A one-minute experiment in 4K – make sure you view in full 4K mode for all the glorious detail! We would love to hear from anyone with a 4K TV or projector. TBH we should have waited a couple of hours because we’ve just had the most stunning sunset, but it was too late and we were in the swimming pool by then… and the drone’s not waterproof!
Next time you turn the tap on for a glass of water, to have a bath or make a coffee, enjoy the ease of that simple act. In our latest episode we explain why it can take us over two hours to do the same.
Checking in is easy in Ao Chalong, with harbour master, customs and immigration in three rooms next to each other. The whole process took 15 minutes, considerably faster than finding water.
Of course this isn’t Esper’s first sail per se, but this is the first time we’ve shaken out the sails since the refit. There’s performing planes, fishing nets… and a before-and-after montage of Esper’s interior.
“I Nazar seven two. Maybe you want diesel? Maybe wash boat?” With a sideways, rolling nod, he proffered a flimsy business card. Maybe, I thought, taking it from him. His anxious expression relaxed, and a brief smile smoothed his shiny face.
Is this the fastest post ever? Just half an hour ago the Commonwealth Baton passed through Bolgatty Island in full ceremony. One moment I was an observer, the next I’m in amongst the local press snapping away at a famous Indian ex-athlete I’ve never seen before!
Once off the boat one then had to contend with the comedy pontoon, something taken straight out of the Fun House! Remember the moving staircase right by the Hall of Mirrors? That was our pontoon! As one walked down the pontoon so it tipped and dipped from side to side, and then there were the warps (lines) tied to the large motor boats that one had to climb over, further complicating the trip ashore.
In my email round-up yesterday I joked about our pilot not turning up. Well guess what? It is now 07:30, two and a half hours after we were supposed to have departed, and he’s still not here. Oh, everyone else has gone, it’s just ‘Rhumb Do’ and ‘Esper’ left on the bloody dock because they couldn’t get enough pilots. Our departure date has been set to 10:00 instead. Hmmmm…
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.
It’s an exciting time for the manager of Delta Marina, who has doubled its berths to 80 in the last few years. With the borders between northern and southern Cyprus now open, hope for relaxation of trade restrictions and loosening of prohibited areas, the cruising scene is set to expand very quickly. “The Minister of Trade [who, incidentally, spoke at the rally reception we attended] has stated that tourism is Northern Cyprus’s number one priority. Key to this is sailing, which is one reason why they are building a new marina up the coast from us”.
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.
Banu and Batu’s progress has not been without its problems, however. Despite running their family business now for over 20 years they have had some run-ins with the local marina next door, who have only been here for five years. When Banu told me of the bribes Ece Marina have been offering her in order to close her down, I was disgusted.
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?
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.