Turkey I (Marmaris Limani)
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Greece - Rhodes.
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Turkey II Gocek and Fethiye.
Log Entry Monday 27th June - Ready to move east but the weather has other ideas?
We have all of our bits and pieces fixed or replaced, our mast head remains outstanding, the VHF ariel can wait until another day, the wind instrument we can do without? We both feel it is time now to move after our five week stay here? Yesterday we removed the growth we had acquired, it all brushed off easily, which was good - nice to see our clean blue hull and keel again!
The forecast winds have set in, two days of northerlies (F5-F8) up to 40 knot gusts forecast, we have in theory protection from the mountains we sit behind but the gust are finding there way in? Last night there was little sleep for many, today the problems continue, anchors dragging! As an Englished flagged vessel drags his anchor again, he slowly drifts past us, he shouts over that two catamarans had anchored too close to him last night and they both hit him? A number of vessels seemed to be moving around most of the night, we set anchor watch up until about 3am then we both retired with no issues for us at all. We fortunately due to vessels running for shelter in the marina have plenty of space around us now. We learn over the VHF that come the morning that the marina is full - they even have "contract berth holders" awaiting berths, creating frustration at it's entrance?
Still, on a positive note, local families are still enjoying the beach and the water, which is good for them, I guess Muselims have to work around their beliefs?
Log Entry Friday 17th June - Time for Mum to leave us, two weeks have passed so quickly?
Today is the day, we picked up the hire car yesterday to drive Mum to the airport. We used the car yesterday to do some running around locally, "big shops" and stuff like that? Mum awaits us on her balcony as usual, each morning she awaits us watching to ensure our safe arrival from Sailaway? The plan is to make our way to the airport earlier than needed and spend some time at Koycegiz, then make for the airport from there. The history of Koycegiz dates back to 3400BC from which the first evidence of civilisation have been found, from that time the area has seen many settlements of conquering nations through out history. The town is situated on the northern shore of a great lake, to the south of the lake stands the ancient city of Kaunos, between there and the sea shore the river Dalyan where Ann and her Mum visited previously. Ann still has not got all of her mud off yet!
We arrive at Koycegiz and of coarse it's time to eat - not sure what time it is, but that's irrelevant, it's time to eat? We pick the first cafe we come across as we leave the car and turn down the square, making for the water front - not seen any water for a while? As we sit the family that own the cafe, sitting at one of the tables quickly jump up to serve us. We ask them to finish their food but they will not have it and regroup to serve us, farther, mother and their son about ten? The boy was excellant, probably destined to take over the business, but already good at it - he like to practice his English too! Behind us in the small square a theatre was being build - a local Turkish Film Festival. Food was excellant, nothing left at all and at a very good price too, 15TL (£7) for the three of us?
From the square we made our way down a short way to the water front, on the way the boy from the cafe stopped us, I had left my hat? I gave him what change I had in my pocket for an "ice scream", he thanked me and left us.
The water front was small, very compact, barely 200m long, lined with cafes and trip boats, but unfortunately no one to fill them?
Ann's attention is drawn to a statue of a lion, proudly positioned in the centre of town, a highly polished, brass plaque tells a tale. the statue found during an illegal excavation at Kaunos in 1960, a further excavation in 1972 uncovered the remains of a round structure, built as a sacred monument dating back to 27BC/14AD. It was determined that between the columns of this structure were female statues and lions at the corners. This statue was one of the four corner, lion structures - amazing?
From Koycegiz, we make our way to the airport, still having a little time to kill we stop at a roadside park in Dalaman for drinks. Inside the park are a number of water fountains, the proprietor switches them on for us? Ann and Mum are fascinated by the ducks and geese, they spent a good hour or more discussing them and their lives - seemed to me to be one of the highlights of the holiday?
From the cafe we left for the airport, dropping Mum off and returning late back to Sailaway - seemed strange being on our own, some thing is clearly missing?
Log Entry Monday 13th June - Ann and Mum take a boat trip up the Dalyan River.
Ann and mum are booked on the Neptune Express, a day long trip leaving at 0900 and returning at 1900 hours. The trip takes them to "Turtle Beach" then up the Dalyan river to the phosphorus mud baths, then further on to the "Kings Tombs" at Kaunos. With such an early start we are on the Dolamus for 0800 into Marmaris as the trip starts off the Marmaris quay.
The early start means breakfast in town, Charley from the kiosk where we made our booking points us toward the Neptune Express and we make our way over. A couple of guys great us, we explain there is only two traveling they take our picture and I leave the women with them. "they are your problem now" I joke with them, without any further comments they offer me three camels for them - I agree of coarse, but I must admit I never saw any camels?
Once on board the girls get themselves settled on the top deck, good views all around the water front.
In no time at all the engines are started, the gang plank lifted and the boat makes it way out of the harbour, through the anchorage and out from the Limani to take us east along the coast line.
We are due a lunch stop along the coast, the back is dropped people take to the water.
Lunch is well catered for, enough to keep them going at least until tea time - not that we eat a lot?
After lunch, we make our way to the Delikada (Dalyan) Island and the beautiful, so called "Turtle Beach". Once there we are transferred to smaller boats as the Neptune cannot negotiate the shallow waters created by the silting? In the time of 4BC this now shallow river bed fed a large trading port and ship building?
As we approach the estuary the crew entice the loggerhead turtles to the surface for our benefit with food (crabs) on sticks. Getting good pictures was difficult as they were so fast to retreat due to the hustle and bustle on the surface?
We were then given an hour of free time to spend on the beach, not being one for sun bathing we seek some shade and cool drinks? The only way to reach these beaches is by boat.
In time we then continue up the river, a flotilla of small craft making their way through the reed laid channels.
We passed by the town of Dalyan and through the area where the film "The African Queen" was made back in 1957.
Finally we came to the Kings rock tombs associated with the ancient city of Kaunos, in Lycian type tombs the dead were placed on rock beds. The large decorative structures represent the King, Queen and four children, the higher your profile apparently higher you were buried, their belief in the Sun God also warranted a burial closer to the sun? Gold, food etc was all buried with them for the next life - all gone now of coarse, nothing left lying around for us?
We then carried on past the tombs up to the sulphurous mud baths.
The mud baths are said to hold healing and beautifying qualities, after three days Ann re-appeared, just to save confusion, yes this is my Ann! You were then hosed down and beckoned to the sulphurous warm pool for further "work?"
After some time in the pool, a change in the weather could be noticed, the skies clouded over very quickly.
The thunder could be heard in the distance, moving closer towards us, then following the lightening the skies opened up and shelter was sort, but the boat was keen to leave?
During the return trip the weather worsened, bringing rain and even hail stones, we were hit by many squalls, one took off all the seat cushions from the open top deck into the water - the Captain, continued on, disregarding them totally? Eventually we re-entered the Marmaris Limani and made our way back towards the quay we had left, through the anchorage. As we tied up the weather began to brighten up, at this point we had no idea that the storm had taken it's toll on Sailaway?
Monday 13th June - Our Evil Eye is a little slow to work, or not?
It is clear to us that our recently acquired "Evil Eye" may not fully up to speed on Sailaway as yet? Last night, during an unforecast electrical storm a bolt of lightening came so close to the top of our mast it took out our VHF radio and fried our Wind Instrumentation. Still it could have been worse we could have lost every thing, perhaps it was looking after us after all?
Monday 12th June - An "Evil Eye" for good luck?
During our wanders we notice a decorative eye displayed in various places, from cafes, shops, the hotel and even cars and buses? When we enquire about it's meaning we are told it is indeed for good luck? In view if recent events, items failing etc we decide that such a charm on Sailaway could only be positive?
The blue eye, "Evil Eye" as it is translated is widely used on property, belonging (cars, boats), even humans and pets in the form of jewellery. The decorative piece should contain at least one eye and be blue in colour. It is believed that having an evil eye protects people from bad things. or bad things happening?
Saturday 10th June - A trip into Marmaris, Mum still needs tops!
We are off early to Marmaris, it is getting too hot now by mid day to be walking around in the sun light. We need to pick up a few things for dinner, Mum needs more tops, I wonder what she does with them all?
As we await the bus any of you "lip readers" will be able to pick up "I hate you!" - cannot be any thing I said? As we sit a taxi driver from the company adjacent to the hotel offers to take us to Marmaris for the same price as the bus, we take him up on his offer.
We walk the bazaar, nothing suitable we end up in the same clothes shop in the main street that we always do, Mum gets a top and Ann a nice cotton dress. It's then a cool drink and back to Sailaway, too hot to wander around?
Friday 10th June - A lazy day on the beach.
A lazy day on the waters edge is the order of the day with a good book or two!
From their chairs they can keep an eye on what's going on around with the hotel staff to bring there refreshments and lunch - never miss a meal?
I have a few problems to resolve with our fridge but join them for dinner at the hotel.
Thursday 9th June - A trip to the weekly market.
Ann and Mum head off to have a look at the nearby, weekly market, one of the guys in the hotel spoke very highly of it. I had a new toilet to fit amongst other things, so at least my day would not be boring, a bit smelly, but not boring?
The market occupied two floors of a three storey building used predominantly for the market as one could see. The ground floor was all fruit and vegetables, all local produce, and all at very low cost.
The second floor was mainly clothes, accompanied with a small section of "nick knacks" as Ann calls them. It had a very good cafe where they had lunch. One stall holder saw the benefit of displaying his prices in £ sterling - tourists I guess?
This photograph was taken from Mum's camera, obviously Mum enjoyed a little bit too much attention from the local men?
Log Entry Wednesday 8th June - Ann takes Mum to the Yacht Maria
Our fridge fails during the night, it is essential that we have a working unit to allow us to keep medical supplies cool, especially in this heat. It is strange that, since Mum's arrival we have had to replace our toilet complete, our dinghy and our fridge is now suspect? We have all heard the stories of the Jonah - well, that is nonsense?
I take Ann and Mum over to the Yacht Marina across from the anchorage, it is a fantastic set up, there is just about every thing you require there? Ann is to drop our laundry off to be process and collected tomorrow.
They enjoy a relaxing few hours in the garden, cool drinks keep them refreshed.
They finish off in the restaurant for lunch, excellant food at great valve, Mum does not like to miss her meals - but never eats much? Rather keep her for a week than a fortnight was a relevant phrase I remember hearing as a child?
Log Entry Tuesday 7th June - We retire our old, faithful tender at the age of ten plus?
Today was a sad day for us, we had recently been having problems with our dinghy - it would not remain inflated. Every morning it would require a considerable amount of inflation to make it usable, the UV effects destroys just about every thing. A lot of the cosmetic flaps and the such had been coming apart for some time, contact adhesive had been applied numerous times. The actual blue tube seals under the cosmetic flaps were now coming apart? We had searched high and low for the leak but it could not be found, perhaps the rubber was becoming porous? It was clear to both Ann and I that we could not get Mum on board Sailaway in the dinghy's current state, I suggested that we continue to inflate it as and when to prolong it's life?
The only option was to purchase a new one?? Still, that's what we did, we at first searched for a rigid tender but that was not to be so we purchase a 3.1 meter hard bottom rib from the West Marine Store. The unit is manufactured by Zodiac in France, they under write the warranty so it gave us a further comfort factor. The unit appeared to be very well priced if you read the price tag out very, very quickly? West Marine were kind enough to arrange free delivery of the dinghy and Mum to the water front at Pupa Yacht Marina. Now came the task of inflating and assembling the new unit at the waters edge, swapping over the engine etc from our old dinghy to the new. A task that took no more than an hour or so, a young couple refitting their sailboat on the shore provided a table and chairs to allow Mum to supervise in comfort? Mum's lunch was brought down by the hotel to ensure she never lost her concentration on the task in hand - that is dedication for you, but then again that's Mum through and though? The young couple asked if we would like to sell the old dinghy as they are soon to launch their sailboat and tie stern too nearby. They would therefore need a dinghy to get them back and fore ward to shore. I re-inflated the dinghy and sold it to them for €200! No, that is not our nature, instead of putting it in the nearby skip we gave it to them wishing them good luck with their dreams to cruise as we are - they really did appreciate our gesture.
We tried out the new dinghy the hard bottom gives us much greater speed from our little outboard, it seems we now need a bigger engine, but that's for another day, Still, the most important outcome of not only the investment but the days labour was that Mum could now get on board Sailaway - what more could anyone ask for, lots more happy days ahead?
A couple of days later the youngsters we gave our dinghy to, launched their sailboat - good to see we could be of assistance to them. They repaid us by filling our canisters with drinking water to refurbish our tanks on Sailaway - one good turn deserves another?
Log Entry Sunday 5th June - A trip to Datca, to the west of Marmaris.
Today we drive over to Datca, to the west on the Datca Yarimadasi (Dorian Promontory), it is said to be a very interesting, picturesque journey through the mountains.
The road takes us high into and through the mountains, across the narrow peninsular, giving us excellant views of both the Gokova Gulf to the north and the Datca Gulf to the south - sailboat traffic can be seen in all directions. Just for your information I, (Kevin) is truly much happier than I look, this statement was made of my own free will?
We stop and take a look over "Robinson Club" a deep northerly facing inlet into the peninsular. A beautiful, some what deserted beach, and an excellant anchorage being enjoyed by many. The island of Simi (Greece) can be seen to the south.
We decide to stop for lunch in one of the small, local restaurants in one of the small villages to the east of Datca. We are able to understand that there is only one thing on the menu so we order three? We are also able to understand we have the option of "half or full loaf?" We opt for the half loaf, a good choice too - we are presented with a large form of sandwich full of meat and salad. All three of us eat our full portion but for some it was a struggle, well, not Mum and I! The total cost for all three of us was 10TL, less than £5.00, including drinks?
Once in Datca we make our way towards the harbour, the town has a very impressive Mosque, all of the streets in the old town make their way down to the water front.
The water front is very pleasant, the harbour lined with trip boats, unfortunately, not many tourists to fill them?
The whole area is very quiet, we enjoy a cool drink having the snack bar to our selves, the harbour has also a small beach, outside once again an anchorage relatively full of visiting sailboats. On the return trip we have a couple of places to visit, as was usual, as Ann says, we pass through at such a speed it is impossible to stop? I would reply to "that looks interesting" - "on the way back", and that's how we planned it? We finish off our drinks and make our way back to the car to head back to Sailaway.
Our first stop was at a market we had passed by, Mum needs some tops, across the road from the market is another very impressive Mosque? During Ann and Mum's wander around the market a number of the stall holders tried to sell their wares - nothing suitable for Mum? Ann buys some salad for the evening at a fraction of the price that would have been paid in Marmaris?
Our final stop was at a panoramic view point looking over Marmaris, it shows the whole area, including the harbour and it's activities?
As we get back to the hotel the girls enjoy a lounge at the waters edge, they look rather tired to me - must have been all that driving?
Log Entry Saturday 4th June - Mum arrives and settles in straight away and picks out her favourite fellows?
Mum arrived late last night, all is well with the hotel, as we have the hire car we spend the day driving around locally, the day soon passes.
As the end of the day closes we eat for the first time in the hotel, it's barbeque night. All three of us go for the mixed grill accompanied by a selection of Turkish vegetables and salad - very tasty we think anyway? We have a couple of bottles of wine to accompany the meal - perfect, the dinghy ride back to Sailaway was interesting!
Log Entry Wednesday 1st June - Marmaris.
Again we take the Dolamus, the small buses that feed the local area, down to Marmaris, we need to source a hire car to pick Mum up from Dalaman Airport. The airport is about 100km, one and a half hours drive. We should have no problem sourcing a car, the price looks to be the only variance, we were quoted from €50/day (£45.00) to 50TL/day (£20) for the same vehicle, so looking for a car for a period of time is well worth a look around? The other thing to mention with regards to the car, petrol in Turkey is approximately £1.90/litre (£8.50/Gallon), we were so glad we took on 500 litre of fuel aboard Sailaway before we left Rhodes?
Marmaris is clearly a booming tourist resort with things beginning to get busy in our eyes, although local traders are complaining it is too quiet? The weather remains threatening, electrical storms pass to the west of Marmaris, all we see all day are a couple of light showers. Marmaris was just about completely destroyed by the great earthquake that hit the area in 1958, therefore the modern rebuild is reflective in most areas, especially along the water front.
The town quay is lined with tour boats, from diving to trip boats and of coarse plenty of people trying to sell their services, it is impossible to walk ten paces without being approached, each individual having their own method or "punch line" - it becomes quite entertaining, at least we, and them have a laugh?
We follow the water front along, now running the gauntlet of restruant and cafe owners all trying to get you in? We then turn into the small narrow streets behind the front, totally different environment, the most one receives is a "good day", or similar? We pick a small Kebab establishment for lunch, the menu is small, in fact it is written on a small board on the wall. The food is good and the price, very reasonable, as we sit waiting for a shower to pass we talk to the proprietor and hear further tails about poor levels of tourists and unusually bad weather?
We finish our drinks and bid our farewells, making our way through the back streets we decide to enter the modern day bazaar, where any copy item in the world can be purchased - all eager to gain a sale in their own sweet way? I think Ann was quite taken by being told every few meters "How beautiful she was looking today?" We had to walk back and forth for hours - we did not buy any thing which confused me?
Log Entry Monday 30th May - Our colourful trip ashore.
We have watched a number of times from Sailaway, the result of ignorance and high speed inflatable's with regards to the well documented sand band? We are heading into Marmaris today to check out the shopping areas and of coarse the town itself. As we prepare to leave Sailaway our attention is drawn by yet another inflatable screaming across the bay towards the Pupa Hotel. I had just muttered the words to Ann "a little near to the sandbank?" when there was a thump and a scream from the outboard engine as it is catapulted out of the water - they hit the sandbank! We have seen four now, some have hit it a quite a speed, no one has been hurt yet and all managed to get clear and restart their engines.
We pack our dinghy, refuel the engine and make our way ashore.
From the shore to get to the main road to catch the small buses/shared taxis into Marmaris we have two options. We can either make out way through the hotel grounds or, as we decide, to make our way through the narrow lanes leading up from the shore. It was just by chance we met on the shore a couple we had been moored along side in Rhodes (Greece). They were on the Austrian flagged vessel we had an encounter with - they left us their flag and flagstaff! We had quite a conversation over the area and what it offers, unfortunately the due, arrival of the bus cut the conversation short, but we are sure we will see them again before we leave? The lanes are only dirt surfed but ever so colourful, each property decorated to the max with flowers of all types.
As we walk through the lanes the people in their drives and gardens wish us well - extremely friendly! Once to the main road we catch the bus at 3TL/person (approximately £1.30) a worth while expenditure, and again, the driver extremely friendly - we are well pleased with the local peoples attitude?
Log Entry Saturday 28th May - They told us summer was here?
According to the local forecast, which I must add we have found it pretty inaccurate, we were to have rain during the night, which we had, it would then be cloudy in the morning and brighten up in the afternoon? That suited us fine as we had been invited to a barbeque at the Pupa Hotel this afternoon. As we sat in the cockpit having our breakfast we watched the cloud thicken and fall, making it's way amongst the mountains around us.
We were then hit by numerous squalls, spinning the vessels around in the anchorage, and the rain began to fall? What followed was the most violent day time electrical storm we have experienced, the lightening appeared to travel across our bay from west to east. One strike hit the water less than 500 meters from our now crowded anchorage, Ann was able with perseverance, to get a photograph of the lightening as it moved across us! The daylight was replaced by darkness to such an extent we could here our automatic anchor light operating as if it was evening? The rain continued as if it was never going to stop with storm still to be heard in the distance for some time, not sure now about the barbeque?
Log Entry Wednesday 25th May - We await the arrival of Mum!
We are now fully customs cleared, with both Sailaway and ourselves "stamped in!" We are anchored in a small bay to the far east of Marmaris Bay, other vessels come and go, at this point in time there appears to be three of us camped out here for one reason or another. We are just south of the Pupa Hotel where we have Ann's mum checked in for the first week in June when she joins us for two weeks - Ann and I are both looking forward to that a great deal.
We checked out the hotel yesterday, it is quiet compared to those across the bay, no discos or karaoke so mum will not like that? We introduced our selves to the manager "Burak", (the only previous contact had been by email) and secured a room. The room over looks the lawn (with a large hammock) and beach, and is literally thirty seconds walk from it and the lounge/restruant.
In a morning, as we wake and sit in the cockpit having breakfast the day starts around us, people use small boats here as they would cars, making their way to "where ever" every day?
A lot of activity revolves around the small, minimal tide and the sand bank around us, a fisherman arrives every day, as do the cattle - one is unsure as to what the cattle get from the sandbank other than cooling their feet? The birds arrive to feed from the sand as it becomes exposed, there are many different varieties to be seen.
With every thing behind us now, our journey here of approximately 600 nautical miles to get to this rendezvous and the unpredictable weather associated with traveling so early in the year we decide to take a few days and do nothing! We had, this year been moving towards Turkey since early February, we have seen more than we would of if we had left later as time would have been short? The total lack of travelers and of coarse the dreaded charter vessels meant we could visit some of the areas that we would have deemed as "out of bounds", or others would have denied us access due to the pending arrival of the charters. Our choice of route, around the Peleponnese as opposed to the more traditional route, through the Corinth Canal was also a good call in our view, it enabled us to visit places most people just miss out?
All aboard Sailaway is good, every working well, the only thing to be done is to check the underneath for growth? We know also that we had picked up a redundant trailing mooring line in Rethymno Harbour, our cutting blade on our propeller had worked well, but a look see will do no harm? That's going to keep Kevin busy for a while before he gets bored?
Log Entry Saturday 21st May - We leave Rhodes for Marmaris, Turkey.
We are now about central to the Rhodes Channel, at which point the territories divide, we are now leaving Greece and the EU and entering Turkish waters - time to carry out the formality we have not under taken for some time? We need to drop the Greek courtesy flag and raise the Turkish. As Turkey is not in the EU we must also raise a yellow "Q Flag" until we are custom cleared, this gives a clear indication of the vessels status. In olden times it also declared that the vessel was free of disease - who knows?
We sail on but as we round the headland making for the large bay of Marmaris we become sheltered from the westerly winds and eventually grind to halt - on goes the engine and down come the sails.
We gain a quick inspection from a Turkish coaster, he heads towards us, obviously recognises our status and leaves us, we are of no interest and heads west along the coast. The opening to Marmaris Limani becomes clearer as we approach, the local winds begin to stiffen from the north becoming a head wind to us.
As we motor into the bay it is as if a door was opened and numerous boats all full of tourists were let out, heading in all directions?
We make our way to a small anchorage to the east of the great bay, well away from Marmaris itself, we plan to use the yacht marina there as an avenue to clear customs?
We drop anchor along with about five others, just to the north of the marina, the small anchorage is quite crowded but peaceful, we find a spot just south of the Pupa Yacht Hotel and the sand bank that stretches in front of it. It is some what strange to see local fisherman in water up to their waste only a hundred meters away?