Turkey X - The Lycian Coast, Marmaris to Fethiye.
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Turkey IX - The Carian Coast III, Bodrum to Marmaris.
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Turkey XI - The Lycian Coast II, Fethiye Körfezi and Skopea Limani.
Log Entry Sunday 29th July - Ann qualifies as a "Scuba Diver"
Today Ann returns to the European Dive Centre to complete her Scuba Diver coarse having recovered from some issues with trapped water in her ears.
The centre is busy, Ann has paper work to complete and some theoretical exercises to under take before the dive boat leaves. In a position such as that, time always seems to pass too quickly, we are soon off to the first dive destination.
Again we leave the harbour and head south down the east coast of the Körfezi, Ann has more exercises to complete with her class mates.
The first dive site is a ship wreck, an old coastal vessel, pictured below, purposely sunk in April of this year as a dive site. In time it will attract all manor of residents to be viewed by the divers. Although sitting on the sand, 27 meters below it is clearly visible with snorkel and mask. This is a site for the experienced, advanced divers, controlled decompression stops are essential at those depths.
With the first dive over we make our way to Ann's dive site where she will complete her practical tasks. They are paired up as "Buddies", each being responsible for one and another's safety - all safety checks are under taken before entering the water.
Fully kited up they then enter the water from the back of the boat, Ann enters, signals that she is "ok" and the first dive begins.
They disappear below as they have tasks to complete above and below the surface, Ann returns for lunch and washes down.
The second dive is planned and all is explained as to what the expectations of Alan, the instructor are, the final dive begins.
The exercises are soon complete, the students are debriefed and off we head back to base with a very happy Ann, now qualified, and a very proud Kevin.
Back at the club house there is time for a celebratory drink, and an initiation test for one of the newly qualified Dive Masters. Unfortunately for her she has to complete a further task to drink a beer through a snorkel and mask - completed without issue!
We head out that evening for a celebratory dinner, we opt for "Raki and Mezine" typically Turkish of coarse. No sooner had we ordered then the electricity in the area went off completely, we were waited on by candle and flash light? If any thing was required to gain the waiters attention one had to call out "excuse me!" A very interesting, and of coarse romantic evening, power reappeared as we requested our bill?
Log Entry Wednesday 25th July - Dolphins back into the anchorage.
We are fortunate once again to be on board when four dolphins come into the anchorage, this time there was clearly food around. We were able to watch them catch and eat the fish. They would occasional play with some of the fish they caught, tossing them into the air before eating them, a great experience!
Log Entry Wednesday 25th July - Ann pursues her under water interests.
Ann is to under take a "PADI introductory diving day" at the European Diving Centre in Fethiye, she hopes to be able to move on to "Scuba Level" diving level. We meet at the centre for registration at 0830, I am still unable to enter the water therefore I under take the role of spectator - lunch included!
The boat pushes off about 1000 hours, the dive sites are out in Fethiye Körfezi out side the main harbour, we pass Sailaway on our way out of the harbour.
The mist is still thick on the mountains but the sun is warm and the sea flat as we leave the harbour behind us.
One young lad with his parents had obviously had a heavy night the night before, he slept upright for the whole trip to the first dive site, confidence in the skipper obviously?
We travel down the east side of Fethiye Körfezi, eventually reaching the first dive site. The site is a reef at about 20m for the "experienced divers" on board. We drop anchor, the first dive, we are told will take about 45 minutes.
The class for the beginners starts up stairs, anxiety and concerns are managed with humour very well during the introduction to the equipment, Ann comes top of the class at question time of coarse, the introduction to the equipment and safety briefing goes well.
With the introduction to the equipment and the first dive over we move further down the east side of the bay to a small cove where Ann's practical begins. Tanks, regulators and BCD's are floated to shallow water by one of the instructors.
Ann and the rest of the class select their wetsuits, fins and snorkels down below.
Once kited they swim out to the floating platform where they continue to put on their equipment with the aide of an instructor - not sure what was being done here, but Ann looks like she is having fun?
Once fully equipped they are slowly introduced to the concept of breathing under water, in, what seemed like no time at all they are completely submerged, swimming in shallow water.
As confidence grows they continue with various exercises under the water, in time their dive over - time for lunch.
Once fed and watered spirits are even higher as they return to the water for their second, open water dive, back out to the floating platform to re-equip.
Again, Ann receives all the help needed from the instructor, this time he even smiled for the camera. They assemble fully equipped and submerge, this time moving out into deeper water.
As the dive concludes they re-convene around the floating platform, remove their tanks etc and return to the boat, spirits very high after the experience.
With Ann's day concluded we stop to deliver the experienced divers to their last dive sight, a series of caverns/rock formations. Once the divers are all in the water we move back south to a small cover and drop anchor to wait for them.
Ann is proudly "Certified" and rightly so, she has done extremely well and had a good day at the same time, exactly as it should be! All that was left to do now was to conclude the day with a couple of cold beers back at the dive centre. "WELL DONE ANN!"
Log Entry Sunday 22nd July - Captain Ann continues on with her duties.
We have been sitting here at Fethiye for some time, the warm water in which we sit is full of algae. Consequentially our water line is not only growing a "beard of plant life" but small barnacles are developing. We normally clean our hull through out the summer, the growth on our hull slows our speed down significantly. As I am unable to enter the water as yet, the responsibility of cleaning the hull falls on Ann alone and she does a brilliant job.
Log Entry Thursday 19th July - Captain Ann steps up as required!
With now a week since the operation Ann is full charge of Sailaway and it's needs as well as the normal shopping and other requirements ashore. Even fuel for the dinghy out board engine has to be fetched from the nearby marina. As well as the fetching of fresh water from the shore our domestic batteries need charging daily to run our fridge, now almost running continuously, our lighting etc, how we pray for snow!
We have put our smaller out board engine on the dinghy, it is easier for Ann to start - and it is working hard. Ann reports some issues with the engine, it is a two-stroke unit so the first place to check is the spark plug. Ann removes it, checks the plug gap, cleans it and replaces the plug back into the engine. Tests appear good, another job done, it is difficult being a Captain!
Log Entry Wednesday 18th July - Too hot, difficulty in sleeping.
The temperatures are rising, we are told higher than normal for this time of year, a maximum of 36/38C during the day, falling no lower than 25-30C during the night. We have fans operating below but all they are doing is moving the hot air around - it can be very uncomfortable? Some times it is more comfortable sitting or even sleeping in the cock pit during the warm nights. When sleeping below, we find it beneficial to sleep in separate rooms to reduce the concentration of heat radiated from our bodies? Every morning beds are stripped and sheets and pillows put on deck to dry.
Even during the night, or around dawn there is plenty going on the water.
Log Entry Wednesday 11th July - Waiting, killing time as it could be described!
We have now time to kill, Kevin's first knee is operated on, an intermediate step to knee replacement, the second knee will follow. The tourist season is well under way, even the visit cruise ships now come and go. A newly opened cafe "Captains Pearl" off the water front gives us the ideal point to watch the water and it's movements.
We had a pod of dolphins, about five came right into the anchorage amongst our boats. We have seen them before in the harbour but they usually distance themselves. They are always difficult to catch them on camera, this time the best we could do was to catch on camera a dorsal fin?
Activity on the water is always enough to occupy our minds, Fethiye has a strong rowing clubs with members on the water at early hours, just after dawn.
Log Entry Thursday 5th July - We leave Marmaris and make for Fethiye.
We sat up on deck for dinner and watched the sun fall and the moon rise, the night life of Marmaris slowly coming alive. We retired fairly early as tomorrow we leave for Fethiye, at trip of about ten hours, quite a long day? I need some work done to both knees, that will take time and, as you can imagine management, living on a sailboat with permanent movement under foot? We would prefer to use the services out of Fethiye as apposed to Marmaris for a number of reasons.
We always find it difficult to sleep late when we have a trip ahead even though we had made ready best we could last night. Our departure time is dictated to us by the fuel pontoon in the old harbour, it does not open until 0830. There is always a rush to be first there so we sit at anchor for an hour or so to allow the madness to settle. Up in the cockpit at 0700 drinking coffee one can watch the party goers asleep on the beach, having not quite make their hotel beds last night? There was also a group of "backpackers" asleep with their kit. At 0900 the authorities have passed by with their tractor and trailer, one can hear the bottles and cans being thrown into the trailer by the lad - even all that noise does not awake the "sleepers"?
We lift our anchor about 0930, there should be more room now in the small harbour, we make our way past the old town area and castle into the harbour.
The quay on which the fuel pontoon is congested, a small gap shown above, left is where the fuel station is. We make our way slowly past an enormous 88 metre super yacht called "Fountainhead". It turns out to be one of two sister ships, this one owned by an American called Mark Cuban an American business magnate, the other owned by his close friend. He is the owner of the National Basketball Association's Dallas Mavericks, Landmark Theatres, and Magnolia Pictures, and the chairman of the HDTV cable network HDNet - so he has a few dollars to his name. Looking into the vessels background, it's true cost is unknown but estimated to be between €90 - €120 million! The vessel carries two small craft to ferry them ashore, both are black and identical, both as long if not longer than Sailaway- but, is he happy? Security is tight as one would imagine, we see Mark return to the vessel with a single security body, walking a short distance behind. We fuel up, fill with up water, wave our goodbyes to Mark and exit the harbour.
We motor across the Limani to it's exit tidying away our lines and fenders as we do so, not a breath of wind inside the Limani or outside on the open water as yet but the winds are due to develop. Indications that there is wind ahead are there, so we are optimistic that we should get some sailing in this trip?
Sure enough within the hour the wind came and stiffened, before we knew it we were making good speed towards Fethiye, the waters very quiet around us only the odd vessel making way close to the coast.
With the engine off and on coarse I take the opportunity to grab a little sleep down below, my sleep is disturbed only by the occasional noise out of place. Checking with Ann up in the cockpit our speed is not only maintained but increased, twice we are launched off one of the larger waves off our beam, I am awoken by Ann to help reduce our speed, we were now going too fast for the sea state. We made adjustments and in time reduced our headsail in size, the wind, or more so, the gusts still continued to increased in strength. We did at least have company now, a catamaran already with greatly reduced sail, still he is far lighter than us so he does not need as much power to move along? Some of the waves now breaking on our beam were a good three meters high. Ann was drench through a couple of times as her concentration slipped from the coming waves, she missed a couple of opportunities to "duck" behind the spray hood - still I laughed! It was now time to reduce the mainsail and make the ride more comfortable, once again we found ourselves being launched off the top of a couple of the larger waves. We turned further south, winched the reduced headsail tight in and reduced/reefed the mainsail. The catamaran was kind enough to see our predicament and change coarse to assist us with our task. We continued to travel at a slightly reduced but more comfortable pace for a number of hours, more importantly, the journey was now putting far less stress and strain on Sailaway. The situation continued until we were a couple of miles off "Peksimet Adasi", we were to pass north of the island and turn north into Fethiye Körfezi in which Fethiye is located.
The wind now began to drop off, leaving us with light winds and a fairly large sea, not a good combination, we began to return our sails to full size to keep us moving and more stable in the breaking seas. We turned north east into the Körfezi for Fethiye, with now light winds behind us, still reasonable progress was still made, better under sail than under engine!
As we made our into the large natural harbour we were greeted by a large Loggerhead turtle, it came up, had a good look at us then disappeared again out of site. We arrived at the anchorage to the east of the harbour in failing light, dropping our anchor around 2100 hours, 48 nautical miles covered in 10 hours, a good average - our maximum speed recorded by our GPS was 8.4 knots.
We woke in the morning in this well known anchorage to us, we had only been away for 8 weeks, for some reason it felt like 8 months?