It turns out that last week's writers block was something I ate or drank. I'm writing this blog 5 days later and I'm only just beginning to feel 'normal'.
I've still got the remnants of what fells like a toxin headache, and I never have headaches. My stomach felt as though it was in the first stages of seasickness, but it never fully developed, it just stayed that way. I've drunk nothing but water for 5 days and eaten very basic foods.
Anyway the symptoms are slowly subsiding and by tomorrow or the next day I should be back to 'normal'.
Usually I'm pretty good at archiving our video footage and handing over to Aannsha the relevant folders for each week's YouTube video but somehow I forgot to give her the footage from when I dived under A B Sea at Kaş marina to check everything was okay. So this week's video begins with a little flashback to that moment.
On the last day of our 3 day mad dash back to Kaş in April we got a nylon bag wrapped around our prop and then our rudder, so I wanted to check there were no remnants of the bag around the prop or prop shaft.
I also wanted to inspect all of our anodes, especially the prop shaft anode which had given us great cause for concern when we departed Greece and headed to Turkey in June/July 2020. If you check out this episode you can see the anode fizzing away like crazy.
The third replacement prop shaft anode hadn't been inspected since it was installed 9 months previously. I was a little apprehensive about what I would find below the waterline. With my scuba gear on I jumped into the chilly marina water, it was still only the end of May and the water temperature was a cool 16C (60F).
The first job was to inspect the anodes of the bow thruster, keel, prop shaft and prop. I was relieved to find that they were all there and all intact with only the usual amount of degradation that I'd expect after nearly a year in the water.
However I was disappointed with the amount of marine growth on the prop and prop shaft. Clearly the Hempel spray on antifoul product we'd applied (six coats) on the hard in Greece was not up to the task.
The other good news was that an inspection of the hull/keel joint, that we'd repaired in Greece, showed that the seal was still 100% good, that was also a great relief. I spent the next 50 minutes scraping away the marine growth from the prop and prop shaft and exited the water with about 45 bar of air in my tank and feeling pretty knackered.
As I exited the water our neighbour Atilla wandered over and asked if I could dive under his boat to retrieve his spear gun. I was a little hesitant as the depth at the bottom under our boats is 21 metres (69 feet) and air is used pretty quickly at that depth. After a quick think I decided that I could do it and jumped into the water at the back of his boat.
Diving in a marina at a pontoon is a tangle of mooring lines which need to be negotiated and I needed to drop as straight down as possible in order to be within sight of his spear gun. The bottom is fine mud so when it came looming into view I had to do my best Tom Cruise Mission Impossible move and come to a neutral buoyancy halt so as not to kick up any silt which would further reduce my visibility.
I did a 360 degree look around, there was no spear gun in sight. I checked my air, I still had enough for a quick grid pattern search. There's a lot of junk under the boats at marinas and I saw lots of fishing lines and hooks, crab pots, foldable deck chairs, a sunglasses case, complete with sunglasses and finally just as I was about to give up due to running low on air I saw the spear gun. It was still loaded so I handled it with care and began my ascent.
I checked my air, yes enough to safely get to the surface. A safety stop was not needed as I'd only been at depth for a couple of minutes. Just as I looked at my dive computer the display went blank. The battery was dead. One thing the computer tells you is your rate of ascent, it's important not to surface too fast. Bugger.
Back to basics and one of the lessons I'd learned in my first scuba lesson 11 years ago was never to ascend faster than the smallest bubbles. That's what I did and made it safely to the surface. I had 5 bar of air left in the tank.
Atilla was grateful and thanked me as I handed him the spear gun to make safe. Later that day he also gifted us a nice sized Barracuda and a bottle of Turkish red wine. Teşekkürler abi.
Exploring Gemiler island
Last time we'd anchored close to Gemiler Island it had been near to the end of March, during our first attempt to get as far north up the Turkish coast as we could. At that time I'd been feeling very lazy and we didn't visit the island because I didn't want to go through the hassle of taking the dinghy off the foredeck, lifting the outboard engine off the stern rail, attaching the two together, throwing a fuel tank into the mix, putting all of the cameras into a dry bag and then going to the island. This time around was different.
The dinghy had already been lowered from the davits, the outboard and fuel tank were already attached, all we had to do was pack the cameras and go. One the way we picked up Kev from his boat anchored next to us and we set off to explore the Byzantine era ruins dating back to the 4th century AD.
There's a small wooden jetty right next to the entry booth of the island and we brought the dinghy ashore there and tied it off to a rock, leaving the jetty free for anyone else who came along.
Nobody was there to take an entry fee or check our museum cards, so we just wandered in. There's a rough path which leads you to the most interesting ruins and there are quite a few in various states of decay. My favourite part was the covered processional walkway made of stone. Quite an engineering feat and a testament to dedication because it is very long. Most of the covered parts have fallen in over time but there are still some sections that are complete.
The views from the highest point of the island are wonderful and I took the opportunity to fly the drone and get some fabulous shots over the crystal clear water and A B Sea and Barbara Ann sitting together at anchor.
Another cool part of the island is a church ruin that has two exposed floor mosaics featuring what look like antelope and a bear. Pretty cool that they've stood the test of time and maybe a record of what animals used to roam the surrounding area.
The highest point at the other end of the island presents more gorgeous views and as we stood there taking it all in we got a phone call from Australia. It was our son Luke calling to let us know that he was driving down to the Queensland Gold Coast theatre to perform in the final 3 shows of The Kidnap Game. He played the part of the kidnapper.
After having a nice chat we set off down the paths to the wooden jetty, climbed into the dinghy and went back to our boats for a welcome cooling dip off the swim platform.
In next week's video we up anchor at Gemiler and make our way to the big anchorage at Fethiye and I'll tell you all about that in next week's blog.
Follow the link to watch the video that accompanies this blog click here.
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