Watching Bodrum Go Up In Flames

Icmeler, Bodrum, Turkey A day after we get our boat lifted out of the water: In the space of a few seconds the azure skies of Bodrum suddenly turned a dirty brown this morning. Looking up at the mountains behind us we spotted a huge plume of smoke. Turns out it’s another forest fire, but this one is (and I … Read More

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Returning To Bodrum Area

We completed a few tacks and successfully overtook another yacht attempting the same thing (10 points) but, after three or more hours we decided to whack the engine on and just get round that damn corner! Shame, as we were having a lot of fun tacking, something that Liz and I have got licked pretty well now (bear in mind we tack with up to four sails out).

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Exhausted!

It was a worrying time, waiting in Yat Lift for 24 hours whilst the Man brothers set to and worked on the gear box. With Emma arriving in a few days we desperately needed to get back out into the water with a fully functioning boat. Fortunately it was a small problem that required no spare parts and before we knew it we were off again and back to Bitez.

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Boat Maintenance

The first job we had to attend to was the leaking deck fittings. This meant ripping down the headboards, unbolting the deck fittings and caking ourselves in Sikaflex (this is a marine rubber sealant that takes three weeks to remove from your fingernails). John’s tips and encouragement meant we could tick that job off the list in no time.

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A Welcome Return

Tucked away under an olive tree in a dark corner of the yard, looking forlorn and grubby was Esper. Just to cast eyes on her again after so long brought a warm glow to our stomachs, despite the howling cold northerlies. The wind in our first few weeks on the boat in the yard was horrendous! Despite having spent some time on a boat up on sticks I don’t think I’ll ever get used to the boat wobbling as the wind reaches gale-force speeds.

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First Single-Handed Sail

For someone who has been sailing for only two or so years, this really was a quantum leap. Don’t mind if I blow my own trumpet but how many people do you know are capable of taking a boat out and sailing for 10 miles, Taçking and gybing, and get it back in to the marina in one piece? (That … Read More

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Boat Stereo Entertainment System

We had more fun and games sourcing a solution for our entertainment system than any other issue with the boat! Whilst there are expert marine electricians, carpenters, rigging experts and so on there appears to be a lack of information on marine stereo solutions.

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Boat Plumbing

There were two major plumbing jobs that we left to Yat Lift: the replacement of the holding tank and converting the electric toilet pump back to a manual one.

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Boat Electrics and Electronics

With the addition of stereo, new VHF and various switches and monitors the left and lower dashs in the nav table area had to be redesigned. We decided to take out some of the old electronic equipment, either because they weren’t working or because they were dated and would one day be replaced with new kit.

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Boat Power Sources

After reading the yacht-owner’s bible (Nigel Calder’s ‘Boatowner’s Mechanical and Electrical Manual’, published by Adlard Coles Nautical) we had a serious rethink about our power sources. Eventually we will be looking to install solar panels but in the short term we had to make an educated guess at what our daily power consumption would be and put that within the context of buying new batteries and battery charger.

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The Deck

The initial survey report had indicated that a few of the deck planks required replacing and recaulking, whilst we were aware that some of the stanchion bases had come loose. Indeed two of the stanchion bases were leaking slightly, so we got eleven of the twelve bases replaced, and replaced two of the planks.

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Hull, Epoxy, Gel Coat & Other Things

One of the biggest jobs we left Yat Lift to complete was applying a new gelcoat. These additional few layers of epoxy (300 microns, to be precise) help strengthen the integrity of the hull. If you can afford it, it’s money well spent.

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Introduction to launch

Heart atack at Heathrow Airport! I loaded my cases onto the check-in scales and it turned out I was carrying over eighty kilos, fifty over the allotted amount! Credit card in hand I took the excess baggage hit, which came to over two hundred quid, and that was with 20kg taken off because the check-in girl fancied me or something.

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Esper’s Maiden Voyage

Yes, here we are at last, my first entry in the log… a long time coming I know, but not as fast as the last year has been. My fastest year on record. Wow, what a journey it has been since I met Jamie in Antigua on Christmas Day 2003. From falling in love with those deep brown eyes and embracing smile on that fateful holiday to the launch of what we have fashioned into our own special dream…

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First Week Aboard Esper

Trust me to pick the end of Ramadan to fly to Bodrum. Of course half the population was trying to travel across the country to see relatives and after 30 days of fasting there were some frayed tempers at the airport, including mine.

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