We waved goodbye to Nathan as he drove off in his grandmother Janet’s car and boarded the ferry.

Various members of the crew came to see us and there were several discussions about the dogs. We wanted the dogs to stay in the van, but were told we had to take them up onto the deck with us. “Upstairs OK,” they said.

So we started the process of decamping onto the back open deck — dog beds and blankets, food and water bowls, and all our own stuff. It took several trips, then we settled down and courier M opened a bottle of wine.

But it got a bit chilly so we went on a recce and found some reclining seats in a lounge area, and moved inside with the dogs. We were all very comfortable until the ship’s purser told us the dogs had to go back outside. We stood our ground and said, either inside or in the van. In the end, he agreed to them going back to the van. (Grins all round!)

The vehicle deck was pretty full and it was quite a job squeezing between the lorries. Roxy was very nervous so, after Diana had settled her other two dogs into the van, she stayed put and called Roxy, who left courier M and and went to her.

Once we were confident the dogs were all comfortable for what was left of the night, we went back to the lounge area. By now it was about midnight. Courier M and Janet played cards, Jayne watched a movie, and everyone else read, until we all eventually fell asleep. We woke this morning to find the ferry pulling into Mersin – only two hours late!

It took us about an hour to clear customs and then Eren and his father arrived from Petical Vets. They checked the dogs’ microchips and agreed we had the right dogs.

We were about to head for the veterinary department but it had closed for lunch, so we had to wait until 2.00 pm for the doors to reopen. Now we’re going through paperwork…

We admired the bright red tug boat that pulled our ferry into the port. They're tough little boats and the crew have to be really skilled.

We admired the bright red tug boat that pulled our ferry into the port. They’re tough little boats and the crew have to be really skilled.

The Turkish port of Mersin is really quite large, along the lines of Piraeus port in Athens. There's an Animal Border Inspection Post and they seem to have an organised structure for managing daily comings and goings. We are hopeful our arrival will be seamless!

The Turkish port of Mersin is really quite large, along the lines of Piraeus port in Athens. There’s an Animal Border Inspection Post and they seem to have an organised structure for managing daily comings and goings. We are hopeful our arrival will be seamless!

On spotting Brandy, one of the port workers proudly told us: "I have a dog like this."

On spotting Brandy, one of the port workers proudly told us: “I have a dog like this.”

Diana coming back from walking Tink, Roxy and Jasper

Diana coming back from walking Tink, Roxy and Jasper

Tink wants more tummy rubs and lap time!

Tink wants more tummy rubs and lap time!

Our knights in shining armour — Petical Vets — in conversation with local police officers

Our knights in shining armour — Petical Vets — in conversation with local police officers

Dr Ozbaba (Eren's father) reaches into his car for a microchip reader

Dr Ozbaba (Eren’s father) reaches into his car for a microchip reader

Waiting outside the veterinary department in the shade — here are Jayne and Reo

Waiting outside the veterinary department in the shade — here are Jayne and Reo

The veterinary department at Mersin port, staffed by kind and helpful people

The veterinary department at Mersin port, staffed by kind and helpful people

Eren from Petical Vets, on the right, celebrates his 27th birthday by checking our pile of paperwork with a representative from the veterinary department

Eren from Petical Vets, on the right, celebrates his 27th birthday by checking our pile of paperwork with a representative from the veterinary department