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August 1999 Diary

28th August 1999 I wanted to use the polyester I bought one week ago, but I realised it has cured in the bottle. When I brought it back to the shop for the complain, the shop assistant told me that he has mixed the hardener with the resin, the day I bought it. Nobody of my friends and sailors believed this story when I told it. I got another 5 kilogramm of resin without hardener from the shop.

27th August 1999 Another 3 hours on top of the mast. This time we were succesful. Tom, from SY Thulin , helped me this time. We managed to get the finger thick wire through the mast and the new antenna, (which I bought in November 1998 ) is screwed on tighly. First we pulled a washing line with the help of a halyard up inside the mast. I managed to finger the little line out of the hole on top. Than we pulled the cable from the top downwards. This was tricky because the cable got stuck a lot, but Tom managed it perfectly. Now we pulled the drill and a cable up and I drilled the new holes for the antenna bracket in 14 meters free hanging on the mast. I was really relieved when I was back on deck. I unscrewed a lot of rubbish from the mast top, like wind speed indicator, wind vane and the old antenna.

But the day was not over. At night the wind turned 180 ° and our anchor dragged. Luckily I was warned by another sailor, because I was onboard Toms boat. It was hard to see AMBERELLA drifting in the night. With the help of two Turkish sailors, who rushed for help we maneuvert AMBERELLA back to its anchorage. I will change this CQR anchor for a Danfoss, because this is our second bad experience with the CQR. I wonder why I am still more than lucky.

26th August 1999 After the succes with the nav-deck I even made the L shaped frame wood for the galley work bench. It is amazing how suddenly I turned into a carpenter:) If I wait a little longer I might call myself a pro.

With all this motivation I started even a more complicated project. I climbed with Ninas help the mast and wanted to change the antenna wire. But this was not a lucky story, because the old cable which I used for pulling the new one up broke right in the moment when the new wire reached the top. Without a wire to pull the new one up. I have no clue how to get the cable into the mast. After 2 1/2 hours of trying with a halyard I gave up for today.

25th August 1999 I bought 5 Liters of polyester resin 5 days ago. It went hard in the bottle, without hardener or catalyst. Turkish rubbish again. I need to bring this stuff back.

Because of the paint problems and the polyester I worked on the navigation desk. Despite my all thumbs skills I managed to solve the difficult construction site. Here some pictures:

23rd August 1999 Time is flying again. A lot more problems arise. The life raft is rubbish and only usefull as swimming pool for Nastasja. I need a new storm jib, but the average 300 Dollar expense is a problem. I still hesitate and don't know what to do.

It seems a problem to get good paint in Marmaris. If I find something it is 3 times more expensive than in Fethiye. The only shop with reasonable prices sells tins that are over 3 years old.!

20th August 1999 1999 Not much news around the AMBERELLA Saga. Our problems add up, especially the financial ones. I gave our life raft for inspection today, but have little hope that it is any good regarding its age. It is over 20 years old and probably porous. A new one cost about 2300 $ here. This is money we don't have. As well a new storm jib is out of the question. I am still searching for a second hand one.
I begun to built our navigation desk, since the deck must be cleaned with water from the hose, which we will get in Ciftlik bay, when we return.

18th August 1999 1999 We heard about the earthquake near Istanbul in the news only, but now it is the word of the street everywhere here in Marmaris. There is a lot speculation of how many victims really lie under the destroyed houses. The people don't trust the government and say there are much more victims to count. Some talk about more than 30.000 people died there. The speculation is stirred up since the Turks called for foreign help, something they never used to do, because of their prudence.
It is a strange feeling that something like this happens quite close to us. The officials a now hunting for house builders who did build those cheap houses. They are probably the same officials, who closed their eyes, when a little money, made the construction possible. Well this is the word of the street here in Marmaris.

16th August 1999 We had visitors from Fethiye. Yardan, Gonca and Siwa (5 years) came on board. Nastasja was very excited to have here playmate from Fethiye back. She even let her sleep in her own be, a real honor:)
We went with a taxi to a bay, in the gulf of Gökova. Here is an island called Sedir Cleopatra Island. It is famous for its beach, which has a story of its own. It is said that the ancient Queen Cleopatra brought the sand from Egypt. In fact there is nothing like it in Turkey. The scientists explain the pearl like sand from long and slow movements of sand over carbonated stones and mud. It looks like millions little pearls in your hand. If one puts the sand on a cigarette, the carbonated sand explodes in the heat. So no camp fires on this beach.

13th August 1999 1999 Friday the 13th, was a mixed day. I had a few little things to do at the workshops and experienced the difference of workmanship between Greece and Turkey. In a paint shop I asked for two-part PU paint and they gave me a way to high price. When the assistant wanted to show me the brand of the paint. He showed me all kinds of paints, even anti fouling paint, but he did not know what I was talking about. He still does not know because I left.
In a workshop I had some stainless welding to be done. The guy wanted 20 Million Lira (at the moment 46US$) for this work and I argued with him a lot. Than he said 10 Million (imagine how you feel when someone gives you 50% discount without reason? I always feel that this guy wanted to fool me in the first place) and I told him he gets not more than 5 Million. He still made a business. My 6-month experiences in Turkey are now a little advantage.
On the other hand, I was surprised by the very professional service of the electrical workshop. They repaired my two Bosch sanders within 15 minutes and for only 14 $..

11th August 1999 The last sun eclipse of the millennium was an event in Turkey. Too. At 14.20 the moon covered the sun 85%. This was the maximum for this area. I thought it would be a little darker, but the power of the sun is amazing. The only thing we felt was a little less heat. Tom and I had a beer on it. Since there was no world disaster like a flood or something where a boat would be handy, we stayed on land. Live goes on as usual and nobody does the job for me.
10th August 1999 Another perfect day sail to Marmaris. We started in a complete calm and motored from Ciflik around the Cap. Our engine failed again. There is an air leak in the fuel system and I still have not found it. But as soon as I had the engine running again I could switch it off because a very gently breeze filled our genua and we made 3-4 kn. Nina is a very good helmswoman and she can keep the main and genua, in butterfly manner, filled with air even in the lightest breeze.

8th August 1999 The weather was fortunate and we had a perfect sailing day to Turkey. The only 15 NM were very easy. Tom started 1 hour earlier with his heavy steel ketch THULIN, but we meet at the same time in Ciftlik bay. AMBERELLA made a maximum speed of 7.9 knots in a light breeze. Since our bad experience with the Meltemi wind in these waters, we started with two reefs in the main and a little jib. When had the Rhodes channel half crossed we shock the reef out, but left the little jib.
Ciftlik is a little touristy bay with a hotel and a few restaurants. Sailors can freely moor at Memets wooden pier. The difference between the cold Greeks and the friendly Turks is very obvious. The Greeks might be a lot more modern, but their money-oriented lifestyle leaves little time for a smile to a stranger. The Turks like most Asian folks I know, are money oriented too, but do this a lot easier going and slower than us European people.

5th August 1999 We have new ideas and coming events to announce! First of all, we will have another baby in December. This will result in major changes of our planning. Nina and me thought about the possibilities to have the baby in Turkey. The medical supply and the treatment are very sophisticated. There are a lot of doctors who studied in Germany and other European countries. But we don't want to spend another winter in Turkey. We have been stuck here far too long. Countries like Greece, Italy or France are quite expensive for longer visits or too cold for the winter on a yacht. When we heard about Tunisia, and its well-sophisticated marinas, plus a good medical supply, we immediately found this idea worth thinking about. Now we plan to fit AMBERELLA a few more weeks in Turkey and sail the 850 NM to Tunisia. We will pass Rhodes, Crete, and Malta on this journey.

3rd August 1999 Although two days late, we celebrated the Swiss national day (1. August). I made a chocolate cake for Tom, a sailor’s friend with his SY Thulin and Nina, both Swiss citizens.

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