.  Hopefully the watermaker will be repaired by then.  The watermaker has always worked fine, but Bill replaced 2 capacitors last week because they were beginning to leak.  He tested running it yesterday for the first time since replacing those capacitors, and now the darn thing does not work.  The watermaker shuts down the generator when the watermaker starts to operate high pressure.  This is a Desalator brand watermaker that produces a minimum 160 liters per hour, usually closer to 200 liters per hour.  A Desalator repairman inspected the watermaker late yesterday afternoon and suspects a malfunction in the high-pressure pump or its motor.  He took both items back to his shop for further testing and (hopefully) repair.  

People seem to love to hate Americans.  That is all I could think of when we had an unpleasant experience with a Dutch man on Monday.  He circled his motor boat a couple of times in front of our boat, then he moved farther down the dock and moored into a slip.  Then he walked to the stern of our boat and said loudly and sternly "You are in my slip and you are using my electricity!"  Bill told him the marina staff directed us to this slip and that we were using the card for electricity that we had purchased from the marina office.  The man was adamant, loud and rude and continued to yell that we were in his slip and using his electricity.  Bill told him maybe he should go talk to the marina office and Bill walked back inside BeBe.  Not too long afterward the man returned with one of the marina staff.   This time I walked to the back of the boat.  I was sick and not in any mood to be yelled at by some irate man when we have done nothing wrong.  So when he started yelling at me I spoke quietly and slowly but just as sternly right back to him and explained that we were in the slip that the marina staff tied us into and that we had purchased the required electricity card from the marina office and inserted it into the slot when we plugged in.  He calmed a little bit and said that he had prepaid for one year at this marina.  Then the marina staff guy explained to him how things work here.  

Seems that the Dutch man had left early Friday morning and was returning.  He did not realize that this marina does not assign any yacht to a particular slip.  You might pay for a year, but if you leave and return then you very likely will be put into a different berth because boats are constantly coming and going here.  But when he left he had forgotten to insert his electricity card to stop his usage.   So when we later inserted our electricity card, it just added our card value on top of his remaining card value.  I told him that it was not our fault that he had forgotten to stop his electricity usage -- we had done exactly what we were supposed to do.  And I walked back inside BeBE because being yelled at because someone else screwed up seemed rather pointless.

If this man had acted more politely about this, we would have offered to pay him something for the electricity that we had used over the weekend -- even though he was the one who made the mistake, not us.  I assume that this usage was taken from his card rather than from our card because his was inserted first and never stopped.  The marina staff guy inserted the Dutch man's card to stop his card usage, and then inserted our card again to start our usage.  We have read the meter daily since then and the best I can calculate BeBe is using about 1 Euro of electricity per day.  So we probably should pay the Dutch man 3 Euro.  But after yelling at us rather than speaking politely, there is not a chance that we are going to walk over to his boat and give him even the minimal amount of 3 Euro.  Yelling at us and accusing us of stealing his slip and his electricity when he knew darn well that he was the one who had screwed up and forgotten to insert his card when he left!  And Americans are supposed to be the rude uncivilized ones!

I have bronchitis yet again from breathing the nasty air in the boatyard.  Our slip in the marina is fairly distant from the boatyard but the dust travels here when the wind blows from that direction.   After a full week of hacking coughing (driving Bill crazy!), this morning I finally broke down and started the antibiotics.  I know, I know!  Antibiotics should not be taken when infection is not present.  But that seems to be the only thing that clears up bronchitis for me and I need to get well for our passage to Athens soon.

As soon as the watermaker parts are returned and we know it is again operating correctly, we will make one final trip to the supermarket and then we will get out of here.  We like Marmaris but are more than ready to leave after being here since 15 April.  Looking forward to different scenery!  And anxious to get to Athens to pick up our son and grandson. 

BTW, since arriving in Marmaris we have dealt in currencies of US dollars, British pounds, Turkish Lira and Euros.  Different shops quote different currencies, although they all will take any of the 4 mentioned.  You need to pay attention to what currency is being quoted to you!  In fact, in the new West Marine store here the prices on the shelves are quoted in different currencies for different items.  On the same shelf right next to one another one finds goods priced in US dollars or Turkish Lira or Euros.  This is especially true in their galley ware section.  At least West Marine does not price items in British pounds; that is done only by local shops and restaurants for the convenience of the thousands of British tourists.  But, regardless of what currency an item is shown valued on the shelves, when that item is rung up at the cashier at West Marine then it is converted to Turkish Lira.  Can get confusing sometimes if you don't pay close attention.  I paid 69 TL for a serving dish at West Marine.  I wanted another serving dish until I saw that it was 69 Euro, so I decided the one for 69 TL was just as attractive.  For folks back home, that means one was $43.48 USD and the other was $98.49 USD.  Are the stores doing this mixed pricing trying to confuse us or to take advantage of the unaware?

One other tidbit I want to mention.  We have been trying to buy gasoline for the dinghy for over a week.  We have asked several people in the marina where to purchase gasoline and no one has any idea.  The receptionist at the marina office told us that petrol can be purchased at the fuel dock near the guard tower, and that it can be purchased only from the water side.  She said that we could not carry our fuel jug to the fuel dock and buy petrol; we could only but it from our yacht or dinghy.  This sounded ridiculous, but who can explain some things we encounter.  So Michael on B'SHERET put his dinghy in the water and went over to the guard tower.  Nope, no gasoline for sale there.  The next morning Bill inquired on the morning cruiser VHF radio net if anyone knew where to buy petrol at or near Yacht Marine.  Total silence.  L-O-N-G total silence.  No one had the answer!!!!  These are "cruisers" who have been here for years and no one knows where to buy gasoline for their dinghy outboards!!  We can only assume that is because the local experts don't go anywhere.  They camp out at the 2 marinas for years and never use their dinghies.

We later found out that the small grocery market in the marina will handle re-filling gasoline jugs.  There are 2 petrol stations in all of Marmaris and they take the jugs to one for filling.  Their fee is extremely minimal for this service -- and there really is no other choice as one cannot take gasoline jugs in the dolmus or in a taxi.  Gasoline here cost $12.04 USD per gallon at the moment.  And people back home scream about $4 gas! 

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Finishing up haul-out & painter recommendation

On Monday the painter applied the first coat of black Micron 77 anti-foul paint.  After it dried he then moved up to the book stripe.  He brought out a couple of pages of color swatches to match the existing paint.  These color pages are neat.  We have not seen these before.  Each page had various shades of orange -- from yellowish to brownish.  Each color was about 2 1/2" square and had a hole punched out in the center.  Simply hold the page up against the existing paint on the boat and move it around until you get a perfect match through one of those holes.  Really a very efficient way of color matching paints.  Wonder why Sherwin Williams hasn't thought of this?

The original boot stripe was orange.  I do not like orange.  But to change colors meant we should remove the current orange paint.  If we applied a different color over the orange then the first time some yahoo bumps into our boat and scratches the new paint, then the old orange would show up like a glaring light.  Removing the old paint seemed like a waste of time and money; so, being the cheap people that we are, Bill and I decided to go ahead and paint the boot stripe in the same ugly orange color.  The painter did a marvelous job.  Two coats of white primer and then 2 coats of bright dark orange.  Several strangers stopped by in the boat yard and commented on how good the boot stripe looked when the painter was finished.

Now the painter was ready to have the supports moved.  They do not use normal jack stands here; they use small tree trunks to brace up boats in the yard.  The yard does not allow the boat owner or the contractor to move these supports.  Only the yard employees are allowed to do this job.  So, off to the marina office I went.  The girl told me the cost would be 10 Euro per pole!!!!!  That equaled 130 Euro to just re-adjust the jack stands (logs) ---- something that is a normal part of doing business and costs nothing in every other boat yard we have ever used.  I balked at paying this absurd price, and the girl immediately dropped the price down to 70 Euro.  That is still a ridiculous price, but what could we do?  The poles had to be moved.  Cha-ching yet again for this boat yard.  She radioed for the worker to come move the support poles.  We were ready for this to be done right then.

The yard workers must have been busy, because it took almost 3 hours for someone to show up for this little job.  Normally this yard is very efficient.  Ask for something and pay the fee and it is delivered immediately.  The yard worker did not arrive at BeBe to move the support poles until well after 6 p.m. and by then it was time for the painter to quit for the day.  But early the next morning he arrived and began scraping down to the gel coat in the 13 spots where the support poles had been originally located.  Scraped; sanded; applied the gray barrier coat; went to lunch; applied the green barrier coat; took a short break while it dried; then applied 3 coats of Micron 77 to those 13 small spots.

When he left on Tuesday afternoon, the painter told us he would be finished late the following day.  We couldn't see how he could finish cleaning, waxing and polishing the topsides in one day, but he was confident that he would be finished late Wednesday afternoon. If we had not added a few more jobs, he would have finished that quickly.

His partner worked with him on Wednesday.  They quickly polished the topsides.  Then Bill insisted they also apply Rejex over the wax.  Rejex is made by the same company that makes Corrosion X.  We love both these products and cannot recommend each more highly.  Rejex greatly reduces the black soot marks down the port side of our boat from the engine exhaust.  The black soot just does not stick like it used to.  With Rejex, what little bit of soot does stick will wash right off with plain water.  Doesn't mess up the wax at all.  Applying the Rejex is the first extra job we asked the painter to do.

The previous day Bill had removed the rear flexible bumper that is attached to the very tip of our stern.  It badly needed repair of a few cracks and repainting.  He repaired the few cracks in the rubbery thing and let the repair material cure thoroughly.  The second extra job we asked the painter to do was find flexible paint and repaint this bumper for us.

The third extra job we asked the painter to do was repair several gel coat cracks on the stern.  We had a few tiny chips in the gel coat on the stern that a repairman had really messed up in Malaysia.  These were tiny, tiny chips and the idiot filled them with dark gray gel coat rather than white.  In the process of doing so, he also had greatly enlarged the affected areas.  So, instead of having several very tiny chips in white gel coat that really did not show up; we now had several much larger dark gray patches.  Looked like hell and Bill chased the Malaysian guy off our boat as soon as we saw the mess he was making.  The only time we have ever refused to pay a contractor.  We were furious.  Anyone ought to know better than to use dark dray on white!  So we wanted to take this opportunity to have these spots properly repaired.  The painter here in Turkey did a very good job of repairing the mess made by the Malaysian idiot.

BTW, we also had him paint the prop with black Trilux 33.  Like most boaters, we have tried various things to reduce marine growth on the propeller.  And nothing seems to work well; at least, not for long.  The best product we have found so far was Prop Speed.  It worked beautifully and allowed no growth whatsoever for exactly 1 year.  Then it was as if the product simply evaporated underwater.  It was 2 years between haul-outs, so during that second year we constantly fought off marine growth.   We could not find Prop Speed here in Marmaris, so were searching for another product to try.  This is the first time we have tried Trilux 33.  Fingers crossed that it works.

Had we not added these extra jobs, the painter would have been finished with our haul-out on Wednesday afternoon -- in only 8 working days!  And he did a fantastic job!  Even with the 3 extra jobs, he was finished Thursday afternoon around 3 p.m.  But it was too late to get scheduled for splashing that afternoon.  I visited the marina office and we were added to the list of boats to be put back into the water on Friday.

When the travel lift arrived at our boat Friday morning, we called the painter and he returned to BeBe.  As they removed the support poles, he sanded each spot and then applied 3 coats of Micron 77.  After the boat was lifted in the slings, he painted the bottom of the keel.  I am not 100% certain, but I believe that he managed to get 3 coats of Micron 77 on the entire bottom.  In the past using Micron 66 applied by roller in much warmer weather, a 20 liter pail of paint would cover 2 full coats with 3 coats along the water line and bow area.  But I am pretty sure that this time the entire bottom got 3 coats of the new Micron 77 from the same size pail.

BeBe was lifted by the 70-ton travel lift.  As she was being brought to the pool slip to be splash, the 330-ton lift happened to be near the pool slip.  Our little 16-meter (53-ft) boat on the 70-ton lift was dwarfed by the 330-ton behemoth.

We are now docked in slip J-33 at Yacht Marine.  We had paid for the boat yard through 1 June.  This marina allows boats to stay in slips for any time that has been paid for the yard -- and vice versa.   We sent a bilge pump to Izmir to have a new gear box manufactured.  It is supposed to be returned to Marmaris late next week.  So we are sitting in this marina waiting for the return of that pump.  Then we will start making our way toward Athens to meet our son and grandson on 15 June.  We still need to re-install our wind instrument that Bill removed before BeBe was loaded for transport through the Red Sea.  And we need to put the genoa back on the forestay.  I have been sick for a few days with a bronchial problem (maybe caused by fiberglass dust and toxic paint dust in the boatyard?), and don't feel up to doing anything right now.  Glad we have a week or more to just sit and do nothing.

 This final photo is a reminder to me to explain a local custom.  As surely everyone knows, tea is a big deal in Turkey.  Every shop you enter wants to serve you a glass of tea.  This is a small glass of hot sweet tea.  No shop makes their own tea; they all call a local tea shop and within a few minutes a man arrives bearing a tray with however many teas the merchant has ordered for a particular group of customers.  This is a strong cultural tradition.  One should always drink the tea.  To decline is to be ungracious to the host or merchant.  But we have never seen a merchant or shop owner actually pay for this delivered tea.  We just sort of assumed that each shop keeps a running tab with the local tea shop. 
Tea tokens
But over the centuries the local people have devised a far better system.  If the tea shop runs a tab for a merchant, the merchant can always dispute and argue that he did not receive all the deliveries.  If each merchant had to pay for each delivery, then the deliveryman could pocket some of the cash.  They have devised a system of prepaid tokens.  These look like tiddly-winks and are kept in a small bowl at each shop.  When a delivery of tea is received, the merchant gives the deliveryman the correct number of chips for the number of teas delivered.  When a merchant runs out of chips, he visits the tea shop and buys more.  No chance of theft by anyone and no disputes about what was received and what was paid for.  Great subsystem of currency.

The painter for our job was Sadettin CETIN (pronounced similar to the famous Saladin, last name with the squiggly beneath the C so it is pronounced Chetin).  Sadettin's cell phone number is +90-536-987-8111.  We recommend him highly.

FWIW, I totaled all receipts and converted to US dollars based upon the exchange rates we received at the various ATM withdrawals for this haul-out.  We try to always pay cash rather than credit cards in order to avoid the high foreign transaction fees and bad exchange rates charged by the credit card companies.  Our ATM withdrawal exchange rates are always in line with the daily XE online rates.  This haul-out cost more than any to date.  Total: $7,507.54
Welcome to Med prices!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Days 2, 3, 4 and 5 of painter's work

We really like our painter.  He has an excellent work ethic.  Also has good muscles.  Like the old Energizer bunny......he just keeps going.....and going.....and going,  

By late afternoon on the second day he and his partner had finished scraping all the old paint off the bottom of the hull.  This really is a major job.  In the US the painters wear protective suits when doing work like this, but here the men just let that toxic paint dust and flakes fall all over them.  Their only concession to health safety is to wear a face mask.  Of course, these are only the cheap paper painters masks sold in paint stores.  Those do not do much to keep someone from breathing that toxic powdered paint.  Better than nothing, I guess.....maybe.

Days three and four were spent sanding off the last little bits of the old yellow barrier coat.  That is also a major job.  The partner didn't show up on our job after he finished the scraping.  The painter did the rest of the work all by himself.  His arms must have been aching after holding up that sander all darn day for two whole days.  By the end of the second day of sanding, the hull was completely down to the white gel coat.  

The final thing he did on day four was apply epoxy over each tiny scratch on the bottom gel coat.  Bill watched him repair the one very tiny blister that they had discovered.  The blister was only in the gel coat; the fiberglass was completely dry.  The entire repair area after it was ground out was less than the size of a quarter.  Easy repair.  Glad we got to it early and it had not been allowed to enlarge over time.

1st barrier coat
The first thing on day five the first coat of Gel Shield 200 was applied overall.  It surprised me how quickly he rolled on all that paint.  The first barrier coat applied was a light gray color.  Then the painter took a long lunch while it dried.

2nd barrier coat
That afternoon he applied the second barrier coat.  This time in a green color.  BeBe looks odd with a bright green bottom.  Rather a bright festive color, but not a color we would want visible.  The anti-foul paint will be black, as usual.  

The painter did not work on Sunday.  Nor did we expect him to.  Tomorrow, Monday, he should begin applying the anti-foul paint.  Hope the weather is as clear and pretty tomorrow as it was today.  Please let there be no afternoon rain for a few days.

Reinstalling line cutter

While the painter was busy doing his job, Bill cleaned the line cutter with acid and reinstalled it.   Cleaned up pretty good.  The zinc was completely gone when we removed it.  Now it has a hefty new zinc in place.  And those cutting blades are just as sharp as ever!

 As I mentioned several days ago, we had sent the auto-prop out to a shop to have the bearings replaced.  We have since learned that it is not possible to purchase any parts for an auto-prop anywhere in Turkey.   There are shops capable of working on auto-props; they just cannot get any parts.  So if you have an auto-prop, be sure and bring the parts with you when you arrive in Turkey.  We did.  The shop told us that they cannot even order parts to be shipped into Turkey for an auto-prop.  This seems extremely odd to us.  The vast, vast majority of tourists in Turkey are British.  Brunton's, the manufacturer of auto-prop, is a British company.  Seems like it wouldn't take a rocket scientist to figure out how to get parts shipped from a British company to here.  The tourists fly here daily; why can't small parts fly on the same planes as freight?

The shop also cleaned the prop, as one would expect.  Above is the "before" image.  And here is an "after" image.  Notice that as Bill is installing the prop, the blades are in the normal rotating position in this first photo -- flat side to the moving water when motoring forward or in reverse.

In this second photo notice that the blades are positioned with the leading edges straight to the water, thus presenting the least drag when transmission is in neutral or engine is turned off during sailing.  The auto-prop works very well and has no drag.  But these props are very sensitive to any growth whatsoever.  One tiny barnacle on one blade is enough to cause vibration.  After sitting in the nasty marina in India for over a month and then sitting in the Male anchorage for a whole month, the prop had quite a bit of growth on it.  We noticed a lot of vibration when we motored from the anchorage to the transport ship in Male.  Bill had quickly scraped the prop while BeBe was still on the ship here in Marmaris, but it needed a good cleaning.  There should be no vibration when we sail away in a couple of weeks.

Bill also accomplished another minor project inside the boat.  The nut that tightens the packing for the rudder post needed to be adjusted.  Back in January when we were caught in that awful storm in the Bay of Bengal, a tiny bit of water had leaked in at this area.  By "a tiny bit of water" I mean maybe 3 tablespoons.  Nothing at all to be concerned about.  But enough that we wanted to stop any further leakage.  We just didn't want to take apart the cabin bed until now.  The nut that needed to be tightened is located beneath the settee in the aft cabin.  The area beneath our bed is where we store our luggage and various other things.  We needed to get into there to stow away the luggage we used for the trip from Male (we have been living out of duffel bags since April 11), so this was the perfect time to finally tighten that nut.  Besides, Bill did not have the correct tool for this job.  Found it at the new West Marine here in Marmaris.  No more excuses for not having that nut properly adjusted.  He was able to turn the nut 2 face-sides.  So it really did need adjusting!

Our month at the apartment was up this morning.  They are fully booked, so we had to leave.  We decided that the weather is so nice here that staying on the boat in the boatyard would be okay.  So this morning we lugged all our stuff to the boat.  And tonight we are thoroughly enjoying being back in our home -- even though we are perched 15 feet up in the air in a dusty boatyard.  Feels good to be back home.

Yesterday we left the boatyard early and stopped at a butcher shop we had discovered a few weeks ago.  I want to stock the boat freezer while we are here in Marmaris.  We will have lots of visitors this summer and I don't want to have to search out places to buy food while they are with us.  I had already purchased lots of chicken breasts, froze them in the apartment freezer and then brought them to the boat freezer.  And we had purchased a large beef tenderloin and had it cut into great looking steaks.  Also froze them in the apartment freezer and then brought to the boat freezer.  Yesterday we bought 12 kilos of ground beef (mince to people outside the USA).  We like this butcher shop because we get to watch him grind the meat so we know what is going into it, and we know it is fresh.  Somehow the butcher messed up and gave us 14 kilos instead of the 12 kilos that I requested.  The butcher vacuum-sealed in designated quantities for me; and we also took that to the apartment freezer.  I wanted to utilize our final night in the apartment to freeze all this meat before bringing it to the boat freezer.  Worked perfectly, but that sure was heavy!!  

This image is a close-up of the B&G Sonic Speed Sensor on the bottom of BeBe's hull.  This photo was taken while the painter was scraping the hull last week.  Way back in Malaysia last summer Bill had been in the water cleaning the propeller and checking the bottom of the boat when he noticed a barnacle growing on the end of the sensor.  He removed the barnacle..........and also removed the rubber cover for the sensor.  Luckily, he came up with the barnacle to show me -- it was the ONLY barnacle on the bottom of the boat -- and I could see that the barnacle was attached to that piece of black rubber.  Bill cleaned off the rubber cover and attempted to re-install it on the sensor when we were in Singapore.  Unfortunately, he dropped the tiny plug of rubber in the water.  So our speed gauge does not work.  This is no real inconvenience because Maxsea shows our speed as calculated by GPS.  The nice thing about having the B&G is that it shows the boat speed through the water; whereas, Maxsea shows speed over ground.  Compare the 2 readings and you know how much current you are experiencing.  Doesn't change anything.  Just lets you know if you are being affected by current or not, and how badly.   Water rushing past without the cover in place causes the sensor to report crazy readings.  We have tried every source imaginable to purchase a replacement cover for this sensor.  B&G does not sell these covers.  They insist we would need to purchase a new complete pair of sensors -- about $1500, plus serious labor to remove the old sensors and install the 2 new sensors.  These things are glassed into the hull.

Lo and behold!  Walking through the boatyard one morning Bill looked down and at his feet was a black rubber plug exactly like the one he had lost in the water in Singapore.  He installed this plug over the B&G sensor.  It fit perfectly.  We will not know until we are out sailing again if having the plug back in place will make the sensor work correctly again or not.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Finally started

On our eighth day in the boatyard the painter finally started working on BeBe.  As mentioned in a previous post, all anti-foul paint must be scraped off, then sanded and new barrier coats applied before the new coats of Micron 77 can be rolled on.  

The last time all paint was removed to the barrier coat was in May 2006.  This should not be required again after only 5 years (and 3 bottom jobs), but the paint that was applied in New Zealand is flaking off horribly.  So all the paint must be removed so we can start fresh with new barrier coat.  Sorry to bore our non-sailing friends with all this boat maintenance stuff.

The painter arrived with his partner around 10:00 and they both worked their butts off all day long.  Scraping the hull is a tough job and requires lots of muscle.  The guy on the right is the company owner; the partner is on the left.  The owner is in far better physical condition than his partner.  The partner needed rest breaks during the day and his arm muscles were giving out by 16:00.  But the owner was still going full-force the entire day.

But maybe he overdid it a bit, because the owner did not show up today until 14:00.  The partner was here when we arrived this morning.  He worked slowly, but steadily, all day.  It rained this afternoon and that delayed work for a couple of hours, but they are making good progress.

Scraping down to barrier coat
One bright point -- while scraping down to the barrier coat the painter discovered one tiny blister in the gel coat.  It is about the size of a dime.  This blister would not have been discovered if we had simply applied more anti-foul paint during this haul-out.  So being forced to scrape down to the barrier coat was a good thing in the long run.  Much, much better to repair one tiny blister now than to unknowingly ignore it for anther 2 years while it gets larger and larger.  Repairing this blister will not delay the job completion and we will be glad it is properly repaired.

Bill cleaned the line cutter today with acid and reassembled it.  So it is now ready to be reinstalled when the prop is returned from having the bearings replaced.  He manages to find one small project each day to occupy his time.  My project was another day at the laundry washing the winch covers and bath floor rugs.  It surprised us that the boat arrived off the transport ship completely clean inside.  We had expected the boat to be dusty and sandy after the ride up the Red Sea, but the interior was clean and even the outside wasn't sandy.  But after being in this boatyard for 8 days, everything inside and outside of this boat is dirty.  It always amazes me how dirty boats get sitting in boatyards.  Cleaning now would be a waste of time; that will have to wait until we are back in the water.

Tomorrow morning we will stop by the Customs office and submit our paint receipts.  Sailors headed to Turkey need to be aware of this procedure.  Customs will come out to the boatyard to verify that the paint we purchased is at our boat.  When the job is complete, then Customs will again return to our boat and verify that the paint has been applied and that we soon will be leaving Turkey.  Seems like a lot of trouble but that will provide us with a tax savings refund of 340 lira.  Any individual boat purchases over 118 lira can be handled this way.  Just be sure you get a "tax invoice" when you make the original purchase.

Monday, May 9, 2011

First week of haul-out in Marmaris

Today marks our first full week of being in the boatyard of Yacht Marine in Marmaris.  Thus far, the only work performed has been the few items that Bill and I do personally.  BeBe was not hauled until 17:00 last Monday.  Michael and Linda of S/V B'SHERET met us at the travel lift and assisted with the dock lines.  Thanks!  Extra hands are always welcome!

Love the fact that you pay for the entire day even though the boat isn't hauled until closing time.  

By the time the boat was chocked with tree trunks (a first for us!) and electrical was connected, it was too late in the day to begin any work project.  We are continuing to stay in the apartment out in the Ambutalan district of Marmaris while BeBe is in the boatyard -- until they kick us out of the apartment on 15 May because they are booked after that date.  The trip from the boatyard to the apartment involves 2 buses and takes at least 1 hour, so Monday was pretty much shot by the time BeBe was secure in the boatyard on day 1 of this haul-out.

High-power junction box
Turkey is not a third-world country by any means, but a few things do fall into the third-world category.  For instance, the junction between 2 high-power electricity boxes is located right beneath the bow of our boat in the boatyard.  This high-power junction is covered by an over-turned plastic Coke bottle.  Safe, huh?!!?!!

The next day Bill and I removed the auto-prop and the line cutter, and drained the 9 liters of oil.  

The first time we did this 5 years ago it took us (and the prop shop experts) a day and a half to remove the prop.  Now we can remove the auto-prop in about 15 minutes.  Amazing what the proper tools can do to make a job easier.

This is part of the routine maintenance we do during any haul-out.

But this time it was also time to replace the bearings.  In fact, we are about 200 engine hours past the time to replace these bearings.  We had ordered the bearings from Brunton's in the UK and had hoped to get them replaced during our last haul-out in New Zealand in March 2009.  But the package was held up in NZ Customs and the job did not get done as planned.  Now, it was definitely time to get the new bearings installed.  

After the auto-prop was removed, next off was the line cutter.  That needed the zinc replaced, of course.

After the line cutter was removed, now we could get to the nitty-gritty of this job -- the wear bearing.  Now, before people start thinking that they don't have such a thing on their boat, let me explain that this is an Amel idiosyncrasy.  And I am sure that there must be other boats that also use a wear bearing.  This bronze bearing has 3 grease-packed seals that fit around it.  The seals wear against the bearing (hence the name, wear bearing) and slightly score it in several places.  The wear bearing protects the prop shaft.  Our prop shaft is still shiny and smooth as ever -- 8 1/2 years after leaving the Amel factory.   Part of routine maintenance during any haul-out is to replace the 3 grease-packed seals and the bronze wear bearing.

As you can see, the drip bucket is still in place to capture the draining 9 liters of oil.  It takes several hours for all that oil to drain out.

The following day we serviced the bow thruster.  Sorry, no photos taken during that process this time.

On Friday a guy picked up our auto-prop to replace the bearings.  We do not have the correct tools for that project.

And here is a close up image of the bottom of our hull.  Nasty looking, isn't it?

When BeBe was lifted onto the transport ship in Male we noticed that the bottom paint was peeling off in large sections.  So we knew then that all the paint would have to be removed during this haul-out.   

As I mentioned earlier, our last haul-out was in New Zealand in March 2009.  The paint has held up very well as far as preventing marine growth.  But it is flaking off terribly!  

BeBe has never had any type of anti-fouling paint except for Micron 66.  It is expensive paint but worth the cost if a boat is kept in warm equatorial waters -- our favorite places to sail.   We had taken the paint off completely in May 2006 and 2 coats of International barrier coat was applied before Micron 66 was rolled on, 2 coats overall with 3 coats near waterline.  In June 2007 another 2 coats of Micron 66 were rolled on, with 3 coats near the waterline.  But in New Zealand in March 2009 the Micron 66 was sprayed on rather than by roller application.  That is the only difference -- spraying rather than rolling.  We strongly suspect that thinner must have been added when the paint was sprayed.  Either that or the surface was not properly prepared.  It certainly is not due to incompatibility of products since the only paint ever applied has been Micron 66.  We are in contact with the company that did this work in New Zealand and await their comments.  

So the 2 coats of flaking sprayed-on paint must be scraped off, then the 4 coats of rolled-on paint must be sanded off.  Then 2 coats of International Gel Shield 200 will be applied as new barrier coat before the new Micron 77 can be rolled on.  The suspected incorrect application in New Zealand is costing us a lot of money!  And time! 

We have been extremely pleased with Micron 66 for the past 6 years, but are now switching to the newer formulation Micron 77.  Micron 66 is good only in salt water; fresh water deactivates the paint and renders it useless.  Micron 77 is effective both in salt water and fresh water.  We don't plan to go up any rivers, but will be glad not to have the salt-water-only restriction anymore.

BTW, I have noticed several sailboats in this boatyard that have strange keels in various configurations.   I do not understand why having a hole in the keel would have hydrodynamic advantages over a solid keel.  These holey keels come in various shapes.  Some are rounded fore and aft.  If anyone knows an advantage of such a keel shape, please chime in.

As always, click on any image for larger view.