1st/2nd of September 2016
For the last two days, mum and I have been learning how to do many important things on board the boat. Geoff has been our instructor and he has taught us how to park our 45-foot boat side to on a low pontoon, Stern to on a low pontoon, and also practising MOB-(Man Over Board)- exercises out at sea.
Our parking exercises were very difficult at first, but after a while they have got easier and easier. One moneuver was to reverse the yacht parraell to, and along the length of a pontoon, turn sharply and back up to the pontoon, coming as close as possible, simulating a normal parking manoeuvre in a Mediterranean marina.
Another was to position the boat alongside the pontoon, close enough for another person to be able to step off the side of the yacht and tie the boat to cleats on the shore. This is a typically English way of parking as opposed to the Med style of reversing in.
My favourite exercise though was doing it for real, when I parked the yacht on my own with Geoff doing the shore lines, and mum doing the bow line. It was a long reverse down between the lane of yachts and the wind had picked up so it was tricky keeping the boat straight, because of the wind, and also because we have neighbours on either side of our berth I had to leave the turn in quite late, virtually until it appeared that I had overshot our place, then with nerves of steel and confident determination I steered the boat safely into the gap. I was short of someone fendering too as Geoff was stood by me I case I had made a mess of the manoeuvre, and mum was at the bow, so I had to be even more precise!
Look at the gap I put her in!
As most of our parking practises were taking place on the very outside of H pontoon ( which is where we normally berth ) there were lots of keen spectators waiting to watch monumentous mistakes being made ( of which, there were none! ) and many other yachtsmen coming our way for a nosey.
A crew in a charter yacht were loitering Nearby and repeatedly came very close to us. At first, we were unsure why but it then turned out that he was watching us so he could figure out how to park himself! Whilst we had stopped for lunch, it was our turn to be keen spectators too as we disbelievingly watched some guy trying to park his motor yacht, alongside the same pontoon 6 times!!!
Boat handling practise aside we heard some other news today.
For the last three years, the Turkish republic has been hit by many devastating and horrific terrorist attacks that have caused devastation near Istanbul, Ankara, and the Turkish/Syrian border.
This as we all know is now keeping many British, Russian and German tourists away from Turkey, generally, these tourists are now going to Spain and Portugal and other places, but definately not here!
This lack of tourism has caused many businesses to close as certain areas of Turkey rely mainly on the influx of tourists to survive with their businesses. Of these most recently we have heard that both the Pheonix yachting charter group and Star yachting, who both are running in Marmaris and Fethiye are closing down. No longer able to take customers from these areas they are re locating elsewhere in the world. It’s a shock to see big businesses disappear from the locality that you are familiar with.
I can only wish them “safe sailing and good luck” with their new chosen destination.