Christmas At The Taj

Not really for the general public but a few shots of our Christmas Day, which was spent at the Taj Palace Hotel, Wilingdon Island, Cochin.

Liz and I were joined by our friends Mike and Gabi, who were effectively on their honeymoon, and the usual suspects of Terry and Fiona of Roam II and Ants and Div of Divanty.

It is a real pleasure to be eating turkey, brussel sprouts and stuffing whilst supping on a nice glass of Chianti, in India where all of these things are hard to find!

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Turkey to India Video: A Geography Lesson For Kids

We have put together this educational video for children aged between 5-10 but at 50 Liz was just as entertained, so we hope everyone gets something out of it.

Using Google Earth we have animated the course that we took on the rally from Turkey to India. It starts off with a few clips of the rally boats to give children an idea of what a boat looks like when it is sailing but the main part of this clip is an explanation of each country visited and where they are in relation to the UK.

We put this together to accompany the podcast we’ll be publishing in October for Nancy Lake’s class at Wybunbury Delves Primary School. Nancy’s class, who have asked us a whole range of questions about what it’s like to live on a boat, is aged between 10-11 but the commentary on this video clip is more suited to 4-7 year olds.

We hope you enjoy it. It was great fun to put together and we look forward to reading your comments.

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Frui Awards FTB Portrait Competition

Those who have been to Turkey may well know this lady… Frui, the creative learning holiday specialist, has awarded followtheboat winner of the August Photography competition. It is held monthly and the theme changes each time. This month’s theme was Portrait and my winning shot features a picture I took in Kekova Roads, Turkey, of an old lady. When I tried to take this shot the lady indicated that she was too old for the camera, saying her face was ‘broken’. I beg to differ; it’s one of the most interesting close-up portraits I’ve taken. Check the link for a peek…

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Turkey To Egypt Part 1

Turkey to Egypt sailing

We promised you a podcast of our crossing and so here it is: this is the first of two 20 minute podcasts, documenting our 400nm crossing from Turkey to Port Said, Egypt. In this episode we break things and talk about various aspects of navigation and night sailing. This is the perfect podcast for introducing you landlubbers to the wonders of sailing, especially if you have never stepped on board a boat before. Download it to your iPod or notebook, or play it direct via the ‘play’ button. Enjoy!

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Shopping In Turkey: Tips & Observations

In this feature we take a light-hearted look at shopping in Turkey. We examine the customs, the expectations and the heartache. Somewhere in the article are a few tips, but don’t take it too seriously.

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In The Summertime

I was glad to be back in Turkey, but the thing about Alanya is that it also doesn’t have any fish. It does have a marina with no boats in it and a few fairly scary feral cats. That didn’t bother me though. I still managed to trap myself inside the marina boss’s yacht and had a fight or two with the local moggies. I won.

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A Tale of Two Has(s)ans

We decided to head next door to Hassan’s, where we were looking forward to meeting the owner. Oh boy, did we meet the owner. I’m not sure if he had got out of bed the wrong side, if he’d just had some terrible news, or if he’d taken an instant dislike to us but he was the most unpleasant man we have met in Turkey. The exchange went something like this…

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Dragging Anchors And Scraping Transoms

Alanya is an odd place for yotties to visit. On the one hand it is full of German and Russian package holiday makers, basking on the most stunning of sandy beaches (a rarity in Turkey). It lacks local anchorages, suffers sloppy waters and rarely hosts ‘good’ sailing weather, located in the lull that is Antalya Bay. Oh and it doesn’t yet have a completed marina. On the other hand it boasts some stunning views of the Taurus mountains and the ‘old town’ and castle are well worth a visit. Annoyingly it also has a great brewery, which I missed. How the hell did that happen?

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Esper Sails Herself

Sometimes writing this log is exhausting but it means we really get to examine our experiences in different places around the world, and our time in Cyprus was a real eye-opener. It’s great to see Liz writing more of the log so I can spend more time taking pictures; we’re working well as a team to provide you with a bit of fun and entertainment.

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Finike, Turkey to Girne, Northern Cyprus

I’m not entirely sure why this happened: when the depth is over 100m the gauge normally just shows ‘—m’. I’ve never seen it show a reading like that before and I can only assume it was a shoal of fish, or one big fish, attracted by the sound of the boat’s chugging, monotone engine. Either that or a Turkish submarine was f***ing with us.

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Nightswimming

The further east we travel the happier I am. It’s so much more “Turkish”, if you know what I mean, much less “Cowes à la Turk”. I have to agree with them, though, it is very hot here. All of us have become quite lethargic and have found it more and more difficult to get motivated. One night when we were anchored just outside Kas (pronounced “cash”) I decided to liven us all up a bit.

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Can Someone Please Turn The Oven Down?

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.

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Kas, Beautiful Kas!

This is also where the paragliders land and hours can be spent watching their graceful sails catch the thermals. They land on the ‘marina’ strip, which is worth a mention. In our pilot guide the author says “At the time of writing work is proceeding slowly on the construction of the marina”, the text of which is accompanied by a photo of the unfinished marina. He states that he was given a completion date of 2001. Well, it’s 2008 and the ‘marina’ looks exactly like your photograph from 10 years ago!

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Gemiler Island To Kas, Via Kalkan

We’d heard good things about Kalkan so we anchored in a spot recommended by two friends. The dip in the water was a real treat as somewhere close by there was a cold-water spring in the sea-bed, causing random little spots of cool water in the otherwise bath-temperature seas. Alas a quick dive down to inspect the anchor showed that we were on top of rock.

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Getting Creative On Gemiler Island

Actually, when I say busy I mean really busy. For an anchorage in the middle of nowhere there are rather a lot of vessels churning up this otherwise idyllic anchorage. Nothing bad, mind, apart from the twat on a jet-ski who needed a smack round the face…

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Rolly Polly In Gemiler

Nice spot, this one (see pic, above). At last we were out of the Fethiye bay and could once again go for a dip in the water without swallowing clumps of grass, mud or poo. The water was crystal and we even put the basket out for Millie, who seems to think that we magically turn stale bread into fish just by placing the basket in the water. Sometimes it really is that easy.

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Flying Bats and Missing Cats

Oh, I almost forgot to mention International Rescue. Probably because it’s mildy embarrassing, but as long as Gina from ‘Impulse’ is around, armed with her bacon and mint sauce, you know you are in good hands.

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Should I Stay Or Should I Go?

Eventually we stopped somewhere and I heard strangers banging around and talking. I made myself very small indeed and tried to hide. I didn’t know what to do. Inevitably someone found me, a very smiley, kind lady with red hair. But I didn’t know her; I wanted my Mum.

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Millie Disappears

When I awoke at 3am this particular night, there was Millie, fast asleep on her throne. When I awoke again at 5am Liz turned to me and just said “Millie’s gone”. Instinctively both of us knew she wasn’t going to return, but we put it to the back of our minds and dozed uncomfortably until 7am when we decided to get up and start looking for her. Our calls aroused nothing but barks from the four dogs who live around the restaurant area on Tersane island.

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Beaucoup Fish

FISH, now they are quite a different matter. Oh, just that word brings me out in goose pimples. F, I, S, H, fish. Tasty, fleshy, scaly, spiky, slimy, fresh, wriggling fish. Yummy, yum yum.

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