Surprise, Surprise! Room for two more?!

Between us, the crews of Sunday and Catabella have had some wonderful surprises and some other lovely things happening just recently.

Sue and John – crew of Catabella

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves on the surprise front! The first happy event for Sue and John – and by default, for us too – was the arrival all the way from Australia of their grand daughter and her boyfriend who were at long last embarking on their delayed (due to Covid) post Year 12 overseas trip.

Sue with her granddaughter and granddaughter’s boyfriend

Istanbul was their first stop which was a great thrill for Sue and John. Only a few days later, their son Simon (based in England) and his two children arrived fresh off an epic sail – crewing on Sue and John’s youngest son’s (Andrew) yacht from Greece to Turkey.

Sue and John’s youngest granddaughter and me playing games at the dinner table

They disembarked at Çanakkale in the Dardanelles Strait and took a bus to Istanbul while the yacht travelled the last 150 nautical miles with two Australian friends of Andrew’s as crew.

We had been in the marina too long so it was a very happy day when we motored out of the marina heading for the Prince’s Islands with Catabella and her much enhanced crew.

Heading out of Viaport Marina
to the Princes’ Islands

We hadn’t been out more than a few minutes when John radioed us to say he was having trouble with one of his engines. Apparently the water intake was blocked with growth from the mega rich environment in our marina.

Oh no ! Engine trouble on Catabella

He was able to continue with one engine and made a repair when we arrived and anchored at the Princes’ Islands.

Our usual anchorage in the lagoon at Heybeliada was rather full (it was the weekend!) so we anchored for one night around the other side of the island.

The lagoon at Heybeliada was very full
We had to go and anchor round the
other side of the island

The next morning we had the first rainfall since we had arrived back on board in April! There was quite a storm with thunder and lightening alarmingly close.

A swim at long last!
Quite a storm approaching
Lots of rain with thunder and lightening alarmingly close.

Sue and John’s son and granddaughter had slept on board Sunday due to the large number of guests on Catabella and the weather was so bad that they couldn’t get back in the morning!

Sue and John’s son visits before the storm

To avoid disappointment about missing Poppa’s special breakfast I ended up having to make pancakes from scratch for the first time in many, many, years. Fortunately they got the thumbs up from our young guest and as she polished off the last one, the rain stopped and we were able to deliver the guests back to Catabella.

Later on that day we motored round to the lagoon on Heybeliada where we experienced the first of the surprises – Sue and John’s youngest son and his two crew suddenly arrived at our anchorage, having sailed Sea Pony overnight to arrive well before scheduled and at our lovely anchorage rather than the marina. What a reunion!

The first of our surprises! Sue and John’s youngest so arrives unexpectedly
Sea Pony arrives well before scheduled
Rafted up and time to celebrate!

Back at Viaport Marina the next day, the new arrivals on Sea Pony settled in on the same arm as Catabella and Sunday – almost opposite us in fact, where she will spend the winter.

Seapony moored Viaport Marina

The following day we all went out for a great meal together in a lovely Meze restaurant just back from the waterfront in Tuzla.

A lovely meal in Tuzla village

A chicken dish was ordered for the children and a huge portion arrived. Not wanting to waste it we took it home with us and the cats that live all along the seafront enjoyed a special dinner that night.

Feeding chicken to the local cats
What a feast!

You probably recall that we had (alarmingly) lost a window in some rough weather and that Jonathan had sourced a local manufacturer in Tuzla who was able to fabricate some for us at a vastly cheaper price than was offered by Lagoon, the company that built our boat. Well, after the windows were delivered Jonathan did an excellent job of installing the replacement for the one that fell out, using what seemed to me a very elaborate and complex series of different types of Sikaflex (flexible sealant). The other windows will be installed when we are pull Sunday out of the water before the start of next season.

Peeling the protective film off

A little later on, Evren, who organised the window fabrication, came to apply the tinted protection/sun proofing to the window. This amazing film allows us to see out but in the day time at least, people outside can’t see in. We tested this while it was being installed by waving and pulling faces inside. There was definitely no reaction from the guys outside who were standing on the dinghy while fixing it up!

Applying the tinted protection/sun proofing
We could see them but the couldn’t see us!

Now to the big surprise….

Sue and I had just finished a game of Scrabble one afternoon and we noticed she seemed to be hesitant about leaving. We offered her a gin and tonic which she accepted. Then she said “oh I have to go” and rushed off. The next minute John came over with a beer “to thank Jonathan for helping out this morning “.

Then Sue came back and told us that we were about to get a big surprise and before we could grill her about what it was, we heard a voice from behind our sunshades saying “Room for two more aboard?” and out stepped our daughter Hannah and son-in-law Pieter!

Room for two more? What
an amazing surprise!

What a wonderful and totally unexpected surprise it was! We couldn’t believe our eyes!

Ahhh hugs are so good !

We had hoped that they could come and visit but Hannah had looked at airfares and found them to be hugely expensive. However, apparently she had found a reasonable one which included going back to the Netherlands via Antalya in the southern Mediterranean region of Turkey and Copenhagen in Denmark!

It was so great to see Pieter and Hannah again!

After we had settled down (a little bit anyway) from the excitement we went for a stroll along the seafront and for an ice cream at the traditional Turkish ice cream seller nearby.

Buying ice cream at the
traditional Turkish seller nearby.

Buying ice cream in Turkey isn’t a simple affair of paying your money and receiving your cone – the sellers play all kind of tricks like handing you a cone with a flourish and with a sleight of hand whip it away leaving you holding an empty cone.

Buying ice cream in Turkey isn’t a simple affair of paying your money and receiving your cone
Expectant customers at the ice cream store

The following week went in a flash – we went bowling and shopped for cheap clothes for Hannah and Pieter’s forthcoming trip to Central and South America, in the shopping mall just outside the marina.

Pieter beating us all at bowling
Jonathan did quite well too!

We sailed over to the Prince’s Islands and anchored in the lovely lagoon at Heybeliada where we went swimming, hiked, feasted on wonderful fresh produce and played games.

On the way to Heybeliada
The water was lovely once you were in!
Hannah and Pieter enjoying a swim!
Jonathan showing off the new dinghy covers
Hiking along the road – golf carts only allowed!
Lovely view from the wooded track
Another beautiful view along the way
Hannah and Jonathan look out to sea
Breakfast feast!
A stop for a cold drink at a small stall
Feeding time for the local street cats
Looking down onto the lagoon anchorage

After a couple of days we moved on to nearby Burgazada where we anchored in the shadow of the rocky islet called Kaşıkadaşı (Spoon Island) and where Sue and John joined us.

On the way to Burgazada
Anchored off Kaşıkadaşı (Spoon Island)

That evening we enjoyed sundowners, and a lovely meal together in Burgazada at a lovely restaurant perched on a rocky outcrop. The views and the food were outstanding.

Perfect view – our boats anchored
in the distance!
Hannah and Pieter at the lovely restaurant
Sue and I at the restaurant

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Salty tales from Bali Hai

In 2015, after a break from cruising of almost 30 years, my husband and I sailed off into the sunset - this time to the wonderful Islands of Indonesia and beyond. Three years passed and we swapped sails for wheels driving through Scandinavia and Europe in a motor home. Now we are on the brink of another adventure - buying a Lagoon 420 Catamaran in Athens. This is our story.

2 thoughts on “Surprise, Surprise! Room for two more?!”

  1. The harbour views and tree lined walks really reminded us of the Northern Sporades and made us hungry to revisit them!

    And what a lovely surprise to see Hannah and Pieter! Wonderful!!

    Lots of love

    Sally and George xxx


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