It was farewell to Blake and welcome to Mike from Brisbane. Mike and his wife Trish live in John’s old apartment building Winchcome Carson, and he was coming to spend the weekend with us on Awatea before attending a conference in Istanbul. He was due late evening so the day was spent sorting out a few maintenance issues and while one of the engineers was onboard he gave John a quote on installing air conditioning – food for thought! Realistically we have mostly adapted to the weather, and apart from a few weeks of really hot temperatures it has been quite reasonable. Also once out of the marina there is usually more breeze and the temperature drops 3-4 degrees.
Mike arrived at Awatea around 7pm, and after some nibbles and obligatory drinks onboard we headed over to the Boutique Yacht Hotel for his welcome dinner. The restaurant is on the rooftop terrace and the view is always magical. Lots of news from OZ and stories from the old building to catch up on, and John suggested some ideas about what to do over the next few days with Mike. A very enjoyable evening and after eating we headed back for an early night. Mike had done very well lasting the distance after nearly 2 days travelling!
30 Jul 2011
New sun covers for the cock pit were delivered and perfectly installed which pleased the skipper. John and Woei Haw had the opportunity to check out another yacht which had recently had the air conditioning installed - really tempting.
We left the marina at 11:45am with the wind blowing around 20 knots, so we put a reef in the sail, however soon after the wind was up to it’s old tricks and we ended up motoring all the way to our destination - St. Nicholas island.
During our last trip we spotted a secluded bay just around from St Nicolas Island, with a restaurant up on the hill at the end of the bay. So this trip, Captain John planned to bring Mike to this beautiful location and to try out the restaurant!
As we sailed around St Nicolas Island, Mike started to have déjà vu and surprised us when he said he had been here before with his wife!! It was a big disappointment as we could have sailed to other places he had not been! Would you believe he had also been in our ‘special’ bay, but not to the restaurant – thank goodness! But times change, sailing with a few good friends and mooring right under the best spot in the bay, not to mention the wonderful food and stunning view from the restaurant, the experience just brought the sensation to another level and we all believed Mike was very pleased to be here again.
The restaurant was run by Ali with his Thai wife. Woei Haw greeted the wife with his limited Thai and soon they were chatting away, and she even offered us some basil leaves, hot chili, lime leaves and lemon grass she grew there! That's indeed a treasure in this country where food culture is not as rich as the countries we come from. We spent a long night in the restaurant as the view was just too addictive. We were later told we had a free brekkie in the morning so not only was the food rather enjoyable it was very reasonable as included the breakfast.
31 Jul 11
Woei Haw, John and Mike woke up earlier and decided to walk over the hill to visit Kayakoy before the sun rose and became too hot. It took them a long yet refreshing walk in the morning, passing through the restaurant and by Pavarotti - the opera singing donkey.
The view of the abandoned city with the sunrise was just stunning, and with the only sound being the cluck of chickens echoing around, the empty city felt even more deserted.
We had a nice chicken salad for lunch while looking for a place to moor. We had a fairly hard time finding a good mooring, as yachties are expected to tie up their stern line to a bollard on shore and not damage the local flora and fauna. Also the coast guard patrol intensively in the season so it is a good idea not to get on the wrong side of them. And being summertime there are just so many boats here!!!
After looking at several options, we finally decided on a place to moor. Once we were settled it was time for a swim and the water was 28 degrees! It was refreshingly warm, just like soaking in the bathtub!! Drinks afterwards before dinner - Derek used the special ingredients we got from the Thai lady and made another fabulous curry treat!
01 Aug 11
We headed into Gocek town as today Mike would be leaving us to fly up to Istanbul for his business conference. We had a beautiful lunch at "West Cafe" restaurant, and did some window shopping before saying goodbye to Mike. It was a short trip for Mike but we did enjoy every moment of his company, and hope the business conference went well for him, like a fair wind to the yachtsman.