Report & Photos by Ken & Carmel Kavanagh Cruises Index >>

Back on board Safari of Howth for the 2012 season
28th April 2012
Posted: 17/05/12

On April 28th Ken and I took a direct flight with Aerlingus from Dublin to Izmir and from there, with the help of A2B transfers, we took a coach to Kusadasi where Safari awaited us in the Setur marina.

We had booked into an apart hotel to get over the first few days when living aboard would have been most uncomfortable. The following morning, we discovered the boat was in great shape and had survived the winter on the water with no visible damage. Cats had obviously found shelter under the awnings and left plenty of evidence including the feathers of quite a few poor birds. I suppose this was a lot better than having rats take over during our absence!

Safari in her Winter overcoat
We quickly embarked on the mammoth task of getting the boat ready for sailing before the northerly winds establish themselves too forcefully.

The plan is to go north to Istanbul, passing through the Dardenelles, on through the Bosporus into the Black Sea and then to Bulgaria, Romania and possibly the Ukraine, returning to Turkey in early September.

But first Safari had to be readied for her adventures.

First on the list was replacing the gas regulator - that took a week! The advantage was that with no cooking facilities available, we were forced to enjoy the delights of the Turkish cuisine in a different restaurant each evening - a lovely surprise!
Then the engine had to be serviced. We got the Volvo Penta agents to do the job but they managed to cause an airlock in the fuel system which took them two days to correct.
Last week, the boat was lifted out of the water to have the bottom cleaned. We decided not to antifoul her at this juncture as we plan to lift her out next winter for a good overhaul. We were pretty pleased with the condition she was in when we saw her out of the water.

While all this was going on outside, I was slaving away cleaning and polishing the interior and storing the myriad of possessions we have accumulated since our departure in 2006. When the interior could shine no brighter, it was the turn of the decks and stainless steel stanchions to get washed and polished.

Ken was busy checking out the anchor windless, chain, anchor, dingy, outboard motor and generator, all of which were declared to be in good working order. He also unpacked and re-installed all the electronic equipment which had been stored in waterproof containers for the winter. Before long the area around the chart table was abuzz with the various bleeps and chirps of contented electronic gadgetry.

The sails were delivered back from the sail maker where they had been valeted and stored for the winter and were soon returned to their rightful places.

So with Safari gleaming both inside and out and her sails ready for hoisting, she is ready to go!

All we need are fair winds and a following sea which we hope to have tomorrow, May 16th.
At present there is a nasty force 6-7 blowing from the south. The direction is right but a bit too strong for a first sail. Hopefully, things will have calmed down by tomorrow morning and we will be off on the first leg of what hopefully will be a memorable trip to Istanbul and the Black Sea.

Kusadasi and its marina have lived up to all our expectations. The facilities in the marina are excellent and the town itself a lively and interesting spot. We would love to return after our cruise but the new Visa regulations for Turkey which came into force on February 1st may well interfere with this plan.

Anyone considering investing in a property in Turkey or planning long- term cruising in this country should check out the situation in detail. At the moment there is a great deal of confusion as to exactly how the new laws will be applied.
The marina operators are fighting hard to have the new Visa regulation amended so that thousands of sailors can continue to enjoy this wonderful cruising area.

We will keep you posted on any new developments and of course on all our sailing adventures.

Carmel & Ken
Safari of Howth