Libby, Penny and Rich go sailing………

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October 2010


21st October

A terrible shock for us today. We’ve been buying our Euros from an outfit called “Crown Currency Exchange”. You agree a contract with them, transfer sterling to their bank and they then deliver Euros to your door on an agreed date. It  worked fine. They’ve been trading five years. So, we recently saw a good deal and edged them £10k for next year’s expenses, to be delivered upon our return. They filed for receivership on October 4th. The bandit in charge has pushed off to his mansion in France. We are fully exposed. The cash has gone, along with plans to refit – make the boat waterproof etc etc. We’re in shock right now. Worse things certainly happen at sea, but …….well, watch this space. That money didn’t materialise, it was painstakingly earned and saved. The bastards.


9th October


Libby’s birthday. We are at anchor just off Marmaris town centre.

I hoisted our (originally) wedding bunting in the fore-triangle to dress the boat for the occasion. Libby came into our cabin at daylight and was thrilled to look up through the hatch to see all the little coloured flags fluttering away in the stiff breeze.



Then she came into the saloon where the fairies had inflated numerous balloons, more bunting and a heap of presents. She was SO sweet. Her little eyes shining with delight. She’s such a pleasure to do things for, and I remember last year being sad to have forgotten the video camera. I didn’t forget it this year, but couldn’t use it owing to our lackadaisical attitude towards clothing. (I do apologise for that mental image inadvertently conjured!)




As promised we took the Girl to the water park. But on the way ashore, we passed another Trintella (42), “Weg Weze” similarly dressed in coloured signal flags. She was flying a Dutch ensign. Our curiosity aroused we chugged past and enquired as to the reason for THEIR bunting. Jan and Tineke were celebrating too – Tineke’s 70th birthday!! Would you credit it? Two Trintellas anchored within a cable length of each other, both dressed and both for the same reason! We were duly invited aboard for drinks at 4pm.


In the mean time we tied up the dinghy in town and hopped on a “Dolmush” bus. The water park was bathed in brilliant sunshine but was frankly CHILLY. Nevertheless there were few people and no queues and we enjoyed some hours there before returning to the anchorage for the drinks party. The Dutch couple were SO kind. They had a gift for Libby and piles of toys – normally stowed for the purposes of visiting grandchildren. Time flew by, and we invited them to join us ashore in the Pineapple restaurant where a cake and table had been booked for 6pm. It was all a great success.

We were joined too by our friends Emma and Jes, (ex Sunsail Vounaki in Penny’s era) who also arrived bearing a pile of presents. SO kind. If Libby wasn’t overwhelmed with kindnesses bestowed upon us, then I was!


“If you can’t be with the one(s) you love, Love the one(s) you’re with!


Both Birthday Girls sharing chocolate cake, and a spoon!





We sadly JUST missed the jackpot though – more friends, Mark and Steph whom we’d tried to contact but failed due mainly to a very frustrating wrangle with Turkish Vodafone – just happened to be at the restaurant too. If only we’d tried a bit harder we might have swelled the party by another two. Not to worry, we’ll have time to catch up with everyone in due course I’m sure.

It’s been VERY frustrating trying to stay “connected” in Turkey. In short, we now have a different number, (above) which I hope will now remain unchanged. To support this there are now numerous copies of my passport, every page, held at the local Vodafone office…………….


1st October


Here we are then – October already. Will get some news up very soon. In the mean time have you perused Sept? Have you?? I mean really.

The trouble with WiFi is it’s a beer per minute, more or less……;-)


A couple of days ago, I reluctantly inserted myself into the engine-room to do some work on the autopilot. We’d been having trouble in strong winds with a thudding sound in a strong gust. I eventually realised the chain must be slipping on the cogs.  Rather late in the day,  I discovered that our old “Neco” pilot drive – some 30-years old and built to last, has some adjustment. It drives one of the steering gearboxes by a moped chain which I’d proudly procured in Lefkas back in January. The drive hadn’t been used by the previous owner after the original Neco “brain” died, but I was able to marry it up with a fairly modern Raymarine item. It worked perfectly until we encountered these very strong winds recently. Anyway, pondering the “thudding” issue, and wondering how to tighten the chain, I suddenly realised that someone might have already thought of this – 30 years ago!


So, there I was in the engine-room, hauling the washing machine out from beside the generator and then scrambling over the work bench, with the vice compressing my port-side kidney, torch clamped in mouth . . . sure enough, the ancient drive is mounted on a plate which can be levered up by threaded studs at one end. Joy and delight! Anyway, it’s now fully tightened, but I realise that I need to replace the worn cogs – a “real” engineering job for winter as they’ll probably have to be made for me by a specialist engineer, either in Marmaris or possibly by the brilliant Simon Jones back in Blighty.


While I had my hands dirty, I had a go at the main engine sea strainer. Having cleaned it out I tightened down the lid and opened the seacock once more. Water started gurgling up through the lid. Harder down with the spanner. Still leaking. A bit tighter – but mustn’t risk stripping threads…still leaking. I closed the seacock and began again. A bit of grease on the Perspex lid. Still no good. The third and fourth times I excavated the “o” ring and cleaned it, massaged it, said a little prayer over it……”oh God, at times like this I feel so very under-qualified and terribly alone”. What if I can’t fix it? Well, I did. It turned out I was turning down too hard on the flange bolts. Less is more. The bilge is once more dry. This is just a small illustration of the emotional roller coaster this life engenders!


We’re definitely on the wind-down towards winter now. The girls have flights booked from Marmaris on the 26th. For me I need to oversee the haul-out, and then scamper back to Lefkas (ferry and bus) to retrieve the  car and trailer. Here’s hoping the car starts, and the tyres and bearings etc are all still OK after their long exposure the rigours of a Greek summer - for the drive home. It appears that the last ferry from Greece to Italy sails on November 1st, so I’ll be pushed for time.


In our final few weeks, we are slowly making our way around the Turkish coast, and remembering all the wonderful things we’ve experienced thus far. Of course it would be wrong to suggest it’s all been plain sailing – not by a long chalk. And yes, we’re all looking forward to our lovely house, big beds, cool nights, friends, family and all those good things. Whether it’s the imminent return to “easy” lifestyle, or just plain weariness with being confined – largely just the three of us – to a small boat; I really don’t know, but we are all ready for a change. I’m certainly hoping that come the Spring we’ll be hopping with excitement at the thought of starting it all again and the new adventures ahead.


The future is far from certain though. Our initial plans of doing two Med seasons and then crossing the pond are looking more tentative now owing mainly to the sheer expense of it all. We may simply not have the funds for what we now realise is an expensive ambition, and a lot will depend upon whether I can find some work over winter. During part of the summer we had some Australians living in our house as part of a “Home Exchange” scheme. We had been planning to stay at THEIR place during Feb/March, but again the funds shortage has all but scuppered this idea. Not to worry, more time to spend with our friends and family before heading off once more.


We will have some more pictures and dialogue for October, so please don’t go away…….

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