Rob & Sarah Bell
Sat 26 Sep 2009 09:49
Friday 25th September

Another hot day in paradise was rudely interrupted this morning when a huge
(four above-deck levels) yacht burst into flames just outside the marina.
This became a full blown drama as the gas bottles exploded and the emergency
services arrived in all their forms. This included the dramatic arrival of a
helicopter with a fire fighting bucket suspended underneath. It proceeded to
drop down over the sea and scoop up a load of water and then try to hover
over the fire and dump the water directly onto the flames. It continued this
repeatedly for two hours with varying results. The static drop technique was
abandoned as it kept missing altogether (see photos at http://www.rhbell.com
) in favour of a low sweep across the blazing vessel dumping the water as it
passed over. This had the dubious merit of at least getting some water onto
the fire, but actually poured a good deal of it over the coastguard cutter
that was standing by, with its fire hose that could barely reach the yacht
from their position of relative safety 50 metres away. There was of course a
lot of concern about the smoke and flying embers as the marina was directly
downwind of the blaze, but we were relatively unscathed as we are on a
pontoon right over on the far side of the marina, well away from the
incident. Later the wind changed which helped a lot, but unfortunately once
they had brought the fire under control the fire fighters took a break and
the helicopter left the scene whereupon the whole thing erupted again,
spewing acrid smoke and fumes. The wreck was still burning in the evening.
Ironically Sarah had taken a photo of this yacht the previous day as we felt
that it must be quite the ugliest construction we had ever seen. So we have
'before' and 'after' shots of the boat on our website.

Identification cock up: The saddest bit of news for us this summer has to be
the desperate discovery that the four tuna that we returned to the deep
alive and well during our last few days sailing were not in fact baby tuna
at all, but mature Bonito which are considered one of the tastiest fish
around here! After all our fruitless efforts all summer, we had tossed back
the best catches of all. We have plenty of books for identifying species,
but these just looked so like tuna that we never paused to consider that we
might just be wrong.

On the subject of fish, Ciftlik bay where we anchored the other day was a
real haven of marine life and whilst Sarah was swimming in the afternoon she
spotted a shoal of barracuda amongst many other species.

Busy day on board as well, as the various tradesmen started to turn up to
measure up and give us quotes for all the different jobs we have lined up.
Turkey is an ideal place to get all this work done as they have very high
standards of workmanship and are extremely good value (cheap). The other
noticeable feature at this stage in our relationship with them is that they
all seem to have a good sense of humour and in most cases, pretty good
English. By all accounts getting them to actually do the work to a timescale
is a tad harder, but probably much the same as any builder in the UK! We
have however been very much encouraged by their understanding of what we
want and what we are trying to achieve as well as their experience so we are
very optimistic that we will end up with exactly what we want. Only time
will tell.....

Went for a meal in the rather grand marina restaurant last night with Manni,
Belinda and Amy from La Liberte. They are craning out tomorrow (Saturday)
and return to Australia shortly afterwards. Very good meal and a great
evening and we will be sorry when they leave.

Photos at http://www.rhbell.com