We spent the past two months since arriving back in Turkey working nearly every day on refit, repair and maintenance projects. Today we decided that we had completed enough of the work to declare ourselves ready for another sailing season. We put away the tools and washed down the decks in preparation for departure tomorrow.
While wintering-over in Marmaris, Turkey, we installed a new countertop for the galley sink. The old one was cracked when we bought Gyatso five years ago, and we’ve lived with it that way until a corner piece actually broke off last season.
Refinishing the mainsail boom was another refit project we tackled on Gyatso while wintering-over in Marmaris, Turkey. As far as we can tell, the painted aluminum boom had not been touched for 25 years. As a result, it was becoming badly corroded in places. We received a quote for the job that was beyond our budget, so David stepped up and took on the task himself. It took two weeks working part-time to complete. He used an article from Good Old Boat magazine as a guide.
In hopes of the galley countertop project being competed today, we’ve decided to move back onboard our floating home after five months of living on land even though the cabin is a total wreck (see Galley sink and countertop refit). Lisa tried to look at the bright side and commented, “At least I don’t feel like a fish out of water anymore.”
On aspect of our cruising life is getting to know where everything is in the many towns we visit. It’s like a treasure hunt finding our way around a new town and figuring out where to buy groceries and other necessary supplies. We also search for reasonably-priced restaurants and shops to sample the local food specialties. We spent this winter living on land while Gyatso was hauled-out in Marmaris, Turkey, but the process of discovering our temporary home was no different than when we’re living aboard.
We’ve rented a small apartment in town and commute by dolmus (minibus) to the marina where we are preparing Gyatso for another sailing season. It’s a 20-minute ride that we really enjoy — it gives us a chance to watch spring unfold in this part of the world.
The decks are scrubbed, the topsides are washed down, and the bootstripe is re-painted. But these are just the first three things on a list that is two pages long before we re-splash in two weeks. At least the guys in the yard can get back to work on the second coat of bottom paint while we work the rest of the list.
Below deck, we replaced the 25-year old diesel fuel tank over the winter. It was nice to return to the boat in Marmaris, Turkey and find that Demir Marine had done an outstanding job removing the old one and installing the new ones. We weren’t having any trouble with the original, mild steel version except that it was showing signs of its age, especially where the boat builder had fiberglassed the tank to the hull. We learned that this is the worst thing you can do to mild steel, which is otherwise a perfectly suitable material for the job, because it seals it off from the air. In Gyatso’s case, the 90 gallon tank was literally rusting underneath and along these fiberglass seams, from the outside in.
Happy New Year from snow-covered Annapolis! Yes, that’s right, we decided to postpone our return to Gyatso in Turkey until mid-February. Having visited family and friends for six weeks in October and November, we decided to spend two months in our homeport. We’re using the time to focus on health and fitness, among other things, as we head into our fifth year of full-time cruising and living aboard a 37′ boat! Since Gyatso is hauled-out in Turkey and our house is still rented out, we borrowed our cousin’s car (they’re cruising in the Bahamas this winter), found ourselves an apartment, and joined a gym which is only a five-minute drive away. We will resume our website updates again when we return to Turkey.
We arrived in Marmaris, Turkey today and arranged a six month contract at Yat Marine, a large marina with 300 berths in the water and space for 1,000 yachts in the yard. It feels a bit like we are in a protective bubble here — the marina has its own supermarket, bar, restaurant, laundry, etc. That’s okay for us since we will be busy for the next week. Gyatso will be hauled-out of the water in a few days and stored in the yard while we return to the U.S. for family visits. We plan to do some refit projects and bottom painting when we return in January and then to re-splash on 1 March 2010.