28 June 2009, Late in the day we move the yacht into Kos Marina for water before returning to our anchorage off the Kos Atkis Hotel.
Over the two days that we had been laying to anchor there I was delighted to be able to welcome Paddy and Carolyn Mitchell who arrived in their Yacht Kristiane, having sailed all the way from Sydney.
Kristiane on the left Elixir to the right with Tactical Direction to the right and behind.
Ausi - Carolyn Mitchell with NZ cuzzie-bro Ted
All enjoyed the reunion and on this our last night in Kos we adjourned for drinkies, oh yes and story telling, Boy was there some story telling... I never lied once I tell you! All on board Tactical Directions a roomy catamaran belonging to Tony Roberts also sailed all the way from Sydney.
29th June 05:00 and we ship our anchor and head off under motor northward to Pandeli on the east coast of Leros.
Pandeli with Castle and Windmills - A picture postcard into which we sailed.
Anchored by the entrance to the town basin and with a sternline ashore it was off to investigate our surrounds which from seaward had looked magic and we were not disappointed in the reality. Decided the next day would be spent here also and to hire motor scooters to promulgate a greater exploration. Off around the Leros with Jenny on the pillion I was back to my bikey best with a full 80cc under us. Bit embarrassing when it literally ran out of grunt and we had to walk the last little bit of hill to the castle. Have had a word to Jenny about the ballast but she informed me that ballast was integral to my free board. Nothing further one could say.
David and Elizabeth - Born to be wild!
We even had time to visit the odd small church along the way.
We were delighted when at the northernmost part of Leros we observed Savana with just Keith and Pam aboard making sail in the bay below.
You just can't keep boatgirls away from the sailors..can you!
Back to Elixir at the end of the day and into the anchorage came both Savarna and Perfect Lady who's owners Tim and June Perfect are from Leamington, Cambridge in the Waikato making it a three NZ ship line up along the embankment. Lots of fun on Savarna for drinks her having rugby field sized cockpit and all.
Savarna Under way and about to peal off to the South while we head Northward.
Photo of Elixir under sail thanks to Keith and Pam.
First thing next day 01 July and we set sail north to Lipso and the other two yachts sailed off into the distant south. All onboard Elixir feeling a bit sorry that we had to leave Kristiane behind as they were still catching up on their correspondence in Kos and we need to keep a bit of a hammer down to achieve our northing. Lipso has not lost any of its charm despite us being away for a year. Quick turn around in Lipso leaving at 10:00 on 2 July with the wind now being very boisterous 18 - 23 knots in gusts with a mean level of 17knts. Two reefing points rolled into the genoa and we are doing 7knts on a lay to Agathonisi where we were one of 7 yachts sheltering for the night.
Lots of Coastguard and Naval activity as this is one of the closer Islands to Turkey and as such is a favorite destination for refugees making a precarious landfall for souls full of hope for a brighter future. 05:00 3 July and we slip out of Agathonisi in the dim light of the new day and face a good beat into the Meltimi to clear the Island in an accompanying short steep sea making exhilarating sailing all the while enduring a very uncomfortable bash into the breaking sea with decks awash. It took about an hour to clear the island however now on a port tack we are still not able to lay Samos but now a lot more comfortable. As the morning progressed the Meltime decided to stall out and we found ourselves motoring the last five miles into Samos Marina near Pithagorian, Electricity, Wifi, Showers and all the comforts. David and I walk the very hot steep incline before a downhill amble into the town to organize a rental car to explore Samos, it being about a 3 hour drive we had been informed by SWMBO that bikes were not appropriate here. We were surprised to find, for the first time I might add, that our NZ drivers licenses were unacceptable and that we should have had International ones. At last we found a rental car firm that didn't ask about our licenses so we rented a grunty 1800cc Daihatsu shopping cart to provide the next days entertainment.
Saturday 4 July did the touristy thing and toured Samos. We did the high towns and the beaches getting back to Elixir at 1800 to set the boat up for the next days sail, 67 Nautical miles to Chios and all of it up hill may extend the distance needed to be sailed by a further 30 miles. Good sleep needed.
Bye for now
Sorry guys but after receiving pressure from all our readers that are Amelda ruddy Marcoses means that they must have their moment in the sun. I have been assured however that this is an essential part of equipping the vessel....Yeah Right!
Negotiating with the Harbourmaster..
Now for some heavy weather sweaters...
Stormy weather boots .. essential yachting equipment.. I thinkest not!
And for Northern Hemisphere severe Arctic conditions ... Ice Picks (not wanting to slip on the teak!)
Safety Harnesses?... One does not want to fall overboard! Or out or anything!
Rain proofing... One wouldn't want to risk getting wet would one! (Oh.. No.. No.. No!)
Spare crew perhaps?...Noooooo!... Holding the very latest in diving wetsuits then..?
Boat Gear Bags... by the dozen.. For lugging collateral damage unseen on board perhaps!
Nah.. it must be just a real bad dream, Okay so Greek salad does not agree with me after all..!!!!!
09:00 20th June and we slip our moorings in Bozburun intending to sail as far as Knidos.
The track sailed
Before leaving Bozeburun Bay however it was decided to look around where there is a large Gullett building boatyard.
It looked to us as if it also is suffering a downturn in trade due to the economic situation however it was all very interesting as we noticed three large boats in various stages of construction.
Passed this in Bozeburun Just another F***.. Gullett. Turks can't spend a lot of time learning to spell...!!
Fish farming is strong in these parts meaning that we had a lot to look at as we made our quiet way. It was a beautiful morning with just a slight breeze from the south to start off with. As Knidos lay 35 miles to the north west, we were hopeful of getting a good sail in before the Meltimi built which we did indeed expect to arrive within an hour or two meaning a rather rapid drop off in comfort.
attractive sailing conditions.
The Meltimi in this area blasts down from the north west usually blowing between 20 and 30knts but can at times get a little bit more boisterous than that. Short steep seas are the order of the day with the Meltimi so in the meantime we sipped coffee and dreamed of cream cakes and enjoyed the sail as indeed the first half hour of the passage was delightful, then the wind dropped altogether and we motored onward. Under motor we can point very well indeed (sailing term for upwind performance) so we clocked off 14 miles in the first two hours straight towards our mark. Our course suggested a slight kink to take us through the little passage on the north eastern end of Simi, both to put us in a good position for a longer reach once the Meltimi arrived but mainly to allow for an interesting, picturesque waypoint on our trip.
Lots of "are you sure it is deep enough" looks of concern from the less brazen, however, having sailed the same gap last year David and I had all the confidence in the world as the depth sounder started to rise from 130 metres to 50m to 10m to 5m with the bottom clearly visible underneath our keel before rapidly dropping off again to the dark blue of extremely deep allowing David to be rested from the bow where he had been stationed to monitor the bottom for the unexpected. We exited the gap into the newly arrived Meltimi blowing a freshning 18 knots allowing us to still use full main but we rolled to our first reefing marks on the genoa as a precaution, we did not want to blow out a sail. White caps starting to show in the distance. Now hard on the wind, no longer able to lay the desired course but doing 8 knots David and I were in seventh heaven. Meanwhile Hera was just starting to tune up her eye flashes. We were forced to lay more north towards Datca than east to Knidos, after 9 miles on the port tack we had banged our second reef in the main which felt quite comfortable to David and I. A tack onto starboard brought with it a steeper sea with a lot more white water showing and after an hour of this we tacked back again and although we had made good progress towards Knidos it became increasing apparent that we should look to our navigational system and leg pre planning to provide a bolt hole for the night, just to keep the peace. Having made a scouts honor pledge that this would be a lovely cruise for the ladies I was not about to lay myself open to the threat of an all out mutiny. The sea kept getting shorter and steeper as we approached the headland north of Datca meaning comfort levels took a rapid turn for the worse. To bash on to Knidos had become not an option however, a little bay just south of Palamut called Kalaboshi, looked like it could provide the appropriate shelter sought. Indeed it did and within minutes we were anchored with a stern line to the shore under a cliff offering great Meltimi protection with just a small side on slop to keep reminding us of how bad it had got outside. Within the hour for or five other yachts turned up and our little anchorage had got quite crowded. We ate a good dinner under the stars in our cockpit and retired for the night. The Meltimi had vanished by morning as we nosed out at 06:00 however it had left a slight sea which was not uncomfortable so we were under motor once again and as we had got a good start we just bypassed Knidos, we had all been there twice before so this was not a great sacrifice. I did however think of it as being a bit sacrilegious as to call in and pay homage to the great astronomers memory and to dream of Venus (She was carved in Knidos) should be compulsory. After rounding the Cape we pointed our bow towards Bodrum and the delightful scenery and shops that would work at dimming the Hera look and inspire a more Venus like demeanor.
Savarna we found at anchor off Bodrum
Outside Bodrum Marina was anchored Savarna which event we had not expected as the last we saw of Keith and Pam Goodall was at Marmaris. 14:00 We anchored aft of them and set about making ready to enter the marina. Keith and Pam arrived a short time latter having just cleared customs to go to Kos so we had a good chat before they sailed off into the distance and we entered the realm of the Bodrum Marina at 16:00. Two nights 120 euro plus 50 lira bond for the power and water key plus power and water usage. Well over two days we used 17 lira of water and power and got our 50 Lira bond back. Girls were in seventh heaven.
Girls? ... where girls???? Oh! hot Go Go girls on a truck!.... No didn't see a thing! (Yeah right!)
Our Girls were apparently there too (but I didn't see them either!) Surprised?
Started exit procedures from Turkey to go to Greece at 12:00 hours and completed formalities at 16:00 hrs. New setup! Now one has have to pay a shipping agent to type up exit papers when before you could print it yourself. Apparently there is a new national computer system only available to the agents for entering all details - cost 30 euro! 17:30 hours 24 June and we put to sea.
Great sail over to Kos from Bodrum
Arrived at Kos Town Basin at 19:30 and tied stern too. 09:00 23th June and I was off to the Port Police to finish my entry paperwork. I was sent by the Port Police to the tax department to pay another 30e before they charged me a further 17e because we had come from Turkey and then gave me a Transit Log. 11:00 back on board having a coffee. As a matter of interest we have used 100 litres of Diesel so far this voyage so I am very happy about the economy of that. Please bare with me while I deplore the robbery and extortion by Vodafone. They sold me a SIM card in Fethiye and 70 lira of credits without telling me that the phone will only work for two weeks in Turkey and then I would have to buy a Turkish one, I had sent about 6 txts and had two short telephone calls before it went dead.. They have effectively scored 70 lira off me! Damn their rotten hides, that is the second time that I have been ripped off by Vodafone and they refuse to give any refund! They hide under the guise that each country has a totally different company and they have no control. I say bull**** to them!
Catching up on catching up with all...
SWMBO has the controls!
It has been lovely to get all the fun messages expressing interest from around the world but especially from our collective families family in NZ.
Bye for now.
Picturesque Lighthouse on way into Fethiye
Tuesday 27th June Remained all day in Fethiye a city that is not so touristy so that you can not get a good feel for the ordinary people of Turkey and in my opinion they are the closest anywhere to New Zealanders. They seem to enjoy our company and have the same basic principals of fair play. We had checked into the marina overnight $107 for a nights stay with water, electricity and Wifi, however when spread between all of us the per capita cost does not break the bank. It could of course get quite prohibitive if limited to just one couple. Showers were modern and extremely clean with copious amounts of hot water. Far better than we see around the coast of NZ, I need to comment. World class facilities are still a figment of imagination in good old NZ. David, as is his habit, headed off before any one else was awake to visit the sights to be obtained around this historical Mediterranean trading city. Castles, walls and remnants of the different occupiers from centuries of different conquerors making it delightfully intriguing. I, as is also my habit, waited on board for David to come back and report before deciding to pick the eyes out of his experiences and head off myself to see the best thereof. Hotter than Hades, some 43 degrees, with sweat dripping from every pore and icecream sellers on every corner I made my way to the far side of the Port area and back in pleanty of time to check out of the marina before incurring another 24 hour fee. We motored the two hours over to Seagull cove in Skopea Limani to spend our last night in the area. We were unable to contact Christiane so we will have to arrange to catch up with Paddy and Carolyn further up the line.
05:00 on 18th June and haul our anchour and head off under the moon and nearby Venus to make our way in the relative blackness to exit the Limani and head West, destination Serce Limani 46 miles away. We sould arrive around lunch time. Another yacht joined us as we approached the small passage leaving the Limani and stayed with us until after we passed the 5 mile point whereupon the wind increased to 23 knots so off we trucked doing 8.7 to 9 knots with full main and two reefs in the roller headsail. As the day wore on we dropped the reefs out of the headsail and eventually had to resort to motor to keep our average speed slightly above stopped. Each crew in turn dropped off watch to get some sleep as we clocked off the miles in a straight line, but being about 10 miles offshore the scenery was nothing to write about, mainly all just blue and wobbly! Jenny did not complain so the wobblyness must have been slightly within copeable boundaries and my expertise as a navigator where not called into aggressive question. Entered Serce at around noon we dropped our anchour and tied stern too to the rocks. All immediately dived into the warm tropical waters in an endeavour to cool off, a repeatable activity that was well used during the hot afternoon. After around 17:00 the wind strated to blast with increasing ferocity threatening to drag our anchour so that we could conceivably be put on the rocks so a quick retrieval of our shore line and anchour ensued with a move to the opposite side of the bay to reset. We hauled in alongside a magnificent Gullett Boat of about 120 feet in length with copious brightwork and a lot of boatboys polishing and scrubbing. Two boys were dispatched to escort a doggie to the beach for poo poos so as far as we were concerned our lot was a whole lot better than theirs. Lovely chat in the evening to my sons, James and Ali in the evening by phone. Dinner of spaghetti and salad washed down with Brandy, yes brandy as all of our Rum had evaporated under the hot hot sun! Bugger! A wakeful night with many a strong gust welcoming us back to the Meltimi nights just to keep an anxious skipper from getting his much needed beauty sleep.
Thought first of all it was Indians on the ridge but no on second look it was donkeys!
07:00 on 19 June and we depart Serce for Bozburun about 16 miles away for which we must pass close to Simi all the while avoiding the desirous eyes of the lady members of the crew who have very vivid memories of the shopping to be had at Simi forever interlaced in their genes from last year. We decided to definitely go to Bozburun after reading the Blog of Savarna wherein Keith gave it his overall approval.
Elixir handily placed behind the shrub
Bozburun is a lovely little town and we have anchored in the basin with our stern line attached to the harbour wall right beside a little restaurant with Wifi and Cold Beers wherein we have just enjoyed a traditional Turkish Lunch and I have returned to the yacht to catch up on my blog. The girls have come back from the shops, hot, bothered and wishing to go for a swim, so off they go again to search out a hotel with a pool. Maybe they will let them swim there if they take along a couple of beer drinkers to pave the way, for which job David and I will need to volunteer.
Having in the past enjoyed the sailing in many of the South Pacific wonder cruising areas like Tahiti, Northern Tonga, Fiji and Villa, I have to admit that this little set of Islands on the south coast of Turkey of Skopea Limani takes a lot of beating. The only thing removing it in my mind from being a sailing Utopia would be lack of good fishing which pleasurable pastime could be had in all of the other mentioned locations.
The scenery is spectacular and there is enough of a language problem just to add a bit of an exotic feel to the place. On our first day after obtaining a pancake breakfast from a passing enterprising couple we made our way slowly by engine to the bay that is bordered on its shores with ruins of Roman Baths and other artifacts from the pre Christian era.
Little restaurants were evident in most of the bays but the proprietors left us alone other than to offer us a berth at their variously rickety piers in the hope that we would stay. A polite not today thankyou was invariably accepted with good grace and a wave. Stopped for a swim and lunch at the entrance to tomb bay and it was there that we had a good chat to a group of Australians who had chartered a local boat for two weeks and who were lamenting the fact that two weeks in this location does not do it any justice at all.
After lunch a motor into Tomb Bay to observe from the deck the various social status degrees of tombs carved into the cliff faces. These are apparently dated from the Lycian era 600BC. Jenny was busy writing postcards, I assumed tomb it may concern. Eventually we made it right into Gocek where we were not expecting to find anything as delightful as the reality it is.
Large trees with ample foliage shade the clean swept walked areas that are adorned with comfortable and well furnished eating and drinking establishments taking advantage of the shade to offer refreshments at reasonable prices. Wifi was free from the restaurant where we stopped for coffee and so we sort of made this our base. We anchored off just to the West of the main town marina and sat very comfortably there for twenty four hours. Sunday morning and off we all went to the Sunday Markets.
Large canvas awnings had been hoisted over a local parking lot under which there were literally hundreds of traders selling all manner of fruit, vegetables, clothing, toys and even Turkish delight. The exotic smell of freshly ground spices mixed with that of food being prepared was enchanting. All around deals were being noisily struck with the usual haggling being conducted in a friendly and non aggressive manner not seen in other parts of the world. Yes I enjoyed it immensely. Returned to Elixir around 13:00 and cast off for the offlying islands once again.
After finding yet another great ancourage where we tied stern to the rocks. After sunset I spend a couple of hours rowing Jenny in and out of the little inlets along past ancient ruins and my mind drifted to be delights of accepting the hospitality of ancient spirits of real people floating in the long soft shadows and the gentle breeze of the warm nigh. I felt that we were welcome here and that far from disturbing their peace we were indeed just another raindrop in eternity that was passing their way. To pause, to properly recognise and then move on. It is now 04:49 on the 17th June and having just been on Skype chatting with Brother Steve I am amused to hear a Mexican wave of calling to preyer from the minuets of the Mosques situated along the coast.
It is today that we intend to put to sea again and make our way West to Serce Limani a little bay some 52 miles away and from there on to Bozburun and expect to be there by about Friday. So until then just keep those home fires burning.
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.