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Cruising on Diomedea
Diomedea is a Van de Stadt Tasman 48
David and Andrea

For photos CLICK HERE

28/06/2015 | Barbara
Turkey looks like cruising heaven - a day in Pittwater will never match these photos
Marmaris to Bodrum
David and Andrea
25/06/2015, Bodrum

We motor sailed SW along the peninsula from Marmaris to our lunch stop of Ciflik. Quite a spectacular valley but the harbour was a bit exposed. Large numbers of yachts invaded so it was an easy decision to move on to the wonderful Gerbekse cove just a mile or so south. The cove has Byzantine ruins at its head including a small chapel which yielded the photos in the gallery. The waters were beautifully clear so swimming was outstanding. Down to Cerce Limani the next day we passed massive cliffs leaping out of the sea before making the narrow entrance to this delightful and very protected bay. The bay was the scene of the "Glass Wreck". This was an 11th century Byzantine ship excavated by Dr George Bass and his team in the 1960's, providing an amazing trove of glass ware which is on display in the museum in Bodrum. The vessel apparently hit rocks at the harbour entrance and sank in 32m of water. (Ed. As a youngster, my imagination was fired by a book given to me by my parents, "Marine Archaeology" and I feel certain that much of it must have been the work of Bass and his team) Andrea and I did a walk up a prominent rocky hill above Captain Nemo's restaurant and obtained the aerial shots in the album. Highly recommended but all goat tracks.
From Cerce it was off and around the cape leaving to the north the large citadel ruins of Bozuk Buku (ancient Loryma, or Port Apolotheka). We had good windward sailing and went direct to Bozburun. This township is not yet ruined by tourism and is actually very attractive. Centred around the town quay, it has excellent local restaurants. We bit the bullet and stern tied into the quay, with about 20cm between our rudder and the stone ballasting of the quay wall, and 0 cm between us and boats on either side! Salt was washed off Diomedea and we treated ourselves to a meal out. The harbour floor was however a cat's cradle of anchor chains from all the vessels so we had to wait our turn to leave the next day. It was good to have done it once. Diomedea then found an outstanding anchorage about 2 miles out of town between Kizil Adasi and Kiseli Adasi. Again, the azure waters were just irresistible and we lingered for a few days, making some trips back to town in the dinghy. A small peak above the Kizil passage provided us with a good leg workout and excellent views. (again following the goats)
Tacking around Atabol Cape, Diomedea fetched off into the Hisaronu Gulf to find port in the very pretty Keci Buku. A lovely pine forest gives a wilderness flavour to the west side of this harbour, a ruined medieval castle adorns the Kale island in the middle and massive mountains ring the valley. The Marti marina had excellent facilities with a small supermarket. We anchored under the walls of the old castle before clambering up its imposing buttresses for magnificent local vistas. One can't help but admire the amount of effort that went into building these places and I find myself pondering what life was like for the garrison. Probably like Game of Thrones with goats rather than dragons.
The main event though was Knidos. It was a long sail and motor back up the gulf, past the regional centre of Datca before rounding the next cape and making for this amazing place. Part of the Dorian hexapolis, a trading bloc, Knidos was a big commercial port and its ruins are still very visible today. A walled and gated harbour for triremes remains on the windward side of the isthmus and flag-stoned roads lead to various buildings. Up the hill are temples, theatres, cisterns, and many other structures. The large amphitheatre is being renovated (a bit). The city dates at least back to the 4th century BCE and is perhaps most remarkable for the sculpture of Aphrodite by Praxiteles. Legend has it that the sculptor was commissioned to do the work by the nearby island of Kos. Praxiteles used a courtesan named Phryne as his model and did two sculptures, one fully clothed and one completely nude. The shocked citizens of Kos rejected the nude and bought the clothed version. Based on the lack of information about the appearance of this statue it clearly merited no comment and was lost in the mists of time. Not so the nude. The citizens of Knidos saw an opportunity and acquired the nude sculpture which was the first time the female form had been so rendered. They successfully marketed it as a tourist attraction causing considerable sexual arousal in young men. The statue was much copied and became widely known, so much so that it was rumoured that Aphrodite herself came to Knidos to see it. Nowadays copies are seen in the various Venus sculptures and paintings. Alas the original was lost in Istanbul.
The slightly less famous sculpture from Knidos is the Demeter, goddess of fertility, mother of Persephone, and all round important deity for everything agricultural. The city of Knidos was mostly excavated by Newton in the 19th century and much of the haul went to the British museum. It is a sad fact that Turkey is extraordinarily rich in history, most of which is completely ignored by the country and its populace. Any work on the sites has been done by foreigners and virtually no maintenance has taken place since those times. We found this consistently disappointing. At Knidos for instance, most paths through the ruins have been formed by goats rather than planned by humans. Your correspondents struggled up one such track to a high point over the city and enjoyed wonderful panoramas across to nearby Greece.
From Knidos, Diomedea romped across the Gulf of Gokova in splendid close reaching conditions to find anchorage outside the town walls of historic Bodrum (ancient Halicarnassus). An astonishing array of superyachts was seen both in the anchorage and in the excellent marina inside the harbour. The grandest attraction of all however was the magnificent Castle of St Peter, built by the Knights of St John, the Knights Hospitaller from 1402 CE onwards.

26/06/2015 | Barbara
Who wouldn't be inspired by all the wonderful ruins you speak of David. Good to know your boyhood interests have been fulfilled so many years later.
26/06/2015 | al
Great stuff! I always wanted to dive in the Med and discover amphora and Roman ship, must be many down there. I loved the National Geographic stories and pix. Some of my classmates came from Kos.
More Pix
David and Andrea
18/06/2015, Bozburun


David and Andrea


Fethiye Gulf and Beyond
David and Andrea
15/06/2015, Skopea Limani

I gave up and swam the stern line into the beach. In the past we have done shore-ties with the dinghy to drag the big ropes ashore but this time the recently serviced outboard would just not start. Fortunately the 18mm polypropylene line floats so swimming it in is actually possible.
Diomedea had a splendid windward romp out of Fethiye and our souls were soon revitalised after the enforced marina time. Our first anchorage was actually a mooring but one still needed to stern tie as other boats were quite close. In fact stern-tie is virtually the norm for most anchorages as the bays are very steep-to with depths of 35m close to the beach quite common. Trying to orientate the boat to the variable wind is another challenge.
However, the non-functioning outboard was a major issue, so it was time to overhaul it once more. I had been given a demo on stripping down the carburettor by Robbie back in Phuket so armed with this knowledge I repeated the task and identified ... nothing abnormal. With it reassembled and the rather stretched throttle cable tightened the engine roared into life. There is a god.
We motored the few miles down to the marvellous Tomb Bay, so called because of the rock tombs carved out by the Lycians back in the day. The mantra about real estate is always; "position, position, position" and this applies to the tombs which are almost exclusively created with outstanding views. Why? The tombs don't have windows or doors. Or bodies.
The Skopea Limani is a beautiful waterway surrounded by majestic peaks and sheer limestone cliffs dropping into the azure waters. In its southern extremity, Wall Bay and its neighbour Ruin bay were ancient settlements. The ruins are now partly submerged due to geological changes and provided the trading port for the old city of Lydia. This regional capital is located up in a gorgeous valley and has ruined citadels, houses and so on. Amazingly it has dome-covered cisterns filled with water which are still in use today by the local goat herders. One could easily spend a week in this region as there are many bays to be explored.
As all our chakras seemed still to be non-aligning, we decided to move on toward Marmaris. A 30 mile leg on port tack in 18-20 kts of breeze brought us to wind factory that is the entrance to the harbour. Towering mountains and cliffs squeeze the air through gaps making for slow going. Once into the capacious bay itself we found a good anchorage on the eastern side near the Yat Marine. From there it is an easy dolmus ride into the town and more importantly to the dentist, for an opinion on tooth-ache. (Answer, extraction and implant)

22/06/2015 | Jen
Urghhhh, halyard cleaning being only part of the job it's not a task I would like to do or repeat :-( But that's over now so plenty of lovely places to visit & swim, food to eat including tomato/chilli ezmesi dip and marvellous Turkish red (plus the odd white) wine to drink. Bliss!!
Fethiye Pix

Pictures from around Fethiye.

14/06/2015 | Barbara
Just loved the 'honeymoon bed" at your hotel . - Andy looked very good swimming.

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