10 June 2009. All marina formalities completed and with departure certificate in my pocket, said goodbye to Pam and Keith Goodal who are going north as we go east for a start, two new fenders under my arm it is back to Elixir to help Demir Marine to run our new main topping lift. The main topping lift is in effect a spare main halyard that is used (in the main so to speak) to support the outboard end of the boom when the mainsail is not hoisted. Without a topping lift (topper for short) when you let the mainsail down you could well give someone a rather nasty bonk on the head. Thus comes the little known historical fact that a sailor who drops the main while standing under the boom could well be said to have topped himself! Seriously though in the event of breaking a main halyard then to have a spare will mean that the crew can keep sailing without needing immediately to put in for repairs. The process being that we hoist a man to the mast top who will thread a string rat line, with a small weight on it, down inside the mast and someone retrieve it with our trusty wire coathook from the exit point about two metres up from the mast step. In theory a job that should take about 20min, well an hour later it was announced by the Demir man that this mast was unable to allow a ratline to run. I had tried several times to give him advice but he made it clear that he was the expert and that I knew squat. I refrained from telling him that son Chris went up the mast in Spain and that David and he had a new ratline threaded in under 15min! The man wanted to rig an external topping lift but I would not hear of it and decided to put to sea and sort the matter out on our own in due course. The main halyard would itself be used for the topper when the main was furled. We left the marina and proceeded under motor over to Marmaris to top up our fuel, 80 litres 211.35 Turkish Lira (one lira = nz $1.16 aprox). No choice here as without diesel our little motor becomes heavy and useless cargo and our freezer would not function meaning no ice in our rum or cold wine for SWMBO!
Marmaris is an exciting place to go into by boat under the battlements of the ancient castle and along the line of beautiful gleamingly clean Gullet Boats all touting for tourist custom right along the waterfront.
On leaving Marmaris and heading for the bay entrance the ladies, bless them, decided to make some sandwiches only to discover that during the last minute shopup, all the bread had been left on the shop counter! No choice now but to go back to the shop, two or three days without bread for the sake of a quarter of an hour of motoring was not an option, besides our dingy and outboard could do with bit of a run after the said outboard having been stowed for 10 months. We hove too just off the Marina while Jenny and David did the dingy dash to the shop and retrieved the bread. Finally left Marmaris Bay about 16:00 and pointed or bow east towards Ekincik where we arrived some 3 hours later.
Sun had just set as we stuck our nose into a small anchorage called "My Marina" very crowded and too much like what we had just left to be of interest to me so went across to the western side of the bay and anchored in 6.5metres with three other yachts. This was a beautiful spot with green trees and foliage right to the water on one side and sandy beach on the other. The wind dropped out altogether once dinner was out of the way allowing Elixir to conclude that to lie side on to the slight swell would encourage friendly pillow talk in the main cabin, not! I slept like a log but SWMBO (my darling I hasten to add!) had an uncomfortable night with Hera from time to time influencing her demeanor and enhancing her her already formable ability to snort.
Up anchor and move three miles to the the entrance of the Dalyan river, up which you can get to the ruins of ancient Caunos. This reed lined river meanders down to the sea from the large mountains which are evident all around. The ancient Lycians that inhabited the area were reported to be a sickly race of people that seemed greenish in colour, our Pilot book surmises that this is consistent with a malaria outbreak. Such outbreak nearly decimated the race but their tombs remain as permanent reminders of the race that once was.
On motoring slowly up the river in our rubber ducky Jenny was delighted as we spotted a large turtle swimming just ahead and asked me to take a photo of it when it surfaced.
Jenny stood at the bow and pointed enthusiastically towards the turtle so I would know where to focus the camera. Well the activity of pointing attracted the attention of a boat load of locals who had a very different fate in mind for the hapless turtle, like say soup! Much to Jenny's horror they headed our way with a large net, Jenny without changing her expression started pointing at a sunken stone, which stone then attracted the fishermen who no doubt will live forever more with the certain knowledge that blond sailor's wives don't know the difference between rocks and turtles and wandered off elseware looking decidedly resigned. Jenny sat very quietly with a wry smile on her face while we made our way back to Elixir lying quietly just off the rivermouth.
12:00 and we sail out of there heading for Skopea Limani which is a group of Island with Gocek at it's northern end and about 12 miles to the west of Fethiye.
We were delighted of finding a beautiful anchorage about an hour before sunset in Seagul Cove.
The delight came from recognition of the large rock relief of a seagull, a photo of which I am sure we have seen from Joe and Annabelle Wright's old blog.
No slop hear so Hera shall have no reason to visit, it is sooo nice to be back with the goddess of calm! Picked up a good feed of fresh fish from a friendly Turk fisherman, 4 large fat fish 30.00tl all up making made a yummy dinner.
Okay, okay okay so there is the odd mosquito with deadly intent and a noise like a stukka bomber! Throughout the yacht during the night from time to time you could hear the "Bugger!" Slap bang thump, "got the bastard" as some hapless mosquito meets it's untimely demise, seems not every bug is entitled to a home.
Turkish McDonalds? Pancakes from the boatin for breakfast absolutely yummy!
Lots of contact with Carolyn and Paddy Mitchell off Australian Yacht Christiane, they have sailed up through the Red Sea. Carolyn is my second cousin and we have essential supplies and family news for them so are looking forward to catching up next week in some bay or another I know not yet where.