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Getting back on waters after 2 years

January 2009: Arriving in Turkey

    Zonguldak Port

Arriving on site

We arrived at Istanbul airport on a cool but sunny day in the first week of the year. Our journey started with two kids and our dog daisy, her cage, seven suitcases, four carry bags. At the Toronto airport, we were told that her cage size was not confirmed by KLM from Amsterdam to Istanbul, so we could not get on the plane. Those were highly stressful three hours until all were resolved and we were allowed to go through within five minutes of the take off. The rest of the flight was OK, daisy and all of us arrived safely in Istanbul.

Surprisingly, my sister, elder brother, brother in law all came to meet us at the airport, we exchanged greetings and they all met the new members of our family.

My nephew running an event organizing company helped us with a rental minivan and we drove off to Becky's home town Zonguldak, about 5 hours away.

Once in Zonguldak, Becky's parents were all excited and happy but that did not last long. Her mother fell ill due to anxiety and exhaustion due to passing away his son a few months earlier. The rest of the month we all got sick one way or another. It took us about three months to finally adjust the climate. During that time, I had a couple of trips to the boat location, to check out the condition and order some additional maintenance, items. etc.

We arranged that all should be ready in the first week of May, so we all  packed in a rental minivan again and arrived in Ayvalik on May 5th. Checked into a bed&breakfast place. This time grandparents were also along, so we had 6 people plus Daisy. This turned out to be little too early.

Our plan to stay in B&B for one week lasted almost two months due to unexpected repairs and delays. We spent over $3000 in accommodations and travel cost during this time.

May 5- June 22, 2009: Checking for the boat maintenance


Our preparations started with routine maintenance such as oil and water filter changes, oil change, antifouling, etc. Then the marina's mechanical maintenance company (Uzman Elektronik) whom I hired for up keeping the boat informed me that outer bearing of the shaft came off loose. Upon investigation, we found that it was the fiberglass pipe that runs through the hull covering shaft for water and holding the cutlass bearing on one end and the seal on the other end was broken. Apparently, caused by a rope tangling, this was to be replaced. We called in the insurance experts to claim it as part of insurance coverage. We also discovered that the rudder needed some repairs due to chip offs and cracks, so all in all, it was quoted 7000 Euros, a rip off by all accounts.

I paid him for his other work (which was not to my full satisfaction either) and search for another technician. There was another boatyard in town which was managed by someone from the same school I earned my engineering bachelor's degree. Finally, we found a good technician who really knew what to do. In the end, same job was completed at a much lower price with me doing some dismantling (like fuel tank) and hooking up things after the work was complete.


Just to give you an idea, the fibreglass pipe was drilled out, replaced with steel pipe sealed in from both ends with shaft inside. It is working great so far. Sounds like a better solution than original Beneteau design. I think I may sell this design for a modest fee, who knows.


Still on land waiting for parts and repairs


As we have an original Volvo Penta D2-55 control panel, I asked to modify the panel by adding oil pressure and water temperature gauges. That took a few try of hooking and squeezing. Other things that we had to either test and/or wait:

  1. Genoa and mainsail, furled for two years: Worked fine with some silicone lubrication.

  2. Galvanized the chain: Bad idea. It came back with lots of burr. that had to be cleaned by hammer one by one. It should have been sent to a galvanizer with centrifugal cleaning system. The windlass worked fine after that.

  3. Replaced the vetus anti-siphon valve on the engine.

  4. Replaced the fuel cap which was oxidized and got stuck.

  5. Setup safety net around the boat

  6. All other systems worked fine without much trouble (for now)

  7. Starter battery died out needed replacement. Bought a new one.

  8. Antifouling did not need any extra work besides minor sanding.


 June 22, 2009: Finally getting ready for water



I then completed sanding the whole bottom, applied primer wherever necessary and two coats of antifouling, gave her a complete waxing all by myself.

 We had many items purchased/used in Canada. We imported these goods like inflatable boat and outboard motor through the transit customs. The carrier did not deliver them to the address, so I had to go to Izmir the main port and complete all the paper work with a customs broker. Then they had to ship them to Ayvalik customs via a bonded carrier. All that was very expensive process.


June 27, 2009: All is ready for sailing

Finally, we got into the water, a small leak from the speed sensor was quickly sealed and fixed. There were no other problems. The engine worked fine with relatively weak starter battery. All the new gauges worked ok but needed additional washers to stop the oil leak under pressure.

Just about the same time our little son Bertun and the mother started developing chicken pox. That's another round of hospitals, medications, treatments, etc. which is now on the way to recovery. Hopefully, no permanent marks will occur afterwards.



Sailing around Ayvalik



We started enjoying sailing around Ayvalık which happened to be beautiful area as well as great for sailing. More on that later.


As of July 6th, 2009, we have been living on the boat for two weeks since June 22nd. Our experience with two kids and a dog and an elderly person has been great so far, except for the heat during mid-day.


 Cruising around Ayvalik - Movie Clip




This video is our first try on the web. It plays a mix of scenes cruising around Ayvalik at the Aegean coast of Turkey,  which is right across Mitilini, Greece. We had some friends over, Becky's mother, our dog Daisy, and the kids on the boat. That day we sailed to a nearby bay, spend the day at the beach swimming had a lot of fun.







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