Turkey XII - The Lycian Coast III, Fethiye Körfezi, Skopea Limani and on to Kas.
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Turkey XI - The Lycian Coast II, Fethiye Körfezi and Skopea Limani.
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Turkey XIV - The Lycian Coast IV Kas, Sailaway's home for some time to come.
Log Entry Sunday 30th September - A surprise visit from the Cost Guard!
This morning we are engulfed in cloud, rain can be seen to the east of us. It obviously does not stop the holiday traffic an early gullet approaches the anchorage through the rain and mist.
The weather checks forecast no rain or cloud here, still October approaches and we know from experience how volatile the weather becomes?
This morning as the sky brightens we plan to complete our final dive of the season, to explore a nearby cove and its rocky, shaped cliff surroundings. We prepare our equipment, load it into the dinghy and off we go for a couple of hours play time.
Once play time is over we return and wash down all of our equipment and put it into the shade to dry. It's then a light lunch and back to work on the cockpit cover.
It is sewn and fitted, complete in a couple of hours, quite proud of our selves, the cover offers the all round protection from the weather as required.
Log Entry Saturday 29th September - We sit at anchor and begin the packing away process.
With Sailaway to be left for a year or so while my knees are replaced there is plenty of preparation needed to leave her in the best possible condition for our return.
We wake fairly early as is the norm, the anchorage is quiet and calm. While sitting in the cockpit having our morning cupper some thought is put into a winter cover to protect our hatch and instruments as this winter we plan to remove our spray hood and pack it away to prolong it's life a little longer. The cover is to offer far greater protection than the spray hood from weather coming from all directions not just the bow as the spray hood does.
We chat about our ideas as we squeeze in another cupper, as we do the Coast Guard arrive and begin checking the documentation belonging to the gullets. To our surprise we are also approached and comments are made about our faded Turkish courtesy flag. Looking up at it we have to agree and inform them that we are due in Kas on Monday, we shall replace it immediately. This is the second formal approach about our flag in a month by the Coast Guard, the first about a "weathered flag" in Fethiye Körfezi - a very nationalistic race. It was not an unreasonable request, looking around the anchorage and later in the marina we are amazed to see every Turkish vessel we see flies a Turkish flag in good condition, not weathered nor faded - proud of their flag, good on them. We will replace ours as soon as possible.
Now back to work, with a plan we begin the cutting of the material to shape, that takes us the rest of the day.
Log Entry Friday 28th September - We head for Kas to leave Sailaway and return to the UK
The day arrives that neither Ann nor myself are truly looking forward too, the day we depart for Kas to leave Sailaway for an unknown length of time, but a minimum of a year or so? Our return to the UK at this time of year is a normal happening but this time we have far more work to do, remove and pack sails etc, etc, etc. We are giving our selves a week at Kas to complete all of our listed tasks. The morning is quiet, no wind as yet but very little forecast, we plan to move south, out of the Körfezi some 16 miles to Gemiler Adasi to the south east, over night and then move to Kalkan breaking the 60 mile trip up into stages.
It is quite a solemn occasion, we are certainly glad to leave Fethiye but not begin our final trip for some time? The water is mirror like, we are at the great harbour entrance before the first trip boat joins us, from then on a continuous train of vessels servicing the tourists.
The coastline is rugged, engulfed in mist but still attractive in a very silent way?
As we arrive in open water, leaving the Körfezi we see a military helicopter "buzzing" the vessels in front of us traveling east to west. There has been an noticeable increase in surveillance with regards to "illegal's", in fact we watched the coast guard impound a sailboat with a number of people on board. It was escorted to the Coastguard quay a number of days ago and was still there when we left? As we approached Dökübasi we check the weather for the next few days, it is to be similar with very little usable wind for our intended destination. It was only lunch time so we motored on as we could reach Kalkan just after dark, putting the majority of the trip behind us.
With the engine banging away there was little to do other than eat lunch, watch the engine gauges and our heading as not to run into any other vessels. It was strange to see a continuous stream of vessels coming in the opposite direction in that we were traveling?
As we rounded Kötü Br., making for Catal Adasi we came across an amazing vessel, a centre cockpit, ketch catamaran. A very impressive double ended vessel built for speed with accommodation, about six people on board - not a patch on Sailaway of coarse?
With barely a breath of wind we carried on under motor, no issues other than our regular gauge checks, such a rugged coastline, beautiful in a strange way, little development or use to any one? Many examples of earth movement due to earthquakes and what looked like the foundations of many developments lost over time?
As we approach Catal Adasi and the channel taking us into Yali Limani and the Kalkan area we drop our mainsail and watch a gullet offering assistance to a broken down, small, local boat. In time it passed us with it's engine running good as new.
It was now only for us to identify the channel, watch our depths, and the rocks of coarse and make our way into the small anchorage to the south west of Kalkan itself. The anchorage had a few trip boats and gullets in it, some leaving as we arrived just as the sun was setting.
We awoke this morning to quite an empty bay and an unusual formation of cloud, still it is September?
Log Entry Thursday 27th September - Propeller shaft anodes to fit and a visit to Ölü Deniz and Babadag.
With our gearbox repairs long behind us it is time to replace the shaft anodes we had to cut off the propeller shaft to allow us to complete the repairs. This had meant the repairs could be completed in the water avoiding an expensive lift out. Ann is to take her first "Commercial Dive", not that she is to be paid for her services but, her assistance greatly appreciated. We complete the anode installation early to avoid as much traffic as possible only having to manage the wake of the odd passing vessels
Ann then takes the Dolamus to Ölü Deniz a nearby beautiful land locked beach and Babadag a nearby paragliding centre, a jump of up to 1900 meters.
The paragliders fall and land on a promenade in Ölü Deniz, if you did not keep your eyes open you could have some one fall on you - a good spectators sport?
The jumpers then remove their gear and fold their parachutes ready for the next "loony"? It must be a fascinating ride and the view must be out of this world?
For all people always mention Ölü Deniz it is remarkably quiet, serviced by many restaurants and cafes at extremely reasonable prices.
This year there has seen a Dolamus service introduced to take you up the mountain to a recently opened restaurant on the mountain top, the ride priced at 20tl return for a 60 minute, but only 15km drive up the mountain. Ann was asked if she wanted a single or return fair, "why would I want a single" she enquired? "In case you were going to jump off?" was the reply she received - makes sense I guess?
The drive up was lovely, the view all around fantastic, a little spoilt with the now daily mist.
Eventually at the top it was spectacular, great views of the mountains in land and the coastline of coarse.
The new restaurant is situated on the ramp from which the paragliders jump off, a great view of the action and a clear listing of instructions, poorly translated but with a clear important message as not to panic if any thing does go wrong, again all makes sense?
Ann sat for some time with a cooling drink, watching the panoramic views and of coarse the people jumping from the platform.
The process is quite simple, one lays the parachute flat on the platform and one encourages the wind to fill it. Then, as it does a "runner" runs down with you to the end of the platform, he stops only a couple of meters before the end because he does not have a chute, and you disappear over the edge.
It can take some time for an individual to fill his chute, but once he has there is no turning back, the only way is down - what a ride!
Ann met a couple of British guys, one resident and the other a friend, they chatted for an hour or so over various topics, hard to believe Ann being such a shy person?
Log Entry Wednesday 26th September - A restless night gives an early rise with more farewells.
Unable to sleep it is so tempting to sit and drink coffee in the cockpit early hours, there is always some thing going on. This morning at the crack of dawn the rowers are out training, it is supposedly quite a senior club in Turkey, producing quite a few champions?
The evening see's us joining a group of individuals we have got to know over time to bid our farewells.
Log Entry Tuesday 25th September - We say our farewells to John and Iris.
We meet with John and Iris on the town waterfront, they have been great friends over the past weeks. We stayed with them after my operation until I was able to climb back on board Sailaway, they too are boaters, but also have property here in Fethiye.
We chat on until early hours over dinner, they will be a miss.
Log Entry Monday 24th September - We return to Fethiye to make ready to leave for Kas and meet old friends.
We are to leave Sailaway for the duration of our return visit to the UK in Kas Marina, just over 70 nautical miles to the east of us. Before we leave for Kas we have to dive to replace our propeller shaft anodes we had to remove to complete our gearbox repairs. We also need to pick up fuel, water and provisions as is the norm. We see Mick & Susie (Razzmatazz) leave just a head of us, they will motor we plan to use the developing daily winds to take us back north east, up to Fethiye.
We are barely off the buoy and our head sail is up pushing us along at a steady 3 knots or so, out of the Köyu, into Skopea Limani.
We make our way to the channel that lies between the mainland and Domuz Adasi, taking us out into Fethiye Körfezi. The winds disappear as we reach the channel so we role up our headsail and motor through.
Once out into open water we raise our mainsail and roll out are genoa, the winds push us at a steady 6 to 7 knots east towards Kizil Adasi, the mountains to the east partially hidden in the mist.
Our speed remains steady, we quickly pass Mick and Susie, as we pass between Kizil Adasi and the mainland making way for Fethiye the wind begin's to drop off as one would expect. We are able to keep Sailaway under canvas until well inside the harbour, it is then canvas away, engine on and we motor to the anchorage we now know so well.
That evening, during dinner we are approached by two people from a sailboat anchored nearby, we talk and are amazed to find out that we had first met them in Portugal (2008) and then again later in the year in the Balearics. In that four years both Albert & Sheena (Miyagi Moon) and us had traveled similar paths managing life's issues as time goes by. They, the lucky things, are heading off to spend the winter in the Red Sea, we will have to survive the British weather - good luck to them!
Log Entry Sunday 23rd September - We eventually make it to Amigo's for something to eat.
We arrive to eat at Amigo's about 7pm calling in on Susie and Mick on the way, they had already eaten but they would join us for a drink later. They suggest we order our food, (I order wild bore, shot by the father, Ann goes with the chicken) and while it is being prepared, join them for a glass of wine on board, that is what we do. A couple of glasses later we return to Amigo's for dinner followed closely by Mick and Susie. We have a table set for them just in case they are hungry, you are always served with two much food? Mick and Susie were adamant that they were not hungry, they would just join us for a drink or two, still Mick did manage a vast proportion of the chips? Eventually they did try some things other wise it was going to waste.
The evening went well, before we knew it it was almost midnight, we said our farewells and thanked the family for the food. The son had retired early as he told us he is up at 0500 to make the bread for tomorrow. As were returned to Sailaway the north of the bay was lit by what we had thought earlier were work boats, we retired not hearing a sound.
In the morning the boats were still active, what we were told in the restaurant was confirmed, they were actually fisherman using the powerful lights to draw the fish into their nets. We had seen such methods of fishing in Greece but not on this scale, the mass stripping of the waters using this method is not welcomed by the locals and I must say, the noise from the generators cannot be helping tourism. It must chase pleasure boats way, still I guess they must have been issued a licence or they would have been moved off?
Log Entry Friday 21st September - More work and a little play?
The only real job we set ourselves for today is a last clear of Sailaway's hull before we leave her for some time, when we do return she will be lifted out of the water, cleaned and anti fouled. It takes the two of us little more than an hour with goggles, snorkel and weight belt. She is only lightly soiled from the weeks sitting stationary in Fethiye harbour, which surprised us a little. After we had finished work and showered we had promised ourselves a cold beer down the bay in "Amigo's" restaurant.
Amigo's is effectively a floating restaurant with a home made quay made of stone and rubble, artistic trimmings and all, Mick and Susie (Razzmatazz) were to join us here, the boat and it's surroundings has plenty of character
We opt to sit on the top deck giving us a view of the surrounding homestead, goats, chickens and dogs etc. The restaurant is ran by a father, mother, son and daughter with the occasional cousin helping. We have bought the bread, cake and pancakes many times around the bays from their boat but never visited the source before now.
In the far corner we see where the majority of the cooking is performed by the father and son, as we watch the father prepares some form of casserole and of coarse bread cooked with olive wood, the wood does give the bread a lovely taste.
As we sit and enjoy our beer the son arrives with wood collected from around and of coarse brought by the only form of transport here, boat as there are no roads on this part of the mainland. The refuse collectors also arrive to empty the designated collection point, again by boat. Ann and I agree life here must be very hard and demanding, but we can see some benefits to it, it looks attractive to us but I guess many would not be surprised by that statement?
Mick and Susie arrive in time and join us on the upper deck, we drink beer and chat, time passes quickly we agree to meet them at Amigo's for a meal this evening. Unfortunately I had to postpone and take full responsibility - too much beer, four beers now and I am no one's! Ann is now looking for a fitter, younger man that can hold his beer better - who can blame her!
Log Entry Thursday 20th September - We spend a day in the lovely clear waters, still work to do?
We wake to perfect peace, no wind and calm waters, the small beach we are off is quiet as are the outside water ways at this time of the day, only the odd small fishing boat moving.
We had returned to Sailaway late last night, in the east of the bay there were work boats active, probably servicing the mooring buoys. Their noise was quite loud and their lights lit up the entire bay, and it went on until very early hours. We wake to one of the vessels moored next to us, does this mean they will be working next to us this evening?
Our plan after breakfast is to take the dinghy over to the nearby beach and "scrub it's bottom" of dirt and growth, then we plan to find these donkeys?
The dinghy takes us both an hour or so, nearby are pomegranates and eucalyptus trees.
On inspection the fruit looks good so we pick some, nothing goes to waste here fallen fruit is devoured by some thing?
In time we are joined by goats, struggling to get up to the eucalyptus leaves, they eat any thing they can find obviously.
We decide to help out, breaking branches off the trees, eventually gaining their confidence they take from our hands. All are tagged so they belong to some one, they clearly do not understand English?
We spend a further hour feeding them, more arrive so we leave them a pile of food to keep them occupied and then it is back a hundred yards or so to our dinghy.
Once back on the shore line we are pleased to see another work boat arrives and they then both move up to the other end of the bay, no noise and bright lights for us tonight.
Log Entry Sunday 19th September - With flights booked for the UK on the 10th October we have time to kill before we make for Sailaway's berth.
We now have some form of a schedule to live to, not that we prefer that? Neither Ann nor I are looking forward to a pre longed return to the UK but, as for others, circumstances very often dictate what happens next. We received a phone call from friends last night, and this morning we plan to meet them in the south of Skopea Limani. We are heading for a bay known to the Brit's here, well the Brit's we know as "Donkey Bay", it's official name is "22 Fathom Bay". When we enquire, we are told that it was named such due to the groups of donkeys that could be seen wandering the beach nearby, we are looking forward to seeing the donkeys? Our friends plan to be there early, we will leave Göçek and head into the great bay, spend some hours sailing then head back into Skopea and join them later in the day. From Göçek we lift our anchor, we can clearly see in the morning mist out final destination way to the south, we head south east through the channel into Fethiye Köfezi.
We pass the local traffic, many small open fishing boats, the tourist traffic very sparse at this time of the morning. We are a little early for the prevailing winds but spend an hour or two managing our frustrations with local light breezes. Eventually around 1100 hours a steady wind pattern develops, our canvas is out to stay.
The prevailing wind will take us across east over Fethiye Körfezi, we will then head back and enter Skopea Limani through one of the channels between the islands.
As the winds stiffen a track of vessels appear heading to and from Fethiye and Skopea, there is enough of a breeze to have some of the gullets raise their canvas.
We spend almost four hours out in the bay before eventually heading into Skopea Limani, the wind now quite strong. We enter the Limani between the islands, the cove we are looking for is located in "Manastir Köyu" in the very south of the Limani. The Köyu holds a couple of bays/coves, both "22 Fathom Cove" and "Seagull Bay."
We arrive a lot earlier than our friends, they unfortunately had some problems they had to resolve but all is well. We arrive as the sun begins to drop behind the mountains, we pick up a mooring buoy in the centre of the Köyu between the two coves. Sitting in Sailaway's cockpit, we are alerted to the sound of bells, this must be the donkeys we thought - no just goats, where are all of those donkeys?
We spend an excellant evening with all aboard one of their vessels.