Kurukulla at Anegada, BVI

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.