Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Winter to Spring

December at Kemer - snow-capped mountains in the back, water is still swimming-temperature

We had wonderful weather until mid-December, when the temperature dropped to low ten’s in the day with a few days of near freezing at night. It rained a lot more often, although typically it would rain half a day with a bit of sunny break. Most of the hotels are also closed, and the town has a deserted feel. We also had our first serious winter storm. A full gale blew through the Med causing widespread shore erosions along the entire Eastern Med; some beaches in Israel lost all their sand. But in the Kemer Marina here we are well protected and completely safe, although wave surges still reached into the inner marina and for an entire evening all the boats were rocking in wild swings as if we were at sea. Another interesting experience!

Very 'refreshing' water!

Tennis tournament

The dozen live-aboard ‘yachties’ are all very active and keep life very interesting. Every day is packed with activities. Our three daughters (name-sake of our boat Three Rivers) visited us and for seven weeks we were together again, like the old days. We had a wonderful Christmas dinner, and then a large New Year Party joined by many local Turkish party-goers.

New Year Party

In January we did the tourist thing and visited UK and Rome. The weather was not the best but we knew what to expect for this time of the year; we even had a few days of sun shine in London! Best of all is the lack of long lines in tourist attractions. We also splurged on the type of food that we couldn’t get in Turkey – Chinese food in London China Town, and cheese and pork in Rome.

The Vatican

Rome - the Collesium

They still have the red phone booths!

London - Trafalgar Sqaure

Cambridge University

By late February, spring is definitely in the air. The days are longer, the temperature warmer, and there were more sunny days than rainy ones. The birds are back, and people are swimming in the sea. We are busy playing tennis and hiking in the nearby hills. But it’s not all fun – the boat involves a lot of work – maintenance, upgrades, cleaning….it’s at least a half-time job. The sailing community is a wonderful resource as there’s plenty of experienced sailors around who can provide knowledge or help.

Sailing season is now only a month away, and we are busy planning for our trip this year. There’s a weekly session held here on sailing destinations, with sailors sharing their experiences at the Med and beyond. We are looking forward to cruising through the Ionian and up the Adriatic this year, to Croatia and Italy, and keep going….