Every night now we fall into bed exhausted. I think it’s as much the emotional ride as the physical work. Monday saw all the work that needed doing whilst she was out of the water finally finished. Propeller serviced, steering stiffness investigated, new anodes, and through hull fittings, old name taken off, topsides polished and her bottom antifouled and bow thruster serviced and finally we were ready to launch! Well….all the critical “on the hard jobs” at least. There was a lot more that needed to happen once in the water.
We arrived at the boat with our first load of possessions from the hotel by 9.30 and Peter, the broker, was already at the marina speaking with the office about scheduling her launch back into the water. Up the tall, rickety ladder we hauled our heavy back packs and shoved them inside. We had expected it to be in the afternoon but suddenly it was all go as the trolley arrived to take her on her first little ride to the travel lift which would then lower her into the water. A few last-minute things needed to be done which took about 10 minutes and then ‘Ooofff’ (apparently Turkish for bummer) said Peter as the Marina guys wandered away and then silently vaporised for morning Kay (Chai). A long half an hour later they were back and she was on her way.
They worked quickly and super efficiently to get our boat in the water but she was held up again when the last boat launched before ours was still sitting waiting to be allocated a berth right where we needed to go. It’s a very busy boatyard and right now it’s at its peak as everyone wants to get into the water from the hard stand so they can get underway cruising for the season. In turn this means space on the marina is very tight and finding a spot can be a challenge.
This next bit is the part that has had me losing sleep. Getting into marina pens, from my experience is one of the most stressful parts of sailing until you get into a rhythm and know your boat. We had been on board for the test sail and Rick had helmed her (under sail only) for around 5 minutes but up until being put into the water Rick had not even turned on the engine, let alone figured out the relationship between the bow thruster (that helps turn the bow more accurately and quickly) and forward and reverse. Our last experience manoeuvring stern-to in a marina was bareboating in Sardinia on a 45 footer where short-handed and without a bow thruster, we awkwardly ended up blown beam-to onto a neighbour at 8am in an increasing 25 knot breeze. So here in our new boat we were both feeling a bit gun shy.
We were offered some on board assistance this time and Rick admitted that the only thing that was really at risk was his pride. He accepted the offer from a local Turkish marinero who ably and calmly talked Rick through the process of reversing into the marina finger we had been assigned and then doing a right-angle reverse into the pen – a very tight squeeze between 2 other boats. It was elegant and trouble free. I was both elated and nearly in tears. So many firsts. So many things that are a bit scary until you get used to doing them.
With the guys settling the boat in and putting sails back up I glanced at the time and realised we still hadn’t moved the final load of our possessions out of our hotel room and it was already way after checkout time. I bolted for the bus, ran back to the room, cleaned it out and put on my extremely heavy pack, collected the washing and got back to the boat by 1.30; hot, sweaty and a little bit exhausted.
We were on our new home. But how do the electrics and the fridge work, where are the light switches, just how do you make up the bed when there’s 3 fitted sheets for one bed? Ooops, there’s no gas as the pipe is out of date and needs replacing. Oh, and the toilet….can we even use it?
But there are also priorities. Because it’s Turkey and champagne costs about a million dollars we celebrate with a beer and a gin and tonic. We have reached another milestone.