29th January 2017
Most of you reading this may think that by staying out here in Turkey that I am living the life of sunshine all year round…..but the winter here has been a very different story.
Waves crash over the pontoon, sleet covers the wooden planks and freezes turning the pontoons into skating rinks and ( thankfully ) on one rare occasion-(once so far)- Vodka gets poked into the angry water by Asena as they were playing, it just so happened to be on the stormiest day of year and poor old Vodka looked panic stricken as she took her impromptu swim amongst the angry waves!
The skies are grey, and sun isn’t in sight.
Arriving back from our roadtrip we were hoping for a pleasantly warm climate in Fethiye, Our adventures around Turkey were amazing, and we had all very much enjoyed them, however, the sight of snow was getting more and more tedious, familiar and cold ( ! )so we were all keen to get back to Fethiye, and hopefully some sun.
As it turns out, Sun light is actually still three months away.
So for the last few weeks of being back home, we have been up against the full force of a Turkish winter, hail storms, thunder storms ( and in Turkey these are long and loud – so Asena has spent large periods quivering on somebody’s bed or under the table! Favoured places when the skies are noisy! ) large quantities of rain, and very strong winds have hit us consistently.
Skipper and mum have perfected the art of adding new warps to keep us tight in the gales, we are fastened to four boats on our starboard side and I’m not sure if they are protecting us, or vice Versa…
Since being back we have invested in having a large extension added to the Bimini,we always had sides to keep off driving rain, but we weren’t staying dry enough so we’ve had them lengthened and adapted with extra panels for coziness! It now feels like the back of the boat Is a conservatory and mums always wanted one of those!
It’s been completely enclosed now, the cockpit and things in it stay dry and won’t blow away, before this was done everything up there had to be lashed down or brought below to be stored, thus making what little space there is below decks even tighter!
On the rare occasions that the sun does come out, we still go and sit at the front of the boat to have school and lessons and there is a surprising amount of heat in its rays….but that is on rare occasions and if it disappears behind clouds the chill is immediate! As I said, the weather is mostly a mix of rain a wind, with hail on the exceptionally chilly days. A Turkish friend of ours commented that this isn’t a normal winter and he’s never in fifty years known it so cold. Great! Glad we chose this year to overwinter here and aboard!!
A down side to the cold winter is the fact most of the towns shops are closed, a lot of the restaurants remain open, but this does mean the shops are cheaper and we get to meet the locals easier. Our plan is to get the years school work completed by about April, then I can be free to travel again, so even though the weather is bad there is an awful lot of work to be done! I think I’ll remember this winter as the winter of trigonometry!
As I was saying at the beginning, Vodka was playing with Asena. Vodka was doing her usual “You can’t catch me” sprint, and Asena, watching her intently, went in for the poke….too close to the edge.
Before anyone knew it, vodka was clinging on with her sharp claws. In fact, it was very much like the closing scenes from ‘The Good Son’, but without the fighting. Soon, she couldn’t hold on much longer, and little vodka went for the winter swim. Thankfully, mum and I had both noticed, so she was scooped out almost immediately. Vodka hasn’t been the only dog to go for a dip. Asena went for A swim whilst I was brushing her, she likes to roll over and over so her belly gets brushed and just kept on rolling! Oops!
She too, clung on with her claws, and with some effort, I pulled her out only slightly soggy!
There aren’t many other liveaboards in this marina, unlike some other marinas elsewhere on this coast, but we are all quite happy with each other’s company and the dogs and on occasion we see friends and neighbours who still come to check and to relax on their yachts frequently!
My next aim is to join the local rowing club, they are taking admissions in February, so that will be just in time to get fit for a summers worth of sailing! Bring on the spring!