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Barry's Blog #120 - Radical change of plan

I've often said that the plans of sailors are written in the sand at low tide. So it should come as no surprise to you that I'm announcing that our long term plan has radically changed.

In a nutshell, we're going back to Turkey and we're going to be there for at least a year (maybe two). Before I get into the nitty gritty let me give you one word for the reasoning behind this decision. Economics.

Yep finances are at the root of this decision. Europe is an expensive place to live, especially when one Aussie dollar only buys 60 Euro cents. Even here in Greece, which is one of the more affordable European countries to live in, we are finding that our outgoings are more than we'd like them to be.

And the cost of living only gets higher the further west we go into the Mediterranean. So it's back to Turkey we go to reconnect with the wonderful country and its people.

What's the plan?

When we get to Turkey we're going to do something else that we said we'd never do and that is to take out a 12 month contract with the Setur marina in Kaş. The reason for doing that is because while we're in Turkey we're going to have crew come and stay on board to experience what it's like to be a full time liveaboard. Obviously getting crew on and off the boat is so much easier and convenient in a marina.

The marina at Kaş is just one in a group of ten marinas based along the Turkish coast and included in the 12 month contract is the provision to stay at each of the other marinas for up to 30 days. That bonus will allow us to take crew on and off at different locations and give us bolt holes should the weather turn nasty or A B Sea needs some maintenance doing.

If you're interested in coming on board with us drop us an email by clicking here and we'll have a chat with you about what you'd like to experience and then tailor make an itinerary to suit you.

Boat jobs

The viewers of our YouTube videos are such a knowledgeable bunch of people and that really helps us when we're doing boat jobs. A month or so back we asked for suggestions of how we could stop the seizing wire on the anchor shackles from breaking as often as it was and the solution was surprisingly simple. Put the shackle on the other way around.

And that's what we did when we worked on our anchor this week. One of the other things we did was to top and tail the anchor chain. The end of the chain that lives in the locker is in very good nick, the end attached to the anchor, that's always in the water, is looking a little tired. By changing it around we give our chain an extension of life.

When we laid the chain out along the length of the boatyard driveway it looked a lot longer than 50 metres (164 feet) so we thought we'd try out one of our Christmas presents, the laser range finder. It's very straightforward to operate: switch it on, aim at the object and read the displayed numbers. Turns out that our chain is only 48 metres long. Who knew!

Our steaming light which is halfway up the mast is on the blink (no pun intended) and that meant it was time for Aannsha to experience being winched up the mast. Going up the mast we always have two lines attached. One to the bosun's chair and one to the safety harness. That way if one line fails or one of the attachment points fails there is a safety back up.

Aannsha was the one going up because it requires some hard winch work to lift someone and I was the designated workhorse. Once up at the light Aannsha removed the housing and swapped out the LED and I flicked the power switch at the nav station. Nothing. Bugger. So that means there's a wiring issue that needs investigating. One boat job always leads to another.

Once Aannsha was back on terra firma we hooked into cleaning the dinghy. It was filthy after 18 months running around the Med. It was a great opportunity to put the Brillean cleaning products that we'd been sent to the test. As you'll see in this week's video the dinghy looks almost new. Fantastic. Thanks Heinz.

Our Zodiac dinghy combined with our 8hp outboard zooms along at a quick pace with the throttle fully open, but it does kick up a lot of water at the back which flies up the inflated tube and runs down inside the dinghy. It's one of those annoying little things that needed to be addressed.

The solution we thought will fix the problem was to bolt on a pair of plastic wings just above the propeller. Obviously we'll have to wait until the dinghy is back in the water to see if it works, but that was another job ticked off the list.

Next week we're hooking into the two big jobs on our list, the keel bolts and the autopilot. Make sure you visit next Saturday to find out how that goes.

To watch the video that accompanies this blog click here.

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