I am not a fan of cold weather and last winter, which we spent in Limni on the Greek island of Evia, I vowed that I'd never spend another winter that far north.
This year we are in Kaş, Turkey which is 282km (175mi) to the south and 551km (342mi) to the east of Limni and while that may not be a long distance geographically, it is a big difference in terms of weather.
As I write this blog in the third week of November I'm sitting in the saloon of A B Sea in shorts and a T-shirt and it's very pleasant. With that being said I'm under no illusion that when true winter arrives in January and February I'll certainly be rugged up in my bear suit (onesie), with the heater turned up to eleven. So where am I going with this monologue?
I have stated many times that 'the plans of sailors are written in the sand at low tide' and before covid and the attendant travel restrictions and border closures reared their ugly heads we had planned on crossing the Atlantic in November/December 2020 and ending up in Brazil.
When it became obvious that plan was not going to be possible, we came up with a new plan of returning to Turkey. We have good friends here, the Aussie dollar/ Turkish lire exchange rate is more favourable than the Euro, the weather is milder in the winter and it's a good place to sit, wait and watch while brexit and covid take their course and finally reveal to us what the new landscape will look like when they reach their conclusions.
Entering Turkey we have a 90 day visa and in order to stay longer we must apply for temporary residency. Because you must take out local health insurance which is sold as a 12 month package you can choose to apply for either 12 or 24 months temporary residency. As the health insurance is non-refundable we chose 12 months so that we could wait and see what 2021 brings.
In this week's YouTube video we walk you through the whole process of applying for temporary Turkish residency and show you all of the costs involved.
"What you need to do is strip down the engine. In particular you need to remove the air intake manifold, the exhaust manifold and the cylinder head. It's a straight forward job that you can do yourself Baz."
That statement made my guts twist into knots and laugh out loud at the same time. My guts were twisted because I'm not a trained diesel engine mechanic and the thought of stripping an engine down was just terrifying. I laughed out loud because although it may look like I know what I'm talking about, I'm generally flying by the seat of my pants on all of the jobs I tackle on A B Sea. Our viewers clearly overestimate my capabilities.
Caught between a rock and a hard place and knowing that stripping the engine was the best course of action, I felt helpless and lost.
This is the moment that the Universe intervened.
About a year ago we received an email from a guy who'd just lost his wife after a long battle with cancer. It had always been their dream that they'd buy a yacht and sail off into the sunset. Kev was now at a crossroads. Should he buy a yacht and sail anyway or should he just carry on living in the beautiful villa he'd built in Spain. He reached out to us and sought our advice. We replied that if he still wanted to buy a yacht and give it a go then perhaps he should follow through with the dream and see where it led.
Kev sold everything in Spain and ended up buying a yacht in Marmaris, Turkey. He then did his RYA Day skipper course and took out a 12 month contract with Setur marina Marmaris.
Around that same time we departed Greece and sailed to Turkey and took out a 12 month contract with the Setur marina Kaş.
Kev decided that he'd sail south east along the Turkish coast to check out some of the other Setur marinas because Marmaris just didn't feel right for him. Watching our latest video he saw that we were in Kaş and when he arrived here he invited us out for dinner to say thank you for helping him make the decision to buy the yacht and make the dream a reality. From the moment we met we became firm friends and he and his yacht Barbara Ann are now full time residents at Kaş marina.
Kev is a can do guy and just as we had our turbo implode he stepped up to the plate and said he'd help us with stripping the engine. As you'll see in this week's YouTube video we finally get down to exposing the pistons in the cylinders and confirm that no metal fragments made their way into the engine and therefore no damage was done.
Next week I'll tell you how we go about getting it all back together. In the mean time it's a huge thank you to our mate Kev who is an absolute bloody legend. And a thank you to the Universe for getting us all together in the right place at the right time.
To watch the video that accompanies this blog click here.