Welcome to Izmir, Turkey

Izmir, formerly called Smyrna, was occupied by humans between 6500BC and 4000 BC. It was settled by Greeks around the 10th century BC. It is believed that the famous author Homer was born in Smyrna. In 95 AD, the apostle St. John wrote a letter addressed to seven fledgling churches located in what is now western Turkey, Smyrna being one of them. The letter was canonized as part of the bible and is called The Book of Revelation. Under the Ottomans, Smyrna emerged as an important port city and became multi-national and contemporary. They also exported many popular products to Europe, such as raisins, figs, and carpets, and were known for their unique musical style. Smyrna was the center of the war between the Turks and Greeks post WWI, which left the city completely destroyed. Today it is the third largest city and second largest port in Turkey.

We were still on the main highway, and we drove about half way around the bay before we realized we were lost. We pulled over at a gas station and asked for a map. No maps. Eric remembered that he could pull up a map on his cell phone. He expertly navigated his way into downtown using the cell phone. From what we could see, there were sections of town from the turn of the century that were neglected and dilapidated, and sections of town that are brand new and gorgeous, and everything in between. The buildings here are colorful, which is a stark contrast to Bodrum where they are all white. The bay has a large commercial container port area that dominates a big section of the bay. There is a fleet of military ships in the bay near the container port area. The roads are really great — wide and well maintained, with excellent signage. All the streets are two ways, many with nicely landscaped medians. The drivers are just as bad, though, and driving is still pretty scary. And, despite the fact that this is a huge, contemporary city, we saw goats running in the road at one point. Here is a typical street in downtown.

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We had skipped lunch and were starved, so we made a stop for food at a little hole in the wall along one of the main roads. The boy behind the counter spoke no English at all. He pointed to Continue reading Welcome to Izmir, Turkey

Driving up to Izmir

First a little update on our stabilizer repair. Our active fin hydraulic stabilizers are made by American Bow Thruster. ABT has been great to work with so far. They found a repair person for us here in Bodrum and shipped the part needed for the stabilizer repair. The part is supposed to arrive in two days. The repair guy asked if he could come and take a look at the boat this morning, wanting to see for himself what needed to be done to make sure he has all the right parts and tools on hand when he comes back to do the work. Three repair guys came by this morning at 1030, poked around the interior and exterior of the stabilizers, and by 1100 they were gone.

Once they left, we headed out to do some sightseeing. We drove up to Continue reading Driving up to Izmir

Finishing up the Haul Out Work

We have been agonizing over a pasarelle. A passarelle is basically a walkway that connects your boat to the sea wall when you are Mediterranean moored. Mediterranean moor means that you back into a spot in between two boats and tie the back of your boat to a sea wall. The boat is not usually close enough to the back wall to easily get on and off the boat, which is where the passarelle comes in. Many people skip installing a passarelle and simply use a wooden board. We tried the wooden board in Greece, but it slid around and it felt unstable. In Greece and at DMarin, we would yank on the ropes to bring the boat close enough to the wall that we could jump to and from shore. Both the wooden plank and the jumping were a little scary.

So why would installing one be an agonizing decision? First of all, Continue reading Finishing up the Haul Out Work

Dry Dock Work and Touring the Bodrum Peninsula

Our first task of the day was to wash out the chain locker. We cleaned out all the salt and dirt and picked up all the debris that had collected at the bottom. It wasn’t nearly as dirty as we had expected it to be, but there was more debris in the bottom than we expected, which affects the water’s ability to drain.

Once the locker was done, Eric Continue reading Dry Dock Work and Touring the Bodrum Peninsula

Dry Dock Work in Turkey

Today we were up early and got right to work. Christi scraped barnacles off the metal on the underside of the boat for 7 hours. It was infinitely easier to scrape most of the metal out of the water than in. The exception was the stabilizer keel cooler, which is equally hellacious both in and out of the water. Christi found barnacles in every crack and crevice, including places that she hadn’t even realized existed. She was shocked to find that several of the barnacles stuck to the top of the main engine keel cooler were bigger than American half dollar coins. It is amazing that the keel coolers continue to work just fine despite the barnacles.

Eric’s first task of the day was to Continue reading Dry Dock Work in Turkey