It was such a great feeling to be sitting at a cafe in the lovely harbour town of Kas in Turkey about to bite into our first tavuk şiş (chicken kebab).
We felt so grateful to Turkey for allowing us in and to the Netherlands for letting us go in these difficult times with Covid lockdowns and travel restrictions.
Apart from a lovely pub lunch in December with Jonathan’s brother and his partner when we were in England briefly for a visa run, this was the first time we had sat down for a meal in a cafe or restaurant for at least six months! Turkey had just changed its guidelines allowing restaurants and cafes to open but at only 50 per cent capacity.
We were staying in a very pleasant apartment while we worked on getting the boat ready to launch after her winter’s rest on the hard standing at Kas marina.
There were lots of jobs to do as we had stripped everything that could be moved off the deck space in order to protect them from the UV, wind and rain.
While we were away we had some covers made for the winches and one for the passarelle (electronic gang plank). We were very pleased with the results.
The boat looked in good shape and we were very happy to see that she looked very clean (we had paid for the decks to be washed in time for our arrival.)
Infuriatingly a couple of days after we arrived the wind and rain swirled round dropping copious amounts of red dust from the Sahara desert. It took days of work to get rid of it!
Meanwhile we enjoyed the walk to the marina from the apartment every day, meeting the local cats, dogs and chickens on the way and each day noticing something new and surprising to appreciate.
One such discovery was the site of the Friday market – a big open space in front of some new apartments. We were delighted with this discovery and when market day came around we of course went to have a look.
It was a fantastic market with heaps of wonderful locally grown fruit and vegetables as well as interesting shiny kitchen implements, colourful Turkish carpets, fragrant spice stalls and stalls selling delicious olives and cheese.
There were also clothes and shoes on sale as well as hardware, tools and various household items. Our favourite was the goat bell stall!
Best of all there were a couple of stalls making gözleme – those yummy stuffed pancake-like dishes -made in the traditional way in a massive hot plate and using a very thin and long rolling pin to ensure the “pancake” cooks in a perfect circle.
Back at the boatyard, the last bits of work were underway on Sunday before we “splashed” her.
Primer was applied to the bottom of her hull, the propellers were removed and painted with special paint to keep molluscs from camping on them and the sail drives were serviced and had an oil change. A through hull fitting from what had been a skipper’s toilet was sealed and secured. Then the final coat of anti foul was painted on and she was ready to go!
We had to move apartments during this time for the last two days on land as we needed an extra couple of days and our apartment wasn’t available but we didn’t have far to go – just one flight of stairs up!
We named it the Eyrie as it was right at the top of the little block of apartments but despite the stairs we really like it for it’s sloping ceilings and glorious views.
Fortunately, every day when we walked down to the marina we had taken a portion of the 80kg of luggage we had brought from the Netherlands. On the final day we just had a few things and our food to take with us.
On launch day the wind had started to blow up so it was decided to wait until the following day for safety’s sake. We were very glad we had booked the extra days in the apartment.
Finally the splash day arrived and the lumbering giant of a travel lift moved her from her resting place and placed her gently in the water.
The whole process went very well, our engines started first time and nothing leaked! Soon we were being assisted into our berth on dock C at the marina. It was a very smooth process as the two marina workers assisting us were very capable and clear in their instructions.
Soon we were tied up and settled and back doing some of the “settling tasks “ such as blowing up the dinghy and attaching it to the davits.
It felt so good to be in the water again – preparing for further adventures and with the prospect of more “Salty Tales” to be discovered.