2005 - Off again - postcard from Mags
It's a hard life! Well bits of it are. We came out to the boat in early March for a week and with the help of the yard in Kemer prepared the boat for the Summer. Among other things this included anti-fouling, putting the boat back in the water and then reinstating the mast which we had taken out to make a very careful check of the rigging and electric wiring. As ever we were very pleased with Kemer Marina's technical services although you need to be there for things to really happen. But when they happen they do a good and careful job.
A tight squeeze to get the boat back to the water
Then it was home again, Barry to England and myself to France. Just before going to Turkey my car started to make a terrifying grinding noise. So, on getting home the first job was to get it seen to. It was soon clear to my garage that the carburettor was dodgy but it was going to be costly to replace and they didn't even know if they could get another one. Then it transpired that the alternator was defunct as well. I had promised my American tenants that they could use my car in whatever state it was but I hadn't banked on buying a new one. However, there was nothing for it so I scouted round and found another Fiat, a Brava, that replaced nicely my old Tipo, was a reasonable price and seemed in good condition. What a pleasure I had the next 3 weeks driving a more modern car with a radio that worked. Why hadn't I bought a new car earlier? However, the bank account didn't look so good.
Having planned to have my house ready for tenants a week before leaving, so that I would have plenty of leeway you won't be surprised to hear that I finally had it in this state an hour before the off. Nor had I done half the work in the garden that I had intended. But Pierre is looking after my garden and I have much faith in him. Fabienne is looking after the house and I have delightful tenants.
So home to England with luggage to leave there and luggage to take on to Turkey. I flew back Easyjet to Bristol and hired a car which we kept until we eventually got to Heathrow.
While I had been frantically packing up the French house Barry had had his own worries. Work being done in the bathroom kept being postponed and though normally this would have been acceptable we had a deadline. It was finally completed the day before we left. The other major worry was that Barry had sent the ship's papers off to Cardiff in order to get Part 1 registration under the Merchant Shipping Act. Due to an historical ownership quirk we have had to make do up to now with registration under Part 3. However, bureaucratic things did not run smoothly and we had still not received the document when we were nearly ready to leave. To make matters worse the Marine and Coastguard Agency had all the papers in Cardiff. We couldn't move the boat without them! The Friday before the Sunday we were due to leave Barry drove to Cardiff and phew! with the aid of a most helpful official got the lot. We are now the owners of a fully registered merchant ship with it's official number 910091 carved on the main beam.
After a very pleasant overnight stay in Windsor we caught the plane to Istanbul. Due to our own misunderstanding we got lost in Istanbul airport resulting in us missing our connecting flight to Antalya. However, although very hot, sweaty and fraught we eventually found our luggage, the correct gate for Antalya and got the next flight at no extra cost. We got to Kemer just a few hours later than intended.
Village life on G pontoon
As ever we enjoyed the village life in Kemer. Our next door neighbours, Gordon and Isobel were from Scotland living on their boat Different Drum. More delightful neighbours you couldn't wish for. We also saw other good friends from last year including Jan and John of La Gabriella with whom we shared the ups and downs of boat life. Yet again we had to tear ourselves away and get going on our adventures.