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Barry's Blog # 72 - Boat jobs, ancient Gods & another head cold

I was too tall for the part, but in the sneezing department Snow White would've loved me.

I'd gone to bed all stuffy and sniffley and woke up with a head cold. The third one this winter after not having had a cold in 5 years, so that meant the scuba dive I had planned was a no go. Ah well better get stuck into a boat job that I'd been putting off.

220v cable to princess suite

One of the jobs on the 'to do' list was to run a 220 volt electrical cable from the nav station forward into the princess suite so that I could install a 3-way electrical outlet behind the monitor. It was essentially a convenience and lifestyle job. We watch movies and TV shows from the hard drive of a laptop and every night there was the routine of dragging the orange extension cable from the 220 volt power outlet at the nav station, through the galley and into the forward berth to power everything. After a year of doing that every night it becomes tiresome, not to mention that the cable was a trip hazard waiting to happen.

I'd bought all the bits I needed for the job about 3 months ago, but I'd been putting it off because in my mind it was going to be a difficult job which would require me to lift the sole boards of the princess suite and the saloon and remove all the seat cushions and generally make a mess of the whole boat. It turns out that the same day that I'd come to the conclusion that I was going to tackle the job, Aannsha also decided that was the day she was going to give the saloon seat cushions a proper clean. So that worked out quite well, with all 14 seat cushions having a day out and a sponge bath up in the cockpit anyway. The cushions look absolutely spiffy now.

Spiffy saloon seat cushions

With access to most areas I wanted to get at now wide open and a rough idea of where I wanted to run the cable I cracked on with the job. It actually turned out to be one of those boat jobs where nothing went wrong and it was relatively easy. I think the whole process took about 3 hours to run 10 metres of cable and spurred on by my initial success I also installed a 6-way 220 volt power outlet just under the lip of the aft seat of the saloon table where we can now conveniently plug in our laptops and hard drives and not have a huge visual mess of cables laying around.

Small but important

On most of our side opening hatches the locking mechanisms incorporate a small rubber o-ring and one day while opening the hatch in the aft head I noticed that the o-ring wasn't seated correctly. An inspection confirmed my suspicion that it needed replacing and if that one did so did all of the others on board A B Sea.

Sourcing the right sized o-rings proved difficult. The local hardware store and marine chandler didn't have the size we wanted, but Aydin, our magic mechanic helper, said he could get them. Two weeks later they finally arrived just in time for boat jobs day.

Again it was a fairly easy and straight forward job and after Aannsha pointed out the sun damage of a few of the locking mechanisms that are more exposed to the sun, we also swapped a few of them around so that the ones with the most entropy are now repositioned in places that don't get constant sunlight.

Reducing chafe on our lines

A few weeks back on one of our spending sprees in the hardware store we purchased a couple of steel springs that are placed in line on our stern lines to dampen the jerkiness of any boat movement which makes the lines go taught.

The way the springs are attached to the iron rings/bollards on the quayside is via a short loop of anchor chain, which obviously does not chafe. The end of the steel springs nearest the boat are then attached to our stern lines and our stern lines have been made chafe proof by Aannsha learning yet another skill. After watching a couple of YouTube videos and practicing on a short bit of rope she learned the skill of rope splicing and whipping. The end result is something that looks beautiful, is practical and will save us money over time due to not having to replace mooring lines that have suffered too much chafing.

We got the short loops of chain for free after we spied some old 8mm anchor chain laying under the ticket stand of our neighbouring gulet. We asked the owner if we could cut a couple of metre long lengths and he said sure, take what you need.

There was one piece of chain the perfect length just laying there so we've incorporated that onto the starboard stern line already. Now we're just waiting to borrow a pair of bolt cutters to get the second length of chain and then we'll be able to cross another job off the list.

Drone flying over Letoon

Included in this week's YouTube video (Episode #062) is our trip to Letoon. It's not a particularly large site to explore as it was a sanctuary precinct and not an actual city. It was a principle place for the ancient Lycians to pray to their favourite Gods and a place of national festivals. Archaeological finds date back to the late 6th century BC.

Letoon lies less than 10 km (6 miles) to the south of Xanthos on a fertile plain. Xanthos and Letoon are often seen as a "double-site", since the two were closely linked and Letoon was administered by Xanthos.

The three major temples at Letoon were dedicated to the national deities of Lycia - Leto and her twin children Apollo and Artemis. As always there are many stories and myths surrounding the establishment of Letoon. But my favourite is this one.

According to a legend told by Ovid the Latin poet, the nymph Leto was loved by Zeus and gave birth to her twins fathered by him, Atemis and Apollo on the island of Delos. Zeus' jealous wife Hera pursued Leto and chased her with the twins to Anatolia where she came to the place of Letoon. Here she tried to quench her thirst at a spring but local shepherds attempted to chase her from the water - until she turned them into frogs in retaliation.

As we were visiting in late December we were once again the only tourists in town which is just perfect for getting a feel for the vibe of the place and getting uncluttered video footage including some great drone shots. I did have a little mishap with the drone nearly taking my face off. You can watch a 60 second clip of that by clicking here. It's actually quite funny.

There are many very old olive trees scattered around the Letoon site and being the inquisitive type I plucked a couple to try. I offered one to Aannsha but she declined saying that they needed to be processed before eating. But in true Sagittarian style I didn't wait to hear what she meant by processed and had already started chewing on one of the olives as she was explaining that they'd taste very bitter.

She was right! And you can see my reaction to the extremely bitter taste in this week's Sailing A B Sea YouTube video #062.

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