Clio's Adventures

The 2015 season’s swan song

08 November 2015 | Marmaris
Francis and Chris
It is Friday 23 October and we're sheltering today on the south side of Tomb bay as the rain tumbles down and washes Clio and Cloe clean. There is a strong wind outside the bay, we can see the white-capped waves, but we don't notice it here. We're tucked away in our little cove for the day watching tv series and reading, safely strung between 50m of anchor chain and two land lines. We run the engine for 20 minutes to recharge our batteries when there is a break in the rain and hide inside after it comes back. We're now very aware of our electricity use because of the batteries diminishing capacity to hold their charge and a couple of sunless days.

More rain this morning, Saturday 24th of October, but then the sky clears around lunch time and we head to Kapi creek (Gübün Koyu). Güçlü and Tolga very kindly invited us to attend the annual dinner of the Irmak charter company (we chartered Clio via them last year) for their annual dinner. We reverse-parked Clio to the Kapi creek's restaurant's catwalk pontoon at the time on the invitation, one in the afternoon, just to find that we were the only ones there. Did we get the date or the place wrong? A quick phone call to Güçlü explained that they just left Gocek in a convoy and would be arriving later that afternoon. Have we learned nothing about Mediterranean time keeping?

We were joined later that afternoon by Güçlü and Yukari along with Guclu's mother and father Cetin, and his sister Ebru (and the mother of Irmak, Cetin's grand-daughter the company was named after). Then Tolga and the rest of the flotilla arrived. We were very happy to see Jordanis the CEO of Cosmos, the Greek company we had bought Clio from, who was also here for the celebration.

South African Martin (and his wife Carol), who is the appointed photographer, organizes a photo shoot and after some cat-herding he succeeds in getting us lined up, in a way. After group photos were taken we then got to meet other members of the group. Among them was an Australian woman named Jaz and her English boyfriend and his aunt. A great meal was served with lots of wine, beer and raki, luckily under awnings (top-right photo) as the skies opened up again. Unfortunately it was not until later in the evening that Francis discovered that we had left our cabin hatches open so Clio was very soggy on the inside. There was nothing to be done, so we partied on for a while longer. Chris had fun with Güçlü reading her coffee grains and teasing Martin about the All Blacks victory over his South African team in the rugby (does S-Africa play rugby?).
On return to Clio we made up one of the stern berths as our own bed was drenched and curled up in that dry space for a good night's sleep.

We moved back to Tomb Bay on Sunday morning, the 25th. When leaving Little Sarsala Bay we saw something in the water we thought were a couple of divers with black rubber suits. Getting closer, and just before they disappeared under the surface, it was clear that they were not divers, but something looking very much like seals. As far as we know, the only seals in the Meds are Monk seals (Monachus monachus) which is a very rare mammal, only a couple of hundreds left in the wild. We'll look into that a bit more next year.

Once back in Tomb Bay, we spent the day drying bed clothes and cushions, and airing out Clio. Luckily for us the sun shone long enough to restore order.

It was time today, Monday 26th, to head back into Gocek to stock up on supplies. On the way in we visited the very handy freshwater water station on the other side of the bay. Once we had tied up to the makeshift quay, some crew from an anchored Turkish yacht came over in their dinghy to warn us that they had spotted some very green water coming out of the tap yesterday. Probably some algae that were flushed into the water basin by the rain over the last couple of days. We visually inspected the water and tasted it and it looked good to us, so we filled Clio's cisterns. Chris went ashore to pay, only to find the place abandoned. So we left our 20 Turkish Lira, with a little extra to make up our shortfall from our previous visit, on the table under the tree and left. We hope the right person finds it?

Once anchored on Gocek's roadstead, we zoomed into town in Cloe, still very happy with the luxury of a good dinghy and outboard. After doing the shopping round, we caught up with Güçlü and Yukari. We also had to reimburse Güçlü for the lovely flowers that he had bought for his mum, on our behalf, as a thank-you for their invite. So we met up with them for a nice decaf Illy café latte and a pot of very nice cookies. As always we had a long and fun chat and too many cookies.

After all was carted back on board and had found its place, we set off again that afternoon to Tersane, a very well protected anchorage cut out from on an island in Fethiye bay. The storms of the last couple of days have stirred up all the rubbish in the water and it seems that it is all funnelled into this area, making the place a little less attractive, but still a good place for a snorkel. It is a lovely quiet spot so we will hang around here for a couple of days.

Today, Thursday 29th, we moved back across the bay to Big Sarsala and hooked onto a buoy. As the water is deep here there are a number of buoys and many bollards on shore for boats to use free of charge. This a great service provided for the yachties and commercial gullets. We took Cloe ashore to dispose of our rubbish and to go for a walk. The beach and café here are run by the local council and it is interesting to see a lifeguard tower on the beach, the first we have seen in all of our travels so far. It appears this was a harbour some time in the past as there are the remains of a stone customs house and stone pillars dotted around the coastline.

Friday 30 and as we are now not getting enough sunlight from our solar panels to charge the deficient batteries, we have to optimise what we can get in a day. So, today we moved across to the other side of the bay which has more and longer sun-exposure. Just as we had finished tying up to a buoy, we heard someone yelling, 'hello Chris and Francis', and coming towards were Yukari and Güçlü on an Irmak yacht.

It was great to see them again as we had already said goodbye and did not think we would see them again this year. They tied their boat alongside ours (rafted) and we met their friends, Engin, Buchan and Tuchan all from Izmir. We spent the rest of the day swimming (tp-left photo), and enjoying their company and Chris' home-baked cake until they had to head back to Gocek in the evening. Farewell good friends until next time. Saturday the 31st is our last day in a the Gocek region for this year as we have to be in Marmaris on the second of November to prepare Clio for her 6 month loneliness on the hard stand (land) .

Sunday 1st of November starts us off with a beautiful dawn (bottom-right photo), and it is time to say goodbye as we headed back to Marmaris. After good fashion, there was absolutely no wind whatsoever, so our 75 turbo-horses pushed us all the 50 NM (100km) way from Fethiye Bay to Marmaris Bay. We anchored in a bay just West of Yacht Marina and had our last night of freedom. The next day, Monday November 2, we moved into the marina and were happy to get a spot on Juliette pontoon. Yacht Marina is fairly big, and some pontoons are 10 minutes walking distance from the shops and offices. So, if you're unlucky (and don't know anybody who can help you), you end up walking many kilometres per day to get stuff from the shops and arrange the lifting. Once we were safely berthed, the preparations commenced for Clio's lift out of the water. Our friend and technical genius Erdal came to meet us and he and Francis got to work on lists of tasks to be done. We spent the next couple of days going back and forth on the dolmuş to Marmaris buying material for hatch and winch covers, electrical thingies and many other assorted yachtie paraphernalia. The anchor roller had been out of alignment since we had bought Clio and needed to be straightened and re-enforced. The inox (stainless steel) shop asked €250 (close to $400) and another €200 just to take it off. So Francis spent a couple of hours banging it, helped later on by Erdal. Erdal also pointed us to a more budget-friendly inox shop in town who did the repairs for TL500 ($250), so we saved $450. That's the way to do it, money for nothing (and your chicks for free)....

Friday 6 November and it is time for lift out. Erdal came to help us try to fit Cloe inside, but as we feared, she is too big to get through the hatch. So she will have to be strapped on the foredeck under cover until we return. Its 9:00 in the morning and the Marina's dinghy rocked up to escort us to the crane. Unfortunately, Erdal is not there so a quick phone call tells us he will not be there for a bit. We have to pump out the black-water tanks before we can be lifted out anyway, so off we go to the waste-pumping station. By the time the blackwater tanks are empty (and the port tank confirmed to be blocked), Erdal arrives and Francis and he winterise the engine (flush with fresh water, fill with anti-freeze-fresh water mixture. It is time to lift our home-away-from-home onto a safe place for the winter (bottom-left photo).

'It's not what you know, but who you know', and Erdal knows all the important 'whos'. This lands us a very nice spot on the Yacht Marina's hardstand Gold Coast. On the concrete (not on the mud as last year), in a small pocket of yachts (not between towering super yachts spilling crap on our decks when being painted or welded), and far enough away from its neighbour to allow the hull to be polished and waxed using a machine. While Francis supervises Clio's relocation onto a hard stand, Chris goes into town to collect material for covering our saloon cushions.

Saturday and Sunday 7&8
We have now one week to get about 53 tasks (big and small, and unblocking the black-water tank amongst them) done, so time to get moving. Chris set to work on making hatch and winch covers. With a little help from Google and a lot of colourful language, after several attempts a hatch cover was finally completed. There will be no prizes won for quality and design but, the hatches and winches will be protected from the winter weather and the four rope bags will keep the ropes our of the sun. Our little cheap Brother sewing machine has well and truly proved its $88 worth, saving us $305 just by making the covers ourselves. Once Chris has recovered from the trauma of working with Sunbrella (UV-resistant and very uncooperative cover material) and replaced all the bent pins her next mission is to make the covers for the saloon cushions, out of much softer material. Most likely at the start of next season.
Vessel Name: Clio
Vessel Make/Model: Bavaria 47 Cruiser
Hailing Port: Brisbane, Australia
Crew: Christine and Francis
About: Happy laid-offs, with Greek and Turkish privileges
Extra: Also have a look at Map of our 2016 journey anchorages:
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Clio's Photos - Main
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