I - Life in Kas Marina (2014).
To view our previous log entries please use the following link:
XVI - Life in Kas Marina, Turkey (2013).
To view our next log entries please use the following link:
II - Life in Kas Marina, Turkey (2014).
Log Entry Sunday 16th February - A late evening, fuelled by the evil Raki! (194)
We had to pop over to town to pick up "bread and butter", believe it or not, a couple of unforeseen, bad things happen. Firstly we bumped into Abraham, the owner of Abraham's and ordered dinner at six tomorrow evening. And, secondly, we were force into the purchase of a small bottle of raki, not a good trip at all. In our defence we buy alcohol so infrequent now we thought it was flavoured water?
When we returned to Sailaway, we sat in the cockpit, lit our fire down below and tucked into our raki, opting for a later than usual dinner. In the distance we could here music and laughter coming for the town, from what we had seen, small groups of men playing backgammon etc in a cafe or two, there was even one group playing on one of the trip boats. The women must have been inside watching the soaps?
We were perhaps a little too comfortable up top, especially with the heat bellowing out into the cockpit, I even felt happy at one stage, even though I do not look it? Our dinner was over due, we packed up and went down below, settled down to dinner and a movie, how traditional, the rest of the raki must have been stolen during the night as we awoke to an empty bottle, how surprised were we!
Log Entry Saturday 15th February - A job I have been avoiding, the hull needs a clean, hope the weather changes for the worst! (186)
Sailaway had appeared to be moving well through the water in light winds but being stationary for about six months must have produced some degree of growth on it's hull. This was indeed a job that needed doing, or at least checking to see how thick the growth was, to day, unfortunately, was the perfect day to get in the water and check it out and clean what needs to be cleaned.
I put on my suit and gear and entered the water, after the customary tightening of the fins, all set to go. Ann is to stay on deck, supplying a line/rope should I need to rest and to pass to me the assorted tools to clean the different areas below the water line.
After an initial glimpse, the hull clearly needed cleaning in sections, thankfully the propeller was clean, I had that job the most. I worked my way around Sailaway, utilising the slight currant to provide clearer vision through the floating debris as I clean it off the hull.
It took almost two hours to work my way around, not my best clean, it used to talk me one and a half hours, I blame my age? I was extremely happy with the performance of this Turkish antifoul, we will use it again as it was the lightest I had seen her soiled after such a time static.
It is then time to wash all down thoroughly with fresh water, especially the suit, hood and boots and put them out to dry. At least that job is over, she will travel even better through the water now in light winds, and with reduced fuel consumption under engine. For those really interested, I have seen a clean increase the fuel consumption by around 20 - 25%, based on increased speed through the water after cleaning, for the same engine revs - still awake?
Log Entry Saturday 15th February - Our romantic meal ashore for two last night did not go as planned!
We had quite an eventful early morning, I lay awake around 0530 and caught the distant flash of lightening in the sky through our hatch and watched as it approached with it's following thunder. Within about thirty minutes it was above us, the thunder so intense it seemed to vibrate Sailaway like a child's drum, Ann woke with a fright. The rainfall was torrential as it is here, it's fierce sound hitting off our decks made you wonder whether, at times it was in fact hailstones?
The rain continued through the day, easing a little around lunch time, turning into periodic heavy showers. I went up on deck between showers to find our dinghy had about 50mm of rain water in it, everything was wet. A look around at the sky and the showers ruled out our trip ashore this evening, it would not be an enjoyable trip in this weather. I called Abraham's to cancel - he can probably close even earlier now?
Ann set to work making a "Vegetarian Chilli" from her recipe book - a romantic meal for two aboard Sailaway instead, perfect!
Log Entry Friday 14th February - We had a look around town yesterday, picked up a bit of shopping. (168)
Today we dropped down our dinghy into the water and head over to the town, we could do with some bread and fruit, it is also good to stretch ones legs at times.
We leave the dinghy at Abraham's Restaurant as usual and head over to the east end of town where the fruit shop is located. We were not surprised by the number of coaches parked up having seen the droves of people being herded to and from the boats. Clearly on a schedule, unfortunately for the local trade, non stopping at any of the waterfront restaurants?
Having disposed of our rubbish, I returned to Ann and we made our way back along the lane behind the waterfront buildings, unfortunately the fruit shop is closed. There is some fruit displayed within the locked area but no sign of life, we will be forced to get our fruit from the store at the west side of town, poorer quality and higher priced!
At this side of town where the coaches park there is some commercial activity, as you walk from that immediate area there is nothing, all closed up. You can under stand why the visitors are marched along the front and back by leaders waving a flag or book in hand - the sort of holiday we have always preferred too. They leave this small town, one of our favourites on this stretch of coastline with no idea of what makes it a town, an extra few minutes (due to the size of the town) returning them to their coaches via a different route would be more beneficial in our opinion?
As we reach the end of town, we sit at the waterside, out of the stiff easterly breeze is it quite warm, Sailaway sits out on her own awaiting our return.
One thing I did witness for the first time was the refilling of a powerboat from the visiting fuel tanker that comes to town weekly. Apart from supplying individuals with fuel for cars, scooters and outboard engines as we have seen previously we watched the small tanker connect up to a junction at the end of the pontoon and the operator, once his pump was started supplied a powerboat secured up the pontoon. A good point to note if you are ever passing on a Thursday and short of fuel?
We finish today's visit with a drink in Abraham's, watching the world go by as we do. The proprietor tells us it is usual at this time of year to have so many visitors but little custom. We make arrangements to dine there tomorrow evening (Valentines) should the forecast rain not pin us down. It is explained that "Valentines" is celebrated in Turkey too which was a surprise, I explain that my girlfriend is due tomorrow from Altanya? His stern, confused face, gazes at Ann then begins to chuckle as he takes my hand to bid us farewell! We will have the whole place to ourselves tomorrow, I am sure!
Log Entry Thursday 13th February - A lazy day, with a few jobs completed!
A few jobs to complete today, a bit of varnishing, a bit of painting, other than that, check that everything works at anchor as it should. The forecast is good so no hurry!
Ann beats me up top and does the early morning update, a critical part of our existence - you never know what you may miss, Ann misses nothing! The early morning mist soon clears as the suns warmth quickly increases, what little morning mist there was is soon gone.
The town is quiet, still it is still early, as you scan the countryside there is always something different to see, we pick up on a new, small homestead far down the Limani. Built from wood and polythene, goats and all!
I complete my usual early morning job, checking weather, email and compiling our morning email to Ann's mum. Ann sits up top keeping "Anchor Watch" a necessary need should a storm break out and we drag our anchor destroying all of the other boats around us. Or, necessary just in case you miss some thing? It is warmer up top too, Ann up dates me on moving trip boats, walkers on the Lycian Way etc.
I move on to a job I have been hating to do and varnish our storage box on the stern, Ann completes her few blobs of deck paint. Ann resettles in the cockpit as I varnish and notes the arrival of a fleet of coaches and by now the regular movement of trip boats, all good for local business! I move on to a leaking seawater tap, used for the first time it is bound to leak?
I thank God for Ann's Kindle, without it where would she be - what a blessed machine!
Log Entry Wednesday 12th February - Out of the marina for a few days, down to Kekova Roads.
We tried to get out last week, but the forecast and actually very rarely matched, still, today looks good, be it with very light, but favourable winds, tomorrow the winds turn out of favour. Our plan is to make for Kekova Roads, around 20 nautical miles off, the holding there is excellant so no issues should the weather change for the worst. We call up the marina and leave our berth around 1130 to give the winds a little time to develop, we are soon on our way, every thing packed away securely, Ann is in full stride as usual.
We make our way slowly down Buçak Deniz, out towards open water, we are not alone, we are passed by a motor yacht at speed, we watch it turn around in front of us and race back - a good trip of twenty minutes or so for them?
The small local fishing boats are undisturbed by the bow wave from the power boat, the new hospital being built on the hillside seems to be making good progress, it will be a very impressive complex when complete.
We soon reach Ada Burnu at the tip of the peninsular, we turn east towards the gathering of small islets between the Greek Island of Kastellórizon and the Turkish mainland. The light breeze of 5-6knots is in our favour so up goes our canvas and off the noisy engine - peace, perfect!
At our significant speed of around 2.5knts, Ann takes up her watch on the foredeck while I make the coffee.
The port of Meis on Kastellórizon is engulfed in mist, but through it, as we drink our coffee, we can make out two sailboats, leaving the port under sail.
We carry on best we can, each headland with it's own issues as the wind rolls around/off it, our progress is slow but very calm and peaceful. In time, heading east we round Akar Bögazi and have the entrance to Kekova Roads ahead of us, by now the wind is no more than 3 knots. Our canvas is dropped completely and the engine takes over full time, with the sun loosing it's warmth it is time to wrap up.
We enter the Roads through the west entrance, we expected to have the whole area to our selves with it being so early?
We were surprised to see ahead of us as we entered a Turkish flagged sailboat, coming from one of the small bays.
As we turn towards Köy Castle, we see the familiar day trip boats crossing ahead of us for the "Sunken City" trip, only three or four, but that too was a surprise to us. We turned into Üçagiz Limani, turning into the western sector to drop anchor.
The boatyard in the east sector seems packed with vessels, we only saw it materialise last year, the town a little quiet other than the small motor boats zooming in/out for people and provisions. The whole waterfront appears closed at first but as darkness falls lights can be seen from the store and a restaurant or two?
We sit in the cockpit and watch the sun go down, we have Sailaway all closed up keeping all that heat from the engine down below. Entirely the opposite to previous visits where getting rid of the same heat is usually the priority?
Log Entry Wednesday 29th January - a day out in Finike, primarily to get our Gaz bottles filled.
On board Sailaway we have four "Camping Gaz" bottles to provide our gas supply for cooking, this provides us with approximately 5/6 months of gas usage - if Ann could cook, it would clearly be a lot shorter period! Just joking obviously, my darling wife is a magnificent , gastronomic genius - did I over do it? We had been able to have our bottles filled in Kas until recently, our supplier now tells us the company involved is now not providing the service. Our option then put to us was to purchase "Turkish Gas" bottles and convert, this to us is problematic and an un preferred solution for a number of reasons. Friends back in Kas, (Brian & Rose) had been up here and had their bottles filled too so we were following their sound advice, as others were today too! David, Betty, Steve, Deirdre, Ann and myself were today's visiting party. "Faik" provides an excellant service, at a premium, but certainly a preferred and cost-effect solution for us and clearly others. A discussion reveals that Faik can fill, or get filled just about any type of cylinder filled with any product, his details can be supplied.
Following the conclusion of business we had a coffee in the marina area then drove up to a recommended venue on the river for lunch, the Kömsü Garden. We gave a lift to a lady that we had originally met in Faik's store, she actually ended up serving us, true Turkish integration. It was a good recommendation, not all was available on the menu, it appeared as if it had opened just for us, and, at local prices? Faik actually dropped our filled containers off at the restaurant before we had finished lunch.
After lunch and gossip, we headed down to the marina to check out the boats, we had not seen any for some time and ended up on friends of David and Betty's boat for a further hour or so before we head back to Kas. As we had heard, Finike has a large, multi-national, live-a-board, winter community.
Log Entry Monday 20th January - Our first sail of 2014!
The excitement grew around Sailaway as Monday approaches, the tension quite overbearing at times! Still, as the day dawned we had to face the coming task, we had little sleep last night due to the anxiety caused by what lay ahead today!
Well that's enough of that stuff, as one ticks off one's winter jobs it is easy to forget why you have a sailboat? Clearly it goes without saying the better maintained and tailored to the crew, the better her performance and the more enjoyable sailing is - today is our first sail of 2014, excited is the best definition of how we feel today! As all that live as we do recognise, errors due to "forgetfulness or un familiarisation" are the essential part of the first sail following a long rest, just the way it is.
We are joined by two of our friends Ian & Adrianne, the forecast is not perfect but in January what can one expect? The winds are forecast at 8-10 knots, but at least dry, we are a little unsure of that as we see the dark clouds roll along the mountain, it is clear the marina staff question our sanity as we leave the pontoon. Adrianne takes us down the Buçak Deniz as we head for open water, the clouds darken around us, that will in itself bring unsettled air?
As we motor out, we chat, watch the cloud passing thankfully without precipitation, Ann has us rightly admire the work she has completed on the cockpit floor panels. Sailaway is clearly a little heavy from the growth developed on her hull due to the stationary months, today's run out will shift a lot of that too.
Once in the clearer, more usable winds the canvas goes up and the engine off, as the wind lifts to 15-20 knots we make good progress out on the west side of Kastellórizon, the Greek island off the mainland of Turkey, as we pass a helicopter lifts off from the islands airport high on the hillside. Eventually we bare off the wind taking a more westerly coarse amongst the small islands/large rock formations prominent in these local waters.
Once suitably positioned we turn back towards the estuary in which the marina sits, a few hours into the first sail now and very little to report, the odd flying sewing machine perhaps - no more than that which is a plus for the first sail of the year! The winds begin to drop off as we return "goose winged", eventually the head sail begins to flap as the light breeze is no longer strong enough even to hold it out, but our speed is still good (3 to 4 knots).
With only a few hundred metres to make, Ian improvises in true fashion, using a boat hook holds out the sail by hand, and looks quite content with it too? An excellant job done, eliminates the work to set the whisper pole, or starting the engine early. It is also very clear from Sailaway's response that at least some of the growth has gone from her hull, more sailing needed.
Once moored it is just a case of tidying up, cracking a beer or two and discussing the day and the sewing machine of coarse.
Log Entry Monday 13th January - My studies of the Turkish language continue.
With only "boat jobs" to stimulate my mind and the beautiful local walks not possible, I took to formally studying the Turkish Language. I attend a class weekly, unfortunately missing the first three weeks and others as we returned to the UK I catch up as I can. Gill (Petronella) also attends the class and has completed advanced classes too, she is good enough to give me additional tuition when able.
Log Entry Sunday 12th January - Another walk, this time to the ancient ruins of Kyanaei on the Lycian Way.
Kyaneai (or Cyaneae in Greek) means “dark blue” and also “clashing rocks”, though nobody knows why it was so named or which meaning it is supposed to have. Kyaneai seems to have been one of Lycia’s important cities, reaching its greatest point during the Late Roman and Byzantine periods when reconstruction work was carried out and many new buildings were constructed, mainly churches. It is believed that Kekova was Kyaneai's supplying harbour? Kyaneai went into decline between the 10th and 11th Century and was abandoned in the 14th century AD. Although no one knows why for sure, it is believed due in part, to the pressure of the advancing Seljuk Turks. Kyaneai is situated on a plateau with a rocky slope to the north descending very steeply to the plain of Yavu village below. To reach the site take the road to Demre from Kas, there is a rough road up from either sign so you can drive direct to the ancient theatre.
Once off the main road we drive very carefully and slowly up the track to it's highest point where we park up and prepare ourselves for our trek.
The track becomes narrower but eventually we see the rear of the theatre as we approach the plateau.
The theatre dating to pre-Roman times, is built into the slope of a hill on the west side of the acropolis it is well-preserved. Again, according to belief, the Romans staged gladiator fights of men against both men and animals in their theatres in the absence of coliseums. Major sanctuary buildings were built close to theatres and during Byzantine times (5th-6th Century) they were converted into churches. These sanctuaries were built to accommodate public executions of criminals and Christians; they were later used to note martyrs to the Christian cause. The theatre is said to have 12 rows and 6 radial stairways in the first level and 14 rows and 9 radial stairways in the second level. The orchestra/attraction had a radius of 29 feet to perform. The height of the stage edifice must have been approximately 38 feet, according to the measurements taken on site. Kyaneai theatre was believed to have a capacity of around 2,500 people, an impressive, sizable construction by any means?
The views from the location are quite stunning even through the low cloud, it's physical position must have given it some strategic gains?
Kyaneai is famous for its many sarcophagi which surround the site, there are said to be over 300 of them and this place is said to have the most sarcophagi of any Lycian site. This factor in it self portrays just how important the residents of this area once were?
We leave the immediate area, the track worsens, but the view still very impressive.
In time we come across a series of rock tombs in the hillside, most of the fronts and fascias removed over time, but once again at some period this area was home to influential, wealthy people to afford such burial tombs.
We make our way back toward the track where the car is parked and eventually we see in the distance the track we first left.
An interesting walk, lots of history but for one reason or another the site not utilised by the local Tourism, no official tours or the such like, if I had not been brought here I would not known of it's existence?
Log Entry Sunday 5th January - A good day out but accidents happen!
Today I join some friends on a planned walk arranged by the Kas Tourist Board, 10km along a section of the "Lycian Way"! We meet at "Papa Noel's Cafe on the harbour, climb aboard the provided coach and we are taken to our drop off point, the coach will meet us later at the close of our walk.
It seemed to take some considerable time to reach our drop off point along the section of the Way that skirts Kekova Roads. Every one gathers their selves together and when ready off we go. The weather is good, perhaps a little too warm for the terrain, my thoughts go back to last year when we helped a group of Austrians on this section, those guys carrying full packs.
Kekova is a lovely setting, we have spent many days at anchor in this area, my first exploration by land, a sign post gives us our bearings.
The terrain became more severe and difficult for all to manage, unfortunately I lost my footing, falling face down hitting my head and nose on one of the larger rocks. There was a doctor on the trip, fully kited - she is able to stop the bleeding, clean me up a little and checks my blood pressure. Once I had collected myself we continued on the only transport being the scheduled bus at the end of the walk We continue a little further then stop for a break, one guy decides to go swimming, too cold for most!
We continue on for some time, the scenery was difficult to take in due to the concentration needed to maintain good footing on this bad terrain, before we knew it it was mid afternoon - time for another stop.
The Lycian route takes us to Üçagiz Limani and to the east end where over the last couple of years a small boat yard has developed, a further short break at the "Smugglers Inn" breaks up the trip.
The small boat yard is full of the local trip boats that service Kekova Roads during the summer months, looking west an erie sight of a partially sunken gullet. We continued on to the town of Üçagiz where we meet the coach and once back in Kas the Doctor stitches my forehead at her office and she recommends an x-ray at the local Government hospital which confirms a hair line fracture. To put things into perspective the Doctors bill came to a ridiculous 400tl, the x-ray 30tl, the organised walk a further 30tl - no point in trying to work it out, this is Turkey, to most you are just a source of cash!
As I (Kevin) waited aboard Sailaway becoming some what concerned as darkness had fallen, but I was aware they were a coach ride away. I receive a strange text "minor accident not be long"? I texted back, "you or the coach?" Concerned that my dinner was due I called Ann's mobile which was answered by a friend Rosie who explains the situation. Ann has three stitches to her forehead and a hair line fracture to her nose. I hang up, have to make my own dinner and await Ann's return.
My brave little Robo Cop, I asked, "Did you enjoy it?" "Yes" she replied, "looking forward to next week!"
Log Entry Saturday 4th January - Our first day in town.
We awake with the knowledge that the local market is on today, an excellant source of good fruit and vegetables. We had yesterday completed some and summarised the list of "jobs to do". A friend of ours here had summarised our life style as "not a holiday, but a way of life!" We had never thought of it as such, but when you consider the amount of work required to maintain a sailboat correctly, it way exceeds the workload of maintaining a house.
We have our first wander into town, it is very quiet this time of year, no tourists which makes it more "Turkish" in a sense, the locals carrying on with their life without interruption. We make our way down to the harbour and have tea in one of the harbour cafes aptly named "Papa Noel", (Father Christmas). We pick a good seat around the stove being lit, up wind of coarse to keep us out of the smoke.
We spend an hour or so chatting, reflecting on the last couple of months back in the UK and our plans for this year, then off to the market.
The market is a lot smaller this time of year, quieter of coarse with out the tourists, we wander around the fruit and vegetable stalls looking at quality and price?
It is then just a case of purchasing what is required, our little known Turkish language soon returning as does the enjoyment of interaction.
Just as we finish our purchases our Turkish mobile rings, it is Ian & Adrianne, it's then down to "Smillies Cafe" to catch up with each others gossip. Before we know it it is 1600 hours and the sun is falling, dropping the ambient temperature, it is time to make our way back to Sailaway, another day disappears quickly.
Log Entry Wednesday 1st January 2014 - A Happy New Year to you all!
We arrive back in Kas around 2300 hours on New Years Eve having left Ann's mums at 0600 hours this morning - even with the two hours time difference a long day. We were luck we mad it at all, it was only with local assistance in the coach terminal (Autogar) we were able to catch the last coach of the day, we had it almost to our selves. The driver was clearly struggling too, he apologised for putting on the air conditioning to lower the temperature in the vehicle. Having done this myself to maintain concentration while driving we had no issues, only the wish to arrive safely.
As we approached the Marina we were welcomed by Rosie, one of friends on her way into town, she tells us of a party arranged to bring in the New Year in the harbour area, fireworks and all! We told her we would hopefully meet up with them there, once we had our cases on board etc, we were not too optimistic?
Once on board, we unpacked only that was needed, leaving our cases on deck and began to settle in. First, the necessary inspection of Sailaway, all was good, then the arrival texts promised. By that time, new year was upon us, we texted Rosie to let them know we would not make it and settled down to New Year on board, we heard the fireworks and watched the exhibition from the deck.
Once the fireworks were finished we returned below and settled down into our home for a couple of hours before retiring for the evening.
The morning was a late start as we had not retired until about 0300 hours, a lazy day ahead unpacking and the such like?
Baylis is literally the first thing out of the bag, our meercat has driven every mile in our VW with us, 12,000 of then this year. Plant has survived perfectly well on deck in our absence, the rain and sun feeding her. She has grown some what since we left the UK in early April 2013, she especially enjoyed the drive across Europe!
For information, Ann has commented on my well being?