Turkey V - To the east of Fethiye, Kalkan, Kas & Kekova Roads.
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Turkey IV - Göçek and Fethiye.
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Turkey VI - To the east of Fethiye, Kekova Roads.
Log Entry Sunday 4th September - The town of Üçagiz.
We are anchored about one mile to the north east of Üçagiz a trip in the dinghy would take only 10/15 minutes, we left Sailaway and set off to town.
We landed on the eastern outskirts of the town rather than the pontoons and secured our dinghy, we had to also find a place to deposit our garbage? The outer limits of the town literally run into the ancient ruins, in particular a burial ground, there were ruins of ancient walls and tombs in the car park. The ancient Lycian Rock Tombs opened what looked to be a long time ago - now completely empty of coarse?
It seemed strange to see the cars parked amongst ancient sarcophagi and numerous tombs?
On some of the rock tombs engraving, now heavily weathered, is still visible.
The town it 'self is very quaint and distinctive in our minds, numerous fresh water springs running through it into the Limani a solid source of drinking water in the past?
The buildings in the town are full of character and colourful, we walk through the town's street behind the waterfront. All having some thing to offer to the visitors that come either by road or water.
The street eventually turns to the waterfront, as we turned away up a series of steps to investigate "what ever?" we are stopped by a gentleman in a shop selling "old kilim" he enquires as to whether we arrived by car or boat - we answer his question. The conversation develops further, he offers "Yachting Services" and owns the pontoons on the front. We were offered a six month berth, inclusive of water and electricity for €700. We explain we are already committed in Fethiye but we exchange details, it could be an option for the future?
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We explain that we are in search of fuel for our dinghy, he takes us to a visiting fuel truck. It has both diesel and petrol, it was filling the tanks of a couple of scooters when we arrived. We shook Mehmet's hand, thanked him for his help and bid our farewells.
The water front is small in size, but is as one would expect lined with restaurants, we decide to sit down and sample one of the menus, we chose the "IBRAHIN Restaurant". We choose "A Special Fish Soup", we are told it will take 45 minutes to prepare, we are in no hurry so we place our order and pass the time pleasantly. The price of the soup was very reasonable to what is normally asked, so we wait with interest?
It arrives bubbling in a clay pot from which it is served, it is complemented with bread made in the ovens to the back of the restaurant - perfect!
We walk along the new pontoons, all looks good, the town is especially appealing looking across from the pontoons?
Log Entry Saturday 3rd September - We move further east along the coastline, to Kekova Roads.
We were now finished with this area, time to move on, we started our engine about 1000, made Sailaway ready for the fifteen mile trip, pulled up our anchor and left. The water taxis had already began bringing the tourists to the beaches, as we headed north to exit the Limani we passed "The Fish House" a strange place, no more to be said of it? As we passed the large reef that runs out into the Limani two cormorants stand guard, or perhaps they were there to ensure we leave?
The morning had started very early for the tourists once again - I thought they were supposed to be on holiday? The activities range from adventure sports, canoeing in this case above, the usual gullet trip and of coarse, jumping off the tops of cliffs and landing in the car park on the quay! A parachute is supplied with the latter, all before 1100 hours?
Our trip was very straight forward, north out of Bayindir Limani, southwest out of Kas Limani, then follow the coastline to the east. The interesting point was to see the Greek island of Kastellórizon so close, only a mile off the Turkish coast. Just for interest Kas was indeed Greek until the 1920's. There were a number of small islets to work our way past or though but no great issue, the wind to sail, was what we were looking for!
We made our way past the islands, Sulu Adalari, Bayrak Adasi and Kovan Adasi in due time under motor, plenty of traffic to keep us company.
Once past the headland point (Ulü Burun) we were in more open water, the slight breeze we had was from the southwest so we would have less obstruction from the islands, cleaner wind for us. As we thought as we cleared the point we were able to roll out our headsail and switch off our engine, progress was slow, but quiet, only managing three knots or even less but we have no schedule like the tourists on holiday?
As we passed Ulü Burun we were amazed to see guys fishing, so far from roads they must have arrived in their small boat, but where from was anyone's guess, clearly well worth the efforts in their opinion?
The wind was now more consistent, and our sailing marginally steadier, how ever the light wind came dead astern to us. In this position it was too light for us to sail if we maintained our required heading, it would not even keep our canvas full. So, we changed coarse and sailed the best coarse we could for the wind available, and kept the engine off. We watched the coastline disappear, we would change coarse later and return to it.
In time as we returned towards the coast the west entrance to Kekova Roads became visible to us, through the entrance we could just make out the town and castle of Kale Köy in the distance. Kekova Roads is a series of salt water between the Kekova Adasi (Kekova Island) and the mainland, it had been described to us, by previous visitors, as "Scotland with great weather" due to it's mountainous terrain and deep channels.
To pass inside we had to enter around "Karagol Adalari" an island and series of reefs splitting the western entrance into two. We take the more easterly entrance, and take care over the reef to our east. Inside we were to check out a number of options with regards to where we anchored, well for at least tonight? We crossed the path of one trip boat as it towed a couple of guests through the water, must not have paid fully for the trip? We made our way around the reef toward a cove called "Tersane", a cove said to be smothered in ruins and complemented with a small beach?
Tersane, as feared, was full of tour boats, some leaving now due to the time of day, for us to stay in there would be chaotic, especially in the morning? We moved on, drawn by the site of the castle ruins at Kale Köy across the "roads" on the mainland coast.
The town, mainly restaurants of coarse was very attractive, the small waterfront alive with tour boats. The small anchorage was occupied by three vessels and was full as such. It was not described as a "safe anchorage" but a "lunch stop" - probably written by the restaurant owners?
We were now to check out "Üçagiz Limani" in which the town of Üçagiz lay (believe it or not?), we made our way through the channel into the limani.
The town of Üçagiz is first masked by a small islet in the middle of the channel, once in view the town to us had real character, it now has a fully developed marina style pontoon as apposed to the rickety old wooden jetties we had read about? Along with the town comes a series of ruins said to be that of ancient Teimiussa, a small provincial city that once administrated this area.
We like this place, and plenty of room to anchor, most vessels taking to anchor just off to the west of the town. We choose a more secluded area in the east of the limani, behind the castle. We dropped anchor at about 1530, a long day to cover a mere 16 nautical miles but well worth it and more so, interesting.
Log Entry Friday 2nd September - A visit to the town of Kas.
Kas certainly appears a busy little place from the Limani in which we sit, the small taxi boats begin transferring tourist from Kas to the beaches we sit off from about 0900 and finish their last runs about 1900. The gullets and smaller day trip boats move a little later, Kas certainly seems the place to leave from? We consider using the water taxi's then eventually opt for our own dinghy to visit the small harbour almost two miles to the north of us. The problem one always has as one enters any harbour for the first time is to find a suitable place to to leave the dinghy, it has to be safe and of as little inconvenience to any of the locals as possible? We search the harbour, which does not take long, but find a small slipway, cluttered with old, small boats and junk - ideal we thought? The only problem was we had to disturb a gathering of ducks on the water line, the noise was unbelievable. We pulled up our dinghy and secured it with lock and chain as we always did.
The town, as most are on this length of coastline is extremely touristy, all of the trip boats were out with their cargo, so the town was relatively quiet?
All activity is centred as usual around the water front, in the streets beyond was what we would have said was the traditional village square, the local town gathering point. This appeared to have been recreated on the water front?
The streets in between had been developed into a "bazaar type" setting, with every thing that you should buy if on holiday?
The water front was grand and new, the usual restaurants and cafes, prices at twice the price to that of the traditional square two streets away from the water front, again the norm? We move back into the streets and order a drink and sandwich, walking around has it's down falls. As I finished before Ann I remembered we had yet to find an area to deposit our garbage, every town has it's garbage area, so off I went in search of such. I, in relatively a short time found the skips in the harbour car park, I returned to the dinghy to pick up our garbage and deposit it? Upon arrival at our dinghy I could not believe my eyes, a lady was washing the quay above our dinghy and had completely covered our dinghy in grit and sand. I approached the lady who declared she could not speak English and showed her our dinghy, she seemed apologetic and began to wash it down from above, I thanked her in my best "Turkish" and returned to Ann. Ann had by now finished her sandwich and I explained why I had taken so long. We visited a fruit and vegetable store we had seen earlier and pick up some other groceries nearby. To my astonishment when we returned to the dinghy it was in a worse state than before, covered in grit and dirt again - I was confused? The lady I had spoken to earlier was with two men putting together a couple of food stalls, I wanted to see what had happened but Ann wanted to get back and she would clean it up herself? It is instances like these that tarnish you view on people and therefore places - we will not visit Kas town again.
Log Entry Wednesday 31st August - Time to leave, move on to Kas, irrespective of the winds?
The forecast last night was saying unfavourable winds again today but we were definitely leaving, if we left early enough we should get there before the winds reached full strength - that was the plan anyway? We woke to find three boats rafted up in front of us, they must have came in really late, we would be unable to leave until they moved? The British catamaran next to us was one of the first to leave when the space cleared, we wished then farewell, hoping to meet up with them again - joking! They had no sooner left when our little friend the Harbour Master appeared and pointed to their space, guess what they had left without paying too! I suggested that he had the Coast Guard chase them down, impound the vessel and crew? he laughed, his gestures with his arms clearly meant he was glad to see the back of them, he wished us a safe trip, but we had paid?.
We left smartly, without even a hint of a fouled anchor and soon, under engine put Kalkan behind us. The anchor had brought up mud with it, Ann quickly washed it off our decks. Our trip was only a short one of approximately 20 miles or so along the coast. We rounded "Inch Burun" and turned east to make our way through the numerous small islands ahead of us.
Once Ann had completed her work on deck I allowed her to go below and make coffee, I hope she does not get to read this? The constant stream of gullets then began, heading both east and west.
The Greece waters run only a few miles off this part of the Turkish coastline, with the Greek Island of Kastellórizon clearly in view. For the first time in a while we saw commercial vessels in the distance, no significance to us where we were heading?
With Sailaway taking care of her self we kept our selves busy, Ann had to rest before she had to make lunch and I had a cupboard latch to modify with a winch handle. Other than that it was not long before we came upon "Cukurbag Yarimadasi" and the entrance to Kas Limani.
We had decided not to visit the harbour of Kas as we had been told by many that it was identical to Kalkan in many ways, so were were heading for the small anchorage in Bayindir Limani. As we rounded Ince Burnu into the Limani we came across a small, rickety cafe/restaurant - it had a certain attraction to it as long as it stood up long enough?
The bay was far from quiet it was as if all the gullets had followed us here, still pleasant enough? We secured Sailaway and settled down for the evening.
This will make you laugh - we had noticed the temperatures falling recently? We had opted to watch a movie in the cockpit, we did so in our fleeces and in 30C! How will we feel when we return to the UK in November?
Log Entry Tuesday 30th August - The heads winds continue and the excitement begins in the harbour!
We had a quiet evening last night but woke with some excitement as we had been pre warned that the morning departures are always exciting due to the numerous fouled and crossed anchors - we were not disappointed? It all began with the trip boats, mainly opposite, welcoming their visitors who duly began covering themselves, and each other with suntan lotion?
Then about 1000 hours it all began, there was boats every where, all appearing to want to leave at the same time?
Crossed anchors were every where, the amazing thing was that the only people that became annoyed where visitors, the local boats took all in their stride, I guess they do it every day? There was the constant sound of boat horns to accompany the activity, being sounded to let others know they were passing?
We passed a couple of hours just watching, but quietly dreading our turn to leave? We check the weather, more of the same tomorrow so it looked like another evening in here for us, still we would get to watch the boats packing themselves in again this evening?
It was later that day that we found ourselves in one of those situations where "you felt proud to be English!" There was an English flagged catamaran on our port side, between us and them a one and a half meter gap due to the coming and going of various width vessels? The people on the catamaran (named Johanna) had been drinking for most of the afternoon, music blasting etc - lucky sods! As the harbour filled up the Harbour Master asked that they moved their vessel over to help him better utilise the remaining room - fair do! The Brit refused, he and his guests were going out to dine and they disembarked their vessel. As voices were now raised I was watching, the Harbour Master said no problem they would do it - fair do! The Brit ran back towards his vessel and screamed "I am the Captain of that vessel - if you touch my lines I will shoot you!" I was amazed, and began to enquire in my, none sarcastic manor "How was he to achieve that, did he really have a gun etc?" Ann then told me to shut up and not get involved, the behaviour was disgusting as was the same from that vessel that night and the next morning also, but I will not bore you any further? My only contribution was to declare how proud I felt to be British?
That evening we sat onboard Sailaway and watched the fireworks to celebrate the closing of Ramadan.
Log Entry Monday 29th August - We stay on at Kas due to head winds.
We did not sleep well, during the night the wind got up from east within the bay, this put us "a beam" (sideways) to the slight southerly swell. The constant twisting of one's body as we lay in our bed was uncomfortable to say the least? The numerous gullets that entered the harbour last night to drop off the numerous cargos of tourists, and the information we had received on this small harbour drew little attraction to us - "too touristy!" Our plan was to shoot into Kalkan in our dinghy, have a quick look around, then pick up a few bits and pieces from the supermarket then return to Sailaway and leave. The winds may how ever influence that plan as they were due to be against us but only forecast as light? The area in which we had anchored was not safe in our opinion in any thing other than light winds and the bay offered no acceptable alternatives?
We tied up our dinghy on part of the outer quay at the entrance of the harbour - it was even smaller than we thought, similar in size to Padstow in the UK, should you know it? The vessels were packed in like sardines, not a space any where?
The town of Kas was heavily destroyed in the great earthquake in the fifties, the only surviving portion was that around the harbour. All of which now had been turned into bars and restaurants, the more modern section had developed behind, mainly hotels and guest houses. The tourists were beginning to arrive in vast numbers at the harbour for the gullet/boat trips, the small roads were chaotic to say the least? Our first task was to find a bank, we were down to our last 10Tl, we asked directions and were sent far into the newer section up the steep hillside.
The description of the town (very touristy) was indeed accurate, a few hours here would be enough for us. As we made our way back to the small supermarket we watched flags for tell tale signs of the winds - they were coming in from the south but also far heavier than forecast.
We decided to make our way back to Sailaway immediately and look at our options, this we did with great haste. We were on our way to Sailaway within twenty minutes, there was already a swell developing so our journey against it was very wet? There was one other boat with us at anchor, we had seen the skipper drop his visitors off in the harbour earlier - he waved us over as we passed. He enquired as to whether we had seen a weather forecast, I supplied what I knew but also pointed out that winds had already exceeded the forecast. He asked "what could we do?" which I thought was a little strange but never mind? I explained that we would not remain here but I would have to check out our options? When back on Sailaway we immediately started our engines, as if in the jerking and pulling at our anchor pulled it out we had less than 200m before we would hit the harbour wall! After studying the local information, we had only one option as traveling on would be difficult - we would have to go inside the harbour, not a bad time to do so as numerous trip boats had left already, and that is exactly what we did!
Log Entry Sunday 28th August - We move on to Kalkan.
Our exit was relatively easy, making our way to the east of the island "Karacaören Adalari", it's acclaimed Medieval ruins more visible to us on this route?
It is now relatively easy, we follow the coastline, southerly in direction, under engine unfortunately as we have no wind what so ever.
We, in time turn around Kötü, our last heading being due south for some time up till now, we now head south east. Ahead of us lies Yedi Burunnalr (seven capes) and Patara Beach, but more importantly "wind" from the north west begins to develop, and of coarse up go the sails and off goes the engine. Our progress is slow as the wind is light, but this is how we prefer to travel?
For some reason when under sail, even if traveling slower than with the engine, the time to us passes quicker - does that make sense to anyone? We eventually pass the capes and begin our way along the five mile stretch of low sandy beach.
Once past the beach we sail inland we are to make our way through a channel between Yali Br. on the main land and Catal Ada, an island offshore. As we approach the channel, a couple of miles yet to go the wind falls off as it does every evening at this time, on goes the engine.
Once through the channel we are in Yali Limani, at it's head is Kalkan, we find Kalkan with ease. We had heard that one should get to Kalkan as early as possible as the harbour is small and fills very quickly. When looking over the harbour wall there looks to be little space available, we check out the area out side the wall with the aim to anchor, it seems ok and both the wind and southerly swell is almost totally gone? We drop anchor, have dinner and settle down for the evening, we will check out Kalkan in the morning?
Log Entry Saturday 27th August - We leave Skopea Limani and make our way to the east towards Kalkan.
Our destination today is a series of anchorages just beyond the eastern corner of Fethiye bay, a short trip of fifteen miles or so? This is to be an over night stop as we make our way to initially Kalkan, then Kas. We wait until mid morning to leave, to allow some wind to develop to provide us with a few hours of good sailing, the wind is not looking too promising today? We collect our shore lines and tidy them and other "bits" away, we then release our final line off from the buoy and make our way across the Limani. Some have commented that I look a little like Robert Crowe in "Master and Command" - just wondered if you were truly awake?
As we cross the Limani, the mountains to the north are still covered in mist, we are to pass through the channel to the south of Domuz Adasi and then across Fethiye Köfezi. The vessels on the water are slowly increasing in numbers, as we approach the channel wind can be seen on the other side.
Sure enough, as soon as we get through the channel up go our sails and off goes our engine - perfect! Making our way across the great bay, the mountains to the north become, in time more visible, those ahead, not so much. We are now alone, the only vessel on our coarse?
The wind stiffens, to what degree we do not know as the damaged wind instruments from the lightening storm have not yet been replaced, but Sailaway takes it easily in her stride. As we make towards the head land numerous charter boats become visible, clearly leaving our destination. We are passed by two fast power vessels, the one above is typical in mentality, they are totally incapable in showing consideration? We are now in almost a two meter swell, he decides to overtake to the front of us, and at speed the bow wave created by him is considerable, we are fine but many of the smaller, lighter charter vessels making their way towards us are thrown around like corks? Clearly within the "15 meter power boat range" you own the seas? In contrast a multi-million power yacht overtakes us all well to our rear, turning out of his way, creating almost no disturbance what's so ever, a must larger vessel traveling faster too, very professional - thank you for the consideration!
As we round the headland (Ilbiz Br.) the wind begins to fall off, we are in no hurry so we make way with what little wind we have? Once slightly south east of the large reef that runs offshore we, for safety reasons drop our canvas and start our engines.
We now have to make our way through a narrow ten meter deep channel separating the reef and Karacaören Adalari, we intend to pick up one of the buoys in Karacaören Bükü, we have heard some great reports about the restaurant there? Once into the small bay we are met by a young boy in a boat who directs us to a buoy. We begin to settle, off goes the engine, peace again, then the peace is disturbed by a loud bang and rattle. We turn towards the noise to see a charter vessel, they had tried to cross the reef and had been brought to an abrupt stop due to the rocks? We watch them reverse out, negotiate the correct channel and join us in the bay - they refuse a buoy and decide to anchor, clearly not too worried about their collision?
The restaurant had a great setting, the "pinking" scenery with the sun setting was quite breath taking, never truly shown on camera?
The restaurant was totally different to what we had experienced, the tables and chairs draped with woven rugs, with flags of every nation, and charter organisation hanging high!
The menu was set, a number of options provided, all food cooked in front of you. Over in the corner there were vegetables and salad laid out, grown by them good selves. It was clear the owners knew their business, the whole establishment was about making money, it looked to us to be very well organised? Oh, and by the way the food was excellant, not great portions for the price, but very cleverly done! Well worth a visit if passing by as there are no roads.