24 October 2014 | Kalkn, Turkey
Francis and Chris
Friday 24 October 2014: Bugger!
We left the Pirates' den at Gokayya on Wednesday morning around 10 for the protection of the Kaş anchorage. We had 8 kts of wind coming from ENE and had to call in the services of the engine at times to move. We dropped anchor in Kaş bay by two in the arvo and launched the dinghy. The plan was to get a coffee at the 'le Mode' hotel and see if they could tell us how to get to Kaş town. There are no real roads from that part of the bay into town and the easiest way is to go by boat. During our previous visit we had seen a little local boat picking up and dropping off people from the hotel, so we went for a coffee and asked how to get into town. The friendly (Scottish) son-in-law of the hotel's owner offered us a ride in and out of Kaş that night, which we happily accepted.
We got into town hitching a ride on the hotel 'ferry' around seven that night. Kaş seafront is completely taken over by tourism, as so many coastal towns in Turkey (if not most of the Meds). We had a long stroll up and down the hill slope from which Kaş' centre slides down. Most of the little streets are closed for traffic and dedicated to the tourism trade. We had a Guinness on a small terrace and dinner at a little restaurant with mainly local clientele and got the boat back to the hotel at half past nine. It started to rain...
That night we were visited by three big thunderstorms, the first one getting us out of bed to quickly close the windows that guided small rivers of rainwater that had collected on the deck into the inside of Clio. The last really big thunderstorm also brought 25+ kts of winds. That meant that Clio's anchor needed some help from the engine to make sure it stayed in place, a very wet job at seven in the morning. One fellow anchorer, a single-handed American boat, was driven by the high winds over the floats line marking the swimming area. That broke the line and he had a very hard time getting out of the enclosure again, getting within meters from the shore and probably centimetres from the bottom. Once he got out, he limped towards the marina, dragging part of the line and floats behind him, very much endangering his propeller. We heard later from the hotel owner that he has safely reached the marina.
The now cut line and floats started to float our way and we had to re-anchor well out if its way but in deeper water. There were more thunderstorms on their way and with all boats gone, we re-anchored in a better spot, far away from the shores to allow swinging around 60m of anchor chain in 12 meter of water. We had more thunderstorms during the night but Clio stood her ground well and only needed the occasional anchor check throughout the night. We had a very nice dinner at the hotel to finish off the day, thanks Tony.
This morning, Friday, there was good wind predicted from the East, and as we were going NW, that would send us on a running course on a genoa only sail plan. And indeed, once we were out of the protection of the bay there was some wind from the East, initially sending us on the planned running course on a 1.5 m swell that had been building up over the last couple of days. I say 'initially' as the wind dropped to about 6 kts after half an hour, not enough to give a 12 ton boat much speed. So we needed the help of the iron horse.
We were puttering nicely over a swelly sea direction Gocek or wherever we were going to end up, maybe Karacaoren. Then the engine lost revs almost instantly and that was it, no more engine, BUGGER! We were not too far from Kalkan but there was a small depression coming over, sending what little wind there was in all directions. Losing your motor means getting as far as possible from any obstacles such as Turkey mainland, little islands and rocks. So we turned the nose West out to sea and gave Tolga a call to see if he could get some help from Kalkan to tow us in. As always, Tolga saved the day by contacting 'his man in Kalkan' who would tow us into the little fishing port. But we had to get into Kalkan Bay first, which by now was invisible because of a thunderstorm lingering over the bay. We could see that the storm was relatively small and moving to the East so we decided to wait until it had cleared the bay. The wind was still very variable, giving us a hard time getting further out to sea. After half an hour the bay was clear so we decided to give it a go. We turned Clio around only to find that the storm that had just cleared the bay had changed its mind and occupied the bay once again. Out to sea again, more wind changes etc.
Another hour later the bay cleared again and the Aeolian gods had enough playing with us and gave us some wind to enter the bay where Tolga's man was waiting in a small boat close to the port to drag us in. There're were some confusing scenes when trying to drag Clio into port with a very small tinny and the coastguard coming out in a much bigger boat with much more powerful outboards to NOT help, just to shout at the little tinny man. After about 5 minutes, they turned and went back in and we were carefully deposited alongside the quay. The tinny man also doubled as a mechanic and quickly found that the first fuel filter was clogged and did not let enough fuel through. He had to go to Kaş to get a new filter and the whole operation, including the towing, costed TRY1250 ($625)!! That was a bit of a shock, but there was little we could do about it. Not even Tolga was able to reduce this 'over the barrel' price.
Next in line was the Kalkan harbour master, asking TRY150 for the alongside berth. Next in line was the Kalkan harbour master, asking TRY150 for the alongside berth. We tried to reason with him that we would gladly go stern-to once the engine was fixed (one hour later) so we would pay the normal TRY70 fee did not work, he wanted his TRY150.
Somehow I don't believe Kalkan is on the list of things for Chris to enjoy next year.