Kurukulla at Anegada, BVI

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Back onboard - the start of 2012

The new teak deck
Well, here I am back in Marmaris with the winter refit drawing to a close and planning to set sail northwards on the 3rd of May. The new wooden deck on Kurukulla looks great, shame about the mess they made inside her whilst doing it. A lot of evidence of lack of supervision of the workforce, (I've got my old Superintendent Ships hat on); most of the cups, mugs etc. had been used and left unwashed over a period of months, plus dust and shavings everywhere. Not sure why we ever bothered giving the boat a thorough clean before we left her! Having said all that the workmanship on the deck is good and I have paid only just over half of the figure quoted in both Italy and Malta!
Some of the debris!
On the way in, anti-fouling complete
Tuesday was a major milestone day. Anti-fouling finished, underwater maintenance done, Kurukulla went back in the water; the engine flashed up first time, there were no leaks and all was well. All of this was followed by a bit more excitement of which more later.
Marmaris is a great place to keep the boat and like for like it is, in my view, much much cheaper than Italy or Greece. My contract for 6 months on the hard, for a 12 metre boat, comes to €1848 (=£1540 at today's rates) and this includes the lift out and launch, the €55 for a pressure wash on lift out, plus the €50 cost of a cradle for the whole period.
Part way through antifouling
In the marina there are about 1500 boats that winter here; facilities include a clubhouse bar serving beer at 5.25TL (=£1.88) a pint (during Happy Hour it gets even better at 3.00TL (£1.07!), swimming pool, full restaurant where a main course costs around 20TL (=£7.15) , (or alternatively there is a canteen where a local fare, hot meal, inc. desert, costs 7TL (=£2.50)), sports centre and that modern essential free WiFi. All of this with power and water provided at metered cost and a half hourly dolmus (minibus) into town at 3TL each way (=£1.10).
The on-site assistance including TMS the company who replaced the deck on Kurukulla
It seems there are 150+ live-aboards who spend their winter here afloat and form quite a close society. Last Sunday there was a boat jumble and BBQ organised by Yacht Marin staff and tomorrow there is a group discussion on the new Turkish visa system.
Last Tuesday I was invited to drinks onboard Sandivina, Peter Wilson's yacht, which he keeps in Netsel Marina, situated on the outskirts of town. Peter is a friend from my Royal Navy days and has, like me, embarked on extensive sailing (and in his case golfing) for his retirement. By comparison Netsel is certainly a smarter and more upmarket marina. It is also popular with live-aboards but the down side is it costs more and has much less shore storage space than Yacht Marin where Kurukulla wintered.
The swimming pool, Kurukulla's mast is in the distance.
In addition to all the other facilities at Yacht Marin there is a supermarket on site which is well stocked with all that you might need, more expensive than Marmaris town, but not by much, and cheaper than UK if you avoid the imported products. A very helpful chandler. Sail-makers, engineers, representatives of most of the well known marine equipment brands; all are at hand. It makes the yard where I wintered in Italy look very poor value and desperately inconvenient. This place even has clean loos and hot showers in abundance!
Flights are via Dalaman, where Easy Jet, Monarch or Thomas Cook are the low cost options, and then there is your transfer which takes an hour by dolmus and costs between 10 and 30 TL (£3.60 and £10.70) depending on demand; taxis are much more at €60 (£50).
They certainly pack them in! Camilla on left.
The whole place seems to use an amalgam of € and TL to price everything but they accept either and some places even sterling; I have been able to settle the bill for my deck in sterling, exchanged at interbank rate, without any exchange fees.
Entrance to bar and restaurant.
All in all, wintering here in Marmaris has been a great success and I have already booked in provisionally for next winter.
BBQ garden with health centre (green) in background
Since getting out here I have been busy preparing and anti-fouling the hull, installing a new instrument system and fitting a new alternator, both of which were procured a year ago and not fitted due to a rushed departure from Brindisi. In addition I have been undertaking major surgery on the main-sheet traveller which had shed it's bearings and whose end stops on the track refused point blank all of my efforts to remove one, this was necessary in order that I could repair the traveller. That wonderful combination of aluminium fittings and stainless steel bolts had corroded together never to come apart again. After a few hours of hammering one bolt came free and the other two have been cut off and the design modified to allow refitting of the end-stop without removing them completely.
East side of the  four sided N, E, S, W, bar.
Whilst progressing these tasks I have also been generally trying to get a grip on the mess down in the main cabin. The up side is that I have already negotiated a substantial discount from TMS, the contractor, for taking on the task of cleaning the interior of the boat myself. Having seen their efforts at cleaning there was no alternative. It really feels a bit like being the ships company, in a refit, in the early days of FSL (Fleet Support Ltd - Portsmouth Dockyard's management company at the time I was Sup. Ships)!
The restaurant.
If that were not enough I have also been doing the usual Travel Agent job trying to sort affordable flights for friends and family coming out to sail in Kurukulla. Yesterday, whilst chatting on Skype to Bill Ellison, another ex naval friend; and only two hours after reaching the afloat berth; there was a loud bang and a splash at the stern. I offered my excuses, put Bill on hold, and went to investigate. Initially nothing seemed awry only a small moped fallen over on the jetty and then, from under the stern of my boat, I heard a lot of splashing about and a young, panic stricken, voice shouting something unintelligible in Turkish. A young lad, who had obviously climbed onto the parked moped causing it to capsize, had fallen into the harbour ending up under Kurukulla's stern. Fortunately by leaping ashore and dangling off the edge of the jetty I was able to reach one of his arms, pull him up and towards me and then grab the other one, thus it was that he was unceremoniously hauled out onto the jetty; a very soggy, frightened, but apparently none the worse for his dunking, young boy. Lucky though, if he had hit his head and been knocked unconscious he might not have lived to tell the tale.
Enough for now. More when I am under-way......