|Korman Adasi with the hot spring on the right of the beach|
From Korman Adasi we set off across the bay for Kirkdilim Limni, 18 miles away; a deep inlet, not unlike a fjord, which has nothing in it other than a large mooring buoy, but who uses it remains a mystery. This beautiful and peaceful anchorage was totally unspoilt and we were able to anchor under sail in the head of the bay in 4m of water, 50m off the beach. The water allowed an inspection of the anchor as it was dropped, it was so clear. Just bliss! Another quiet evening here and still night such that we waited the following morning until midday before getting underway in order to allow a bit of thermal wind to build.
|The dreaded rubbish on the beach at Kirkdilim Limani|
|Clear water in Kirkdilim Limani, 4m deep!|
In the end we sailed off the anchor at 1200 and beat slowly out of the bay, in fickle winds, finally setting off westwards on a beam reach to do the 10 miles along the coast to Mersin Korfesi, a large bay with at least four suitable anchorages but which one to anchor in has to be determined by where the fish farms are this year. In the event the majority of the fish farms were in the approaches and not in the bay itself, and so we chose the quietest of the anchorages in the small bay in the far NE corner. The anchorage was superb but for the wind farm built all around it. Very few of them were generating, the remainder stood as stationary and stark reminders of the reasons why wind farms are a convenient clover leaf for politicians but do little to provide a continuous and reliable power generation capability. Very few people switch off their electrical appliances because the wind has stopped blowing, hence we still need to be able to meet the full demand from nuclear, coal, oil or gas powered power stations, or when available hydro and tidal power. Wind turbines simply intermittently duplicate existing capacity. You will have guessed I am not a supporter of littering some of the worlds best landscapes with wind turbines!
|Mersin Korfesi, spoilt by 30+ wind turbines!|
Next morning there was a gentle SE breeze and so we set off under engine to get out of the bay before the wind had a chance to die. 40 minutes later we were racing along, on a close reach, heading for the headland at Ak Burun and then heading north on a broad reach and run, past Cesme, to the almost deserted island of Karaada. A distance of 26 miles. At Karaada we decided to anchor in the western bay, this giving the best shelter from the SW winds that had set in. In the top of the bay, in the NW corner we sailed onto the anchor settling in 5m of water in idyllic surroundings; so idyllic in fact that we decided to stay two days here and do some maintenance.
|Karaada, west bay|
The following day we restricted ourselves to moving to the eastern bay simply for a change of scenery. This we shared with one other yacht but there is plenty of room for two. Late that evening our peace was disturbed by a large power boat entering at speed, at dusk, wanting to share the anchorage with us. Fortunately, after executing a handbrake turn they decided there was insufficient room for them and departed to go elsewhere leaving peace to descent once more in the anchorage.
|Self at Karaada, west bay|
The next day it was a gentle sail up to Egri Limani, only just over 6 miles away but being dead upwind it was nearer a 10 mile sail for us. On arrival we anchored in the bay on the western side of the inlet and settled down for a relaxing evening. The village, if it can be called that, consists of a small fishing community but little else. Not even a shop to be seen.
|Plastic debris at Agri Liman|
For that reason we declined the opportunity to go ashore and set off relatively early the next morning heading for Eskifoca, in the event
|Agri Liman at daybreak|
light winds led us to decide that we would break the passage and overnight in Yenifoca, on the north end of the Karaburun Peninsula. Yenifoca is a small fishing port and with very little deep water. One of the two possible berths shown on the plan in the Heikell Pilot is no longer deep enough to take a yacht, what was 2m+ is now just 0.5m. The only option is to go alongside the trawlers immediately on the right as you enter. We were very warmly welcomed by the fishermen and grateful for their advice re depths when we tried to back into the now too shallow berth recommended in the pilot. They warmly welcomed us alongside and could not have been more accommodating; notwithstanding the fact that they were leaving four hours after our arrival.
|Kurukulla alongside a trawler at Yeni Liman|
That night we had a fish supper ashore in the Akdag Restaurant, (recommended in Heikell) which was excellent. The fish was one I did not recognise and might not have chosen without the restaurateurs recommendation, it was an ugly beast, slightly overpriced but delicious all the same.
|Dinner at Akdag Restaurant, Yeni Limani|
Next morning the departed trawler returned at 0530 and we were up and about quickly, ready to haul off to allow him in alongside the second trawler where we were berthed. We were firmly told not to bother and he berthed across the stern of the other trawler to save us having to move. Amazing consideration considering it was his home and livelihood and we were just visiting! By 1200 that day we had had coffee ashore, purchased some victuals and were ready to set off. We motored out of the harbour and set sail to continue our passage to Eskifoca. The winds were variable between S and N and zero to 20kts, it made for an interesting and at times frustrating sail, but we arrived by 1600 and sailed onto the anchor in the North harbour, adjacent to Orak Adasi. From here we were able to spectate the dingy sailing and windsurfing going on from the Club Med resort on the mainland.
|Panorama in Orak Adasi anchorage, Eskifoca|
After another peaceful night in the anchorage and we set off relatively early for Akca Limani, 22 miles away, a shallow but interesting looking bay (on the chart at least) at the eastern end of Candarli Korfezi. The passage along the coast was interesting watching the coastline vary between open landscape, small towns and holiday villages and major ship building/breaking yards and oil refineries! Not much variation! On arrival at Akca Limani we sailed gently in, (it was charted at 3m by we recorded just slightly less 2.8m) and into a bay measuring 2.5 by 1.5 miles but all with a maximum depth of 6m; slightly unnerving sailing. That said we successfully anchored in 3m just off Tenasalik Burnu, the site of ancient Gryneum (of which nothing remains) under the sight of two seemingly brand new mosques.
|Inside the bay at Akca Limani, two new mosques in one photo!|
Having entered successfully through the south channel (there are two entrances to the bay with islands in between) we decided to leave via the north channel. The next morning, in a light NNW breeze we weighed anchor and beat gently up the bay until we could lay the north entrance easily. Set Kurukulla on stbd tack and headed out. The north channel is charted at 3m by Heikell and 3.7m by the Turkish Hydrographic Office. No problem there then. As we approached the entrance at 4kts we noted that as expected the echo sounder recorded 3.5m, 3m, 2.8m. 2.5m by which time we were concentrating hard but as we were in “the channel” there was no obvious place to go but onwards. As 2m came up on the echo sounder Kurukulla came to a gentle and silent halt. Oops! Not to be beaten we started the engine, dropped the sails and put a large, (No2 Genoa) full sailbag and the crew out on the boom to heel Kurukulla over, reduce her draft and get us off. She was having none of it! We were firmly stuck in soft sand and weed. Fortunately a local fishing boat came to see what these two mad sailors were doing and offered us a tow off. We passed them a line and then followed the discussion on where the deeper water might be. Initially they wanted to tow us out via the N entrance but this put us further into the shallows.
|Entering Kizkulesi Adasi|
Not to be beaten they then summoned a fellow fisherman plus his boat and with one towing from the bow, this time pulling us back the way we had come and the second pulling on the beam, using a line to the masthead to heel us over and reduce our draft, we came off, but not without an hour long struggle. They seemed as pleased as we were with the result and the 150YTL (£37.50) that we gave them for their trouble. So pleased were they in fact that one of them escorted us on our passage down to the southern entrance and through, just to make sure we did not need their services again! Really delightful guys and very helpful. They seemed genuinely surprised at our gift!
From the South Entrance we had a great beat out of Candarli Korfezi to the island of Kizkulesi Adasi, just on the north-western corner of the bay. NW F3 wind and flat seas.
Kurukulla was in her element doing 6kts plus, on the wind, in the flat water. By 1500 we were anchoring in the southerly of the two bays on the west coast of this island. We sailed in, onto the anchor, anchored in 6m and settled down for lunch. All was not going to be quite to plan as notwithstanding the forecast change of wind to the east the wind decided otherwise and went round to SSW giving us less shelter. For that reason, an hour after anchoring, we moved to the other bay only yards away where the shelter might be better. There we stayed the night and by midnight the forecast easterly wind had set in, moving northerly by the early morning thereby affording us a peaceful night. Next morning; however, we awoke to the sound of rain and that persisted, off and on, until 1400. Not what we wanted! Rather than brave the rain (cowardice I know) we decided to stay put and spend another night in the same anchorage. In contrast to the rain earlier in the day the evening was tranquil, dry and pleasant.
|The Hamam, Bademli Limani|
Next morning dawned cloudy but dry, There was a light NE breeze blowing but one which seemed destined not to last. In consequence we set sail early, sailed off the anchor, beat slowly out the bay and set course for Bademli Limani, notwithstanding the fact that we were only planning to do a 6 mile passage.
|The Hamam, Bademli Limani|
With the wind dying after the first hour this 6 miles was to take us nearly two hours and we motored the last two miles. Pleasant enough as the sun had now broken through.On arrival we anchored in the bay adjacent to the natural hot spring which, many years ago, had been converted to an ad hoc Hamam by the addition of a stone building enclosing the hot pool.
|Green water in the Hamam, Bademli Limani|
Keen to relax in this natural spa, as soon as we were securely anchored, we swam ashore to investigate. When I visited in 2011 the water was slightly cloudy but not unpleasant, in 2015 it was livid emerald green. We decided that the health risks of such water far outweighed the potential benefits and thus we steered well clear; a great shame! Notwithstanding the lack of the Hamam, the bay was dotted with small submerged geysers releasing streams of warm water into the sea. These rising hot currents made swimming warm and pleasurable.
That night we were greeted by the first proper thunderstorm of the season.
|Bademli Limani looking north.|
Amazing flashes of lightning but fortunately not too close. The winds got up from the NE pushing us offshore and thus we were able to enjoy a comfortable nights rest, despite the conditions. Next morning we set off early heading for the northern entrance of Bademli Limani en route for Ayvalik marina, some 26 miles to windward.With northerly winds eventually reaching 30 kts at times it was a wet and interesting sail, not least threading through the islands and the channel leading in towards Ayvalik Limani itself.
|Sunset at Ayvalik|
By 1500 we were berthed stern to in the marina and thinking about a late lunch; well deserved we felt!