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April 2010 - Turkey

April 29, 2010

Hi everyone, The weather continues to be sunny and warm. We left Bozburun on Monday and anchored in a beautiful anchorage, Mersincik on the northwest coast of the Datca Peninsula, south of Bodrum.

We then motor sailed into the Gokova Gulf between Bodrum and Datca peninsula to a marvelous area with several excellent anchorages. The area is called Degirmen Buku and we are anchored in the all-around shelter of English Harbor surrounded by a pine forest. By the look of things we could be on the Canadian north shore of Lake Superior:-) We are also tied to shore to limit boat swing when the wind blows. Thus the sun rises to our stern and sets to our bow. There is a meltemi (N-NW wind) blowing for several days in the northern Aegean which causes large seas (2-3 meters) to form in the southern Aegean. So we've tucked away here for a few days. What a gorgeous area to be cruising.

Al and I worked on varnishing the toe rail yesterday. Today we plan to put a quick final coat on and go exploring. There is another bay a half mile from here that has restaurants and groceries. So we're hoping for some supplies and WiFi. We haven't had any incoming mail since Monday. I mistakenly changed our mail size so small that everything was forwarded to artemis-pribyl. So if you have written in the last few days that is why I haven't responded. Hopefully we can check those messages today. We have kc0rmx email all straightened out so new messages will arrive on the boat again. If anyone ever needs to contact us urgently Christopher knows how to reach us by text message. Once we are in Greece mid-May our skype phone number will work again. We may move on to another area in Gekova Bay tomorrow and wait to start heading back out and north again on Sunday. Hope all is well. Love and God Bless Sally and Al

PS Remember if you hit reply to this email to erase my text before you start writing. Otherwise it takes a long time to download on our SSB pactor.

April 19, 2010

Hi Everyone, We've completed another busy week in Kemer Marina. Last Sunday we had our last hike in the Taurus Mountains for a while. It was cooler and misting but it was still a gorgeous hike. The spring flowers and beautiful vistas make it all worth while. The winter snow and spring rains washed various parts of the trail out and we had to negotiate some new boulders and fallen trees. Yesterday our hike was a local one. We climbed some lower hills and had a nice view of the marina as we enjoyed our picnic lunch.

We visited the Antalya Museum last week. We just couldn't leave Turkey without seeing it. The artifacts are from the various sites that we've visited while living in Turkey these past 3 years. The rooms dedicated to the ancient city of Perge were fantastic. One can imagine how excited the archeologist were to find so many marble statues in such good condition.

Storms are in the forcast so we will be in Kemer until Thursday. Our plan is to cruise up the coast of Turkey and cross into Greece to visit Northern Greece and the Sporades. Then we'll travel around the Peloponnesos and up the Ionian Greek Islands before heading to Brindisi, Italy. We are leaving our boat for 4-5 weeks and coming home for a visit July 13. Grandbabies (Josie 3, Maddie 11 months, and Emma 5 weeks), Parents, and a wedding in Seattle will more than hold our attention during our visit.

We will begin using our SSB radio email address for our daily use. Our momdad or apribyl address will only be viewed when we get to an internet cafe. Our skype phone number 952-232-5895 doesn't work on our Turkish phone (dropped in the water)but our other phone will work once we get to Greece. So until around May 15 the best way to contact us is by email using Love and God Bless Sally and Al

April 9, 2010

Hi Everyone we are back from a two day trip to Pamukkale Region near Denizli Turkey (about 4hr drive from Kemer) We had a group of 20 so it was great fun. We traveled up through the beautiful Tauras Mountains and fertile farm valleys. We lucked out with the weather. We had sunshine until lunch then it poured and the wind picked up. After lunch the skies cleared and we had a beautiful visit to the sites. Pamukkale is known for the Ancient city of Hierapolis a large spa city built by the Romans. Pamukkale has thermal waters with "curative" powers.

We walked the site and then the travertine (calcium carbonate). The travertine is a hill side of white shelves, pools and stalactites created by warm mineral water which cools as it cascades over the cliff edge and deposits calcium. It looks like snow and after the rain and cooler temperatures it wasn't hard to imagine it was snow. We had to take our shoes off to walk on the travertine to protect the site.

Then we went for an hour swim in Cleopatra's Pool (ancient spa pool). The mineral water is about 97F and we swam over original fluted columns and rocks submerged in the pool. It felt great after the damp cold of the rain. Unfortunately we cooled off quickly as we sprinted to the locker rooms. Our hotel was clean and comfortable.It had an indoor thermal pool and hamam. We had dinner at the hotel and a belly dancer provided some entertainment.

The next day half of the group stayed at the hotel to enjoy the facilities. But Al and I went back to the site. It was great because at 8:30 AM we were the only tourists at the site. We went through the ancient city we visited yesterday and then climbed up to the theatre. It was quite impressive as it seated over 12,000. Great views.

Then we visited the museum. Our guide was magnificent. He spoke wonderful English and not only guided our site tour he rode the bus with us from Kemer so he gave us a lot of information about Turkey. He gave us quite a history lesson and brought us up to modern times including current politics. We may have learned more about Turkey in two days than we have in three years:-) It's hard to believe we did this trip for 50 Euro ($67) a person; Guide, transportation, hotel, site fees, 1 breakfast, 2 lunches, and a dinner.

We're busy back at boat projects and enjoying Kemer. We think we'll leave here around Apr. 20. Have a great weekend. We'll try to skype Love and God Bless Sally and Al

April 4, 2010

Hi Everyone, Happy Blessed Easter to all. Today Al and I were part of a group singing for our Easter Service. We didn't have a minister or priest but we had a group of Christians who came together for prayer and song. It was a beautiful morning and we had a cross, flowers and candles adorning our make shift alter. It was placed at the entrance to the harbor with the mountains and sailboats as our back drop. Quite beautiful. Cruisers of many different nationalities read the readings and prayers. I read the second prayer about a united world of peace and responsibility.

After our service we had our traditional Easter bonnet parade. Crazy Harry showed up with a huge flowery bucket on his head with a 2x2 platform on top adorned with 2 live fluffy white bunnies and a baby chick. As you may remember Harry had a duck on his bonnet last year that still lives with him and calls him mom. At Thanksgiving the duck appeared in a catoring cart. Then on St. Nicholas Day Harry showed up at the Navigator as St. Nicholas leading a donkey into the bar.

We had a nice brunch and then took a 2 hour hike up into the mountain behind the marina. It was a beautiful day with clear blue skies making the mountains and the sea even more dramatic.

We had a busy week at Kemer starting on Thursday with our year end Tennis Party where everyone comes in costume. Friday the lady cruisers made hot cross buns which we served on the terrace of the Navigator at 11:00.

Then on Saturday Al and I played in our first "real" tennis tournament. Al and partner Crister took first place. Al was suppose to be Crister's handicap but he surprised a few people, himself included.

Then we had the Cruiser/Staff year end picnic. They gave us shirts with all the 2009-2010 boat names and crew printed on the back. We had a nice barbecue and played some games. We had a 3 legged race, spoon/egg race, egg toss and a tug of war. I took quite a tumble when the women cruisers beat the women staff and everyone quit pulling the rope except Sally:-) We hope everyone has a wonderful Easter. Love and God Bless Sally and Al


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