In Eregli a passing shipping agent drew my attention to our tattered Turkish courtesy flag and warned that the Coast Guard would not take kindly to it. Yet another thing to do, I thought. But he returned 15 minutes later with a brand new courtesy flag for us, as a welcoming gift. I find this sort of thing quite overwhelming.
Rosie has taken to sailing like a duck to water. She is doing all the deck work with foresight and competence. She is wonderful company and a delight. How wise are our children. Where does it come from? I still marvel at how they have left their parents, gone out into the world and evolved apart from – despite us. It is a wonder and so gratifying. Rosie has another week or two on board and I am trying to convince her to stay on till Marmaris with Pasha and Tatiana.
Pancakes this morning, then fuel, laundry, water and back to bed. Pasha and Tatiana arrive from Moscow tonight and, weather permitting we’ll leave tomorrow morning for Istanbul, which is a 24 hour sail away. All very exciting.
I have a long and growing list of work to be done over the winter in Marmaris. She’s getting a full paint job, so long overdue, which is only €14,000. Then move over, Blackwattle and all those other pristine Petersons.
[the next day] Pasha and Tatiana have arrived from Moscow, exhausted after the long bus ride from Istanbul. Of course they come bearing armloads of gifts and special bottles of Russian medicines. We sipped a quiet ale or 3 in the still evening and reminisced about the White Sea, the brooding Solovetskiy Islands and the Belomorsk Canal. It is lovely to see them again.
Now we are fuelled and watered. A nice young Russian liaison officer from the Turkish naval base has come aboard for a beer and I am once again surrounded by the strange music of unintelligible Russian. I feel quite nostalgic.
It remains only for Pasha to nip up the mast to adjust the upper spreaders, then we’re off. We should have a good beam breeze for the first part of the 100 miles to the Bosphorus, but as usual I am touching wood.