We departed N Cyprus mid October 2023 with the intention of returning in early March 2024. It’s always good to have plans for options B, C, and D in place. Our house in Delaware was sold early November and while living in rented accommodation in Lewes, DE we viewed several houses in Oriental, NC; the sailing capital of NC.

Our son and his family live in Southern Pines, NC. An offer we made on a post and beam house was accepted but we pulled out of the purchase at the last moment after viewing the house during a mild nor’easter as the path to the dock and much of the garden were flooded. Do we, don’t we – buy another house, leave all our gear in storage, or head back to the Med? We chose the former as we wanted a base, albeit in the US. After more trips to NC we purchased a house in the Cypress Landing development in Chocowinity, NC; reasonably close to Scott and in a good community, with a swimming pool, golf course, 200 boat marina, sailing club, an active social program, etc. Our base was thus established and after living in the house for a month we flew back to N Cyprus, via Kent, in late April, almost two months behind schedule.

On April 30 Lady M was lifted out of the water and placed on stands on the hard for 30 days in Karpaz Gate Marina (KGM). Friends, Ian and Janine, very kindly had regularly kept an eye on Lady M over the winter while she was in the water.

Lady M’s Coppercoat which had been applied in 2016 seemed to be losing its effectiveness. When in Turkey in September we had purchased sufficient Coppercoat antifouling to apply 5-7 coats to the hull, below the water line. But first we had to sand down the previous application, which took about 3 days (54 ft is a lot of boat).

Mike and Deb, Janine, Jonathan, and Hope applied the Coppercoat while Howard mixed the resin, hardener, and copper powder (~39kg). The port side, while in the shade, was completed one day (6 hours, non stop, multiple coats one after the other while the previous coat was still slightly tacky) and the starboard side two days later. After completing multiple other tasks, with Hope doing much of the hard lifting, on May 29 Lady M was back in the water.

KGM and associated 5-star hotel is a very sociable place, with yachties of many different nationalities, but primarily British. We often gathered between 5:00 and 8:00pm when drinks are 2 for the price of 1.

However, because of its location one needs access to a car. It’s about a 1.45 hour drive to Ercan airport, flights only from Turkey. We managed to view some of the sites in N Cyprus, but most of the car trips to initially Famagusta and then Girne/Kyrena were taking Howard to hospitals/consultants to try and resolve his back pain issues.

After an X-ray in Famagusta and 10 days of pain killer and muscle relaxant medications, with no resultant relief, we went with Brian and Tracy to see a consultant in Girne. Brian had previously had knee and back surgery with him. Both Turkey and N Cyprus are renowned for ’medical tourism’, with modern equipment and well trained doctors.

Following an MRI ($96) surgery was recommended, which could have been scheduled for last week. However, after reviewing the MRI report with Scott and our nephew Doug, an orthopedic surgeon, we decided to head back the US for a second opinion. So here we are, back in Chocowinity, following a two day trip. Yesterday, after a visit to the local ’Urgent Care’ Howard should be receiving a referral to a neurosurgeon, within the next few days.

The compression fracture in his back, which we put down to using an orbital sander to sand the bottom of the hull, while sitting on a wooden block with the sander above his head, should hopefully heal itself within the next 4-8 weeks. Other issues with his back we need to resolve following consultation with the neurosurgeon.

Understandably, we have had to put our sailing adventures on hold while the health issues are sorted out. We hope to head back to Cyprus in September or October, and probably explore some of the south eastern Turkish coast while we are there. Lady M will be staying in KGM over the winter, while we will be returning to the US. March 2025 should see us back on the boat in order to set sail for the Adriatic early in the season.

Hopefully, there will be another blog later this year when we cruising the eastern Turkish coast.

Have an enjoyable summer and stay well.