Endless summer on SCII

Our 2022 season ends

29 September 2022 | Gocek
Nerida Matthews
Hello everyone

We are currently in Gocek and have spent the last week preparing SCII for lift out and storage over the winter.

This is our last post for this year, as our 2022 season has come to an end. We leave Gocek tomorrow and will be back in Melbourne on 1 October. We plan to return to Gocek and SCII in April 2023 and will continue our blog posts then.

Thank you to everyone who has provided comments on our blog. We are still developing our video filming and editing skills. Your comments provide encouragement for us to continue filming and to try new techniques to achieve a better product.

Our last video gives an overview of the last week as well as the highlights of our travels this year.

Signing off for 2022.

Nerida and Glenn

Kekova to Kalkan and Kastellorizon

19 September 2022
Nerida Matthews
We have had a lovely week at Kekova, anchored out in some beautiful bays. Days were spent swimming, sunning, reading and lots of BBQs on board. We spent one night in the harbour of Ucagiz, which enabled us to reprovision and enjoy the hospitality at Hassan’s restaurant. We dined on meze of carrot and walnuts with yoghurt and samphire with lemon and olive oil dressing. The main course was delicious grilled prawns with garlic butter. When we went to leave we were presented with a large bag of fresh fruit- peaches, pears and plums. Wonderful Turkish hospitality! Sadly the Likya restaurant at Kale Coy did not show the same hospitality (see the video).

The weather here is very stable at 30 degrees during the day and overnight lows of 23 degrees. The mornings are calm, afternoons have a light breeze which dies down at about 6pm.

We have now headed back to the Gocek area as we only have a week left before we head into the marina at Gocek to prepare SCII to be lifted out of the water, so this will be our second last blog post for the year.

This week’s video shows some of our experiences in Kekova, Kalkan and out visit to the Greek island of Kastellorizon. We hope you enjoy it.

Nerida and Glenn

Fethiye to Kekova

09 September 2022 | Kekova
Nerida Matthews | Fine, sunny 30 degrees
Hello everyone

This week's blog post is all contained in the video below. We hope you enjoy it.

Nerida and Glenn

Bozburun to Serce Limani

23 August 2022
Nerida Matthews | Sunny 31 degrees, water temperature 28 degrees, some clouds (first time in months)
This week we are going to share some stories about interesting characters and kind hearted people we have encountered this week.

Unexpected bread delivery to SCII
We were anchored with a line ashore in the bay outside Bozburun. This is a very busy bay with lots of large gulets and motor boats, most of which are Turkish. On the shore was a group of tents where a family was camping. From the boat in the morning, we had watched the women making flat bread, mixing, kneading and rolling the bread before cooking in a frying pan. Later in the day as we were relaxing and reading on the back of SCII we hear a voice saying hello. As we look over the back of the boat there is a woman who has swam out the 30-40m from the shore clutching a plastic bag with two pieces of flat bread as a gift. She spoke very little English but wanted to share her homemade bread with us, which was a lovely gesture. Nerida made a carrot, garlic, walnut and yoghurt dip to have with the bread, which was delicious.

Osman’s Place
Whenever we visit Bozburun, we always go to the restaurant Osman’s Place run by Osman and his Scottish wife Lynne. Osman and Lynne have a special affinity with the sailing folk that visit Bozburun, so much so that yachting associations have given them awards for supporting the sailing community. It is three years since we have been to Bozburun but we were warmly greeted by Lynne with a huge hug and catching up on the previous years. Lynne kindly offered to do our laundry for us. Osman’s Place always provides a good meal and friendship.

The thirsty goat herder
While at anchor one day we had a visit from a local goat herder. He swam out to SCII from the shore and invited himself on to the back of the yacht. He had just a little English but was asking about where we came from, are there goats there and our families. He also asked if we had any Coca-Cola for him which is what we suspect he really came for. We said we did not have coke but gave him an almond drink we purchased in Datca but were unsure whether we really liked it. We were to watch him chasing the goats around the next day although there didn’t seem to be much purpose in it. The next day he swam out to SCII again asking for a bira (beer), so he obviously was also not impressed by the almond drink! This time we saw him coming and pulled the ladder up so he couldn’t get aboard but he was very persistent in asking for beer.

Ali Barbers Restaurant
The bay called Bozuc Buku has several restaurants around it and is always one of our stopping off points. We went to the jetty at “Ali Barbers” restaurant, one that we had stopped at before. We were the first to arrive but by 4:00pm their jetty was full showing how popular these places are. The water in this area is crystal clear and refreshingly cool so it’s a great spot for a swim on a warm afternoon.

There is no road access to Ali Barbers, so all provisions come by boat. One or two families live here over the summer months catering for passing boat trade. This includes assisting yachts with mooring on their rickety jetty, preparing and serving a wonderful meal (we had fish and fried vegetables with a garlicy yoghurt sauce) and cooking Turkish village bread for both the restaurant and for yachties to purchase. The bread resembles what we would call Turkish bread and is cooked on the hot stones of a wood-fired oven. The loaves are typically about 40cm round, 5 cm high and would provide us with bread for at least 4 meals – for the princely sum of about $A3.00.

Serce Limani
Before leaving Ali Barbers we did the obligatory walk to the top to the old walled citadel at the top of the nearby hill. As can be seen in this week’s video, there is a great view of the area from there.

We are currently anchored in a very sheltered bay just up the coast a little further. Again, the water is crystal clear, lots of small fish and although there are constantly boats coming and going it is not as crowded as some of the places we have been. There are also quite a few small boats coming past selling figs, almonds, towels, cotton blankets and clothing. So far, no fresh bread…..

Knidos, Ova Buku and Datca

13 August 2022
Nerida Matthews | Sunny 33 degrees, water temperature 28 degrees
The ancient city of Knidos is located at the end of the Datca peninsula. The town had two well protected harbours, one each side of the peninsula. Today only the southern harbour is suitable for yachts, with the shallow northern harbour used by local fishermen. The place is rather magical, with crystal clear water and the ancient ruins scattered around the ancient harbour. It is rather amazing sitting on the back of SCII viewing an ancient Greek theatre. The harbour is very busy, with a constant procession of yachts and gulets bring people to explore the ruins.

While we anchored in the harbour there is a jetty, although somewhat rustic, that is operated by the restaurant at the head of the bay. We took the dingy ashore and had dinner at the restaurant. The following morning, before it got too busy or too hot, we went ashore to walk around the ruins. There are clear indications of the layout of the city, with the remains of streets, buildings, temples and theatres evident. It would be interesting to be able to travel back in time to see what life in this busy city was like.

From Knidos we motored to Ova Buku, as there was no wind. This was our first visit to Ova Buku, which was a delightful holiday village. As seems to be happening quite often, we were the only non-Turkish boat in the bay. We tied up to the recently restored town jetty, located beside a spectacular rock cliff.

Ova Buku has a sandy beach (black sand), which is unusual for this part of the world, as beaches are normally pebbles. The full length of the beach was lined with deck chairs and umbrellas, which are serviced by the numerous restaurants. The beach has a roped-off swimming area to prevent boats from entering but in Turkish style many swimmers venture into the deeper water outside the swimming area as well as jumping into the water from the jetty. This means that fishing boats and tour boats toot their horns at swimmers when they come into the harbour. The first night the coast guard arrived at about 6.30pm with red and blue lights flashing and proceeded to approach swimmers outside the swimming area, although by this time many of the swimmers has gone for the day. The next morning the harbour master (who is also the car park attendant) placed signs around the jetty. We used Google Translate to decipher and they read ‘harbour waters are very dangerous, swimming is prohibited’. There were some animated discussions between the harbour master and some of the swimmers! The signs had little effect as people still swam outside the swimming area and jumped off the jetty into the water. The next day the coast guard visited again but showed no interest in people jumping off the jetty or swimming outside the swimming area but rather asked yachts that were anchored outside the swim area to move. It was all very confusing and seemed to give an inconsistent message.

Our next stop was the large town of Datca, it was time for re-stocking with food, water and diesel as well as getting some laundry done. Nerida was also long overdue for a haircut. There is a large and busy harbour which we were able to get a place in just opposite a couple of bars and restaurants. One of these places had live music on at night which would have been good to listen to, unfortunately the bar next door insisted on playing very loud doof-doof “music” that went on until late in the night. It became very annoying, although once we retreated into the front cabin for the night, the noise seems to vanish somewhat.

We enjoyed exploring the shops in the town and had a couple of enjoyable meals. One was at a small family run place on the waterfront. The owners spoke very little English, which is unusual in this part of the world. They asked one of the crew from a nearby gulet to take our order. We had carrot, walnut and yoghurt dip, dolmade, wilted greens, cheese borek all selected from the meze display as well as calamari all washed down with a bottle of white wine. The placemats at the restaurant contained a word puzzle, requiring diners to identify the words for Turkish meze. The owners laughed at our poor attempts to find the correct Turkish words, as we generally just pointed to what we wanted from the meze display. They assisted by showing images on their phone of the meze that matched to word on the placemat. We have included an image in the gallery, for you to have a try. How many mezes can you find? Let us know how you go; answers will be published next week!

There was a rooster sitting on a shelf at the back of the restaurant, later in the evening the owner bought it over to our table and started feeding it by holding food (tomato) in his lips which the rooster would gently pick at the seeds. (See gallery…)

We are currently anchored near the top end of the Datca peninsula in a protected bay surrounded by volcanic rock hills and pine trees with high mountains off in the distance. The forecast is for a couple of windy days so we plan to stay in this area for a while.

This weeks video just has a few clips from places we have been recently.

Gorkova Korfezi (Gorkova Gulf)

04 August 2022
Nerida Matthews | Sunny 32 degrees, light winds
Thank you to everyone for your comments on our blog. We love reading them and hearing some news from home.

We have spent the last two weeks in the gulf of Gorkova. We have mainly been anchored out in lovely bays, spending the days swimming, and just chilling out reading. We have been having lots of BBQs on board and have generally avoided towns, except going into Sogut for reprovisioning.

Just south of Sogut is a large bay of Degirmen Buku. At the head of the bay is the Turkish President's holiday home. When we visited in 2019 all boats were asked to leave the large bay as the President was going to be staying. This year the president stayed away and we had a lovely couple of days in the part of the bay referred to as English harbour. The inlet gets its name as the English Special Boat Squadron used this inlet as a base during the Second World War. The presidential holiday home meant there was police boats patrolling the area. Occasionally you would hear sirens and see flashing lights with a police boat in pursuits of a jet ski or boat that got too close the exclusion area surrounding the house. It also meant that Glenn could not fly his drone due to area being geo-blocked.

There were about 30 boats in and around the inlet, ranging from massive motor boats, gulets, small motor boats as well as sailing yachts. The proximity to Sogut meant that during the day small boats travelled the bay selling ice-creams. A Magnum ice-cream delivered to your boar cost 50 Turkish Lira or about $A5.

We have found that we are generally the only non-Turkish boat in the area, which on the few occasions we have eaten ashore there has been considerable surprise that we are from Australia and we have been treated like royalty.

Today we are anchored at Mersincik at the western end of the gulf. The water is crystal clear and there is a large turtle swimming around the boat. Sadly it has not got close enough yet that we could get video footage for inclusion in the blog.

Tomorrow we leave the Gokova Korfezi and sail to the ancient ruins of Knidos.

This week the weather has been great ranging from 25-32 degrees, with light winds.

Vessel Name: Southern Comfort II
Vessel Make/Model: Bavaria 47, 2009
Hailing Port: Melbourne, Australia
Crew: Glenn and Nerida Matthews
About: Having almost completed the charter yacht catalogue over the last 25 years, we are fulfilling our long term dream of living the endless summer. In April 2017 we purchased our yacht and plan to spend several months every year in the Med.
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