After my short sojourn in UK, to see the folks, I found myself boarding the flight from London Gatwick to Dalaman in what seemed like no time at all. At the airport I met my next guests to come aboard, Nick Stuart-Taylor and his two daughters, Virginia and Olivia (Olivia being my God Daughter). Our flight to Dalaman was uneventful stand-fast the size of the queues for visa issue at the entry point! Quarter of an hour waiting......
After entry it was a taxi to Marmaris and a quiet night onboard before getting ourselves sorted out the next day. My primary tasks the next day were to collect the new anchor, fit it, and to collect my Turkish residence permit before our departure. Fortunately I went to investigate the availability of the residence permit first; at 1130 I was informed that the Tourist Police Office was due to close for the next five days at 1200! It being Eid, the holiday to mark the end of Ramadan, even the Tourist Police office was closing! Presumably no tourists commit crimes or need help during this period! After a rapid leap into a taxi and a journey across Marmaris Nick and I arrived in time to retrieve the document; just! This was followed by a rather more leisurely journey round the local Migros supermarket to re-victual the yacht and a dolmus (minibus) journey back to Yacht Marine. In the interim the girls occupied themselves sunning themselves beside the marina pool, providing a diversion for all the young men in the area!
In the afternoon it was time to collect and fit the new Manson anchor, that in itself was not easy; I was aware the shank was much deeper than the old anchor but had not realised that it would need a swivel with much greater clearance round the pin to allow the anchor chain to rise to the correct angle on the shank. The only option was a new swivel and after three attempts, in ascending order of cost, I settled for the only suitable option, a French made swivel at £150 … ouch! The anchor is now fitted and works well but there is still need for some modification of the launching arrangement due to the reduced clearance between anchor and roller furling drum. Next winter …......
|Nick on the helm heading for Ekincik|
All this complete we decided to have dinner in the marina restaurant that evening and to set off early next morning for the anchorage at Ekincik. Due to variable winds the transit was half sail and half motor but we were there by mid afternoon and enjoyed a superb late afternoon swimming and sunbathing with sundowners at 1900; all followed by roast chicken for supper, cooked by Olivia.
Next morning we sailed off the anchor heading for Baba Adasi; however, plans changed. Having had a frustrating first hour with wind coming and going the wind then filled in from the SW, an ideal direction for reaching across directly to Gocek/Fethiye. Thus it was that lunch was deferred until 1600 and we sailed across to the entrance of the Scopea Limani and headed into Kizilkuyruk Koyu to anchor in the north bay tied back to a rock on the beach. At the start we were accompanied by several other vessels however as the sun set we found ourselves alone in this wonderful bay, a chance for a midnight swim in the moonless night in the midst of a sea of blue phosphorescence! Magic.....
|The girls enjoying the sun.|
Next day we decided not to leave this paradise but to stay another day. An enjoyable day of sun and swimming but sadly our evening experience was not to be repeated; we were accompanied buy three other yachts and five large gullets, all with sound systems, underwater floodlights and mast-lights blazing! Do they know what they are missing? The previous night it was possible to see millions of stars in the sky, one day later and you could count them on two hands! The joys of illumination and generators that run all night!!!!!
|Lunch on the waterfront at Massimo's, Gocek|
|Anchored at Yassika Adalari, in the pool|
Bored with our company we set off early (well early for us) next day and headed for Gocek intending to have lunch there and do some re-victualling. We anchored off the Municipal Marina, took the dinghy ashore and both objectives were achieved in good time. An excellent lunch at Massimo's, on the waterfront, followed by shopping in Kipa (Turkish arm of Tesco!). By 1600 we were ready to leave and headed to Yassica Adalari, scene of one of my sagas last year, to spend the night anchored in the lagoon there. On arrival we discovered only one local boat in the lagoon but he had anchored himself with a floating rope which extended right across the bay! No wonder he has trouble getting his anchor to hold on the bottom with a floating anchor warp! We negotiated the trap he had laid and anchored ourselves in my favourite place in the SE corner of the lagoon, no sooner had we done so he decided to leave and surprise surprise we had crossed his anchor warp! He was going nowhere unless we slipped our two stern lines, holding us near the shore, and relaid our anchor. Olivia volunteered to swim and so we left her treading water, holding the shore lines; untangled the anchors and then backed up again taking the lines from Olivia; this time we were in for the night! Lamb cutlets for supper and another spectacular night for a midnight swim!
|Olivia (my god-daughter) and I|
|Dinner on the edge of the bay at Boynuz Buku|
We awoke to a still and cloudless Monday, in what all agreed was an idyllic setting. Nick and the girls set off to climb to the summit of the island whilst I spent a little time sorting out a replacement for the self steering. For some reason, the day before, George (as the autopilot is known onboard) had developed a mind of his own. Instead of correcting for course deviations he would turn the boat round in circles in whichever direction the bow had deviated initially! Not clever. All of the obvious causes, magnetic material near the compass etc. were eliminated but still he persisted in misbehaving. The consequence was that I ordered a new unit from UK to be brought out by a future guest in two weeks time; for the next two weeks single handing will be a bit more challenging! On the return of the wanderers we set off for Tomb Bay for an afternoon of sunning and swimming, again (the girls favourite pass-time), followed by a short hop to the bay known as Boynuz Buku where we berthed stern to and settled for a night alongside, which included an excellent meal at the restaurant. The added bonus of the restaurant at Boynuz Buku is that they have water and power available on the jetty and so, for a meagre sum, 10 YTL, you can top up the essentials.
|Boynuz Buku jetty at dusk|
Tuesday was departure day and the transfer was booked from Fethiye Marina hence we sailed across the width of the gulf and anchored for lunch and a swim off Kizil Adasi followed by an early supper anchored off Fethiye Adasi; all this before anchoring as near as we could to the entrance to the marina and landing Nick and the girls. A fun day but sad to see them go...
Following their departure I recovered the dinghy aboard and then set off to anchor for the night near Fethiye Adasi again. The most convenient point for departure the next day to Kalkan, 30 miles further east.
Wednesday dawned bright but hazy, not an uncommon event in this area and it was soon to dissipate. The anchorage at Fethiye Adasi has natural springs feeding cold fresh water into the bay from below the surface. The effect on a still morning is to put a layer of cold fresh water onto the surface of the warm salt water. Refreshing and delightful to jump into first thing! After a swim I set off to Kalkan. I steered for the first two hours and then decided to try George again; he functioned perfectly for the next two hours! That is until I went below to prepare lunch. Shortly after going below I noticed that the sun was rotating about the boat or we were going round in circles again, the latter being the truth; George was having another tizzy fit! He hasn't worked again since! A replacement is on it's way....
I arrived in Kalkan at 1700 and anchored on the NW side of Yesilkoy Liman, between two gullets. Initially I did not tie back to the shore to preserve my ability to move if another part of the bay emptied. As it was both gullets near me departed before sunset and so I tied back where I was. No sooner had I completed the manoeuvre than another large gullet came and anchored right beside me! I had the last laugh however as when the wind got up, at 0200, I was up and watching out for my own security when their anchor watchman realised their anchor was dragging. They released their shore lines just in time before going aground and drifted away down wind; fortunately they had not crossed my anchor cable which was my primary worry!
Next morning dawned without neighbours! I went for an early swim and spent the day sorting out the boat ready for the next guests joining in Kalkan in 48 hours time. The following night however was to be rather less peaceful; a gullet full of Australian backpackers were determined to party right through the night, 50m away! At least it was only one night and they, along with all their neighbours, had departed by the next morning!
More when I leave Kalkan........