Thursday, 8 May 2014

Picking up the lines

The first crack of thunder has sounded. The rain I so skilfully forecast on this morning's cruisers' net has begun to fall (phew). Enki's keel rests on the earth, her great weight supported by a traditional Turkish wooden cradle, hammered together in situ. Safe as houses, we like to think, perched four metres above the ground. Living on the hard, it's called.

Enki's bottom is not as dirty this year
Enki was lifted out of the water yesterday. The condition of her undersides was a pleasant surprise. A year ago, after her first winter in the water at Netsel marina, she emerged sporting a full and unattractive marine beard but this year she came up relatively clean-skinned. Given that she spent this past winter in the exact same waters (same pontoon even), we have drawn a couple of conclusions - first, that the commercial-grade anti-foul paint which Alex can buy in Marmaris gives better protection against marine growth than the non-commerical product he was able to buy in France in 2012: and second, that the Turks did a better job of putting on the paint than the French workmen at, I won't go on.

It's also worth noting that we lifted about five weeks earlier last year.

We're not fussed about being "behind schedule". C'mon. Get real. What deadline do we have to meet? What does that list of boat jobs on the whiteboard really signify except pleasure? Will fewer weeks on the water equate to a fewer units of happiness? No way.

You don't even want to think about their boat jobs

After these past three complicated months downunder I see this life of ours more clearly (about time, you mutter). It's a cliche, and it makes me squirm, but we're living the dream. That's exactly how one of my daughter's new housemates described it. "You're living the dream!' he gasped (yes, he gasped). "I've heard that there are people who do that, but I've never actually met anyone who does." Matt's wonderment put me in my place, softly.

The ship from Thailand transports dreams in the shape of yachts

Liz is ready to cut loose
One of the other cliches about the boating life is that you are always saying goodbye. Yesterday, when it was a crime to be stuck in port, our Canadian friends Dale and Joanne untied their winter mooring lines and headed down the coast towards Gocek in their pretty Dutch canal boat called, of all things, Liz. Before they left they'd signed up for a further year at Netsel marina - after seven years of living aboard Liz, they say they've not found a better place to winter over in the Med (and the competition is Rome, Barcelona and Corfu). But we won't be spending a third winter with them here.

Joanne goes boating

Dale on the aft deck of Liz, more a salon than a cockpit

Dale and Joanne migrate back to Canada at the end of June and return to Liz in late September (they don't do blizzards anymore). They've told us a lot about their house on The Farm which is what Dale and his old ex-hippie friends call the community they set up in the 70s on a high outcrop in remotest Ontario. Dale's house is more comfortable than it used to be but the soil on The Farm, they say, still pushes up nothing as abundantly as rocks. All things being equal, we won't be meeting them or Liz on the water again, but they certainly have made the Canadian back blocks sound attractive. Maybe we'll swing by on our way through to Alaska....

Liz clears the fuel dock and prepares to leave Marmaris

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