Varnish on gulets is one of the most striking things about wooden boats in Turkey. The silky, smoothness of varnished wood is a major part of the wow factor when you embark on your charter.
During the sunny days of winter months, crew spend a lot of time sanding and recoating all of the varnished areas. To prevent deterioration from ultraviolet damage, it is necessary to apply between five and eight coats of varnish externally. After each coat is laid out by brush it must dry for a couple of days before re-sanding and the next application. It looks easy but good varnish takes an experienced applicator to achieve that optimum finish. Generally, the final coat is applied after launching and choosing a nice sunny day without wind that carries dust particles. It is interesting to note that some of the most sought-out after varnishers are female (flick of the wrist?)
Unlike years ago modern varnish dries quite quickly so the settling of dust is not as big a problem as it used to be. Usually two workers combine efforts, with one pre cleaning with a solvent closely followed by the other applying the varnish.
For the initial exterior coat, often a generic local brand of varnish is used. The last coats applied will be with a high quality ultra-violet ray resistant international brand.
During the season this, outdoor varnishing will be done again at least once for maximum results. The interior, being protected from harsh UV rays, does not demand the frequency of varnishing that the exterior does.
Between 2 and 5 March, 2017, the second International Bodrum Cheese Festival took place with a wide variety of activities, tastings, and workshops. (Oh, and baby goats - see above!)
Local Bodrum restaurants, including our personal favorites Arka Pizza, Cafe Cafen, La Tapa, and Musto, featured special delicacies made with local cheeses to participate in the celebration of regional dairy products.
The festival reached out in particular to elementary and high school students who, with modern lifestyles, may never have been exposed to the cheese making process, assuming that cheddar drops from the heavens in a plastic package.
Cheesemakers and speakers from many regions of Turkey participated, and several cheesemakers demonstrated the exact process from raw milk to final product in a series of laboratory workshops. One of the highlights of the festival was to receive and host well known cheese-makers Samatris Dimitrios from the neighboring Greek Island of Kos. Both the Greek and Turkish cheese-makers were fascinated with each others methods.
Unique cheeses included spicy Hatay Surke, feta with Abomasum yeast, Circassian cheese and a Greek saganaki made from cheese marinated in red wine.
Southern Cross Blue Cruising was proud to be a volunteer in this event coordinating with Asli Mutlu, owner of Turkish Cooking Classes Bodrum. Southern Cross Blue Cruising is not proud of the post-festival spike in cholesterol levels.
Sixteen meter deluxe gulet Southern Cross Junior is set to launch by mid-April. Building a boat being akin to building a home; every time one has a closer look, there's another change or improvement to make. However, we're 90% there, and the final touches will take place at sea once she is launched.
With one roomy master forward cabin, and one smaller double cabin, each with its own ensuites, Southern Cross Junior has been designed for couples seeking a private charter, families with children, a couple with a private tour guide, or two couples travelling together who can pick straws for the master. Junior will also be available for short term (3 day) cruises, and private, catered day trips.
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