Kurukulla at Anegada, BVI

Monday, 14 October 2013

Kalkan to Marmaris; the end of the 2013 season.

As planned Chris, Stuart and Jan-Willem joined in the afternoon of Saturday and Steve joined late that evening. By chance Steve was the only passenger in his airport transfer and, as a consequence, arrived 90 minutes ahead of schedule to find an empty boat! We were all ashore having an evening meal in Ilyada, one of the waterfront restaurants; good food and 10% discount card available if you press them!
Kalkan Harbour
Fortunately his detective abilities allowed him to find us and join in for most of the meal. By this stage the rest of us had already re-victualled the boat and so we were already for an early-ish departure next morning. In the event we departed at 0830.
Our first destination was the bay on the east side of Kotu Burun, a relatively open bay and mostly too deep to anchor; however, there is a small shallow patch in the NNW corner where anchoring without a line ashore is possible, (beware of snagging your anchor cable on underwater rocks). We anchored here for lunch and a swim. Thereafter we set off for the anchorage at Gemiller Adasi where we planned to spend the night; we arrived at 1800, just before sunset. A long day but worthwhile as it allowed us to make a first passage with Stuart, our novice sailor onboard, in benign conditions. We had sailed about half of the 30 mile passage and motored the rest.
The anchorage in the NW corner of Gemiller Adasi is one of my favourites, listed by Rod Heikell as fair weather only but in fact good in all winds except those between SW and E. The holding is good and suitable tie backs are easy to find. The advantage of his qualified recommendation is that few people use it! We were able to get the prime spot and decided to stay two nights in this idyllic environment. The boat selling local produce duly came and we were able to top up with fresh fruit and “village bread”, at a price, but the bread is truly delicious.
Steve's promotion celebration...
He remembered Kurukulla from last year and seemed genuinely pleased to see us again (we must have paid too much!). It was also here that Steve heard that he had been promoted at work and so a celebration ensued, helped by the fact that he had arrived with two bottles of champagne in his bag (in preparation for this or a later event).
Two days later we set off again, sailing off the anchor and bound for Fethiye Korfezi and Skopea Limani. These are wonderful cruising grounds and full of beautiful anchorages. Our passage west was less than comfortable with contrary winds in excess of 20 kts but I need not have worried the entire crew weathered the passage without problem, despite the discomfort. We initially entered the southern arm of the anchorge at Kizilkuyruk Koyu where we were able to have lunch and a swim but it rapidly became evident that this was not going to be sheltered enough for the night, hence we motored the four miles round to Seagull Cove and started looking for a suitably protected anchorage in the boisterous conditions, by now winds gusting, mostly from the west, up to 35 kts (top F7).
Anchorage at the entrance to Wall Bay
After a fruitless tour of Seagull Bay and Fathom Cove we decided to opt for Wall Bay but on entering we noticed a small cove on the NE side of the entrance which was empty and looked ideal. We took it. Anchor down in 10m, we tied back and settled for the night. It was of course this night that the new anchor decided not to hold first time; fortunately it held well second time, an hour later, so not ideal holding but good once in. The only downside was that Steve had a rather cold swim, whilst holding the stern lines in place, whilst the rest of us motored out and reset the anchor. Just as well we had found a well protected anchorage and now had the anchor well dug in as there followed a major thunder storm that night with all the unpredictable wind strengths and directions associated with it!
We survived the lot but next morning the rain continued and so we spent the morning idling our time away. By afternoon the weather had improved to that of a good summers day and hence we decided to spend much of the rest of the day here; amazing how much fun you can have using the spinnaker halyard as a jumping/diving rope!
Boynuz Buku at sunset
Ultimately we left in time to get Jan-Willem to Boynuz Buku to have a final meal that evening and ready for his 0500 taxi departure next day. Dinner was plain but adequate food; made up for by it's convenience to Dalaman Airport (80YTL ~ £27 taxi ride).
Following J-W's departure (in fact some hours later) we sailed off the marina berth, much to the surprise of our neighbours (well it was downwind), and set off for one of the bays back at the southern end of Skopea Limani; in the event we spotted a superb, deserted, cove on the north side of the entrance to Sarsila Koyu where we were soon anchored in the centre of the cove and tied back to the bollards on shore.
Cove on the north side of the entrance to Sarsila Koyu
In this area the shoreline is littered with bollards to tie up to; it is illegal to tie boats back to trees on the shoreline thereby avoiding damage to their bark and ultimately killing them. It had been another glorious day!
By now we were in need of more victuals and so, early in the afternoon of the following day, we sailed north to the Skopea Marina at Gocek; €20 for four hours alongside saw us re-victualled and watered and heading south again for another night in Boynuz Buku, this time anchoring in the shallows on the north-eastern side of the head of the bay.
Next day we headed south again and entered Tomb Bay, mooring in the very northern tip of the bay, off the beach. Whilst here Steve heard that he had become an Uncle for the first time, his brother and sister in law, living in Melbourne, Australia, had produced! Another celebration, but we had already consumed all the champagne! Later in the day we decided to head north and go to Yassica Adalari. The weather gods were against us. By the time we arrived the wind had set in from the north making the normally tranquil anchorage untenable, hence we bailed out and headed for the peace of Boynuz Buku yet again, this time anchoring and tying back at the head of the bay, on the south side, opposite the restaurant moorings. A peaceful place to spend the night.
View north across the lagoon at Yassica Adalari
Sunday morning dawned windless and so we decided to give Kizilkuyruk Koyu another try, this time we were able to secure the small cove on the NE side of the bay for ourselves and spent a wonderful day swimming and sunning ourselves, at the end of which we set off for the anchorage at Yassica Adalari again, a fabulous ten mile passage, on a beam reach and this time the lagoon was deserted and tranquil. Another great anchorage for the night.
Monday dawned clear and bright as expected, hence we stayed in the lagoon for the forenoon and had a leisurely lunch before departing for a short but enjoyable sail across to Boynuz Buku, again. It was from here that Chris and Stuart were to depart early that evening.
Chris and Stuart's pre departure meal at Boynuz Buku
The sail was a close fetch in a steady wind and for them it was a fitting way to end a sailing holiday. We berthed stern to the pontoon and ordered a table for an early dinner, in order to eat before their departure. By 1830 they had headed to the airport leaving Steve and I to debate where next! A German group, in two boats, adjacent to us were also debating the same subject and we decided to join forces in Fethiye the next evening, in order to dine at the fish market (On which more later).
At 1000 we motored off the pontoon and headed slowly towards Fethiye, stopping for a morning swim and lunch in the anchorage on the west side of Yassica Adalari. Excellent moorings available in this anchorage. Shortly before our departure we noticed another yacht slowly negotiate the narrow passage through between Yassica Adalari and the very small island to the south of it. There are two islands to the south, the channel between the two is rock bound and impassable but that between the main island of Yassica and the eastern of the two small islands is passable, with care, in fair weather; minimum 3.5m recorded. All adds to the excitement!
The central island at Fethiye fish market
From here we sailed over to Fethiye Adasi where we anchored for a swim in the cool spring waters which rise to the surface in this bay. Finally we sailed off the anchor and headed into the large anchorage opposite the marina in Fethiye where we anchored and set up for the night. Two hours and a large G&T later we were heading ashore in the dinghy to buy some provisions in the marina supermarket and then to leave them in the dinghy and head for the fish market. The fish market is a great find and well worth visiting. The centre is filled with a large island formed of several fish mongers all selling fresh fish of all descriptions. You purchase what takes your fancy and then take it to any of the restaurants on the perimeter who will then cook and serve it for you for the princely sum of 6YTL (£2). We opted for a small (whole) tuna for a main course with some red snapper as a starter along with some fish mezze purchased from the restaurant. All that combined with a bottle of very drinkable wine came to 125YTL (£42) in total, split between two of us. A delightful way to eat fish al fresco!
After the fish market we returned onboard, via the dinghy, taking with us one of our new found German friends. He decided that the offer of a whisky onboard Kurukulla was too good to miss. The result was several whiskies in Kurukulla, some late night boating in the dinghy (to get him back to his boat) and sore heads all round next morning. The joys of sailing.....!
Departing Kizilkuyruk Koyu
After another trip ashore next morning, to get yet more victuals and some spare parts, we set off for a final visit to the anchorage at Kizilkuyruk Koyu which is the best placed anchorage for our departure west the next day. A slightly frustrating beat to windward in frequently shifting winds but fun all the same. We arrived just before sunset to find that this normally tranquil anchorage was crowded and although we were able to secure a good spot to anchor and tie back in, it was not the tranquil spot we were expecting. C'est la vie. It was only for one night and the majority left early next morning, unlike us who delayed to enjoy the anchorage. Our departure was even further delayed by a last minute request from an adjacent boat to charge his laptop onboard Kurukulla; his inverter (to provide 240v from the 12v ship's battery) had failed. One beer later, and with his laptop half charged; he and we finally departed at 1530, just in time to get to the next anchorage, at Baba Adasi, by sunset. Baba Adasi is an anchorage between the mainland and the island, very easy to enter and normally very tenable.
Self at sunset, Baba Adasi
We sailed in, dropped the anchor well clear of the others, and settled down to watch the manoeuvres of those who arrived later than us and insisted on pushing in amongst the crowd; one of the joys of sailing, watching others conducting unaccustomed berthing manoeuvres!
By the time we woke in the morning almost all the others had departed. We again waited for the afternoon breeze to set in, notwithstanding it was a contrary wind and therefore would require us to beat westwards, preferring this to motoring in a still calm. In the event the wind got up about 1400 and was at times more boisterous than we had anticipated. It still led to a good beat to windward to Ekincik where we decided to anchor in the large bay on the west side of Koycegiz Koyu just north of Kizil Burun. The bay is open to the east but provides a good anchorage in most conditions; that is if you can tolerate the large population of biting flies and wasps that seem to inhabit it.
Arriving off Marmaris
By mid day the next day we had been bitten enough; we decided to sail off the anchor and make the short beat into Ekincik itself where we could anchor for the next night and made a trip ashore for essentials the next morning. Next morning became the next afternoon and finally we decided to stay put for the night and sail for Marmaris early the next day. The wind was forecast to be northerly guaranteeing a fast and smooth passage. At 2000 we took the dinghy ashore and toured the “town” (a large, partly (10%) finished, hotel with two restaurants and a small general store – that was it!). We chose the easterly restaurant, had it entirely to ourselves (slightly worrying but then the others were empty as well!) and enjoyed a very good meal despite the lack of company.
Monday morning dawned clear and bright so we sailed off the anchor at 0815, just as the sun crept over the surrounding hills. Sailed out of the bay and made steady progress towards Marmaris.
The view from the top
By 1200 the wind had dropped to nothing and so we decided to drift for a bit and have a scrambled egg and smoked salmon brunch whilst we waited for the onshore breeze to start. Sure enough by 1330 it filled in and we sailed into the bay at Marmaris. First stop was Netsel Marina to refuel, (always best to leave the tank full for the winter, stops problems of condensation collecting in the tank) and then it was onwards under engine to Yacht Marine and into an afloat berth to await lifting out in 7 days time.
Taking advantage of Steve's presence I completed the end of season mast inspection before his departure,
See you next year
(much easier to have someone to wind you up the mast!). After that, all that is left for this year is cleaning and preserving! Steve's taxi arrived at the appointed 1720 to take him to Dalaman Airport and I set about putting Kurukulla to bed.

More in April next year when, all things being equal, she goes back in the water again........

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Westwards again towards Kalkan

In the event the evening was calm enough to spend the night anchored off Anemurium; what a sight to wake up to! At 0630, just after the sun had risen, we set off westwards, back to Alanya.
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.
Approaching Side
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.
Hassan's restaurant
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.

Monday, 16 September 2013

An unexpected return to UK.

Awaiting joiners at Kalkan
Ray Ale and Julien all joined at Kalkan as expected. The plan was to move round into the inland sea at Kekova and then spend a week cruising the various anchorages in that area before a planned departure from Ugacik and my move along the coast to Finike.
We managed to cruise the inland sea from end to end including the beautiful anchorage at Karaloz on the south-east side of Kekova Adasi, my favourite from last year at Gokkaya Limani and the now traditional night at the Yoruk Ramazan restaurant at Polemos Buku
The anchorage at Karaloz, south-east side of Kekova Adasi
followed by the tour and snorkel trip round the ancient city of Aperlae. Indeed we achieved most of our planned itinerary but as the week went on the news from home on the health of my 98 year old father grew more grave; he had been relatively fine only three weeks before when I had last been in UK.
Yoruk Ramazan restaurant at Polemos Buku
Finally on the Saturday, the day of departure of the three friends, I received the call that I needed to return to the UK as my father was not expected to last more than a few days. The friends departed as planned from Ucagiz on the Saturday as I debated where to leave the boat. My initial intention was to take it to the marina at Finike, 20 miles east; but the local harbour master, on hearing my plight, offered to take care of the boat where it was. The local travel agent provided the taxi to the airport (three hours away) and Monarch provided a short notice (but very expensive) flight back to the UK. Sadly, despite all the efforts of those involved, I was not to get back in time. My father passed away on the Saturday night and I got the message whilst waiting for the flight at Antalya airport on the Sunday morning. C'est la vie; 98 is a good innings!
The next two weeks were spent in the UK arranging the funeral and dealing with my father's affairs; fortunately, I also have an elder brother with whom to share the task. The result was that I was able to keep my time away from the boat down to just two weeks and on return all was well. Good to his word, the harbourmaster had moved her to one of the most protected berths in the small marina and had taken good care of her.
On my return I was accompanied by Christoph Herren, a friend of mine who had been due to fly out to Finike via Antalia but changed his flight to accompany me out some days after his planned date.
The waterfront at Ucagiz
We arrived together in Ucagiz at 0400 on the Sunday morning, spent Monday re-victualling and recovering and then set off late in the day to try to catch up a bit of the programme as Christoph was keen to see some of the fantastic historic sites along the Turkish south coast. That evening we spent in Gokkaya Limani again, to give us time to sort ourselves out, and again accompanied by a gullet load of Australian backpackers, Oh joy! Disco music until 0300! Next day we headed for Finike Marina to get fresh provisions and fuel and then headed onwards, in a blustery wind, to Cavus Limani where we anchored in the Southern corner for the night.
Christoph had kindly brought out with him the replacement Autopilot, (aka George II). I decided that, as we wanted to do a night crossing the next night, across to Alanya, it would be sensible to fit George II before attempting this.
View north in Cavus Limani
Hence the next day was spent cable running and installing the new kit. By 1600 were were ready for sea trials, by 1630 we had become bored with weaving our way all over the sea whilst trying to prevent “George II” from steering a sinuous course all over the ocean. Try as I might I could not tune out the instability. We decided to postpone our crossing for 24 hours, spend the night in Cineviz Limani, and to consult the company representative in UK. This was all to no avail, their advice was only that which we had already tried; hence we sailed the following afternoon, without autopilot, across to Alanya whilst I racked my brains for the cause. After a relatively pleasant crossing, if in variable conditions, we arrived in Alanya at 0500 the following day; where we anchored under the “Red Tower” in front of the ancient dockyard.
Ancient dockyard and Red Tower at Alanya
By 1000 we were surrounded by noisy tourist boats, mostly disguised (badly) as pirate galleons! Thus at 1030 we sailed for another trials period. After a day of checking connections, testing, reading and re-reading the manual, in temperatures of 40 deg C, I decided to try a different basic setting for the drive type, adopting the one for “Mechanically propelled vessels”; not quite a description of a sailing boat but “eureka” George now worked stably and effectively! (For some reason there is no Sailing vessel setting listed in the manual!). The problem was a missing comma in the handbook....... Where they intended to say “Linear, rotary and sterndrive, with a rudder reference unit” they had actually written “Linear, rotary and sterndrive with a rudder reference unit” thus it was that I discovered that for the initial setting used all three required a rudder reference unit and not just for the sterndrive application! Kurukulla has a Linear drive....... Hmmm.
By mid afternoon we were ready to move into the harbour and I tried to berth where I had been so warmly received last year, on the Coast Guard jetty. Not so this year. It has been totally taken over by local fishermen and, unlike the fisherman who was so welcoming and helpful last year, these guys were anything but welcoming, even stringing ropes across between boats to prevent us entering empty berths! It is a public jetty, available to all, but they were having none of it! In disgust we headed over to the other side of the harbour where there is also public berthing and where we were able to go stern to; here we were welcomed by the locals! Strange how two groups of local people can be so different.
A night ashore in Alanya was followed by a day of sightseeing for Christoph and a day of finishing the job for me; that is after I had been to Alanya marina on the back of a motorcycle taxi to collect a new gas cylinder. An experience not to be missed...... up pavements (sidewalks), one way streets the wrong way, and finally out on a dual carriageway at speed. Paragliding last year had nothing on this!
Successful operation having been achieved, it was now time to re run, in permanent fashion, all the temporary cable runs; all this again in the same soaring temperatures! I think I lost several kilos'!
Alanya by night
That done, we set off to the supermarket to re-victual the boat and then spent another pleasant evening in Alanya before moving out into the anchorage again, late in the evening, in preparation for an early departure next day; and to get away from the discotheques! Even there we were plagued by “Pirate Galleons”, masquerading as floating discotheques, for most of the night. The Marchioness disaster on the river Thames, some years back, would pale into insignificance if two of these collided!
With an 0600 start we set off for Anemurium, the ancient Roman city on the most southerly tip of the Turkish mainland, 60 miles away. We stopped over night, en route, in Yackacik Koyu; a bay on the west coast 15 miles short of Anamur Burnu.
Banana plantation on the water's edge, Yackacik Koyu
Fortunately, by tucking ourselves right into the small cove on the north-western side of the bay (known for a small hut perched on the rocks on the right hand side) we were able to get a reasonable nights sleep; as did three fishing boats who later anchored very near us during the night! We were all trying to get as far in as possible and out of the swell.
The Roman Hammam at Anemurium
Next morning, after two hours of motor sailing we arrived, just in time for the wind to get up. Fortunately we were again able to tuck in to the bay and get out of the worst of the seas, even despite the wind gusting into the bay at 20 knots at it's maximum.
As I write this, looking at the ancient settlement of Anemurium, the wind is abating, the sun shining, the warm seas calling and a G&T is in the offing; hence more in a few days time after we have turned west again.

Friday, 16 August 2013

Marmaris to Kalkan

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........

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Back to Marmaris

Kurukulla stern to in Skala, Astypalaia
My plan to enter Skala harbour was scuppered by the high winds of the Tuesday evening, making the prospect of single handed berthing with 30 knots of wind from ahead too risky; hence I simply motored the three miles across the bay from Ormos Maltezana to Ormos Livhadi and anchored in the secure anchorage there for the night. With the alarm set for 0530, when the wind was likely to be at its lightest, I turned in. I woke 15 mins before the alarm to find the winds had indeed moderated and therefore I set off for the port just as the sun was rising. By 0615 I was securely med. moored in Scala harbour with 50m of anchor cable out ahead and well tied back to the jetty. Not too difficult a manoeuvre on your own provided the securing points on the jetty are reasonably easy to reach from the boat and of course a strong wind is not creating problems. At this ungodly time of day there was not a soul on the jetty to render me any assistance!
George and Nigel, the friends joining, duly arrived on the mid-day flight and were onboard by 1330. By 1600 we were re-victualled from the local “supermarket” (in UK it would qualify for the title “village store”) and only lacking bread; the bakery did not reopen until 1700 and so we made all the preparations to leave and did so after a last minute dash, by George, to the bakery as it reopened.
With strong northerly winds forecast for the next few days we were destined to spend some time on the south coast of Astipalaia and so headed off to spend another night in Ormos Maltezana. Next day we moved, all of one mile, into Ormos Vrissi where we sunned and swam the day away and then the next morning moved into Ormos Agrilithi for another visit. The holding proved equally unreliable but on the third attempt the anchor held well. (I really must get a more efficient type of anchor!)
Morning coffee in Kamares
By 1400, just as we finished lunch, the winds seemed to abate and, although not forecast for another 24 hours, we decided to make a dash for it and headed off to Kos.
The crossing was swift, a beam reach for most of the way, with some larger seas but nothing excessive. By 1830 we were rounding the southern tip of Kos and after a beat in brisk gusty conditions we finally anchored in Ormos Kamares at 1910. Supper onboard and a relatively early night were the order of the day.
Next morning we took the dinghy ashore for a morning coffee in one of the tavernas; our plan was also to get some fresh meat and victuals from the local shops. With the nearest butcher over a mile away we despatched George inland with the local “supermarket” owner, who had kindly offered a lift there in his car, whilst Nigel and I took the dry goods back to the boat. 50 minutes later George arrived on the beach clutching a large bag of meat, we retrieved him in the dinghy, hoisted it onboard and then sailed off the anchor at 1400 heading for the island of Tilos some 30 miles away.
Anchored off the beach, Ormos Eristou, Tilos
The sail was mostly a good reach but with some frustrating periods of light wind as we passed through the gap between Nisos Nisiros and Nisos Pakhia, around the half way point. Eventually we entered the bay at Ormos Eristou at 1945, just as the sun dropped behind the hills, motored the last 400m for lack of wind and set about preparing supper which was to be followed by a film; with a heavy dew already accumulating both supper and the film were below decks.
The following day dawned misty and damp, not something we had seen for many weeks;
The narrow passageways of the Chora, Tilos
however, it soon cleared and we decided to make the mile and a half trek (300m rise) to the chora to get some fresh vegetables and to see the “town”. En route we stopped at a small “supermarket”/taverna, 100m on the left as you leave the beach-front, for refreshments and ordered our vegetables from them rather than cart them down from the chora. A decision we were later to regret!

The chora was quiet, almost deserted. We visited the church, worth it for the view, and then, following an ice cream, started the descent back to the boat.
View of the bay from the church above the Chora
On arriving at the “taverna” we decided to enjoy lunch there rather than prepare something onboard.
The lunch!
In the event it was a rather disappointing pasta al forno, “dish of the day”, which combined with starters we did not order and three cold drinks came to €50, a ridiculous price for such a venue, first and last visit, never again! Beware!
An hour later, at 1530, we sailed off the anchor heading for Symi. Initially the wind promised a reasonable sail but before we had even left the bay it dropped away to nothing and there it stayed until we motored into Panormittis Bay, Symi at 2030. There had hardly been a breath of wind all afternoon; even so I still cannot understand the attraction of motorboats!
The monastery at Panormittis
Panormitis is an almost fully enclosed bay with a large monastery facing the entrance. Inside were two dozen yachts at anchor but even so we were able to find a place to anchor without difficulty. The night was calm and the temperature warm. Supper on deck followed by another film,”The Illusionist”; not a film I had heard of before but entertaining.
With wind still absent we motored out of Panormitis at 1000 the next day and headed to Nisos Seskli, a small island south of Symi,
Panormittis entrance at sunset
where there is an anchorage on the SE corner called Ormos Skomisa. It proved to be a delightful anchorage, not quite deserted but this was July, but with very variable holding. Snorkelling around the boat it was obvious that there were few patches of decent sand on which to anchor and the added “anchor snagging” risk presented by two large anchors abandoned on the bottom, remains of a wrecked ship perhaps? Fortunately we found sand and missed the anchors, just!
Later that afternoon we motored out of the anchorage and headed towards Symi town where we needed to be the following day. For that night we turned into Ormos Nanou and anchored parallel to the cliffs on the northern side. Unless you want to be near the beach it is too deep to anchor any distance out, that is unless you drop on the shelf near the cliffs and tie back at an angle; which is what we did.
Anchored on the north side of Ormos Nanou
With no moon the darkness in the bay at midnight was impenetrable but the attraction of a midnight swim irresistible! The phosphorescence was astounding, swimming in a pool of bright blue light!
Next morning we had a lazy start; well I did, George and Nigel seem to require less sleep than me and are usually up at 0700! By 1000 we had had breakfast and a swim and set off for Symi town with the intention of anchoring for lunch and a swim along the way. Our first attempt at a place to stop was in the anchorage inside the island of Ay Marina, just north of Pethi, but this was over-run with tourists and other anchored boats and so we continued to Ormos Symi, inside the bay in which Symi sits, and found ourselves a small cove in which to spend the afternoon before beating the rush into Symi at 1600 in order to get a berth.
Our quiet anchorage in Ormos Symi
Whilst we were anchored in the cove I also went for a trek up the hillside to get some good photographs of the boat at anchor; always good to get some exercise ashore when possible!
By 1630 we were stern to in the port of Symi and whilst I got on with some administration George and Nigel set out to find us a suitable venue for dinner than night. In the event they offered a choice of one of two, one of which I had been to before and could recommend and hence we went back there. It is the furthest from the port on the northern arm of the bay, looking back into the port; beautiful waterfront views.
Symi port from above
Next morning it was the normal routine of exiting Greece, Port Police, Immigration Police (conveniently situated as far from the port police as you can get in Symi harbour) followed by Duty Free shop and Customs, followed by Port Police again and then you are free to go! By 1245 we were under-way, cheating slightly by using “Solent rig” i.e. genoa only, as we reached downwind to Bozburun in Turkey. By 1445 we were entering the passage at Kizil Adasi and decided to anchor for the night in the small bay at the entrance to the passage where there are the remains of someone’s folly, a house/taverna mostly complete but now going to ruin! Such a shame as it is a well designed building. The anchorage was well sheltered from the westerly winds and ideal for the night. We tied back to the shore and, after two attempts to get the anchor to hold properly (never again a Bruce anchor!), settled down to a relaxed evening.
The folly at Kizil Adasi anchorage
Next morning it was time to do battle with the Turkish authorities. We motored into Bozburun harbour and tied back to the jetty in almost the same berth as last year. Many of the locals recognised us or at least convinced us they did! Try as I might I could not persuade the authorities that I did not need to employ an agent. “The rules have changed.... etc etc....”. At under 10 net tons I should be allowed to do the formalities myself but the transit log, a government issued document, is only available from an agent and they will not provide it if you do not employ them.... Catch 22! Suffice to say €130 and an hour later we were legally in Turkey! The other catch was the “Blue Card”; an electronic record of where and when you pump out your sewage holding tank, without it you cannot get a transit log. There are no facilities for pumping out in Bozburun and so you have to visit the Port Police, pay your 10YTL (£3.50), and have a “virtual” pump out put on your card. One would hope the money taken would go towards building the necessary facility but I doubt it somehow! I can't help feeling that they would be better employed trying to eradicate the enormous amounts of plastic floating in the seas rather than worrying about a bit of “fish food”. Plastic is much the greater threat to the environment. The other joy of Bozburun was a Turkish haircut, by far the best barbers I have ever found; I had the full works, haircut beard trim etc and the other two settled for a wet shave. All well worth it.
By 1430 we had completed our business in Bozburun and so set sail for one of the anchorages en route Marmaris. We set off with a reef in the main and numerous rolls in the No 1 genoa.
Bozburun waterfront
Our intention had been to anchor in one of the bays around Serce or Bozuk Buku but after rounding Karaburun the SW tip of this part of Turkey we were making good progress and decided to carry on. Little did we know, twenty minute after passing Serce we were hit by a series of vicious squalls coming from the NW, down the steep hills of the peninsular; strong gusts are not uncommon round here but these were 40+ knots, almost no warning of their arrival, and almost continuous. I leapt for the helm of Kurukulla, turned her downwind in the worst of the gusts and sought a lee somewhere to get some reefs back in; we had shaken them all out some hours before due to lack of wind! Fortunately, despite a few periods where we were way overpowered and verging on out of control, we came through it unscathed and eventually managed to get reefs in both main and genoa to reduce the sail area by half or more. Thirty minutes later we anchored in the cove at Gerbekse (the anchor holding at the second attempt) and tied back to the rocks. Even that was not to be the end of the story; at 0400 I felt the wind getting up and went on deck to check all was well, which it was, and stayed on deck until 0600 when the wind died down; at 0700 I noticed the wind had changed direction 180 deg. And surprise surprise the anchor was dragging, despite the fact that we had swum over it and checked it was well dug in the night before, (a replacement for the Bruce anchor can't come soon enough!). A hasty departure ensued and we motored up to the entrance to Marmaris Limani and anchored at 0745 at the north end of the bay Turunk Buku where we spent the next day relaxing, swimming but frequently surrounded by tourist gullets (tourist boats). Just as the sun was setting, after all the gullets had departed and we had the bay to ourselves, we were settling down for dinner when a large plastic motor cruiser, with a birthday party group onboard and imitating a mobile discotheque, came and anchored 30m away, Oh joy! Suffice to say we weighed anchor and motored southwards along the bay until we could no longer hear it, about three quarters of a mile away; there we re-anchored and spent the night!
Saturday 13 July was George and Nigel's day of departure hence we weighed anchor mid morning and headed for the marina at Yacht Marine, Yalanci Bogazi, inside Marmaris bay. I had already contacted the marina to try to book a berth but without success, “full, no spaces available before the end of August” was the cry so I decided to try the direct approach. It worked; we were offered a berth on arrival and I was then able to go into the office and negotiate for the rest of the stay I required to allow me to leave the boat there and head back to UK for a couple of weeks at the end of July, to see the folks. The crew departed at 1800 for Dalaman airport and I settled down to a quiet evening....... Tomorrow is a maintenance day........
More when I get under-way again in August.