Our crew have had a grand time this winter with laying a new teak deck and laminated coachtop on Southern Cross Timer.
Good weather has been on our side, with balmy, sunny days for the most part.
Work on our new launch 16 meter Southern Cross Junior is also proceeding on schedule, with the expected splash into the sea to be in late April.
Berta Lledo and Tufan Turanli from the Bodrum Institute of Nautical Archaeology are the creative and technical backbone for the excavation of the 1890's Ottoman frigate ''Ertuğrul,'' which is now a feature film.
Sent on a symbolic friendship mission from Istanbul to Japan during the waning days of the Ottoman Empire, the Ertuğrul sank off of the rocky coast of Kushimoto with a loss of 533 lives.
Local Japanese villagers opened their homes and shared their meager supplies of food with the Turkish soldiers until arrangements could be made to return the 69 remaining crew back to Istanbul.
The movie is very accurate, entertaining and has an unexpected parallel story built with its plot which emerges towards the end.
Opulent was the word that entered my mind as we drove by a well-lit, gated stone mansion situated upon prime real estate on the 2000 year old main road of ancient Halikarnas.
Princess Yavor is a classic, Istanbul-style ''meat'' restaurant that has melded with Bodrum style architecture, service and style. The owner has not been squeamish about spending on his venue, which is a beautifully restored traditional stone house, with its own vegetable gardens, parking lot and chilled wine cellars.
The menu met all of our local expectations, from home-grown garden vegetable salads to beautiful mezes. But what sprung into my mouth was one of the restaurant's two house specialties - slow braised lamb. And it delivered, with every succulent bite.
We also loved that the menu offered a selection of specialty samplings for grazers, instead of diners being locked into a full plate. A most welcoming venue, and worthy of supporting.
While there have been some dreadful global events lately, we'd like to take a positive stance and bring to you all the good news that gets overshadowed by the bad.
We're chuffed to have our second company Bodrum Yacht Services featured on a page in the autumn issue of Onboard magazine, which goes out to a multitude of superyachts and international boat shows. In the article, Dave Stanley explains why refits and repairs in Bodrum can be so advantageous to boat owners.
Istanbul remains as the third top destination on Tripadvisor, and here's a great article on what neighborhoods have to offer in art and culture. Conde Naste named Istanbul one of the top 10 destinations of 2015, ahead of both New York and Hong Kong. And many people wouldn't expect Istanbul to be the host of the Chic Womens' Bicycle Tour.
And then there's the food...one of the favorite recipes of our gulet chefs is ''Fish Baked in Salt'' and this recipe was recently written up in Venturists while an excellent article about coffee in Turkey was published in Daily Secret.
CNN also recently published a first hand account of Ivan Watson's ''Loud, quirky, anarchic'' love affair with Istanbul.
To summarize - we are safe - we are happy, and we look forward to seeing you on your private gulet in 2016, sailing the Aegean and Mediterranean seas. Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org for applicable early booking discounts.
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