It's now a little over one year since Aannsha and I said goodbye to our son Luke at Brisbane international airport in Australia. We're both another year older and certainly a lot wiser than when we began our journey and we're a little richer too. I don't mean richer in a monetary sense, as anyone who owns a boat as a liveaboard will certainly tell you that boat usually translates to Break Out Another Thousand. I mean richer for the experiences we've had and the people we've met along the way.
Casting my mind back to December 2017 when we flew from Australia to Spain it was wonderful to catch up with my brother Phil, whom I hadn't seen in person for 13 years. He very generously allowed us to stay in his apartment in Javea, Spain and use it as our base while we learnt how to sail in Gibraltar and searched for a yacht to buy somewhere in Spain.
When we did find our yacht we were very fortunate to also find José the broker, a truly honourable man who made sure that everything was just right to help make our dream become a reality. We're still raving about him and his team at Marina Estrella (Murcia) to everyone who asks us how it all began.
As complete novice sailors the idea of casting off the lines and heading into the wild blue yonder all by ourselves was very daunting, so when Mike, my good friend of 30 years, who has been sailing for 20 years offered to help us sail from Spain to Turkey if we covered the cost of his flight, we once again counted our blessings. We learned so much about our yacht and improved our sailing skills a fair bit during the month long trip and catching up with Mike and meeting his fiancé Elaine was the icing on the cake.
During our time in Turkey we've sailed into so many stunningly beautiful anchorages and met a wonderful array of people from all over the world. I know that I keep saying this, but I say it because it's true. The Turkish people are welcoming, helpful, friendly and generous. Don't believe all the bullshit that the media pumps out about the turmoil in Turkey, they make it sound like the whole country is a war zone. It's not.
The southern border areas of Turkey happen to be with Syria, Iraq and there is a lot of fighting going on in those two countries, so quite naturally Turkey is making sure that those borders are defended. Turkey also has an interest in bringing the conflicts in those countries to an end and so it is obviously a part of the ongoing political negotiation processes.
If you've ever considered coming to visit Turkey do some research, use your common sense and stay as far away as you can from the borders where the conflicts are happening. Turkey is a big country and there's so much wonderful Mediterranean coastline to visit and ancient history to explore. Let me know if you do visit and share your thoughts with me afterwards. I think you'll wonder why you didn't visit sooner.
Some people are crazy