Slick is put away for the winter now. It is sort of sad, but I am leaving her for awhile as I need to stay out of Turkey for at least 90 days for visa issues. Probably the most sad part though is that with all that has been done to her bottom, I am worried she will be cold, but at least she has lots of other boats to keep her company.

Concerning her bottom I eventually elected to have the work done. Everyday Turkish workers would come by and say things like “My friend, if you take this boat to sea you will sink and die, but if you do the work yourself you will die and then sink. If you have Hamza do the work you will sink and if you let Abduhl do the work then you will die and if you have Mehmet do the work you will sink or die, but not both. Only I can do the work, only I am qualified.” After researching the different options and talking to other owners at happy hour I elected to give my business to European Marine Services, since they never gave me sink and die argument and also seemed the most qualified in terms of the owner’s training. That is to say, he actually studied and worked in boat building before starting his company as opposed to many of the guys who have a Gullet and just hire their cousin from the village to paint boats over the winter. So we will see how it all comes out, but the above video sums up the bottom shaving with the GelPlane Mk IV.

As for the hard top dodger, well, that project got cancelled. It was coming along pretty well but then when I tried to fit it in place it did not keep its from and so it wouldn’t where it was meant to go. I felt like a huge failure. But at least I was able to introduce the guy who shaved Slick’s bottom to ear plugs, that should help him greatly in the future. Then when Slick was stripped down of all the solar panels and plastic was put around her delicate bits, I left. On the road again.

The first stop was the ancient city of Pergamum. This is in the new city of Bergama. Pergamum was one of the key Helenistic cities and as a result there are some great ruins here. You take a tram to the top of the hill where the citadel is and walk through the fallen temples and city walls. Here you can also find the base of the Alter of Zeus, which biblical John of Revelations fame referred to as the Thrown of Satan. Apparently the Germans liked it so much that they took the entire thing to Berlin before WWII. It is alleged to be the largest alter ever created so I guess I will have to make my way to Berlin one day to see it. Also here is another one of the Seven Churches of the Apocalypse. I think John must have been a colorful guy. Unfortunately it was under renovation so I was not able to see it. The final ruins to see belonged to the Asclepion, which was a place for sleep therapy and healing for the ancient Romans. The Asclepion also is recognized as the birth place of modern pharmacy, so I guess it was pretty important.

Next I made my way to the town of Cenakalle. This is a college town but I came here because of the proximity to Troy and the Gallipoli Peninsula. I chose to do an organized tour for both, and that turned out to be a very good idea. The ruins of Troy are very confusing and without the guide explaining what I was looking at, it would seem like several piles of mismatched rocks. The guide I had was a trained archaeologist and the group was small so that added to the tour since we could talk about several other sites in Turkey that I had been too. I didn’t find the site particularly moving but it was simply amazing how Schlieman and his friends just dug through it all. Although now that I have seen it, it is a bit different than the way it is taught in school. The walls of the city form concentric rings so the trenches cut less down than through the 9 layers of history. In some cases it is down too, but not always. Anyway, he made off with some lost treasure and I think the Turks resent this a little bit, and they are not too happy with the Russians who took the treasure during WWII from the Germans and have never given it back.

The city of Troy and the wars fought there had as much to do with Helen and Hector as it did the Dardanelles Straights. In the history of Turkey several wars have been fought over that little piece of waterway which controls access to the Black Sea. The most recent one of interest occurred in World War One. The British and French invaded the Gallipoli Peninsula. The French gave up after a short while and the British sent the Australian New Zealand Army Corp, or ANZAC, to deal with the most difficult parts of the job. Unfortunately the British Navy repeatedly screwed up the operation and the ANZAC had to deal with the consequences. The Peninsula never fell and there were tremendous casualties on both sides.

The tour was pretty moving, even though I am not nationally associated with the fighting. Everyone else on my tour was from Australia or New Zealand and I guess this is like there version of the D-Day Landings at Normandy, except that the British really screwed them. Most of the tour is going around to different trenches or beach heads. There are many grave yards too, both ANZAC and Ottoman. They call it the last Gentleman’s War as the two sides would have a cease fire every few days and clean up the dead or celebrate a holiday or something and then get back to fighting. I forget the number of lives lost, but it was a pretty big number and it was all for nothing. The objectives were never met and the way it is told the Ottomans where tricked by the Germans into WWI anyway. That last part might be a bit biased though, I haven’t had a chance to confirm the history. It is a reverent and reflective tour in any case.

Next, it was a night bus to Istanbul and then an easy trip to the Airport. I am flying to Helsinki next to return to where the backpacking ended and make my way slowly back down to Turkey via the far Eastern European Countries. I am looking forward to it and I hope it will be interesting, and not too cold. Its nice to have left the touristic novelty of Marmaris behind for awhile and get back to reality, as odd as my reality is.