Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Sailing Around Bodrum Region

Hi all Sue here

Late again with the blog sorry, don’t know where time goes to!! Too busy enjoying ourselves I hear you say!!

Arrived back from the UK along with my son Joe and his partner Heather, who had come for a weeks holiday. They had never actually sailed with us before so it was all new to them. Fortunately we had good weather and managed to visit quite a few places. From Asin limani we went to Yalikavak where we based ourselves for a few days. They went from here across to Kos on the ferry and a bus trip to Bodrum. It is a good place to stock up and a nice town. We then visited Gumusluk, very busy touristy place, all restaurants and gift shops. It says in the pilot book that you can walk across to Tavsan Ada, Rabbit Island, but it is now surrounded by barbed wire and says no access.

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Joe and Heather On Board

Stunning Sunset in Gumsluk

Next stop was Turk Buku. A very pretty resort but also quite expensive place hosting many restaurants and bars. There was a very good fishmongers here though that was very reasonable. We then went to Ilica Buku which is a long inlet surrounded by pine trees. This was a beautiful peaceful anchorage and Joe and Heather managed to do some kayaking here. All too soon it was time to head back to Asin Limani for them to fly home. We then based ourselves here until the 31st May as Caroline and Richard were then due to join us for 3 weeks.

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Not Quite in Time Paddling

Sue and Steph – No Drink Involved !!

We arranged to meet up with Steph and Andy in Asin Limani as they were buying our old Dinghy Davits' from us. As usual a quiet glass of wine soon turned into many and we all had a great night. Hopefully we will meet up with them again later in the year.

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This Windsurfing is Easy

Whoops – Perhaps Not

Chris also decided it was a good time to try out the windsurfer we bought in Finike, I’m saying nothing as there is no way I could have stood up on it but it did look quite a challenge even for Chris!!

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Helen and Jean in Iassos

One of the Ephesus Cats


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Main Street in Ephesus

Ephesus Library Facade


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Small Part of Ephesus Ampitheatre

The Traventines at Pamukale

For the first 3 days of Caroline and Richards stay we hired a car and visited Ephesus and Pamukkale. Both of these places are a must see. They were absolutely amazing and well worth the journey. We had an overnight stay in really friendly pension called Sinter Terasse Hotel, Pamukkale. While Caroline and I bathed in Cleopatra’s Pool Chris and Richard hiked up to the Ruins of Hierapolis, which they said were also amazing. They took loads of photos to show us what we had missed but I still think we had the better deal!! After Ephesus all other ruins look so small.

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Terraced Pools at Pamukale

Lounging in the Warm Waters


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Huge Contrast Between the White Traventine and the Surroundings

Anchored in the Ancient Harbour of Knidos

After a major stock up on supplies we were ready to set sail again, first stop Knidos and yes you’ve guessed more ruins!! Chris and Richard went off on one of their little hikes and came back with more photos for us. It was a very pretty anchorage and well worth a visit.

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View over Simi Harbour

Rest Stop at Monastery on Simi Walk, Nearly 300m High

Next stop was Simi where we managed to tie up to the pier in Pethi, which was just as well as a lot of the boats on anchor dragged. We watched the fun and games and at one point Chris and Richard took the dinghy out to help one boat. When we arrived in Pethi it was really nice to see Awake there and Francis joined the boys on one of their hikes across the Island. It was a very long and strenuous hike and Richard came back sporting a very large blister but they said it was well worth the pain!! Caroline and I opted for the walk over the hill into Simi town in the morning then a local ferry to a beautiful beach in the afternoon. Are you still with us ladies!! We then all had a nice meal aboard Nimrod in the evening. Next morning we said farewell to Francis, not sure when we will meet up with him again.

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Bozborun Sailing Club on Afternoon Jaunt

Sisters Ready to Party

Time to head back to Turkey. Bozborun for one night then on to Keki Buku. We don’t seem to be staying anywhere more than one night so I won’t bore you with all the details but will just include photos of our stops. Keki Buku is where we had the best meal so far in Turkey. The restaurant used to be called Iskelle but at the moment hasn’t got a name!!


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Night Out in Keki Buku

Moonrise in Kuruca Buku


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Kargi Koyu Near Datca

Climbing Above Tuzla Koyu to Take -

Next it was Datka for shopping then on to Kargi Koyu. Another lovely anchorage which we ended up having all to ourselves. There was quite a commotion on shore while we were there with one car driving onto the beach and getting stuck so a tractor had to pull him off and a couple of hours later another car rolled down the hill and got stuck on top of a rock so the same little tractor had to be called to the rescue again. It all provides entertainment for us.

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Nimrod in Our Own Private Cove

The Girls Relaxing in Crystal Waters

We then spent a night in North Cove before heading on to Tuzla Koyu and had another beautiful anchorage with crystal clear waters all to ourselves. Temperatures are creeping up now so chilling on the lilos is best way to stay cool.

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Cleopatras Beach, Castle Island

Akbuk Limani, Doga Restaurant

Akbuk Limani was our next stop. We had a lovey welcome here from the restaurant staff and best value for money meal. It was now time to start heading back towards Bodrum and of course find somewhere for the men to watch the football so we went to Cokertme. Unfortunately the meal was probably the worst and most expensive of the holiday so the Cokertme Restaurant is not a place we would recommend, and not improved much by Englands exit from the World Cup.

All too soon we were back in Bodrum to let Richard and Caroline catch their flight back home and the contrast with our earlier stop here could not have been more marked. Lots more boats in the anchorage, all the beachfront shops and cafes now open, beach all buoyed off for swimming and covered in sun beds and huge volumes from the bars and nightclubs until around 4am, definitely not a place for a good nights sleep.

We moved a mile south to a much quieter bay for a couple of days because we needed some spares for our watermaker motor, a stroll into the Bodrum Sanayi (Industrial Estate) soon found an electrical shop with boxes and boxes of dusty parts and a 10 minute search turned up two capacitors of the right size for very little money so the watermaker was very soon up and running again. This was much needed since all the water along the N Coast of the Bodrum Gulf had been very brackish so  not good for filling the tanks.

From Bodrum we wanted to try and get a bit further N up the Turkish Coast and the nearby Greek Islands so we hopped slowly down the coast to Akyarlar waiting for a bit of favourable wind to get around the end of the peninsula. We got back around to Turk Buku and this was again much noisier and much busier than our last visit so we headed back to the peace and tranquillity of Iassos again for a couple of days.

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Agathonisi Harbour, French Boats Filling the Anchorage

Same Place, The Next Day we Have it to Ourselves – Magical

We had a boisterous passage to Cukurcuk with much more wind than forecast and of course it was right on the nose so it was pretty wet and bumpy, luckily Cukurcuk is a lovely anchorage with a few fishing boats, motorhomes and cottages around the deserted shores. Next morning we had a dawn start to get to Agathonisi, only 12nm but the wind doesn’t really start until late morning so we had a gentle motor in nearly calm conditions to arrive in the remote Greek Island of Agathonisi before 9am.

Agathonisis is a delightful, sleepy little place with only about 200 permanent residents and a lot of the tourism is due to yachts. We anchored in the best spot at the top of the harbour seeing as we were the only boat in the anchorage at that time, however by early afternoon the French had arrived in force and proceeded to anchor five boats where most people would struggle to fit two, fortunately most of the close encounters did not involve us so we left them to it.

The water in the harbour is crystal clear and the surroundings are pretty close to idyllic, we have some strong winds forecast in the next couple of days so we are just going to have to suffer the peace and quiet until it all calms down and we can move a bit further N to Samos. So until next blog Adio from us.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

North From Finike

Well as you know from our Winter report we did manage to escape from Finike Marina and all the partying that we endured over the winter.

We left in calm conditions followed by Lis and Flemming on Summertime and motored to Kekova Roads for our first night at anchor, we managed to put the sails up for about an hour but that was really only a token effort. As we entered Kekova we were greeted by two large dolphins swimming in front of our bows so that was a memorable start to our cruising season.

We looked into Woodhouse Bay anchorage but decided that it was a bit too small for both of us without tying back to the shore and that was a bit too much hassle for just one night. We anchored in Polemos Buku at the Western end, a lovely peaceful spot with plenty of room and good secure holding for the anchor.

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Dolphins to Welcome us to Kerkova Kerkova Roads From the Anchorage

The Lycian Way is a coastal path that covers over 500km of the coast from Fethiye to Antalya and it passes Kekova so Chris and Flemming went for a short hike from the anchorage to explore. It is marked with red and white paint and is little more than a goat track in places but it does pass through some wonderful unspoilt country. If you want some more info have a look here 

From Kekova we set off for the remote Greek Island of Kastellorizon, only 2 miles from Turkey but nearly 70 miles from the Rhodes the nearest other Greek Island. The weather promised light winds on the beam but it wasn’t listening to the forecast and we ended up having to beat to windward with F5 occasionally F6 winds that stayed persistently on the nose round every headland. We were glad to drop the hook in the lovely anchorage adjacent to Kastellorizon Harbour.

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Part of The Lycian Way at Kekova Kastellorizon Anchorage with Summertime

One of the main reasons to stop at Kastellorizon was to see the Easter Parade, this is very important to the Greeks and is probably the main religious celebration of the year. Despite Kastellorizon only having a permanent population of around 200 the turnout for the parade and services was impressive. A huge ferry had brought people over from Cyprus and all the soldiers and officers from the Military Base were out in dress uniforms along with all the ferry officers, there were probably over 500 people around in total.

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Kastellorizon Easter Parade Kastellorizon Harbour with Cliff Path Beyond

Behind the harbour of Kastellorizon is a 300m high cliff with a very steep and winding path snaking up to the top, you can see it in the picture above. Chris and Flemming decided that they had to go and explore so set off early for a hike to the top, strangely the girls decided they didn’t need to join us.

The climb up is hard work with rough stone steps and steeply sloping paths winding along the edge of the cliff, it must have been a huge project when it was originally built and it is still in very good condition.The views make it all worthwhile and we had sunshine to help improve things.

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“Stairs of Death” – Kastellorizon Looking Down – The Anchorage and Turkey Beyond

In Finike some of our friends used to do an early morning walk up a long stone staircase that they took to calling the “Stairs of Death” but they were just a pussy cat compared to the climb here so Nostromo and Thala will have to call in at Kastellorizon.

Once at the top the path levels out and crosses the interior of the Island where we came to a monastery undergoing refurbishment with more European Money, most of which did not seem to have been spent on the work!! Anyway we took advantage of the builders seats for a breakfast stop before heading to the highest point of the Island at the North with yet another Monastery built in another inaccessible spot. We could look north up the Turkish Coast and South over the harbour and onwards down the Turkish Coast so it was definitely worth the effort.

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Building Site Breakfast Stop Looking Over the Harbour From the Top of The Island

From Kastellorizon we headed for the upmarket resort of Kalkan and had more dolphins to greet us in the approaches. Kalkan is quite a small harbour and is probably overrun with Gullets and Tripper boats in the summer but at this time of year there was plenty of room, unfortunately the Harbourmaster decided to return to work on our second day so we had to pay 60TL (20 Euros) for the next night, at least we got stocked up with fresh supplies and water.

Next stop was Kapi Kreek in Skopea Limani to the South of Gogek, a beautiful spot but spoilt a bit by the restaurant owner deciding that he could put pontoons and lazy lines around practically the whole creek leaving nowhere to anchor and then expect you to eat with him. Although this is normal practice in Turkey with restaurant pontoons you have usually got room to anchor and so not be obliged to use there often overpriced and poor quality restaurants, not so here!! We ignored the convention and he was not very happy but I suspect there was little he could actually do about it. For anyone who does want to visit there is probably just about room to anchor and tie back to the East shore at the entrance before the pontoons start.

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Barber Shop, Kapi Kreek Tranquillity in Kapi Kreek

A walk ashore did reveal a Barbers / Massage Parlour hidden in the trees as well as some nice views over the other side of the peninsula.

An early start next day for the 37nm to Turuc Buku just south of Marmaris, mostly motoring with a couple of hours sailing late in the day when the breeze built a little.

We had a lovely little passenger for 2 or 3 hrs of the trip and his mate joined Summertime for a ride just behind us, the Hoopoe is a bit of a rarity in the UK but is fairly common over here as it is on their migration route from North Africa, our visitor certainly seemed pretty tired so maybe he had flown a very long way and needed a rest.

At Marmaris itself we found Reflections, la Foret D’eau and Lurata all friends from Finike. We also picked up a couple of new solar panels to add to the three already on our new stern arch as well as exploring the huge array of chandleries around the town and the supermarkets for supplies.

We had a lovely little passenger for 2 or 3 hrs of the trip and his mate joined Summertime for a ride just behind us, the Hoopoe is a bit of a rarity in the UK but is fairly common over here as it is on their migration route from North Africa, our visitor certainly seemed pretty tired so maybe he had flown a very long way and needed a rest.

At Marmaris itself we found Reflections, la Foret D’eau and Lurata all friends from Finike. We also picked up a couple of new solar panels to add to the three already on our new stern arch as well as exploring the huge array of chandleries around the town and the supermarkets for supplies.

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Early Morning Departure Passenger to Marmaris – Hoopoe

On our way to the Greek Island of Symi we stopped at Ali Baba’s pontoons in Bozuk Buku where we did eat in the restaurant but it was pretty average with small portions and not cheap, also no water or electric to ease the pain. At least we did manage to sail all the way once we got out of Marmaris Bay with some quite boisterous winds requiring some reefing of sails at times, also a few other yachts on the same route so a bit of competition to brighten the day especially since Nimrod and Summertime left everybody else in our wake.

Next stop was Symi to replenish ships supplies (alcohol) since it is around half price in Greece compared to Turkey. We ended up tied to the unfinished harbour wall in Pedi Bay which meant a bit of a hike over the hill into Symi town but it seemed much less windy than the harbour itself. There is a wholesale warehouse on the road from Pedi where we ordered wine and mixers etc, however we found that the drink stores in the town were cheaper for some things and had more choice, also if you are buying a reasonable amount they will all deliver direct to the boat so no carrying involved.

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Under Full Sail towards Mercencik Summertime Enjoying the Breeze

So leaving Symi with a much heavier boat and a lighter wallet we headed round the notoriously windy Datca peninsula towards the quiet anchorage at Mersincik. We left at first light because the forecast predicted rising winds through the day and that is what we got, we motored through the narrow, shallow Nimous Passage with the clear water making it look even shallower but still a couple of metres to spare so not really a problem. We soon had the sails up and managed to sail most of the way apart from an hour of motor sailing when the wind headed us as we approached the end of the peninsula, once round the corner the wind did build as promised and we had 25knts at times but we soon turned downwind and had a fast easy run into Mersencik apart from some big gusts in the approaches as we took the sails down.

A gentle motor across the bay took us to Bodrum to anchor under the castle and head ashore to the market and supermarket but once we got back to the boat the wind had risen and the anchorage was getting a bit uncomfortable so we moved 3nm to shelter behind Karaada Island for the night.

Around the corner next day to Turk Buku and a neck and neck sail with Summertime once the wind had settled, at one point we had to tell Flemming to turn away as he nearly ran over our fishing lines. Once again the wind built later in the day especially round the headlands and gaps between islands, the anchorage in Turk Buku is well protected though so a quiet end to the day.

Unfortunately it was also time to say goodbye to Lis and Fleming for a few months because they are heading north towards Istanbul and we are staying around this area for Sue to fly home and friends flying out to see us, at least Summertime are back in Finike next winter and we should meet them again as they head back South later in the summer.

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Spectators in Asin Limani Asin Limani Harbour

We motored up to the protected inlet of Asin Limani to hide from some forecast strong winds and for Sue to get to Milas Airport. We had a number of cows watching us anchor and tie back to the shore and they never even moved despite Chris in the dinghy with ropes only a few feet away. The village is a very sleepy little spot but does have a couple of supermarkets with fresh bread and a Friday Market, also about 6 fish shops but only a couple seemed to be open, this must be the place for fish in the summer – maybe because of the large number of fish farms in the area.

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Isene Buku Shipwreck Ancient Iassos Ampitheatre

The ruins of ancient Iassos are worth a look around and it is a nice walk up to the old fort overlooking the harbour. I could also see the sunken gullet in the picture above on the other side of the headland, not sure what happened but will have to ask the locals and report back.

We got invited for a meal by Helen and Jean (English and French), a couple of old sailors who have a cottage nearby that they built themselves about 20 years ago, it is now almost completely hidden behind and beneath the roses and vines that have grown around the place. If you didn’t know it was there you would never find it – you have to go through a tunnel of trees and bushes to get to the house.

Sue was taken to the airport by the local taxi driver for a week of family visits while Chris has a week on the boat to catch up with a few more jobs although at the moment the weather is cloudy and wet so not brilliant for working – at least it means you all get a timely blog update!!

Sue returns with son Joe and his girlfriend, Heather to spend a week with us and then we are joined by our regular crew of Rich and Caroline for 3 weeks in June so it may well be after that before you get another update.