19 May, 2009

Return to Turkey Preparing Malua for Summer

I arrived with trepidation after the winter storms to find Malua just as I had left her. Nice and dry with a light covering of dust . Down below everything was shipshape. I struggled to get the RIB out through the companionway on my own but I knew it could be done, all I had to do is find the way it came in. At last after some struggle I found the right combination of tilt and angle and it eased its way into the cockpit. There was not much I could have done if it would not fit... get the chain saw is an option. I washed and polished the topsides, applying a new polish. The vessel looks good for a nine year old. I then set about sanding the anti fouling. What a job. Thankfully I have a very good mask to keep the dust out but in the end I was covered in dark blue dust. The showers will not get any weed in their drains after my shower. International anti fouling Micron Extra is expensive in Turkey about Aus $550 for five litres. I would normally apply 10 to 12 litres per session but this year I used a small roller and used only 3 litres for the entire bottom. We will see if it makes any difference. Last year after the trip to Istanbul the bottom was covered which took at least one knot off the cruising speed.

After the few days preparation I was lifted into the water. Last year I was moved at about 7:00 in the evening but got a great place in the water. I went out of my way to be pleasant to the people moving the boats because they have long memories. This year I must have been one of the first to go in the water and again I got a great spot on I pontoon along side some of the liverabords and early arrivals. I only had a few days to provision and get all the sails bent on. I asked Elstrom Sails to restitch the genoa UV cover which had come loose in places. They did a great job and everything fitted back in its place. The main sheet and halyard are showing some ware so I looked at replacing the spectra. The cost is just over the top - about $12 -$15 per meter and I need 75 meters. In the end I settled for some Turkish spectra which looks and feels as good as the OZ product. We will see when I have the time to splice the ends.

Yot Marine is feeling the pain of being so successful. The office has difficulty coping with the number of vessels settling their bills and checking out. It has a lot to do with a new computer system they have recently introduced which seems to be double entry with both side showing on the same page. The girls in the office struggle while the cruisers are still in their home frame of mind and want to do thing quickly and efficiently. You can see them sit in line for their turn and start to boil then storm out to come back the following day to go through the same wait. I am sure they return to their boat just to pick up a book and read! Some efficient American woman suggested that they have a list to which you add your name. First come first served. Great. The management then said only 30 names would be allowed on the list per day. If you are not there when your turn comes put your name on tomorrows list tomorrow. After a few days the whole idea was abandoned and the lady sailed off into the sun set. Try Turkish time. If you want some experience go to Tonga and wait for Tonga time.

Monday came and I had to leave to be in Kos to meet Richard and Marita who were flying into Athens on the Wednesday. Like my car trips the third day is the most dangerous. Sailing into to Symi on a lee shore the wind got up and the sea was very short I felt it was time to furl the genoa so I could motor past the point. I furled the genoa and as I started to put away the sheets I noticed the starboard sheet was over the side, under the boat, trailing in the water. Engine in to neutral and a mad dash to the bow to retrieve the loose sheet. The down side could have been very dangerous but I keep reminding myself that Malua is a sailing boat and I can, like Captain Cooke sail off a lee shore but rather not in 25 knots of wind and a short chop. I was relieved to drop the anchor in they bay with the monastery.

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