02 June 2012 | Cyprus
Jane warm and sunny
We started our adventure with the EMYR (Eastern Mediterrean Yacht Rally) at Marti Marina in Keci Buku. On leaving Marmaris we popped over to Rhodes in Greece to pick up a parcel of boat parts that we had sent from England (too difficult to send to Turkey) and although in transit we stayed the night as our new friend Nico was charging us next to nothing for his services and a berth and assured us that we would be okay to stay in Greece without checking in. We had a wonderful time exploring the old town and buying up goodies that we can't get in Turkey, including meat from the animal with the funny nose. Then a stop in Datca to visit the market, such a lovely village and a perfect place to regroup, before we joined the rally.
Keci Buku is a gem, with a backdrop of pine forests and a dolmus (bus) that goes regularily to Marmaris. We soon started meeting other boats and were treated to a fantastic party by the marina, with two live bands to help us dance the night away on the deck by the poolside. There are some delux rooms at the marina with their own private juccuzzis which we were temped to try out after midnight, but we held back (for once).
Our next stop was D Marine in Gocek, a 75 nm trip so a start of 0530 hrs and sadly we had to motor sail the whole way. Gocek is a delightful village and we were hosted a cocktail party by the marina so helping us to meet more of our rally friends. We have more than ten different nationalities; with a total group of thirty three yachts, and at each stop we are picking up more and more boats, with a few guest boats from previous years joining us for a leg or two. Sadly it is the smallest group for many years and the rumour is that we might be on the last one. Because of visas, political climate, entry and exit formalities it is becoming more and more difficult and the organisers have already had to work very hard this year. We have had to change our itinerary as boats can no longer go to Lebanon from North Cyprus. So we are having to return from North Cyprus to Turkey so we can sail to Lebanon; a trip of 180 nm which will be hard for many boats. Still the sailing community are a flexible group and everyone is looking after one another.
Next stop was Kas, definitely a place we will revisit after the rally with a big beautiful marina with a stunning swimming pool, which a few of us ended up in (fully dressed) at the end of the evening party they put on for us. While we were there we took a day trip to Xanthos the ruined capital of Lycia and now a World Cultural Heritage. We also visited Patara with its 12 km of white sandy beach and ruins, Saklikent gorge and picturesque Kalkan town. We also went to the small historic and pretty Greek island of Castellorizo just off Kas on a friends boat for mothers day lunch, a lot of fun with a group of about 20 including the marina manager and his family from Kas.
With no wind we motor sailed to Finike via Kekova Roads and its sunken city where we anchored for lunch. After lunch we noticed a burning smell and having turned off the engines we located a problem with our starboard motor. Interesting coming into a marina with only one engine so it was lucky the mariners were there to help. We had to go into Marmaris to pick up our residents permits the next day, but with the help of another boatie we organised for our starter motor to be fixed and our spare one to be checked and even got back in time for the cocktail party.
We had a fantastic sail the following day to Kemer, Ta-b was goose winged most of the way and averaged 7.3 kn with a top speed of 12 plus. Kemer is very much a tourist town with lots of Russians and noisy hotels, a popular marina to winter over in and they were wonderful to us. At the formal dinner we waved our international flags, giving speeches and presents to our hosts from the local government. Next stop Alanya with another great sail, Ta-b is loving playing alongside the other boats in the rally, last count we are six Catamarans in the fleet. A large group from the rally went to Capaddocia for three days, but having been there we decided instead to get to know Alanya one of the wealthiest and largest cities in Turkey known as the "Turkish Riveria". There are a lot of liveaboards in Alanya who we got to know, some of whom are now on the rally.
Yet again the night before we left we were hosted a formal dinner by the marina pool, a beautiful setting.
Another great sail to Bozyazi where we spent three hours as "joker boat" (name of a tender here) helping all the rally boats dock in the heavy wind. We had a fantastic evening at anchor (no room for Cats at dock) on KintuKani a French 50' Lagoon, with a few other boats - certainly a party boat and boy can the French cook!! Bozyazi is a fishing harbour and the next day we were taken to the archaeological site of Anamurium city and the Castle of Anamur, both stunning sites (see pictures). That evening the fisherman and harbour master treated us to a terrific fish dinner on the dockside with local entertainment - a highlight of our trip so far.
Tasucu was our next stop and the last half of the day the wind got up to 35 knots and we just flew along with a max speed from Ta-b of 14 knots with the help of some surf. The fleet ended up anchoring in the commercial port; which caused some entertainment, as it was too windy to move the boats in the harbour to accommodate us. An early departure the next day to let the freighters in and dock up. Yet again the locals put on a great dinner and Neville of "Taralee" showed us what a great DJ he is as once again we danced the night away.
On our arrival in Girne, Cyprus we were treated to a Presidential Cocktail party at the Fortress, what a spectacular setting, we are seriously being treated like royality and were interviewed and photographed for all the local papers. We took a trip to Bellapais Abbey, St. Hilarion Kalesi (from where Disney got the idea of the castle in Snow White) and Nicosia the walled city which is shared by the Greeks in the South of Cyprus (lots of English food, including Ginger Nuts - yippee). We also got to play golf at the Korineum Golf and Country Club, what a treat, first time we have ever used a buggy too. Last night we had a pirate dinner and dance at the Dome Hotel which was a riot, the people on the EMYR really know how to party that is for sure. The last time I was in Girne, I knew it as Kyrenia (the British name), was in 1976 and although it has changed the harbour and castle are still unspoilt and lovely, it has become a very popular spot for British expats.
As I write this we are currently sailing, motoring, sailing with spinniker, motoring to Karpass Gate which is on the leg of Cyprus. We have two additional crew on board for the day from Girne, they are delightful and have already become friends - the Turkish people are so special.
I have rambled on a tad, so will end. Our pictures under EMYR in the gallery show our trip better than my words ever can. Enjoy and please keep in touch. Hugs