Saturday, 15 December 2012

Crunch time, Christmas time

Each morning on the VHF net, there's a chance for people to say 'hi' or 'goodbye'. These days it's almost always 'goodbye'. Christmas is closing in on us. Usually it's just people leaving their boats, but this week we also had boats leaving without people. The trans-Atlantic transport vessel Maersk Texas finally arrived in port last weekend and loaded about seven boats, mostly 50 to 100 feet long. It was quite something to watch them being lifted, and hanging in mid-air while their steel cradles were welded on the deck beneath.

For us this Christmas, Enki is home. You know you're "home" when you come to the end of a week and can't remember a thing you've done. Or alternatively when the week is punctuated not by Ruins but by feeling ruined. That's the pre-Christmas frenzy at Netsel marina I'm talking about. I don't know how it happened, but somehow Alex and I have become social butterflies. Out of the cocoon, so to speak.

Skyping with Sam
Our comings and goings among the liveaboards and cruisers of Marmaris Bay, a population as tight and parochial as any village community, doesn't make for easy translation on Skype though. It's all a bit honky, as Americans say. But we have no problems with honkiness in the right dosage on cold, dark, wet nights.

Every Tuesday night there's the Happy Hour at Pineapple restaurant, which you already know about. For those with an unhealthy interest in British pop culture pre-1990, there's a quiz night on Thursday at the Scorpio bar (that's when you get to meet the ex-pat Brit landlubbers, if you so desire). Yacht Marina (the other big marina in Marmaris Bay) does a Happy Meal on Friday night to which all Netselsiders are cordially invited. That leaves a few other nights to fill with food, drink and games (Scrabble, backgammon and a wicked Caribbean game called Joker which Sue and Ed, our friends from Iowa, have introduced us to). Some people watch television and/or DVDs on their boats, but we haven't yet crossed over to that particular dark side. 

Ed Kelly checking the lines on Angel Louise

In 2012,  the "tree" is rosemary
And now, as if I didn't have enough reasons not to finish my Yachtmaster theory course, there's the Festive Season to slot in. Tonight we're heading off to a Potluck Dinner at Sailors' Corner, a cosy enough room at the end of the fuel dock which we liveaboards have been allocated by the marina management (kindly, I think) for whatever purpose we choose - it's a library, a classroom for Turkish lessons, a domestic science lab for "stitch and bitch"(for which read Women at their Traditional Work), and now it's decorated and furnished in Full Festive Mode with tree, streamers etc . We're taking gifts tonight to exchange, as well as food, and I believe we'll be singing carols from printed sheets to guitar accompaniment (is this sounding like summer camp?). 

Guess who services the winches on Enki?
Alex and I could probably do with a night off. Last night we took the dolmus (shared taxi) out to Yacht Marina, lured by live music in the bar and the delightful company of Serge and Charlotte, a French-Swiss couple with Kiwi passports (their boat is called Kuaka - Maori for godwit) whom we met at last Saturday's "cocktail" at Sailor's Corner. The happy meal was forgettable, but the company was quite the reverse - we were too slow to grab a seat at Serge and Charlotte's table, so we teamed up with an American couple with strong Alaskan and national defence connections (have I piqued your interest?) and a Pole with no artistic pretensions at all, but a sly, dry wit. 

There have been fun and games on the water too. At the beginning of the week we had a bout of filthy weather, and the boat on our starboard side was skating around its mooring and banging against the dock when we got home from the Pineapple.

The marina staff keep a round-the-clock watch and as soon as Alex let them know that we had a frisky neighbour a couple of men in a rubber duck were alongside within a couple of minutes to make her fast again.

The next morning the sun came out again and Ahmet, who is in charge of boat security, put a diver down to check the mooring lines and chain running along the sea bed near us. He wasn't happy with what he was told. So we've changed address - the far end of K pontoon for those looking for us, squeezed between two large motor boats. Could be better, but could be worse.

The stainless steel work which Alex organised a month or so ago with Ergun, from Erinox Marin, began to come together yesterday. Ergun's a smart guy, and he's done a great job making up a new self-launching bow roller for our big brute of a Rocna anchor (above), and an articulating pole for the new D-400 wind generator (so it can be lowered easily onto a dinghy or dock). More on that when we stick the gizmo on top of the pole and wire it up.

Ergun (left) and one of his men

This morning Ergun and his crew attached two 130 watt, 24 volt solar panels to Enki's flanks, and while again the quality of the stainless work is high, I did a double take when I saw the size of the panels. Humungous.

Yes, I know. We chose them, but it's one thing to work out the most efficient/ cost effective solution to your power generation needs, and quite another to see that solution vandalise your boat's elegant lines.

Ergun has left the job un-finished to give us time to adjust to Enki's facelift. We can go smaller, but at a big loss both in power generation and in hard currency (we'd have to find a buyer for the big panels). I suspect we'll cave into ugly, though it pains me to say so. 

1 comment:

  1. Merry Christmas, guys. Can't wait to tell Alisa who does the winches on Enki.