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Odyssey cradled in the slings of the travelift as she is hauled out of the water.
Photo : Chris Johnson

June 16, 2004
Haulout in Turkey
Real Audio Report

Log Transcript

This is Genevieve Johnson speaking to you from Marmaris, Turkey - the starting point of four months of research in the Mediterranean Sea.

Turkey is a bridge between continents, connecting Europe, Asia and Africa. Many different species and a vibrant, diverse mix of contemporary cities and ancient civilizations make up this colorful country. It is a land of historic treasures from 13 successive civilizations spanning 10,000 years and has been called the 'cradle of civilization', with the world's first known settlement, a Neolithic city dating back to 6,500 BC (Catahoyak). With a population of over 67 million, 40% of whom live in the countryside, Turkey is predominantly Muslim, while its language is based on the Latin alphabet. Turkey has an 8,333-kilometer coastline touching four seas - the Mediterranean, the Aegean, the Black Sea and the Sea of Marmara. Nine toothed whale species (Odontocetes) and one baleen species (Mystecetes) are known to frequent coastal waters around Turkey. Also, the rarest of all pinnipeds, (seals and sealions) the Mediterranean Monk Seal (Monachus monachus), is found in very small pockets along the coast.

Before we begin our research, the Odyssey must be 'hauled out'. After two and half years and 37,000 miles of research in the Indian Ocean, the Odyssey is once again in need of some maintenance, particularly in relation to her hull. The Odyssey was last taken out of the water in Fremantle, Western Australia in February 2002.

Odyssey Captain Mark Preedy estimates the haul out will last about two weeks. The first job is to clean the hull with a high-pressure hose, removing barnacles and other accumulated growth. Next, the hull is sand blasted using a mixture of water and sand to remove old paint down to bare metal in preparation for a new coat. The steel hull will be checked for thin areas - if left unchecked for long periods, the hull would eventually corrode through the combined effects of salt water and electrolysis. Electrolysis is the enemy of every steel hulled boat. It occurs when stray electrical currents generated onboard are conducted through salt water, corroding the hull over time. To counter this action, Odyssey's hull has 11 zinc plates mounted beneath the water line, thereby inducing corrosion of this less noble, or softer grade metal rather than the steel hull. If thin metal is found, plates are cut out and replaced, while the worn down zincs are removed and new zincs fitted.

The hull is covered in think growth so it will be washed with a high-pressure water hose before work can begin.
Photo : Chris Johnson

There are always more jobs to do than time allows, but with the help of the staff at the Marmaris Yacht Marina, the crew will work to replace shaft seals, patch sections of the exhaust pipe, weld stanchions and clean 'through-holes'. These holes allow seawater in to cool the engine, exhaust and generators and become clogged with barnacles while the Odyssey is at sea. In addition, we will chip rust, sand, grind, prime, paint and varnish in order to return Odyssey to the water as soon as possible.

Over the summer months, the Odyssey crew will be reporting from and researching throughout the eastern and western Mediterranean Sea as we search for sperm whales. While in the Mediterranean, we are partnering with ACCOBAMS - the Agreement on the Conservation of Cetaceans of the Black Sea, Mediterranean Sea and contiguous Atlantic Area - an organization based in Monaco. This unique collaboration is designed to ensure the mutual exchange and dissemination of information and publication of data in relation to work achieved during the joint activities. Dr. Simone Panigada of ACCOBAMS joins Odyssey as Chief Scientist and is coordinating our research in the Mediterranean Sea.

We look forward to exploring and reporting on the richness and diversity of cultures, conservation and natural heritage in the countries we visit, as well as the day-to-day research work and crew encounters with cetaceans in the Mediterranean - so, stay tuned.

The rugged, mountainous tree covered coastline - typical of southern Turkey - surround the Marmaris Yatch Marina.
Photo : Chris Johnson


Log written by Genevieve Johnson.

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