Well, we’re off at last. Slipping along the coast over a wan glassy sea,Tainui is at last doing once again what she was built for. All the stresses and anxieties of comissioning are behind us. This morning we cleared out of Turkey, tied up behind an enormous Russian motor vessel (complete with helicopter) – another side of the Russia of last summer.

At the marina people had to wear sunglasses to look at our newly painted hull. Women combed their hair in the reflective surface of 6 coats of topside paint. Having spent 40 years mocking yachts with protective covers on their fenders I have succumbed. To protect our topsides I have covered ours with blue nappies. I learn late.

Our paint job

Our paint job

Chris has settled in well and the cockpit is littered with books. It is splendid to have her back on board again – her first time since Estonia and St Petersburg, all those years ago.

It took us a week to get things in order. When recommisioning, I hate wasting the crew’s time with boat business. In Trinidad poor John and Anna had to spend a third of their entire holiday waiting for our new chainplates to arrive. In Honningsvag Max sat patiently for a week while we had the engine head removed. At least here in Marmaris Chris and I were able to go driving, to marvel at Heiropolis and Ephesus while bits and pieces were completed. Neither of these extraordinary sites is to be missed.

People have mocked my backup philosophy – have aboard 3 or 4 of everything. But in Marmaris I dropped our new notebook computer over the side while boarding. The next day the hard drive of our main navigation laptop died suddenly. The third computer, on which I am now typing, has saved our day.

Worth twice as much as Tainui

Worth twice as much as Tainui

Yat Marine Marmaris is a profesionally run facility but it is such a relief to be off and away. All those expensive vessels – most of them exceedingly ugly – take their toll on one’s equanimity. One of them had twin propellors, each of which cost almost twice the price of Tainui!

We’re headed for Nisos Symi, for our first taste of Greece. We’re rehearsing our Zorba dance.       

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