Turkey X - The Lycian Coast II, Fethiye Körfezi and Skopea Limani.
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Turkey X - The Lycian Coast, Marmaris to Fethiye.
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Turkey XII - The Lycian Coast, Fethiye Korfezi, Skopea Limani and on to Kas.
Log Entry Sunday 16th September - A yacht runs aground the beach and does not realise where he is? (212)
While I was down below hand filing shaft anodes as we could not get the correct diameter, for an unfortunate charter crew a simple grounding is made worse by there own actions, Ann caught it all on camera. They had motored at speed past us toward the beach, they clearly had missed the safe channel into the marina and were heading straight for the beach. Once solid aground they could be seen on the telephone, then we were amazed at what happened next? They clearly were disorientated and believed that they had hit a local piece of sand, not the beach? As, with the wind behind them they put up the mainsail and motored hard forward full throttle, from the black smoke, towards the beach, pushing them harder into the sand? The marine staff arrived and instantly told them to stop, pull in there mainsail and explained where they were.
It took three ribs and two men balanced on there boom to finally rock the boat out of the sand over an hour later.
A some what embarrassed crew sped back past us at speed, still sailing is about learning form your mistakes?
Log Entry Saturday 15th September - Peter's visit is over too quickly.
Having arrived in darkness we awake to a very crowded, congested patch of water, we join Peter just after breakfast and have a short look around Göçek. With as yet no proven confidence in Sailaway's anchor's holding we return to Sailaway for the afternoons prevailing winds. The rest of the day is spent eating, drinking and chatting - Peter's pickup time is soon upon us.
We make our way ashore to Peter's pickup point, his coach arrives on schedule and with the reassuring knowledge that he is amongst other Brit's company soon on his way to Dalaman - Bye Peter! A visit that has been scheduled so many times is too soon over, still there is next time to look forward too!
Log Entry Friday 14th September - Peter eventually goes sailing.
Today was to be a busy day, sailing down to Sarsala Köy, a bit of swimming/snorkeling and then back up to Göçek for the evening. We had arrange a pick up from Göçek for Peter early tomorrow evening to take him to Dalaman. Peter flies out early Sunday morning back home. Ann and Peter lift anchor and we make our way out of the harbour under motor.
Once we exit the harbour and the busy day boats and gullets we raise our canvas.
Peter is put hard to work to earn his passage, soon we are in the prevailing winds making our way northeast towards Skopea Limani a couple of hours off so we have plenty of time to chat. We sail past Kizil Adasi and then on past Delikliadalar and Tavsan Adasi.
The winds are light and the weather pleasant, still the time passes quickly
As we cross the Körfezi we are able to "pinch" the wind giving us a more easterly coarse, we enter Skopea Limani between Yassica Adalari and Tersane Adasi. With Göçek only a few miles to the north we are soon in Sarsala Köy, tied to the last buoy fortunately and celebrating our safe arrival as is customary aboard Sailaway.
In time a number of other pleasure craft arrive, we tie back to the shore for security as not to swing into those just anchored close by. A fact of life, no matter what length of line to carry out, it is always too short! Still, lines are tied together and we are secure.
After some time in the water inspecting Sailaway's hull Peter and I disappear towards the shallower water along the shore line. Once back on board, as the sun begins to fall we opt. to head for Göçek as apposed to the beach bar ashore. Peter volunteers to swim ashore to release the shore line, Ann and I gather the line back on deck.
With the line fully recovered on deck Peter climbs back on board obviously pleased with his accomplishment, and rightly so. We then make our way north, up Skopea Limani towards Göçek, arriving in the crowded anchorage in the darkness.
It is about 8.30pm before we have Peter checked into his hotel, it is then Kebabs all round at the "Kebab Hospital Restaurant" - a strange name for such an establishment?
Log Entry Thursday 13th September - Phase II of the gearbox repair, Peter enjoys his vacation?
All components are finally cleaned to be re-assembled to the instructions kindly supplied by T.W Marine in the UK, Ann heads off to pick Peter up from his hotel.
Once with Peter, their assigned task is to collect one of air tanks from the European Dive Centre, filled to replace our propeller shaft anodes once the gearbox repair is complete. Peter did ask once back on board "Does she ever stop talking?" Our plan is to test the repairs today and head off down to Sarsala Köy in the morning, Ann has some shopping to do, Peter op's to stay on Sailaway to assist me.
With all components ready for assembly, I get on with it, cheered on by Peter from the saloon, disappearing into the hole I love so much. Not much room to move I am fortunate to be a slim, lean machine! Peter and I chat on through out the process, come early afternoon we are ready to start the testing process, after lunch of coarse! We run the engine for a good hour, the internals rotate even in neutral, saying that prior to the strip down the oil could be seen dripping out when stationary?
It is then time for "sea trials" Peter helps Ann prepare and lift the anchor. Our intension was to motor for a couple of hours around the harbour, with regular inspections of the gearbox for leakage.
Peter settled in to the sea trials in a very relaxed manor while I kept an eye on the gearbox - all was good
All was good and after a couple of hours motoring and Peter's tour of fethiye Harbour, we returned to the anchorage, moving right down closer to Peter's hotel, we dropped anchor and celebrated! We in time left Sailaway to join Peter in his hotel for dinner, tomorrow it was sailing an excellant job by "Team Sailaway!"
Log Entry Wednesday 12th September - Our friend Peter arrives to save the day!
Peter arrives from the USA mid afternoon after enjoying a few days in Istanbul. Peter, a friend from our stay in the USA what seems a life time ago has been been trying to join us for many years, with usually personal circumstances, his or ours, delaying the visit. The transfer coach drops Peter off at Yacht Classic Hotel, we sit on the water front and enjoy a beer catching up on years apart. There is also the official handing over of the gearbox seals, a very welcome gift. Our plan was to complete the gearbox repairs in the morning, an earliest start as possible, hopefully giving Peter some time on the water? After a refreshing beer it is off to Sailaway, Peter is thrown into our strange way of life, taking to it very well we thought?
Aboard Sailaway Peter is shown our problem and home which frustrates Ann some what as it is literally "upside down", things out of place every where - "circumstances?" Peter remarks. We continue to chat, and enjoy a beer or two, as the sun begins to fall we concluded that it's time to take Peter to his hotel, then down to Fethiye water front for some thing to eat.
After our short walk along the front, with time getting on, we are coaxed into one of the restaurant where we chatted for the rest of the evening.
Log Entry Monday 10th September - Phase I of the gearbox repair.
Our friend Peter arrives on Wednesday from the states, and he has our seals to repair the bad oil leak from the output shaft of our gearbox. To make the repair without the expensive lift out costs here, (€530) diving is required. To complete the work we wanted a secure berth, going into the marina would mean that we would have to commission their diver. The obvious choice was to use Yacht Classic Hotel pontoon, the timing of Peter's visit clashed with the hotels arriving charter vessels so we decided to split the job into two parts. Phase I, I have called it, Ann laughed, was to replace the decrepit engine mounts, and re-align the engine to the propeller shaft. Then, split the drive coupling and ensure we could get the propeller shaft far enough back to remove the gearbox seal. To achieve this we had to remove three aging, shaft anodes, these would have to be replaced when the job was complete to ensure electrolysis did not damage our propeller.
We were in our berth by 0930, Mehmet seeing us in to an along side berth. We got our gear together on deck and lowered the tank/BCD into the water. There is no platform on Sailaway so we dress up in the water, we find that easier, as the equipment can be lowered and raised with one of our davit arms. A pre-inspection gives us a good idea what tools we would need. Our backstop is that we have to cut them off, which is what actually happened after all they were over two years old and had performed their task well.
Kited with tools, including a hacksaw the anode removal and the retraction of the propeller shaft was completed in just less than an hour, the shaft was tight but the retraction to replace the gearbox seal was possible.
The drive coupling was split between the engine and gearbox and the engine mountings were replaced. They had in time, around nine years and 8000 miles had failed badly without us noticing. The mountings that we were able to source were not identical to our old ones so some modifications to the wooden frame running along side the engine had to be under taken to get them in. Secondly, this is Turkey, not all of the holes were the same size for some reason? The mounting bolts would go through some holes but not others, also, the "pitching" was not accurate? Still all jobs that could be completed manually.
The task was further made difficult due to the heat down below, having just come in this morning the engine was still hot for most of the day and, it was 30C ambient?
We decide on a final dive to try and free off the shaft, to make it easier to retract, it was back in the water to use the rest of the air in the tank to work the shaft back and forth, in time it becoming easier to move.
It was almost 2100 before we had tidied up and showered, an eleven hour day, payment was well deserved, dinner ashore. After dinner there was only one task left, purchase a couple of bags of ice from the supermarket to get the swelling down on my knees!
Log Entry Saturday 8th September - our first electrical storm of autumn.
We woke as normal to heat and blue skies but, as we sat having breakfast in the cockpit as usual, a rather morbid view was observed. An open fishing boat was pulling an almost completely sunken, smaller boat over towards the boat yards. A lot of work for some one, hopefully only time lost?
We had to pop into town to pick up a few things from the market as we left Sailaway Ann noticed clouds gathering, the first we had seen for months. I checked the forecast, nothing reported just the usual blue skies and heat? Within an hour or so we could hear thunder in the distance, we thought it best to return to Sailaway as we have seen some of the squalls that can be associated with these passing storms, especially this time of year, they can be quite violent?
We sat in the cockpit and watched as vessels seemed to flood into the bay, many choosing the marina, some to anchor.
The rain came with a vengeance and lasted many hours, the air obviously turned very humid and heavy. The unfortunate thing was, to keep Sailaway dry inside, we had to close down the hatches which meant less air movement down below, not a comfortable night!
Log Entry Friday 7th September - Still stranded at Fethiye with gearbox problems
We sit angry and frustrated for almost two weeks now in Fethiye bay, being let down time again and time again. We need a simple shaft seal for our gearbox output shaft. I found our gearbox almost dry of oil as I checked the oil levels before we planned to move, it could be seen "dripping" from the under side of the box. We dare not move Sailaway as the box drips stationary, working on that, it must be worse running? At one of our places of enquiry they even tried to convince us that our 33mm shaft would work perfectly well in a 32mm seal, to quote, "in Turkey that is normal!" Turkey, great for holidays, little else, they suffer from the lack of infrastructure. The seal could possibly be ordered, but only from Istanbul, not many interested in that, even the local distributors will not order for you as money has to be bank transferred before they will despatch - no one trusts, I wonder why that is? We even considered flying up to collect one ourselves but it is impossibly for us at this stage to find who has one in stock? Makes one wonder how an economy can survive, still look around it is a very "make do!" culture.
Our's is a "ZF Box", T. W. Marine in the UK are excellant with assistance with regards to under taking the seal replacement, perfect instructions even I can under stand!
Our back stop is our friend Peter, he arrives on Wednesday with two seals in his pocket from the USA! We had hoped to do some sailing with Peter, that idea is still not dead, the least we could do is try and achieve for him!
Log Entry Monday 27th August - Ann returns after 4 weeks.
Ann left the UK late on Saturday, arriving back in Fethiye in the early hours of Sunday morning. It was 3am by the time we had Ann back on Sailaway and her bags unpacked. We sat in the cockpit until after 5am catching up and enjoying the odd glass of rosé. For some reason we were not much good for any thing on Sunday? Monday evening we had dinner at the ATA Park hotel close nearby, no alcohol of coarse, good to have Ann back!
Log Entry Friday 17th August - The holiday comes to a close.
I got a call about 1030, the kids were to walk into town to pick up some presents for their friends, I was to meet them for lunch at "Captain Pearl's" just off the water front. The establishment has excellant views and good food at sensible prices.
Lee and Trish had arranged a late check out with the hotel so they returned to shower and pack their cases up for the trip home. I stayed behind with the kids, which of coarse meant large, flavoured ice screams.
The kids and I then followed on to the hotel in the dinghy, there was still a couple of hours to pass before their pick up was due. The time passed quickly I thought, soon I was waving them and their coach off, leaving me to return to Sailaway.
Log Entry Thursday 16th August - The barbecue eventually happens!
We thought of returning back to the beach for the barbecue but some what reluctant due to the wasps - we decide to spend the evening on Sailaway. With Lee as master chef and myself as, well what ever I did, I was quite impressed at what we achieved. Ann would have done better obviously but we tried our best.
We had, as usual bought far too much meat but we managed to eat it anyway, then we settled down for the rest of the evening. We had the added benefit of a cooling breeze being on the water which was more than welcome.
Log Entry Wednesday 15th August - Time for some fun on the beach, then a barbecue.
Today we head over to the local beach across the bay from Fethiye, both dinghy and canoe packed with toys, snorkels, fins, we even have a remote control power boat, and additional batteries to keep the kids occupied? However we feel it will not take long for them to become bored with that lot? We plan to spend some time on the beach then I will return back to Sailaway and collect the barbecue and "goodies" for our dinner ashore this evening. Lee & Georgia want to be first in the canoe and set off ahead to row across the bay. Too much like hard work for them, we end up towing them across with the dinghy. The beach and associated restaurant is relatively quiet when we arrive, some people made themselves comfortable for the day - strange what people feel they should get out of a holiday?
It is good we have the water to cool us down, we set up camp on one of the benches they provide in the shade, even with a breeze it must be mid 30C's?
As time goes by the kids, and adults work their way through the gear we had brought over - fishing next? Lee had taken some local advice and bought bait (anchovies) guaranteed to provide us with a lot of good fish to eat, or so we are told? I explained where I have seen the guys fishing from on board Sailaway, a good spot is selected. Well, fishing did not last long, all agreed it was good that we had plenty of meat for this evening?
The canoe provide a lot of entertainment, perhaps not as it was intended but entertainment all the same?
Before we knew it it was 5.30pm, the barbecue idea was shelved until tomorrow, we packed up our gear and walked over to the nearby restaurant. That was certainly the only way we would have fish this evening? Keeping kids, and some adults occupied in a positive way is a full time job. The restaurant had many more "gadgets" this year than last, Georgia spotted a mechanical bull off the side of the restaurant. In fact they had a whole section of toys to choose from, for all ages too?
Reece is first to climb on the bull, it's operation controlled manually by one of the staff. He has joy sticks and speed controls he can make it do almost any thing? Reece makes the most of his allowed three minutes, the speed of the bull is increased in time as the rider gains confidence. .
With Georgia next, she gives it a good effort to stay on, but it is all about falling off at the end of the day?
Lee fancies a go next, before he had time to climb on some staff join us. It was clear they had spent some time, during there breaks obviously on the bull. We saw some very impressive efforts to stay on, the speed and ferocity just kept on increasing to get them off. Lee did not bother having a go after them, we returned to our beer and cushions.
The even soon came and went, the food was good we adults had fish of coarse as planned. The only issue we had was when the food came so did the wasps, Ann and I had experienced this before previously as we had anchored off the beach. We were literally swarmed by dozens, if not hundreds of wasps after the food, they particularity liked my "stuffed calamari". Fortunately they were not aggressive so the food was gathered and we moved into the security of indoors to finish our meal.
Log Entry Sunday 12th August - Another relaxing day with a strange close to it?
Today I was to join them by the poolside as agreed, except they were not there, they had slept in and even missed breakfast. What's going on I thought, they were treating the place as if they were on holiday? We went across the road to the waterfront cafe, Ann called from England shortly after we arrived there, once she realised where we were, all had to have the cafe's freshly squeezed orange juice because she likes it?
It was early afternoon by the time we arrived back at the hotel, all went straight into the water. We had the pool to ourselves for most of the day, and we had toys this time, inflatable, fins, masks, snorkels and stuff to keep all ages occupied.
Free for all - day two, Lee quite took to Georgia's inflatable shark in one way or another? We played for the rest of the day in the water, and celebrated the close of daylight with a "tipple or two", taking us into "Happy Hour" which, after that one could not have been more happier if one had tried? We returned to the rooms to shower before dinner, as we came back down stairs we secured two tables in the restaurant, Lee having upgraded their rooms to those with a sea view for the rest of the week, went up to reception to settle the upgrade costs. He returned slightly confused and a little angry as the upgrade costs had escalated from 300tl to 850tl - bare in mind the room exchanges had also already taken place? We went back to reception and what followed could only have been described as "noisy". The 550tl increase in upgrade costs could not be under stood nor sufficiently explained so a room "down grade" was eventually demanded! For that option the hotel still wanted 550tl, we could not under stand it. The guy at reception kept tapping away at his rather large desktop calculator which led to it twice being taken from his hands and pushed up the reception desk out of the way? The damage that was going to be done to the hotels reputation on the internet was no ones business! Voices were raised to the point that the restaurant manager came out with Trish to see what was going on, passers by in reception hung around in anticipation? It was around this time, above the confusion one heard "initial cost of the children's room". The penny then dropped, confirmed by Trish (aren't people annoying when they walk in and do that?), the 550tl was the initial cost of the kids room, it was booked late and separately, and, never paid for. So, to summarise the 850tl was 300tl upgrade costs and 550tl initial costs for the kids room - the receptionist was 100% correct, Lee and I were 100% wrong. I blamed the manager for serving us the wine in the afternoon? We could not apologise enough to the poor guy at the desk, we even gave him his calculator back!
Still, all ended well!
Returning to the restaurant we chuckled for some time over the incident. Every time the manager walked by our table he murmured "be calm Lee, be calm". The dinner offered, Turkish mezine, was good and perfectly complemented with Raki as is tradition!
Log Entry Saturday 11th August - Too hot to go any where but the pool!
The hotel pool is the perfect place to stay refreshingly chilled through out the day in more ways than one, all kids love the water it is a fact of life. Reece and Georgia quickly make friends with other children enjoying the cooling water.
Then in time, Daddy gets bored and they have to play with him, so there are soon children flying off in all different directions! Still, now every one is happy?
The pictures tell it all actually, the once quiet subdued pool area is, in time, turned into a "free for all!" No children or parents were injured during the creation of this log entry.
Log Entry Friday 10th August - Time to return to Fethiye to meet up with Lee, Trish and the kids.
It is time to say goodbye to Sarsala, well, for now at least. Lee, Trish and the kids, Reece and Georgia arrive in the early hours. It is hard to believe I have only been here four days, there is never enough time? Still we return with a completely clean bottom both on Sailaway and our dinghy. I took our dinghy ashore yesterday and spent an hour and a half cleaning the bottom, other "bits and bobs" have kept me occupied.
Sailaway and I leave the bay and make our way across Skopea Limani, ahead and to the north looks very gloomy, a shame to leave the bright little bay? We are heading for the channel to the south of Domuz Adasi, that will put us into Fethiye Körfezi, Fethiye itself lies to the east.
As we enter Körfezi the out look is no better, our destination barely visible through the mist, but there was wind.
Out came our head sail and off went the engine - perfect! We were only making three to four knots, a little faster in gusts but we were under no time pressures.
Kizil Adasi, Delikliadalar, and Tavsan become clearer in time, we pass to the south of the collection of islands. It was then I had a strange experience, I saw a high speed Coast Guard vessel coming our way, they slowed, circled our stern and came along side. They told me that our Turkish courtesy flag was a disgrace and should be change immediately or I would face a fine? As I looked up, yes it was frayed, but it was less than two months old, bought in Marmaris? Still nothing lasts forever in Turkey? The Coast Guard went of I put back out my head sail and continued on, in over 12000 miles this was my first experience of any one taking note of one's courtesy flag?
Sailaway and I carried on, we met the first boats sailing shortly after, both non-charter. We had been passed in both directions by many sail boats, we were the only one sailing.
We rounded the point of Kizil Adasi, what used to be a lighthouse, now a restaurant and continued on our unaltered coarse straight for Fethiye harbour entrance.
As I was on my own I decided to roll up the headsail and start the engine as I entered the harbour. I was glad I did, a parasailing craft shot out from one of the hotels off the entrance and threw a father and son up into the air in the middle of the harbour entrance. I had to turn off to avoid him and he ascending parachute.
Other sailboats leaving the harbour had just put their sails up, both of them had to give the guy a wide berth - probably does it all the time? We were now in the large harbour, the town ahead of us. All that was left to do was to drop our anchor and put the kettle on.
Log Entry Monday 6th August - Sarsala, still my favourite!
I have been here three nights now, boats come and go, some I know from past meets. I have a large insect visits every morning for a hour or so it is about 50mm (2") long, with a wing span of about 75mm (3"). We have a coffee together, it never says much but friendly enough, I am trying to think of a name for it?
The cove has not changed, very busy, as to some of the other bays a life line. The road stops here, transport to many other bays and their restaurants is by boat for both people and supplies alike, so the traffic starts early.
The bay remains the same as I remember it from last year, bread, ice scream sellers and the visiting "float toy boats" touring the moored vessels all selling their wares. The beach bar is new however, Ann and I were here in April when the building work was on going, worth a look over tonight, I thought - well, I have some rubbish to get rid of?
The whole beach area has been re-worked, the beach area has been completely separated from the road traffic, the beach even has it's own "manned" life guard tower, it's manned hours clearly posted for all to see. It is good to see the investment into what I see as a local beach, very few of the visiting boats use it which is strange, they are missing out in my opinion?
The beach bar, cafe or restaurant, which ever you call it has been revamped, the menu is still simple and the prices favourable, where else in Skopea Limani can you get a large beer for 5tl? From our experience in all of the other establishments we have visited in the Limani you would pay 5tl for a small beer at least. That is why we like it, good simple Turkish food at a good price and there is a posted price list - no "dual pricing". There is actually no need, as what from what I believe, I was the only non-Turk? The bar now also rents out all the water toys, canoes, pedal dolphins and provides the fast floating rides for the more adventurous. The beach is now much better organised and therefore cleaner, less waste left lying around to be picked up by some one else - good luck to them!
Log Entry Friday 3rd August - Sailaway picks up anchor, the first time for almost 5 weeks
It is amazing how quickly time passes, with my knee operation and Ann returning back to England to be with her mum Sailaway has not moved for almost five weeks. It is a further nine days before I have to return to the hospital for "Phase II" so I decide to lift anchor and move down into the bays in Skopea Limani and possibly Gocek. Four days ago, I put on my tank and cleaned the hull, the warm almost stagnant water in Fethiye harbour is perfect for cultivating "growth". During that dive I had noticed the growth on the chain too, it appeared to have grown to approximately 150mm (6") diameter due to growth - amazing! I was not looking forward to raising the chain, due to the cleaning involved, growth would have to be scrubbed off, our chain wash would only remove the mud unfortunately. It took a good 45 minutes to lift the chain, remove the growth, plant life and barnacles from the first twenty meters of chain, the following forty meters was just muddy.
The previous two days had been cloudy, thunder storms could be heard passing to the north and south of us, we saw no rain at all. This morning was again cloudy with a heavy morning mist, a very dull grey morning. It was almost 0900 before the anchor was up and the deck washed down - I do miss my little deck hand at times like this!
At the entrance of the harbour we are greeted by a large logger head turtle, giving use the "once over" then diving back down to safety, too quick for the camera. Once out of the harbour into the Körfezi the skies were little better but the traffic on the water beginning to move.
Once to the south of Kizil Adasi, Delikliadalar and Tavsan Adasi our heading was almost due west, making for the channel between the mainland and Domuz Adasi into Skopea Limani in the western sector of Fethiye Körfezi.
Although initially our destination was covered with cloud it eventually came into view, the mist beginning to lift slightly.
Once through the channel into Skopea Limani I was pleasantly surprised as to how busy it was? I had deliberately left early as it was the weekend - a lot more local traffic. I made my way into Sarsala Köyu there are mooring buoys available as the bay has great depths, and I got the last one! With the bay so busy with vessels both on the buoys and anchored in between I was forced to tie back with a line ashore. This is unfortunate as it reduces the amount of air flow you can force down below deck, essential in warm temperatures, mid thirties at the moment.