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Date: 09 May 2008 10:33:02
Title: Arrival at D-Marin

37:00.20N 27:15.33E

12.00 9th May

Well we have done it. Made it to our destination in this very impressive
marina west of Bodrum, looking out toward the Greek island of Kos only
5 miles to the south. Apologies to any readers who thought we may have
disappeared without trace but it has been something of a whirlwind since we
arrived.

Firstly, back to where we left you. When we anchored in the bay at Kalabashi
we were alone. There was a wooden dock and the owner, who also had a
restaurant, was attempting to entice us to tie up there in traditional
Mediterranean style, that is to drop your anchor off and then motor in
astern and tie up stern to the dock. We took no notice and swung to our own
anchor. Salad for lunch in the warm sunshine of this very sheltered bay and
watch the world go by. This world consisted of a few fishermen with small
open boats up on the beach and three beach side restaurants with very few
tourists. It is still early in the season. During the afternoon sailing
boats arrived and moored to the dock. Sam snorkelled and pronounced the
water cold. The captain stayed on board. During the evening the restaurant
came to life with the crews of the boats and we ate on board. an early night
in preparation for an early start in the morning. A delightful anchorage.

First light was around 5.30 and we were off. A hearty breakfast of eggs
bacon and beans and the expectation of a windless motor of some 10 miles to
the west sheltered by the hills before crossing the open water south of Kos.
Wrong. It blew down off the hills, sometimes very little and sometimes over
20 knots. It kept us on our toes and wondering what it would be like when we
were faced with the open sea. Surprisingly it was much more gentle at around
12-15 knots and this is typical of the area, where winds blow down off the
hills and then dissipate themselves over the open water.

Around the end of Kos and just the few remaining miles to the marina to be
greeted by the marina staff in their dinghy and directed to a berth. Soon
after we arrived friends Ed & Helen Muesch were here to welcome us. With
them were Dick and Leslie York paying a brief visit before joining the East
Med Rally on a friends boat. All four had been with us on the Blue Water
Rally and we had not seen each other in over three years when they left
Thailand after the tsunami. It was so good to see them and catch up with all
the gossip. Beer on St Barbara and then later dinner at the house of some
Turkish friends was delightful and the perfect welcome to Turkey.

Yesterday morning we said good bye to Dick and Leslie and hope to see them
again when they are back at the end of June. Ed and Helen took me off to see
another nearby marina as a potential berth for St Barbara, lunch at their
house high on the hill with spectacular views over the water to Kos,
shopping and a tour of the town of Turgatreis. Off to dinner at the marina
yacht club, joined by another Turkish friend, a retired ships captain that
is preparing to do a circumnavigation next year. A very entertaining
character and a lovely evening.


Today it is down to work. Get the boat clean and check everything over. Sam
has a flight home on Sunday and I leave a little over a week later unless I
can change my flight. It has been a memorable trip. The places seen, the new
friends made and the sailing have all been superb. St Barbara has looked
after us so well. My sincere thanks to Guido for being with us from Thailand
to
Sri Lanka, to Peter for his contribution from Aden to Cyprus, not
forgetting of course his contribution to this diary, and of course to First
Mate
Sam for tolerating the Captain in such a calm and efficient way for over 4
months from Thailand and for his ability to produce such great food under
any circumstances, my heartfelt thanks. I cannot leave this without a
mention of our Admiral, my dear wife Sue whose support with flights, spares
and everyday a text message made all the difference, to the Captain in
particular. She was with us all the way, living (almost!) every mile. A
special thank you.


We have travelled 635 miles from Suez, 2156 miles from Aden and 5840 miles
from Thailand. Time for a pause before Sue and I do some gentle cruising of
this coast in a few weeks time. I do hope you have enjoyed sharing some of
this journey with us.

So here we are a wonderful adventure come to an end, it has been a fantastic
trip and a great experience for me, as the captain says we have been to some
beautiful places and met some amazing people and lots of new friends. If
asked what the best parts of the trip has been it would be very hard to pick
out anything solely but there are memories which will last a life time.
Having a taste of the ten countries we have been to, there are some if not
all I would love to return to one day and can recommend are worth a visit to
any budding travellers.

St Barbara has been a wonderful boat to sail and got us through thick and
thin, from a broken down engine, to getting us through pirate alley. The one
thing I have definitely learnt is everything and anything can and will go
wrong when you are sailing around the world, so having such a capable and
resourceful captain to fix things is a must. Another thing learnt you can
never have too much beer, anyone planning a trip across the Indian ocean
stock up in Indonesia because it becomes very hard to get once you enter the
Muslim countries!

Would just like to say how great it has been having the chance to do this
trip and sail with Guido and Peter 2 both who are lovely characters and also
with captain Peter himself putting up for me for so long in a confined
space, never easy but we have had some great times. I have a flight home in
a few days and will be back to reality as always plans for the future are
unclear but sure it will be adventure!

Hope everyone reading this has enjoyed keeping up with our adventures and it
has been amazing to have an audience which has grown so large.

First Mate Sam



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