Dave joins Robn in Trinidad

I think I’ve recovered enough from my journey to finally write an update. Not that I’ve been sleeping the whole time since I got here, but we’ve been jumping on the bus to go off to get the telephone fixed, running off to immigration to extend the 48 hours I was given at the airport, and other urgent errands. The days have been pretty full.

Things are good here. There is lots to do, but I’ve been working into that slowly as I was still pretty exhausted. And a nap helps.

As some of you know, Robn flew back across the Atlantic on 16 February. With a brief visit to a cousin of hers in Arkansas. Where, much to everyone’s surprise, she almost got iced in.

They had had a series of spells of bad weather. Then it got better and Robn arrived. But then they were predicting an ice storm. Which to those of you from more comfortable parts of the world, means you don’t need to worry about running into black ice, because everything on the surface of the planet is black ice. No one drives 90 miles during those conditions. And it looked like she would be stuck there a week or more. Kiss her ticket to Trinidad goodbye.

Sorry but this triggers Dave to make a rant about airline logic. When we were originally trying to get Robn a ticket from Trinidad to Houston, I discovered that United has a direct flight. However, back in October, it cost about US$700 as I recall. Yet, if you flew through Miami, or other plane changes, it was only a little over US$300, but it took a lot longer. Actually the cheapest way, as I recall, was something like flying from Trinidad to New York, to St. Louis, perhaps to Dallas, and then to Houston. Understandably that took like 20 hours and was a little bit cheaper.

So, Robn flew to Miami, waited a few hours, and flew to Houston, for something like $320.

Upon her return to the New World, since she wanted to visit someone near Little Rock, Arkansas, at first we were going to have her fly from Houston to Little Rock round trip on one ticket and then another ticket from Houston to Trinidad. But, we discovered that she could fly from Little Rock to Trinidad on United for about $345. All these numbers are approximate.

You guessed it. This $345 ticket, had her fly from Little Rock to Houston on United, then change to the United direct flight to Trinidad.

Robn just corrected me that at least in February, she remembers the United direct flight to Trinidad as being ONLY $500, not $700.

We don’t know when we will leave Trinidad. But, I was looking at flights from Trinidad to Seattle, choosing dates in the end of May and early June, it was about $345, on United. The infamous direct flight to Houston, and then another direct flight from there to Seattle. This all may seem logical to you but it baffles the hell out of us.

And not that anyone cares, but another chapter in Dave’s ‘computer related nightmares.’

Literally the night before Dave was to fly to Washington DC, while he was trying to install software on his new Samsung Galaxy S5, smart phone, in case his luggage got stolen again, that he could render the phone useless to the thief, and probably even recover it.

Lojack now exists for laptops cell phones and other items.

Not at all to be confused with the vicious lie perpetrated by ESET that claims it can do that, but when they find out that your laptop is actually stolen, they refuse to tell you, or the police, anything about it. Even though they know pretty much where it is, and know a great deal about the thief. But they refuse to tell the police. Go figure.

Anyway, no big surprise that while Dave was talking with Samsung Turkey tech support, and they were instructing him on how to do a factory reset of the phone to clean off some problems that he was having, the phone totally locked up. It suddenly refused to use the fingerprint ID, and kept asking for a PIN that no one has been able to figure out the answer for. It is certainly none of the several PINs that anyone has used on the phone.

Samsung Turkey finally gave up trying to fix it over the phone, and said just take it into the Samsung store in Antalya, Turkey.

I pointed out that I was getting on a plane tomorrow and there was no way to have time to go to a store en route.

Just to add to the excitement, my passport and other important documents, were laying on top of my backpack as I was leaving the boat the next morning, but somehow in getting the suitcases and backpack out on deck, the passport and documents got left on the settee. The bad thing being that I had no idea of this, until I was about an hour into my bus ride to the airport. When I suddenly noticed that I did not have it and began frantically searched my backpack. I was able to jump off at the next stop, in the city of Kemer and I hired a cab to take me back to the boat and then to the airport. Which, except for the money and the acid indigestion, worked fine. I got there in plenty of time for my flight.

I had to wait 12 hrs in Moscow. Did you know that few have any English there? Signs, menus, etc. Funny that they only use their own language, right? <wink>

When I got to Washington DC, I spent probably a day and a half of my only three days fighting with my locked up Samsung cell phone. I only wasted so much time because they kept telling me that they could easily fix it if I would just go to the next place in line. By that I mean each place that I called, said that, "Oh, if you contact so-and-so, or drive over to such and such, THEY will know how to fix it." But, none of them did. This included many calls back to Turkey for Samsung and Turkcell support. Since everyone kept passing the buck to someone else.

The conclusion I came to, was that I would have to wait until I could walk into a Samsung shop in Turkey, which will not be for four months or more. And, it was not lost on my tiny little brain, that every single one of these, "Oh, just take it to who’s it and they will fix it right up," had been wrong. So what are the odds that I could get it fixed in Turkey?

However, Robn showed me a Samsung place in a mall about a half hour away from here. We walked up to the first guy we saw there, explained the problem to him, and he had it running fine in 30 seconds! This is the first place we tried once I got here. So, if you’re having cell phone trouble move to Trinidad.

He also tried to explain to me how you reset it by pushing a secret combination of keys all at the same time. Then follow some instructions that you will find there.

I’ve been trying to get the exact information on the Internet, because if you do it wrong it actually can permanently kill your phone. But, as far as I can tell the phone is now absolutely fine, although I need to reinstall some things on it. You can be sure that I’m not going to reinstall the things that I believe caused the problem.

Because I believed that I had done due diligence, and my Samsung Galaxy S5 was going to be useless until I returned to Turkey, I took the plunge and bought an iPhone 6 Plus while in DC. Interestingly I had previously spent weeks trying to figure out how to buy an unlocked, international, Samsung Galaxy S5 from any US source, but could not discover a way to do it. They said they were unlocked, but then it turned out that you had to be one of their customers for six months and then they would unlock it. I wanted a phone that would work today. Not in six months.

But, happily the Apple Store was only too thrilled to sell me a very expensive, totally unlocked iPhone 6 Plus. And it mostly works fine. No one seems to know why the hotspot feature doesn’t seem to work. That’s on my to do list for today.

Robn has been using a Mac laptop and an iPad for several years. Dave has now become AC/DC, and perhaps it is just Dave’s black thumb when it comes to computers, but Robn has also had many annoying problems with both her Mac laptop and iPad, beginning before I knew her. Dave has already had several seemingly idiotic problems with the new iPhone. We live in an imperfect world.

Dave’s world might be a little more imperfect than most. Several times in the last three weeks I have called tech support for various products and their computers have gone down while they were talking to me. Often repeatedly during a single conversation.

When I tried to rent the car in Washington DC, the agent’s computer went down, and he had to have me go over to the next desk to successfully rent the car.

The car was just over $18 a day. (And it had wheels and doors and seats. It was just a really good deal that I found online.) The optional Garmin GPS navigator, like a Tom-Tom was $11 per day extra. But without it the car would’ve been pretty much useless. Since I did not know my way around the area well at all. Even though it routed me through every little back alley it could find, I did always eventually get where I was going. It only got right and left confused a few times.

I would be looking at the route on the little map, and it would say turn right but clearly the purple line turned left. Often this was near one of the stupid little "roundabouts" that they seem to love in Washington DC, where, in order to turn left, you actually DO have to turn right. So the first time I fell for it, but later I just faked it.

The final indignity was trying to return the car, when I was already running very late in order to make my flight. Like so many airports, you can sort of drive in a circle, and do it again until you get it right.

Between the, in my opinion, terrible signs above the highway, and the little purple line on the GPS, and the lady’s voice telling me to "turn toward Advantage," I went around three or four complete cycles, including a tour of the inside of one of the garages, before I was finally able to return the car. Good thing I had unlimited mileage.

And part of that confusion was because a nice police lady, who after two times around I asked for directions, specifically told me to go into ‘Daily parking A,’ as that was where Alamo was located. Too bad she was wrong. But I made my flight, and did not lose my sense of humor. I will let you go back to what you were supposed to be doing today.

Every day is an adventure. Presently, ‘My Adventures’ are in a warm lush, tropical paradise, with the woman I love.

A big hug from Dave and Robn

Itinerary of HEIDI

This the last 14 years, condensed to one page. A lot of memories. It is very hard to write this.

We sailed Heidi from Sequim, WA around Vancouver Island and up to the Queen Charlottes.  And so on,

Sorry, but I goofed. I had posted that itinerary as a link off of

When I get time, we will make “…robn-puts-her-heidi-on-the-market/” much easier to read. But, I am rushing around just now.

The itinerary is correctly located at

Dave & Robn


It is with sadness that Robn puts her HEIDI on the market

Recent research has caused me to lower the price to



New blue info 5 paragraphs down added 25 Feb. Older edits near the bottom. This must drive you crazy, but I will be adding things frequently over the next few weeks. If you are at all interested, please check back. I will change the date to reflect my additions.

Here is a preliminary report from memory. Robn returns to the boat in a couple of weeks. Better info then. Contact us at svalegria AT hotmail dot com.

One puzzle that we are wondering about: People seemed to say that the boat should be empty when the new buyer sees it. Having lived aboard her since 1990, and voyaging since 2001 – from Sequim, WA down to Panama, across the Pacific, down to New Zealand three times, up into the N Pacific, across to Guam and the Philippines, down to Jakarta, across the Indian Ocean to South Africa, around the Cape of Good Hope, and on to the Caribbean with full itinerary and details available if interested. She has a lot of important spare parts and miscellaneous boat bits on board. It seems silly to dispose of these important items when any new owner that knows anything will want them. Any thoughts on that?

I (Robn) am very fortunate that in 1969 my parents took me and my two younger brothers on a 5+ year circumnavigation aboard a 52′  Rhodes Ketch. I was 20 at the beginning of that trip.   http://www.merrymaiden.com/

Some History added 25 Feb

While on that trip, I met Gerhard (a German) in Tahiti. He had also begun his circumnavigation, from Germany in 1969. We continued to sail west, finally getting married and living ashore, building our own home in Washington State. We then sold our house and bought HEIDI in 1990,  moved aboard her, and began to ready her for another circumnavigation. She has been my only home, since 1990. Sailing was/is in our blood.  In Sept 2001, we were finally able to retire and set sail from near Seattle, in the NW United States. We coast hopped to Panama. then zig zagged around the Pacific, including Guam and 3 trips to New Zealand. The condensed itinerary is available here:


My husband passed away in December 2010 and I sailed HEIDI to the Caribbean and have been actively sailing HEIDI there since then. Often singlehanding.

I met David in 2014 and that is the only reason that I would part with HEIDI. We do not need two boats.

Heidi, a 1978 Hans Christian 34′, is presently in Trinidad, on the hard.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHeidi at Pago Pago  (Usually clicking on the photo makes it larger and detailed)


>Whats the price you have in mind?

A fair market price. We are studying comparable boats online. I had been thinking 70,000 USD because I see boats not nearly as seaworthy or in as good condition asking much more. However, recently, research has caused me to lower it to US$64,900.00. Offers considered.


The engine is a Beta “BV1505,” 37.5 HP Diesel, about 2000 hours, installed in 2000.
Two Racor filters w/bypass. Use one or both, can change one while running engine on the other.
Exhaust shut off valve for use in high seas
Dripless shaft seal new in 2011
Optima Starter Battery (Spiral Gel Cell
3 Optima House Batteries 65 AH each = 195 AH.  New in 2008. Previous set lasted 12 years and tested still good after replacement. Turned out the lost performance was probably due to a corroded connection on the solar panel reducing the input but not discovered till later.
100W solar power: 2 x 50 W panels by Siemens, installed 2001.
Shore power converter not used since 2001.

Sails: 2 Mains, 1 storm main, 1 cruising spinnaker (with sock), 1 genoa, 1 yankee, 1 storm jib, 2 staysails.

2 CQR type SS anchors
chain (90 meters?), rope, snubber.
spare anchor line.
Manual windlass
1 Fortress Aluminum Anchor
1 dinghy anchor
1 Anchor Buddi (lead weight to roll down chain to improve scope)
5 fenders, plenty of docking lines

Achilles Dinghy inflatable, with 8HP mercury outboard. Both new in  Dec 2008
Autohelm wind vane w/ auxiliary rudder.

4 man life raft new in 2011
EPIRB new in 2011
Drogue (cone type sea anchor) that is the size recommended for the boat.
2 Drogue lines 300 ft each.
3 bilge pumps. (1 automatic, 1 emergency, 1 hand gusher.)
Life jackets, harnesses (3), jack lines, spot light, 4 fire extinguishes, man overboard pole w/horseshoe buoy, horn, sledge hammer, radar reflector, bosun’s chair.  Flares – outdated but have been stored very well.  (even plugs for dorade vents if bedding down in a hurricane! Never used.)

AIS transmitter/receiver
Garmin GPS 128
handheld Garmin GPS 12
GPS antenna for computer
Acer laptop with Open CPN, CM93 world wide charts, other navigation software.
Handheld VHF
Kenwood 2005 SSB receive only
a 2nd SSB receive only
Hummingbird Fish finder/depth sounder
Speedometer – light not working
2nd compass

2 burner kerosene stove w/oven by Taylor

Sewing machine (household from 1977 but it has gone through 14 layers of Sunbrella! Possibly not included – not sure I want to part with it!)

Car deck w/ usb mp3 player (no CD).

Assorted hand tools including DeWalt 12 Volt drill and flashlight w/ 2 batteries and charger (2014).

H20 pressure pump and galley foot pump. Salt water galley pump.

Porta Potty – Thetford 135

Jerry Cans: 2 diesel 5 gal, 1 gasoline 5 gal, 3 water 5 gal, 2 kerosene 2.5 gal, dinghy gas tank 3 gal.

A lot of assorted spare parts and materials.



Heidi has been traveling the world since 2001 while being carefully maintained since our lives depended on her.  She has been our (my) only home since 1990.
Major projects:

abt 1999 replaced Stb Samson post with purpleheart.
2000: new engine (replaced salt water cooled Volvo 34 with the Beta before heading to tropics)
2001: new rigging and solar panels
2002: water tank leak repairs.
2003: new VHF and antenna, new speedometer after lightning strike. No other damage sustained. Bottle brush added. Major paint work, New awning and sail covers.
2003: Auxiliary rudder repairs.
2005: New wiring for navigation lights (both masthead and pulpit), other work on mast including paint.
2006: Replaced port diesel tank (black iron) with epoxy/glass and re-plumbed fuel lines.
2007: Removed bowsprit for caulking access, discovered some rot and replaced the entire bowsprit with kauri. Re-glazed all port lights.
2008: New dinghy/outboard. 90M new chain – not much work done this year.
2009: replaced bow stem chain plates and inner fore stay after the former broke. Blister repair job (first sign of blisters after 1990 job) including one new layer of glass and lots of painting, – unfortunately not taken further up – there are blisters above the water line recently. Also a new awning.
2010: 2 way AIS added. New cushions, new fenders
2011: New life raft, new EPIRB, new docking lines, some new running rigging
2012: New wood for overhead in salon & galley, w/new LED lighting, interior paint and varnish, misc. wood work. New galley cabinet and stove surround. Replaced 2 chain plates (aft shrouds – one showed hairline crack). Re-bedding of forward haws holes.
2013: replaced upper shroud chain plates, new 90M chain. Forward chain plates (shrouds) still original.
2014: re-caulking and refastening teak deck. New engine damper plate. Port Sampson Post replaced with Ipé. New dinghy floor boards.

This list is from memory and is not all inclusive.  Lots of additional smaller jobs have been done over the years and items added or replaced.  Sails are mostly from my brother-in-law’s sail loft in Germany – Diekow Segel. They are now making sails for the German Tall Ship, Gorch Fock.

Actual repairs due to failure have been relatively few thanks to the pro active work. The only failures over the years that come to mind are the leaking diesel tanks (One was replaced in 2006, the other (black iron) is beginning to leak); the broken twin bow chain plates (as a result they were replaced in 2009); and the auxiliary rudder shaft was replaced in 2003 after it bent when a bolt came loose.

Current projects include refastening the deck. It has gradually gotten thinner over the years though it’s still a half inch thick, so I need to finish setting the teak plugs deeper. Restitch mainsail cover, new slip covers (for upholstery).

Future projects: Topside blisters and paint , replace stbd diesel tank.
Replace the last two old chain plates and perhaps the genoa tracks.


Someone asked if Heidi had a bridge deck. Yes. The cockpit seats go all of the way around. In the photo of Mieze the cat, supervising  the cook making dinner, the slightly open door you can see to the left of Mieze, opens to the back of the engine instruments which are at the front end of the cockpit just below the forward seat. I would guess that the seat is just slightly higher than the top of the sliding door.

All of the shrouds, including the lowers are attached to chain plates at the gunwales, not the cabin side. There are permanent shrouds that act as back stays for the staysail.

Inside, beginning near the bow, there is the anchor locker, followed by the V berth, then the head and hanging locker, and then the salon, with a U-shaped settee on the port side, for seating around the table. And if you lower the table it can be used as a double bunk. There is a straight settee on the starboard side.


Continuing aft on the starboard side, is a short closet, and aft of that is the Navigation station, and aft of that is the quarter berth. The galley is on the port side just aft of the salon.

You can access the engine by lifting up the steps and opening a hatch there, and/or by removing some of the four panels from the quarter berth, and/or by opening the hatch in the port cockpit seat, and climbing down in. If you’re going to be doing a lot of work on the engine, the large box between the companionway stairs and the bulkhead can be lifted out of the way, rather than just using the hatch in front of the box.  Beta is well designed for easy maintenance including a mounted oil removal hand pump.

In the photo with the cat, you can see the four galley drawers between Mieze and Gerhard’s blue jeans. This is the only Hans Christian that Robn has owned, so she does not know about other galley arrangements.

I found a little information on


I don’t know how accurate it is. The difference that we noticed is that Robn changed the Volvo for a Beta, 37.5 hp in 2000. And it has about 2000 hours on it now. The main boom was also shortened by about 6 ft, increasing the aspect ratio and reducing the chance of bumping into it with your head. When Robn gets back to the boat, she can take some better pictures. But here are a couple we found on the computer.

This photo shows a view from the stern (in Borneo) with the black outboard, shows the companionway and other details.


The original hatch on the forward end of the cabin, was a poor design, and leaked where the Plexiglas joined the wood. Robn and Gerhard redesigned it, with the Plexiglas going all the way to the edge, but covered with the teak trim. That stopped the leak.

But if I start listing all of the improvements that Robn and Gerhard made over the years, this letter would get pretty long.


Dave & Robn

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOn passage past Cape Agulhas and Cape of Good Hope. 2011


I am back onboard. Here is the full list of my planned maintenance. I got behind on the cosmetics when my husband died in 2010 but have kept up on the essentials.  With this list I would be caught up on all systems. It is, of course, always possible that more stuff will be discovered during the work. That is the nature of boat maintenance.

 1. pulpit (to be installed this last week of Feb) and wiring bow nav lights which are on the pulpit.
 2. Chain Plates (at least one of the two remaining has a stress crack and since the others are already done. . .)
 3. Set  new, shorter, teak deck screws deeper, bung, and caulk. (Teak still 1/2″ thick). If you’d rather remove the teak for some reason, then there would not be any point in doing this – I happen to love the teak.
 4. Ceiling Trim –  not much work here as the trim is already varnished, just needs to be cut and drilled. Trim is not essential, of course, but these wood pieces are in the way until installed.
 5. Paint and Varnish. Teak can, of course, be left au natural, so again not necessary, but the fiberglass would sure look prettier with the job completed. All of the painted teak was varnished and in great condition BEFORE painting. Thus, we assumed that if we wanted to go back to varnished teak, that we could just remove the paint. The paint is NOT into the pores of the teak.
 6. Galley sink drain – didn’t have a chance to buy a new one in USA. They are not leaking but they are substandard materials (already starting to rust) installed last year by a “professional” and I want it re-done right.
 7. Stair tread re-glue – truly not needed yet but it’s bugging me. The old glue is liquifying and slowly seeping – making for a few sticky spots on the companionway.
 8. Engine heat exchanger clean. Reinstall water impeller.  Grease winches and seacocks. Bottom Paint. (All regular standard maintenance.)
 9. Replace mast head nav light (working fine but not LED so draws more power that an LED. While my LED anchor light is too dim – I’ve been putting this off waiting for LED nav light prices to come down.)
 10. A couple grease fittings on the steering system need to be cleaned. The last time I tried to add grease to the nipples (last spring) they weren’t accepting any. This will lead to problems at some point if not dealt with.
 11. Auxiliary rudder bearing and control lines. I replace the control lines (Kevlar) before every long passage and as needed in between. The bearings are developing some slop so I’d feel more comfortable with them replaced before too long.
 12. Re-caulk bolt: There is a small sometimes leak with one of the mast step bolts. A few drops twice in the past couple years.
 13. Replace dodger and possibly awning. Again not necessary, but I don’t like to wait until they are.

 Things that a buyer might want that I don’t:

 Refinish topsides – there is a band of up to approximately 6″ of tiny cosmetic blisters (max dia less than 1 cm)  above the water line. Everything good below the water line (redone in 2009/10 at which time there was no hint of needing to go higher). I had planned to do this but I consider the other stuff higher priority. Heidi has been out of the water since Oct 2014, for my flight to Turkey. The blisters have disappeared, so I have 4 months of drying the hull already accomplished. There are people in Trinidad that are said to be very good at doing this sort of work. Before I launch would be a VERY good time to do it, but I will let the new owner decide, IF they buy before I want to launch!

 Refrigerator, speedometer, wind instruments, auto pilot, water maker, electric windlass, etc.. These are popular items these days but would require an upgrade in the power generation and more maintenance. I’m personally happy with a minimalist life style.



One of the jobs Robn has planned is to redo all of the exterior paint. She was planning to do it last summer, but got interrupted. If the new owner wanted to go back to varnish, or even wanted to have the paint a different color, or different kind, then it would save Robn a lot of work to not have to paint it before she sells it. It’s just that a freshly painted boat, looks so much nicer, and she has already purchased all the materials. She just needs to have time to get around to the various jobs.

As the saying goes, “Cruising is just doing boat maintenance in exotic places.” I will be going to help her in a couple of weeks. As soon as I can get my things done here in Turkey.

By the way, I don’t know if you’ve looked into the cost of flying to Trinidad, but when I was pricing flights between Turkey and Trinidad, flying through New York, Washington DC, Houston, or Miami, and then flying from there down to Trinidad, was a lot cheaper. At least from Turkey. Although I think there are some direct flights from Europe, etc., to the Caribbean in season.

We like using

However, some of the cheap flights like Pegasus, Atlas, Condor, Thomas Cook, and so on, do not always show up there. So, I find a website that tells what airlines serve Trinidad or wherever I am going, and then I look at the individual airline websites.

One site shows the following for “POS,” the airport you want:
United,    jetBlue , American Airlines, Caribbean Airlines, British Airways, US Airways, and Copa.

shows these:
Albatross Airlines
American Airlines
British Airways
Caribbean Airlines
Copa Airlines
Linea Turistica Aereotuy
Sunwing Airlines
Surinam Airways
United Airlines

In theory, the whole point of using matrix.itasoftware.com, kayak.com, etc. is that they check all the possible combinations. In practice that is absolutely not true. I think they wanted US$5,000.00 or some ridiculous amount for Robn to fly from Trinidad to Turkey and back. And it was not a fast or direct flight. Long layovers.

Fortunately I knew that Turkish Air, had a special going between Turkey and certain US cities, and I eventually found a combination, with relatively fast connections that totaled less than US$1,500.00 and routed her through Houston, which allowed her to do some other chores during her travels. But it was not easy. However the reason that I have been able to cruise for so many years, is by being willing to do a little extra work to save money.

Make certain that the site(s) you use tell you the TOTAL, FINAL, price. There are many ways that dishonest sites can sound like they’re giving you a real bargain, and then you find out that that does not include things like the tax, which is commonly one third of the cost of the ticket. Some airlines charge you for reserving a particular seat, and many charge for meals. Some airlines charge for any luggage over 5kg. I might have that much weight in my pockets. Robn has been on a site that quoted a good price. However, that price required that you get their special credit card for US$75.00/yr. So,  buyer beware. But, the sites I mentioned, tend to be honest, at least in the past.

If you have Frequent Flyer Miles, try that. My last Seattle to Antalya flight, I was able to fly First Class, with three 70 pound suitcases INCLUDED for a very nice price. Who would have thought that Dave would ever fly First Class?

As many boats discover each year, the hurricane season is like playing Russian roulette. There were a lot of tragedies last summer. It is my understanding that Trinidad has been very safe so far, which is the reason so many boats spend the hurricane season there.

Depending on where you live, you may find it very advantageous to keep your boat in Trinidad and commute back and forth for the sailing season(s). I have seen slightly better fares between New York and Trinidad, than New York and Tampa. And there is no comparison on the sailing choices.

Many people have figured that out.

I have some more photos that Robn sent that I need to add. I will do that soon.

A note from Robn

A day in Finike.

Arising around 7 AM we had some water to drink, got dressed, carried pee buckets ashore to empty, and headed out for a morning walk. I get a head start since a slow start is less likely to invoke my intermittent hip troubles (sacroiliac) and because Dave, with his long legs would otherwise get little opportunity to stretch out and use his ground covering pace. I head for the stairs going up out of the Marina in the back corner, follow the coast road a short distance, cross over, and climb more stairs. Continuing up hill I reach the top of the long flight of stairs that Dave uses for exercise. 132 uneven steps – both height and run are inconsistent. You must pay attention. I go down watching for the cats that live nearby who beg for attention – at least they do when Dave is there. No sign of them all the way down. Dave joins me shortly afterwards and several cats immediately show up. They like my attention as well, but it is obvious that it is Dave’s presence that attracts them. He is a regular Pied Piper and it is something to watch him. He stops to visit with everyone, human, dog, or cat. And all lap it up. He also gets lots more exercise than most walkers because he picks up trash all along his walks and checks the dumpsters for treasures that have no business in the landfills. Some of it gets sold at fund raisers – primarily for animal welfare, some of it goes direct to war refugees. Some of it is deposit beer bottles that he turns in for the cash.

The only time he gets out of the Marina without the resident dogs in tow is if someone else went for a walk sooner and they have already left. Usually the dogs are with him and he talks to them, explaining what is desired regarding their behavior in positive terms. “Be nice now, be polite. Watch out for the car. Leave the cats alone.” And for the most part they do. You can see how torn they are. They want to please him and they also want to chase the cats.

We climb the stairs together – sometimes going back down for a second climb. 264 steps up, not counting the down! It is a good way to get some low impact aerobic exercise. Heart and lungs get a workout with having to run. Where we go from there varies depending on time, energy, weather, chores and whims. Not that the route to the stairs is consistent, if we go there at all, but we usually do except for yoga days.

Sometimes we go out to the end of the breakwater. The last time was quite impressive as we could see that the storm of a couple days earlier had actually stove in sections of the fencing and shoved storage containers around. Portable buildings. It destroyed one and damaged another. We had stayed snug aboard Alegría and had not bothered to poke our heads out into the wind and rain. The boat was surging around despite the shelter of the marina but not to the point that we thought much of it. Neighbors said their wind indicators claimed 38 knots of sustained winds gusting into the mid 40’s. Then we saw a video showing solid water coming over the breakwater where we saw the damaged containers and fencing. There are other impressive videos taken along the coastal road as well, see end of text. Most of the time, however, the weather varies from cool to cooler. Rarely getting truly cold (IMHO).

And also getting pleasantly warm on occasion.

The Saturday market here is about 2 kilometers away and we go there for our weekly produce shopping which takes care of nearly all our grocery needs. We get fruits, vegetables, nuts, raisins, olives and olive oil, yoghurt, cheese, and Tahini. There is also a much smaller Wednesday market which we sometimes use to fill in any gaps, such as when the bananas ripen quickly and get eaten faster than planned.

The town has two main rivers each walled in with lovely walking along each side. Orange trees are everywhere – being probably the largest part of the economy – judging by the amount of art work commemorating them. The river closer to us is small -about 20 feet wide – with many foot bridges spanning it in addition to the occasional single-lane car bridge. The orange trees that we see everywhere along the roads and the rivers are bitter oranges and/or ornamental, I’m told. Certainly most are still laden with fruit. The farms fill the local stalls, stores, and markets as well as the export markets with luscious navel oranges and mandarins and probably other varieties.

The town and farms fill the base of the valley and climb the steep rocky hills on all sides. A building can easily be 7 or 8 stories high – even more – without blocking the view of the next building up. Our 132-step stairs climbs up beside a single building (under construction) from one street level to the next. On the other side from the building are several homes – each behind and above another.

Well, these walks hardly constitute a day’s activities. Once we return to Alegría we spend probably too much time with our computers, the latest of which Dave is still getting set up. The task of the moment is to set up Dragon Dictation software so that he can minimize his typing.

For a week we went to the animal hospital a couple times a day to visit with the local cat, Chat-a-Lot who had gotten an abscess on his elbow from a cat fight and needed to have some dead skin cut away and the wound sewn. Since a conical collar was needed to keep him from removing the stitches prematurely, and a marine environment involving jumping on and off boats was hardly a safe place to wear a cone, he had to stay there. He made it clear that he appreciated the visits and the lap time.

I am quite impressed by the size of the stray dog and cat population who all seem to have no private home, yet are mostly healthy and friendly. Spaying and neutering are the primary purpose of the animal welfare fund raising mentioned above but it also covers additional care such as Chat-a-Lot’s abscess.

Culling and organizing everything from electrical parts to clothing to movie collections consumes a large part of most of our days, but we also spend time on Silva Mind Control practice, socializing, and more private activities.

One time I went shopping for an electrical adapter (220V to 110, what else?) and stopped in at a store that I thought just might have one. There were three people there chit chatting. I had no idea whether they all worked there or some were customers or just friends, but they looked at my sample, verified that I wanted one like it and conferred amongst themselves. They told me to sit tight and then each of them whipped out a cell phone and three simultaneous calls were made to locate the desired item. A few minutes later someone showed up with the item in hand and I followed him to his shop so that I could get a second one as well, and also to know his location.

This is fairly typical with people very generously helping out. Some would like to but their English is not up to it and I can hardly fault them since we are, indeed, in Turkey not an English speaking country.

We are often accosted by school children proudly introducing themselves and asking for our names – practicing their English which is generally well pronounced even if limited.

If you are interested in the videos of the storm even though it couldn’t compete with a hurricane or a Tsunami, by any means, being nothing more than a gale force storm, then here are links:

Michel and Martine of La Foret Deau provided a short video of the weather on 13 January.


Cheers, Robn

A few photos

First, here’s a picture of Dave and Robn.

Robn & Dave sml

Next, you will remember how much I enjoyed the various kinds of hearty breads in Germany. This being only one example:

Korn bread

And I was impressed that people that also enjoy these breads sometimes have special equipment. Too bad I didn’t think to remove my items from the counter before I took these photos.

Bread slicer 1

When you open the drawer, you see:

Bread slicer 2

No. That is not a CD player.

Bread slicer 3

And it is not a table saw. It is a very ingenious slicer, that folds away between meals.

Also they have very clever windows. You can open this one from the top, or from the side.

Window top Window Side

All you have to do is turn the handle the correct direction result that you want.


Dave and Robn

Dave’s favorite quote

How ironic that I found this while doing some “computer ‘housekeeping'”

I wrote this Oct 28, 2011, but it got lost.


As one dismantles a home, emptying closets, bringing boxes down from the attic, finding the things stored behind the books in the bookshelves, one often finds surprises.

Oh, THERE is the other sock, or the High School Year Book. There are some mysteries. What in the world is that? All sorts of varied experiences.

We have done this several times, including Janet’s folks home in 2004. Helping my mom move to a Senior Apartment, Independent Living complex a year ago. Emptying and selling her home of 13 years last Summer, and now disposing of the last items from that apartment.

There have been may memorable moments, but a few days ago, while we were putting books on eBay, we ran across an inscription in a book about King Island. given to my dad by a friend of his, the anthropologist Sergei Bogojavlensky, who got his PhD at Harvard and later was at Yale, and University of Alaska Anchorage but I have lost track of him.

The Frank Ellana mentioned was one of many close Eskimo friends of John’s from King Island, AK. (I appreciate that Inuit is more common now, but I was told that that was the eastern term. That many Eskimo/Inuit people in Alaska much prefer Eskimo and I have so much respect for this amazing group, that I will happily call them anything they want me to. Just tell me what you want.)

Back in the 1960s Alaskan Airlines had a group of King Islanders that did demonstrations of traditional King Island dancing. They often came through Seattle because it was the “Gateway to Alaska”. As I mention elsewhere, they were among the first Eskimos that my dad had met and he asked them thousands of questions over many years. They were among the last to live in the older ways. Among the last who’s lives depended on kayaks, how and why they were built the way they were, and so on. Canneries, diesel powered fishing boats, etc were taking over.

This is my favorite recent ‘discovery’ as we go through these Time Capsules. The inscription reads like this:



For John Heath with admiration.

(According to Frank Ellana, the only “naluaRmiu” (white man) who knows anything about kayaks.)

Sergei Bogojavlensky


It makes me very happy to find this quote. Thanks Sergei.


28 Jan 2015

I am working on some photos that I can post soon.

Dave & Robn


Robn & Dave bring you up to date

Robn and I have been out of touch for so long, that Mark Twain comes to mind. He once said, “The report of my death was an exaggeration.”

We were just so busy that we did not communicate well with you guys. It has not all been drudgery. We are getting back into going for walks and stair climbing as both fun and exercise. We have been to concerts in Antalya, and various social activities here in the Marina.

The Marina cat that lives on our pier, variously called Chatterbox and “Chat a Lot”, was limping when we returned from Germany. It turned out that one of the vicious cats from outside the Marina bit him on his left elbow, and it got very infected.

I have broken up several fights during my stay here. At night, very aggressive cats move in from outside the Marina and cause trouble. This often gets unfairly blamed on the resident cats.

“Chat a Lot” and I have an arrangement, that if he will start howling as soon as he sees the cat, I will pop up on deck at any time and squirt the aggressors with a hose. They have learned that hearing my hatch open means time to leave.

The veterinarian gave him a shot for the infection and we thought all was well. But the germ was resistant to that antibiotic, and the infection grew. The veterinarian got him on a different antibiotic that worked, but there was a lot of dead skin over the abscess, and he had to have surgery and stitches. The stitches meant that he had to wear a cone around his neck, which especially at first, made it very hard for him to even walk, much less jump on and off of boats. So, he has been staying at the veterinarian’s and we visit him twice a day.

We think he will get out of cat jail on Wednesday the 28th.

Also prominent in the excitement since we’ve been back was a storm that lasted several days with heavy rains and high winds. Some friends took a video of pieces of it:

Michel and Martine of La Foret Deau provided a short video of the weather on 13 January. Note that the bus tips over at the exciting climax of the first video!


But the weather was such that we just stayed inside and didn’t stick our heads out. There was some damage in the Marina because water coming over the breakwater was deep enough and fast enough to destroy one portable building, and moved several others around, which destroyed big portions of one of the fences.

I think someone said that a catamaran sank in a nearby area, but I did not see anything like that inside our Marina. There are also videos on the web of waves shooting up in the air a few miles west of here. The highway runs right along the water and I would guess that some of the biggest plumes of spray were well over 100 feet high. Perhaps 200 feet. That’s spray not green water, but it made driving along that road more exciting than most people liked.

As I think I have mentioned, on my way to the airport to meet Robn, my luggage, with computer, camera, 2 GPS’, external 2TB hard disk, a bag of memory sticks, clothes, etc., original value over $3000, was stolen. The main danger was that, using information from my computer, they might have been able to get into my bank accounts and leave me literally penniless. They did try calling one of my accounts on the telephone but there’s not much you can do on the phone to steal my money.

I changed all of the important passwords, and most of the lesser ones within a few days. And I think I’ve gotten them all by now. But I have many accounts, and it is a complicated business.

That took about two weeks full time. And, happily, it appears that I have successfully locked them out. There has been no other suspicious activity.

My two existing computers are old, and Robn had offered to bring me a new one from the states. Robn and the new computer arrived 2 November. The new Dell computer died, stone cold dead on November 16. Dell got it working again December 30th. My previously better computer had been stolen, and my old, somewhat crippled computer was all that was left running. I think I have mentioned that I feel that Dell seriously misrepresented their repair warranty. They promised me onsite, “Next Business Day Service,” even in Turkey and Germany. But, they lied.

During this nightmare they replaced the motherboard three times, the input output board twice, and another major component once. Each time they theoretically repaired it, it still had major problems like no sound.

Robn and I flew to Hamburg, Germany, 12 December, for a visit with her wonderful in-laws, and returned 2 January. Her husband passed away a few years ago when they were sailing through South Africa. He and his brother escaped a long time ago from East Germany, after growing up in Wismar, where the family still has ties. They were wonderful hosts, and I really enjoyed my visit there. Robn was in heaven. The weather was terrible most of the time, but when the rain stopped, we went for long walks. There was a very nice organic grocery store (Bio is the term they use) about two or 3 km away. It was a popular destination for our walks. Many stores carry organic products.

Korn bread

The “Whole Korn Breads” were fantastic. In that context it has nothing to do with what Americans call corn or maize. It means that it has whole seeds (kernels) incorporated in the bread, sunflower seeds, wheat seeds, barley, etc.. The many other hearty breads were also wonderful, as were the cheeses from Germany, Denmark, the Netherlands, France, etc.!

Robn’s nephew wanted to spend New Year’s at his apartment in Wismar and we were invited to go along.  I’m very glad we did. The fireworks were absolutely incredible! In America, it seems universal that only professionals do the major fireworks holidays, like Fourth of July and New Year’s. In Wismar, and I think all of Germany, the amateurs do it. And wow, was it ever impressive. Far better than anything I’ve ever seen before, anywhere!

Everywhere you looked there were people shooting off fireworks in parking lots and vacant lots or even just along the street. As you might fear, some of these were not the smartest people in the gene pool, but I did not see any disasters.

For example, some did not seem to realize that aiming the fiery balls of a Roman candle, in the direction of another large crowd that was shooting fireworks, is not a good idea. There were headlines the next day about people being injured, but I saw none of that.

The thing that amazed me was that many of the aerial bombs were quite large, and they came from literally everywhere. There was a lot of activity even an hour before midnight, and it increased to world war magnitude at midnight. And continued at approximately that level for at least 40 minutes! It gradually tapered off and became sporadic after perhaps an hour and a half. I went to bed so I don’t know.


But we were in her nephew’s apartment which was on the (American) second floor, called the first floor in the rest of the world. In other words there was another floor below us, and that floor was actually about 4 feet above ground level. So, we could look out across many of the buildings in the area, and we saw fireworks literally everywhere we looked! Major fireworks.

I think all of us have seen a red highway flare, and the maritime equivalent is pretty much the same. I would say it’s about as bright as a good taillight, perhaps as bright as a brake light. But several times I saw people with red flares that were more the magnitude of a car headlight or maybe even as powerful as the aircraft landing light that I used to have. Like a very powerful spotlight, but in this case it was shining in all directions. I wonder where they got them? If I were trying to signal someone that I was in trouble at sea, that would be a very impressive piece of gear to have.

A huge portion of our time was spent wrestling with the German branch of Dell. Robn speaks a very useful amount of German, having lived in Germany at various times. But, getting through Dell telephone robots to reach the right department was challenging. Even our German friends had great difficulty at times understanding what the German robot was wanting us to do.

And Dell Germany, has some sort of major bug in their phone system. It frequently hung up on us before we had been successfully transferred to the correct technician, and sometimes while we were talking to the correct technician. This happened perhaps 30 times. Kind of annoying. Each time it takes about 5 to 10 minutes to get back to that point. Also most of the time that we called in they gave us to the wrong technician, who then had to transfer us, with a lengthy delay.

Happily, many Germans spoke enough English to help us with various things.

The fourth time the computer was opened up, and the third motherboard and input output board, were installed, it seem to fix it. However, it seems to randomly lose contact with the USB ports. So I am going to craft a letter to Dell Turkey and ask if they will send me a completely new computer in exchange for this one. Since most of the parts that they installed in this one to repair it, were defective.

I also took this opportunity to replace my winter coat, my other good pair of blue jeans, and other important items that were stolen. I’m tall enough that just walking into any old store, does not mean that I can find anything that will fit. I never did find socks in my size. Depending on the brand, my shoe size is 14EEEE, which would be 49 in Europe. Bigger than most. I remember one time I had a pair of shoes that I had to buy in size 15 in order to get a proper fit.

Robn has also been spending a lot of time helping me organize things on the boat, correcting the massive inventory list, and getting rid of things that I no longer need. But that is a major job. She flies back in mid-February, and I’m sure that we will not be done with organization before she leaves. Even though we HAVE made great progress.

We’re trying to decide the best way to spend our time after mid-February. One thing that’s being strongly considered is for me to fly to Trinidad with her and help her work on her boat, for routine maintenance before launching. Then sail the Caribbean a little bit and find the best place to put her boat on the market.

We have obviously spent a lot of time getting to know each other better and we are both extremely happy with what we have discovered. It’s just that this lifestyle is a little complicated, and we need to simplify things in the best possible way.

I’m pretty sure that I will be flying through North America sometime between now and Summer. But, we have no idea just when. I will let you know when I know.

We appreciate all of our friends that have been patiently waiting for news. I can’t promise when the next bulletin will come out, other than it will be as soon as we can manage.