Chapter 37 November
1 – December 5, 2007
With our extensive fall travel schedule
behind us it was time to settle down and get to work. The “annual maintenance
list” grows throughout the year and this year’s list seemed to be fairly
“normal” in comparison to every other year. Until we decided the cabin sole
(“floor” for you landlubbers) finally needed refinishing. And while we’re at it,
why not “freshen” the overhead (“ceiling”)? So we have. But we’re not finished.
The sole was removed from the boat three weeks ago, November 11th to
be exact. We’re promised that all will be gorgeous by Christmas. But this is
Turkey. And they don’t celebrate Christmas here. So we’re relying on hope and
However, to clarify, we have found a
wonderful cabinet maker to repair and varnish our sole. Ismail is Turkish and he
is known around the yard as “Apache”. Although he could be mistaken for an
American Indian the real reason he is so known is because he drives a 1959
American Chevrolet Apache pickup truck. He is very proud of it, too. He is a
skilled and meticulous craftsman and thus far we are pleased. Our boat builder
back in Rhode Island told us to be sure we refinished our sole with a minimum of
seven coats of varnish. When Ismail told us the sole required ten, he got the
job. The center section of the sole has actually been sliced in half to make it
possible to get it through the companionway so the proper repairs could be made
in Ismail’s workshop. It’s an extensive project.
While Ismail is repairing, we have been
painting. Seven years ago we had the overhead painted; we were thrilled with a
job we thought we’d never do again. Oh, were we wrong! Nothing is forever on a
boat. This time was our turn. It is a grueling, neck breaking, time consuming
job. But once we got into the groove of things, we worked steadily together.
With a lunch break to divide the day, we were able to persevere. Two coats of
glossy white paint in between sanding and tacking took exactly three weeks,
working full days, every day. Mission accomplished. We’re thrilled and it looks
All this renovation means Seraphim is
uninhabitable. Fortunately, we have friends. So while the work
continues, we have been camping out on our friends' boat, Kuhela.
Phil and Mary have returned to the USA for the winter, and have generously
allowed us to use their boat as a refuge from the sawdust, varnish and general
disarray. Thanks, folks!
While we haven’t had a lot of time to be
social, we have certainly made efforts to get acquainted with Turkey. Here’s
how we’re doing it.
We are amongst twenty couples living aboard
their boats in the marina. Of the twenty, only six are here for the winter
months. That leaves a pretty small group. We celebrated Thanksgiving together,
us being the only Americans. Thanksgiving was hosted by the marina at a local
restaurant right on the waterfront. It was called the
“Even-If-You’re-Not-American Thanksgiving Dinner and Dance”. The turkey and
gravy even came with rice, cranberry jelly and apple pie and ice cream for
dessert. We had a lovely evening with friends and the gathering helped reduce
our longings for home.
Unlike any other marina we’ve been in, we
seem to have a “boys club” and a “girls club.” The girls walk every morning,
religiously. They also do the weekly Thursday market, various shopping trips on
a regular basis and random biking jaunts have just begun. The men do coffee. And
coffee. And what appears to be formulating is the semblance of a “skipper’s
meeting”, around coffee. Things are perking along on everyone’s boat, as each of
us goes down his/her To Do List. We like it.
There is also the Sunday market in the
nearby town of Beldibi. This is a weekly year-round food and flea market. You
can purchase anything from fake Louis Vuitton handbags, Calvin Klein jeans and
Nike sneakers to home-dried hot peppers, peasant bread and home-grown garlic
scallions (no kidding). It’s a real sport. We ride our bikes the twelve or so
kilometers and stop at the fragrant family bakery on the return trip for a large
double macaroon and Turkish coffee.
Several weeks ago we went on a search for
bicycles. The town of Marmaris is large enough that we need some form of
transportation to get the most out of it. After a long day of searching
for reasonably priced bicycles, we were returning home discouraged. Until,
that is, we stopped in to see a particular shopkeeper who spoke brilliant
English. He sent us to his friend and with some superb negotiating skills we
purchased two, “previously-owned” bicycles. Some say Sharon’s bike has developed
some real character (she painted it). It’s been dubbed the “red Cadillac”.
Then there’s our Turkish lessons. Weekly, at
the marina office for one hour. We’ve got the daily greetings down, our numbers
and the bare basics. It’s fun. We’re making progress. If nothing else, the Turks
appreciate our efforts and we can at least count our change!
Ned Pamphilon, a British artist living and
working in Istanbul, came to Marmaris to open an exhibition of his works at the
marina gallery. He has been working for ten years to promote Turkey as “East
meets West.” His artwork has great color, life and vibrancy. As part
of promoting his art, he occasionally paints murals on buildings. Of
course, he did so here. We enjoyed talking with him as he painted.
When it looked as though he wasn’t going to meet his deadline we volunteered to
help out. So here we are! That’s John on the ladder and, as always, Sharon
supervising! We think it came out well, don’t you?
On Sunday we took a day off work and went on
a hike with about 50-60 others. The distance point-to-point was only a few
miles, but most of the trek was up-down the sides of the hills, and it was much
more strenuous than we had anticipated. The few miles we traveled took
almost four hours! The day was spectacular: clear, brilliantly blue skies,
crystal-clear blue waters, green tree-covered hills. We only got lost
once, but that resulted in having to rappel down a rather steep cliff-face for
about 20 feet. A Great Day in the Great Outdoors! Any excuse is used
to rest our weary necks, but unbeknownst to us, this was to be just another form
of physical abuse! Getting out of bed the next day or two was tough. But we
enjoyed it anyway!
One of the greatest aspects of being in
Marmaris is waking up to the extraordinary mountains that surround us. The
morning mist is remarkable. The clouds are the best we’ve ever seen.
Enjoy the season. Stay tuned for photos of
the finished saloon.