Christine here, guys. Yes, I know. Wayne did not have time to write a blog on Sunday, and it was my fault.
You see, Sunday, January 23rd was Wayne’s birthday. It’s really hard to figure out what to get him for his birthday. At this point in our lives, we don’t really need more stuff, so we decided recently to try to simply give each other experiences.
My first plan (which sadly got thwarted) was a pretty good one, I thought. On one of my daily walks, I came upon this banner strung up between a couple of trees. What were the odds? They were going to have Turkish Camel Wrestling in the next town over on January 23, Wayne’s birthday.
Camels were used as an important form of transportation in this Antalya region where we live for over 1000 years and up until about 50 years ago. They were important in the Ottoman Empire and a big part of the Turkish culture. Today, they have these festivals where they dress up the animals in these fantastic costumes and they have them “wrestle.” Essentially, they try to get the males to do what they might do in the wild, which is to fight over a female, so they parade a female camel (who is in heat) before a pair of males which makes them start foaming at the mouth, and then they go into the ring and “fight” for the female. Usually, after a bit of jostling, the loser runs away. I think it sounds fascinating and I am dying to go before we leave Turkey! If you are interested in seeing a video of a camel wrestling event click here.
However, the whole event got cancelled due to the weather getting down to freezing. With nowhere to house the camels locally overnight, the event has been postponed. So, there I was with a rented car for Wayne’s birthday, and I needed to do a fast change of plans.
I understand that people who have to commute to work, don’t think that driving is much fun, but when you don’t own a car, having one for a day does become a sort of a treat. And I know Wayne loves to drive, especially on curving mountain roads, and we had ourselves a little standard 5-speed diesel Citroen.
We also were out of coffee and a few other more exotic provisions, so a trip to the “Big City” of Antalya was in order. I opened Google maps. Our route is highlighted in orange above. We normally drive to town on the route called the D400 which more or less follows the coastline and that is the way we came home (more or less). However, I noticed this tiny curvy road inland, and while I was a bit worried about how high it might take us given the snow level on the mountains, I decided we’d give it a go. Finike Marina is at the bottom where we started out, then we went up through the town of Kumluca and into the mountains. We came out at Antalya and drove back mostly on the D400 with a side trip to Adrasan and Karakoaz before returning home to the marina. It totaled about 275 kilometers.
I took this photo of the marina here the last time we had a gorgeous cold, clear day. Since then we had another rainy few days and the snowline had crept lower. Just so you understand my concerns about how high we might get without chains or snow tires.
The storms we get here can be pretty fierce and the temperatures lately have been slipping closer to freezing even here on the coast. The snow is creeping lower and lower down the mountains.
The last time we took our intrepid sea dogs with us on a curvy coastal road, our darling Yorkshire Terror, Barney, suffered a bout of motion sickness (he who has crossed the equator and sailed to New Zealand) and puked all over the back seat of the last rental car, so we decided this would be an Adults Only trip.
So on Sunday, we closed the door on the pups assuring their safety inside the boat and climbed into the car for our drive up into the mountains. The weather was spectacular to start with a clear and cloud-less blue sky.
The tallest peaks of the Taurus Mountain range were off to our left as he wove our way over this pass through the lower mountains. Sometimes the road got so narrow, there was only space for one car. When we started out that morning down at sea level, the temperature had been about 6C.
Lots of people have a stereotype in their minds when they think of Turkey. They think about camels and desert. Turkey also has amazing mountains and pine forests.
As we climbed upwards closer and closer to the lower snowy peaks, the trees grew taller and the temperature started slowly dropping.
I was actually surprised at the number of villages we passed, and the many small farms that dotted the mountains. The cows scrambled up and down the mountains almost like goats, but they generally seemed to prefer walking on the road.
As we climbed higher, we got closer and closer to the snow. After passing through the village of Altinyaka, there were signs posted saying you had to have snow tires to go any further. Ha! We don’t need no snow tires. We have a Canadian driver!
Or so I thought until I started to see how much snow was down close to our road.
And I checked the car’s thermometer.
I always get nervous when I start seeing the banded sticks on the sides of the road that will measure the depth of the snow, and show drivers where the road is in the drifts. Fortunately, we never got that high, but I was able to access my iPhone’s altimeter through the iNavX app.
We topped out around 4,267 feet.
Then we started the descent down the other side into the city of Antalya, our old stomping ground.
It was goats and sheep crossing the road on the way down.
We got a nice bird’s eye view looking down on the port of Antalya. The Free Zone where MÖBIUS was built is on the left side of the harbor, opposite the cruise ship that appears to be parked due to the pandemic.
I took the birthday boy to Starbucks for his birthday piece of chocolate brownie cheesecake for which he had to fight an armada of sparrows (and his wife) to get a few bites in.
After a nice grocery and wine run, we hopped back into the car and started the drive back home to Finike.
The sun was warm, the Mediterranean was the usual gorgeous blue, and the drive along the coast was almost as much fun as the mountain drive.
Sorry to all who were anticipating a Wayne blog, but he deserved to take a day off from all the boat projects. I promise he will be back soon with more tales of our travails of getting MÖBIUS ready to go to sea.
Readers of this blog have asked us for more video, but we have both been so busy these past months, we have not followed through on those requests. Part of it is because we are at the bottom of the learning curve on using lots of our gear, and we haven’t had the patience to get out the manuals again and read up and put in the hours to learn how to do it. When I logged in to our YouTube Channel, I saw that it was August 22 of last year, almost exactly one year ago, when we posted our last set of boat tour videos and I know it is high time we do a One-Year Later Update.
So, this past week, I decided to get out all the gear and dive back in. Time to learn how to do time-lapse photography on the GoPro, how to navigate in the DJI Fly app, and how to use the handheld gimballed DJI Osmo 2. We really enjoy watching YouTube videos, especially sailing, power boating and travel channels, and the stunning drone shots are often what stand out the most for me. For that reason, I decided to go to work first on becoming an expert drone pilot.
I was curious about how long this would take. This week I found out it takes MUCH longer than I thought.
Just a quick note from Christine here. Wayne and I have had a fabulous time with our California family visit . I know that many of you have come to expect the weekly blogs, but Wayne has not had a minute to write. We will return to our slower speed of life soon, and I’m certain that Wayne will put together a blog not long thereafter to fill you in on the latest news about Möbius and Mr. Gee.
In the meantime, here are some quick notes about our two and a half weeks showing off this beautiful country and our new home, Möbius.
We met the family in Istanbul and spent three days being tourists in that splendid city. We mostly walked from our Airbnb close to the Galata Tower and crossed the bridge over the Golden Horn to the old city. Another night we walked to Taksim Square and ate dinner at a restaurant along the way home.
And of course we did go for a ride on a speedy cruise boat on the Bosphorus. It wasn’t Möbius, but we still enjoyed the ride.
Cruising the Bosphorus is just such a great way to see the city.
When we returned to Antalya, we picked up our rental car, a Dacia Lodgy-Logan. This 7-passenger diesel Romanian car has been taking us all around Antalya and now Turkey.
The two grand-girls took to the boat right away. In fact, never have more fearsome pirates roamed this historic coast.
We tested out the family to see if we were going to have any seasickness problems with another trip to the little island outside the port of Antalya. Happy to say all went well, not a single green member of the crew. In fact, one young pirate turns out to be quite patient with her own fishing pole as well. Don’t tell her that Gramma bought a whole fish at the market, and Grampa snagged her line underwater and aided in the hooking of her monster catch!
After some side trips around Antalya, including some white water rafting, we took the gang on a 60-mile passage around the southernmost tip of Turkey and to our new homeport of Finike. The weather was fairly quiet for the two-day trip, and it was so wonderful to finally be out at sea on Möbius after all the years of the build. Wayne had always said that the bow was going to be his favorite seat on the boat.
Thanks to a comment from our reader Peter, we split the trip into two days and spent the night in the lovely anchorage at Cineviz Limani below. We had a great sunset swim with only a few other boats in the bay. However, the next morning there was a Turkish gullet (tourist boat) invasion, and we were happy to take off and start the second half of our trip.
The summer weather here in Turkey often goes over 100 degrees. We haven’t decided yet what we want to do about blinds in the main salon, and it was starting to get really toasty in there. Before we left Antalya, we went to the big hardware super store BauHaus and bought ourselves 20 meters of this shade cloth in the garden department. We have it clamped to the handrails around the outside of the salon. It’s not exactly elegant, but it doesn’t look THAT bad, and it sure has made a difference in the temperature inside the boat.
The family is now gone and Möbius is tucked in to her Med-moored slip out along the breakwater here in Finike Marina. An extra plus with the shade cloth is it provides us with more privacy in these tight quarters. Wayne and I have been taking a little breather the last couple of days and exploring our new home town. The list of jobs to do is extremely long, as we have had a few system failures, but Wayne will try to get out a blog in the next day or two.
As Wayne mentioned in his blog this week, we took a couple of days away from the boatyard to see one of Turkey’s most visited and photographed regions: Cappadocia, famous for the unique “fairy chimney” structures on the landscape, cave dwellings, and the underground cities first built by the Hittites around 3000 BC, and enlarged by the Byzantine Christians, the Romans, the Ottomans, and used by the Turks as food storage until they were discovered by archeologists who made several into museums.
I had started to be afraid that we would never get our chance to visit this magical place before leaving Turkey, but a surprise visit by friends made us decide to take the risk in these unsettled times. We didn’t want to go in a hot air balloon with over 20 strangers, but we were able to make a reservation for four people and a pilot.
We were visited by our Swiss friend Philip, whom Wayne has known ever since they first met in Ecuador while single handing their very different vessels: Philip was aboard his Outremer 43 catamaran Blue Bie, and Wayne was on his Bruce Roberts Custom 52′ steel cutter, Learnativity. Throughout the next ten years, they would meet up in some corner of the South Pacific. And we had the much anticipated opportunity to meet our friend’s partner, Nancy, a fascinating American woman who met Philip at the end of her two year stay in Vanuatu with the Peace Corps.
After a couple of days of local sightseeing around Antalya, we flew on a very short direct flight to Kayseri, the city with an airport closest to the Cappadocia region. There we picked up a rental car and drove for an hour to get to our hotel in Göreme, one of the small villages where there are cave hotels. Some of these are actually in caves, while most are just designed to look like caves. There are several other small towns spread among valleys in this stunning region, each known for something different.
The reason this landscape has grown into this eery Middle Earth like place is because of Mount Erciyes, the highest mountain in central Anatolia, with its summit at 3,916 meters. I saw a huge mountain out the airplane window as we approached the airport at Kayseri, and I suspect it was the volcano that erupted thousands of years before mankind settled in the area.
Several eruptions over the centuries rained thick layers of ash down more than 100-meters deep on the area we know as Cappadocia. The ash hardened into something called tuff, which is a very soft stone. Sometimes the different layers would have more hard stone in them. The oddly shaped towers came about because one layer would not erode and it would form a little hat or roof on top of the column of softer tuff, protecting it from the rain.
And yes, one of the valleys in the region was named Love Valley by a Frenchman because of the resemblance between these towers and a part of human anatomy.
So the best way to show you the stunning beauty of the area is to take you along with us on our balloon flight. And you won’t even have to get up at 5:00 in the morning like we did!
Merhaba as we say here in Turkey, to all our faithful blog readers. Just for a change of pace, this is Christine here and I wanted to let you know that we have heard all your many requests asking for a video tour showing the current stage of construction of our new boat and home Möbius. So it is with great pleasure that we are finally able to honour your requests.
It had been a year since the last full video tour, and lots has changed for sure. Wayne just loves to talk and write – at great length – about his beloved Möbius, so one day he just took the camera and spent the next several hours walking through the boat and talking about it. That was a few weeks ago now on July 15, 2020
Wayne is far too busy working on Möbius right now to do the editing, so I took it upon myself to learn a new program (DaVinci Resolve, for those who are interested) and start my new career as the Möbius World video editor. I apologize for taking so long to get this done, but it had been a long time since I had done much video editing and the program is complex.
Also, there was A LOT of footage to take on for my first project; thanks Wayne! So I decided to divide it in half and create a two part series for you, Part I of the Exterior of Möbius and Part II of the Interior, both of which you will find below.
First, a few notes about what I’ve done to these videos so you know how best to navigate your way through these quite long videos to get at just what you want.
For those who want to skip through and just look at the portions of the video that interest you, I’ve divided the video into chapters which you can access two ways.
When viewing these videos on YouTube if you look in the text area below the video window, you will find a list of the Chapters in this video. Click on any of the topics in that list to jump directly to that Chapter in the video.
When watching the video if you hover your cursor over the bottom of the video window the timeline will appear at the bottom of each video and you will see some dashes or marks along that timeline bar where each Chapter starts/ends. If you hover your cursor over any bar a pop up text will tell you the name of that Chapter and if you click it will jump directly to that point in the video.
Here is are the lists of the Chapters in each video to give you an idea of what you will find when you watch the videos by clicking on the two video windows below.