Kay gets a holiday in New Zealand while Mai Tai gets an overhaul in Turkey.
Yeah! So happy Lane and I are back together again after 3 months at opposite sides of the world.
Well, it was supposed to be 2 months, but Lane realised he couldn’t have me move back on board to this mess!!!!
We talked of renting an apartment while he continued to work on Mai Tai, but being high tourist season here in Turkey, there was nothing available to rent nearby. So, I stayed away an extra month, loving the extra time with my family, friends, the NZ autumn, green grass, and local beaches.
I also took a trip to Australia to visit dear friends and family. This was a dream come true. Visiting my brother David and his family in Melbourne.
Then up to Queensland to see brother Paul and his family for more precious visiting time, hikes, good food, fun and laughter.
It was so difficult saying goodbye to them, but I will never forget every single moment we shared together. Thank you so much for being such a loving and caring, wonderful family.
Back in New Zealand, I had time to see many of my old friends, get back to my yoga class, my French conversation group and enjoying long walks near to home, despite the cool rainy days. It was beautiful.
My kids, Francoise and Loic, found time in their very busy lives for the 3 of us to head off on a few adventures. A few freezing, stormy days at a friend’s place on the wild west coast of Auckland were amazing as was our trip around the Coromandel Peninsula.
I was invited to speak about some of our cruising adventures at a couple of meetings in Auckland, something I don’t normally enjoy doing. Of course, they wanted to know all about the storms and pirates, but I had more stories to tell about the wonderful cruising community, the generous, hospitable local people we met along the way, often, in the most unlikely of places, not to mention idyllic anchorages, safaris and pleasant off shore passages.
Work Begins on Mai Tai:
Meanwhile back in Turkey, sweltering in suffocating heat, Lane was busy working on Mai Tai. After 4 years continuous cruising, there were several major jobs that needed attention and Finike Marina, on the southern coast of Turkey, was the perfect place to stop, give ourselves a break and give Mai Tai a bit of well deserved TLC.
New Fridge. Our fridge ceased working back in Egypt, so Lane ordered a new unit to be sent from Italy to the Finike marina. Of course, all the components are installed deep in the lazarette, so he spent untold hours curled up down inside the lazarette, first dismantling the old fridge, then installing the new unit. Our fridge is a salt water cooled system, using a through hull fitting to access the salt water. This meant hauling Mai Tai out of the water to install the new thru hull. Then, once all in place, and back in the water, Lane tested the new fridge, but nothing happened. Nothing at all! In the end, through a company in Auckland, Fridgetech, I managed to bring back a whole new electrical unit with me, which worked!! The new Italian one was faulty!!!!
Of course, since Mai Tai was hauled out, it was a good time to redo the antifouling paint. Sanding, cleaning and painting is a pain at the best of times, but unbearable in the heat of mid-July in Turkey. Temperatures were 38C (100F) at mid-day. Since the boat was out of the water there was no cooling affect from the sea and the whole inside of the boat became like an oven, making it impossible to sleep until well after midnight. As the sun moved across the sky during the day the work would follow in the shade. But, in the end, the bottom was sanded and two coats of anti-fouling paint was applied.
Holding tank: It is imperative while cruising here in the Med to use a holding tank for the toilet. Our original tank had been built in Aluminium thirty years ago and over time it had corroded causing a leak. So, obviously, it was unusable. Lane decided to get a new plastic one made to replace it. It doesn’t take much imagination to guess how complicated this was, working in confined and awkward spaces, sending measurements to a company in Istanbul, using limited Turkish/ English translations, replumbing all the hoses etc etc. To install the new, larger tank, all the cabinetry, sink and all the plumbing had to be removed first. Next was finding new marine grade plywood to build the new cabinets. Eventually. all was finished with a new coat of paint
Kay returns to Turkey:
It was a very cold wet winter back home but I barely noticed, once I had got over the jet lag, spending time with my dear friends and family. Thank you to each and every one of you to have made me feel so “ back at home”.
But the time soon came for me to head back to rejoin Lane and Mai Tai in Turkey.
At 0600hrs, Francoise and I arrived at the Auckland International Airport, only to see, up on the screen, that my flight had been cancelled!!! No. No one had notified me. This was the first of 4 flights, so imagine if I missed ongoing connections!!!! Another flight had been rescheduled, so that minor panic was soon over.
Then, I had to deal with my 46 kgs of baggage!! By paying an excess for 32kgs of check in baggage, and doing my best to make light of the extra 14kgs, in 3 carry-on bags, everything arrived safely at Istanbul, 35hrs later. I flew Turkish Airlines all the way from Singapore, and could not fault their professionalism and service.
Luckily, I had been upgraded to business class for the domestic Turkish Airlines flight to Antalya, where Lane would be waiting for me. Business class allowed for the 32kgs of baggage, and I could finally enjoy some flying comfort for 2 hrs, anyway.
On arrival in Antalya, I realised I had left my tablet somewhere. I guessed that it was the final electronic check in at the domestic airport in Istanbul, so immediately contacted the airport Lost and Found. They did find it and it should arrive with the courrier today, sometime. Here’s hoping. Very impressive at such a busy airport.
It was great to get back to Finike joining a bunch of our cruising friends for the weekly BBQ, and discussing future plans from here. We hope to explore some of the beautiful and interesting anchorages just north of Finike, then do some land travel visiting this amazing country, once the busy tourist season settles down.