Freya & Us

Vessel Name: Freya of Wight
Vessel Make/Model: Westerly Oceanranger
Hailing Port: Portishead
24 November 2013 | Almerimar - 2,464 NM
13 November 2013 | Caleta de Valez - 2,371NM
03 November 2013 | Benalmadena - 2,346NM
28 October 2013 | Marina Bajadilla, Marbella 2,324 NM
28 October 2013 | Smir, Morocco -2,268 NM
21 October 2013 | Smir, Morocco - 2,268 NM
12 October 2013 | La Linea (Gibraltar) - 2,240 Nm
30 September 2013 | Rota - 2,161NM
17 September 2013 | Cadiz - 2,154 NM
07 September 2013 | Alcoutim - 2,048NM
26 August 2013 | Portimao - 1,942 Nm
16 August 2013 | Lisbon - 1,783NM
03 August 2013 | Lisbon -1,704NM
02 July 2013 | Lisbon - 1,704 NM
24 June 2013 | Peniche - 1,657 NM
24 June 2013 | Nazare - 1,629 NM
14 June 2013 | Figueira do Foz, 1,592 NM
11 June 2013 | Povoa de Varzim, 1,516 miles
03 June 2013 | Viana do Castelo - 1,493 Nm
19 May 2013 | Combarro - 1,409 Miles
Recent Blog Posts
18 October 2018 | Yalikavac - 7,526 NM

Not exactly a fish but we caught something!

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 [...]

14 October 2018 | Bodrum - 7,464 NM

Turkey and it’s not even Christmas

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 [...]

10 October 2018 | Bozburun - 7,424 NM

Free from the medicane and marinas

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 [...]

01 October 2018 | Didim, Turkey - 7,323 NM

Medicane what Medicane?

Our first day back after our road trip was uneventful. Firstly, if Freya's holding tank had to be pumped out we probably needed to check that the pump out system worked! It didn't - the pump out deck fitting was stuck solid - not surprising really as it hasn't been used in all the time Freya has been [...]

28 September 2018 | Didim, Turkey 7,323 NM

Pamukkale

Pamukkale is Turkey's most visited tourist attraction with streams of coaches ferrying tourists from the coastal resorts arriving from midmorning onwards, so its good to arrive early if you can. We got there just as it opened at 9.00 and it was easy to see why it is so popular.

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.

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.

Medicane what Medicane?

01 October 2018 | Didim, Turkey - 7,323 NM
Sunny Spells
Our first day back after our road trip was uneventful. Firstly, if Freya's holding tank had to be pumped out we probably needed to check that the pump out system worked! It didn't - the pump out deck fitting was stuck solid - not surprising really as it hasn't been used in all the time Freya has been with us! (The tank can be emptied at sea when far enough offshore). After lots of WD40, hammering and scraping it was removed from the deck. The spraying and hammering continued, heat applied with a blowtorch with no success. Eventually we had to accept defeat and head for the chandlers while thinking we really should've checked this before as they probably won't have one and we'll have to wait for it to come! But ye of little faith, they did and it's now looking new and shiney in the deck. We'll find out whether the whole thing works as we leave.........

The other occupation/obsession of the day was checking the weather forecasts as major storms had been getting closer, passing us by and disappearing for days. We'd come to Turkey to try and outrun them but it looked as if they were going to catch us this time. The forecast suggested 68 knot gusts, that's Force11/12 Hurricane. Not winds to be at anchor in and our mooring in the marina was running out. We headed for the office to pay for a few more days as this was clearly the safest place to be especially after reading reports and watching videos of the havoc caused around Greece. In the med hurricanes are very rare there have been half a dozen or so in the last 15 years, 4 in the last 3 years! These Mediterranean hurricanes are called Medicanes. After handing over our money we strolled around the marina looking at the huge numbers of super yachts. I don't think we've been in another marina with so many - and nearly all registered in Delaware in the US but are Turkish owned.

Before going to bed and in the morning we checked the weather forecast - but the storm had completely disappeared - a bit windy but that's all! Saturday was Didim market day and we love a market and so we headed for town on the Dolmus. Half of the market was aimed at tourists and full of fake designer everything. Lots of hassle and exhausting but we did our bit! The other half was full of wonderful fruit, veggies and spices - fantastic and we filled our bags. Lunch was in the market cafe which was chaotic, noisy and vibrant. We enjoyed fresh juice with Gozleme filled with cheese, potatoes and spinach while people watching and the boys shouting orders while others carried cay (tea) on their dangling trays. After a quick walk around the huge new mosque we headed back to the marina with our heavy bags. We called the shuttle (golf buggy) and were taken to the beach club, which turned out to be next door - but we'd been told we needed the shuttle -for a relaxing afternoon on sun beds on decks over the sea - Paul didn't even have to get sand on his feet and I got to go for a swim!

We were running out of things to do. The storms were still circling but looked further north now. It was Sunday and so we thought we'd go and find somewhere to watch the Russian Grand Prix. Back to the Dolmus in to town where we wandered the beach area for the best option until we found one offering Sunday lunch. That was settled - we had a huge and delicious Sunday roast and apple pie - in a bar full of Brits on holiday. If you can't beat them join them! We walked the 30 minutes back to the marina to try and walk off our lunch as the clouds thickened and darkened. The storms were clearly still circling. We made it back without getting wet but it looked very ominous. That night we had a huge storm with amazing thunder and lightening that shook the boat while the winds tossed us around and snatched on our ropes. It carried on for hours (it seemed like it anyway) and came back with vengeance in the morning although less windy. At least our decision had been right - we wouldn't have wanted to be at anchor that night!

The storm continued all morning. We kept thinking it was safe to venture out but then it would go dark again, the lightening would flash and it would all start again! After lunch we left the boat with some trepidation but it was moving on now and the sky finally cleared. Our mission was haircuts. We took the Dolmus into central Didim and discovered barbers were everywhere but hairdressers weren't so easy. There were quite a few but they didn't look like 'hairdressers' and were often tucked away upstairs or down small alleys. One even appeared to have a brothel upstairs! I couldn't help questioning their abilities especially on fine curly western hair rather than the lush Turkish locks. We eventually found one that looked a bit tired but almost what we were used to and went in. The guy that did it was brilliant and really focused - phew! Paul's turn now - there was no shortage of barbers but all had customers and a queue with about an hour wait. After more searching we found one in an alley that could do it once he'd finished his current customer. We settled down in the alley and had Cay from the little cafe next door - paid for by the barber. Then it was Paul's turn - his hair was cut with a lot more attention to detail than it ever gets on the boat, his eyebrows were trimmed, he was then layered in so much shaving foam he did a good impression of Father Christmas followed by a shave with a cut throat razor, the concentration on the barbers face was a picture, nose and ear hair was trimmed and then burned with a flaming taper (scary!) and finally he was lotioned and sprayed. Next stop was a nice coffee shop to wash the smell away! Both looking dapper we walked back towards the beach area before getting the Dolmus to the marina and a lovely meal in the restaurant - our most expensive in Turkey so far at 160 TL or £20!

Pamukkale

28 September 2018 | Didim, Turkey 7,323 NM
Sunny Spells
Pamukkale is Turkey's most visited tourist attraction with streams of coaches ferrying tourists from the coastal resorts arriving from midmorning onwards, so its good to arrive early if you can. We got there just as it opened at 9.00 and it was easy to see why it is so popular.

Mineral rich water comes out of a number of hot springs and flows down the mountainside depositing calcium crystals in beautiful white limestone terraces called travertines and forming brilliant turquoise pools. The travertines cover a large area, probably a mile or two in length and a few hundred metres down the hillside, a truly amazing site.

We entered through the north gate at the top of the site and walked the 3km to the travertines through the ruined necropolis of Hierapolis, the cemetery of an ancient roman spa town that grew up around the springs. The necropolis is spread out either side of a long road with impressive tombs and broken sarcophagi everywhere. On many of the tombs you could still make out Greek and Latin text that named the former occupants. Towards the end of the necropolis we left the road to walk along the cliff edge and get our first close up view of the Travertines. At this end of the site there were almost no other people and we only had to share the view with a very cute dog that walked along with us. We were a bit jealous as he kept leaving the path and walked across the travertines to get the best view, while we had to stick to the path.

In the centre of the site its possible to walk down the mountainside and onto the travertines and bathe/paddle in some of the pools. We chose not to, as by then there was a stream of people walking to them and the crowds put us off. We continued walking along the edge for more fabulous views, before turning away and heading up the hill to explore the ruins of the Roman spa town. The remains of the agora, theatre, some temples and gates in the city walls all impressed. We finished our tour of this site by heading to the ancient roman baths. These baths are fed by the mineral springs and its still possible to bathe in them, in pools littered with broken pillars and other ancient stone work. However the baths have been "renovated" and feel more like a 1960's lido with a few old pillars rather than their roman originals. We opted not to and walked back through the necropolis to the car for the long drive back to Didim.

We stopped for lunch in a service area off the main road. A petrol station and a transport cafe where we had a lunch that we chose by pointing at pictures on the wall as they had no English. It was delicious and only cost around three pounds.

A few miles from Didim, is the lake of Bafa Golu, so we decided to explore its shores a little and stopped for an early evening drink. We sat on a restaurant terrace watching the ducks and geese playing on the shore. A very peaceful way to finish the day.
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