Facelift while at the Dentist

Chaos, mould and artistry – it’s all part of the alchemical mix that is transforming Selkie Dancer.

She is having serious ‘work’ done to her. We are living in what resembles a crime scene, all white tented sheets and tapes. Arriving late and in the dark it looked pretty desperate and the launch date of 28 April seems unlikely. The more we do, the more we are compelled to do because how can you have such a beautiful new teak deck and yet have scruffy topsides? Below decks will remain shabby chic.

Floating bacteria and mould was found in the fridge. Centimetres deep in a potent mix of beer, martini and decomposing matter. It smelled as if, harvested correctly, it could have been transformed - there we go, alchemy again - into a delicious sour dough bread or alcohol which would have rendered me senseless until all is finished. The rest of the boat has suffered from ingress of water and dust, so mild bleach and a feather duster will have to be found. But it is hardly worth it until all is completed.

As I write this on the 24th April, the teak deck is coming on apace; the cockpit, stern seats and swim ladder yet to lay. Next the black gunk (technical term!) has to be put into the grooves between the teak planks (this is a really messy process and I have been told to keep faith and vision), finally it is cut and everything sanded.

Ramazan and Sali are craftsmen and artists using great care to have the patterns flow and make sense. Now Mehmet has come and is removing all the cockpit fittings as he is to fill the holes, smooth the flaws and paint the topsides. Outside the hull is gleaming and is waiting for the copper coat. Then Selkie Dancer’s makeover will be complete and it will be her owners who look increasingly crumbly.

Yesterday when I retreated to my cabin I felt that I was a cavernous mouth, above me the drills whirred and the tools probed and poked. I remember, as a child, saying prayers to the Virgin Mary as I was subjected to Tommy Walls the dentist in Nairn but now I am invoking the story of The Elves and the Shoemaker and want all our workers to busy themselves through the night and then, when we awake, we will be transformed. We need magic to happen and it will, in Natural Time.

As to our intentions, launching probably around 9th May, we will sail east towards Kas and then back up the Turkish coast to cross back into Greece around 16th July. That’s as far as we can think right now!



in the dentist’s chair

Passage Chart and Anchorage Information


Inside the crime scene tent …

.. Selkie Dancer regains her composure.

An impatient Jinti - starts gunking!

More Photos