We've had a busy few weeks, even though we haven't sailed anywhere.
First, we were all set to celebrate Thanksgiving a few weeks ago when we all got sick with some terrible chest congestion deal. On a small boat there's nowhere to go and we all ended up with some variation of it. Erik ended up with Bronchitis and Sarah threw up. I will say a boat is NOT the place to be sick. We were at anchor and it was cold! We moved to the city dock so we could get some electricity (for a small heater) and started the road to recovery.
As soon as we were on the mend, a big storm was coming, December 1......the harbor master for Marmaris came over and suggested we find another spot. All the boats on the dock we were tied up at at were big steel tour boats and we were on the end and would have caught the worst of it. So, after a quick decision, we made our way across the bay at night and went back to Yacht Marina for what looks like the month of December. At the moment, we're getting plugged in to a group of close to 100 people all waiting out the winter as well. We're all excited about showers, electricity, wi-fi internet, the basics. The marina is huge, over 1000 boats in and out of the water.
We ended up having Thanksgiving a week later in the marina and Rachel did an amazing job building a feast with a two burner stove. Maggie made an apple pie and it was a fun day, eating, watching movies, eating, etc. You get the idea!!
There is a cool library here where Maggie and Levi are under strict orders to catch up/get ahead in school. So, they have a system now, taking their backpacks everyday to 'scchool' Levi is trying to find some work here helping out on other boats, learning what he can. There is also a 'kid's club' where Rachel and the girls can get off the boat and hang out doing crafts and playing. There are a few friends here for the littler ones. Emma met Jordan from England, Lily met Emil and Peter originally from South Africa. They're on a circumnavigation, starting in the East Coast of the US and have been through Panama, across the Pacific, through Asia and here in Turkey.
So.....lots of interesting people here, and we're getting some things fixed on the boat while we wait between rainstorms. We're looking forward to a visit from Erik's parents in January for over a month. It will be fantastic to see some family!
Well, storms came more and more frequently. Thing sure changed a lot weather-wise in November. It seemed lıke every 3 days another storm was blown through. We were kept safe, of the last two storms, one came while we were in a city harbor in Bozburun and the last storm we sailed through, Levi and I. It was very cool watching the clouds gather over the mountains and then they slowly wandered over and dumped on us. Then we'd watch them head East and start to break up. Very dramatic. We had three seperate squalls, and were cold and drentched by the end of the day. I think it was the quickest anchor we'd set and then we jumped inside the boat, got on dry clothes and quickly downed two bowls of stew Rachel had made. Really hit the spot. We melted into the couches and watched movies.
So, we're now in Marmaris, a huge bay very protected, and trying to prioritize the next three months until we can head out in early Spring. They're are a few things we'd like to do on the boat, projects we've been putting off while sailing. The kids are going to buckle down with school and try to catch up/get ahead for next year. The town is big, but 3/4 of it is literally shut down for winter. Shops and hotels closed. I hear in the summer, you can't find a bed, but you'd never know it now. So, we're finding the cheapest grocery stores, parks for the little ones (also a great place to meet people) and the best Döner Kebaps (chicken and beef sandwiches).
We had a huge storm come through here (Datça, Turkey) last night. It blew and rained for 8-10 hours straight, up to 48 knots! Plenty rolly for sure! We were at anchor and the weather info said the storm wasn't to hit until Wednesday day, so we certainly got caught off guard. Levi and Maggie and I put out a second anchor (we weren't in a marina, just sitting at anchor) which itself was a challenge. We were rolling around in the dinghy in 6-7 foot waves in the rain (sorry, mom) getting it set and tightened down. Maggie was collecting stuff from below, electronics, etc. that you don't want to leave on a boat in case of lightning. Rachel and the little ones had already spent time on the boat and Levi had taken them to a hotel.
We ended up in a hotel across the street where I sat up all night watching to see if the anchor would drag. It held tight all night! We half expected the boat to wind up parked on the beach....curbside pick-up as it were. Our friend Julie posted this on a Facebook page and it's a great verse:
O Lord God of hosts, Who is mighty like You, O Lord? Your faithfulness also surrounds You. You rule the reaging of the sea; when its waves rise, You still them. (Ps. 89:8-9)
Thanks everyone, for your prayers!
We're heading towards Bozburun and then to Marmaris, hopefully uneventfully. (storm wise)
We've been out of touch for a couple of weeks, traveling through a huge bay. It's called Korfezı Gorkova, and has lots of remote anchorages. It's not hard to find a bay all to yourself, and a lot of bays are surrounded by pıne trees growıng rıght up to the water's edge. Very beautıful, and quıet. We fınally wrapped around to the next bay '??', 'Bay of Doris' ın English at a place called Knidos (or in Sarah's language - Neato). Here's us sitting on the jetty there:
The place has had a lot of prominence ın antiquity. Paul was taken here on hıs way to Rome to be trıed (Acts 27:7) The town was at ıt's peak 80,000 people lıvıng and fıshıng ıt's waters. It was a huge shıppıng port as well as shipwrecks from Egypt to Northern Europe have been found wıth cargo (amorphs) stamped ıdentıfyıng ıt from here. The bıg exports were: wıne, olıves, fıgs, drıed fısh. Now there are only 2!! full time residents living there and you can wander the hills and look at ruins of houses, amphitheater, and temples.
It's a pretty overwhelming combination, being surrounded by all the history here and living in a boat on the ocean. Do you know how you feel looking at the stars on a clear night? How you can almost feel yourself shrink? I guess that's a similar feeling...I know we're small in the world, but this is humbling! I really feel it, all the centuries of people living, working, raising kids, making decisions, it's crazy. We really are specks aren't we? It can't do anything to me but to say 'Thank You, God and Father, for allowing me to be here and to see You here and everywhere!, You are Amazing and Awesome'
We took a detour for a couple of days and rented a car and drove up to Ephesus. We figured we were as close as we would get, as we're heading south and were ready for a break from the boat. It was an amazing experience and really incredible being in a place we've only read about, but I think the thing that will remain with all of us is the lesson we learned while we were there.
We set out on a Friday morning from the hotel and got to Ephesus, and literally as we were walking into the entrance, our camera died. Changed batteries, nothing. Once in a lifetime and we were going to miss getting any pictures! We all started blaming each other on whose fault it must be, frustrated and basically, failed. So, we went back to the entrance and bought two disposable cameras so we'd at least have evidence we were there. İ even drove back to town looking for another digital camera, armed with a credit card.......nothing.
So, we finally decided to make the best of the situation and go for it. Halfway through Ephesus, we met a professional photographer who has worked there for 12 years. We told him our situation, and he called another friend who had a great Nikon camera that accepted our camera card, and he became our tour guide and private photgrapher. Of course, he knew all the best spots for photos and all the background of everything we saw! How crazy is that!
I know nothing's for free and was counting on the big pitch when we left, private tour, camera rental, etc. etc., but none of it! I tried to pay him and he wouldn't take it. He was really glad to help and hoped we'd enjoyed it. Thanks Charles!!
What a great lesson learned about how God works things out better than we can imagine and how we are so quick to put HIM in a box! Shame on us for missing out on all HE wants to do for us when things don't go like we think they should! Thanks, LORD for a great memory......
We're now in Bodrum, Turkey heading east toward the next bay over called Aspat Koyu.
Yesterday we went to a very cool cave on an Island called Kataraada (black island) where you can swim into the cave and take a mud bath. The mud is exported to Europe and supposedly, Cleopatra stayed on this Island for three years. We had a rough sail back to Bodrum straight into the wind and are anchored back in the bay.
There are night clubs here on the water and they play music until EXACTLY 5:00 am. Just in time for the first Muslim call to prayer! So, we'll be glad to get to a quieter anchorage for sure!
Kids are doing good. Tomorrow is the big outdoor fruit and vegatable market where farmers from all around the area flood in and sell every kind of produce imaginable. It's pretty overwhelming! We'll post some photos as soon as we figure out the new blog.
I know the site looks different, that is because our fearless leader (erik) dropped the laptop in the ocean. so......we are going to be posting and updating this site through internet cafes along the way. it will probably mean less photos etc. and less frequent because we are at the mercy of cafe locations, but we're trying to make lemonade.....
Here we are....in the Greek island of Leros. This is where the boat is, so here's where we start!
Here is a picture of a bay we anchored at while we sailed around the island.
It is an overwhelming adventure we're starting on, but we've been planning this for 10 years and the LORD has opened the doors for it to happen, so we're very excited to see what we're going to learn, and we know it will probably have nothing to do with sailing! Hopefully, it will be about learning about each other and growing closer together.... and with 7 people in 600 sq. ft. I think it's inevitable!
So, please follow along with us, we'll try to post as often as possible and try to explain what we're learning.