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  February 1999 Diary

26th February 1999 The power supply of my Mac PowerBook (see Apple's PowerBook website) made trouble over the last days. It did not charge the batteries. So there was no way to communicate. So I took the soldering iron myself and had a look at the suspected cable. I did not find or see the problem, but it works again, so that is what counts.

No way I could send this home for warranty repair: It would have taken month for the replacement. Not because of the service from Apple, but the Turkish mail service.

We miss about 10 letters from friends and family so far. The Turks don't work snail mail anymore. Only bank bills arrive:-)

20th February 1999 My mobil modem FirstFone (manufacturer website) has arrived from the repair in Germany. Now I can again check email, faxes and surf the web, while within reach of a GSM provider. Since it's use is not cheap (the mobile phone bill) I use it only once a week for email, if I have no chance to use a landline phone.

Nina works the mornings on AMBERELLA, while I spent it with Nastasja. Usually the afternoon is my turn on AMBERELLA and Ninas with Nastasja. It works good this way.

19th February 1999 The anchor windlass arrived once again. This time it works. I am not 100% satisfied with the result, but I guess I will need to make the last adjustments my self. A description of the winch comes soon on the web.

17th February 1999 Did a little repair on my weather page and today Nina will tell us another short story.

16th February 1999 This afternoon a depression moved in very fast and sent a little storm into Fethiyes bay. We had winds up to 8 bft. I was worried about my rain cover, but this time it held. The wind generator made a chattering noise like a helicopter, but this was only in one single strong gale and later it ran very quiet with constant winds. I am actually very happy with the wind generator so far.

15th February 1999 The turkish mentality is gradually getting on my nerves. The turks seem to be craftsmen who bungle things up. A quick sale is all that counts. The item is usually broken the next day. Today you buy 5 pairs of socks and then 3 pairs seem to get holes on the way from the market home. I think this is not funny any more.

My mood is like the weather. We have not seen a single week of sun since November. We have earthworms in the flat, they flee from the garden right into the house.

The LPG pipeline story. So I wanted to build a safe LPG pipeline in copper. The first try was a little unlucky, because we, Georg and me, were unable to braze within the boat and the copper pipes were not tight. Next we realised we were sold a wrong reducing valve. The valves could not be used for a household LPG bottle, just for the high pressure industrial ones. So we went back into the city to change the valves and got the same thing, but just another brand. Back again to the shop, throw the valve on the table, but we were told we could use this valve by turning it to 0 (zero). Well, why did this not come to my mind. Why do they want to blow us up? Okay, we gave it a try and fiddled with the valve and burned my fingernails a few times, because the LPG hissed like a jet stream out of the burners. Bullshit, zero. Okay leave that for a moment. We needed to fix that copper pipe. I bought a new one, used the old one as a spare part and we brazed a the T-pipe onto it. But our acetylene bottle went empty and this stuff is impossible to get refilled in Turkey. So we went into the industrial area and gave the pipeline into the hands of a craftsman. There we saw the old way of brazing. The guy puts his fingers in a rotten container and gets a lump of carbide. He throws it into a pressure kettle with water and mixes it with a second bottle of oxygen. I remember myself as kid building bottle bombs with carbide and left instantly the Turkish garage for a while. When I came back the pipeline had a huge chunk of brass around it. Okay it must have been pretty damn tight. I paid the extraordinary asking price for his work and went back to the boat.

And now the best part. When I came back with the dinghy, I looked for the pipeline. It has disappeared. Gone, vanished, nada. just lost in the sea, fallen out of the dinghy on the way back. I think this is a sign, or should I just buy a simple LPG hose?.. a Turkish one?

13th February 1999 So I went down to Göcek, the little town further north, and send the windlass back. The blacksmith seemed to understand the problem now and I am in hope again, that we come to and end of this soon.

We had pretty good wind today up in Göcek . About 7-8. Perfectly for dragon flying, but I had none with me. Sad.

For the last days, Nina was working on AMBERELLA, while I was looking after Nastasja. The change does Nina very good, because she wants to bring in her own ideas for the boat.

12th February 1999 More pictures to come..

from top left -> my 2 brothers helped in January to speed up the refit of AMBERELLA, Thomas worked the electrical system, Nastasja and Nina, Tom & Jerry -> Nastasja's favourite, Michael overslept again, frogs perspective of the galley , programming HTML on the Laptop, Kebab for lunch

11th February 1999 The anchor windlass arrived again and I send it right back . This time there is no chain at all passing through the chain lead. I am getting really angry now.... I even cut a piece of my chain, in order to show the blacksmith WHAT A CHAIN looks like!!!

aah I forgot to tell you.. it stopped raining.

7th February 1999 Another lot of uncounted days of rain in Turkey. My immune system can not fight this any longer and I think I caught a cold.
It even snowed yesterday. I think it's warmer in Switzerland...

We used the rainy day and organised a guitar session. John, of the yacht
Scanhala, played a 12 string while I played harmonica and acoustic
A self-constructed anchor windlass has arrived from the blacksmith and
after checking it I send it right back. It was again turkish workmanship
that made me ask them to redo it. They have not tried to run a chain
through this. The chain was not running smoothly on the chain lead and
was jumping and jamming. I will send it back until the turks learn how
to do quality work. It's the old game again, waiting, waiting....

The windlass is a construction made of a 2000 W strong motor which was
used on a fighter aircraft for adjusting the wings of the plane. A
friend had the idea and drawing about how to build it. If I get it
running I will have a pretty strong anchor windlass for sure and all
this for a fraction of the cost of a new one. I will put a description
on the web as soon as I have it installed.

And I finally got an 8 kg pack of epoxy resin and hardener. The only
shop in Fethiye told me for month that it was not possible to order this
epoxy. They told me for weeks that it was about to come soon. A week ago
the shipyard called the factory and the epoxy arrived within 3 days. I
won&Mac226;t comment on this... I just saw the funny grin of the shop assistant
today and smiled back, thinking "you idiot!"


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