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Archive for the ‘2013 new Maranatha’ Category

Greetings Everyone,

Why did I say “Disasters make the best stories”? Coming home we had two disasters (me thinks she exaggerates a bit, typist) with our air flights — not the type that causes crashes but time and money frustrations.

We flew from southern Turkey to Istanbul and had a nine hour wait for our flight to Israel. We fronted up to the check-in three hours before our flight to Israel only to be told that we were at the wrong airport and that with the Istanbul traffic we would not get to the other airport in time. No-one had told us that there were two airports in Istanbul and only this particular flight went from the other one. So at ten o’clock at night we had to arrange an hotel for the night. Fortunately we had allowed an extra day in Israel before our tour commenced so we didn’t miss out on any of it.

We had fabulous weather and an excellent guide, very passionate about his country. It is something very special to experience the places where Jesus lived — hard to convey without being there and too much to explain in an e-mail.

Flying home via London we had a 2.45am start from Tel Aviv and then a six hour wait at Heathrow. Eventually boarded the plane and it taxied out to the runway only to find the port side flaps were not working correctly. We sat on the plane for five hours while they tried to fix it and by that time the crew had run out of flying time so the flight was cancelled and they took us to an hotel for a late dinner (1.30am by this time) and to bed. We finally left London Friday night and arrived in Sydney Sunday morning.

It’s good to be back in Australia. Our plans are to stop on the Central Coast for a week and then go to my father’s for Christmas. Then we will go to Bundaberg to visit friends and to pick up some of our gear stored there to take back to the boat. We expect to be back on the Central Coast in February for the birth of our seventh grandchild and then go back to Turkey early in March.

We wish you all a happy and holy Christmas and hope to catch up with as many as possible in the New Year.

God bless,

Pam and Phil

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Greetings Everyone,

This week we have been more social. Next to our own boat in Fethiye harbour was a yacht with a Jersey flag — the island where my mother was born. We called over to say “G’day” and struck a chord with Keith and Carol leading to a number of Sundowners and dinner one night on their vessel. They have been sailing for many years, been twice around the world including Australia. We also attended a British run church at Fethiye and met a Dutch family who are planning to start a Turkish church and drug rehab centre further out of town and a Swiss sailor who was 82 and lonely as his wife had died recently. He shouted us lunch and later came over for a meal on our boat and brought us a whole heap of charts for the Atlantic and Carribean.

The last two days we have been in Ekincek, a remote village, drinking Turkish tea and communicating in sign language and broken English with the owner of a very small market (corner store) who took a fancy to us as we were from Australia. It’s been good to have a bit of company.

We’re looking forward to a whole heap more when we return home. See you soon.

God bless,

Pam and Phil

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Greetings Everyone,

We are headed home. We have booked to go on the hard at Marmaris on the 5th November, to fly to Israel on the 13th and to fly back to Australia on the 22nd. Meanwhile we are retracing our path and have stopped at Fethiye — a good anchorage and easy access to supplies to do some more boat alterations.

Phil and I made side curtains for the ocean passages — I sewed and Phil attached the clips. Today Phil is re-routing the wires for the autopilot controller to put it in easy reach of the helmsman. It’s a tricky job requiring him to drill through the bottom of the compass pedestal. I’ve had fun bartering at the markets for gifts for the grandkids and still revelling in the taste of Turkey We discovered some delicious nibbles — savoury tomato somethings and round savoury rolls — sold everywhere for breakfast.

Phil is delighted to have found choc-coated chocolate ice creams selling for the equivalent of 40 cents while I love the Turkish local gelato ice creams — $1 a scoop. As you can see, we are not suffering; my leg is completely well and I can walk everywhere and Turkey is a great place to be.

God bless

Pam and Phil

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Greetings Everyone,

Disasters always make the best stories! The first part of the week was fine. Firstly we went to Greece — an island you could literally swim to from Turkey. We arrived on Sunday just as a memorial church service to honour some recently departed was finishing with many Aussies attending. (The island, Kastellorizon, had many families emigrate to Australia many years ago and there are only 200 people on the island now.) We were invited to the “wake” afterwards and enjoyed a time of fellowship with the Greeks from this isolated area. One man swam out to the boat later to continue talking.

We then sailed to Kerkova, an area where an earthquake had resulted in the lower sections of a township slipping below the sea. The tour boats make a killing gliding past the ruins. Our highlight was at the end of a long bay miles from anywhere, we found a restaurant — minus three star– with a jetty you could tie up to and chooks, cows and goats out the back. We had a delightful meal of calamari, salad and chips cooked on an open fire by a woman who spoke no English. In the end she gave Phil a pencil and paper and the menu to work out what we owed her. We gave her a little souvenir koala and she loved it. When Phil went to get the dinghy 20 feet of the wharf had fallen in. We were glad we hadn’t tied the yacht to it — there had been one tied to it the day before.

The disaster (I think the writer has a vivid imagination, typist) night was the next one. We sailed back to Kas and dropped anchor and tied up quite professionally to a tree ashore (Med style). The forecast was 5-9 knotts but that night it blew 30-38 knotts right on the beam for a solid four hours. We were getting closer to the rocks and Phil had to toss the rope off and we motored out and re-anchored in deeper water with two other yachts that were in the same predicament. As the holding wasn’t good we took turns staying awake on watch while the boat swung every which way on a 60 metre radius of chain until 2am when the wind eased off. Today is calm, blue skies and innocent. I guess we met the infamous melteli. One of the problems is the mountains all along the coast drop straight into the sea and there are few places with enough shallow water to anchor and a huge number of boats wanting the same few spots.

We are slowly making our way back to Marmaris where we will leave the boat for the winter. We are booked to fly out on the 13th November.

God bless,

Pam and Phil

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Greetings Everyone,

We almost missed a perfect day! We sailed to a little village called Kalkan but there was no where to anchor and the marina was full. We finally anchored Mediterranean style — we are becoming experts — in a beautiful bay about five miles away surrounded by sheer hillsides with no apparent access to the town.. So we swam around in the clear water and then Phil decided, late in the afternoon, we needed to go for a walk. So we climbed the mountain via a goat track and found at the to a huge Roman aquaduct built around 400 AD and down the other side a dirt road to a village and then a main road to Kalkan.

So the next day we climbed the mountain again, hitch-hiked into town and booked a tour for the following day to Xanthos with the driver agreeing to pick us up at the bottom of the mountain on the main road. We left in plenty of time and were patiently waiting. The bus came early and tooted for us so we crossed the road and got on. “Is this the tour bus to Xanthos”? “Yes — Xanthos.” But we soon realised it was the wrong bus — a market bus for the locals. The driver spoke no English and I had a lot of trouble getting him to stop and let us off. We practically ran back about two miles and just got there in time for our real tour bus — a VW minibus with just the driver, tour guide and one other couple. We had a fabulous time exploring the ruins at Xanthos, fording a tumultous stream through a steep canyon at Saklikent, visiting a carpet factory in another village and watching the whole process of hand-made carpets (some had over a million stitches and took over a year to make). Then we had a smorgasbord lunch with trout and a swim at the beach at Patara (another ancient ruins place) and then returned to the top of the mountain by the friendly tour guide — all for $A35 each. We were certainly blessed.

Yesterday we sailed (well motored, no wind) to Kas where we will spend a couple of days before heading further east.

God bless,

Pam and Phil

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Greetings Everyone,

Mediterranean mooring is definitely for the amusement of the locals at the expense of the uninitiated. It sounds easy — you drop anchor in quite deep water then back into the shore and take a line ashore and tie it to a tree. You don’t want to know the sorry saga of me trying not to collect the boat next to us, Phil sliding backwards down the vertical cliff and the rope wrapping around everything but the tree.

Anyway we are enjoying SAILING even if it’s more motor-sailing. They tell us this is the Motorterranean Sea. The boat handles well under both sail and motor and is probably a 1/2 knot faster than our old one.

We had a good shake-down cruise to a pretty little place called Ekincik and took a tourist trip up a river to some spectacular cave tombs and yesterday we arrived at Fethiye, a pretty and quite large town. We made contact with an English pastor and plan to go to church here on Sunday — a rarity in this Muslin country.

Phil has continued the fix-it jobs — the autopilot (which goes but wouldn’t dis-engage), the gas stove — blocked jets, the wind masthead unit (works now but reads back the front as he put the magnets in upside down and he says he’s not going back up the mast to fix it) and his favourite job — the head (when you pumped it out it returned half the doings back into the bowl). I don’t know what we would do if he wasn’t such a good fix-it man as all boats seem to be high maintenance.

The sea is gorgeous — turquoise blue and crystal clear. Phil is clocking up laps and I am enjoying lazing around in it. He plans to come home fit, especially as he has almost finished the supply of chocolate Michelle gave him for Father’s Day. Life is good.

God bless you all,

Pam and Phil.

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Greetings Everyone,

I’ve been waiting to report some progress. Today we finally went in the water. We were booked to go in yesterday but it just didn’t happen. Time here is a bit like PNG time.

It was our first attempt at tying up Mediterranean fashion today. You have to drop anchor or pick up a mooring line and back into the wharf between two other boats with virtually no spaces left. Very tricky. Then you put a boarding ladder from the boat to the wharf and ours managed to untie itself and slide headlong into twenty metres of water. Phil is still debating whether to try to retrieve it with the scuba gear or not.

Now we are waiting for some very still weather (it’s blowing up to 34 knots) to get the sails back on their tracks — the main and two roller furling headsails and trying to work out how the you-beaut sail cover bags work and where the other half of the lazy jacks are. Phil went up the mast to retrieve the wind instruments that were not functioning and spent all day putting them back together. (Any excuse not go go back up again). We went to put the dinghy in the water and found it had no painter so have to look for it.

We are still swimming in the marina pool each day and hob-nobbing with the “idle rich” but I want to go SAILING and wonder if the day will finally come.
God bless,

Pam and Phil

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