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October 1999 Diary

29h October 1999 For 3 days now we had strong north easterly winds. From this direction the Mandraki Marina is not well protected. We had 2 sleepless nights already, because the swell runs into the harbour. Roland, our dutch neighbor from SY Arrow, told us, that this happens only maybe 5 times a year. So we had already 3 parts of this share and it can only get better.

Walking to the boat yard becomes a routine now. I had still no luck, but have the feeling I am getting to know the people better. And this is what counts whenever theres someone asking for a hand. In the meantime I finished on project programming websites and got paid for it. So that worked out quickly.

My only problem with using the PowerBook for a lot of time is its power consumption. If I make some more money, I definitively will install an alternator. Up to now I never had one and my solar panels and the windgenerator worked out fine. Especially with the strong Meltemi winds I had no trouble recharging the little power I used so far. But since we are in a well protected marina, this is another story.

25th October 1999 Our situation is again precariously. We did stay for the weekend because the charter office said there would be more business for us, but on Friday there was only little to do and the next two day there was nothing. So after the weekend we have only 20$ left in our pockets and try to look for more work.

When I went to the boat yard to ask some sailors, if there is anything to do on boats I saw my sailor friends, Jochen and Senta, from SY Pico. We traveled last year with them to Kappadokia. They were just about to launch ther boat and they told me that they would have called me to work on their boat, if they would have known we were here. Thats bad luck for me I though. But it's good to know that they will be around Rhodos for a while.

24th October 1999 Since we are in Rhodos, we have a very fast internet connection. So we could make daily updates for our website and in fact I already started to send some more pictures into the webfolder and want to change a lot on it. But for the moment I have them not yet linked to the pages. I was busy programming a website for my brothers company in Germany and had no time to do anything for our site. Business goes first, so to speak :)

We had changed our plan not to sail to Fethiye, Turkey, because we expected more work the coming weekend. But as it turned out the charter season is almost over and we had not much to do. So we spent more money for the marina and food than we wanted. On the other hand we already managed to survive more than 3 weeks without touching any of our savings and somehow I know we find more work around Rhodos.

Life in Mandraki is quiet comfortable. We are right in the city of Rhodos. Most shops, the postoffice, the playing ground and the beach are just around the corner. The Greeks in Mandraki are a bit more friendly than the kind we met so far in town. Our dutch neighboors have a girl of six years on board and Nastasja is the best mate of Sarah already.

The first low pressure systems move over the Med and bring rain with them. But Rhodos as an island is mostly spared from it. We saw the heavy clouds moving over to Turkey where they would disload in the mountains.

18th October 1999 After we visited the hospital we are convinced to stay in Rhodos for the winter. The childrens department is a new building with good doctors, some can speak English and good treatment. Nina was very concerned because we haven't heard good stories about this hospital, but now she is fine. The cost for a natural birth are adequate. Since we have no insurance we calculated a big amount of money for the birth in a foreign country, but are suprised to hear that in Greece one pays only for the hospital room. All medications and even operativ treatments are covered by this daily amount, which is about 86 US$ for a normal room and 155 US$ for a single room per day.

We have hopes to find more work here and will finish the little jobs on AMBERELLA before spring. After all our worries we look much more relaxed into the future now. Even for Nastasja it looks much better here. She can go to the kindergarten were a teacher speaks German and English and our dutch liveonboard neighbors, who will spent the winter in Rhodes too, have a daughter of 6 years. Sarah is already Nastasja's best friend.

We plan to sail back to Turkey to say good bye to some friends and do some paper work and will return to Rhodes within 2 weeks.

15th October 1999 There are other jobs than washing decks. And they are better paid and much more fun. Together with Roland, a dutch sailor who lives with his daughter (6 years and Nastasja new friend) and wife on board, we delivered a 44 ft Bavaria yacht to the island of Kos. The 44 mile trip was uneventful with winds from 5-6 on our nose. We steamed 10 hours, but put our some sails and tacked to gain some speed. We logged 72 nm in 10 hours. At night we took the ferry back to Rhodes and I was back in time with more work on the charter boats.

11th October 1999 I was looking for work here in Rhodos, because we can't take any more from our savings. If we want to sail next year. We have to find something while we winter in a marina. I was looking in Rhodes boatyards and in the marina and had some jobs within hours. For a charter company I was doing maintanance jobs, cleaning decks and checking boats in and out. The wage is not much, but we can live from it for some time. Of course this won't do for the winter, because the season ends in November. But with a little start like this we are optimistic to find something for the winter. Without the coming baby in January it would be much easier to take a flight home and work the winter in Switzerland. But we want to make it on our on and put a burden on our relatives and friends, because they are who we would depend on for some time if we go home.

9th October 1999 Still no package from Germany. We wait with greek patience. In the meantime I have been looking for some odd jobs in the harbour and earned some money. Maybe our plans for the winter are not as hopeless as they seem.

5th October 1999 I changed the hose, which caused trouble on our passage to Rhodos. Beside this, we really have nothing to do here. Since we want to leave as soon as possible, I don't want to start unpack the tools and start a project. We will only wait for some mail to arrive in Rhodos General Post Office.

This morning we heard about the earth quake in Marmaris. We have left this area right in time, but know about a lot of friends who are still there. Luckily there was little damage and no victims.

I use the time updating my website. Here is a pictures that shows what we have done on AMBERELLAs deck. We are really happy that this is over. I cut a few parts of the deck and removed the old balsa core, which was rotten. I added plywood instead, laminated the part into place, closed it again, grindet and sanded the whole deck, painted with epoxy resin and strew sand over it. This acts as noneskid. later it was painted with an epoxy primer and finished with 2part polyurethan paint. As well I built for two hatches a frame, in order to rise them above deck level. The area around the hatches is now better supported and reinforced.

2nd October 1999 The night was rough with gales blasting from the mountains, but AMBERELLAs anchor held. We set sail early after breakfast at 0800 and made course Rhodes, Greece. After a short break with no wind, we had to motor only 10 minutes out of this wind hole and finally hit a constant westerly bft 5. AMBERELLA made up to 7.5 knots. The first thing I did, when I saw the town of Rhodes, was to switch on the GSM modem and send our emails. In Ciftlik we had no phone connection for over 3 weeks.

We did not reach Tom, who we wanted to meet on the way, on the radio all day and I was thinking he might have changed his mind. I talked to a few other sailors, checking my new VHF antenna, and was suprised to hear Georg on the radio calling from Fethiye, some 45 miles away.

When we anchored at our favorite spot in Rhodes, the Sefyros Beach the first thing I did wa having a Souvlaki and a beer. Later Nastasja, Nina and me came back from a walk around town, and saw Toms yacht in the bay. We had a nice dinner with his guests and enjoyed the greek style.

/I hope I can send some pictures soon, but at the moment the GSM modem breaks up to often...)

1st October 1999 We left Ciftlik after lunch and wanted to meet up with Tom from SY Thulin in a bay further south, in order to sail together to Rhodos. But our engine died after 45 minutes once again. The old problem; air in the diesel. My hopes that I had found the leak have vanished. I know plan to remove the whole old copper piping.

So we drifted mostly, with no wind at all and no running engine. I found a second problem. A waterpipe had a crack, which caused the freah water cooling system to drain. After two hours fiddling with another pipe I ended up with tapping the old obe in place, because there was no way of bending the new hose into place.

when the wind picked up later that afternoon we tacked a few hours down south, but later we decided to anchor in a bay just 6 miles from our starting point. This was enough for the day.

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