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Turkey VIII - The Carian Coast II, Marmaris to Bodrum.


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Turkey VII - The Carian Coast, Marmaris to Bodrum.

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Turkey IX - The Carian Coast III, Bodrum to Marmaris.



Log Entry Monday 25th June - We visit St Peter's Castle, Bodrum

It is Sunday morning, we woke to a quiet anchorage, although a few hours earlier it was not so. The loud noise from the discos ashore went on until after 0300 hours - annoying, must be our age? There had been an influx of gullets over night as well a cruise ship, now tied to the recently build concrete pontoon. However, will all of this holiday activity on going there still appears room for the small fishing boats which is good in our opinion.

We head ashore early as to miss the heat of the afternoon, leaving our dinghy in the capable hands of the "Blancha Restaurant" we make our way through the narrow streets of the old town, now converted into the familiar bazaar type appearance, into the small square on the quay side within the harbour.

As we walk down the quay where the gullets sit, the castle's fortifications become visible, the entrance to St Peter's Castle housing the "Museum of Underwater Archaeology" is very easy to find. The Castle of St. Peter the Liberator of the Order of the Knights of the Hospital of St. John of Rhodes - to give it its full, comprehensive title. Over the period of six centuries it has served as a military garrison, a compound enclosing a tiny village, and even as a fortress prison. Today it houses one of the finest museums of nautical archaeology in the world.
The castle is built on a promontory which, according to Herodotus, was a small island called Zephyria at the time of the first Dorian invasions which occurred around the time of the Trojan Wars. By the time king Mausolus (377-353 BC) came to rule Caria and moved the capital from Mylasa to Halicarnassus, today's Bodrum, Zephyrion was already a small peninsula joined to the mainland by debris and landfill. This peninsula is believed to have been the location of Mausolus's palace built near the site of an Early Classical temple of Apollo, although some authorities prefer to place the presumed venue of the palace on the mainland just north of the peninsula.

In the entrance where one pays the entrance fee (20Tl) there are a series of altars from various periods dating back to 400BC. We then enter a hall way and steep serious of stairs taking us inside the walls.

Outside of the staircase one walks into a mass of colour from various flowers, a scene witnessed throughout the visit.

At the end of the colourful walk way we cross a bridge into the main section of the fortifications.

The walk continues until one enters a further gateway where a plan and description of the castle sits on the wall. Due to the cultural mix of the band of nights the castle was built with four main towers, each named after the respective nationality, English, French, German and Italian. Two further towers complemented the structure, the "Command Tower" over looking the harbour and the "Snake Tower" originally build as a hospital.

One enters a picturesque courtyard in which the castle chapel sits, originally built in 1406, rebuilt in it's today Gothic style by the Spanish 1519-20. It now holds an exhibition of a recovered roman ship wreck dating back to AD626

The excavation was one of the many led by George .F. Bass who spent much of his life helping to bring recognition to Turkey's underway treasures. There is a great development of the "amphora's" the storage jars used for centuries as transportation containers. The shipwreck, found in 32-39 metres was originally a merchant ship of 19 metres in length, dated from the coins found aboard puts it around AD626. Roman swords, metal and glass ingots were found aboard to substantiate the dating.

Once out of the chapel following the walkway there is an excavation of part of the castle's foundations, relicts found date the original structure back as far as 3rd century BC?

The next exhibition is that of a 4th century AD Roman ship, it's wreck again uncovered by "Bass" off "Yassiada Island" near Bodrum. An aquarium model has been built to show how work was undertake on the vessel in over 60 meters depth of water.

The "Snake Tower" or hospital was unfortunately closed therefore the medical exhibits inside could not be seen?

From outside of the Snake Tower one had a wonderful panoramic view of Bodrum and the anchorage in which Sailaway sat, we were even able to identify our dinghy?

The "German Tower", again, unfortunately was closed, however, passing, we were able to see the open toilets typical of the era, cleaned well of coarse!

As we stood on the walkway down to the dungeon we had a perfect view to the south, showing Sailaway in the distance.

The dungeon was as one would expect, not a lot said down there?

We eventually came to the "English Tower" and was by far the most grand of coarse.

We then came to "The Uluburun Wreck" dated 14th Century BC, another finding of "Bass" A model of how the vessel would have looked is wall mounted, created from the way in which the wreck was discover. A model of the seabed sits below, the cross section of materials found proved that there was indeed very active trading by sea through out the Mediterranean.

The "Command Tower" was today also off limits as was the "Italian Tower" pictured below???


A "Sphinx" uncovered during excavations was dated at 355BC.

We were now at peak temperatures of the day, fortunately our tour was almost over. On our way out we came across a tortoise cleverly making it's way clumsily down these stone steps.

Before leaving the castle we visited the cafe for cooling drinks, peacocks walked around us without any fears.

The last exhibit was a bronze age anchored dated back to the first century - a well worth, and very interesting visit!


Log Entry Friday 22nd June - Our first day in Bodrum.

We leave Sailaway and head ashore to look around, but also to find the fresh produce market that is on today. We find trouble to find some where to tie up our dinghy as the beach is completely and rightly cordoned off for the safety of the swimmers. We note that a few leave their dinghies at the water front cafes, we approach one "Blanche Restaurant" and are waved in, we ask about garbage disposal, the young lady takes it from us to dispose of it with hers. Obviously they expect you to buy a coffee or drink or so? We ask direction to the market, we head off through the narrow pathways between the well kept, colourful building.

We find the main road as described but have to ask further directs from a policeman - well it works in England? We walk along now a busy road area towards a bus station, the market sits above it we are told.

We leave the central waterfront area and continue as directed, on the way we buy a can of diet Pepsi - 2.5Tl and we thought Marmaris was expensive?

The bus terminal was easy to find and the market was above it!

Numerous square meters of fresh produce, at a reasonable price too and, a "Tansas" supermarket along side - a shoppers heaven!

One thing we did find new to us was outside the market there were chickens tied to trees and posts - unsure as to who they belonged too it was impossible to say as to why they were there? For sure they were not awaiting a bus?

We then followed a sign posted route back down to the Marina/waterfront, a town with a honeycomb of one way systems, some roads barely wide enough for a car?

The waterfront was as one would expect, full of trip boats and restaurants.

Across the bay the large marina complex.

Once back into the central area we were then able to find the restaurant taking care of our dinghy. We came across a shop selling sponges from the sea, Bodrum was originally a sponge fishing village?

It was well past lunch time so we tried a snack before climbing into our dinghy and back to Sailaway before the heat reached it's peek, 30C today just like the UK?


Log Entry Thursday 21st June - We leave Knidos for Bodrum our last trip to the north this year.

We leave today for Bodrum, the farthest north we intend to travel in Turkey this year. We feel that it is also time to leave this beautiful, but chaotic anchorage before we incur some serious damage? When we first took up this life style we had heard many times how, due their inexperience charter boats were the serious risk? What we have seen in the last couple of places is that this is not the case, it appears to us that the private vessels are the most dangerous. The charter boats usually "do it by the book", this is visible to us as they move around, other than possibly "rules of the road?" but one makes allowances as the rules are not some thing that can be learnt in an hour or so. The private vessels are some thing else, they arrive for a week or two and know every thing there is to know. There approach to something as simple as anchoring is not structured at all. We have watched, even here, in the last day or so a private vessel skipper arguing with a gullet skipper over his anchoring technique, and then later returning to apologise as clearly he was wrong and the gullet skipper was right - at least he apologised I suppose? One learns some thing every day!

The forecast today was for light winds, the day starts with none, which is the norm. We round "Deveboynu Burnu" under engine, the traffic already quite busy, the continuous stream of large commercial traffic in the distance and gullet and sailboat nearer by.

As we round the point the Greek island of "Kos" is almost completely hidden in the early morning mist.

Rounding the point also brings us light, favourable winds from the north east, up goes our canvas and off goes our engine, we also raise our inner stay sail to help us move quicker through the water.

There is plenty time to relax now as we approach "Kos", our speed is not great only three knots or so but very, very pleasant sailing. Kevin goes forward to repair some tears in our aging mainsail cover, nothing else to do?

We were able to continue on with the north easterly wind for an hour or so before it disappeared complete, now we pack away all the canvas and start the engine and motor on, still it was good while it lasted? As we approached the northeast shore of Kos, Ann drew my attention to the "whites" (the description of strong to gale force winds blowing the tops of the wave off in it's path) ahead of us, coming our way fast, we made ready. It was difficult to say what the wind strength was as we have no wind instruments, they were destroyed by lightening last year, but we had to reduce both of our sails to maintain stability. This would indicate to us that the winds were near gale to gale force? With the sails trimmed right we were able to have three hours of the fastest, wettest, from a personal point of view, sailing for the last couple of years? The good thing was that the water breaking over our beam into the cockpit was at least warmish. There was no photographs for the next couple of hours as it was too dangerous to use the camera in the heavy spray, then as quickly as it came, it disappeared?

Sailaway was then left with light winds and reduced sails, time to shake the full sails our for the last few miles into Bodrum, and so we did.

The wind had now move from the west to north west so we dropped our mainsail on the move and sailed into Bodrum outer harbour under head sail alone, in a now stiffening wind. We made to the east of the reef at "Dikilitas Kayasi", turning straight towards "St Peters Castle" the anchorage lying just to the east of it.

The outer harbour, between the mainland and "Kaarada" island is sizable, large boatyards and a new concrete pier under construction.

We settled easily into the now windy anchorage, now around 1700 hours trip boats were returning with their tourists, one caught our attention, made to look like the "Black Pear" from "Pirates of the Caribbean", Ann watched in anticipation hoping to catch a glimpse of "Johnny Dieppe" - silly woman?

After dinner we sat in the cockpit and watched the sun go down over the castle, it's illuminations then switched on, a lovely setting to end the day?


Log Entry Wednesday 20th June - At Knidos for three nights before our luck runs out!

In each log entry made here in Knidos we mention issues with boats dragging their anchor, eventually, after three nights, our luck ran out, fortunately not too much damage to Sailaway. We were awoken this morning by a tremendous bang that shook Sailaway, Ann and I both ran up on deck to investigate. The issue was not this time, the dragging of one's anchor, a fifteen meter Turkish flagged Catamaran ( named "Orian") had driven straight into the side of us as they tried to exit the harbour? The crew were Russian, all we received from them was "No problem, no problem!" "Not to you perhaps" I replied as we tried to identify the point of impact, importantly, the wind generator and solar panels appeared in tact? We demanded that they stayed in position until we had identified the point of impact. They then sped off at speed, the helmsman politely waving as they did so - "B*****s", we noted their boat name. A British flagged vessel following them said "they appeared not to even see you and drove straight into you?" They also helped identify the point of impact, slight damage to our paint work, hopefully much more damage to their plastic vessel? A nearby gullet came close to us as they lifted their anchor, one of the crew shouted to Ann "they were drinking alcohol all night!"


In the mean time:

Last night we went ashore to Knidos Restaurant, the food was excellant and relatively well priced for the restaurant position, much better than most we had frequented? We made a more tradition choice for own main coarse's but we did consider the lobster for a moment? The restaurant was as it had been previously, busy, the proprietor tells us he had received earlier to day a telephone booking for thirty people from a visiting flotilla - good luck to him!

As we were eating every ones attention in the restaurant, even the staff, was taken by a new bride and groom, they had arrived for a photo shoot at the ruins. They both spoke perfect English with an American accent, it was difficult to determine which one was Turkish, the gent wore an array of medals on his chest. We wished them "good luck" and they thanked us, they went into the ruins which were clearly due to close, the attendant left a large gate open and the security guards sat by as they completed their shoot, very good of them we thought, just like they would in England? As we made our way back down to our dinghy we filled our fresh water containers from the restaurants taps as we had agreed with the proprietor.


Log Entry Tuesday 19th June - Knidos, a mystical place!

We sit in this some what crowded, very busy anchorage finding it difficult to describe how it feels to be sitting in amongst ruins of ancient civilisation that peaked around 700BC when it is believed close to 20,000 people lived here, local findings have been dated back to 1200BC. The Romans dominated this area in the 2nd century AD and built numerous churches on top of the old Dorian religious centres, the Arabs later invaded the area in 7th century AD, Greek domination also left it's mark here. It is believed that drought and disease led to the demise of this great trading centre. Therefore as one would expect the cross over of the relative cultures is significantly evident. As one sits aboard Sailaway looking up at the hillside the dwelling/streets are easily distinguishable, especially the smaller of the two theatres over looking the anchorage.

The Temple of Apollo reached by "Harbour Street" have been excavated, the Temple for the settlers of Knidos was a cultural centre, protected by steep cliffs and strong walls. Apollo Karneios was the great Olympian God of prophecy, music, youth, healing and the aversion of plague and harm - guess his powers ran out in the end? Many statues of "nymphs" were uncovered in this area which were believed at the time to be spirits, a large fresh water spring located at the entrance to the temple.

The old harbour to the north west side of the anchorage dates back to the "Tireme times", now silted, only usable by small shallow draft local fishing boats. The waters in this area very clear, little touched by pollution as the nearest village inhabited now is 8km away, even the Knidos restaurant owner and his wife and seven staff are only here seven months of the year? High above on the "Deveboynu Burnu" sits a glorious light house that over looks the busy shipping routes, the home of a light house for centuries.

The "Round Temple" sits further down the hillside, under the "Apollo Temple", it is believed to be where the original statue of "Aphrodite" was placed in the 4th century BC by the "Praxiteles". The Goddess of Love and Beauty could be seen for many miles out to sea, said to bring good fortune to sailors, and, it was believed to be the first statue erected of a nude woman?

Many examples of old dwellings and their street layouts are clear, simply left to the imagination as one walks around.

The "Corinthian Temple" was founded in the 2nd century AD and was believed to be a significant political centre at that time, along side the city sun dial was uncovered.

The ruins of this once, great city stretch for miles, certain areas excavated, many not yet touched, it's value must be under stood as two security guards police the area when closed?

Along side the theatre over looking the harbour in which we sit sits "The Temple of Dyonysus" erected in the honour of Dyonysus, the God of wine and entertainment. It is said to date from the "Hellenistic period" which was later modified into a "Church" by the conquering Romans.

The thriving city of Knidos was also the home of a number of great individuals. The scientist "Eudoxos", an astronomer and mathematician, the founder of Greek geometry lived here in the 4th century BC. The architect "Sostratus" who designed the Pharos Lighthouse of Alexandria, one of the seven wonders of the world was also a native here.

After a cool refreshing drink at the restaurant we return to Sailaway, the Meltemi winds are in place and the daily fun begins, an Italian flagged vessel drags it's anchor, hitting and up routing the anchor of a further Italian flagged vessel in it's path? Entangled, as they struggle to free themselves, they pass very close by an anchored gullet, as they approach a second gullet, it's crew waving and shouting, they manage to separate and avoid a collision. They both recover and proceed back up the bay to reset their anchors, thankfully well away from us.


Log Entry Monday 18th June - We leave Datça and move west to Knidos.

It is time for us to move west along the coastline to Knidos, an area of particular interest to us. To beat the prevailing winds an early start is again required, we had strong winds through out most of the night but all had been calm for some time? The forecast for today was very light winds only, so a perfect conditions to move on.

The first leg of the trip took us south to round "Ince Burnu", then to continue west to Knidos, a total trip of just less than twenty miles.

It is quiet route we travel, a single fishing boat moving in the waters at this time, many gullets lie sleeping along the shore.

As we round Ince Burnu the sea state quickly moves from flat to a good two meter swell, probably resulting from last nights blow?

As we make our way west the seas continue to be a nuisance factor, with not a breath of wind there is very little stabilisation from our mainsail. We enter a busy shipping lane zone, an unfamiliar, strange sight for us, we had not seen traffic like this for quite a while.

The "Meltemi" winds began to develop, a problematic head wind to us, and they were stiffening well above the forecast, with only a few miles left to make to Knidos we upped the engine revolutions to help Sailaway push us through the now growing swell which was now breaking over our decks. Soon, in the distance we could make out the only remaining sea wall of Knidos, the westerly wall had fallen into the sea over time? We could also make out what appeared to be almost a mass exodus from the small harbour, as the traffic got closer it became apparent that it was a charter fleet in convoy - more room for us!

Büyük Limani, in which Knidos sits is very rugged and picturesque, very attractive in a harsh sort of way.

We get into Knidos in good time, many vessels follow us in, many utilised the very well organised restaurant pontoon, others, like us choose to anchor in the now quite strong winds. As the wind grew in strength the problems started, three or four sailboats drag their anchor. Two gullets move off the harbour wall and opt to swing free causing even more congestion within the small harbour. Sailaway sits tight at anchor, we have plenty to watch and keep us occupied, for well over an hour boats seemed to be constantly moving around the tight space looking for better holding, one vessel gave up and left!

The harbour is in a very impressive position, banked on all sides by ruins, some originating back to 700BC.

An ancient theatre stands above us, but amazingly although there is an entrance fee, the ruins are farmed? We watch a shepherd and two women bring their sheep down through the excavations, then moments later a tractor and trailer passes above us, the women and sheep sharing the trailer, we could hear the women laughing!

We watched the sun go down then popped over to the restaurant in the dinghy for a nightcap, boats kept squeezing into the little harbour until about 1am?

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