In case our yotting friends haven’t heard the shocking news, we received an email this evening forwarded on by Gaby and Paul, who are based in Yacht Marina, Marmaris, Turkey. Yacht Marina is where Liz and I wintered in 2007-08. The email reads thus:
It doesn’t seem to matter where you are this weekend: Turkey, England, Germany… it’s wet wherever you go. If the weather’s not ripping pontoons apart in Marmaris it’s holding up traffic on the M25 and making the autobahn a dangerous place to travel. For those who haven’t seen it we have some video evidence of the damage that wreaked havoc across Marmaris, recorded by Mike of ‘Roam’, hot off the press. In stark contrast to that we have a great movie of ‘Ilios’, ‘Viva Solo’, ‘Esper’, ‘Full Flight’ and ‘Lady Jessie’ all demonstrating what we like doing best. Any opportunity to send Liz off up into the air attached to a bit of string , camcorder in hand, has got to be worth the effort and she captured some fantastic video clips, which we present to you here. A pleasant musical refrain replaces the dirty-mouthed Liz battling with a shaky video camera.
We’ve been chilling out in some beautiful places though, taking in Kas, Kastelorizon, Kalkan and other places beginning with ‘K’, with plenty of pics to accompany stories of ancient Lycian tombs and angry French cons.
I am still cock-a-hoop about having the whole boat to myself and the total attention of both of my parents all of the time. It’s great. They can be a bit over-protective sometimes though and seem to think that I’ll fall overboard at any second… pur-lease, I am a salty-sea-cat these days and I know what’s what.
Regular readers of FTB will be familiar with the term ‘The Black Hole of Marmaris’, a term invented to describe the fate of the majority of boats who enter the bay and never leave, for one reason or another. Well, we’ve finally done it: Esper has left the building!
I can only assume it was the sudden shock of my body having to do physical exercise, whilst flexing my mental muscle over simple navigational tasks, all for the first time in a number of months. Jees, I’m both physically deformed and mentally retarded.
A dragging boat is not a pretty sight, especially when it’s your own. It’s even worse when your outboard has only half the revs it’s supposed to and, like a scene from a Hitchcock thriller, the more you rev, the faster your boat drags.
My last weekend, however, was marred somewhat by a couple of idiots I met in the bar on Friday. New boat owners hailing from Essex and London they had nothing good to say about the sailing community. Or Turks for that matter. I sat and listened as they slagged off Turkish workers for being lazy, and yotties who help each other only for personal gain. Eh?
Gwen is a first generation Swedish American, though she does now claim to be Canadian: “Since Bush came to power I refuse to be acknowledged as an American. I worked in the foreign service on hardship programmes and trained in Washington before being posted to West Africa. A great experience marred only by the eleven obligatory injections. Despite majoring in a variety of subjects for 16 years I never actually got a degree so officially I wasn’t allowed to become an officer in the foreign service, but I’d built up so much experience they made me an officer anyway”.
“It’s a real eye-opener”, commented Astrid. “Another time one of our girls used to get up at four in the morning to get the milk in off the door-step. When I told her she didn’t need to do this she explained that her mother had taught her to steal milk from people’s doorsteps. She was three.” Sadly another of their foster children got into a fight in an underground station and was knocked to the tracks and killed. “Of course that was very sad”, says Astrid, “as he’d only left our care a week before.
I only have one page to document the many, many things Susann does! From chartering to exporting generators, from motorbikes to oriental dancing, Susann takes multi-tasking to the extreme. After interviewing her I now understand why some people have 27 hour clocks by their bed. This girl does it all……..
Now I wouldn’t want you to think that we’ve been up to nothing but do-gooding these past weeks… Those of you that know us will be relieved to hear that there has been the usual amount of getting-up-to-mischief and having fun too! Now, where to start?
Finally, after weeks of preparing his boat for a solo voyage down the Red Sea and into the Indian Ocean at a difficult time of the year, Sam recruited a new crew member! Poppy, of s/y ‘Free’, agreed to join Sam for the majority of the journey. Poppy writes beautifully and contributes to the progress log, as well as helping Sam through a difficult journey. As I write this they have passed through the Suez Canal and already sent a number of updates and pictures
After one month of going live the site has received over 250 pledges, been translated into French, received 40,000 hits (or 4,000 unique users) and will be translated into German, Turkish and possibly Spanish. If you would like to get involved in translating into a language, please do get in touch with us.
Sam, bless him, had only expected five or ten people to turn up and really hadn’t prepared himself to explain why he was doing what he was doing in front of so many people. He moved the audience with his story and had to field some difficult questions. Some were uncertain of the whole point of Sam’s quest, which, in simple terms, was to bring about awareness of the Chagossian’s plight and eventually help get some Chagossian’s back to their islands.
I lowered myself down the companion-way and eased myself into what could only be described as a log cabin. Every bit of the boat was covered in reclaimed wood and other materials. The shelves came from his home in Devon and the stove had been chucked out as trash. The centre-piece, however, was the compression post (the post that follows the mast down into the boat). It was a piece of English oak that was to be used for a wooden boat reconstruction project that had fallen on hard times.
By the end of the weekend the grand total raised was $1500, which went to the Turkish national charity, Ozel Olimyatlar, which helps young people with learning disabilities to take part in organised Olympic sports (see the yellow box for more information on the charity). Proof that whilst we swan around in our expensive yachts, living an enviable and carefree lifestyle, some of us can still show a bit of humility and compassion.
So a chance meeting with one man and his boat changed everything. It changed our future plans as sailors. It created a crossroads at which we would normally have gone one way, but have chosen to go the other. You know what I mean: one of those rare occasions which you look back on as being a significant moment in your life.
We awoke to the sound of preparation for getting under way. The Skipper and First Mate were determined to take us for a “fantastic Turkish breakfast” across Marmaris Bay. We dropped anchor at “Orange”. Lesley opted to swim to shore whilst we motored in the orange blancmange. We bagged sun loungers in true Germanic style by leaving our towels out and sat at a table in the shade on the decking, facing out into the bay.
Jamie put out a call and within minutes we had a response from fellow yachties (several actually), but the first proved to be the nearest and also have all the right equipment. We gulped a cup of coffee and waited patiently for “International Rescue”. More exchanges on the VHF followed and after about an hour a rib driven by a salty sea dog came hurtling towards us with two divers all togged up with tanks, flippers and wet suits to sort us out.
- Page 1 of 2