Thursday, June 4, 2015

Nimrod on the Move Again

Hi Again Everyone, we thought it was about time we got around to another blog update so here goes.

After another hectic winter in Finike Marina we set off for our summer sailing season on April 18th heading West and North up the Turkish Coast and then across to the Greek mainland and the Northern Aegean Islands.

Winter in Finike was good fun yet again but with quite a few less people then the previous winter, the Turkish Government have changed the rules and requirements for Residency Permits and this seems to have put quite a few people off wintering in Turkey. We were lucky because we got our Permit last winter and it is valid until June 2015 so we do not have to worry about the new rules. Turkey is a great place to spend the winter and it will be a great shame if these rules mean it becomes too much hassle, another factor we have noticed is that the marina prices seem to go up by about 15% every year at the moment, all in all Turkey seem to be pricing themselves out of the winter cruisers budgets.

The winter weather was not quite as pleasant as last year with more rain and wind, and even snow in Finike for the first time in over 25 years. However temperatures were only rarely below 10 deg C for more than an odd day or two and shorts and tee shirts were the order of the day most of the time, definitely much better than winter in the UK.

The local people and businesses in Finike were as friendly as ever with the weekly market meaning fruit and veg supplies were super fresh and cheap. The only things that are relatively expensive in Turkey seem to be beef and alcohol although probably still cheaper than the UK. We solved the alcohol problem by stocking up the boat in Symi before we headed to Turkey for the winter, miraculously we even had some left when we headed out in April.

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Another Winter Party

5 Star Luxury for Lis’ Birthday

Winter social life was pretty hectic with weekly Sunday BBQ, Friday Happy Hour and many other reasons for parties such as Birthdays, Burns Night, Chinese New Year, French Soiree and Indian Nights to name a few.

We escaped for a few days to an all inclusive 5 star Hotel near Antalya to celebrate Lis’s Birthday (Summertime) and enjoyed plenty of food and drink with the sun also shining the whole time we were there.

The rest of the winter was taken up with the usual list of boat jobs and repairs that seemed to take much more time than last year but there were quite a few extras on the list. The dinghy engine needed a thorough service and overhaul with new bearings and seals needed, engine water pumps got refurbished together with the extra alternator drive system. The watermaker was cleaned and checked and the sails were all given a good going over with stitching and repairs completed. We also changed our mainsail lazy bag / cover for a spare that we have had since we bought Nimrod – this was not nearly as simple as it sounds because it was much too big and so needed about 4 days of alterations and sewing to get it to the right size and fit.

Finally there was the usual two weeks of cleaning and polishing the whole boat to get her looking spic and span for leaving, a 42 foot catamaran is an awful lot of boat to polish and sometimes you think it would be nice to have a smaller boat, but she looked really great after all the hard work. Unfortunately any rain we seem to get always seems to be brown with loads of mud and sand so the poor boat ends up filthy again.

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Nimrod’s Personal Guide

Samos Scenery

 We visited the same places as before on our way North with stops in Kekova, Kastellorizon, Kalkan, Gocek, Symi, Gulluk and Samos as we made the best of any favourable Southerly winds to make some progress. We sailed with Summertime, Nostromo and Rio Luna so we had various excuses for partying and sundowners including a BBQ on the beach for Sue’s Birthday.

The weather decided that we should spend nearly two weeks in Samos so we hired a car for a few days to explore the Island and to visit Lidl for supplies. Samos is a lovely Island with plenty to see and it is also much greener than the smaller Greek Islands since it has plenty of fresh water. As usual for Greece there are monasteries and churches scattered everywhere from inaccessible hill tops to underground caves.

Samos was where we had to say goodbye to Lis and Flemming on Summertime since they are heading back to Denmark and back to work so they have lots of miles to cover this summer so they were heading West from Samos while we continued North with Nostromo. We have spent 3 winters and 2 summers with Summertime so it was really sad to wave them off one last time.

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Church in Pythagorio

Samos Monastery

The main anchorage at Pythagorio was a great place to sit out the weather apart from one day when we had 35-40knts from the SE which is the only direction the anchorage is open to, we had a tense few hours before it all calmed down and we got tied up alongside the harbour wall. Further East is Posedonio, another lovely anchorage for a couple of days before heading around to the N of the Island ready to sail North with some favourable winds.

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Unfinished Project

Bademli Anchorage

We had a great day’s sailing with only the gennaker up from Samos up to Yeniliman, covering 76nm in the day and only needing to use the engines for a couple of hours, after an overnight in Yeniliman we sailed to Bademli. This is a lovely spot, sheltered from all directions and with some hot springs to explore. Also on shore are a couple of big hotel developments that never got finished and have been abandoned for 10 to 15 years, not sure why but it is likely that planning permission was dubious or the right bribes were not paid or simply a change of local government, whatever the reasons some people must have lost an awful lot of money. It was interesting to wander around and imagine what they could have been like if they were finished, one place had some Turks who seemed to using some of the rooms as a weekend hideout and we had to join them for the obligatory cai (Turkish tea).

From Bademli we headed further N to Ayvalik, a lovely archipelago of Islands where there are many places to anchor and hide from any unpleasant weather. Most of the area is quite shallow and it was quite strange to be 250 metres from the shore in only 4 metres of water, previously most of the Turkish coast would mean anchoring in 10 to 20 metres of water only a few boat lengths from the shore.

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Troy Horse, Canakkale

Canakkle Naval Museum

We had planned to sail up the Dardanelles to Canakkle to visit the Gallipoli War Cemeteries but we decided that it made much more sense to hire a car with Nostromo and visit Gallipoli and Pergammon with the boats safely anchored in Ayvalik.

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Galipoli Landing Site

Memorial to the Fallen

Hi all Sue here

We travelled to Cannakle and then arranged for a trip across to Gallipoli with a tour company. It is the only way to do it as there are so many different sites to visit and all with a different story and part to play. It was a very long day out and we were glad we were doing it in May as it gets very hot later in the summer months. With this being the centenary year there have been many thousands of visitors already. I never realised how may thousands of soldiers lost there lives here, around 50,000, such a tragedy and so many mistakes were made. Maybe if Churchill hadn’t reneged on Turkeys order with us to provide them with 2 war ships things might have been very different. But I suppose that is how a lot of History goes. It was a very moving day and if you get the chance it is well worth going to.

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Lone Pine Cemetry

Turkish Memorial

Pergammon was an amazing site, very big and spread out. Must admit Vanessa and I did get a bit distracted and had to have a little gallop around the amphitheatre!! Well there is only so many rocks a girl can do before getting bored.

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Pergamon Ruins

Pergamon

 All very impressive.

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Ampitheatre

Pergamon

We have had many sightseeing days around Ayvalik and I think we have been in most of the anchorages now as well. It’s been fun sailing in company with John and Vanessa off Nostromo. John did manage to hit a sandbank one day and we ended up on the mud when we swung around at anchor another day but all good fun. trying to play Jenga at anchor is the most amusing with the boat moving all the time!!

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Ayvalik Lake

Another Hard Day

 Our visit to the Alibey Museum was very interesting. Especially the children’s section where the had 2 big displays of Barbie memorabilia, Vanessa and I were in our element reminiscing over various item we used to own. Shame it was all behind a glass case as we were dying to have a play!! Of course the men preferred the grown up section best, lots of engines etc, yawn yawn!!!

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Alibey Museum

Restored Greek Church

A lot of my winter in Finike was spent walking and looking after the various Marina Dogs. I must admit that I did get very attached to them all and shed a few tears when we had to leave. I have put together a collage of my pictures taken of the Marina dogs and various other places we have visited since leaving Finike.

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Finike’s Dogs

Gallipoli

We will be checking out of Turkey on Monday and will then cross to Lesvos and check into Greece where we will be spending the rest of the Summer months.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Summer 2014

 

Hi All Sue here

We thought you all might be getting fed up with a monthly blog so are going to try and condense the last 3 months into one blog. We have continued to sail between Greece and Turkey and it has been a wonderful summer. Although Greece and Turkey are so close to each other they are very different and we love them both. The only problem we have is remembering to switch languages as the Turkish people would not be amused to be greeted in Greek and vice versa!! If all else fails and my memory deserts me I just smile sweetly and wait for them to speak first!!

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Agathonisis Waterfront

Greek Churchyard

Highlights from Greece

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Greek Church Interior, Fournoi

Syrian Refugees, Agathonisi

We spoke of Agathonisi at the end of our last blog and we have now visited there three times. It is the kind of place you just keep getting drawn back to. It is just so beautiful and unspoilt. Well worth a visit if you get the chance. But on our last visit there it was quite sad as the local Police Station, situated looking down over the harbour, was being used to home refugees from Syria until they could be put on a ferry to larger islands and then on to Athens. They are very sad and desperate people and have risked everything to escape. The ages ranged from babies up to elderly people and they have left their country with their life's belongings in a rucksack. The same is happening on many of the Greek islands as more and more refugees arrive. Many lives are being lost when their makeshift boats sink or worse still they are just told to jump into the water and swim for shore when boats carrying them are scared to get too close to the shore in case they are caught by Port Police.

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Fournoi Anchorage

Well Tended Cemetery, Fournoi

Fournoi was a very small island also very beautiful and unspoilt by tourism. We hiked up to a small church on the top of the island and were amazed what we found. The decorations and paintings inside were stunning and the views from the top were well worth the hike. We were very impressed with their graveyard as well. Beautiful.

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Young Man’s Mausoleum

Gravestone Decoration

Patmos was our next stop. So many bays to choose from and all with turquoise waters to swim in, idyllic. We also went on the Town Quay so we could take a bus up to the famous Monastery of St John. The cave just below it is supposedly where St John dictated The Book of Revelation. Chris says it’s all just a fairy story but it is a very impressive Monastery and being a good Catholic girl (although lapsed!!) I could at least relate to it all and you do feel that you should be on your best behaviour here and talk quietly. The only disappointing bit was that in the Cave, which you had to pay extra to go in, a monk gave a talk on the history of it but it was all in Greek so couldn’t understand a word of it!! You have to go early in the day though as it a favourite spot for the cruise ships and gets very busy later on. We also made some new friends here who owned the last Prout Catamaran to be built before they were taken over by Broad Blue. As we own the first Catamaran to be built by Broad Blue it would have been very rude not to have a few drinkies together. Our friends off SY Nemir joined us as well and a very good evening was had by all.

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Monastery at Patmos

Old and New Friends, Patmos

At Lipso we went on the Town Quay where we met up with friends Guido and Liz off SY Lupa. It was good to catch up with them and have a meal out together. They introduced us to the best bakery in Greece and it was very fortunate that we were only staying a couple of days!! We then moved to an anchorage, Lera Lipso for a couple of days. We find it’s too hot to stay on the Town Quays for long and prefer to be anchored where we can swim to cool down.

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Arki Harbour

Model Boats, Arki

Arki was worth a visit. We hiked around the island which didn’t take long but it was very pretty. They had a toy town marina in the harbour, very cute.

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Tiny Church on Leros

Inside the Church

We paid another visit to Simi to replenish our depleting alcohol supplies and to stock up for guests arriving. Think we may be paying one more visit there before we head back to Finike just to make sure we have enough to keep us going through the winter months.

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Winter Supply Shopping

Stepping Stones to the Beach

And our old favourite Kastellorizon had to be visited again. We went there with our friends Jean & John. The men went for a hike over the island and the ladies shopped and drank coffee, YES coffee, it was too early for beer!!

Highlights from Turkey

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Harbour Patrol, Iassos

Lounging in Noodle Chairs

Iassos & Gulluk Area

Another favourite, a real Turkish Village, where you feel you have stepped back in time. This time we sailed here with Tracy & Mike off SY Ria Luna. The men went out mussel gathering most days and while Tray and I just noodled around. Whilst here Tracy and I took the local Dolmus to Milas where Tracy had arranged for there credit cards to be delivered to. We spent the day shopping and had a lovely lunch, all was going well until we were told by the Tourist Information Office the wrong bus stop!! Luckily a nice man took us to the place where all the busses come to but now we had a 30 minute wait as we had just missed ours. Tracy being the kind friendly person that she is got talking to a man who sat down next to her. From what we can gather I think she inadvertently sold me to him!! A very fraught game of musical chairs ensued as we kept trying to shake him off!! We were so glad when our bus came and we could at last escape my “ Supposed Client”. When we eventually arrived back at Iassos and relayed to Chris and Mike what had happened they both just laughed and said they couldn’t understand how we had got ourselves into so much trouble and should just have told him to go away!! Not so easy when you are surrounded by Turkish people and in their country. Must learn a few more choice Turkish words!! As usual I made friends with the local stray cats and dogs and they arrived at the back of the boat for titbits every day. Funny how they all get on together.

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Large Fan Mussel, Gulluk

Another Sunset!!!

Whilst anchored in Akyarlar we saw a very large forest fire one evening. Apparently there have been a lot this year around Greece and Turkey as it has been so dry and many thousands of trees have been destroyed. From here we sailed around to Keci Buku to eat at our favourite restaurant of the year and also for Chris to pick up some things from the Chandlers here. We then moved on to Dirsek and Bozburun where we caught up with some friends from Ragusa, Vivienne & Alastair off Largo Star. We spent a lovely few days with them catching up before their boat is shipped back to New Zealand. Also in Bozburun we saw two more Catamarans like Nimrod anchored together. They were both charter boats.

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Forest Fire, Akyarlar

Two Sister Ships of Nimrod

We arrived in Gocek beginning of September to meet up with my sister Caroline, who was flying into Dalaman to stay for a week (9 days actually as she sneaked a couple of extra days on!!). There are so many bays around Gocek and Fethiye that you could easily spend a couple of weeks around here. We visited Wall Bay, Ruin Bay, Kapi Creek, Sarsala, Tomb Bay and many more!! Then when she left we had two days to restock before our friends Jean & John arrived for 2 weeks (16 days actually as they also sneaked a couple of extra days in!!) and round we went again!!.

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Sisters and Empty Glasses

Goats in Wall Bay

As they were flying home from Antalya it was now time to head towards Kemer. First stop was Gemilar then Kas, where we met up with friends John & Vanessa off SY Nostromo. Then on to Kastellerizon for a couple of days then to Kekova Roads. Another place where you can get lost for a few days in endless peaceful anchorages. Which we did!!

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Tucked Into a Cosy Spot

Out for Dinner, Kas

Next stop our home again for the winter Finike Marina where we were made most welcome and my two doggy friends, Carpet & Tripod, still remembered me. One night here to visit the Saturday market then on to Tekirova. It was a very bumpy passage here and I was very glad when we arrived. Unfortunately the anchorage was very rolly the first night but did calm down by day two. Here we visited the Roman aqueduct and harbour streets, dwellings and shops. All very interesting. It was now time to say farewell to Jean & John and we headed back for one more night in Finike to get washing etc done and also to catch up with Mary Kay & Russell off SY Once Around before they head off for adventures new. Don’t know when we will meet up with them again, I hate Goodbyes!! The down side of this life.

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Gocek Bay Scenery

Old Fort, Kerkova Roads

Now we are making our way back up the coast for a rendezvous with our very good friends Lis & Flemming off SY Summertime and John & Vanessa off SY Nostromo. Probably we will get as far as Datca. Our plan is to go into Finike Marina mid November. So we will all slowly wend our way back with no doubt lots of socialising (Parties!!) along the way. Phew I feel quite dizzy now!!

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Tekerova Roman Main Street

Early Morning Calm, Kerkova