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The Adventures of LeeZe: End of August Frustrations

After and whirlwind tour at the end of August Lee and Zehra offer a long, problem-solving update about the end of August on the Turkish coast.

August 19, 2013

We arrive in Akbuk after crossing a sea that, to be fair, is quite confused. Nothing big, but the waves just cannot seem to get a sense of direction; they are all over the place, like a bunch of drunken sailors drinking Raki (the Turkish national anise drink). We anchor near to the beach, and at this place, finding water less than 14 meters in the desirable section of the anchorage is not possible. This was a rushed underway as we had planned to stay at the last place for one more day, so our stuff is all over the place. After cleaning up and getting everything stowed, we go for a dip.

Note about the generator: Self inflicted problem. Per the "expert" in Florida, when I let it run dry, and then refilled, air got into the fuel lines. I can either let is run for about 30 minutes at no load to get rid of the air, or bleed the system. I have elected to wait for the instructions on how to bleed the system. Stupid me…

Near dusk, we take the tender ashore, walk around, learn this is some type of park with an entry fee (2.50 TL for Adults, Students 50% off, 1.92 TL/$ for those that care) and with rules (No parking on the beach side of the road and no BBQs) which seem not to be enforced. We noticed during the day that there were plenty of people around but they disappear at dusk.

Zehra and I on our evening stroll. That is LeeZe way off  in the distance over our shoulders.

Zehra and I on our evening stroll. That is LeeZe way off in the distance over our shoulders.

Some are camping and some have rented camping huts to stick around. The water is clean and there is a fresh water creek that feeds the anchorage that probably is 5-6 degrees C colder than the anchorage, which is about 28 C. (That by the way is typical for nearly all the places we have been so far.) We get hungry, find a place to eat, order kofte, chips and salad (small meat patties grilled on a open wood BBQ, french fries, and a small green salad). The meal was not bad, but Zehra thinks we have had better for less, and she is right. But, heck, you are on the beach, at an anchorage, and the choices of restaurants is lacking. We return to LeeZe, the wind having died down, watch some TV and sleep.

August 20, 2013

Up at 0845, having checked the boat at 0400. A quick peek at NOAA GRIB data and I decide that we are to depart for Cokertme, some 17 nm west of where we are. We drink our coffee, place a second one for me on the helm, make our preps and depart at 0930.

Our TV camera that we use to help med-moor is also used to monitor the tender when underway.

Our TV camera that we use to help med-moor is also used to monitor the tender when underway.

The coast is not particularly interesting. There are some summer towns (called a "site" here) along the way, an electrical generating station, and some small shipyards. We find beach balls and floats in the water opposite one "site" and realize that if we could have retrieved all we saw, we could open up our own beach toy store. Alas, we move on with our tender behind us.

We arrive in Cokertme at about 1230 and for the first time, we see at least three small boats all waving to us, wanting us to tie up to their dock. However, we elect not to, and go and anchor in what looks like 11 meters of water. The winds this afternoon are forecasted to be no more than 25 knots so I lay out 65 meters of chain snubbed about 3-4 meters under the surface, Should hold.

There is even a "big boy" yacht here. After tying up, we watch the "anchorage ballet."

A boat comes in, the small boats entice, the Captain makes a decision, the small boat with two boys comes along side, one boy hops on, the other boy passes to him a lazy line (tied off to a huge anchor weight) so that the boat does not have to use their anchor and yet can still med-moor to the pier. It is a well-orchestrated dance, even for a 60+-foot powerboat that comes whipping into the anchorage at 20 knots and moors.

Always fun to see some of our larger brethren around.

Always fun to see some of our larger brethren around.

Later, we go ashore for a quick peak, and each restaurant offers the same: Free electricity (16 amps @ 220 VAC), free water, but they expect you to eat dinner with them. Since dinner for two would probably set us back 50-60 TL, we determine that if we want to eat out, coming dockside and using their electricity and water is cost effective. If we want to spend two nights, my guess is the second night is dinner + 20 TL (for the electricity).

We also observe a local lady hand making a traditional Turkish wool rug. She has probably been doing this all of her life. She has a picture of the rug she is making on her right side in a book, and from that alone she is able to tie a 1x2 meter rug.

The wind is blowing (the weather forecast was right) and we return to LeeZe for a swim, snooze, and some well-earned internet.

A local woman hand knotting a wool rug.

A local woman hand knotting a wool rug.

Early Morning – August 21, 2013

I fell sleep on the bench on the aft deck and at 0335 I hear people talking somewhat close by. After looking around I notice two fishermen in a drifting boat, maybe 20 meters (but probably closer as it is the dead of night) off my port side. In their boat there are more empty beer cans than fish. I say good morning and ask if they can speak more softly as I do not wish to have Zehra wake up. They say "of course," but they do nothing. Ask again, nada. Beg with them. Nada. Get out my very bright flash light, shine it right on them, and they are out of there in a flash, rowing. I go back to sleep, but now I know I have two drunk and pissed off Turk fishermen on my hands. Later on, I think I could have taken their picture but from experience, that seems to bother people who have been drinking a lot even more. In the end, glad I kept the camera in the case.

Wake up at 0730 to a loud crash! Seems a gulet just dropped his anchor just behind me.

My early morning alarm clock.

My early morning alarm clock.

For the most part, Turkish gulets have fisherman anchors on board. This design seems to predate Christ and I question at times their holding power. (So does nearly every magazine that ever tests anchors but I digress.) My guess is that this completes the traditional Turkish gulet "look" but my real suspicion is that these anchors can be made cheaply by any Tom, Dick or Harry welding shop. What holds the gulet is their use of chain. They must carry "thousands of meters" of chain on board and when they anchor they seem to use it all. (One Turkish fishing trawler Captain who operated a trawler that fished between Crete and Cyprus told me it does no good to have chain in your locker when anchoring.) This gulet is easily 150 to 200 meters away from the dock he will eventually moor to and probably has 300+ meters of chain in his locker.

A calm and peaceful morning on the hook.

A calm and peaceful morning on the hook.

However, this morning is calm and peaceful so one should be grateful for small miracles.

When Zehra wakes up and starts to drink her coffee on the aft deck, she notices there are 5-6 gulets all around us, which were not there last night. Reminds me of Karaca Sogut, where they just appeared out of nowhere. My guess is that these are chartered gulets, and that this is their next "stop."

For completeness, here are the 4 restaurants' info:
Cokertme Boutique Hotel +902525310156. Best Dock, Nicest looking place
Captain Ibrahim Restaurant and Rooms +902525310012. Food here is reasonably priced.
Rosemary Restaurant +902525310158.
Orhan Restaurant and Rooms +902525310096.

August 21, 2013

We are departing today for Kargicik Buku, where we understand there is a 5 star hotel there. Getting close to civilization!

We arrive in Kargicik Buku and anchor in 20 meters of water; I tried to find something shallower but could not. There are big markers all around the bay. I think they mark the turn for a sail racecourse. Choose not to get close to them just in case they are to be used. The hotel is blended somewhat into the hillside and there are plenty of people trying to windsurf off its beach.

The hotel's beach; nice to see some modern civilization.

The hotel's beach; nice to see some modern civilization.

The approach is pretty wide open visually, but there are plenty of submerged rocks around that makes one pause.

There appears to be some lucky individuals that have a house on their own island, overlooking the bay. Nice.

The anchorage is deep, and towards the shore, it rapidly shoals. I do not feel comfortable putting down 40+ meters of chain in 8-10 meters of water with a rock wall some 5-10 meters behind me.

We spend the night on the boat as the winds never really dropped below 15-20 knots, and with a 4.5:1 anchor scope out, did not want to go far, "just in case." Zehra thinks I worry too much and I probably do. If I could have put out 7:1, I would not worry.

When having LeeZe built, I asked the builder for 200 meters of 12mm chain. Like nearly all of my requests, he thought this was outlandish and offered 100. Eventually got 130 but now I wish I had that 200 meters.

We see this at bedtime:

moon 85

August 22, 2013

The morning is nice but with some wind and a chop. Check NOAA GRIB weather data and suggest to Zehra that we stick our nose out and if it is too rough, we will just come back.

So, we are underway at about 0930 and after we turn the corner and go past the spit of land, the seas somewhat flatten out and we elect to continue.

Once we get between the island of Karaada and the coast, the seas really flatten but the wind increases.

The birthplace of M/V Mac Dora.

The birthplace of M/V Mac Dora.

We are going to Yatlift, a place where Randal an Ruth had their MV Dora Mac worked on earlier this year and gave them a checkup. I have been experiencing redundant failures of my Engine Room exhaust blower that is attached to the bulkhead directly, and I am at wits end.

We arrive at Yatlift and moor to the south rock jetty. There are no fenders, tires etc so my fenders will take a beating. The workers come aboard, and determine that the blower's discharge is 110mm across, but the pipe to route the exhaust out, is only 80. They think that 30 mm blockage is causing a pressure pulsation that eventually leads to mechanical failure. Another yard mistake.

After lots and lots of discussion, they decide that it would be best to remote mount the fan and use ducting. While they go off to propose a design, I am finishing up a bottle of Diet Coke and while looking at the plastic bottle I get an idea. The bottle goes from narrow to wide, so why not build an adapter where one end is 110 mm wide the other is 80. Then the fan has a smooth transition and should not experience the pressure pulsation.

I present that idea to them and while they like it, a significant amount of time is spent discussing HOW to build that cone shape adaptor. Finally, someone makes some calls and they find a shop in the local industrial park that can make it. It should be ready tomorrow, hopefully.

So, Yatlift thinks we might be better off anchoring for the night, but with more fenders, we elect to stay at the wall. Our stern is toward the sea so every big wave lifts the stern, crashes water thru the swim platform's holes, makes lots of noise, and causes the stern to rise and fall rapidly. Not a pleasant motion. I thought about turning the boat around but the bottom shoals quite rapidly and any intake might have the keel bang into the big rocks on the bottom.

So, we stay. Would like to take on electricity but the shore power pod is easily 100+ meters away. A Turk working on his sailboat offered to let me use his (really thin!) electrical cord for the night to get the power part way to me. I go looking around and find an equally thin 220 VAC extension cord that brings the power to the bow of LeeZe. Further searching finds an extension cord with the correct plugs on either end and now I can use my shore power cable to complete the connection.

Connect, and at no load, the voltage is a respectable 226 VDC. Load the chargers with 5 AC amps and voltage drops to 191. Ouch. It will be a very slow top up.

Anyway, dinner is served, we relax a little, watch some TV, and hit the sack. I check shore power just before bedtime and it is gone. Go up to the pod and realize I had used all the credit on that pod. Here one buys a card and inserts it into the pod. Depending on how much you buy, you get a certain amount of KW. I was using someone else's credit and it was now zero. Looking around, I see another empty pod, which has quite a lot of credit. Plug in, and voila, shore power is restored.

Anyway, at about 0330, the battery is full, but due to the low voltage and current, it will not shift automatically from boost to float charge. I manually do that and go back to bed.

August 23, 2013

I wake up and have some coffee. Zehra is sleeping well. I turn on the AC water pump and hear it cycle. (We were using the DC water pump yesterday when not on shore power, and never switched to the AC pump last night as we got shore power way after dinner.) I continue to hear it cycle and started looking for the reason. Found the shower on the aft deck open, and water running out. Close it, look at the level in the tank, and realize I now need to load water. It is 0745 and so I am now searching for a way to get water to LeeZe. Find a yard hose but not long enough. Borrow the hose from the Turk who lent me his power cord and that gets the water pretty near to the bow. Go get my hose and some adaptors and hose clamps and a screwdriver and set about cobbling together this mis-mash of hoses. Connect them all, feel good about it, turn on the water to flush the hoses out while I route the hose to the deck fill plug. You can hear Murphy laugh. It is about 3 meters too short. Great. Reroute the hoses, and with about a half-meter to spare, got water to the plug. Start to fill and go back to my now cold coffee.

Zehra gets up, and wonders why I look the way I do. I tell her the water story an agree that from how on, when not in use, the shower on the aft deck is closed in such a way that even if the valve is opened, no water comes out. She agrees and I continue to fill. The Turk sailor shows up, I apologize profusely for using his hose w/o permission, he says all is fine, and I am relieved. He does need his shore power cord back though.

Fill the tank, wash the windows, return the hose, have breakfast, learn the part should be here at about 1500, and go back to waiting.

It looks like we are spending another night here at Yatlift. The part did not come as of 1700, and since they work from 08-1800, it does not take a rocket scientist to see that maybe tomorrow will be a better day. Zehra needed some time off the boat so she took a dolmus (shared taxi like mini van) into downtown Bodrum, which is only about 4-5 km away by road. I would have like to go with her, but if you see how LeeZe is moored next to their rock quay, and the waves pounding the stern of the boat, I am afraid that if I leave her, a line or two will pat and there will be no one around to "save the day." (I know! I excessively worry!!). It turns out that staying was the prudent course of action. Around 2000, something happened and the passarella went into the water with a crash. Luckily, there was a yard worker nearby and together, the two of us recovered the passarella and secured it.

August 24, 2013

We are still at Yatlift. I saw the adapter in the office at 0915. I stated to the yard manager that I REALLY wanted to be on my way by noon. When nothing happened by 1115, I went and asked. They assured me that they were working on adapting the cone to the blower.
At 1230, one of the yard people came by and asked for my spare fan so they could have a template to make the adapters.

At 1430, I went back to the yard manager and expressed my frustration with still being here, the pace of the work, and the fact that LeeZe is going to really have a rough time stern to in the afternoon wind and waves. The manager "thinks" the adapters will be made in less than an hour. Zehra thinks we are spending the night AGAIN! I am NOT a happy camper.

For those that care, I learned a long time ago that being aggressive and sticking my nose into their business each and every minute (or hour/day/week/month etc.) just slows down the entire process and ultimately pisses the workers off. So, I am trying to be mellow, calm, more type "B" than "A" (which I am a STRONG "A") but frustration reigns supreme.

What makes this even harder to bear is that they offer no updates. When the adapters get made, they will show up. They cannot seem to accurately estimate a time when they will be made, but will pull a time from their behind (I am being kind here!) if pressed. I have come to realize that "time estimate" is something made up out of thin air, and has no direct, or indirect connection to reality.

This is in no way peculiar to Yatlift. This is a general "problem" with nearly every Turkish company, worker or the like. I have experienced this consistently since arriving back in country in 2005, and, found it to be an acceptable "work process" when I worked in country in the early 90s. It seems that managing time is not high on their priority list. I could go on and on but you all will lose interest.

Halikarnas, the night club responsible for all the free (unwanted) music.

Halikarnas, the night club responsible for all the free (unwanted) music.

On another topic, Zehra last night stopped by the municipal (the turkish word is belediye) marina. It seems they are routinely filled up with charter gulets on weekends, but generally have room weekdays. So, we are hoping to be in the marina Monday morning for a few days to catch up on chores, food shop, wash some clothes and generally unwind. Two nights ago, it was after midnight that I heard loud music coming from the general direction of Bodrum. Zehra was already down and she heard the music also. Seems there were two party boats competing for the title of best speakers. They were probably 3+ miles away but with the wind, they sounded really loud.

Last night, we heard and saw nothing. Zehra is concerned that the music may be too loud to sleep at the marina. Hopefully not but time will tell.

In Cesme's marina in 2011, there was a bar at the marina that played Cuban type music (till 0400!) with the base so high that it came from their speakers through the water and vibrated you in bed, and the volume so loud that even ear plugs and air conditioning noise did not make a difference. We were put up in the marina's boutique hotel for a long weekend because sleeping on board was absolutely impossible. The marina manager told us that they had asked the club to lower the volume but my guess is the club did not. Ultimately, the marina revoked their rental contract and the club closed. That was music to my ears!

Aug 25, 2013

There was a FLURRY of activity yesterday starting around 1630 that lasted till 1930. Seems that the adaptor that was made and that we waited two days for “will not work”. So, in the end, they take the fan off the wall, build a stainless steel mount for it, install the fan on the mount and route the exhaust thru duct hose to the exhaust pipe. Guess when it is Saturday, quitting time is 1800 and they are tired of seeing us waiting, well then, "shit happens." I am satisfied with the installation, have no clue if it will work but see no reason why it should not, but feel that price was a little high. Oh well. We elect to stay the night because Zehra reports that when she visited Bodrum, the harbor was full. With the sun now setting, we are really not interested in anchoring in a strange place while the sun is going down, and of course, the wind is blowing 24 knots and poor LeeZe is just being rocked and rolled.

So, once more, I lay out shore power cables, water hose, take a shower and have dinner.

August 26, 2013

This morning, wake up about 0715, wash LeeZe, have coffee, Zehra gets up, and we decide to leave. Muster some workers, the Turk sailor on the other wall, and with a 12-knot wind blowing off the wall, slowly back away at 0940. Some 20 minutes later, we enter the outer harbor of Bodrum, drop the anchor in about 9 meters of water just opposite the famous night spot "Halikarnas" and take a breath. Have breakfast, clean up, put stuff away, try to clean the fenders (useless) and do other chores. The water is nice (~27C) and clear. I can see that the anchor is FIRMLY embedded in the harbor's bottom some 45 meters away from LeeZe. Tomorrow we are trying to get into the city marina. Tuesday, a great friend is scheduled to be on board for a few days.

The approach to Bodrum.

The approach to Bodrum.

We waited all morning and come to learn at 1400 that the municipal marina can takes us so we up anchor and come in, stern too, some 50 meters from the Greece-Turkey ferry boat landing. We do all the normal stuff, I repair a broken (again!) anchor foot switch, and we are off to dinner late. Our friend, Vern, is on the road to us from Ankara, and should be here around 0200.

August 27, 2013

Our night out with Vern on the left. Zehra and i are on the right.

Our night out with Vern on the left. Zehra and i are on the right.

Vern arrives at 0411 and Zehra is asleep. When we get up, kind of late, we have breakfast and catch up. I go off in the afternoon to the local industrial park to buy an adaptor to use the water on the shore power pod, and to replace a broken light fixture. Finding the correct light fixture becomes a lesson in futility so I end up buying the parts to make the fixture from scratch. Then off to a supermarket to buy some water and stumble on the biggest clothes and clothing accessory traveling market that I have seen since Izmir. It is too hot (36C) to walk thru it, and way too crowded, as it only comes to town on Tuesdays. Walk back to LeeZe, do some minor work, and to make a long story short, come to learn that today, Tuesday, the ferry terminal will handle about 2000-2500 day trippers from the Greek islands. Why? These day trippers come to the Tuesday clothes market, buy what they need / want / desire, at great prices, and take them back to the islands. The boats and ferries are so full that they discount the trip by about 50%! Extra customs and trade offices are on hand to ensure that reasonable quantities are leaving the port. As one official says, we get suspicious when one person is carrying back 100 Levis, all in different sizes, and they say they are for themselves.

Zehra and LeeZe.

Zehra and LeeZe.

It appears that come Thursday and Friday, when the food market rolls into town (we are told, yet to confirm), these day trippers will be back. I wonder just how much food one can carry back, but based on what I saw today, it probably will be suitcases full of food.

After hamburgers on board, we three take a walk about town and come back to LeeZe, ready to sleep.

On a sidenote: When we were at anchor in the harbor, the day barely got up to 30C, and the sea water temperature was about 27. Come into town, and the concrete, buildings, sidewalks et al raise the temp by 5-6 degrees. So, we now understand why we are not so hot while at anchor. I know, this should not take a rocket scientist, but just figured it out.

August 30, 2013

After a great few days, it is time for us to depart Bodrum because our space is needed to host traveling charter gulets. Vern departs at about 0930. We depart about 1230, in highish winds, get our tender tangled in a gulet and some other problems not worth of mentioning and we are on our way to Gumbet, just a cove away.

Yesterday, there was a food market near to the bus terminal. We thought it was OK, but nothing spectacular. Maybe the one on Friday is bigger and better. We do not know. We do note that many venders are not posting prices. Come to realize that they probably will quote a different price to a tourist verses a resident. We are not sure but believe that may be the case. We shop, drink water, walk in the heat, and of course, melt ☺.

We had a great dinner last night in town, then we all went for a walk, and then just Zehra and me. We got some great pictures so all in all, not bad. We paid (at ~ 2 tl/$) about 277 TL for 4 nights, 20 tl for 21 KW of electrical and a ton of water, so all in all, not bad.

When in Bodrum, LeeZe enjoyed a slip close to the Bodrum castle. Quite the sight.

When in Bodrum, LeeZe enjoyed a slip close to the Bodrum castle. Quite the sight.

Our recently completed voyage; displayed "as the crown flies."

Our recently completed voyage; displayed "as the crown flies."