Kurukulla at Anegada, BVI

Friday, 26 October 2012

Round the circuit to the 2012 season end in Marmaris.

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.
Gemiler anchorage
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!

Thursday, 4 October 2012

In the Marmaris area

En route Marmaris
Marmaris town from seaward
In the end we were to spend two days in and around Marmaris. I sorted out the details of my temporary residence permit but found out that I had to be available the next evening at 1700 to receive some of the paperwork, thus we were to be delayed leaving. The first night we went into town and dined in one of the waterfront restaurants, picked up some late night shopping from the Migros Supermarket, and caught the 2300 dolmus (minibus) back to the marina. Next morning was bright and clear and so we decided at mid day, all other tasks having been completed, to head out of the marina and take Kurukulla on the five mile passage, out of the Marmaris Bay, around the (almost) island of Nimara Adasi, and anchor in Yalanci Bogazi; this is the bay on the far side of the isthmus that forms the seaward side of the marina and connects Nimara Adasi to the mainland. Our final anchorage was 200 metres from the marina but on the seaward side of the isthmus. A good anchorage in W or NW winds and it was from here that I set off in the dinghy to land on the beach, cross the road and enter the main gate of the marina, all to collect my papers. That done we were free to leave the next morning.
Dalyan River heading towards Caunos

Our destination was to be Ekincik Limani in preparation for visiting ancient Caunos the next day; in the event we chose to anchor in Kargi Koyu just 0.5 miles short of Ekincik as it was verging on deserted and Ekincik looked quite crowded. We dropped anchor, under sail, in 10m, with enough room to swing between us and the beach. Our only companions were a small catamaran and a charter gullet, both some distance away. Supper onboard, a film night and early to bed were the order of the day with an early start the next day to visit Caunos. In the event this was not to be. Having made a reasonably early start, 0800, we motored across to Delikada, anchored inside the island and took the dinghy ashore to catch the public boat up river to Caunos (Kurukulla's draft is too deep to cross the sand bar at the river entrance). We were there at 0930 which seemed the ideal time with the exception that we were told that the public boats had been reduced to one per day and, surprise - surprise, we had missed it; it departed at 0900. The public boat is like a dolmus service and costs a few Turkish Lira; the alternative, that our adviser was more than keen to sell us, was a private boat costing €100 per head; we declined the offer! Unfortunately the boat co-operative operators almost have a monopoly and you are, not surprisingly, discouraged from taking your own dinghy up the river. Thus it was that we enjoyed a swim, early lunch and then sailed off the anchor heading for Baba Adasi, our next anchorage. Here we again anchored under sail in the lee of the island and settled down for a quiet evening,
Sunset at baba Adasi
The plan had been to take a parascending trip here, via the water-sports centre, but the boat was not operating. Next morning the boat passed us but full of tourists doing a high speed circumnavigation of the Island! Just our luck.
Dinner at Pineapple, Netsel Marina
From Baba Adasi we were to be forced to return to Maramaris for Steve's departure, he left by ferry to Rhodes and flight onwards to UK. Fortunately the wind co-operated and we were able to lay Marmaris in one tack, we almost made it right to the entrance to the bay of Marmaris without tacking; from here it was a short beat through the entrance and we were on track for Netsel Marina, one of the other marinas in Marmaris and the one most convenient to the ferry terminal. To “celebrate?” Steve's departure we dined in the Pineapple Restaurant, on the waterfront, over-looking Kurukulla. Next morning we walked the 250m to the ferry terminal and Steve was on his way back to UK. I then set off, by dolmus, to do some business in Yacht Marine, and finally left Netsel late that afternoon. The next two days were spent anchored in the bay of Marmaris, near Yacht Marine, doing some of the outstanding maintenance and relaxing.
48 hours at anchor is enough! On Thursday morning, 27th of September, I sailed off the anchor for a very relaxed passage to Ekincik 'again' but this time I anchored in the Ekincik anchorage with the other 10 boats that were there; the east side was the least crowded and thus my choice for the night. Next morning there was a gentle breeze and so I took the opportunity to rig the No1 genoa (first outing this year!) before setting off to anchor at Baba Adasi again and then on eastwards. My next crew member is due to join on the 8th of October in Kas so plenty of time for a relaxed passage east!
Tied back to the rocks at Kizikuyruk Koyu
From Baba Adasi it was onwards to Fethiye Korfesi and an anchorage in Kizikuyruk Koyu, an anchorage with two arms, one of which was crowded and the other occupied by only one other yacht. I chose to anchor with a line ashore on the north side of the north arm in a delightful little cove. The anchorage itself is deep but by laying the anchor cable along the edge of the shelf the cove was quite tenable and the tie back made easy by a large hole through the rock! I did my usual swim the line ashore to the amusement of the other yacht in the anchorage. Later in the evening we were joined by one other yacht but the magic of the place was unaffected.
The pool at Yassica Adalari
Next morning on the lightest of onshore breezes I was able to sail off the anchor and head to Yassica Adalari, a small group of islands off Gocek. I had been determined to return since my brief visit some months before when I was tempted to leave earlier than I had planned by the offer of dinner in another yacht! This time I decided to anchor in the inner pool; this is rarely frequented by other sailing yachts as the entrance, as I found by trial and error, is only 3m deep. Enough for Kurukulla though. In the centre of the pool was the only other occupant, a catamaran, anchored but without a line ashore; I dropped my anchor as close to him as I dare but the result of his presence was to limit the amount of anchor cable I could put out, something I was to regret later! Not long after my arrival the catamaran departed and another yacht was encouraged to enter! This was a Turkish yacht, also single handed, but unfortunately we did not have more than three words of a common language; task next year – learn Turkish.
Photo taken by moonlight, Yassica Adalari, pre wind!
The surroundings here were idyllic and I decided to stay two days. The decision was made easier by the arrival of an elderly lady each morning, in a small boat, selling freshly made stone baked bread. Staying here too long would be very bad for the waistline! Each evening there was also a replay of “Watership Down” on the beach; a number of wild rabbits, of every colour imaginable, black, white, brown, mixed, all congregated to devour what the tourists had left behind! Late on the second day there also occurred the first thunderstorm of the year with a silent deluge to accompany it. Initially, for the first two bouts of thunder and lightening, there were no strong winds to accompany it. This was not to last though! At midnight the final bout of the storm arrived but bringing with it 35 knot winds from the SE, directly on Kurukulla's beam (the forecast was max 10 knots from the SW!). The result was that the anchor dragged and we swung round parallel with the shoreline going aground on the soft mud. It was so gentle that I did not even feel her take the bottom and being the middle of the night and in a safe if not normal situation I decided to wait until morning before getting her off. At 0645 the process started, by 0730 I had also swum a line across the width of the bay and tied it off to one of the securing points on the far side. The combination of that line led to a main winch, the engine on full power ahead and the three heaviest sails on the end of the main boom, pushed out to starboard to give her a list and reduce her draft, and she came off, very slowly; it was a much tougher process than I had envisaged; the soft mud was covering hard sand and that had a much firmer grip! By 0830 we were back where we had started the night before but with much more anchor chain out! By the time I departed for Gocek, 1430, three other yachts had taken the challenge and entered the bay. Amazing how yachts congregate, the publicised outer part of the anchorage was almost empty!
Departing Gocek
An hour later I was anchored in the bay at Gocek. There are five marinas in Gocek but given that I did not need water and that it was much easier to anchor than Med moor in a marina, I chose to anchor off and use the dinghy to go in. The evening seemed to be building towards another thunderstorm and so, in the cause of safety, I decided to delay going ashore for victuals until Wednesday morning. By mid-day all was sorted and so after an early lunch I set off for Fethiye, a couple of hours sailing away. Having looked at the options for anchoring in the vicinity of Fethiye I opted for the anchorage on the SE side of Fethiye Adasi, the island effectively closing the entrance to the bay in which Fethiye sits.
Anchorage at Fethiye Adasi
Although open to the SE the anchorage is reasonably well protected and I sailed in and anchored at 1600. In the anchorage was only one other yacht, a Dutch couple whose boat I recognised from Marmaris. Next morning I dived in for a morning swim and got quite a surprise, the water was freezing cold (or in comparative terms anyway), I had anchored directly above a source of very cold fresh water coming up from the bottom of the bay. As I am under no time pressure I decided to stay a second day and do a bit more maintenance. The plan is to depart for Gemiler Adasi tomorrow and then onwards to Kas, my next deadline, by Monday next.
More in a few days …...