The 15th of February is Nina’s birthday and she was so excited about it. Tim organised a treasure hunt for her and Arwin in the marina and I organised the treasure at the end of the hunt, the cakes and the spare ribs for dinner.
Late morning she and Arwin went about the treasure hunt and in the afternoon we had coffee and cake with a few other cruisers in the little “porthole”, which is a room where people can gather in the marina.
Turkey has fantastic bakeries and the beautiful cakes are so cheap, I couldn’t make it for that price and not with our equipment and oven on boat. Nina was thrilled with her 2 cakes and to have a few people around to share it with. She received such thoughtful and creative presents too. In the evening we made some lamb spare ribs, which was a complete fail. They where soooo tough and plainly really yucky. Nothing like the spare ribs we used to do at home with pork. But Nina was happy anyway.
The vegi man we have been told about by the other cruisers delivered our vegies too. Lots of bags of goodness, which saves us from going to the busy market and carrying it all back. Its quite a way to walk in Finike. Such a good service to have it delivered straight to the boat.
The next few days where all more or less the same – schooling, walking Lucy, slowly stocking up Polly’s bilges with anything bulky, heavy and dry goods as well as tins and jars, admin, budget updating, creating a newsletter, cooking.
I decided to take a break from my blanket making and crochet some Mandala’s as gifts for the other cruisers and some of the local people as gifts. We have been welcomed so openly, thoughtfully and happily by everyone, it will be nice to gift a little something back for all the kindness.
I did some research on Lucy’s travel requirements for Malta. We heard from other cruisers that she would need a test and upon e-mailing back and forth with Malta, the only Lab in Turkey that does the test and the local Vet we found out its a 5 month process for her to be able to enter Malta. While she received her Rabies vaccine in New Zealand before we left and we where told and it says in her Pet Passport that its valid for 3 years until 2022, the local Vet informed us that in Europe they require the vaccine every year.
So Tim and I took her to the vet to get another rabies vaccine. Now we have to wait for 1 month and then she can have a test for rabies antibodies, which takes about 2-4 weeks to receive the results back. Once we have the results of hopefully enough antibodies we have to wait for another 3 months before she could enter Malta.
I also called immigration in Fethiye. We haven’t had a call yet that the kids and my residency cards have arrived, so just wanted to follow up. Apparently there is longer wait now, so we just keep waiting and hopefully they will arrive soon.
On one sunny day I took all our bedding off and took that and our towels and a couple of blankets to the lovely lady in the Marina that does the washing. Its so cheap and she does such a thorough job. Dealing with those large items on the boat is not much fun, so it was nice to get all that clean and tidy. While all the beds where disassembled I aired blankets and dried the mattresses that had condensation on in the sun.
In the evening we had Aansha and Barry over from ABSea sailing. They also have a youtube channel for their sailing journey and we got on really well. We invited them over for dumplings and had loads of fun. Barry and Tim talked video and tech stuff all night, while Aansha and I shared more interesting topics ;-). It’s always so nice to meet other people. Everyone out here has their own stories to what lead them to live and / or travel on a sailboat.
Before we knew it Luca’s birthday came around. He didn’t want much fuss, so there where no big gatherings. We cooked a nice breakfast and walked to town for lunch to have a yummy toasty from the lovely lady at the toastie shop.
He choose his cake for the afternoon in the Turkish supermarket and we invited our Kiwi friends over to share it. For dinner he had requested Buffalo Chicken, which was fortunately way better than Nina’s spare ribs. I am finding it hard to comprehend how fast the children grow up. Its both their first birthdays on the boat and Luca is now as tall as me and fits my shoes. It seems like yesterday I was holding our first precious baby and now we have a young men in front of us…
Donna from Intrepid Kiwi had taken care of 3 stray cat babies. She found a home for one, but when we arrived she still looked after the other 2. Nina and Luca went and visited, petted and fed them every day several times. It was such big part of our marina stay. There was also a little sausage dog Emma, that another cruiser got fixed by the vet. Its free service from the vet – I think they get funds from the government to sterilise and vaccinate the strays. Luca visited another bunch of puppies at the breakwater to feed them and give them some love. So there was certainly no shortage of cuddles with fur babies and furry friends.
Tim found a 2nd hand anchor, that he tried to buy for several days with bargaining techniques that didn’t work. In the end we paid the total asking price, which was still well below the new price and made us both feel so much better about future anchoring. It is a Mantis that is 10 kg heavier than our old Delta and more appropriate for our boat size. The other good thing is that we now have 2 spare anchors. It seemed like this anchor was just waiting for us after our anchor dragging experiences a month ago that ultimately brought us to this marina.
Our days in the marina where now counted and Tim and I ticked off our to do lists. Tim washed the boat and polished the stainless steel, serviced the anchor winch, we both got out our spare sail out and tried to pop it out in the front as a 2nd wing and also to check its state. I re-sorted our pantry once more with new boxes and hopefully this solution will now work. Tim had also ordered 3 new Fire extinguishers and a water filter that we can attach to our hose to fill the tanks.
Donna had a local contact where they supply wild boar from the forest and she brought us about 1 kg of pork roast, which Tim prepped after consulting with Donna. It was really yummy and we all enjoyed it. We all made the most of the long, hot showers.
I found some beeswax and cacao butter in a local health shop and was so thrilled, as I could now make some balms for myself and some for gifts. In another little shop I found some mini jars, which where perfect for balms. So one morning I mixed up balms for Immune protection, some chest rubs, one for a sore back, one for a tight jaw, one for femininity and just smelling nice. So much fun.
I also made another batch of Ghee. I am trying to stay off dairy as much as possible and Ghee is really good for high heat cooking and tastes great.
There where more social gatherings – dinner with Yvette, Martin and Jason from Pisces, dumplings with Donna and Ross, Coffee and Cake with a whole lot of Germans from the Marina that we hadn’t met before and we also had new neighbors come in and it turned out Karl was also German and his wife Elif was Turkish with their little doggy. We had a lovely evening with them just before we left. It turned out that Karl had also flown Paragliders and Microlights like Tim, so there was lots to talk about.
On our last day we received so many lovely good bye gifts. One Turkish lady that I gifted a Mandala gifted me one of her handmade, absolutely stunning table runners and some lemons. Marita dropped off some t-shirts for Nina that hadn’t fitted her granddaughter and a big bag of citrus. Chuck gifted us a big pot of local honey and our neighbors a bottle of wine, Narelle filled my memory stick with crochet tutorials. Its so heartwarming how people we didn’t know 4 weeks ago, had become friends so quickly and left our hearts hurting a bit to leave everyone behind. But if we didn’t travel we would never make those connections, so I guess the good byes are part of the whole experience. Scattering little pieces of our hearts everywhere.
Donna and Ross came over for a last coffee and Ross was so kind to talk us through a rough plan and timeline in what it would be like to sail Polly back to New Zealand, leaving us with a way better understanding and lots of Tipps and tricks, should we decide to try and sail Polly back to New Zealand.
We all had such a good time in the Marina in the last 4 weeks and the last week just went so quickly. While Tim was itching to get back out and unfurl the sails, the kids and I where a bit sad to leave all the comforts and company of marina life. Those weeks in the marina showed us a different side of boat living and I am just so grateful to have had that break. I have all my fingers crossed that the weather from here on will be a bit less temperamental and our days are getting longer and warmer. We have spring and summer ahead, yippy.
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