Turkish Republic Day is a huge day for Turks. It’s a massively celebrated public holiday in Turkey commemorating the proclamation of the Republic of Turkey, on 29 October 1923 by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk after the country had been under Ottoman rule for over six hundred years. If you don’t know anything about Turkey’s history or how much of a forward thinker Atatürk was, I do encourage you to read up about the man and how he is still very much seen as Father of the Turks – as his title Atatürk means.
One book I’d highly recommend to give you an insight into the years leading up to the declaration of the republic and Mustafa’s personal history, is Birds Without Wings by Louis de Bernieres. This was the novel he wrote after Corelli’s Mandolin and as the Amazon blurb says in a pretty good summary considering the breadth of the narrative:
“… Louis de Bernières creates a world, populates it with characters as real as our best friends, and launches it into the maelstrom of twentieth-century history. The setting is a small village in south western Anatolia in the waning years of the Ottoman Empire. Everyone there speaks Turkish, though they write it in Greek letters. It’s a place that has room for a professional blasphemer; where a brokenhearted aga finds solace in the arms of a Circassian courtesan who isn’t Circassian at all; where a beautiful Christian girl named Philothei is engaged to a Muslim boy named Ibrahim. But all of this will change when Turkey enters the modern world. Epic in sweep, intoxicating in its sensual detail, Birds Without Wings is an enchantment”.
If you’d like to read it click here (This isn’t an affiliate link btw).
A fabulous flotilla
This year over fifty five yachts set sail from Kaş Setur marina and went in convoy to the bay just outside Kaş town harbour where they formed a large circle before sailing around the small five islands just east of the bay. Because A B Sea is out of action, Jim invited us to join himself and Suzzie and a few other guests on board his SY Acharon. Baz jumped at the chance and I would have too except Thursday morning is quite big with me in terms of commitments and I simply couldn’t go. I wasn’t too sad when Jim asked us, but when I waved Baz off and filmed them leaving the pontoon, I was so gutted with disappointment that I literally couldn’t speak. And if you know me only half well, you’ll know I’m not usually short of a word or two to describe how I’m feeling! (Leo and all).
Shortly after they left, I headed down below on A B Sea and opened up my cyber meditation space, which, despite my earlier emotions turned out to be very rewarding and I was exceedingly glad I’d opted to do the ‘right’ thing for my group. A Turkish cyber lesson followed, another uplifting experience, and by the time Baz and cohorts returned I was in brilliant spirits.
They’d all had a great time, narrowly missing a flare which had been shot off another boat and which Baz (who was helming) managed to swerve to narrowly miss it landing squarely on Acheron’s bimini. Jens got some great drone footage and our new friends Pedro and Marcella also took some excellent footage of the flotilla leaving the marina from their dinghy, providing two extra visual perspectives for our YouTube video.
Dinner and dancing
That evening a few of us went to Smiley’s for a celebration meal. Sadly the covid precautions meant that there wasn’t a parade like we’d witnessed in 2018, with the longest Turkish flag I've ever seen, carried all the way down the main street by hundreds of men, women and children, with school bands playing, great fanfares, and many fiery torches and a flurry of hand held flags. The police were out in numbers but really to ensure everything went smoothly and their presence, as we’d witnessed previously was very laid back.
There was still a stage in Atatürk Square though, and after a tasty meal in the new outside part of Smiley’s (which was interrupted by a brief downpour of rain), we walked around listening to the music. Suzzie and I both love dancing and I think we cemented our friendship as we danced our way around the square to the live band music. Later we all headed to a small, rustic bar known locally as Sadik’s place. The drinks flowed and we eventually tumbled into a cab with Jim and Suzzie and headed home to the marina.
Baz and Kev pull the engine apart (again)
If you’ve been following along with our turbo and engine dramas on our weekly YouTube videos, you’ll know that the next step in our maintaining a healthy engine is to get further into the thing (technical language there) and check there aren’t any metal fragments from the imploded turbo inside waiting to basically break it (further technical explanations there).
If you’re curious about the situation and want to see what Baz and Kev actually got up to, then do tune into this week’s video - A fleet of yachts and dismantling the engine - Sailing A B Sea (Ep.147)
I will say, thank God for Kev who knows more about engines than I could ever learn in several lifetimes and has been an invaluable help and source of knowledge and expertise to Baz.
Before I finish this week, I’d like to welcome our newest patron on board, Clive Willis. Welcome aboard to A B Sea’s Patreon family Clive, it’s great to have you with us!
And until next week, I wish you a very pleasant week, taking action to bring your dreams to life.