2009 Turkey to Oman

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October 2009 to January 2010
A photo journal of a sailing voyage
Turkey to Oman

001 Jenzminc VI

 

A photographic record of a sailing trip under Captain Andy Brennan of “SV Jenzminc VI”
from Finike in Turkey to Salalah in Oman via the Red Sea and visiting Egypt and Yemen
between November 2009 and 17 January 2010

  PART 1

Prologue

My wife Delma had been down visiting her sister Diane while attending a cousin’s reunion in Brisbane. Diane told Delma she’d recently been talking to a friend of hers named Pat Mars. Pat and her husband Roger had been on a sailing trip last year with their friends Andy and Jennie Brennan on their yacht Jenzminc VI in the Mediterranean. The boat had been left at a place called Finike in Turkey, and Andy was about to return to take the boat to Phuket in Thailand. Apparently Andy was now looking for a third crew member.

Diane said she knew just the bloke. Delma got on the phone and told me about it. Being on long service leave with nothing special to do, and not needing to go back to work until early May next year it was an ideal opportunity for me. Delma said she’d get my details passed onto Pat.

Pat’s husband Roger sent some information about the Vasco da Gama yacht rally which Jenzminc VI would be joining when they went through the Suez Canal and Red Sea. He subsequently phoned and gave me some more details. Eventually Andy called me as well and I was very happy to accept a berth for the trip.

This story is a photographic record of the subsequent trip compiled from a journal maintained by crew member Russ Swan, supported by captioned photographs and with contributions by Skipper Andy Brennan and crew member Roger Mars.

Darwin, NT
Australia

10 Oct 09 to 28 Oct 09. Start this log.  Go to the travel doctor to find out what inoculations I need for this trip. Get 6 jabs and an up to date first aid kit including some extra stuff suggested by the nurse which all up cost $500.00. Delma scores a good set of wet weather jacket and pants on eBay for $120 each. In my spare time start backing up over 200 of my DVD collection into a smaller file size AVI format onto a 500 Gb USB portable hard drive, which isn’t much bigger than a flat cigarette case.  Also back up my music collection of nearly 800 MP3 songs, plus various documents, software and photos.Buy a new laptop computer which has an inbuilt web camera which cost $1100. Also buy new MS Office 2007 Pro software and Adobe Acrobat 9, with which I can create Adobe pdf files integrating photos and captions with text. Also have several gift cards from my 60th birthday so use them to buy up several paperback novels to take as well.Book a flight to Singapore on Jetstar Airline for 29th October 2009, and arrange through the Flight Travel Centre to book from Singapore to Antalya. All up there will be 4 hours flying to Singapore, 4 hours waiting, 12 hours flight to Istanbul on Turkish Airways, 1 hour waiting and then 1 hour flying on Turkish Airways to Antalya in southern Turkey. From there it will be a bus trip south east down the coast to the small township of Finike where the marina is located. Arrangements include meeting up with Roger at Singapore and travelling on the same flight with him from there.Set up the Skype VOIP internet communicating system on both Delma’s and my own laptops so that we can communicate, hopefully using video whilst I’m away. I’ll need to find free Wi-Fi hotspots at least in Turkey and hopefully in Egypt where we can get access to the internet. Apparently in Sudan, Eritrea and Yemen they only have dial-up internet access so we’ll just have to wait and see what we can or can’t do regarding communications using our own laptops instead of the local internet cafes.

Andy posts Roger and I a letter which officially identifies us as members of Jenzminc’s crew. This is in case we get problems from immigration because we cannot provide a “proper” residential address or a return date.

Visit my Doctor for a physical check up since I haven’t had one for years.  Seems my cholesterol is “significant” and I need to lose weight. I don’t think that will be a problem. I usually lose weight on sailing trips anyway.

In a careless moment manage to drop my good camera, a Nikon D50 digital SLR onto the floor. It smashes the flashlight mounting and a holding lug on the 18 to 55mm lens.  It takes three weeks to get the flashlight mounting fixed but only a glue repair can be done on the lens because a necessary part doesn’t arrive. No real problem though because I still have another 18 to 200mm lens to use.

Weds 28 Oct 09

Last day. Daughter Karen and Delma help me pack. Go into the city to pick up the camera. Have lunch. Return home and finish packing bags. Out to airport. Have a coffee while waiting for the international departure area to open.

1610hrs. Hot day. Cloudless tropical sky. Lift off. Uneventful flight.

002 departure boardLeft: Departure Notice Board at Singapore
Airport Terminal 1.

Approx 2100 hrs.  Arrive Terminal 1 and collect baggage.  Pass through customs and into the departure book-in area. Problem arises with bag weight.  I had thought I was allowed 32kg/bag as per Turkish Airways website, but the booking attendant reckons I‘m only allowed 20 kgs. Unpleasant visions of throwing things out of the bag or paying an exorbitant excess baggage fee. She goes and speaks to her Supervisor. Eventually she allows it to go through without any extra fee after admonishing me that it should only be 20kgs. Am booked through to Antalya in Turkey but she says I’ll probably have to collect my bags at Istanbul before going onto their domestic flights. Manage to get a seat allocation with Roger for both flights.

Meet Roger at the booking counter who’d just arrived from a later flight. His baggage is also over-weight. He goes to a different booking clerk and it’s put through without any problems.

2340 hrs. Lift off from Singapore for Istanbul.  Uneventful, if long flight. Manage to get a little bit of sleep despite getting some cramps in my left leg and “restless” right leg. Roger seems to doze on and off. He’s taller than I am and has less space to move about because of his long legs.

Turkey

Thurs 29 Oct 09

0510hrs. Time difference here is 7 and a half hours after Darwin time. Arrive Istanbul and wait for our baggage at the carousal but it doesn’t arrive.  Check with the local airport staff but they simply keep indicating to go through the doors for the flight to Antalya.

0800 hrs. Board the domestic flight to Antalya with some misgivings about our baggage. Get a quick breakfast on the 50 minute flight. The aircrew certainly don’t muck about getting it served and cleaned up.

0915 hrs. Arrive at Antalya.  Get straight onto a bus right at the aircraft to take us to the terminal. Wait at the carousal but our bags don’t arrive.  Eventually one of the local staff checks with us and indicates we need to go to the International Terminal.  She arranges a bus to take us and several other passengers over there. On arrival we’re relieved to find our bags waiting. One of the customs people finds something curious about my bag and after checking and poking around in there finally zips it back up with a bemused expression, and indicates I should go.

Andy’s waiting patiently outside.  After negotiation we hire a taxi driver to take us straight down to Finike on the south coast of Turkey for 90 Euros. We reckon it’s probably cheaper than taking a taxi into the city, then catching a bus for the 2 or 3 hour trip anyway.

Right: Andy helping with the baggage
at Antalya International Airport.003 Andy and baggage

Approx 1000hrs.  Leave Antalya by taxi for Finike.  Mountainous countryside.  Flat areas used for agriculture mostly in greenhouses because it can get very cold apparently in winter. Finike (ancient Phoenicus) was established around 500AD and serves the agricultural region around it. Lots of plastic covered greenhouses.  Looking down on Finike from the road above coming from Antalya they appear from a distance like an inland sea. Mostly tomatoes, green peppers and aubergines, then citrus orchards with mostly oranges in any space left over.

 004 building flag 005 accommodation blocks
National Turkish flags seemed to be draped everywhere Typical accommodation blocks with hot water systems and satellite dishes on roof tops.
006 ned the neddy  007 mountains
Ned the Neddy on his way to the glue factory Mountains appear in the distance as we start heading south

Finike

Approx 1130hrs.  Arrive Finike Marina to find the boat is not in the water as previously arranged.  Apparently today is a national holiday and the boat won’t be shifted until tomorrow.  Go down to the boat and put most of our gear onboard.  Curious to see how they’ve mounted the boats on the hardstand using timber poles.  Watching them over subsequent days shows they have quite a lot of expertise in the method.  Arguably a better system than using steel cradles such as we do in Australia as they tap the hull to find the bulkheads and place the poles directly underneath. The result would almost certainly support the hull better.

 008 marina sign  009 finiki marina
City plan of the small township of Finiki Finiki Marina. Hardstand at left. Finger berths at right.
 010 jenzminc on poles  011 loading baggage
Jenzminc VI support on timber poles on the hardstand Andy and Roger loading bags aboard

Approx 1500 hrs. We all go across the road to the Arikandos Hotel and get a room for the night at 20 Euros per head. Very clean and tidy. Polite staff although I’m starting to find it is sometimes a little difficult dealing with the Turks as their knowledge of English is usually limited. However they are generally very friendly and it’s not overly hard to communicate.

We have a couple of drinks outside on the terrace facing the road.  An old beggar woman comes up. Persistent as a fly but eventually leaves us alone. I find it gets pretty hard to turn them away but as much as you want to help people, there’s always another one with a hand out around the corner. Take a power nap for a couple of hours.  Wake up at 1830hrs and it’s dark.

1830 hrs.  Go uptown to a pizza shop where Andy remembers they’d had pizza’s last time here. We order four small pizzas with different toppings and they soon arrive, together with a bowl of tasty bread and salad. After the meal a series of sirens start going off up the street.  Looking up we see police cars with lights flashing leading a parade of soldiers carrying flaming torches.  They march in similar fashion to that which we used to march into school – lifting knees up to waist height.  As they march they sing or chant some sort of patriotic songs.  People rush up to stand around clapping vigorously as the soldiers march by, but the long line of civilians marching behind, some of whom are also carrying torches are totally ignored. On questioning one of the local shop owners we’re told it’s some sort of memorial day.

After the meal we take a walk around the streets.  National flags hanging everywhere, on the sides of buildings, on overhead lines, poles, masts. There’s even a flag painted on the side of the mountain looming above the township. Looks to be a pretty place but hard to get a real idea at night. Lots of stone work everywhere. Very neat and tidy. Orange trees line some of the streets alongside other varieties of trees. Hardly any litter. The small creek that runs through is clean and clear. Youths seem well groomed and disciplined. No loutish behaviour seen other than the odd “doop-doop” cars with amplified sound systems and the occasional tyre scream. Have to be careful walking around and crossing roads to remember they travel on the right hand side, and they don’t waste time either. Also notice that around the main roads at least the signs are usually both in English and in Turkish. You also don’t see many scooter riders wearing helmets.

Approx 2100 hrs. Return to hotel.  Go to bed. Out like a light.

Fri 30 Oct 09

0415 hrs. Wide awake. Doze to 0600hrs then get up. Read for a while then go downstairs to meet Andy and Roger in foyer.

0730hrs. Have breakfast at the hotel.  No cereal or milk served. Plain bread. No toast.  Strong tea or coffee. Selection of cheeses, chilli, cucumber, tomato, jams and honey.

0830hrs. Over to the boat. Start to arrange ourselves into our various cabins. Andy goes to see about getting the marina staff to put the boat into the water. Workers haven’t arrived yet. By the time they appear there are two boats to be lifted out of the water. Their hulls still have to be cleaned by water-blasting and then they’ve got to be blocked up on the hardstand. Only then will it be our turn.

012 classic boatLeft: A classic old timber boat in need of TLC.

1130hrs. Spend most of the morning standing and otherwise fiddling around waiting for the marina workers. Finally the huge travel lift arrives. It’s capable of lifting up to 80 tons and has massive big wheels but the bloke operating it seems to be able to move it around quite well. It only takes about half an hour for them to remove the stilts, lift and carry the boat to the water and get it floated clear for us to get aboard and motor around to our berth.

013 travel lift  014 slung for transport
This travel lift is capable of lifting 80 tons Slings underneath – preparing to lift
015 removing poles  016 last touch up
A worker starts removing supporting poles A painter applies the last touches of antifouling paint to previously unreachable places
017 lifted 018 walk to water
Jenzminc VI lifted clear and ready to move to the water Final checks before putting her back in the sea
 020 climb aboard
Time for crew to climb aboard

In another 15 minutes or so the boat is all tied up and secure.  Interesting system. They have an underwater chain running along the length of the relevant marina finger in front of the boats. The bow of the boats are connected to this chain and the stern is tied to cemented rings port and starboard on the finger. No problem with the tides.  It only rises and falls around 15 cm or so. Most people have a gangplank system. Wash down the boat with detergent.

 021 packed in 022 marina finger
Yachts are packed in fairly tightly Photo taken at 80mm focal length to give a scaled human eye view of the marina finger.

Right: A line fisherman motors past inside the marina023 fisherman

Afternoon. Went to lunch. Get set up at a table and plastic chairs on a grassed area outside a shop next to the marina. Between us we order calamari, lambs liver, salad and 2 bowls of fries.  This is served with fresh bread, as usual without butter. Tea is normally served black in small daiquiri like glasses only bigger.  Coffee is served black unless you specifically ask for milk – sut, in which case they’ll charge extra.

024 gardenLeft: A small garden park inside the marina

As we sit there a rain shower comes through. It falls quite heavily but the store owner brings over a large umbrella which keeps us fairly dry.  Roger remembers some of the hatches are still open on the boat and takes off to close them.  When he comes back he tells us the boat owner next door had closed the hatches.  For his efforts he’d gotten wet and had to change his shirt.

Right: Typical gulet used for tourist cruises025 gulet

Spend the rest of the day generally getting the boat all set up ready for sailing, including installing the dodger and checking into cupboards to see what’s in there. Andy has had ongoing problems with the local chandler in getting his previously ordered liferaft delivered. And it seems a set of keys belonging to the boat are missing and the marina owner is apparently away on holidays. Later in the afternoon the liferaft arrives and Andy is able to bring his new liferaft down to the boat and get it onboard.

Aprox 1600hrs. Sun drops below the mountains just behind the town lending a false impression of time being later than it really is. Starts spitting rain occasionally. Amplified speakers break out with the usual call to prayers. This happens about 5 times a day. We also have a large Coastguard boat berthed here in the marina that has its loudspeakers set to full volume.  At set times of the day a call resembling something you’d use to call someone on the other side of a mountain valley goes out, sometimes followed by a few whistle blasts.

 026 cockpit view  027 coast guard boat
Late afternoon view from the cockpit. Mountains to the north of the marina covered in pre-winter snow Coast Guard vessel at Finiki.
Photo by Andy Brennan

Approx 1800hrs.  Having sundowners in the cockpit.  All of us are tired, probably still feeling a bit jet-lagged. Nobody is bothered with having dinner. We pull out our laptops.  Andy has set up an internet account with the marina so we we’re now able to get some emails sent, do some online banking and so on. It’s too late to try and establish a Skype call back home so we go to bed fairly early.

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