Don’t Upset Manolis!
01 November 2018 | Leros, Greece - 7,563 NM
Sunny and Warm
Our last night in Turkey was absolutely freezing in the northerly winds! The heater came out and every quilt and blanket was on the bed! Had we made a mistake sailing for a bit longer? The morning wasn't quite so cold and warmed up a little as the sun did it's bit and we got ready to go. We had to check out of Turkey and so took our papers to our agent before heading for the fuel pontoon where he turned up with stamped passports and transit log not long after our tanks were filled. We now had to leave Turkish waters immediately and our plan was the little Greek island of Agathonisi just 12 miles away. The sails went up as soon as we were outside the marina but the wind had other ideas on our destination as it was perfect for Lipsoi and so we changed course and had a great close hauled sail all the way. It was a bit chilly but we wrapped up warm (fleeces and woolly hats!) and the sun was shining so all was good. On route we kept hearing the Greek naval base on Leros calling a Turkish naval ship in Greek waters and telling them to leave immediately but heard no response. The message was repeated every 10 minutes or so until we could see the very large Turkish ship in the distance going very slowly. This continued for several hours with no response - what would happen next? Well, nothing, the Turkish ship stayed in a Greek waters going very slowly and the Greek navy kept telling him to leave. What was the point!? We reached our anchorage on the south of Leros as the sun was going down and had a peaceful night - not too cold but all the blankets and quilts on the bed.
A change of plan again! We were going to go to the tiny island of Maratho but the winds, although light, had changed to south easterly and there would be no shelter there. Looking at the charts Lipsoi Port was the best option a whole 2.5 miles away! We moored alongside and had a very warm welcome from Manolis who remembered us from our summer visit. First on our itinerary was coffee at the lovely bakery and, of course, getting their WiFi password. We then made a picnic lunch and headed off on a lovely walk which was relatively short but very hilly with fantastic views all the way. We enjoyed our lunch sitting on a quay by a deserted beach in the sunshine. On returning to Freya another Westerly had arrived - Freya's big brother, an Ocean Master (48'). It had just been bought by an Australian from a South African and both were onboard. We enjoyed a drink on board later and an interesting tour of the boat.
Summer seems to have returned and we're loving Lipsoi. We thought it might be dead with everything closed for the winter but there's just enough open and enough people around to give it a great feel. We decided to stay another day. It was Ochi Day (no day) in Greece which celebrates the day Greece said no to Mussilini's 'request' to station troops in Greece at the start of WW2. Its celebrated all over Greece with big processions and the little island of Lipsoi did its bit starting with a very loud service in the church overlooking the harbour broadcast to the whole town. The locals then crowded into the square on the quay, festooned with flags, giving us a ring side seat on Freya as the children in their school uniforms paraded carrying their Greek flags. Next followed lots of prayers, speeches and fidgety children! After the excitement we went off on another beautiful walk and finished the day with dinner at Manolis' lovely restaurant (not the harbour master).
The quay in Lipsoi had been very quiet during our stay with just a few boats moored alongside but on our last day there was a sudden influx of sailors. The quay filled quickly and boats had to go stern to to make more room. By this stage we were hemmed in forward and aft and so couldn't move to make more room even if we'd wanted to but a very large Greek charter boat arriving that day was alongside and taking up space for 5 boats stern to. Manolis asked him to move but he refused. He then started to help boats to moor effectively doing Manolis' job. Meanwhile incoming boats were queuing. It was getting very heated and a very frustrated Manolis drove off at great speed to fetch the port police who duly came looking very officious and gave the skipper the third degree going through his paperwork in detail and boarding the yacht. Eventually he moved but it all got very interesting and the moral is - don't upset Manolis!
The day came for us to head over to Leros to pick up a buoy outside the boat yard ready for our lift in the morning. We had a leisurely start including coffee in the bakery. Luckily the yachts moored stern to next to us had left and so we could leave and motor the 8 miles to the buoy where we had a peaceful afternoon and evening. A Finnish boat came and picked up a buoy next to us. The boatyard method is for all boats to be ready at 8.00 - who would be first? Luckily it was us and Freya was lifted and in her cradle by 9.30. We have 2 days to put Freya to bed......
26 October 2018 | Didim - 7,526
Sunny, Windy and Cold!
We got back to Didim marina about lunch time and were greeted with the same efficiency as before. Kevin and Dee messaged to say they planned a bbq for the afternoon and were on their way to collect us and so we popped into the cafe by the pontoon for a snack as we waited for them. Best laid plans etc, we ordered a Spanish tapas, just 1, but just after our hosts arrived it was delivered and huge! The bbq was postponed until tomorrow.
We had a great week in Akbuk with Kevin and Dee in their lovely home just a 5 minute stroll from the sea. We explored Akbuk in all directions sampling bars and eateries, all good, exploring shops and the lovely Friday market with fab Gozleme for lunch and really enjoyed it. Akbuk is a lovely seaside town, not over developed and very Turkish, in October anyway. We really enjoyed being tourists, relaxing by the pool and playing games in the evening as well as seeing wild boar munching through our leftovers right outside the house in the evenings. Warning of their arrival was announced by the barking dogs who roamed the street at night - not so good!
Our first excursion was to Lake Golu where we started with a Turkish breakfast in a lovely cafe above the lake looking over the ruins of a monastery on a small island just off the beach. It was idyllic. We then stopped at another ruined monastery by the lake littered with sarcophagi carved into the rocks, such a beautiful spot. The final stop was another ruined monastery up in the mountains which Kevin and Dee hadn't visited before. We had to drive up a very steep windy road to a village where we left the car and headed just 4km up a path. The scenery was spectacular with amazing rock shapes and boulders everywhere and olive trees between them and, of course stunning views of the lake and mountains. The walk was a very hard 4km and needless to say we were totally unprepared as we negotiated the rocky, uneven path without even a bottle of water between us. We arrived exhausted, very hot and very thirsty but wow what a position and atmosphere. It was built in the 12th century and had amazing frescos under a mushroom rock and ruined buildings hanging between the boulders. It was definitely worth the effort. We headed home to enjoy the delayed bbq and a dip in the pool.
We also went to visit the ruins of Priane which dates back over 2,500 years and includes Greek and Roman buildings. It was on a hill above the sea at that time but now offers views over flat farm land as the sea silted up and is now miles away. The ruins were really interesting and spread out over a huge area some of it is just piles of stones but other parts such as the theatre amazingly intact. We had a great couple of hours exploring before heading to the other extreme by visiting a modern shopping mall. The contrast was stark as we enjoyed a Starbucks coffee and could have been anywhere in the world. Another side of Turkey and not to be missed though.
Every year the Turkish gullets take part in the Bodrum Cup and we thought the sight of lots of these beautiful huge wooden yachts under sail would be amazing. This year they were starting in Yalikavak, about 1.5 hours from Akbuk across a beautiful mountain road. Unfortunately, there was absolutely no wind that day and rain forecast making it very hazy! We headed first for the very posh and expensive marina where we could see the boats with sails unfurled, vaguely, desperately trying to round the headland in the calm. They weren't that far away but in the haze they were just merging into the grey - very disappointing but we consoled ourselves in Starbucks before exploring the lovely town. It's a really pretty fishing village with lots of shops and bars along the quay. In the summer it's apparently heaving but now it was very relaxed and pleasant. We stopped in the council bar for chips before driving towards home around the coast through pretty villages and passing great sea views (in the haze) plus seeing the racing gullets again from a different vantage point. Another lovely day.
We had only intended to stay with Kevin and Dee for a few days but the weather got very unsettled which meant we were stuck in the marina and so we ended up staying 9 days! I hope we didn't outstay our welcome! Our last day it rained - lots of relaxing and games but then the weather was clearing and it was time to go. The temperature dropped dramatically in strong northerly winds as we headed back to Freya. We had a lovely lunch in the restaurant by the marina before saying goodbye and then we were back on Freya on our own - and freezing! What's going on, we had to put the heating on! It's supposed to be fine tomorrow.........
Not exactly a fish but we caught something!
18 October 2018 | Yalikavac - 7,526 NM
Sunny & Still
We started our day with a full English breakfast in Gumbet, when in tourist land and all that, and very good it was too. Then got the Dolmus in to Bodrum which wasn't really what we expected. It didn't feel like a tacky tourist town at all but had a very pleasant old town full of shops, some selling tourist tack and fake everything but also nice shops and cafes and it's huge and so lots of wandering. Our first stop was supposed to be the medieval castle housing the underwater archeological museum but unfortunately, when we found it, it was covered in scaffolding and cranes and very closed! We walked all around the bay and back around the marina which was huge and the boats crammed in like sardines, and over the hill to Gumbet stopping at the windmills on the top to enjoy panoramic views of both bays. After an ice cream and supermarket stop we went home exhausted.
Our anchorage was a bit noisier the 2nd night and we didn't get a lot of sleep but we headed off 'touristing' in the morning nevertheless - only to discover we weren't as good at it as we thought! We took the Dolmus back into Bodrum aiming to see the remains of the ancient city of Halicarnassus. At the bus station we were directed to another Dolmus and the driver seemed to understand where we wanted to go. We had a lovely drive right around the bay and out the other side of Bodrum, passed the boat yards and to a big hotel where everyone else got off. We sat there assuming the Dolmus was doing a circuit and would continue round to the ancient amphitheatre but when the driver looked at us, clearly wondering why we were still on his bus we realised he wasn't going anywhere! We explained again where we wanted to go, he apologised and spoke to another Dolmus driver and we were ushered on to his bus. We drove back towards town and were dropped off in the middle of town, clearly nowhere near the ruins! It was a lovely drive and only cost about 80p each and so not totally wasted but we were still not where we needed to be. We gave up and found a taxi! The driver was determined to keep us for the day and give us a tour but did take us to the amphitheater still some distance away. He kept asking whether we wanted to stay or come back and when we got there we understood why as there is no city just the amphitheatre all fenced off and closed by the side of the main road. Impressive but not a lot to do. Our driver took us back into town to the mausoleum which we knew was closed as it was Monday but we thought we'd probably be able to see something from outside but no, there were big walls all around it. We had completely failed as tourists, even after all our years of practice and so we walked back towards the marina for coffee! After a bit of shopping and lunch we took the Dolmus home.
The plan was to move a couple of miles away to an anchorage called the Aquarium between the mainland and a small island - sounds lovely and no loud music. The anchor was reluctant to come up and the windlass was clearly struggling - we were obviously snagged on something. The windlass persevered with lots of engine revs until we could finally see the problem. We were picking up a huge anchor the same as the ones the huge gullets carry and 20 times bigger than ours, on a big fat chain! The anchor (and it's chain) was far to heavy to simply push off, so the technique is to take the weight of the offending anchor on a line secured to the boat and then drop our own anchor while the other one stays up. Once ours is free, you then simply pull it clear and up onto the boat. All that remains is to release the line holding up the big offending anchor and of you go. Crossed anchors in small harbours are a fact of life in the med, although this is the first time it's happened to us, and we certainly weren't expecting it out in a large bay. It took a couple of attempts of wrapping ropes around it and dropping it all back it to the water before our anchor came free, but we soon freed ourselves and were on our way to our new anchorage for a nice peaceful night.
I went for an early morning swim to see the Aquarium but it was a little disappointing. The sea was very blue and there were a lot of fishes but not very different from a lot of other places. A lovely swim though even if I did get told off by the coastguard in a big orange rib for swimming where there may be fast boats - I think that's what he said anyway but he was the only one that seemed intent on running me over! When I got back we pulled up the anchor and headed for Yalikavak 19 miles away. We started with a lovely sail but then had to turn north and had the wind on the nose plus a really rough sea - we haven't rolled around like that for ages but our anchorage was well sheltered and peaceful. Next stop is back to Didim Marina where we'll leave Freya for a few days while we visit Dee and Kevin.
Turkey and it’s not even Christmas
14 October 2018 | Bodrum - 7,464 NM
Sunny and Calm
This part of the Turkish coast is stunning with a mountainous coast and lots of fjord like inlets. Most of them are too deep to anchor easily but Agil Koyu has a small beach at one end and so looked possible for lunch. It was stunning with no road access and surrounded by steep wooded hills. A restaurant had put a pontoon at one end for customers but we managed to anchor in 15m. Too deep for a night stop but fine for lunch and a swim. After we motored around to Bozburun in gusty/no wind around the hills. As we were only doing 9 miles we didn't try to sail! Bozburun is in another stunning fjord nestled under the hills. A truly beautiful setting but as we wound our way around the islands we could see forests of masts before us. How could it be so crowded!? But then we remembered Bozburun is where all the Turkish gullets are built - but so many?! There were hundreds of them. There was room for us in the little harbour which was too small for the gullets but it was right outside of the cafes and as there is a large anchorage outside - we opted for the peaceful option. It was a bit deep and so we opted for lines ashore which got very complicated as we dropped the anchor too soon, ran out of chain then couldn't get close enough to shore - everything that could go wrong did, not our finest mooring hour, but we got there in the end! Such a peaceful night.
The village of Bozburun is lovely too. Not too big or busy, a few nice shops, cafes around the quay and a 'real' village behind. We walked around the streets and found ourselves going uphill and out of town along the coast. The views of the bay were stunning. The road took us down into the next village which was smaller and didn't even have a coffee stop! On the way in we'd seen a huge boat yard and shed which is where we'd assumed the gullets were built but we were really surprised to see them being built in yards/back gardens in the village by hand and by just a couple of men. It was fascinating to see and can't imagine how long it takes! A lovely walk along the sea, eventually finding a coffee stop, took us back to Bozburun and a long lunch at Osman's Place. After a supermarket stop we headed back to Freya and a swim.
We managed to depart from Bozburun with more finesse than we'd arrived and headed for Kargi Koyu, a bay not far from Datça. We're retracing our steps now, to go and visit Dee and Kevin. There was next to no wind but enough to slow us down and not enough to get us moving if we sailed and tacked. Very frustrating! It was a very pretty bay, very quiet and a good night. We spent another night under the ruins of Knidos enjoying another dinner in the restaurant and a drink after with our British neighbours.
We then motored (still no wind!) to Guembet which is the bay next to Bodrum. We struggled to set the anchor pulling up piles of weed but eventually got it to set securely on the 4th attempt by moving to a different part of the bay. We were in a different world watching the jet skis, parasailors and all manor of inflatable toys whizz around us - definitely not a quiet anchorage but interesting all the same. We then had a very peaceful few hours but what we were more worried about was the music from the clubs later! First we could hear music from the bars, not too bad at all, but then DJs started calling partygoers, oh dear, and the music got a bit louder - but amazingly that was it and we slept peacefully to the background beat, zzzzzz.
12 October 2018
Free from the medicane and marinas
10 October 2018 | Bozburun - 7,424 NM
Sunny, warm and no wind
We finally left Didim after 9 nights and the Medicane had finally blown itself out. We headed south with 10-15 knots of wind and so started with a lovely calm sail. After about an hour the wind dropped and finally shifted on to the nose and so motored the rest of the 18 miles to Gumusluk where we had a very peaceful night at anchor with lines ashore.
Gumusluk is a long narrow bay which makes it very sheltered and it's also very pretty. The village is built on the ancient site of Myndos and so, as usual, we couldn't resist exploring piles of old stones. There's very little left of the ancient city but we did find a few walls and the hamam as well as a lovely walk and great views. The village itself is lovely and has a very bohemian feel with painted gourds hanging from trees and cafes along the beach. It was a lovely morning meander before heading back to the boat, making sandwiches for lunch on passage and undoing our lines. There was no wind at all and so we had a very pleasant motor to Aspat Kyou, where we anchored without going ashore. We were greeted by a motor boat encouraging us to eat in his restaurant but we had a peaceful night on board serenaded by jazz from the shore.
In the morning we left for a 20 mile motor sail with the wind behind us - a bit rolly but not to bad. The shortest route took us through Greek waters and so we changed the flags over for a few miles. Our destination was the ancient city of Knidos where we tied up on a pontoon beside the ruins in this beautiful bay. After sorting ourselves out we went to the cafe for lunch which was a delicious Turkish mezze for just 35TL- £4.40 inc. drinks - and then headed to the ruins. It's a huge site spread over the peninsula in a very strategic position. A lot of the ruins are just that and although you can imagine what it would've been like there isn't a lot there - just piles of stones although there are several temples, churches, theatre and the agora in place. The most interesting part to us were the harbour walls where you could see the remains of the sheltered harbour they created. We spent a couple of hours exploring, which involved a lot of walking and so on the way back we stopped in the cafe for a beer or 2. This turned into dinner which was delicious but a bit more than the cheap lunch! It was quite a windy night on the pontoon and although a bit noisy and joggly we were sheltered and secure. The bay was so lovely we decided to stay another night! We busied ourselves catching up on boat jobs and walking. The ancient city also spread over, what was, the small adjacent island which has now been joined to the mainland by silting. There isn't much left of the ruins but it was a lovely walk out towards the lighthouse and offered great views of the archeological site opposite.
First thing in the morning we left for Datça, 20 miles away. We left with a following wind and so out came the jib. In the next 10 minutes we had 25 knt gusts and the it all died to nothing and the engine came back on. 20 minutes of motoring and we had wind again, the sail came out - and then nothing! We gave up and motored the rest of the way and then the wind also gave up until it was flat calm and still. We moored stern to on the quay outside the supermarket - which is next to lots of bars - we feared it may be a noisy night! Datça is a nice town, not a lot of atmosphere as it's all modern, but nice bars and shops to peruse as well as the harbour and beach to stroll along. And not too noisy at night as it turned out. Plus we got 3 bags of laundry done for 30TL a load - bargain. We stayed a couple of nights and enjoyed a drink with our new Turkish friends on our last evening.
The next night we spent anchored in Kuruca Buku, just 10 miles on. It was so quiet and still at the bottom of a wooded hill. Very peaceful and amazing stars over dinner.
Gallery Error: Unknown Album [1:]:20807