|Kurukulla berthed at Ormos Kamares|
From Ormos Kamares, with Chris, Nigel, George and Ian safely onboard, we set sail the following morning for a relatively brisk sail along the south east coast of Kos anchoring for the afternoon in one of the small, deserted, bays just short of the eastern tip of the island. From here it was a relatively easy hop; partly under sail in the gusty conditions, then a short motor; directly to windward, to get into Kos harbour. The harbour attendant remembered Kurukulla from her previous visit and greeted us like long lost friends, provided we paid promptly that is! Berthing, power, water all sorted we settled down to wait for the final joining crew member, Dennis, to arrive.
|Berthed in Kos Town |
|Anchored in Pserimos|
Next morning we all set off for the largest local supermarket Kos can offer, to victual the boat for the next few days; it is amazing what six men can eat when in the fresh air and getting plenty of exercise! Having loaded half a ton of food and drink (possibly a slight exaggeration) I set off to do battle with the local authorities to get us legally out of Greece. A trip to the Port Police, followed by the Immigration Police and Customs (conveniently situated on the opposite side of the harbour requiring a half mile walk) and then back to the Port Police (another half mile) and we were clear to go. We had decided to do a short hop and anchor for the next night in Pserimos, a small island just north of Kos and so we motored to windward for an hour to get there quickly rather than do a two hour beat to windward; a cool swim was the higher priority. Safely anchored in the southern bay of Pserimos we set about lunch and a lazy afternoon. In the cool of the evening four of us climbed to the summit above the anchorage and got some great photographs of Kurukulla at anchor and the anchorage on the eastern side where Daniel and I had anchored some months earlier.
|Post shopping refreshments!|
Next day we set off, late morning, to head into Turkish waters and enjoyed a splendid reach across towards Turgutreis. We anchored in a small cove on the island of Catalada, which is just short of the marina, for the following night. Next morning it was time to battle with the bureaucracy again; this time getting into Turkey. Fortunately in Turgutreis this is fairly simple, a visit to the marina offices to obtain a new cruising permit followed by the Customs, Immigration Police and Harbour-master all of whom are situated on the quarantine quay. In addition we were permitted to embark bonded stores before leaving the quarantine quay, an added bonus as Kos has no Duty Free shop! Whilst I was away sorting out the clearances a charming motor boat owner decided to leave harbour at 12 knots and not the 4 knots that the limit requires; the result was a fairlead fractured on Kurukulla, fortunately no damage to the hull but annoying all the same, pure thoughtlessness! Sadly not uncommon amongst the breed!
Another visit to a supermarket, a swift beer at the yacht club and a fuel + water stop at the fuelling pontoon and we were ready to depart for a downwind sail to Mersincik. Mersincik is a relatively open anchorage with a small, better protected, cove on the western side. When we arrived the cove was full to bursting and the more open anchorage offered limited opportunities. Making the best of it we prepared to anchor with a long line ashore between a Dutch yacht and a Turkish Gullet, both of whom eyed us with much suspicion! The manoeuvre successfully completed, tied back to an olive tree, we settled down for the night. It was not to be. Initially the Dutch boat next to us started to drag his anchor, he re-anchored but without much success; next it was our turn to drag and so we slipped and recovered the line ashore (with the assistance of the Dutchman in his dinghy), rested on the Dutch boats line for a few minutes waiting for the wind to gust in the other direction (much to the consternation of the Dutch Frau), and then set off for a better anchorage. The question was where? It was sunset already! After a few minutes head scratching I settled on Knidos, a small but very protected anchorage about ten miles away.
|Sailing tour of Knidos harbour|
The only minor problem was that it has a part submerged ancient breakwater closing the entrance and, with no moon, entry was going to be tricky. We arrived at 2300, with only the lights on shore to assist us. I had put a way-point in the GPS immediately in the centre of the narrow entrance but this was only good for guidance; the entry had to be done by eye and echo sounder. Fortunately the plan worked and once inside we picked our way in the darkness, through the anchored boats, and found a suitable place to anchor Kurukulla just inside the sunken breakwater. During the night several of the larger craft in the anchorage dragged their anchors and were forced to leave, fortunately we did not.
|Waterfront at Datca|
Next morning we awoke to a beautiful scene with the amphitheatre and ancient city of Knidos on our doorstep! Given that the wind had been strong and from the north (not as forecast) I dread to think what happened to the folks we left behind at Mersincik.
|Lunch at Datca before departure|
|Anchored at Atabol|
|Purveyors of fish!|
|Dinner at Bozburun, at the stern of Kurukulla|
At 1100 we sailed off the anchor, did a tour of the anchorage to get a better view of the ruins, and then set course for Datca where we needed to re-provision bread, amongst other things. Two hours later, which included a swim whilst the boat drifted, we were in Datca. Here we berthed stern to, needing to avoid the ballasting which extends further out than is shown in the pilot, and sent parties ashore for provisions. I set off to top up the Turkcel SIM card to get us internet connectivity, something I had not managed in Turgutreis. All this done we settled for lunch ashore and then a gentle sail along the coast, eastwards, to the bay at Gonlucek where we anchored for the night. A beautiful, tranquil bay with no neighbours but millions of wasps! Fortunately they go back to their nests at dusk! Next morning we sailed off the anchor again and set off for Bozburun stopping en route in the small dogleg bay just east of Atabol Burun (Cape Apostoli). Here we discovered a small fishing boat anchored off the beach and negotiated a purchase of fresh fish for lunch; delicious, lightly fried in olive oil. Late in the afternoon we set off again for Bozburun. With no wind motoring was the order of the day. At 1900 we arrived in Bozburun, negotiated a table for dinner, right at Kurukulla's stern, from the restaurateur and then toured the town. Bozburun is small but delightful; everyone is helpful and cheerful. Later that evening, after a very good meal, I also got my hair cut at 1045 at night! Hair, beard, etc all for less than 20 TL i.e. £7.50! Best haircut this year.
|Anchored of deserted settlement, Karaburun|
Sadly our stay in Bozburun was only one night and then it was off again to reach Marmaris on time. We motored in a flat calm for much of the morning until reaching the end of the Karaburun peninsula. On the western end we found a delightful valley with an anchorage (just) at its end, tucked right in at the inner end of a bay. We anchored for lunch and a swim accompanied by goats and sheep; nothing else was visible in what seemed an extensive but deserted settlement. After lunch it was a brisk sail, under foresail only, along the south coast of the peninsula until we reached Gerbekse. Here we discovered three other boats at anchor, who between them had managed to monopolise the entire anchorage by not putting out stern lines. We backed in close by and put a stern line out, neatly tucked away for the night and clear of their swinging circles, just! Next morning we were visited by one of the skippers who had seen Kurukulla's RNSA burgee, he proved to be MEO of HM Submarine Astute and an ex trainee of mine from Manadon days!
Following a swim and breakfast we set off for Marmaris. Given the sheer numbers of craft in every anchorage we decided to just drift for two hours and swim from the boat finally arriving in Marmaris at 1600. A small piece of negotiation and we were allocated a very secure berth next to the lifting slip where Kurukulla was to spend the next ten days whilst all the team, including me, departed for UK. I was returning home for my parents 70th wedding anniversary celebration.
On my return eight days later Kurukulla was fine, exactly where I had left her but with a number of the snagging items from the re-decking completed in my absence by the contractor, TMS.
|The family at the Platinum Wedding celebration. My father (97, standing) behind my mother (92, seated), on left.|
In two days time I will head off eastwards, exploring the Turkish coast towards Cyprus. More then.....