Turkey IV - From Fethiye, heading West to Marmaris.
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Turkey III - Fethiye.
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Turkey V - From Marmaris, heading west.
Log Entry Sunday 6th May - Plenty going on, even so early in the season.
As we sit having our breakfast we are able to see, even at 0800 hours a few people on the beach, all of the activities associated with such a holiday resort developing as the day goes on. The trip boats and ferries pass us as they make their way to and fro from the quay.
There is all of the toys one would need for an action holiday, and, being Sunday, a yacht race or so too also under way.
Log Entry Saturday 5th May - We move on to Marmaris.
We set an alarm for this morning but it was not needed, we woke at 0600 hours. The forecast was southerlies today which would eliminate any building sea for us as we make our way to Marmaris. The winds were forecast to be light, so it was unlikely that we would be able to sail much of the 45 mile trip but we were optimistic, but realistically, motoring was extremely likely? There was not a breath of air, but it was early, we were tied back so we had to release our stern line, get it back on board and stow it and the dinghy to travel. If it had been later in the year I would have swam the 30 meters but the water was still a little chilly, to us any way?
I am not sure what happened to Ann, but when we were all secure and ready to cast off the buoy Ann grasped the wheel and sent me forward to release and store the bow line? I put it down to the lack of sleep, but then she sent me down to the galley to make tea, I put my foot down with a firm hand and boiled the kettle?
The sky was grey and the visibility poor, still, we crossed and left Skopea Limani, entering Fethiye Körfezi was no different, the water giving a mirror type finish?
The sun slowly broke through the mist, burning it away slowly revealing the blue sky as we turned south to exit the Körfezi
We made our way between the mainland and Peksimet Adasi, more of the nearer coast line ahead of us became available in time, we met our very first vessel shortly after.
With no wind there is little to do, Ann attacks her brass with Brasso, but, that takes no time at all soon she is relaxing taking in the scenery - what we could see anyway?
I must have been bored too, I laid out a trailing fishing line, nothing but a waste of time, never caught a thing?
As we approached the entrance of Marmaris Limani, the great bay in which Marmaris sits, the tourist, trip boats begin to appear.
Entering the Limani we make our way for the anchorage just off the town quay, only three or four pleasure boats using it, mainly commercial - perfect. We are soon settled and the kettle popped on, this time I am firm with Ann and she makes the tea!
The next morning we head ashore into Marmaris, it is certainly all change since we visited last year. They have, and are completely remodeling and extending the town quay from which the trip boats operate. It seems a little too near the tourist season but the have still quite a section to complete? We head up into the town with two tasks in hand, a good replenish of our food stores and to source a laundry.
We make the short 100m walk off the town quay to where the supermarket (Tansas) used to be? It has been completely flattened, again a redevelopment ongoing and some way from complete. We find a new "Tansas" only a short distance away, some what smaller but adequate for our needs?
We spoil ourselves with one of those evil "MacDonald's" we tuck in to our lunch with the nutritious values clearly declared - my burger contained a mere 53% fat, wow! The laundry is found and our two loads of washing deposited.
We then explore the old town and the new town quay, all will look very elegant when complete, one would of thought their target for completion would have been now? Nearby many of the hotels are over looking building works? A further disappointment lay ahead as we returned to our dinghy, it was covered in sand. There was small hand and foot prints all over it, obviously been used as an extension to the beach play area. This, we see a lot of actually, not just children, but adults will climb on to peoples boats and fish off then or have their photographs taken. It is obviously disrespectful to us but seems completely acceptable behaviour to the Turks?
Log Entry Thursday 3rd May - The day does not start well, but ends much better!
We started our engine this morning to charge batteries only to find that our engine alternator had failed? It could have been a lot worse - it could have failed out at sea? We carry a spare unit so the objective was to pull the failed unit off, inspect it to see if it could be salvaged, if not replaced? Once off I pulled the brush gear assembly off, a good clean and rework was definitely needed. Once the unit was reassembled it was refitted to the engine and the engine started numerous times to check it's operation. All appears good so the new replacement unit is repacked away for another day.
The alternator task took the best part of three hours - nothing is ever easy to get to on a boat, you always need three arms, each with two elbows? Ann had taken pictures of numerous Sunsail charter boats racing down the Limani, dropping their chutes and heading for the nearby restaurant just off Sarsala Köyu. This was to be our destination for dinner this evening.
We took the dinghy around to the adjacent bay in which the restaurant sat, as one does, we were greeted on the pontoon by a young chap. I am now showing my age as he was probably at least thirty? There was a large gathering of various nationalities, as we walked through the crowd we ask what is the event? It was explained to us that every year this group meet for a week of racing and socialising. They had been doing so since 1996, although it was explained that the group had been far larger, now, down to only ten boats. Each night they have a theme night, to night it was a "Swiss Night", costumes and all. We were offered Swiss cheese, dressed with small Swiss flags - very tasty. We were told that tomorrow evening was a mixed "German and Austrian Night", "never mind", replied Ann!
The food was good and plentiful, although very expensive by Turkish standards, the beer and wine went down very well too.
The evening went very well, the noisy chatter grew as the evening progressed, we left them to their conversation and returned to Sailaway.
In the morning as we sat having breakfast in the cockpit, the group could be seen disappearing into the mist, heading for their "German/Austrian Night" in another establishment.
Log Entry Wednesday 2nd May - A walk ashore brings some interesting finds?
As Sailaway sits on her buoy we decide to head ashore primarily to dispose of our rubbish. A large mount of bin bags had been created from the boats servicing the islands, the truck to collect it must be due? We put our bag with the others and walk along the beach and up to a small mountain trail.
As we sit on a bench we see the largest lizard we have yet seen in the Mediterranean? The ones we see are usually around 15cm (6 inches) long, this one was about 30cm (12 inches) long. We watched as it fed on insects freshly caught, it paid us no attention and we meant it no harm.
Further along the path we found a deserted building, on a path a dead snake, in Turkey we have read that there are numerous breads of poisonous snakes - this is as close as we want to come to one!
Log Entry Tuesday 1st May - Our first attempt at moving out of Fethiye Körfezi turns into another day sail!
Our plan today was to move on to Marmaris, 40 miles to the west of us. We will be against the prevailing winds, but, today there are forecast to be light at least, therefore no building seas against us, sailing as much as possible is our objective? The weather here locally is complicated due to the electrical storms less than 50 miles to the east of us. We are optimistic with regards to the trip but having no schedule at times is rewarding as there are no pressures to make the trip, if things are against us, we will make it another day? The unstable weather is heading our way so if we do not move today there will be a delay of a further few days until things settle down again. We lift anchor and head across Skopea Limani, we will exit the Limani through the channel between Domuz Adasi and the mainland.
As we cross the Limani the waters are deserted, the mountains to the north still capped with snow, but barely visible through the mist.
As we travel through the channel we are watched by a "goat family", mum, dad and youngster - quite a proud father he looked too!
Once out in the great bay, Fethiye Körfezi, the winds are light and very fickle, nothing consistent about their direction or strength. We made best way possible under the conditions, barley able to keep three knots of speed with all canvas up! We left Sailaway to the winds and the auto pilot, it was going to be very difficult for us to make Marmaris today by sailing. We sat chatting about various topics as Sailaway made slow progress through the water, before we knew it we had been out for over five hours! We had two options, either switch on the engine and motor to Marmaris or return back into the Limani from which we had left this morning. The decision was quite easy, we were hot enough from the sun filtering through the clouds without having to sit over a running engine for a further 6/7 hours - we made our way back to the Limani.
The waters were quite deserted now, most had motored off to where ever? We returned back to Sarsala Köyu, Marmaris will just have to wait a few more days?
Log Entry Sunday 29th April - Time passes quickly in Sarsala Köyu.
We personally feel there is nothing nicer than waking up in Sarsala Bay, well, except Sarsala Bay with a beach bar? It is amazing to see once again the activity from the small quay servicing the surrounding restaurants and islands. Of coarse the work continues on the beach bar, they tell us it will be complete in one week, a "Turkish week" we think?
The boats servicing the islands begin quite early, they always wave as they pass by.
The weekend activity begin slow on the beach, first the fishermen, the goats and sheep have the beach fully occupied at first. Then the "beach people" arrive, the goats and sheep surrender their ground without dispute.
As the day progresses the activities increase, some even taking to the water - seems a little cold to us still?
Log Entry Saturday 28th April - We leave Göçek to sail down to Sarsala Bay in Skopea Limani.
We have our breakfast on deck, watching the world go by, the ferry, when not transporting people is pulling old sections of jetty across to the old Skopea Marina? We head back into town this morning to pick up fresh fruit, salad and meat for the next few days. We then plan to leave Göçek, head back into the Körfezi and again "day sail" making eventually, this evening for Sarsala Bay in Skopea Limani and then from there, in time for Marmaris. As we raise our anchor numerous sailboats enter the anchorage, a weekend stay perhaps - people, the perfect time to leave?
We exit as we entered through the channel between Göçek Adasi and the mainland, our sails up and engine off as soon as possible. The wind is quite light so our speed is not great but relaxing.
We spend a few hours out in the bay and then turn and head for Skopea Limani. As we enter between Yassica Adalari and Tersane Adasi we see two dolphins coming past us, leaving the Limani. One large, one small - a mother and calf perhaps?
We are able to sail down through the Limani, the wind staying with us all of the way, the waters quite deserted.
We drop our sails at the entrance of Sarsala Bay, motor down and use one of the free mooring buoys to secure Sailaway. It is then that we are distraught by what we seen - our favourite beach bar has been flattened! It looks as if it is being rebuilt but some way off, it certainly will not be open tonight!
As we sit "toasting our safe arrival", we are taken in by the silence and beauty of the bay, no noise but the lapping of the water on the nearby rocks and the occasional small boat using the busy little pier. We have spent so long in "urban areas" one gets used to the constant noises of the Mosques, cars, scooters and dogs throughout the night - none of that here. We sit as the sun goes down and the mist begins to roll down over the mountain and then retire down below for dinner - no beach bar available for some time by the look of it!
Log Entry Wednesday 25th April - We head ashore into Göçek.
We wake to an even more deserted anchorage, two of the three other vessels left last night and headed off down into Skopea Limani, there is now only two vessels counting us. The temperatures are definitely warmer than nearby Fethiye, a screen visible in the town already displays 28C?
We drop the dinghy and make preparations to go into town, we need primarily paint for Sailaway and other bits and pieces. It is good to see the classic ferry pass close by that links the marinas with the town. The old "Skopea Marina" on the town quay is empty, it has been closed down and is being turned into a shopping area, at the moment a building site - progress I suppose?
The small high street is completely open as we remembered it, only the tourist missing.
We walk up to the top end of the high street, work going on every where, even the flower beds being re laid in preparation for the season.
We pick one of the waterside cafes initially for a cold drink, but as time moves on we settle for lunch. It is then back to Sailaway with our purchases plenty to unpack, we get showered, changed then back out to town for dinner.
We make directly for Mercan Pizza cafe, they have a marvelous chicken salad, and yes it is as good as it was last year. Ann calls this diner "Kevin's girlfriends" a little jealousy creeping in I believe?
Log Entry Tuesday 24th April - We leave Fethiye, our winter stay is finally over.
We wake up to a dull, gloomy looking sky and a rather damp Sailaway, the decks and canvas are soaked with dew generated as the temperatures rise and fall throughout the night, but, the daytime temperatures are mild, definitely getting warmer. Today we plan to leave Fethiye and move out into Fethiye Körfezi the great bay between Fethiye and Göçek. It is our intension to spend the day sailing in the prevailing winds, getting the canvas up and more importantly refreshing one's memory as to how things work. As the morning progresses the sky brightens, soon, looking a lot more attractive to be spending the day out in the bay.
We have only one or two final preparations to undertake, then we raise the anchor for the first time this year and say goodbye to one of favourite beaches. The first lift of the year was difficult, everything caked in thick mud and fishing tackle, but all goes well and we are soon on our way.
It is now mid morning but there is little traffic on the water, the tourist season approaching but not yet here, the snow on the surrounding mountain tops is a sure reminder of that!
We soon have our sails up in a stiff breeze, sails reduced for comfort as we pass through the entrance to the natural harbour, both navigation lights and hotels receiving a good white-wash as we pass bye.
Once out in Fethiye Körfezi the wind is against us as expected so we "beat" past Tavsan and Kizil Adasi. It is good sailing, the appearance of one or two other vessels always incites a little "unofficial competition" forcing the ongoing trimming of the sails and the resulting awareness of speed?
After three to four hours in the bay, with the winds due to drop off we head for Göçek, to the west of Fethiye taking the passage between Göçek Adasi and the mainland.
We sail down the channel to the entrance of the bay in which Göçek sits, we are some what surprised by the deserted anchorage with only three other vessels occupying it, we remember fighting for space during the summer. Then, as is custom, we have a celebratory aperitif to toast our safe arrival!