Happy Birthday Wayne!

Happy Birthday Wayne!

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.

IMG 0370

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.

IMG 0423

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.

Map2

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.

IMG 0381

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.

669CF983 7B47 4646 AEED D3F80E5F2EAD

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.

IMG 0294

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.

IMG 0362

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.

IMG 0418

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.

IMG 0408

As we climbed upwards closer and closer to the lower snowy peaks, the trees grew taller and the temperature started slowly dropping.

IMG 0415

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.

IMG 0416

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!

IMG 0406

Or so I thought until I started to see how much snow was down close to our road. 

IMG 0412

And I checked the car’s thermometer.

IMG 0411

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.

IMG 0413

We topped out around 4,267 feet.

IMG 0419

Then we started the descent down the other side into the city of Antalya, our old stomping ground. 

IMG 0424

It was goats and sheep crossing the road on the way down. 

IMG 0427

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.

IMG 0430

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.

IMG 0428

After a nice grocery and wine run, we hopped back into the car and started the drive back home to Finike. 

IMG 1787

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.

Fair winds!

Christine

2021 Nauti Grandparents World Tour has crossed the Finish Line! XPM78-01 Möbius Update 19 Dec, 2021

2021 Nauti Grandparents World Tour has crossed the Finish Line! XPM78-01 Möbius Update 19 Dec, 2021

We’re baaaaaaack!  Did you miss us?

We actually arrived back in Turkey on the 2nd of December and then back onboard Möbius on the 3rd but it has taken us awhile to get back into our onboard work mode moving back aboard our beloved Möbius and reunited with our pups Barney & Ruby.  We also had a delightful British family fly to Turkey to come to eXplore Möbius as they are considering moving from their current Nordhaven 72 to an XPM78 which was great fun for all of us.

Some of you joined us virtually by following our Instagram posts of pics we took along the way and you can still access those at any time but I will try to do a quick overview of the 2021 version of the Nauti Grandparents World Tour (NGWT) below;

We flew out on October 6th and were away from Möbius and Turkey for almost two months on this latest version of our Nauti Grandparent World Tours where we had a fabulous adventure getting in some MUCH needed and long overdue Gramma and Grampa time as well as visiting with LOTS of other family and dear friends along the way as we completed our latest version of circumnavigating North America.

NGWT 2021 NA map   airplaneI’ve put together this map below to give you a quick visual of the overall trip and our routes within the US and Canada.  Our flights over took us from Antalya to Zurich and then on to Miami and then we returned from Fort Lauderdale via Chicago to Istanbul where we connected to our flight back to Antalya. 
NGWT 2021 NA mapHere is a bit closer view of our great circle driving route through the US and Canada.
Summarizing Fun Facts::

  • 15 airplane rides covering a total of 22,323 KM / 13,870 Miles / 12,053 Nautical Miles
  • 6 Ferry rides
  • 2 Taxi + 2 Shuttle rides
  • 18,221km/11,322 miles driven in our “mini-RV” (rented Chev Equinox)
  • Average Driven Fuel Mileage = 29.2 MPG US / 35.1 MPG Imperial / 8.05 L/100km / 12.4 km/L
  • Travelled through:
    • 4 Countries
    • 20 US States
    • 2 Canadian Provinces
    • 4 Countries
    • 3 Continents

Quick Mini-RV Conversion:

PXL_20211009_132656735This is our fourth such Nauti Grandparents World Tour where we fly into the US and do a long term rental of a small SUV which I quickly convert into a kind of “Mini-RV” by building a DIY platform out of PVC pipe for the supporting framework and two pieces of 3/4” plywood covered in thin carpet to create a bed platform. 
PXL_20211010_132748205A 3” memory foam mattress topper on top from Walmart and a double sleeping bag, lined with Canadian Lumberjack red plaid and matching sheet and pillow set no less!). 
PXL_20211011_115933899Toss in a borrowed cooler (thanks Tim!) a set of travel plates, bowls, mugs, corkscrew and bamboo utensils and our backpacks.
IMG_1764

Stop by Costco for a couple of cases of wine and we’re good to hit the road!

TIP to Fellow Travellers:  there is a secret compartment under the rear floor in a Chevy Equinox that can hold 30 bottles of wine!

Quick Slide Show of the 2021 NGWT:

Given my poor memory and the large number that risks me missing some of the MANY wonderful friends and family we were so fortunate to spend some time with, I’ll just cover a few of the spots along our latest circumnavigation of the USA and Canada.


PXL_20211007_104414375And we’re Off!

We lucked into a direct flight from Zurich to Miami so it only took us two flights to get from our “home” airport in Antalya to Miami.
PXL_20211010_191337205.PORTRAITOur now 6 year old Grandson Liam draws us like a super magnet back to where he lives in Delray Beach FL with Dad Tim and Mom Ashley so we spent the first few days with them.  Liam kindly gave his bed to us and we had time for fun adventures such as this trip to a local farm with a pumpkin patch and corn maze.
PXL_20211011_212152424State and Provincial Parks that have “wilderness” tent only areas just for people like us who don’t need hookups are some of our favorite spots for overnight camping in our Mini-RV.  With no RV generators and almost no others staying in them, the silence was like an audio vacuum that I just revelled in.  The first one here was in Mammoth Caves State Park in Kentucky.

These sites just have a spot to pull into, a picnic table and a fire pit so we stop by a local grocery store on our way in, unpack our traveling picnic setup and open up a bottle of wine and enjoy the natural beauty and silence before climbing into bed.
4FB68D79-CE8A-4893-9707-6532C254C7BAOur weather overall for the almost two months of our travels was spectacular as we seemed to drag blue skies and sunshine with us almost every day AND the fabulous Fall colours in the trees followed us everywhere as well.
PXL_20211017_232638321It did get cooler in a few spots such as this very remote overnight camp spot in rural Wisconsin.  But we had the whole place to ourselves and enjoyed the peace and quiet and snuggling in our sleeping bag that night.

BOATS!

We may be on land but we always have water calling us and we LOVE ferry rides of all sizes.

IMG_1860Using Google Maps “no highways, no tolls” filters, we try to take nothing but small back roads whenever we can and getting out of Mammoth Caves took us on our first and shortest ferry ride.

IMG_1947Though this other ferry ride as we left Drumheller in Alberta wasn’t too much longer.
IMG_1938and I can’t let the mention of Drumheller go by without giving my StarStarStarStarStar rating to the absolutely stunning Royal Tyrell Dinosaur Museum.  We were there for a mesmerizing 3 hours and left under protest so DO add this to your “places to see” list!
IMG_2148Being in BC and the Pacific Northwest, we had numerous other ferry rides such as this rather blustery ferry ride from Courtney on Vancouver Island back over to Powell River on the mainland. 
PXL_20211103_172738869Plus two more larger ferry rides to get us down the coast to Vancouver and then over to Victoria.
PXL_20211113_005322179.MPContinuing with the Nautical theme, our timing worked out just right to see two very special boats that some of our friends had just acquired.  This is the Catana 52 that our friends Maurice & Sophie have just purchased and were prepping to head south from here in San Francisco down to enjoy warmer waters in Mexico.
PXL_20211101_195048701And then this picture perfect Nordic Tug that Terri and David had just taken possession of in Courtney BC.  We weren’t able to head out for a sea trial but we got to go aboard for several hours on one of the days we stayed with them in their home in Union Bay on Vancouver Island.

Memorable Stops along the way;

PXL_20211016_170328693Our route was derived from where family and friends lived as well as a few spots we wanted to visit, one of which was the town of Morocco Indiana where Christine’s mum was born.
IMG_1891We also went through Keystone South Dakota to get in a visit with Christine’s brother in law and his partner who I’d never met and she had not seen for almost 40 years.  Christine had never seen Mount Rushmore and given that it is only a few miles from Keystone ……….
PXL_20211019_211151823.MP…….. we drove by and stopped for some pics.
PXL_20211019_145316476.MPOur routing through South Dakota took us through the town of Wall so of course we had to stop by for breakfast in the infamous Wall Drug Store(s) which was another first for Christine and she had time to listen to a few good jokes from her newest boyfriend on his bench.
PXL_20211031_182800412We keep going back to Vancouver Island to visit family and friends there and it never disappoints visually as well.  On a truly stunning sunny day on our way up from Victoria to Comox, we stopped at something new at the summit of the Malahat drive; the Malahat Skywalk.
PXL_20211031_182714758It was an amazing bit of engineering to marvel at as we walked around and around the spiraling walkway to the top ……
PXL_20211031_184833592…… which is 250 meters above the ocean below.

BUT, the best part is saved for the last; the way you get down!
IMG_2091Which is via this little opening in the top of that spiraling aluminium tube gleaming in this photo.
PXL_20211031_185523625.MPUp at the top, Christine is prepping her little magic carpet ride down with the help of the attendant on the Left whose only question is: “Do you want a little push or a BIG one?”

Duh!!!  BIG!!!
IMG_2143We always have Vancouver calling our name with many friends and son Skyler living there and it too never disappoints visually.  Of course it doesn’t hurt when you have dear friends like Rick and Sherry who have THIS view out their 8th floor window at the end of False Creek.
PXL_20211105_170423970.PANOWe can’t wait to get this same shot when we have Möbius anchored in the bay someday soon.

Wild Life!


PXL_20211019_152132747Along the way we saw a LOT of wildlife but were not often able to catch them on camera but these Prairie Dogs in Montana were huge!
IMG_1988We saw a LOT of antelope, pronghorns, buffalo, bison and deer like this fellow who greeted us as we were heading out for a walk in Banff Alberta.


Moose crossing roadWe passed a LOT of  “Watch for Moose on the Road” signs so Christine was a bit ticked off that Canada overpromised and under delivered and we did not manage to see any moose this trip.  At least not LIVE ones!
I felt quite badly for her and so I enlisted the help of my brother in law Harold when we stopped in to see him and his Mom Nona up near 100 Mile House in BC.  Harold had just returned from his annual hunting trip and so in preparation for her Canadian citizenship exam, Harold served some perfectly cooked moose steaks!

dinner with Skyler Oct 2021Not to be outdone Chef/Son Skyler had some ground moose hamburger in his freezer (again thanks to Harold) which he cooked up in his super apartment on one of the nights we stayed at his home in Vancouver.

BTW, For those wondering, Christine gives moose two Canadian thumbs up!

FOOD!

One of the common traits of our NGWT trips is that we basically just drive from one great meal to the next and by the end of the trip we have the “muffin top” bodies to prove it as souvenirs.  The best meals are of course the ones our family and friends so graciously served us and these gourmet repas were interspersed with some other memorable stops for nourishment such as these few examples:
PXL_20211024_211915965.MPEspresso and Nanaimo Bars in Banff Alberta.
PXL_20211031_204901238.MPNanaimo bars again BUT this time eaten where they should be;  IN Nanaimo!

Continuing with this “native” theme, we had just stopped before this in Departure Bay which you can see in the background here long enough to listen to one of my favorite Diana Krall songs ………………………. yup, you guessed it, “Departure Bay”.
PXL_20211025_161523719My Bride had never been through the Rockies so we spent a day and night in Banff and the next morning we drove over to Lake Louise for breakfast where the higher elevation and Mother Nature served up the post card perfect fluffy snow fall out our breakfast table window.
PXL_20211108_164216306.MPMore new territory for Christine was our stop in the Port of Port Townsend where back in 2005, I had spent about 6 months getting my newly purchased first boat “Learnativity” setup for the upcoming single handed sailing.  Inside that boatyard is the fabulous Blue Moose Café so we just HAD to have breakfast there!

Gramma & Grampa Time!

As fabulous as all the preceding sights and visits were, it was all a lead in to our grand finale before heading back to Turkey; a week with all three of our grandkids and their parents in Orlando!  And Auntie Julia for bonus points.

PXL_20211125_165710002.MPWe had been able to do this Grandkid Gathering once before about 3 years ago and with them now 5, 6 and 7 years old, this time was even more fun.  Gramma is yucking it up with Brynn (7) in front of her, Liam (6) with his back to us and Blair (5) at the bottom.  They are all surrounded by Liam’s Dad Tim on the far left with Mum Ashley’s arm at least in the bottom left and Brynn and Blair’s Mum Lia on the Right.
IMG_0145Liam is just wild about tornados and makes his own out of everything such as the paper one here as he and Ashley enjoy watching MORE tornado videos on her phone.
IMG_0124Blair is the thrill seeker and wants to go on ALL the scary rides she is tall enough for, which is now all but one!
PXL_20211125_152355959.MPAmongst her many other talents, Brynn is the organizer and helper as she briefs Liam on where they are off to next.

Whew!!!

It was a whirlwind two months to be sure and I could go on MUCH longer but all good things come to an end as does Gramma and Grampa’s energy and we were exhausted by the time we had to head off to the Ft. Lauderdale airport to catch our flight to Chicago then on to Istanbul and the short flight back to Antalya.

We most want to thank ALL our friends and family who opened their homes almost as wide as their hearts for us every step of the way.  As we keep trying to warn you, if you are going to keep treating us THIS wonderfully we are going to keep coming back!  Don’t say you haven’t been warned!

And then whoooosh! late on the night of Dec. 2nd we landed back in Antalya.  Too late to drive the 2 hours up to Mobius in the Finike Marina so we booked lovely little hotel that is just a few blocks from the apartment where we had lived for almost 4  years while we were building Möbius.

PXL_20211203_054457097And I got to start the next day with my Beautiful Bride and this almost as beautiful backdrop of the mountains surrounding us as we enjoyed getting back to a true Turkish breakfast before driving up to Finike and be truly back home on our beloved Möbius.

But WAIT!!!!!!

43d97659-4ee7-4fb2-9ec0-4736cf88c566Where have Barney and Ruby been all this time????

Well, they’ve been enjoying a vacation of their own thanks to their favorite Uncle Yigit who loves them almost as much as we do and has looked after them many times over the past four years as well. 
IMG_0161As you can see, they were perhaps not too thrilled to have to resume life with their boring parents but over the past few days since we’ve been back onboard with them, they seem to be adjusting!
Hope you all enjoyed this little synopsis of the 2021 Nauti Grandparents World Tour and I will do my best to ramp get back to weekly Mobius World Updates for you as we dive back into getting her all ship shape and sea worthy as we return to the sea as soon as weather allows next year.

Till then, thanks again for your patience during our absence from the blog and we’ll be back for at least one more update before the year ends.

Wayne

The Drone Report

PXL 20201227 134017414

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.

Fair winds!

Christine

 

The Joys of Deafening Silence! XPM78-01 Möbius LACK of Progress Update July 6-24 2021

Just a relatively short update for all of you that have been wondering about the “deafening silence” for the past 3 weeks from your more typically ebullient and brevity challenged author.  In case you missed the ending of my last posting, Christine and I flew up to Istanbul to meet our daughter Lia, hubby Brian and our two granddaughters Brynn (7) and Blair (5) as they got off their non stop plane ride from LAX to spend THREE WEEKS with us!  This would be a grand gift at any time but having not been able to get together for almost two years now, this was a HUGEY big gift! 

And a jam packed three weeks it was as we shared the Turkey we have come to know and love with them AND got to host them for the first real passage on Möbius!  Christine will be posting a bit more about our wonderful two day trip with the six of us aboard Möbius as we cruised the awemazing coastline from Antalya to Finike and here are just a few photos from our other adventures in planes, trains, automobiles AND hot air balloons!

PXL_20210706_062324614We walked and ate our way throughout the truly world class city of Istanbul for the first three days and this is just one of our many Turkish kahvaltı, aka breakfasts.
PXL_20210713_134952413.MPShort flight back from Istanbul to Antalya, test run for our new mariners with an overnight anchor at the nearby Rock Island to celebrate Brynn’s 7th Birthday!

See Christine’s post for much more about all this.

Thumbs up from all the crew and so we headed out for the first actual passage on Möbius.
PXL_20210713_151553498.MPSlipped into this little spot that the girls dubbed as “Mermaid Cove” for another night on anchor and lots of swimming.
PXL_20210712_113310631.MPOnward to some land based adventures, we went white water rafting in Köprülü Canyon National Park which is about 90 minutes from from where we lived in Antalya.
PXL_20210716_150115938.MPSwimming through the thermal mineral …….
Pamukkale pools …….  pools of Pamukkale
PXL_20210717_150135123Climbing through the ruins of Sagalossos dating back to 600 BCE.
PXL_20210720_085859596.MPThree nights in our two Cave Hotel rooms which were literally carved into the volcanic rock cliffs in Cappadocia.
PXL_20210719_020252306Up the next morning at 3AM to catch the sunrise in …..
PXL_20210719_021259004……. our very own Hot Air Balloon.
PXL_20210719_021909039Floating over the otherworldly “Fairy Chimneys” of Cappadocia
PXL_20210719_024855169.MP90 minutes went by SO fast!
PXL_20210719_034145291.MPUntil we gently touched down with the expert touch of …….
PXL_20210719_034549327.MP……  our favorite pilot Hakan (Black shirt far Left) from our previous ride with him 2 years ago for a champagne finish!
We bid our family adieux for their return flight to IST and then on to LAX the next morning and Christine and I drove the 9 hour trip back to Möbius.


Finike marinaWhere we had left her peacefully tied up in Finke marina which will be our home port for the rest of this year.
Whew!  We have spent the weekend savoring all these newest family memories and catching our breath from the wonderful whirlwind that our life has been for the past three weeks, indeed the past three years! 

Tomorrow (Monday here) we will renew our efforts to get through the long and seemingly growing list of jobs to do in order to get Möbius fully sea worthy and ready for our next adventures.  So we will resume our regular programming here on Mobius.World and do our best to continue to entertain and inform you about our ongoing adventures aboard the good ship Möbius.

Please tune in again next week for the next chapter and THANK YOU SO MUCH for your continued interest and comments.  Be sure to add more in the “Join the Discussion” box below.

-Wayne
 


Taking a break for family time

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.

TaksimSquare

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.

Bosphorus cruise boat

Cruising the Bosphorus is just such a great way to see the city.

Maiden

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.

Pirate girls

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! 

Fishing

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.

Wayne bow

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.

Anchorage

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.

Shade cloth

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.

Mobius Finike

 

Fair winds!

Christine

The simple comment that Changed My Life Forever Better

Barney from first contact my talking pet videoSeven years ago today, this little fella, aka Barney the Yorkshire Terror, changed my life in ways and degrees that I am still unable to fully comprehend. 

More accurately, it was seeing him for the first time in the short 25 second video below that captured my attention, so take a look and a listen and then come on on back for the rest of this wonderful story.

Vuda Pt Marina Aerial-tight-Marina-and-SaweniFriday November 22nd, 2013 started out no different than any other of my days in Fiji at Vuda Point Marina, where I, ably assisted by Ruby the Wonderdog, was working feverishly to complete the latest and largest renovation on my 52’ steel sailboat sv Learnativity. 
Map Marshall IslandsAs with most such boat projects it was taking MUCH longer than expected and I was working non-stop because the Cyclone season begins in November and I should have left for Majuro in the Marshall Islands long before now.   (click to enlarge the map or any photo)
Map-Pacific-IslandsThese two maps will fill in some of the geographic information and the short story is that in general, as a liveaboard sailor, to be outside of the cyclone zone in the South Pacific, you want to be no more than 10 degrees from the equator.  Vuda Pt. Marina is on the far SW corner of Fiji sits at 17º41’04”S
177º23’02”E so it well into the Cyclone Zone and yes, you can ask me how I know!


Majuro Marshall IslandsThe atoll of Majuro, pictured here, is at 7.0667° N, 171.2667° E is well below the 10 degree limit and I had been there twice before to get out of the Cyclone Zone and just loved it so I was anxious to get back there ASAP.


Screenshot Vuda Pt to Majuro distanceIf it were a straight line, the passage to sail those 24 degrees from Fiji at 17° S to Majuro at 7° N is about 2895 km/1799 miles/1563 nm but the actual sea miles of this passage are about 2000 nm, assuming not much tacking, would typically be about a 14-15 day sail.
Rotuma island Fiji_mapBut for me, a stop in the tiny spec of an island called Rotuma is a must.  Rotuma is a much longer and fascinating story which I serendipitously stumbled upon when I read that it was still part of Fiji even though it is WAY up in the far NW corner about 500 nm from any other part of Fiji which meant I could wait till I got to Rotuma and still officially check out of Fiji.

So this stop over adds a few days to the passage and has taken me 17-18 days in the past.
OK, Wayne but what the heck does this have to do with the Barney video that changed your life so incredibly? 

Ahhh, right.  

So back aboard the good ship Learnativity, that Friday morning 7 years ago, Ruby the Wonderdog (my little Black Spoodle who had been with me since I started my single handed sailing adventures in San Francisco in March 2007), and I were up just after sunrise as usual for most sailors, had fixed my breakfast and was sipping my morning Latte and enjoying yet another beautiful sunny morning up in the cockpit of LTY (Learnativity). 

This was typically the only time each day when I could sit and relax a wee bit catch up with all the Emails and other online content that had come in the past 24 hours.  As I was zipping through all those Emails I came across an auto-generated one informing me that there was a new post on the Write on the Water blog which was of the several hundred blogs that I subscribe to on a wild range of topics. 

Little did I know that clicking on that link was going to be one of the most life changing events of my already VERY eventful life! 

Seeing that “Write on the Water” name, I vaguely recalled that I had been subscribed to this blog several years ago because, Christine Kling, one of four writers/sailors who wrote one post a week on Write on the Water (get it?), and she was not only an author of some very good best seller mystery novels, she was also a fellow single handed and very experienced sailor, currently sailing around the Caribbean islands on her sailboat sv Tale Spinner from her home Port in Ft. Lauderdale Florida.

The link opened up the blog post fine, but there was no text, no story?  Simply the Title “Barney the Yorkshire Terror” and that little face staring up at me with a “Click to Play” button on his nose.  I hit Play and as I suspect he might have just done for you, Barney gave ma a good morning chuckle.  It also piqued my curiosity as to how this cute little animated dog video had been made?  So I quickly fired off a short comment to the author which just happen to have saved and it reads;

Wayne says: November 22, 2013 at 07:17 am  (Fiji Time)
Very cute and fun Christine. I too am out single handed sailing with my 6 year old “Spoodle” Ruby the Wonderdog and we are currently in Vuda Pt. marina in Fiji finishing up the latest refit in preparation for the next few years sailing through the Marshall Islands, Micronesia and making my way through Indonesia. I’d be interested to know more about how you made this little video if you care to share?
Also enjoying your books and have several loaded on my Kindle for upcoming passages. Thanks for all.
Wayne
 

I finished up my coffee and Email updates and got back to work on Learnativity.

Next morning, same routine and as I was enjoying my first coffee and going through the latest Emails, one was a WordPress comment from the Write on the Water blog, which thanks to the wonders of cloud storage and my somewhat geeky nature, I also still have a copy of so you can read it for yourself.

Christine's answer to my first question about Barney videoApparently two of Christine’s blog followers had asked the same question so as you can see her response was to both Wayne and Gerald.
Nice of her to respond I thought as so many such questions go unanswered, and so being Canadian and just doing what I think is important, I wrote back a short note to thank her for getting back to me and that I would try out this little “My Talking Pet” app and maybe use it to make one with Ruby the Wonderdog.  And then it was back to work for me and I never gave it another thought.

Well, as I was to learn weeks later, Christine was quite taken aback that someone had actually said “Thank You” ?  Apparently when she dutifully  answers all the thousands of questions a famous author receives, she rarely receives anything but more questions and never a Thank You.  Who knew??? 

And so she wrote me back, and the following Email was on my screen as I was sipping my first coffee the next day:  (click to enlarge if you want to read it)

Christine's first response to my Thank You on her blog with Barney video Pg 1

Christine's first response to my Thank You on her blog with Barney video Pg 2
No need to read the whole Email, but if you do, you will see what a catastrophic error she makes in the very first sentence when she starts off with;  “Hi Wayne,  Thank you so much for the interesting note full of info about you and your boat. I love getting long emails, so don’t ever
worry about writing too much.”

Oh the poor innocent dear!  She has NO idea that she is saying that to Mr. Neveraparagraphwhenasentencewilldo!  Though she might have started to clue in when I wrote back:

Wayne's first full Email to Christine after Barney video

I will spare my full response, lucky you!! and just share the first of my brief four page Email response.
Not to worry, I am NOT about to share ALL our Emails back and forth in the coming days and weeks, again Lucky, Lucky you!

Suffice it to say, that the Email exchanges got longer and longer and more and more often. 

Then Emails led to voice calls which followed my same “brevity challenged” arc.

Voice calls quickly led to Skype calls and let’s just say neither one of us got too much sleep in those first two weeks or so as we were living literally on the opposite sides of the world and I was on the other side of the International Date Line so we were not only many hours apart in different Time Zones, we were also on different days!  Hence  we were both on Skype calls in either the wee hours of our respective mornings or on very late night hours.  Our internet connection had quite literally become the “International Date Line”. 

Think about it for a minute and I’ll wait till you get it ……………………………….

OK, OK, enough already Wayne!! 

You know where this is going so let me just quickly summarize what happened from there.

Video calls are fascinating, especially when you start logging hundreds of hours of them with someone you have never met.  They pretty much cancel out any chances that either of you can be “faking it”, so you do end up learning more and more about the very real person on that screen for hours and in your ears and in hour head.  But it still isn’t the same as the “real thing” and so at some point we started to talk about how, when and where we could meet up in person and find out if all the sparks that were flying back and forth through the ether were really real or just our twitterpated imaginations?

It was now December and so my first suggestions had been that I would sail up to Majuro and get Learnativity safely moored there as I had done in the past few years and then get the short flight from Majuro to Honolulu which happens 3 days a week and we could meet there.  A bit longer but easy to get flights for Christine to fly from Florida to Honolulu and so that was the tentative plan.  Emphasis on “tentative” of course because WAYNE still needed to finish the work on LTY, get her all sea worthy and ship shape for a relatively long passage and only then be able to know what sort of dates we could fly and meet.

Of course things never go as planned, especially when it comes to big boat projects. I was working longer and longer days, as was Christine who was in the midst of finishing and publishing her latest book at the time “Dragon’s Triangle”  and we were both getting more and more frustrated that our “Launch Date” for this distant blooming romance seemed to be getting more and more elusive and later. 

Hmmm, why does that sound so familiar??

Several hours into one of our Skype calls at that time, partly out of pure frustration, partly for some levity, I said something like “You know what would be really crazy, would be if you just flew here to Fiji and we could have our first date be the sail up to Rotuma and Majuro”. 

Keep in mind that it is now only about two weeks before Christmas and I was sure that she would not want to be away from her family in Florida over the holidays so maybe Honolulu in the New Year would be best after all.  So we started to look a the calendar and figure out the likely length of my sail up to Majuro and what dates early in the New Year we might be able to fly there and meet.  So I simply asked “What date do you think you could fly?”    And surely she understood I was talking about her flying to Honolulu right? 

I had already learned that Christine can have some VERY “pregnant pauses” with her responses so I just patiently waited after asking what date she thought she could fly as I watched her eyes look up as if she was searching some calendar on the ceiling and then watched her lips moving a bit as she seemed to be doing some calculations in her head.  After several minutes of this, she looked back at me on the screen and said “Tuesday”.

Huh?  “Tuesday” I said?  What do you mean “Tuesday”?

Never missing a beat and with a very quizzical look on her most serious face, she said; “I can be in Fiji on Tuesday.” 

This was all happening late on a Friday night on Christine’s side of the International Date Line and in a very rare for me “pregnant pause” with my mind reeling with what I thought I had just heard I think I simply said “Are you kidding me?!?!?!”

2013-12-19 001She wasn’t kidding and while I don’t remember much of those next few days, I found myself standing in the Nadi airport early on the morning of December 19, 2013 intently watching the passengers of the just landed red-eye flight from LAX walk to the baggage claim when THIS vision of loveliness walked through those glass doors and into my heart.
IMG_2103_45340We drove back to the marina where I had Learnativity pretty much finished and waiting for her to see for the first time and we were both giddy with excitement, nervousness and disbelief that this was all REALLY happening?!!!
80444437

I had borrowed my dear friends Ian and Coleen’s car to drive the 25km or so to the Nadi airport from Vuda Pt. Marina as their beautiful big boat mv Summer Spirt and had been my dock neighbors as you can see here, for all the months I had been there in Fiji over the last few years.

This is our first photo together, thanks Coleen, on the aft deck of Summer Spirit.
2013-12-22 002Ian and Coleen invited us over to mv Summer Sprit for lunch and so they could meet this mysterious woman who their dockside friend Wayne had been talking with and about endlessly for the past month.

Fast forwarding through the months and years that followed:

IMG_2441We had a VERY eventful 18 day “First Date” passage up to Majuro and that’s a much longer story for another time.
2013-12-31 006Captain of my heart by now and the only REAL sailor onboard.
IMG_2463We made it to Rotuma for another longer story of our first New Year’s Eve.
80445112Crossed the equator for the first time as a couple after multiple times by ourselves.  And Wayne was FINALLY able to swim across the equator, yet another much longer story for another time.
Majuro from the airSailed into the atoll of Major with no rudder and no steering.  Another story for another time.

82626928Flew back to Florida to meet Christine’s family there, then flew to St. Martin to drop of Ruby with our dearest friends the Alonso’s who were living there on their boat sv Discovery.


80446861Took off a few days later for a whirlwind tour of Europe that Christine had previously all planned out as research for her next book that became “Knight’s Cross”. First stop the island of Malta
80448640Where I proposed up on a grassy hillside overlooking a little harbour in Malta.  And she said YES!!!


OK, OK OK!!!  Seriously this time, ENOUGH WAYNE!!!!

More of those stories for another time. 

Right now, I sit here in Antalya Turkey with my Beautiful Bride of six years making us another one of her delicious meals and we have a bottle of bubbly in the fridge that I’m about to go pop so we can celebrate the 7th anniversary of our First Contact.


Barney from first contact my talking pet videoWhich was all thanks to THIS little guy who is sitting here at my feet tonight.

Thanks Barney!

I am the luckiest and richest man in the world all thanks to YOU!
Happy Anniversary! 

I LOVE You Christine Louise!!