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Greetings Everyone,

The last fortnight we have done the tourist thing —

Firstly Ephesus — we took a dolmus (local mini bus) and spent the day crawling over the ruins.  The most interesting section was a new development whereby you can see the archaeologists in the process of restoring houses of the wealthy in Roman times.  There were some beautiful frescoes on the walls and mosaic floors.  One section was described as a 120,000 piece jigsaw.

Then Gallipoli — we had a mini bus, driver and guide for just the four of us.  Three things really impressed me — how beautiful the area was with pretty bays and hillsides full of wild flowers — so sad to think what happened there; then how close the trenches were to each other, only a few metres apart; and how incredibly well cared for the graves are with manicured lawns and bright flowers and white headstones engraved with messages.  One that moved me was to an 18 year old, “He left a child but died a man for life and liberty.  Love Mum and Dad”.

Then to Izmer — we stayed the weekend with Glenys Wheatley, a missionary serving in a Christian church there.  Unlike the other churches we had been to in Turkey this one was full of Turkish people, with singing and sermon in Turkish and headphones for English speaking people.  It was a lively mission minded group and grateful to Glenys for sewing into the next generation of worship leaders.

Our last visit was to Pamakale — a very unique landscape with hot springs and white calcified cliffs.  We swam in the hot therapeutic baths and then the cold pool.

Today Warren and Jan leave for home and we clear out of Turkey — so sad, we have really enjoyed our stay here.

God bless,

Pam and Phil

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Greetings Everyone,

Phils eye has been given the all clear.  We are more than impressed with the calibre of the Turkish medical system, both the quality of treatment and the efficiency of time management.  He is very grateful to have come out of this so easily.

A few days ago we were able to catch up with another yachtie couple that we had met in the Sandy Straits in Australia in 2000.  The wife had injured her hand and we were able to take her to the medical at Tin Can Bay while her husband looked after their yacht.  They are from America and England and we have kept in touch over the years with an annual e-mail.  They just happened to have their boat at Marmaris so caught the mini-bus to visit us at Bozburun.

Yesterday we had another of those delightful encounters with Turkish hospitality.  We anchored in a little fishing/tourist bay called Turku Buku and wandered along the shoreline.  Jan and Warren stopped to photograph a beautiful garden with roses, daisies, and incredibly bright deep red geraniums.  The owners invited us in to see some more of the garden then supplied us with tea, coffee and Turkish delight.  So we spent an hour or more enjoying fellowship in this beautiful surroundings of garden and seashore.  She spoke very good English but her husband virtually none.  We left her with a small Gideon testament wich was gratefully received.  We have done this a number of times with English speaking Turks and found a ready acceptance of our gift.

We are now heading for Kusadasi and should be there  within the week.  Our plan is to leave the boat in the marina and do some touring to Ephesus and other places.

God bless,

Pam and Phil

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Greetings Everyone,

Our friends, Warren and Jan Jolly joined us in Bodrum and we have been back-tracking a little showing them our favourite places. They are RAPT!! A few days ago we were rambling through Ohraniye, a little farming village and came across a family — Mum, Dad, daughter and grandparents sitting in the sun. None of them spoke English but we stayed “chatting” and the grandmother gave us some oranges then the Mum signalled for us to follow her home for a cup of Turkish coffee. After the coffee she came out with a lineament rub for knees and some foul tasting medicine for tummy upsets which she spooned into our mouths to try. YUK!!. Warren took a photo of us all and they wanted a copy but we had no printer. It was quite an experience.

On a more serious note, Phil has developed the same trouble in his right eye that he had in his left eye just before we left Australia — a torn retina. Yesterday he and I went by mini-bus to Marmaris hospital and they gave us an interpreter who guided us through the formalities and got us at the head of the queue. The doctor there said he would need to go to the retina specialists at Mugla, about 50 kilometers away. The interpreter then rang through and arranged an appointment for the afternoon so we walked about three kilometers to the bus terminal and caught a mini-bus to Mugla.

The staff there were excellent and did all the same tests that the Sydney specialists had done on his left eye and then they gave him laser treatment to repair the tear. We then returned by bus to where the boat is at Ohraniye. He has to go back next Friday for a check-up. We were absolutely amazed that he was able go get everything done in the one day. The timing getting bus connections, the interpreter (who only works a couple of days a week), the appointment at both the hospitals and the availability of all the necessary specialists on a Friday had to be God’s provisioning. We were expecting to have to wait several days to get everything done and possibly having to travel to Ismere or Istanbul for the specialists.

At the moment we are waiting on a severe weather change due tonight and tomorrow with winds up to 42 knotts. We hope the anchor holds.

We’ve had a number of opportunities to give out small New Testaments to people who have helped us.

God bless,

Pam and Phil

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Greetings Everyone,

A yachties nightmare!! — a dark night, storm and pouring rain, a gale in excess of 37 knots blowing, a lee shore, the anchor starts to drag and the engine won’t start. Phil disappeared below, prised up the floorboards and discovered the starter solenoid wasn’t working (turns out a micro-switch in the solenoid circuit which prevents the engine starting if the propeller shaft brake is on had failed) and shorted out its terminals with a piece of wire to get the engine started — all in less than a minute. It gets worse; between us and the shore was a roped off swimming enclosure with small floating buoys every metre or so. We went over top of them into less than a metre of water under the keel. The dinghy was down and the enclosure rope got wrapped around the dinghy outboard. All this in the anchorage highly recommended for the prevailing conditions at Bodrum.

I backed the engine off and Phil got in the dinghy and worked it free. You can imagine how much fun that was in the dark. We re-anchored — five times. Each time the anchor dug in and held for an hour or so until the wind went over 37 knots then off we would go again. The bottom was mud, weed and kelp and after it dug in it would lift out whole chunks of the kelp then drag.

About 1am a Turkish man from another boat came over in his dinghy and led us closer to the shore near his boat where the holding was slightly better. He stayed talking for over an hour. Needless to say neither of us slept all night.

Early the next morning we took off for another bay a few miles away and dropped anchor in SAND. Thankyou for those who pray constantly for our safety.

Regarding the Louisiades — the HF radios I installed at Misima and Rossel are working. Bruce and Dianne Bentley who used to do similar work with us over there have been keeping in contact with Misima. Dianne has organised to raise funds to send to two of the pastors we trust so they can buy food and other necessities to distribute to the more remote islands of Sudest and Rossel where the worst of the damage was. It is very important over there to make sure funds go to people who will distribute it to the really needy and not just to their own “one-tok” (family). If anyone is interested Dianne’s number is 0409693171.

We are waiting on Warren and Jan Jolly (friends from NSW Central Coast) to arrive on Monday to spend a few weeks with us sailing around the area.

God bless,

Pam and Phil

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Greetings Everyone,

This is really weird! We are anchored in a large bay near Dacta. There is a paved path over 1 1/2 kilometres long around the bay and all along are attractive apartment buildings, some 2, 3 or 4 storeys high with gardens and fountains and statues — but no people. Well there are some — all gardeners, painters and repairmen getting them ready for the May influx. There would have to be over 500 rooms. It was like being in a ghost town. They have village markets here and we were able to stock up on fresh veges but other than us there was only a handful of people.

One was a German lady. She and her Turkish husband had bought one of the apartments but he later died. She was very friendly and we had morning tea with her one day. She told us that come May the place would be swarming with tourists and all the apartments would be full. By October the place would be deserted again.

We also asked her about another puzzle — a beautiful bay further east with what would once have been a well established camping ground about a hectare in size with toilet blocks, kiosks, powered sites, picnic settings, water sports — all now totally derelict and just left — even the rubbish all stacked in trailers. She told us the big complex where she was together with the demise of scuba diving in the area had killed the camping ground and it was just left. We felt very sad as the area was fabulous for camping and hiking and appealed to us much more than the glitzy tourist places.

There is so much money tied up in tourism and it is all highly competitive. Meanwhile we are enjoying having some space to ourselves — deserted anchorages beautiful surroundings and the chance to meet interesting local people before the rush starts at the end of this month.

God bless,

Pam and Phil

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Greetings Everyone,

We’ve had a most enjoyable time since we left Marmaris. We motored — no wind — with blue skies and sunny weather to a little bay south of Marmaris called Serce. The mad tourist season doesn’t start until May so we had the bay to ourselves apart from some local fishing boats and farmers. We walked a couple of kilometers along the road and then down a dirt track past cows, goats, sheep and donkeys and came to a small restaurant in a bay on the other side of the peninsular.

It wasn’t open for business but the caretaker — a Turkish man who had no English — invite us for chy (tea). He answered all my attempts in broken Turkish with great volumes of Turkish that I had no idea of. He put on the kettle, produced bottled water, an orange, some goat cheese and two cups of tea each all for nothing and with hospitality. He invited us, with sign language to tie up to the restaurant wharf when we sailed around to the bay. It is the overwhelming friendliness of these simple country folk that never ceases to impress us and makes our stay in Turkey so enjoyable.

A couple of days later we did sail to his bay and tied up and the owner of the restaurant, who was a businessman from Ankara, was there and he invited us to stay for a late breakfast and then he and his son spent most of the morning talking to us. It was interesting to get his perspective on the situation in Turkey and the surrounding countries.

Since then we have moved on to a few more anchorages and are now anchored at Bozburun — another small town with very little activity at the moment but apparently will be a hive of activity in a few weeks time when the tourist season gets into full swing.

God bless,

Pam and Phil

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Greetings Everyone,

It’s hard to believe we have been in Turkey only one week — it seems so much more. We had a tiring trip over — 40 hours travelling but no mishaps. We gave a New Testament to a South American we chatted to in one of the airports.

Since arriving Phil has done an amazing amount of jobs all of which require pulling wires through inaccessible holes with the floorboards (cabin sole to you seamen) up, trips up the mast with the soldering gear and much hair-pulling and beard mutterings. (All this just so the Admiral knows how fast the wind is blowing!!)

We thought we had solved our biggest problem — how to extend our EU visa pts three months. We met a lovely Turkish man called Ziya who spent hours on the phone trying to arrange things and finally booked us on a ferry to Rhodes to start the visa. But no!! After spending too much money and over two hours travelling each way on a very slow cargo ferry the Greek immigration told us the system has been changed again and starting the visa now wouldn’t work. The only good thing about the whole episode was meeting Ziya and his Ukrainian wife who have invited us home for a meal as soon as the boat is back in the water.

Another Turkish friend we have made is Ali who has fitted out our boat with solid stainless steel railing around the deck and organised the anti fouling and several other small jobs for a fraction of the normal price. He has spent some time in Australia and is a really nice bloke. We are going to take him and his wife out for lunch on Saturday to say thanks.

The weather is quite reasonable — a violent storm with 50 knot winds one day but the rest fairly mild and even sunny with temperatures no less then 10 degrees and up to almost twenty. We go back into the water next Monday and plan to stay a week or so at anchor then set off along the coast of Turkey towards Bodrum.

God bless,

Pam and Phil

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