A brief look at the life of a sailor through the eyes of a lady

Have you ever woken up in a morning to the sounds of the birds singing? As you listen you feel the gentle rocking of your boat in the silent water and breathe in the fresh air that is coming through the open hatch.
This is what it is like to live on a boat in the summer months. In the winter the difference is that the hatches are closed against the cold. The birds are hibernating and the water could be quite noisy with lots of movement if the weather is stormy.
The bad weather is the reason sailors live in marinas’ during the winter, and also have somewhere safe to leave their boat if they want to explore tourist attractions or maybe fly home for a while. Alanya marina is good for both of these and it attracts a wide selection of people from all over the world - another thing that makes it an interesting place to be.
After waking slowly we switch on the kettle for the first cup of tea of the day. This we enjoy in bed with the mobile VHF radio and listen to the ‘net’. The ‘net’ tells us what is happening in the marina and when. We then wash and decide what to have for breakfast. This is a very difficult decision in Alanya as we have such a wide choice. We can be either English or Turkish and both are very enjoyable. We very much like menamen but English porridge is a favorite as well!
I like to do my ‘domestics’ first thing in a morning too. This is similar to living in a house and includes making the bed, cleaning and tidying and taking the rubbish to the bin. My husband checks the emails and sends any important replies, then decides if and what jobs he will do on our boat. Winter is the time we try to do all our maintenance jobs so that they do not interrupt our summer sailing.
Boat jobs are important but are not allowed to interrupt social activities. Sailors like to get together with their neighbors, and the men in particular enjoy sharing their skills and experiences, and are very happy to help each other with boat jobs. So if someone is good with engines and someone else is an expert on electronics they can exchange information. Trust me this is a good idea as my husband is good with electrical things but give him a water leak to cure and he is very poor!
Ladies also meet up to share experiences and being multi-national the talk is often about best recipes from around the world or the latest food discovered in Turkey.
Twice a week we go into town to one of the markets for food shopping. This is really good here as the marina hires buses to take us to and bring us back complete with all our shopping. So nice and easy. Alanya markets are excellent as being in a farming area the produce is fresh with a wide choice. The people at the market are friendly and helpful towards us foreigners and sometimes we laugh together at our bad Turkish.
Our activities in the marina can include anything from playing tennis, cricket or archery, having a barbeque, going to the pub, watching a film together, and going into town…anything. There is hardly a day passes without there being something to do. It is not always just for entertainment either as sometimes we have educational activities. These have included First Aid, Turkish Language lessons, knot tying, swimming, tennis and computer lessons. Most, but not all, people in the marina are retired and it is good to keep our brains active over the winter months.
A very important social event of the marina is the barbeque. This happens every week unless the weather is really bad. It is organized by the yacht owners and we take something to cook, something to drink, a dish to share with everybody and a contribution towards the cost of the fuel. It is very well attended as everyone gets the chance to sit and talk about important things and unimportant things too!
If the weather is being particularly bad then most people stay on their boats and either watch T.V. or DVD’s, read, sew or find something else to keep them occupied just as you would in a house. At these times it is good to be on your own boat so that you know it is safe and also see if any problems do start happening. 
I have two favorite times in winter. The first is when it is cold, wet and miserable outside and we are inside our boat in the warm. At these times I like to cook as this not only gives us nice things to eat but the heat from the oven gives everything a warm glow. My second favorite time is when the winter is finishing and the sun starts to shine again. We can have the hatches open and spend time outside comfortably. It is also really nice to think that soon we can prepare our boat to be ready to sail away to see what new places we can find, what new adventures we can have and to meet people who will become our next friends, wherever they come from and whoever they are.
Then, after these adventures we need somewhere to stay for the next winter. Guess where it might be?

Alanya Marina, Akhan Mevkii, Yat Limanı, 07400 Alanya
+90 242 512 12 34

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