Thursday, 18 October 2012

Coming in

Enki turns north towards Marmaris
First thing this morning, as I walked past the electrics panel on my way through to the galley to boil the kettle,  I reached to flick off the anchor light switch. That's when it hit me. We've "come in". We won't need to be turning off - or on - the anchor light for at least six months. A lot of other things I've learned to do as a matter of routine are now redundant - like checking on our charge status and rationing my shower time (both power and water are piped onto the boat from the utility post on the dock), listening - and I mean really listening - for the noises the engine makes, being aware of how the boat is swinging on its anchor, and what that means, knowing what the barometer is doing, and....well, all the usual boating things.

She's called Marina

And the outlook's different. Here (above) is what I saw as I stepped up into the cockpit yesterday morning. This morning there was another one just as big to take its place. They do somewhat overwhelm the view.

She's leaving town

Morning blues
There's always an ending, isn't there? We left Gocek Bay on a day to cry for, under a bright sun which had forgotten it was sliding towards November and with not much promise of sailing the 38 miles to Marmaris.  We've had some exhilarating sails in Turkey over the past couple of months, but only a handful. More times than we'd have liked we've motored or motor sailed to get to where we're heading. But who's complaining? We've got oceans ahead of us, and sliding across flat Mediterranean waters might, I suspect, seem quite attractive at some point during an ocean crossing.  For an hour or so, shortly before we entered the grand shelter of Marmaris bay, the wind veered and picked up a few knots, and there went the season - Enki scooting along under full main and genoa, heading in the right direction, at a gentle 5 to 6 knots. A good ending, in other words.

In town yesterday, as we went back and forth between the port police and the tax department, going through the steps of residency application, the temperature reached 33 degrees, making it that much harder to come to terms with our new status as "winter" liveaboards in Netsel Marmaris Marina. It seems we are one of the last to come in. The marina is pretty full, though most boats are not occupied.

Here's one that we recognised. In Fethiye we'd looked for Lazy Jacques at Ece marina in the place where we'd last seen her, but she wasn't there. Gone sailing, it turns out.  Chay Blyth and his lady (she's Lady Blyth, to his Sir) were tidying up alongside at Netsel yesterday. No time for small talk. They'd been out for 10 days, he said. Oh. I vaguely remember meeting him many years ago, very briefly, when I went to Southhampton to "cover" one of those round-the-world-the-wrong-way races he organised. He's many other things, but gracious is not one of them. We don't expect to see any more of the Blyths, but we hope they cruise well. "It'll keep us out of mischief," he said.

Things are quieter on the boulevard in Marmaris

Three competing muzzeins are singing the loyal to prayer as night falls. Alex has pickled the watermaker. Regularly making water and flushing the watermaker have been among his many routine tasks over the past six months. In the next day or two I'll empty and defrost the fridge and freezer. We're planning another road trip, something to keep our spirits from collapsing. We want to take another look at Ephesus, in comparative solitude (who am I kidding?), and swing by Turkey's other star ruin, Pergamum. Alex has always wanted to go there. Then we'll come back to settle properly into our temporary home. Buy a pushbike. Join the Turkish conversation class. Meet the neighbours.  Learn new habits.

Marmaris old town - her best angle

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