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Published: September 30th 2021
After a very long trip and 7 time zones we are back onboard Tsamaya. Our trip started Sunday, September 12th
at 8AM with our friend Lisa picking us up to drive us to the Albany airport where we then picked up a shuttle service to JFK. The driver of the shuttle van must have been on a different schedule than what was posted as we arrived at the airport 2 hours earlier giving us even more “fun” time waiting at the airport until our 8PM flight to Istanbul. It is amazing how much longer time seems when waiting, but we made it through without any major problems. When we went through security, they did decide they needed to open up one of our carry-on bags. They found a sacrificial zinc for our prop shaft (you’ll have to see the photo if you don’t know what this is). We actually had decided to take 2 back to the boat, but when we were working on equalizing the weight in each of our 3 suitcases and making sure we weren’t over the 50 lbs. limit for each bag, one of the zincs got moved to the carry-on. They were concerned about the weight
of the zinc as it could be used as a weapon – we understood completely once they suggested it, but as we never would use it that way, it never crossed our mind. After they called over a supervisor that looked at it, he finally decided to let it through but said next time we should take it apart as there is the ability to do that which would lessen the weight in 1 piece. It was nice to find someone that took the time to think it through and let us have this part. Stay tuned though on this one!
Fortunately, the long flight to Istanbul was empty to the point that almost every passenger could lay down across 3 seats if they wanted to which was fabulous! We both did take advantage of this added bonus at it was a 9 hour & 40-minute flight. We had flown Turkish Airlines before and were pleased with them again as you have more leg room than normal even in economy and the meals are quite good.
Now to the rest of the story of the zinc – we had to transfer to a domestic flight in
Istanbul – there we ran into the same situation where they wanted to open that same carry-on luggage. This time there was no question that they would take the zinc away from us which we did understand and knew that at least we had another one in our checked luggage. Unfortunately, here they also decided to take away most of the batteries we had for our headlamps that we brought. Many of these were the rechargeable type that we really didn’t want to lose. Finally, after a little time they decided to at least give us 8 batteries (not all the rechargeable type) and took the rest. That one we didn’t understand as the regulations actually told us to put those in the carry-on bags. Oh well, we almost got through with everything we brought.
When we landed at the Dalaman airport which is the closest to our marina we had to chuckle that many people clapped when the pilot landed! This is not the first place that has happened as we used to hear that all the time when we traveled back to Botswana as well as a few other countries we have traveled to. We also note
that we were definitely aware before when we were in Turkey how the Turks cherish their children which is very telling in any announcements they make – they always say “ladies, gentlemen and dear children” making a point of mentioning the children. You can tell much about a culture by listening closely to what is said.
We had made arrangements for a taxi service from the airport to our marina prior to coming and even though our flight came in a little late, he was there to meet us and take us the rest of the way. The first thing he did when we got in the vehicle was give us each a bottle of very cold water to drink – it was very welcomed as we were hit with the heat here. We made it back to the marina by 6PM (Turkish time) on Monday night. The marina is down quite a long hill from the road so the hotel here said they would keep our luggage till the next day and would bring it to us so we just went with our carry-on bags to Tsamaya. That made it much easier as we didn’t have to deal
A Long Trip But Almost There
Glad to see green after all the wildfires in the area
with lifting 3-50 lbs. bags up a ladder, over our bowsprit and down the side into the cockpit. All we had to do was get ourselves and our 2 carry-ons on which was enough!
Tsamaya had been moved while we were gone but only one boat down from where she was so not hard to find! We are the only boat here that is “bow in” and has a step ladder in front of it so we can board our boat! We knew she was going to be dirty and that was definitely true, but fortunately with our dehumidifier going over the last 2 years, the air down below was fine: we didn’t see any mold or have a musty odor. Most important that night was we found the bed was very, very comfortable!
With my having a new hip that was put in April this year, I have been hopeful that I wouldn’t have a problem getting on and off of Tsamaya. Fortunately, the step ladder that we bought 2 years ago for this purpose was still in place so we made sure it was in position and then I tried climbing on. I was pleased to
say that there wasn’t any problem with my new hip allowing me to easily “hop” on and off the boat. If you wish to see a demonstration of getting on and off the boat you will have to check it out on YouTube on my channel – Janice Waller.
It took us a couple of days to get over jet lag as was obvious from our strange schedule of when we were asleep or awake, but even with that we were able to get to work on some things that needed to be checked out. The first morning we could see that the refrigerator was not working so we made contact with the marina manager and shortly after talking to him we had a technician onboard. He found that the refrigerant was low so he recharged it and it started to work was great. Amazing to think that on Tuesday, the day after we arrived, the refrigerator was working (or so we thought). It only costs us 47 Turkish litra which is equal to about $5.70! What a deal and fortunately we had extra Turkish lira with us as we had it left over from when we were here
Everything Needs Work
but into routine of sitting out back already!
the last time. More on the refrigeration later…
With having been here in Fethiye before we knew where the markets are so walked down to get just a few basics as wanted to be sure to wait for the refrigerator to get to temperature. Until then we took advantage of being able to buy breakfast at the hotel restaurant located here. It is a very extensive buffet so it worked out that we could have that at our one major meal of the day. I knew we had plenty of stores onboard in our storage area, but now we had our 3 pieces of 50 lbs. bags of luggage and they were on top of our food stores! We also learned very quickly that our water system is not working so decided buying a salad for dinner at the restaurant would be much easier that first full day back. Sure is handy to have the restaurant right here. With our schedule being “off” from jet lag that meant not only our sleeping schedule was off but also our eating schedule so about 11PM at night we started to feel like we wanted to eat and the quickest and easiest
thing was to eat one of the snacks we brought on the plane with us but never ate – yes, the all important “goldfish”! It wasn’t much but it was enough to stave off the hunger for that evening, convincing us even more that we needed to take the time to go to the market.
It is great that on Turkish Airlines each passenger can have up to 2-50 lbs. bags of luggage especially when you plan on bringing back plenty of boat parts for a US built boat when overseas. We were able to make it with only 3 bags back which was plenty. Now the job was finding homes for everything we brought back. They have all now been assimilated into the bowels of Tsamaya but of course noting the location of those parts on our extensive inventory!
Back to the refrigerator – yes, it was working fine the day the technician was here but the next day it wasn’t working properly as the temperature in both the refrigerator and freezer were going up considerably – not good to have the temperature in the 70’s so back to the drawing board. Bob did some work on
diagnosing the situation and determined that the solar panels were allowing the refrigerator to work during the day when the sun was out, but then in the evenings it went off and by the next morning it was warm again. With more checking Bob determined that our batteries were dead. That now meant we should not be using the 12V fans or the lights we use for reading in both the salon and near the bed. Oh dear, now what! We contact the marina manager again and he says there is someone in the marina that same day that could come onboard to check. He came and agreed with Bob that the batteries needed to be replaced. We currently had onboard 3 – 220-amp AGM batteries and figured we’d replace with the same. Unfortunately, we found that they could only come up with 125-amp batteries which wouldn’t work out well for us.
Fortunately, with a contact we had gotten through another member of the sailing organization we belong to, the Cruising Association, we had someone else to check with in Marmaris where we are headed to for our winter storage. We checked with her and she recommended someone that
had replaced batteries on her own boat so he came and was able to replace our batteries. That would have been expensive enough but also found that we needed to replace our battery charger and inverter. We aren’t sure what took them out as well, but it needs to be fixed. Finding an inverter is a problem as that is what is needed to convert 12 V to 110 V. With everything here being 220 and not 110 V, it is not something easy to find here. We don’t use it very often, but it can be very helpful for keeping computers and other items charged up. We are pretty sure this will have to be something that is in the next load of luggage when we return to Turkey again.
We have definitely been camping out onboard this week as we were without the refrigerator for quite a few days (didn’t get it working until Saturday when batteries were installed), we do not have a working water system so working from buckets of water onboard (that is definitely fun for washing dishes, but fortunately there is a nice shower here at the marina), the 12 volt lights and
fans weren’t working until Saturday either (but we always have solar lights and electric fans that we could use due to shore power) so overall, not too bad. As you can see, it has the feel of camping at times, but a bonus we have here is that the marina is attached to a nice hotel with a wonderful pool that we have access to! The pool has been our escape from the heat during the day and gives us a way to stay out of the way of any tradespeople that come to work.
It took until Saturday to get the new batteries installed, but now that has improved things immensely with the refrigerator, fans and lights working. By the way, the money we paid for recharging the refrigerant was not a waste as it was definitely low – it just wasn’t the whole problem we had with the refrigerator.
Now Bob wanted to get into the lazarette himself to start working on the water system. Bob looked into the lazarette and found that some of the battery cables that were installed stretched across the area he needed to get into so called the technician about
The Refrigerator is DEEP to clean out
& now we have a few things to refrigerate!
this situation. He explained that he didn’t have long enough cables on Saturday so he would have to return to fix the situation. This gave Bob a great excuse to put off his “boat yoga” and not climb into the lazarette until it was fixed. The technician came back on Tuesday, so working on the water system has moved up again in priority of projects. We have been filling up a bucket with water from the hose for washing the few dishes we dirty onboard (we have been eating more meals out as a result of the boat being quite torn up) and using it to make ice tea to drink. After a couple of days of drinking the ice tea we kept noticing that there was a little bit of a “strange” after taste, so now have been buying water to drink which we have never had to do before. The reason for this is that we had installed an excellent water filtering system onboard so all of the water in our water tanks went through the filter before it came into our taps. This just proved to us once again how well the water filter system we have
works! We had brought a new water pump back in our luggage this time as Bob had a concern that it might need to be replaced so once the battery cables were sorted out, Bob got back into the lazarette and disconnected the water pump. The good news is that the old water pump works, which unfortunately is also very bad news as that means there is another problem with the water system that may be much harder to find.
Another system that we wanted to check was our engine now that we have brand new batteries onboard. Our engine has been very reliable and so we were very hopeful that this would be an easy check of the engine. Unfortunately, our luck has not been that great this time around and the engine did not start. After checking the things that Bob knew to do and it still didn’t start, we had to call in a mechanic to help. That was now over a week ago and it is still being worked on. One of the items we wanted done this winter was to have the engine rebuilt, just now we have found it has to be done
Bob Doing "Boat Yoga" into the Lazarette
the reward is pizza & salad at the marina restaurant
immediately rather than wait until we move to the other marina that has numerous tradespeople that had been recommended to us. Bob has been feeling good about the mechanic they have here at the marina as he seems to know his business and appears to be doing a very good job, but as mentioned it is still not finished. He is also excellent at cleaning the work area whenever he is onboard – the engine is starting to look more like it is new with his cleaning each of the parts that he removes and replaces as well. The marina here has numerous charter boats and with the turnaround being on the weekends, we don’t see the mechanic from Friday through Sunday as he is checking out the boats that need to go out again on charter. Our engine is accessed under the stairs that go from the cockpit down into the salon so when he is working on the engine we are either caught down below or off the boat. Sometimes it works out fine and we can go to the pool to get in some swimming while other times we are caught as we were today with being
off the boat and no way to get onboard to change into our suit so we just sit next to the pool without being able to use it. We aren’t complaining as we are just happy to have the mechanic working on our engine again.
One benefit of being back here in Turkey is that we have increased the amount of walking we have been doing immensely. The vegetable market here in Fethiye is on both Tuesdays and Fridays which we try to get to each time. Between the limited amount of refrigeration space we have and having to carry everything we buy in our backpacks or in shopping bags we go to the store more often as well. On days when we do not need to buy much, those are the days we stock up on our heavier and bulky items such as juice, cleaning supplies, or more yogurt and cheese. There are small mini-buses that we could use, but we find that it is nicer to walk as you can then stop where you’d like if you see something of interest, stop for a cup of tea or just wander down a street that looks interesting. One
thing we do have to keep remembering when going to the markets – many times you actually get more than you really want! As an example, due to space, I may only want 3 cucumbers and 2 peppers, but when you go to buy it, they decide to add a few more of each so it either comes up to a full or half kilo of weight as that is how items are sold. Oh well, we just have to make bigger salads! The other day I had a sample of a watermelon which was delicious. They had a small piece that they were cutting samples off for customers so I asked if I could buy that small piece. Instead, he thought I wanted a small WHOLE watermelon. I kept trying to explain what I wanted and I was pleased to actually walk away with a small piece that was a manageable size for both our refrigerator as well as for carrying back to the boat. My small success at the market in dealing with a quantity that works best for our needs!
The other day we were coming back from the vegetable market and as it was quite
Hired a Mechanic to Check out the Engine
has taken quite a bit apart, waiting for its return!
hot, we stopped for a cold drink. The café we stopped at didn’t have anyone that spoke English so for ease we order 2 coca colas. The woman that waited on us thought it was wonderful that we stopped and started to “talk” to us as she was helping us with the few Turkish words we have learned. We finally got our phone out and she sat down with us so we could have a conversation using google translate! Technology really is helpful in these situations, but near the end she decided to start talking quite fast into the translation package and what came back was very funny indeed. It said she was talking about her sister, garbage trucks and something else we couldn’t even figure out – we laughed and then when we translated it back to her, she really had a great laugh as well. It is amazing how much fun you can have with people even when you don’t speak the same language – the fun of travel!
The weather has been quite nice here and we have not been bothered by bugs either so we have enjoyed sitting out back in the cockpit in the
Walk & Bike Trail Along the Waterfront
with plenty of boats looking for your business
evenings. When we first returned it was quite hot as it stayed in the upper 90’s, but lately it has been easier to handle with temperatures in the 80’s during the day. We even had a couple of nights where we actually broke down and put on a long sleeve top as the temperature dropped and there was a cool breeze. It definitely gives you more energy for working when the temperatures are not so high.
Unfortunately, recently Bob has been having quite severe lower back pain after he has been sitting. It got to the point that it would take him quite a bit of time to stand up, but once he did and walked a little it seemed to ease a bit. He thought it would “just go away” but after quite a few days of this I mentioned to him that we should go to the hospital the next morning to have it checked out. He didn’t argue about doing so which indicated to me that he really was in quite a bit of pain with it. Fortunately, I had hooked into a FB group for Expats living in Fethiye. I asked on that forum for
referrals for Dr’s and/or hospitals and within a short time I got plenty of great recommendations. Based on those we decided to go to a private hospital that was not too far from the marina on a Monday morning. I mentioned to Bob that it was a little farther than our walks to the market and that we should get a taxi. Bob said he felt better walking than sitting so we walked. It was a hot morning and by the time we got there Bob was dripping wet from sweat especially with a backpack on. The hospital was quite busy on Monday morning but we found out quite quickly there is a department for foreigners. We went there and after filling out some basic information were taken to wait outside the door of a neurosurgeon’s office. You pay up front and the cost was 950 TL which wound up being about $109. The Dr. spoke English with quite an accent and with a mask on so at times it was difficult to understand, but they have a translator in the room to be sure there is no confusion with instructions – quite the service. After checking Bob over the
Fresh Squeezed Juice, Wonderful Produce
and something we don't recognize at the market
Dr. determined that it was just a tight muscle in a very defined area of his lower back. As a result, he gave him some prescriptions, told him not to walk (we mentioned that we had walked to the hospital) and to get lots of rest (in a definite laying down position) for 3 days. He said that should help considerably, but if it doesn’t to come back to the hospital to check it out again. Needless to say, after that we took a taxi back to the marina. The taxi meter said it was only 18.94 TL so with a tip it only costs $2.70 – as we said we didn’t realize taking a taxi would be so inexpensive. Even so, when possible, we do enjoy the walking as we can then stop when we want or explore streets or businesses that look interesting to us. At least for that day, the taxi was a great idea. The nice thing about the system for everyone that goes to the hospital is that they tell the front desk what the problem is, there is a determination of what type of Dr. is needed and you then go immediately to their
office and wait outside until your name is called (and it is conveniently posted on a digital sign board so you know where you are in the line). We got to the hospital about 10AM and we were done and heading across the street to the pharmacy by 12:30PM. So much nicer to have a system that gets you to the correct section right away. It seemed like it was working the same way for locals as well as foreigners – it is just that we had a translator when you went into the Dr. office.
Bob has been good about getting rest the last couple of days although he was trying to count the days different than I was. He was counting the day that we went to the hospital as day 1 of his rest period, but I told him I didn’t want to count it as didn’t get back till later in the day, but if he pushes, I could give him ½ day credit toward his 3 days of rest! On Tuesday he was noticing an improvement as he still had some pain when he stood up from sitting, but definitely not as bad as
before. Wednesday afternoon he is noticing the pain a little more, but we had been off the boat and sitting next to the pool longer (which means not laying down as long). We just are pleased that there has been progress.
We have been here 2 full weeks and 3 days. When we returned to the boat today the mechanic was hard at work on the engine. Soon after returning he wanted us to try turning on the engine. It started!! It also sounds good, but there is a little problem with the water not coming out as much as it should so tomorrow will clean out the vent pipe as the thought is that it is just clogged up after 2 years. This was great progress in this amount of time! Just before he left for the night, we also mentioned the problem with the water system. He took the old water pump and will bench test it to see if it would make for a good spare and will install the new pump that we brought with us this year. We are crossing our fingers that will fix the water system – we will see tomorrow, September
Night View of Restaurant from Tsamaya
many evenings we also enjoy live music
. This is apropos as we have paid up through September 30th
so hopefully, we will be able to leave soon.
In preparation Bob has been looking at the charts to see where we can anchor out on our way to Marmaris. We can stay in Turkey for up to 90 days so we have some time and it would definitely be nice if we can get in some sailing and anchoring out before we have to put Tsamaya up again for the winter. We knew it was late in the season to come to Turkey, but between covid, a wedding in the family and a high school class reunion we knew we’d be concentrating on getting work done on this trip and hopefully get it all fixed for sailing season next Spring. We have been fortunate in also getting some suggestions from other sailors of possible stopping off places.
With the lack of water on the boat and many sections of it torn up frequently with the mechanic working on the engine, we have found that we are eating out more often than on the boat. We have been having breakfast onboard, have a piece of fruit
Another New Friend, Hatice
had lots of fun with google translate!
in the middle of the afternoon and then cross the street to a nice restaurant we have been enjoying. There is a couple that runs it that has a young daughter that we see either studying or her parents are helping her with her school work. They have quite a wide variety on the menu and they are more than helpful when we ask how to say something in Turkish – they keep practicing with us and many times we “study” our words before heading over for dinner. One evening while we were there, they had relatives visiting. While we were eating, they ate as a family at the other end of the restaurant. As soon as we finished our meal, they gave us some of the items they were having – stuffed grape leaves and pizza that was loaded with many toppings and a wonderful seasoning. How nice of them to give us some of their meal to try. We really enjoy the atmosphere, the lovely people running the restaurant, the food taste delicious and the prices are unbelievably low. An example is last night Bob had chicken schnitzel served with fries and salad and I had a lovely
Our Purchased Meal on the Top
food in the bottom given to us as a gift
chicken dish made with an enjoyable tomato-based sauce with numerous veggies. We both had ice tea with our meal and the grand total was only 69 TL ($7.71) What a deal. They also have a number of traditional dishes that we have enjoyed trying (and definitely enjoying!)
Tonight, we decided to “splurge” and eat at the bar at the marina. Bob had his eye on a cheeseburger as he saw someone else had one and it looked delicious. I decided on a delicious chicken wrap that was served with fries and we had a large bottle of sparkling water. This came in at an extravagant price of $22.50 when you include the tip! Note that this was the price for both of our meals together, but as I said this was at the hotel so definitely more expensive than we have been paying across the street. We really like supporting the smaller local restaurants, but at times the convenience of eating at the marina wins out.
Right now, as I finish this the mechanic is back onboard, looks like he is putting the last of the pieces back on the engine, so hopefully things are moving along
Yes, This is a Privately Owned "Yacht"
by a Russian billionaire - look up Ocean Victory!
smoothly and we will have a well running engine soon.
This still isn’t the last thing that we need fixed before we can move – the water system has to be fixed and we still need to have the barnacles scraped from the bottom. Bob could do it, but with two years of growth we decided it would be best to hire that job out this time (as well as be sure that Bob’s back is doing better).
Today I walked to the post office while Bob was resting (and behaving Dr. orders) so we could mail in our absentee ballots. With mailing them this early, shouldn’t have any problem with them getting to Washington County in time for election day! Our civic duty done again.
We have definitely been enjoying our time in Fethiye and are sorry we need to leave, but will look forward to exploring new places soon (we hope if all goes well!)
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