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March 2000 Diary

28th of March Back in the slow internet world of Turkey. In Fethiye I dont have a network access and must use an old modem. It took me 2 hours to upload the last update. It might take some time until I can upload pictures again.

Nina and the kids arrived safely in Berlin. I am now alone on AMBERELLA. It is really quite different, no noise and children toys on the floor. I have to get used to the change. I unpacket all tools and made a mess of the salon.

In the last two days I tried to fix a problem with my alternator. Something with the connections was wrong. It would not regulate the load. It blew 3 times the diodes of the alternator and I had to solder them back. Finally I found a solution. I changed the batterie selector and use now a switch which does not diconnect the load of batterie A before it swicthes to B. This way the diodes should be safe. Tommorow I fix a second problem with the starter motor. There is a short in the relais. It draws a lot of power over the switch circuit (dont know the right english term for that). While I am on it I will take the whole starter motor out and check it properly.

26th of March A few impressions from our last sail. Bye bye Rhodes.

23th of March The flight home for Nina and the kids is booked. We found a very cheap offer flying to Berlin from Dalaman, Turkey. Finally Nina passport has arrived with Selina babies details in the document. Nastasja and Selinas grandparents are waiting eagerly to see them. We were making AMBERELLA ready to sail to Fethiye. After our little sailing desaster last year on the same leg coming to Rhodes, I wanted to make sure that the sail is pleasant for the kids and Nina.

We used a calm weather period between two fronts (depressions). Days before I was checking the weather on the Internet, downloaded satelite images and made decisions when it was best to go. Monday would have been perfect, it was blowing a steady 4-5 north westerly, but AMBERELLA was not ready then. So we went Tuesday.

Picking up the anker after 5 month of mooring in the marina was not easy. The anchor was fouled by three! other chains from motor boats. My strong anchor windlass was pulling everything out of that ground. It took Nina and me about 1 hour to untangle the mess.

It was a pleasant sail, but we had only 0-2 winds, sometimes maximum 3. But we made the 45 sm in 14 hours, arriving in Fethiye bay as the moon lid the night

Today is Nina's birthday. We will celebrate with our turkish friends Yardan and Gonca, and her daughter Siwa.

When the family is back in Germany I will make AMBERELLA ready for the summer. I hope I will manage to finish all jobs, plus the ones that are for maintenance. I am sure I will be busy enough and forget about taking a holiday.

17th of March Beside the officials, the local Greeks are really nice. We were invited to a children birthday party. It was for me and Nina like watching TV. A whole Greek family, old and young together. Nastasja had a lot of fun playing with the many Greek children.

13th of March Istead of sailing the island we sailed to Turkey, Marmaris and went shopping. I found 3 birthday presents for Nina and me and as well a lot of food was bought. After the 3 hours stay in Marmaris we sailed back to Rhodes. It was about 3 degrees warmer in Turkey than on the island Rhodes.

12th of March Carneval in Rhodes. Thausends of people party in the old town. We went to the main square in the old town and enjoyed the view from the top of a terrasse restaurant. Nastasja was dressed as princess, as well as her friend Sarah from the SY Arrow.

I had with Georg a strange experience with the Greek harbour officials. Georg and me sail a boat under German flag and we were told to buy a transit log for Greece. This is a strange rule, this Greece belongs to the EU and we are not in transit. But when we complained about this, we were told that we would get the custom officials searching our boats and we had to pay for this more than for the transit log.

An English sailor friend on the other hand was not told to fill in the transit log, even when he said that his last port of call was in Turkey, a non EU country. We concluded that the Greeks make they rules as they please, because last summer I had not to fill in any paper

Yesterday we told the port authority that we would leave the harbour for a little sail around the island and if it was nessessary to check out. Yes it was. Georg filled in a crew list and gave this paper to the harbour master. He told him it was not a right paper, ( he said toilet paper) gave him a blank sheet in order to fill it 3 times. When Georg finished, another guy in uniform came and said this crew list was wrong as well and gave a form to fill 3 times again. Me and Georg spent about 1 1/2 hours in the office of the harbour master. The officer on duty ask about 6 time which flag we have and made remarks about "Adolf Hitler". We ask him if he was born before 1945, He denied, and we said, "the same for us". After we left really angry the office, we talked to the coast guard on duty and said that it is really strange to fill in 6 formulars to sail around an island. He answered " If you don't like my country, you can leave". Our conclusion. Greek officials don't like Germans, especially the younger ones.

Beside paid work on other boats I found some time finishing the mast feet on my boat and as well removed the bowl of AMBERELLA. The anchor chain rolls over a pertinax roll and its broken.

10th of March Still Problems with my website. I now create the page on Simpletext, a Macintosh text editor and send them as email to my brother, who puts them on the server.

George and me had some days of hard working. I guess I have never worked this fast on my own boat AMBERELLA. The steel boat shines in new glossy paint. The wodden boat, a second workin project, is sanded and almost ready to be painted. I must admit it is more fun to work on wood than on steel. I don't know why.

The situation for AMBERELLA has not changed though. We have the perfect home situation now. The husband goes to work and has no time for the own home/boat and the wife starts to complain. Me and Nina had some good discussions lately about AMBERELLA

This a couple of days, we are linked on the Trans-Ocean Website, an organisation for sailors which I joined last year.

3rd of March For one week we had a visitor. Corinne an old friend of Nina stayed with us, and during some nice days of this week, the kids and the women explored the south of the island. I have not been there yet, but Ninas says it is much more beautiful.

I work still on that steel boat and try to get some time for our own projects too. I want to be able to sail again in 2 weeks. Nina wants to fly with the kids to Germany, in order to visit my parents. I would like to move the boat to Turkey, because another 3 weeks in Rhodes marina is just not in the budget. I could keep on working in Fethiye, visit some old friends. Maybe Nina's sister will join us for a sail in Fethiye bays and later we plan to move westward, visiting Krete in June. But getting all this into our time schedule is difficult.

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