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!
This week’s progress on the good ship Möbius continued from last week to focus on installing the miles and miles of EPDM insulation and the seemingly miles of workbenches for my Workshop. The title’s reference is to a video game my son Skyler used to play when he was a young boy back in the 90’s called as I recall “Monster Truck Madness” and it had this phrase “When it’s going your way, it’s going your way” spoken by a great narrator and which I also heard hundreds if not thousands of times as my home computer desk was beside Skyler’s so it has become indelibly etched into my memory banks and became a bit of our families inside jokes that we still reference. As I was thinking about this week’s progress that same narrators voice repeated that phrase in my head and seemed to be just the right title for this post.
But of my reminiscing and let’s get to the photos.
Picking up where we left off last week, Uğur is busy tacking the 50mm / 2” flat bar edging to the 6mm / 1/4” aluminium plate for one of the workbenches that line both sides of the Workshop. This quick render looking forward into the Workshop from the door on the Swim Platform helps to visualise the scale and placement of these workbenches in purple and the matching shelves immediately below them.
Combined these two workbenches are over 11m / 36’ long with the same length of shelves underneath and all of you who have workshops for any kind of work from sewing and quilting to machining and woodworking will appreciate just how valuable this much working space is. To have all of this with full headroom on a boat is Xtreme to say the least.
Once Uğur and Nihat have everything cut, fitted and tacked, Sezgin came in with his MIG welder to lay down the continuous beads and get the workbenches ready to be mounted in the Workshop. Mehmet takes over with his various sizes and shapes of wire wheels and cleans everything up and puts in all these random swirl patterns which I find more beautiful every day.
Two halves of the Starboard side workbenches in the foreground and the Day Tank behind all clean and “swirled” ready to be installed inside the Workshop. The larger brackets in the foreground are for mounting the lower shelves onto the frames in the Workshop and the smaller ones in the background by the Day Tank are the mounts for the upper workbenches. As soon as the brackets are all welded and cleaned up Nihat and Uğur take them into the Workshop and drill the frames for the SS bolts that will hold them all in place. We are bolting the workbenches and shelves in place rather than welding so they are easily removed if I want to modify them over time to accommodate different machines or want to add other extensions.
The laser level makes it quick and easy to get each bracket on the same level and height. My camera lens distorts the position of these brackets but I can assure you they are dead flat and level.
And ready for the shelves and workbenches to be brought aboard and bolted in place. This is the Starboard side of the Workshop looking forward to the bulkhead of the Guest Cabin & Christine’s Office where the Day Tank will soon be mounted. Here you see the lower shelf in place and the top workbench ready to be fitted.
Kneeling in the WT doorway looking aft along the Port side this underside shot shows how the brackets work and also show just how Xtremely massive the framing is on these XPM hulls. The upper workbench is made up of two pieces bolted together by the matching flange you can see where the two halves join and those will be aligned when they drill the holes and bolt these together. The height of the workbenches might look too tall here but the removable flooring grid is not in place yet which sits about 15cm / 6” above the tank tops and this puts the workbench surface 1m / 39” above the floor which I find is the Goldilocks height for my height to be the most comfortable working height.
Looking forward along the Port side looking forward to the WT door into the Corridor beside the Guest Cabin the workbench and shelf have been set in place ready to be drilled for their mounting bolts.
The EPDM insulation is now installed to below the wire trays so as you can see here they have now been riveted in place. Speaking of insulation and moving forward into our Master Cabin we can watch the EPDM insulation being installed up here. The sequence is to wrap each longitudinal stringer wtih 10mm EPDM, then wrap the vertical frames with more….. ….. and then carefully squeeze lengths of the 50mm EPDM in place like this.
The vertical flat bars for the wire trays are covered with hard rubber strips to keep them fully ground isolated from the hull which is particularly important for any metal boat.
It is very exacting work to install the nautical miles of EPDM foam which is the one downside of this type of insulation but we regard this as a wise investment given the huge benefits we will enjoy throughout our time aboard our “Thermos bottle” that keeps us Xtremely comfy in all climates and requires the least amount of energy to do so. Once you have lived aboard a super well insulated boat as we did for years on our previous steel sailboat Learnativity, and you experience not only the thermal comfort but a near silent boat, there is just no going back.
Keeping us all the more busy and putting even bigger smiles on our faces this past week was that we had a baby back in the house! This is 11 month old George who is the son of a couple who flew into Antalya from Germany to meet with Naval Yachts and spend a few days climbing through Möbius as they contemplate having their version of an XPM built for them. They want to establish a charter business for Xtreme Xpeditions taking divers and other adventurers to Greenland, the Arctic and Antarctic and after years of searching for the just right boat to do so they think they have found it in the XPM type of boat. Between all their time in meetings with Naval and aboard Möbius we had a delightful 3 days with them. We SO miss our grandchildren when they were this age so it was a particularly fun filled week for us two Grandparents as we reveled in the joys of as Christine put it “having baby giggles again”.
I only managed to capture a few bits of this week’s progress on video so here is a short set of clips for you to get that perspective on the progress of Team Möbius.
Thanks very much to all of you for taking your valuable time to join us on this grand adventure and don’t forget to add your questions, suggestions and ideas in the “Join the Discussion” box below.