Castle Island and English Harbour
15 July 2019
There is a group of small islands close to the coast near the head of the large gulf of Korfezi, which we are currently exploring. One of these, Castle Island, was once the site of the ancient town of Kedreai. There is not a lot remaining except for an amphitheatre that would have seated about 2500 in a lovely setting.
Legend has it that Antony and Cleopatra took up residence here and that Cleopatra had sand shipped in from North Africa to create a beach for Antony (see image above). This beach is now THE local tourist attraction. While anchored in the adjacent bay for the afternoon there was a constant stream of tour boats coming and going (see Gallery). We estimated more than 1,000 people a day are going there. They would end up standing shoulder to shoulder at the beach. As we discovered the next morning when we went ashore to have a look before the crowds arrived, the actual beach is fenced off so you cannot access the only bit of sand in this part of the world. Scientific analysis suggests the sand does not come from north Africa but is the same type of sand found in Crete. Also, any sand put there all those years ago would have long ago washed away – wonder how often it is replaced? Don’t let a few facts get in the way of a good tourism earner…….
Close encounter with a VIP
Our plan for the day was to head just down the coast to a little place called English Harbour – once a special boat squadron home for the English navy during WW2. On arrival there was not really enough space for us so we went into an adjoining lovely looking little cove. After 3 attempts at getting the anchor to hold we gave up (must be a very hard bottom there) and went searching elsewhere.
At the end of the bay there is a massive villa surrounded by a large security fence, with watch towers – if it wasn’t for the villa you would think it was a jail. As we are deciding where to anchor, a police boat came up to us and said that all boats have to clear the whole bay by 3:00PM. Apparently there is a politician (possibly the Turkish President) owns a villa at the head of the bay and does not like anyone within the area when visiting…..
As we did not have a plan B and by then the westerly wind was quite fresh making travel any further west not ideal, we went back into the bay where we started the day and anchored about 200 metres from where we started. Not one of our better days travelling!
A tour inside SCII
As requested by Naomi we have
filmed a short video of the inside space of SCII. We will upload when we have stronger internet coverage. We are happy to respond to your requests and questions.
Dirsek bay to Cokertme
10 July 2019
Sorry for the lack of posts in the last week. We have been very busy swimming!
Dirsek and Keci Buku
4 July – 7 July
While there are not a lot of edible sized fish in the water there are large schools of tiny bait fish. What fish there are can be easily attracted to the back of the boat with a bit of stale bread. (see Gallery) We spend a bit of time on the back of the boat feeding the fish. It is just as well that at Dirsek bread is delivered fresh to our boat in the morning along with local honey. (see Gallery)
The weather forecast is for strong winds so we decided to go into the marina at Keci Buku. The wind turned out not to be as strong as forecast, however this provided us with the opportunity to stock up our food, water and fuel supplies as well as getting washing done. While we can do some washing on the boat, towels and sheets are much better washed and dried at a laundry. We did a long walk along the shore which is lined with restaurants and rustic holiday accommodation. It is hard to think they could ever fill all the tables and we suspect many are not making much money.
We sailed into the harbour of Knidos. Knidos is the site of an ancient city dating back to 4th century BC. There is not a lot left except for the harbour, amphitheatre and what has been excavated of the main street. It would have been quite grand in its day with marble columns lining the paved main roads. This was the original site of the statue Aphrodite, reportedly the first Greek nude statue of a female. There is a good sheltered bay and jetty associated with the restaurant. As usual, there was good assistance on arrival and good food - dips, calamari and red mullet for us. We spent an hour or so wandering around the ruins in the late afternoon, it was good to have our swimming pool right next to us afterwards! (although the water here was quite chilly – 22 degrees according to the meat thermometer)
Knidos to Alakisla Buku
The weather forecast was for a moderate NW breeze so we headed off to the NE expecting good sailing conditions. Almost worked, we motored in calm conditions for about an hour. Then the breeze came up right in font of us before slowly swinging around to the NW by mid-morning. At one stage we were travelling along at 8 ½ knots before erring on the cautious side and reefing the sails in somewhat. We are now into the typical summer weather for here, there is a hot, fresh and sometimes gusty wind from the NW called the Meltemi blowing most days.
Sailing to Cokertme
04 July 2019
We are having a bit of an experiment with video. Glenn took this video at Dirsek bay, just as the sun vanished behind the hills. It is a very picturesque bay with lots of yachts and gulets - Glenn counted 45 boats.
Bozburun to Orhaniye
03 July 2019
We went into Bozburun harbour for a day to catch up on some grocery shopping and laundry. There is a restaurant there where we were greeted like long lost friends by Memet, Ozman and Lynne. We have been in here a few times now. We get to sit on the yacht and see our washing drying above the adjacent restaurant, towels, sheets and undies for all to see. Did we mention the food is always good here as well?
We spent a second night back at nearby Sogut as the forecast was for a windy night and this is a sheltered place to be.
30 June – 2 July
We are not travelling long distanced at the moment and have been exploring along the coastline in and out of lots of lovely little bays and anchoring overnight in a couple of them. We are just cooking on board, sometimes firing up our charcoal BBQ (see Gallery). Days are spent in and out of the water and our morning swims are getting longer.
On Monday night we were anchored below what is left of a Byzantine fort built on a small island within a protected bay (see Gallery). Just across the water is a small town with lots of people enjoying the water and beach. The weather is still good, today 29 degrees after 24 overnight. Very calm overnight and early in the morning with a moderate breeze through the day, the water temperature is around 27 – accurately measured with the meat thermometer.
Bozuk Buku to Bozburun
27 June 2019
Bozuk Buku is one of our favourite places. It is a large bay, with crystal clear blue water and a couple of very rustic restaurants that tout for the business of passing yachts. It is halfway between Marmaris and Bozburun, so many yachts stop here. As soon as a yacht enters the bay, the restaurants go through a ritual of waving flags, trying to encourage the yacht to moor at their jetty and therefore eat at their restaurant.
There is no road access to the bay so all provisions for the three restaurants comes by boat or is locally grown. We had the most wonderful meal of a meze selection (see photo above) most of which was sourced from their vegetable garden. The meze consisted of pickled beetroot, chilli dip, okra, spiced couscous, potato salad, zucchini braised with tomato and slices of chicken pancake all served with fresh bread. The meze was followed by an excellent fresh sea bass.
We decided to go into a place we have not been before call Sogut. Our pilot guide book suggested there is a small jetty and restaurant but not much else there. The book is somewhat out of date as there are several restaurants with jetties, a mini market and small village in a very pretty setting. We parked at the larger of the restaurants and later that day were joined by a large flotilla of yachts. There was a quite a mix of nationalities there including a large contingent of Russians. The Russians were a noisy lot, possibly due to the volume of vodka consumed. They went through a ritual of filling glasses, all members of the crew stood, someone would propose a toast and then they would skull the vodka. This was repeated a number of times.
The restaurant was very busy that night and served excellent food. As usual, the restaurant staff helped us tie up on arrival, we were able to stay the night with water and power available for the cost of the evening meal. Had to feel a bit sorry for one of the smaller restaurants, despite lots of flag waving at approaching yachts there was not a single boat there for the night to support them.
26 – 27 June
The bay that surrounds Bozburun is very picturesque. We are spending a couple of days here anchored with a line ashore. There are many other boats doing the same thing, from very large and expensive motor cruisers to gulets and locals in tiny daytrip boats. There are also a range of boats trying to tout for business. These range from boats selling ice-creams, fishermen selling their catch, others selling clothing and towels and the old man who sells nuts, honey and vegetables. He arrived at the back of our boat this morning at about 7am, with fresh village bread (what we would call Turkish bread) which was still warm from the oven. A delicious addition to breakfast.
Wild herb season
While the landscape here often looks very barren, the land has a scattering of wild herbs including oregano and sage. At Bozuk Buku, a woman sat cutting sage leaves from the stems. By the end of the day she had a large pile, which was left out in the sun to dry. When we went for dinner, we were told the herbs were collected from the local area and would take a couple of days to dry. That evening when the breeze came up there was the wonderful aroma of fresh sage wafted through SCII.
Today at Bozburun bay a woman moored her small boat near us and went ashore. She returned an hour later carrying a large sack of freshly cut herbs. We were not sure what variety she collected but no doubt they will be dried and perhaps sold. In the markets you often see bags of local herbs for sale.
Note: for those interested in the technical aspects of navigation, Glenn has uploaded an image of the chart plotter with a description in the gallery.
Cold Water Bay
22 June 2019
Cold Water Bay
Cold Water Bay (and yes the water is cold, as fresh water springs run into the bay creating a cold layer on top) is a small enclosed bay with very steep sides.
We entered the bay at 5pm, as before this time it is full of tour boats. As we tied up there was still one large tour boat in the bay. A couple of lads from this boat had climbed up on the adjacent cliff. There was much loud music, clapping, cajoling and playing to the crowd. Eventually after the sound of chickens and Queen's 'We are the champions'; they did dive off from about 15 metres up to much applause. Both lads climbed up onto the front of the gulet, holding their national flag while a very patriotic sounding song (probably the Turkish anthem) was played. They left the bay with the anthem blaring; it was much quieter when this lot left!
A narrow path leads up the hillside to a very pretty and quaint restaurant, with multicoloured bougainvillea and numerous other herbs and flowers planted in sunflower oil tins. We had been to Cold Water Bay in 2018 and the owner of the restaurant told us about his flowering plants he had collected from around the world, Thailand, the Seychelles etc. This year we came bearing a packet of mixed native Australian flower seeds to add to his collection. So hopefully next year he will have paper daisies growing in his sunflower oil tins.
We ate a meal of cheese borek, zucchini fritters, eggplant with yoghurt and chilli, salad, meat balls and wild boar curry. It is interesting that in a land of no pork, that wild boar is sometimes on the menu.
We thought we would write something about navigation in response to Russell's comments. Navigation in this part of the world is very easy. Most of the time we are following the coastline or travelling from one island to another that is within sight. While we do have conventional paper charts (maps) on board, they have rarely seen the light of day. We have an electronic chart plotter which uses GPS. The chart plotter provides us with an electronic map of the area and shows our position. It includes information such as water depth, underwater obstacles and anchorages. We can lookup where we want to go and the chart plotter shows the heading needed to get there and provides an estimation of the travel time given our current speed. We also have an autopilot so some of our travel is just set, sit back and relax. We do have back-up charts on our iPad, which works in a similar way to the chart plotter, just in case technology fails us.
Supporting the chart plotter, we have a number of pilot guides (books) which give us maps and information about specific places. This includes detailed information about where to anchor for specific weather conditions, or are jetties appropriate for use by yachts as well as facilities in each local town or bay. This helps to make the whole process much easier when deciding where to safely moor SCII.
Another addition we have this year is AIS (Automatic Identification System) which is an automatic tracking system that uses transponders on our boat to pass on our position to other boats and in turn we can see other boats positions around us on our chartplotter. This is a useful tool to show where other boats are heading and how fast they are travelling. It has been on the yacht all along but we had needed a new unique number for it. To get that we needed an Aus radio license, to get that someone had to do a training course and exam so that all took a while to get around to .....
Today we headed across Fethiye bay to an anchorage just south of our home base of Gocek. Another day of very little wind so a little sail power but mostly motored across the very calm waters. We did see our first pod of dolphins for the year on the way.
Our round trip to Kekova and back was 167 nautical miles. Tomorrow we start heading west along the Turkish coast.