Friday, October 3, 2014

Summer 2014


Hi All Sue here

We thought you all might be getting fed up with a monthly blog so are going to try and condense the last 3 months into one blog. We have continued to sail between Greece and Turkey and it has been a wonderful summer. Although Greece and Turkey are so close to each other they are very different and we love them both. The only problem we have is remembering to switch languages as the Turkish people would not be amused to be greeted in Greek and vice versa!! If all else fails and my memory deserts me I just smile sweetly and wait for them to speak first!!

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Agathonisis Waterfront

Greek Churchyard

Highlights from Greece

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Greek Church Interior, Fournoi

Syrian Refugees, Agathonisi

We spoke of Agathonisi at the end of our last blog and we have now visited there three times. It is the kind of place you just keep getting drawn back to. It is just so beautiful and unspoilt. Well worth a visit if you get the chance. But on our last visit there it was quite sad as the local Police Station, situated looking down over the harbour, was being used to home refugees from Syria until they could be put on a ferry to larger islands and then on to Athens. They are very sad and desperate people and have risked everything to escape. The ages ranged from babies up to elderly people and they have left their country with their life's belongings in a rucksack. The same is happening on many of the Greek islands as more and more refugees arrive. Many lives are being lost when their makeshift boats sink or worse still they are just told to jump into the water and swim for shore when boats carrying them are scared to get too close to the shore in case they are caught by Port Police.

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Fournoi Anchorage

Well Tended Cemetery, Fournoi

Fournoi was a very small island also very beautiful and unspoilt by tourism. We hiked up to a small church on the top of the island and were amazed what we found. The decorations and paintings inside were stunning and the views from the top were well worth the hike. We were very impressed with their graveyard as well. Beautiful.

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Young Man’s Mausoleum

Gravestone Decoration

Patmos was our next stop. So many bays to choose from and all with turquoise waters to swim in, idyllic. We also went on the Town Quay so we could take a bus up to the famous Monastery of St John. The cave just below it is supposedly where St John dictated The Book of Revelation. Chris says it’s all just a fairy story but it is a very impressive Monastery and being a good Catholic girl (although lapsed!!) I could at least relate to it all and you do feel that you should be on your best behaviour here and talk quietly. The only disappointing bit was that in the Cave, which you had to pay extra to go in, a monk gave a talk on the history of it but it was all in Greek so couldn’t understand a word of it!! You have to go early in the day though as it a favourite spot for the cruise ships and gets very busy later on. We also made some new friends here who owned the last Prout Catamaran to be built before they were taken over by Broad Blue. As we own the first Catamaran to be built by Broad Blue it would have been very rude not to have a few drinkies together. Our friends off SY Nemir joined us as well and a very good evening was had by all.

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Monastery at Patmos

Old and New Friends, Patmos

At Lipso we went on the Town Quay where we met up with friends Guido and Liz off SY Lupa. It was good to catch up with them and have a meal out together. They introduced us to the best bakery in Greece and it was very fortunate that we were only staying a couple of days!! We then moved to an anchorage, Lera Lipso for a couple of days. We find it’s too hot to stay on the Town Quays for long and prefer to be anchored where we can swim to cool down.

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Arki Harbour

Model Boats, Arki

Arki was worth a visit. We hiked around the island which didn’t take long but it was very pretty. They had a toy town marina in the harbour, very cute.

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Tiny Church on Leros

Inside the Church

We paid another visit to Simi to replenish our depleting alcohol supplies and to stock up for guests arriving. Think we may be paying one more visit there before we head back to Finike just to make sure we have enough to keep us going through the winter months.

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Winter Supply Shopping

Stepping Stones to the Beach

And our old favourite Kastellorizon had to be visited again. We went there with our friends Jean & John. The men went for a hike over the island and the ladies shopped and drank coffee, YES coffee, it was too early for beer!!

Highlights from Turkey

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Harbour Patrol, Iassos

Lounging in Noodle Chairs

Iassos & Gulluk Area

Another favourite, a real Turkish Village, where you feel you have stepped back in time. This time we sailed here with Tracy & Mike off SY Ria Luna. The men went out mussel gathering most days and while Tray and I just noodled around. Whilst here Tracy and I took the local Dolmus to Milas where Tracy had arranged for there credit cards to be delivered to. We spent the day shopping and had a lovely lunch, all was going well until we were told by the Tourist Information Office the wrong bus stop!! Luckily a nice man took us to the place where all the busses come to but now we had a 30 minute wait as we had just missed ours. Tracy being the kind friendly person that she is got talking to a man who sat down next to her. From what we can gather I think she inadvertently sold me to him!! A very fraught game of musical chairs ensued as we kept trying to shake him off!! We were so glad when our bus came and we could at last escape my “ Supposed Client”. When we eventually arrived back at Iassos and relayed to Chris and Mike what had happened they both just laughed and said they couldn’t understand how we had got ourselves into so much trouble and should just have told him to go away!! Not so easy when you are surrounded by Turkish people and in their country. Must learn a few more choice Turkish words!! As usual I made friends with the local stray cats and dogs and they arrived at the back of the boat for titbits every day. Funny how they all get on together.

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Large Fan Mussel, Gulluk

Another Sunset!!!

Whilst anchored in Akyarlar we saw a very large forest fire one evening. Apparently there have been a lot this year around Greece and Turkey as it has been so dry and many thousands of trees have been destroyed. From here we sailed around to Keci Buku to eat at our favourite restaurant of the year and also for Chris to pick up some things from the Chandlers here. We then moved on to Dirsek and Bozburun where we caught up with some friends from Ragusa, Vivienne & Alastair off Largo Star. We spent a lovely few days with them catching up before their boat is shipped back to New Zealand. Also in Bozburun we saw two more Catamarans like Nimrod anchored together. They were both charter boats.

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Forest Fire, Akyarlar

Two Sister Ships of Nimrod

We arrived in Gocek beginning of September to meet up with my sister Caroline, who was flying into Dalaman to stay for a week (9 days actually as she sneaked a couple of extra days on!!). There are so many bays around Gocek and Fethiye that you could easily spend a couple of weeks around here. We visited Wall Bay, Ruin Bay, Kapi Creek, Sarsala, Tomb Bay and many more!! Then when she left we had two days to restock before our friends Jean & John arrived for 2 weeks (16 days actually as they also sneaked a couple of extra days in!!) and round we went again!!.

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Sisters and Empty Glasses

Goats in Wall Bay

As they were flying home from Antalya it was now time to head towards Kemer. First stop was Gemilar then Kas, where we met up with friends John & Vanessa off SY Nostromo. Then on to Kastellerizon for a couple of days then to Kekova Roads. Another place where you can get lost for a few days in endless peaceful anchorages. Which we did!!

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Tucked Into a Cosy Spot

Out for Dinner, Kas

Next stop our home again for the winter Finike Marina where we were made most welcome and my two doggy friends, Carpet & Tripod, still remembered me. One night here to visit the Saturday market then on to Tekirova. It was a very bumpy passage here and I was very glad when we arrived. Unfortunately the anchorage was very rolly the first night but did calm down by day two. Here we visited the Roman aqueduct and harbour streets, dwellings and shops. All very interesting. It was now time to say farewell to Jean & John and we headed back for one more night in Finike to get washing etc done and also to catch up with Mary Kay & Russell off SY Once Around before they head off for adventures new. Don’t know when we will meet up with them again, I hate Goodbyes!! The down side of this life.

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Gocek Bay Scenery

Old Fort, Kerkova Roads

Now we are making our way back up the coast for a rendezvous with our very good friends Lis & Flemming off SY Summertime and John & Vanessa off SY Nostromo. Probably we will get as far as Datca. Our plan is to go into Finike Marina mid November. So we will all slowly wend our way back with no doubt lots of socialising (Parties!!) along the way. Phew I feel quite dizzy now!!

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Tekerova Roman Main Street

Early Morning Calm, Kerkova

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.