|Anemurium at dawn|
A short spell on starboard tack saw us clear of the Anamur Burnu headland and then it was on the wind on Port tack all the way back to Alanya. It was quite a bumpy ride; although the wind never rose above 22 kts the seas were large and irregular, a feature that lasted for most of the next five days.
We arrived back in Alanya at 1630 after a 10 hour passage on the wind. A 60 mile sail at an average of just over 6 kts. Our first stop was the anchorage by the dockyard again to have some late lunch and a swim to clean off all the dried salt from the spray of the last 10 hours. That achieved, and feeling rather more human again, we headed into the port and, after a bit of juggling of boats, managed to take the same berth as before. From here it was the local supermarket to re-victual, a Kebeb restaurant for a light supper and then drinks onboard with some local friends we had met on the previous visit; followed by a not so early night!
Another early morning start saw us on our way to Manavgat where we wanted to go up river to a restaurant for a birthday celebration lunch for Christoph, my present crew.
|Restaurant at Manavgat, on the river|
His birthday is actually a day after he is due to leave so we decided to celebrate the occasion early! There is only one proper restaurant on the river, about 5 miles up, just before the low bridge which makes the higher reaches of the river and the town of Manavgat inaccessible. The entrance to the river is shallow (3.5m and we draw 2!) and when the wind is in the south, as it was today, there are standing waves where the river flow meets the incoming waves. We managed the entrance OK but such places leave no room for the unexpected, engine failure or the like! An hour later we were berthed alongside the restaurant and tucking into our meze starter. At 1700 it was time to leave and head for Side, the ancient town of Selimiye, where the Roman harbour has been adapted to accommodate tourist boats and the odd yacht.
The entrance to Side is also very exposed and shallow, hence we entered at speed, for control, but watching the echo sounder carefully. It was 3.4m minimum, just enough in such lumpy seas. Once inside we were hailed by a boat boy who, we later discovered, looks after two boats here and one in Alanya; he very kindly took our lines. The swell running into the harbour was causing the stern lines to snatch horribly; hence, after a rather torrid hour, we decided to release ourselves from the wall and swing round the anchor further out. The harbour is small so swinging room was very limited but a much quieter and a more pleasant night was achieved.
|Some of the ruins at Side (Selimiye)|
Next morning the seas had settled somewhat and we chose a better berth in which to make a second, more successful attempt, to go stern to the jetty. 30M of cable out, two lines from bow to jetty at an obtuse angle and steel springs in the stern lines and it was comfortable enough.
|Departing Side in the early light|
As I had already toured Side twice before I stayed to look after the boat and dispatched Chrisoph ashore to do the tourist bit! By the evening the seas had calmed and we were both able to enjoy a quick sojourn ashore, not that the modern part of Side is much to write home about, full to bursting with all manner of shops selling fake (and occasionally real) designer gear.
Next morning we set off early, 0630, for a 50 mile transit to Olympus.
|Olympus by night|
The intention was to arrive there in time to tour the ruins before moving on to a nearby protected anchorage for the night. In the event we arrived about 1600, after a passage under motor and then sail, to find that the bay at Olympus was calm and hence we were able to pass the night at anchor there. Next morning we swam ashore to view the ancient city; foolishly we did not take any money with us and hence we failed at the first barrier, the 10YTL (£3.30) entry fee at the guard-post that we could not see from the boat.
|The Hammam in Olympus|
Fortunately a local on the beach offered not only to look after our flippers etc, but also showed us the alternative entrance from the beach, as used by the locals. They, of course, don't pay! Olympus is fascinating, if very overgrown, and was well worth the two hours we spent wandering round.
|View down river in Olympus|
From Olympus it was time to head east again to Finike, about 20 miles away. We sailed off the anchor in very favourable winds and settled down for a pleasant passage. The gods' thought otherwise. As soon as we were clear of the land we were headed forcing us to tack out to sea.
|Olympus from the beach|
No sooner were we 3 miles offshore than the wind veered steadily through 90 deg. such that when we tacked back towards the land we had made 5 miles progress in the desired direction for eighteen miles sailed! Enough!! We sailed straight into Cavus Limani, an anchorage we had used on the outward voyage, and poured ourselves a large G&T. The evening was spent there at anchor swimming and relaxing.
So it was that the next morning was another early start, in order to catch up some lost time. Again we sailed off the anchor, only for the wind to die as we exited the bay. This time we wasted no time before starting the engine and we motored the seven miles to the headland, from where we were able to turn west towards Finike and sail to the marina entrance on a beam reach in a brisk breeze. The reason for stopping at Finike was to refuel and I also wanted some bits from the marina chandlery. Fuelling completed we prepared to head across and put Kurukulla alongside for 10 minutes, near the chandlery, so that I could dash in. The marina staff in their RIB were having none of it! They decreed that we could not go alongside anywhere other than the fuelling jetty, despite our protestations that we only wanted to visit the chandlery. The fuelling jetty was now occupied by another boat and so we ignored them and much to their annoyance went alongside near the chandlery anyway. It was closed, Sunday! You might have thought they would have known that.... I would have been even more grumpy if I had walked the half mile from the fuelling jetty to find out!
From here we headed back into Kekova Roads again and anchored off Ugaciz, in the north-western arm of the inner sea. An ideal anchorage in 3m of water and good holding on mud. Supper onboard, a relatively early night and next morning we moved alongside to have lunch at Hassan's restaurant. Hassan was the most helpful person I met when having to leave the boat there, at no notice, a month back and it only seemed right to repay him with our custom. The sign, in German, above his restaurant says “Best cook in the Mediterranean” which might be a slight exaggeration but his food is very good. After lunch it was time to do some re-victualling before getting under-way to Kas. I headed for the shops whilst Christoph headed for the barber to get a haircut. Having purchased a pile of vegetables from a market stall I went to pay in cash. The only minor problem was that there was no cash in my wallet! Fortunately I had enough in loose coinage to pay. As a consequence I then went back to the boat to check my other wallet to see if I had mistakenly put the money I had drawn from a cash dispenser in Side in the wrong wallet. No, and no sign of the money. I had been robbed in the night by someone coming onboard! I went back to warn Christoph who checked his wallet, he too had had all the notes taken. Not a bad haul for somebody; 900YTL (~£300) from my wallet and €200 (~£165) from Christoph; and neither of us heard a thing!
|Actually at Side but rather how we felt at Ucagiz, "The Glums"|
Fortunately they took only cash, nothing else was touched, not even credit cards and mobile phones, but a slightly un-nerving and costly experience all the same. My suspicion is that it was local youths who realised that credit cards and mobiles were too easily identifiable in such a small place. How much are those stand alone, small, burglar alarms? There was little point in reporting it to the authorities but we did tell Hassan before departing, his reaction led us to believe we were not the first victims.
From here it was a sail upwind to Kas. A three hour beat which left us arriving at dusk. Night fell just as we anchored in the bay at Bayindir Limani, one and a half miles south of Kas. Sadly my favourite part of this anchorage, the westerly corner, was full of gullets, hence we had to accept second best. It was quiet and tranquil though and good for one night.
To acquire the chandlery missed at Finike we decided to motor the five miles to Kas marina whilst at the same time giving the batteries a charge. An hour later we were alongside in Kas, (none of the problems of Finike), where we visited marina office, chandlery, Bankomat and supermarket in that order. An hour later we were on our way again heading for Kalkan 12 miles west. As we were leaving the “marinaio” (marina staff) warned us that the forecast had been updated and that force 7 westerlies were imminent. Just our luck; and he was right! By the time we exited the deep bay where the marina is sited it was blowing force 7 directly from our destination. Four hours later we anchored in Yesilkoy Limani, a bay one mile west of Kalkan harbour, wet and ready for a late lunch.
Just before sunset we wanted to move into the harbour ready for Christoph's departure, he had an airport transfer booked for 0030 from the harbour car park. Today was to be a day when nothing was going to be simple! On entering the harbour, just as the sun set, it was obvious that the harbour was full to bursting and short of Med-mooring in the second row out from the jetty there were no other options if we wanted to stay. We decided we didn't! We headed back to the anchorage, had supper and then came back into the harbour, to drop Christoph off on the bows of another boat, at midnight. He caught his taxi and I headed back to the anchorage single handed for the first time since returning from UK.
Two days later I am still here, anchored in the bay, and enjoying catching up on maintenance. The next guests arrive late on Saturday; hence I will have another attempt at getting into the harbour on Friday; and we will be away Sunday morning.
The next blog article will be after we depart.