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03 March 2013 | Panamarina, Panama

Turkey Finike to Bodrum

08 September 2010 | Bozburun
Cruising the Turkey coast, Part 1.
Photo, Tuatara at Knidos


It is now a month since we returned to Tuatara at Finike, tired and hot after our long bus trip from Istanbul. We unpacked all our bits and pieces from New Zealand, delivered honey, marmite and gas fittings to our fellow NZ cruisers, stowed away our winter clothes, loaded up with groceries and said goodbye to Finike for a couple of months cruising the Turkey coast, Finike to Bodrum and return.

We had spent time in the lovely Kekova Roads area, 20 miles west of Finike, in June, so we just spent one night there. We motored on to the Greek Island of Kastellorizon just a couple of miles off the Turkey coast at Kas. Replacing our red Turkish flag for the blue and white stripes of Greece before anchoring in the bay around the corner from the main harbor. No need to push our luck too far, this was not an official visit. Alastair and Vivienne from Largo Star were anchored close by so we enjoyed a couple of days of catching up with NZ news and cruiser gossip before we both went our separate ways again. We had to be in Bodrum, about 200 miles away, by the end of August to meet NZ visitors and they were staying in the Kekova area. Kastellorizon is a pretty little town, which really only operates in the summer, when it is buzzing with holiday makers, gulets and yachts line the harbor wall, narrow lanes trimmed with purple and red bougainvillea are busy thoroughfares, it's the time to make some money. The small supermarket was brimming with sailors buying extra provisions and drinking water. There is not a lot of spare water in these rocky islands during summer. We only needed one purchase at the supermarket and that was bacon, unavailable in Turkey.

When out cruising in June we saw few yachts and only a handful of charter yachts. Now in August the charter season was in full swing. 40 to 50 ft yachts swarming with brown bodies, 10 or 12 people on a 45 ft yacht was common. We were not sure where they all slept in the 35 to 40 deg temps, the answer was of course in the cockpit and any flat space on deck. Often it looked like 3 families shared the yachts, multitudes of tanned kids spent the days jumping in and out of the water and floating around like a bunch of slippery sea otters. Anchoring antics of these part time sailors often provides the entertainment for our sundowners. At Kastellorizon I watched, helpless, as a yacht turned into our bay far too close to a headland and with a sickening crunch and a few screams it came to a stop on a reef, marked on the chart. We were about 250 metres away, not one of the 11 people on deck seemed to be looking at the water colour or perhaps even at the chart plotter so jumping up and down and waving frantically would not have grabbed their attention either. Luckily a big rubber ducky came out from shore and maneuvered them off their rocky perch. We are not sure whether there was damage or not but they anchored and went off to town for the night so I guess all was well. At the same time this was happening the wind was a bit gusty and another charter yacht dragged across the bay towards us, pausing just short of our bow, next stop a rocky little island. No one on board so Alan and another cruiser got on board to let out some more anchor chain. They had a few problems, the remote control wouldn't work, so they found the switch board to look for the windless switch ...two problems neither had their glasses and neither could read French!! Eventually they gave up and went over to another boat the same to ask for instructions. That skipper knew what to do, start the engine first then the anchor winch remote goes, so more rope out and the yacht secure the men returned to their respective boats and drinks. We heard the crew return late at night, not sure that they realized their boat had shifted in their absence. In the morning when Alan said to them that he had been on board because they had dragged across the bay, there was no mention of thanks or yes we did notice we had shifted.

We left the clear warm water of Kastellorizon, changed flags again, and motored to the clear warm water of Kalkan, back in Turkey, legal again. Going north to Bodrum we knew the prevailing wind would be NW, so were prepared for a lot of motoring or with luck motor sailing. We had 2 weeks to get to Bodrum so we decided to leave visiting Fethiye and Marmaris until we came back. We decided to sail/motor from Kalkan on the SW coast of Turkey across to the northern tip of the Greek island of Rhodes (Rodos),67 miles a big day but hopefully we may get some sailing. Late morning the wind came up and we could sail, the motor was switched off..first time for many weeks. Fantastic, silence and fuel saving! Half an hour later it was all over, we motor sailed the rest of the way. The wind picked up as we approached Rodos and gave us a lift for the last few miles.

Blue and white stripes up again, we tucked in close amongst the boats by the sea wall out of the way of the ferries and hydrofoils going into the inner harbor of Rodos and had a quiet night. The next morning an officious looking little boat, light flashing, buzzed up and down the outer line of anchored yachts. We thought oh oh here goes they want to see our papers, we only had Turkish ones to show, we were in for trouble! But much to our relief they wanted us "to move more in". A cruise liner was approaching and more maneuvering room was needed, we were ready to leave so we up anchored and did the 15 miles across to Bozuk Buku in Turkey.

At Bozuk Buku we decided it was time we tried our hand at med mooring again, anchoring then backing into shore and tying to a rock ashore. We had done it once before but then Alan had only had a couple of metres to swim ashore. This time we needed the dinghy. Just as charter yacht anchoring entertains us our med mooring procedure probably gave a few a laugh too. We eventually had the ropes secure and spent the remainder of the day swimming in the bath temperature water and bargaining with the young girls selling rugs, clothes and cotton towels from their small boats. We settled on a cover for our cockpit cushions. Bozuk Buku had about 3 or 4 restaurants in the bay and as each new boat entered the bay a boat boy from each establishment stood in their dingy waving an orange buoy, trying to attract a new customer. In many bays in Turkey each beach restaurant has a jetty which yachts can tie to for free as long as you eat at the restaurant. Usually there is free power, water and wifi available. The water is not always potable but good for laundry. So each afternoon there is a frenzy of activity from the boat boys, waving their orange buoys, zipping out to meet the boats to entice them in before the opposition gets to them. The couple of times we have done this we have found the meals to be lovely and very reasonable, so quite a good deal.

Next stop Bozburun, a delightful little town, another summer town virtually closed in winter. The Bozburun harbor is well protected from the NW winds and has lots of nice anchorages. The little bay we chose for our three night stay was a short dinghy ride from town with excellent mud for good holding. A lot of anchorages have weedy bottoms which are hard to get the anchor to grip in. The air temp was in the high 30s and the water didn't feel a lot different. Here we met Sheena and Albert from the English yacht Miyagi Moon. As we were anchoring we heard whistling and thought someone was trying to get our attention, perhaps we were in the wrong place. No it was Charlie, Miyagi Moons parrot. We enjoyed our stay at Bozburun and marked it as a place to revisit on our way south again and maybe by then I will have talked Alan into that Turkish rug I saw in town.
As we left Bozburun we decided to turn on the water maker as we had a few miles to motor. We had pickled it before leaving for NZ but now it was not working, pumping through sea water no fresh. This was not good as we were due to have 3 visitors for a week and 5 people on board go through a bit of water. So we decided to get to Bodrum a few days earlier than planned and see if we could get it going. Bodrum has a large marina and apart from Marmaris is the only place with supposedly good marine facilities and service people in this area of Turkey. One night at Datca and then a long day around Cape Krio and on to Bodrum. Cape Krio, at the end of the Datca peninsula has a reputation for being very difficult to round going north if the meltimi is blowing. We wanted to stop at Knidos right on the Cape. The ruins of Knidos are scattered on the slopes of the ancient harbor. It was a large city in ancient times, a prominent trading town because of its position. Knidos is most famous for the statue of Aphrodite, the first statue of a nude woman created 2350 years ago by the Greek sculptor, Praxiteles. "Men only" tours apparently went to Knidos to view the statue. Although the original statue may have been taken to Konstantinople where it was probably destroyed by fire. The image of the statue survived in about 50 copies and was found on coins from Knidos. There is now a replica of Aphrodite in the Vatican in Rome.

The weather gods were looking after us as the wind stayed nice and calm long enough for us to have a stop at Knidos and wander the ruins. 3 hours later as we left the small anchorage the wind was starting to build and as we approached the tip of Kos the wind piped up to 25 knots. No stopping at this Greek Island, Bodrum was in sight.
Vessel Name: Tuatara
Vessel Make/Model: Alan Wright 51
Hailing Port: Opua NZ
Crew: Alan and Jean Ward

Sailing in the Pacific

Who: Alan and Jean Ward
Port: Opua NZ