The short version is that I have gotten a lot more sleep, but until recently had a tendency to wake up at 3 o’clock in the morning and not be able to get back to sleep. I am continuing the monumental task of sorting and putting away the mountain of stuff that I brought back. And, I have made quite a bit of progress so far. Best of all, I see no big problems on the boat. A toothpaste tube of tomato sauce had leaked in a food locker. Similarly, some caulking supplies had leaked some sort of sticky liquid out of their toothpaste tubes. But I don’t think it ruined anything.
The outside of the boat is very dirty. But, when I tried cleaning a small test area, it seemed to come off pretty easily. The only problem is that there seem to be acres of it. Everything is very dusty inside the boat. So far, I have only cleaned the very worst parts of that. Happily, these are the only sort of problems that I have found so far.
If you have something else to do today, that is all you really need to read. But, if you want to get a glimpse of ‘Why everything takes so long for Dave to do?’ feel free to read on down the page.
It will be easy to say, “I know how slowly you type and if you write a whole novel I can see why you never get anything done!” Well, that is also true. But, slow typing is not the only obstacle to being ready to ‘sail away’. And, since it is the one-week anniversary of my return. I thought I ought to say something.
I have to get a zillion things put away before I can give the boat a proper cleaning. Hell, I’ve got a put it zillion things away before I can just survive on the boat. We have often said that you really need to move the boat into the center of a basketball court with the deck at the same level as the floor of the gymnasium. And then carry everything out and spread it out and some kind of logical manner, where you can see just what you actually have, sort it, clean it, throw some of it away, etc.
Sorting through Janet’s things is especially hard, but I am holding up. Did I tell you that I miss her more than anything in the world? Things happen as I circulate around town, and I catch myself thinking, oh I’ve got to be sure to tell Janet about that. But, let’s not dwell on those parts.
I think I will be able to donate the usable things of hers to the local animal neutering charity. Many people in the marina are quite active in helping that particular charity. We liked it a lot.
There are many things saying, “Fix me first!” But, I just have to take my best shot and pick one to attack. When we are normally sailing about or even just living in the marina. There must be a place for everything and everything in its place. We have a relatively tremendous amount of storage, but the portion of the boat that we live and move about in is quite small. To arrive with 4 suitcases and a backpack, all full of things, most of which I had to unpack right away, means that there was hardly room to move around until I can get rid of some old stuff and put away some new items. While we were gone we also stored a lot of things that normally live out on deck, inside the boat. They are being returned to their normal outdoor homes as fast as I can. I just put the sails outside today. Saturday.
I have made a lot of progress, but it still looks like a bomb went off. Or, maybe it looks even more like the boat rolled down a tall hill with all of the lockers open. But, you see, the lockers are all still full. Otherwise I would just put the mess back in the lockers.
Even a simple job gets harder when you must move 20 things to get into the locker that you need to get into. That would not be so bad if there were any place that you COULD move those things to! Because all horizontal surfaces are already full. So, you have to develop the ability to pile it higher and deeper.
BUT, I finally got the floor cleared off a few days ago. Until then, you had to step over things. I have long legs, so they could be, and were, BIG piles of things. So, actually quite a bit has improved.
Our aluminum mast comes through the cabin top and rests on the keel, below the floor in the main cabin. Since there is guaranteed to be a slight amount of movement at the point the mast comes through the cabin top, we have always had a flexible rubberlike sheet that seals the area between the mast of the cabin. It is covered with a protective acrylic canvas that tries to keep the sun off of the rubber. However, due to sun damage, every three or four years one must take off the protective cover and replace the rubberlike sheet.
It is past due for repair, and recently, but before I returned, it leaks a little when it rains. The most recent person that was watching the boat, kindly rigged up a plastic sheet and a towel inside the boat to deflect any drips that come through, or simply soak them up with the towel. Depending on where the drips landed.
That is a good temporary fix, but now that I’ve returned with some new and better materials for the repair, fixing it permanently is a high priority. I started working on it several days ago, however I soon discovered that a can of special adhesive had gone bad. The particular adhesive that we like is not easy to find in the US. I tried to get a can of it before I left, but the places I called were out of it and would not have it in time. So, Thursday, I spent several hours looking for here in Finike and amazingly I think I have found it. But, not surprisingly they have to order it in from Izmir and it was supposed to arrive at 10 AM Friday morning. However, Friday morning I was told that it was supposed to arrive at 4 PM Friday. However, at 4:30 PM, Friday, I was told that it was delayed in the neighboring city and will arrive at 10 AM Saturday. So, I stopped in on Saturday at 11 AM. And was told that it will arrive by 3 PM. Or so one hopes. And, I will not be shocked to learn that it is not the right adhesive after all.
(Added later. Well, at 330PM, I stopped by and he called the other chandler and it was in! He zoomed off on his bicycle and was back in 5 min, with the dreaded toothpaste tube kind! Well, heck. I will have a learning experience. I’d better find a gaggle of acid brushes are water color brushes, because I will need a lot of them. It is impractical to clean a brush after this gets on it.)
This is not to speak badly of the shopkeeper. English is not his first language. The adhesive that I want is surprisingly hard to find in the United States where they have been speaking English their whole lives. And the potential for misunderstandings is unimaginably high. The first man I asked spoke very little English. Yet far more English than I speak Turkish. He thought when I said that it’s a special adhesive to patch (verb) a wetsuit. A scuba divers suit. He thought that I meant that I wanted a patch (noun). Meaning like a medallion that shows rank or membership. Like a ski club patch. Or a military insignia patch.
You could see the light bulb come on in his eyes and he said something to the effect that he did not have it in his shop but he knew where to get it. That sounded good to me but he could not tell me on my map just where this other shop that had it was located. So, he said he would take me there. But I had to come back in an hour, after his boss arrived. He had just opened the chandlery for the day and could not run off helping dumb tourists. So, I came back in an hour as requested, but he was not quite able to leave at that moment. I certainly can’t complain. I’m taking him away from his job. I think it’s amazing that Turks, so often, go to a lot of trouble to help us poor dumb tourists. Clearly they realize that we need a lot of help.
Anyway, after a while he got loose and borrowed a motor scooter from a friend, and told me to jump on the back. Well, it was a stimulating ride, but not far. Traffic rules are optional in some areas. And having arrived, I certainly would not be able to explain using my map where it was we went. So, I see why he had trouble pointing to a spot on the map and sending me there. Anyway that was when I discovered that he was thinking a medallion type of patch. So, I frantically looked around for anything that resembled adhesive. But naturally this was more of a sewing shop than a hardware store. But, somehow, I got the idea across and he took me to the competing chandlery shop in town. That was mighty decent of him.
I may have a knack for finding bugs in computer software and having them blow up in my face. But I also seem to have a knack for finding really nice friendly Turks. They go to a lot of trouble to help me. I suspect that that is not me, but that virtually all Turks are really nice and friendly. Anyway the owner of the other chandlery spoke quite good English and he had wet suits hanging there, so he knew about neoprene cement that used to be used to repair wetsuits. Now days, in America, they only seem to use something in a toothpaste tube. Perhaps it is better, but I have always used the kind in the screwtop can with a little brush under the lid. Just like rubber cement used to come in back in olden times. I’ve been using it for about 55 years. I know what it will do and what it won’t do. I know that it does an outstanding job of what I’m about to do. And I don’t really want to have a learning experience with some new experimental product. I want to fix this mast boot once, not every few weeks.
Plus, it never springs a leak when it is dry and pleasantly warm out and you whish you could think of something to fix on the boat. In the past, it has always sprung a leak in the middle of a torrential rain, or a violent storm at sea, or when you were just about to leave the boat for a month. So, you always look for reliable solution.
So we will see what comes, and when it comes. There is supposed to be a particular kind of contact cement like they use for putting down countertops, that works quite well in a pinch. But I sure would rather buy the stuff that I know does a great job every time. Of course, who knows if this neoprene cement will really be what I think it is, even if it says it is. But life is an adventure right?
I have constructed a crude water repellent skirt on the outside of the mast, since a small amount of rain was forecast and did arrived. I left in place the water repellent devices that Ian had put in while I was gone. So, as far as I know, the only problem is the lost time. And, that if we are likely to get rain, I will need to move everything out of the possible drip zone. But, as I mentioned before, finding a place to move it to is not a trivial job.
So, when I get the leak fixed and want to get rid of old things. I need to open a locker, drawer or a box and look through it and make many hard decisions. The first being just exactly WHERE to I put the things that I remove to look at?
None the less, in the near future, I must search every nook and cranny of Alegría and there are many. Our present inventory spreadsheet list is 14 pages of small type and it really should have more detail and be longer. Of course, as I go through changing things, I need to make a new, up-to-date inventory.
So, it is slow, but there is progress. A few days ago I sorted through the forepeak. That is a fairly large triangular space inside the very front of the boat. Happily, that was pretty easy to go through quickly. I could spread things out on the deck, since it was not raining. And most of the items in there were fenders. In this context, those are inflatable, very strong, balloon like things that you put between the boat and something else. As I recall we have something like 17 of them. In Mediterranean marinas the boats are normally crowded against each other. This wouldn’t be so bad, except that normally in bad weather, or when some idiot in a large boat comes in to the Marina at too much speed, the boats all bounce around like bucking broncos and you wish you had more and why aren’t they larger?
So, over the years, we have accumulated a large number of them. And, yes, in bad weather we typically wish we had more and larger fenders. But, they take up a lot of room when you store them. And you need to store them when the boat is moving, like all summer long. And they are not cheap. So you try to choose them wisely and place them wisely around the boat as conditions change. Well, at least you try to do your best.
They can sit out in the weather. Water bothers them not a bit and the sun bothers them only slowly. Soon the boat will be back in the water and they will be in use in any case. So I put them out on deck and then was able to put inside the forepeak, several boxes of newly arrived items, now inventoried and sorted into particular boxes. That will not be their permanent home, but is why I can now see the floor in the cabin. So, little by little.
And it is SO good to be home and working on boat projects. Even if there are far too many of them.
I am also reinstalling all of the seacocks. By judicious choices we have only five. They are original and we made them ourselves back when building the boat. I had planned to rebuild them, but Mike Cross wonderfully did the whole thing himself in the last few weeks before I left. He is a much better machinists that I. And naturally much more familiar with where everything is in his machine shop. That was a gigantic help for me, and the only way I had a prayer of getting out on the flight, without moving the reservation far into the future.
So the next big project is to reinstall those seacocks. Happily, the Marina says that I can postpone our previous launch date of April 1. So, instead of having to be all done, rush, rush, by the 1st of April, I can get it done to the best of my ability, and then tell them I’m ready to launch.
Also, it seems to be correct that it is now quite practical to get a long-term visa for a human visiting Turkey. The boat has a different kind of of paperwork, but needs permission to be in any country, much like a visa for the human. The paperwork for the boat in Turkey lasts five years. Our five year anniversary of arriving in Turkey is coming up in September. And, the plan is to launch as soon as possible and take the boat to the nearest Greek island for a day or two. This involves quite a bit of paperwork and some expense, but is very manageable. It is required in order to reset the paperwork on the boat.
Then, as far as I can see right now, I will bring the boat back into Turkey and get a long-term visa for myself.
By now it’s afternoon for you. Your missive is very pleasing to read. Keeping busy doesn’t seem to be any issue for you, and that is good. I can see from your description of things that your tasks seem almost overwhelming however you have found a method for success!
You referred once to thinking about having to tell Janet about something and those types of thoughts may be with you forever. That’s not a bad thing. You may on occasion find it to be a help.
I’m not much of a letter or note writer, and I have to get back to bed. I’m getting over a really bad cold or flu bug.
Take care. John C
Hello David, glad you are getting your sea legs back. Sounds like you are going to be busy for awhile. I know how hard it must be for you to be there without Janet. She is missed here very much, so I can imagin how hard it is for you. Please have safe seas and good sailing and keep in touch. Maybe one day you will be traveling through Arizona again and need a pit stop. We will be here.
This all sounds like a metaphor for your emotional life for the next little while: sorting through every detail and deciding which parts to keep and how it will all fit together in your new definition of who David is without Janet. If only we all could be as present and prescient about our selves as you are.
Like most metaphors, it is an excellent way to express an idea. But it should not be taken too literally. For example, I cannot think of any memory related to Janet, that I wish to throw away. But, it is clearly essential that I decide how the memories should fit together. How I think about the memories. When I say I don’t dwell on the bad parts, I’m still very aware that they exist. I am not trying to delete them. And I am aware that it would be easy to wallow in them. However, it would be far better, IMHO, to wallow in the good ones and there are far more of them. And as I’ve said before, even the ones that seem terrible may actually be good as I come to understand more about reality. The example that comes to mind is the kidney stone that I had while we were in Panama that seemed terrible at the time, but it kept us from being in danger from the path of the hurricane that was coming, and so was actually a good thing to happen. Like the Chinese story that I likened it to a while back in the blog. But, of course we could’ve had something that was lots of fun and/or made money instead of cost money happen to keep us out of the path of the hurricane. But, I’m probably over thinking that one too. Well, back to work, which includes physically removing and getting rid of many things to make life on the boat more comfortable. I guess the metaphor would be getting rid of many pains and unpleasant memories so that my life is more pleasant. Not by just forgetting about them. But, by putting them in a better perspective. A better understanding. So, thank you very much Jennie for being my guru and helping the grasshopper move a millimeter closer to enlightenment.