No dramas or exciting news to report this week so instead I thought I would take you through a typical “Day in the Life” on S/V Sunday in Turkey.
Every morning before the break of dawn (around 4.30am!) the “Azzan” (Call to Prayer) reverberates round the town from the mosque on the hill above the marina.
Often we don’t wake up – even though the call is broadcast at incredible volume over loudspeakers. Sometimes we do “come to” then lie awake until the next call – heralding the sunrise – which happens at around 6am, at which time we finally fall into a fitful sleep for a couple of hours.
At the moment it is Ramadan so I assume that between the two early morning prayer times devout Muslims will eat and drink to prepare for fasting during daylight hours. We on the other hand usually have a long and leisurely breakfast (after a lazy cup of tea reading the news on-line in bed) before starting the day’s activities.
On Tuesdays we go to the massive under cover market (quite often with other yachties) about 20 minutes walk from the marina, on other days we might go into town to shop at one of the stores or the local supermarket.
At the market there always new wonders to marvel at – goats cheese presented in a goatskin carcass “pot”, dried vegetables hung on garlands that remind me of Christmas trees, some mysterious and unrecognisable foodstuff in a bucket or wild herbs on an upturned milk crate.
Weighed down by wonderful fresh fruit and seasonal vegetables we return to our boats to try and find room to store our bounty.
There’s always work to do on the boat whether it’s servicing the engines, fixing “dings” in our gel coat inside or out and always cleaning! Being an AWB (Another White Boat) it is a constant slog keeping Sunday looking reasonably spruce. Every mark shows and with the dreaded red dust from the Sahara still lurking, keeping the decks clean is a major task. Then there’s the stainless steel to polish and the canvas to keep looking good. My approach is to do a little each day and try and keep on top of it. It’s not a great strategy – I think we need a full time cleaner!
Then of course there are the normal household tasks that are the same for everyone wherever they live!
Our very kind Turkish neighbours in the marina brought over some delicious falafel one day this week so I baked a lemon drizzle cake to share with them.
As our oven has no temperature controls (it is either hot or hotter) our baking attempts have been very hit and miss. On this occasion the cake actually rose very well and tasted great even though it was slightly over-browned around the edges!
We sometimes skip lunch if we have had a big breakfast but sometimes we have a salad and always cook a meal in the evenings.
Despite weekend lockdowns and other restrictions life is sociable in the marina. Some people prefer not to go aboard other’s boats but will stop for a (masked) chat as they walk past.
At weekends there used to be a socially distanced BBQ at the marina clubhouse but cooking together has been stopped temporarily due to Covid restrictions. Last weekend a few people met for a beer and a chat.
Each day we work on learning a language – Jonathan is improving his school boy French and I’m trying to learn Turkish. We are both using the Duolingo App which is a fun way to learn.
Often we chat via video call to our adult children and their partners, other family members and friends far and wide. We also keep up email correspondence with family and friends that prefer that method of communication.
Over the last week I have thoroughly enjoyed a daily Scrabble session with Sue on S/V Catabella a few doors away from us. We have also had the pleasure of a couple of nights socialising with Sue and her husband John over a few wines. It was also fantastic to have a great evening catching up with Liz and Steve of S/V Liberte who we first met on the Kalimantan Rally in 2017.
One of the pleasant surprises we have experienced in Turkey is how very palatable and reasonably priced the wine is here. We have found some firm favourites and are keen to keep finding more!
Most days we try to go for a walk – at the weekends when we are in lockdown it would probably be just round the marina but on a typical weekday it could be round the foreshore to the mouth of the harbour or a longer stroll along the beachfront.
Of course there is always something new to see – the flash of a kingfisher (my favourite bird I think) or a beautiful view; a gorgeous tree or the comical antics of some young ducks.
On the first day of Ramadan we received the fright of our lives! Just as the Call to Prayer started at sunset there was an enormous explosion. It sounded as though a bomb had gone off! Our lovely Turkish neighbours laughed as we ran out to see what had happened and they explained the explosion was just a signal to the people in Finike that they could break their fast. Traditionally a cannon is fired but here the enormous bang seems to be made by a “whiz bang” rocket. The explosion never fails to make me jump – even though I’m expecting it – much to the amusement of our neighbours!
At least once a week I try to cook a new recipe – mostly trying to increase my repertoire of appealing vegetarian dishes.
This week it was a great choice – red pepper (capsicum), tomato and bulgur wheat tray bake with feta cheese from my sister Sarah’s second family cookbook. It was delicious!
The day usually closes with watching a movie or a couple of episodes from a TV series or reading one of many books we have purchased and stored electronically.
And so ends another day of living on the marina in Finike, Turkey.