After two nights at anchor off Fethiye Adasi I finally sailed Kurukulla off the anchor and set sail eastwards towards Karacaoren Buku a distance of some 12 miles. Shortly after clearing Fethiye I was on port tack when I noticed a race being started just ahead of me with the start line south of Kizil Adasi. It was a group of 12 Sunsail 43s' starting on the windward leg and heading off on the same course that I was planning. Having arrived in the vicinity of the start line as they started I decided that, without impeding any of the racers, I would test Kurukulla against them. Despite being single handed Kurukulla arrived 4th out of 12 to the weather mark where they turned back north and I continued south. A bit of fun along the way!
|The rain at Karacaoren Buku|
The weather deteriorated as the day went on and we arrived in Karacaoren Buku in almost half light as the dark clouds gathered. I sailed Kurukulla on to the anchor only to realise that the several plastic water bottles around me were not just drifting they were being used as floats for moorings! Shortly afterwards, to make life more complicated the owner of the “moorings”, the local restauranteur, directed another charter yacht to take the mooring directly ahead of me, well within my swinging circle. When I pointed this out to the skipper his reaction was “no problem, the wind never comes from that direction”, ten minutes later he had to eat his words as the thunderstorm started and 25 knots of wind hit us from the east. Fortunately I had taken the precaution of swimming out and putting a line on a mooring astern of me to prevent Kurukulla swinging to the wind, thus preventing the two yachts coming together.
|Sunset at at Karacaoren Buku|
I am not sure he even noticed! After the storm I veered the line, weighed anchor and then picked up the mooring properly, the restauranteur gave me a funny look but did not ask for any payment; normally the price of the mooring is eating in his restaurant!
Next morning early we set off for Kalkan, some 30 miles down the coast. There was no wind but that did not matter as after three days, without starting the engine, the batteries were in need of a decent charge. Three hours later, with the batteries fully charged the wind duly arrived and the second half of the passage was a fantastic close reach along the coast ending in the anchorage at
Yesilkoy Limani, the bay on the west side of the Kalkan bay, where we anchored in the northern part of the bay. Fortunately I was able to see the anchor settle on the bottom and was sure it was in good sand; this became important when the thunderstorm arrived that night with brief but strong winds setting Kurukulla towards the shore. The anchor held firm but one of the two other yachts in the anchorage was not so lucky having to reset their anchor at 2300 in the pitch dark.
Even given a relaxed start to the morning I still had one day in hand in order to get to Kas in time for the arrival of my next visitor; however, when the winds arrived in the early Sunday afternoon the temptation was irresistible and so I hoisted the main, sailed off the anchor and set course for Bayindir Limani, a mile south of Kas, arriving at 1730.
|Stern to in Kas, on the corner.|
The last 45 minutes were with the engine again as the wind died completely and another thunderstorm was threatening. I anchored in the central bay in Bayindir Limani just as the light was fading, I found myself watching, carefully, the lightning high in the sky; it was striking somewhere further inland. Despite the threat, ultimately the rain and lightning did not come to anything and the night passed peacefully.
|Ruins at Gokkaya Limani|
Next morning I moved a few hundred metres into a more secluded bay, away from the gaze of the clients of the beach restaurant, and settled down for a bath and dhobi followed by breakfast and another swim.
Following this, at 1000, I set off for Kas to be sure of getting a berth in the town harbour. This proved to be a good decision for two reasons, firstly the day proved to be much windier than forecast, secondly by mid day the harbour was overflowing with vessels seeking shelter; by which time I was firmly ensconced simply awaiting my joining crew who was due to arrive sometime after midnight.
|Christoph in a Sarcophagus|
Just as is was settling down for the evening a Swedish owned yacht arrived and squeezed itself in on the corner of the quay adjacent to me. A difficult place to moor but, with the harbour as full as it was, there was no choice. To placate me I was invited onboard for a very generous whisky, such invites work wonders!
That night my new crew, Christoph, arrived at 0130, via a dolmus, from Dalaman Airport, the joys of late night Thomas Cook flights! Next morning we made a quick visit to the local bakery to source fresh bread, plus some other delicacies, and then set off for Kekova Roads some 20 miles to the east.
|The ruins of Aperlae|
As we entered the roads the winds diminished and we suffered a brief burst of rain; it did not last though and ultimately we sailed into the anchorage at Gokkaya Limani at 1800 for a late evening swim and supper onboard. Next day dawned with rain already falling and continued until mid afternoon; however, once the rain had passed through we sailed the length of the roads and anchored in Polemos Buku, just as the sun set.
|Self on the walls of Aperlae|
From here we visited ancient Aperlae the following day (my third visit this year!) unexpectedly incorporating a lamb/goat (not sure which) soup lunch and fish supper in the Yoruk fisherman's restaurant.
Having ordered fish for lunch we discovered at 1400, after a pair of beers, that the order would be satisfied at about 1900 that night! Realising their error, and to ensure we did not go hungry, the soup was provided gratis, as a stop-gap! Such generosity! The fish, when it arrived, was delicious.... We got back to the boat at 2100.
The next day, to ensure a timely arrival in Kalkan, we sailed off the anchor at 0900 and ghosted our way to the exit from Kekova Roads.
From here on we enjoyed intermittent wind and managed to complete most of the passage under sail, resorting to the engine only for the last two miles. We anchored in the anchorage on the west side of the bay for the night and then, next morning, berthed in Kalkan port for a pair of hours to allow us to purchase some victuals in the town. On completion we motored out of the harbour, headed out of the bay, hoisting sail an hour later as the wind filled in; we had 27 miles to go to reach our next destination, Gemiler Adasi.
At 1800 we anchored and tied back to the rocks in the NW bay; a tranquil anchorage where we were to stay for two days given the total absence of even a ripple on the water surface throughout the following day! Fortunately, despite the tranquillity, the area is well served by boats selling fresh bread / produce or ice creams. On the final morning we sailed off the anchor and enjoyed a short but slow beat out of the bay followed by a very enjoyable spinnaker run all the way to the entrance to Fethiye bay.
At 1630 we anchored off Fethiye for a brief swim before heading into the marina to await the arrival of Alistair, the last guest of the year.
|Bread baked on the premises, delivered at Yassica Adalari|
He duly arrived just before midnight (the joy of an afternoon flight from Gatwick). Ten hours late, following another victualling run to the local Carrefour, we sailed late morning and motored the short distance to Fethiye Adasi for a swim before sailing off the anchor and heading to the anchorage at Yassica Adalari, this time it was a much more tranquil stay; no storms or groundings!
Next day, given that it was another windless day, we sailed off the anchor and drifted from here to Tomb Bay; all of three miles in two and a half hours!
|Ruin Bay, Skopea Limani|
The following morning was similar and so we sailed down to Ruin Bay for lunch and a swim and to wait for the wind to fill in.
This was followed by a rather better sail from there to Kizilkuyruk Koyu the furthest anchorage south in the Skopea Limani area; including an interesting beat through the narrow channel when exiting the southern end of Skopea Limani; our objective being to be as far as possible down track for the next days passage to the anchorage at Baba Adassi,
|An evening G&T whilst at anchor, Baba Adasi|
for an overnight stop before heading onthe next day to Kargi Koyu, just outside Ekincik Limani. Next day the wind had returned and we arrived at Kargi Koyu all too quickly in a brisk south westerly doing 7 knots on a beam reach. We sailed on to the anchor and with the bay to ourselves, almost unheard of in this area, but it was not to last.
|Marmaris Castle and waterfront|
Another yacht arrived an hour later and, as always in these circumstances, anchored only two boats lengths away in a bay half a mile wide!
|The pressure wash after lift out|
|On goes the new cover|
After an upper deck film and a tranquil night we set off the following morning on the last leg of the jouney, to Marmaris; starting in a gentle breeze and ending in a flat calm. We stopped and drifted, for a swim, before entering the bay at Marmaris and, following a refuel at Netsel Marina, we entered Yacht Marine for the final berthing of the year.
That night we dined at the Pineapple Restaurant in Netsel following which Christoph and Alistair set off for UK early the next morning; I, between showers, set about the task of putting Kurukulla to bed for the winter, including fitting the newly acquired overall winter cover.
More next year after Kurukulla goes in the water on the 22nd of April...............
|The view from the helm, cover on!|