Well that was the most annoying nights sleep ever!! Dogs outside on the harbour, barking continuously all night. Kevin got up twice to usher them elsewhere with little effect. Then the mosque calling, then .......... the fishing boat moored next to ours, containing around 5 men, started up with lots of excited chatter. Ahhhh
Now that we were awake, breakfast might as well happen too.
Our day was spent in Iasos investigating the ruins, castle and immersed ship in the next bay.
The archeological site of Iasos was an ancient Carian city which has been excavated on a number of occasions, most recently by an Italian team. They discovered that Iasos was buried under volcanic ash from Mt Thera in Santorini almost 3600 years ago. Since this discovery, the excavation has unfolded an amazing sewage system, protected nicely by the ash.
Within the site, we found an amazing selection of fauna and flora. From snakes, tortoise and lizards to woodpeckers tapping happily beside us. None seemed too bothered by the intrusion of their patch. It was a fabulous day, filled with superb sights.
The archeological sight is overlooked by the Castle wall perched high above our heads, this was the next challenge. Navigating our way through the wild country paths, not to mention the rather carefree cows, sheep and goats, we stumbled across the most tranquil views of the adjacent bay. The sight of the immersed ship, or rather, its two well preserved masts complete with rigging, was actually quite eerie.
We met up with a couple from Canada at the top of the hill, while trying to catch our breath from the climb, (and trying to look composed!) They were also pretty overwhelmed with the fabulous scenery, wildlife and views. They had travelled from the north of Turkey, around Istanbul. Their overall plan was to reach some of the places we had already enjoyed in the South. Feeling rather crispy in the 28 degree March afternoon, we decided to part company and rehydrate in the cafe below.
the track back to the harbour was somewhat vague, and we took a few wrong turnings, however, our rule of thumb....... if in doubt, head downhill, you will eventually hit water!!
Passed a few goats, sheep and cows lazing in the afternoon sun, oh yes and the odd snake :(
Back on board, and being somewhat sleep deprived (reminded me of my nursing night shifts !!), we decided not to stay in Iasos overnight, but move on to a place called Bogazici. It is only a few miles across the bay, and the inlet looks very pretty and hopefully a little quieter overnight.
Very quickly, we had packed up, stowed away and were ready for the trip. within a few minutes we were heading past the gatehouse which highlights the entrance to Iasos beautifully. Once safely passed the rocky outcrop, we managed to unfurl the genoa and gently glide southwards to Bogazici. This passage is usually very busy in the mornings with tankers and fishing vessels, being the afternoon, we avoided the busy shipping lane issues.
8 n.m to go, wind a steady 7 knots and no problems getting into the bay. Anchored in the middle of the inlet, close enough to take the tender across to shore, but not too close to the little fishing fleet tied against the harbour wall.
As soon as we were happy that the anchor was settled, we caught up with some much needed sleep.
An hour or so later, we ate tea, then took the tender for a trip to shore.
Bogazici is a typical Turkish fishing village, unspoiled by tourists (except us!) everyone goes around their daily business, smiling and greeting us as we enter their village square. Young children play nearby with their mums/ grandmas watching. Each evening the fishermen carry out the same routine...... frying sardines in a huge pan for the whole crew, all sitting around the single cooking burner on board, eating the fish straight from the pan with fresh bread and a beer. All this, whilst chatting and laughing and no doubt relaying stories of their biggest and best catches. The task of swilling the decks and stowing nets in preparation for the next trip out, is to follow.. They seem to have such a simple, stress free existance, of course they may tell a very different story.
We settled in a little, but rather posh fish restaurant for our evening drink. The steady stream of locals finding a table beside us was amazing to see. For such a small village, a huge percentage of them were in this eatery. From well dressed business types to the local fisherman, sitting happily together, each as chatty and cheerful as the next. A young couple appeared on what looked like a 'date', to our amazement they sat down on the paving stones dressed in their finery, and started fishing!! Anything goes in this part of Turkey, there are no barriers, and no expectations, it is so refreshing to see.
Our day began in the usual way, waking to a beautiful sunrise, and the sound of the Mosque. Our journey will take around 3.5 hours at 5 knots per hour........depending on the wind. So, here we are sitting in the cockpit until wind arrives! French toast for breakfast, yum. We then washed, tidied and organised ready for the next leg.
We left at 10.30 am, heading into the 7 knots of wind. Within a few minutes the sails were gently eased into the perfect shape by the ever increasing wind conditions. Travelling between 5 and 6 knots on a close reach, we were carried past the various vessels dotted around the Gulluk bay, from tankers through to small fishing boats. Trying to judge which route they were all taking, as very few boats conform to the 'rules of the sea' here in Turkey, it is always a little daunting, especially to us newbies! We sailed passed the new Marina just outside Iasos, it looked pretty full with a few yachts coming and going, taking full advantage the morning breeze (while dodging the other traffic!)
On entering the Iasos inlet, we passed the 'Gatehouse', an amazing piece of Greek history dating back to the Byzantine era. The castle and part of the village was actually an Island at that time.
We took a steady pace into the inlet, having furled the main just prior the entrance, as a few large rocky outcrops protect the area very well.
Once in the inlet, we planned to reverse into a space on the harbour wall. Yes, we know this should be easy .......... but remember, this was our second time using this manoeuver !! So, as you can imagine, it was not plain sailing. We threw out the anchor at what we thought was the correct distance from the harbour, then put her into reverse .......... we ran out of anchor chain :(, not only that but, the two boats flanking 'our' space had their anchor lines at a diagonal into the centre of the space. This was not obvious when we started the manoeuver! So, back out into the more open water to retrieve the anchor and begin again..........but, the anchor was stuck, requiring a lot of fiddling to pull in. Oh yes, and to add to the problems, the domestic batteries were rather low as we used the engine very little that day. Therefore, the windlass managed to drain the batteries completely, before we had actually finished using it!
The good news, we composed ourselves, repositioned Kejstral towards an alternative spot, chucked in the anchor and reversed, perfectly :) :) Yay, we can do this !
We really need a beer :)
Once back on board, Kevin set up the generator (to recharge the dying batteries), must do something about this energy problem.
Tea consisted of chicken curry followed by wine and peanuts, and a chilled out few hours reading until we climbed into bed.
Only 5.3 n.ms planned for today, therefore, a leisurely breakfast of pancakes and chocolate spread was enjoyed in the cockpit. Yet another beautiful day has begun.
A few indoor cleaning jobs required my attention and Kevin decided to wash over the hull.
After lunch we headed to Turkbuku, only 4.5 n.m and less than an hour of travelling. There was of course no wind at all! So on the engine yet again.
The coastline between the two towns is littered with villas and hotels, gradually increasing in size and value, the nearer we get to Turkbuku.
As we entered the bay of Turkbuku, it was evident that, yet again, the season was only just begining. So many hotels being painted and pampered, restaurants being titivated and cramed with tables, chairs and various kitchen appliances, all awaiting the next eager batch of holiday makers.
A very busy time for everyone, the only quiet, untouched place here, was in the water with Kejstral :)
We enjoyed a few hours fishing and watching a group of men trying to construct a pontoon. It was the most incredible scene, not a tape measure or plumb line in sight. (much to Kevins disgust) By the time we left Turkbuku, they had finished their higglety, pigglety, somewhat drunken construction. So, look out for the most unusual pontoon if ever in the area!!
After an evening meal of spaghetti bolognaise, we boarded our tender to a jetty, (not the drunken, rickety one) We took an evening stroll around the very quiet bay, stopping to watch the local fishermen crooning over their catch with, no doubt, a few tales of lost and enormous fish that got away.
Settling down in a very pretty bar, we checked the next days weather over a beer and red wine. With our journey to Iasos or Kiyikislacik organised we headed back on board for another calm nights sleep.
Woken by the Mosque call to prayer, sounds very mystical, somewhat fitting for a Sunday morning.
Gently unfolded ourselves from a luxurious sleep :) Calm waters, no additional sounds other than gentle lapping on the hull.
Our day ahead was to be a gentle, no stress, journey round the headland to Gundogan.
Following breakfast, we stowed the usual bits readied the tender and pulled up the stern anchor, then released the main.
Within minutes we were gently gliding to the bay entrance. No wind to speak of, a gentle 5 knots straight on the bow, No sails today! Seagulls chilling on the water as we round the headland and head east towards our destination.
A few little local fishermen hauling in their nets, waved hello as we drifted past their busy little boats.
Round a little further and we catch a glimpse of Gundogan and its many stunning villas.
Within an hour and a half of leaving Yalikavak, we were heading to a mooring buoy. Having never attempted this, we were a little nervous! As there was no-one around to chuckle at any mistakes, we felt confident to have a go. I took the helm and gently eased Kejstral around so the buoy was on the starboard side, Kevin poised ready with the hook in hand, gracefully grabbed the buoy, as if he had carried out the manouever a thousand times........... where is the audience when you need one!! 7.3 n.m covered today, all on the engine unfortunately. Feeling very pleased with ourselves, kettle on, we made our plan for the afternoon. Have lunch on board, take the tender to a pontoon, (plenty to choose from at this time of the year)
Tender deployed, pontoon reached, this feels so good. We have the most beautiful day, after the high winds of yesterday. We took a stroll around the bay, so many restaurants awaiting their makeover for the summer season. Managed to find a spot where they served cold beer and rewarded us with a fabulous view of Kejstral in the bay :) Back to the tender, afternoon sleep required as we both slept poorly over the last week or two so could do with a catch up.
Evening meal was a chicken curry, followed by a glass or two of homemade red berry wine, perfect to enjoy such a tranquil evening. We watched the sun go down whilst planning our day tomorrow to Turkbuku.
What an awful night that was, battered around non stop. The boat was bouncing about on the constant swell and was really annoying. Neither of us slept much. We had gone to bed early ish 09.30 as really tired, but by 11.pm we were both up. Both snuggled under blankets watching the town spin passed us over and over!!
By 03.30 I climbed into bed and Kevin, still wrapped in his comforter, dozed on. At 06.00 we woke and hurriedly washed, dressed and ate, just to move our bobbing kejstral.
The anchor took a bit of manoeuvring, by 07.30 we were heading out towards the bay entrance, not realising that within 20 mins, we would be returning!!
The swell was enormous, our inexperience told us no, get back to a safer place. So, about turn and headed into the middle of the three bays on the north side of Yalikavak. So much calmer :) we anchored, also put out a second anchor, then climbed into bed for an hour.
By the time we woke at 10.00, we felt a little better. Decided to have an early lunch, then head out to shore on the rib. We tied up on a pontoon from the desolate beach club Xuma. Once ashore we realised we were not alone, various workmen were dotted around, putting the beach club back together. Every season seems to involve a major clean up, rebuild scenario.
Perhaps if these places were built properly the first time around ....
As were headed out of the beach club grounds, we realised that it was gated, padlocked shut, oops!
So over a wall and through the prickly bracken :( once we reached the road, on top of the hill, were forgot the prickles, the view was spectacular.
The whole of the bay was bathed in glorious sunshine, it was amazing.
An hour later we reached the seafront where town life was begining to bustle around. Picked up some ceramic gate numbers en route. A few English walking around, you can select them easily, shorts and flip flops in the worst wind ever!! Us in our rab jackets, huddled together like a pair of oldies!!
Found a coffee shop with Internet, just to let everyone know our issues with weather. On checking the weather, we decided we could leave in the morning to head towards Gundogan ( Sunday) as the wind was at its best and Monday looked even worse. Plan .........get some final provisions, have a crafty beer then head back for tea. Shopping aquired, however beer was not. The wind was so strong around the deserted bars, there was just no shelter at all. So beer abandoned, just bought some cake instead :)
Taxi back to beach club was our only choice, the water, milk and cakes were a little too heavy to walk for an hour. By 4.30 pm we were safely back aboard. Cuppa in hand, feeling better that we had a good plan.
Teatime, chicken nuggets, veg and mash with gravy of course. Then settled to read, play on hudl until we were too knackered to keep our eyes open 10.30 pm in bed.
,Well another noisy night, anchor chain pulling, wind whipping through ropes and Kevin getting annoyed, understandably. Finally climbed out of bed at 06.00, bleary-eyed and feeling exhausted.
Had breakfast early, got place tidied and then into rib to collect the additional line on the rocks. That went a bit more smoothly than the previous night's attempt to place it there.
Once all was stowed, sandwiches made and flask filled, we set off 07.50 hours.
Anchor lifting really smoothly, which was a great relief.
Once out of the bay, sails went out and we were flying ..........6-7 knots initially. Wind gusts 22 knots, had to manoeuvre around a small island which was a little worrying, so switched on the engine, incase!! Not needed, we coped well.
From that point at 07.55 hours we were purely on the sails, all the way into Yalikavak bay, what an amazing feeling, no engine, good sailing and sunshine to top it all. A few tankers passed, the Kos ferry whisked by us, just as I was changing flags .....gulp, I hung on pretty well!!
Strange to travel so far yet not catch sight of any sealife. Thought we might see the odd turtle or fish, but not a thing. Saw one of the Turkish Navy vessels tucked into a corner near Bodrum, a few tankers and ferries and two yacht's. We sailed past Kos on our port side, huge island, half expected to see some evidence of the refugee crises, as they leave from the Bodrum peninsula, fortunately not today. The conditions would have been pretty devastating if they had attempted a crossing. After Kos, the Island of Pserimos comes into view with Kalymnos milling around in the background. On our starboard side we pass Akyalar then Turgutreis gently unfolds after a harsh out crop of rocks depicting the peninsula edge. Still under sail 5.5 hours later, we arrived in Yalikavak bay, having travelled 28.4 n.m. An average speed of 5.2 knots max speed 6.8 knots mainly on a close haul/ close reach which we were really happy with.
On arrival in the bay, we had brought in the genoa, knowing we would have to drop speed. Our plan was to tie up on the harbour wall. So we swung into the wind, which by this time was shielded by the mountain range, and brought in the main sail, pulled the rib alongside and prepared to drop anchor and reverse. All was prepared beautifully, what we hadn't realised was that it was just too shallow for us! So having started the procedure, we had to very quickly raise what anchor we had let out, alter our course and rethink. During this time, Kevin shouts.. I think we have rope caught in the prop! Soon, we were further out in the bay at a nice safe distance from everything, so we just chucked out the anchor in 14 meters. It set well and we stopped and refuelled with a cup of tea, extra stress unnecessary thank you!
Now with confidence, we jumped into the rib and set off to touch down on dry land. Not as quickly as I would have liked however, I ended up paddling through the sea and pulling the rib to a slightly less rocky area. No steps to be seen, therefore I had the choice to paddle or climb up over the harbour wall .....so paddle it was.
We headed straight for a chandlers to buy some chain and padlocks for the rib and engine, as we had a set of oars pinched last year.
Rib secured for the total price of 177 TL , £45. That did include two spring devices for our mooring lines.
Time for a beer and internet, walked through a rather out of season, almost abandoned marina. In the summer, this place is awsome, the most fabulous super yacht's ever, lined up, each one bigger than its oversized neighbour. But this visit, not many super yacht's, a few pretty large boats having their gleamy bits, gleamed a little more. A few having woodwork renewed, drills drivers and hardhats dipping in and out of hatches and decks.
Managed to find a cafe which had both beer and internet, unfortunately it also had a very loud person with a never ending voice, which managed to overwhelm the beautiful setting and cold beer. Weather checked to confirm our plan, which meant a straight trip back to Akbuk, 4.5 hours if we manage 5 knots.
This is when we decided, do we really want to get home yet, seems sad to be concluding our trip.
Plan changed, Gundogan here we come :)
We headed off for food, a pizza which was lovely, two soft drinks and lentil soup, which never actually appeared. For 43 TL, £10, we couldn't complain!
A few provisions collected for the next few days. Thought we would finish the evening with a beer in the local council bar, overlooking out little boat, bobbing around somewhat lonely in the bay.
Back into the rib, then on board for a glass of wine. That's when the rain, lightening and thunder started, just finished our tea when we made a dash for cover inside. Rather spectacular lightening, only lasted half an hour.
Woke around 07.00 am after a strange night. Wind picked up again just after we climbed into bed, Kevin loosened the lazy line on the front which helped. We seemed to take quite a battering for the next hour or so, wind appeared to drop around midnight.
Once awake, we breakfasted, showered, washed up then filled the water tanks 1 1/4 tanks used since Albatross marina.
Paid our fees to harbour 120 TL, £30 had a cay ( Turkish tea) with the coffee shop owner who had been very kind, brought us cay to the boat when the wind was 30 knots!! Untied the 3 additional ropes securing us the previous day. Then pulled gangplank in and untied the last ropes, freeing us to pull up the anchor. Good to get away smoothly, then just secure rib to stern and bring in fenders. As we rounded the first headland, our sails were unfurled and we were moving at around 5 knots, 45 mins later, the wind position changed as we followed our course. Choosing to follow course rather than sail, putting in a few tacks, is always a tricky choice. We did have 30 n.m to cover!!
2 hours on the engine, then miraculously the wind was in the perfect position behind us, allowing us to cover the rest of our course by sail :) 4 total sailing hours today :) feels fabulous..
Journey time 6 hours, average speed was 5 knots. Wind speed averaging 12 -15 knots.
Arrived in a perfectly sheltered picturesque bay, 30 knots of wind recorded just as we turned into bay! Anchored in a narrow 10-16 meters deep area gusty winds intermittently. Once happy with anchor, Kevin was already planning our trip on the rib, suggested tying onto rocks nearby for stability, I thought we needn't. Guess what ..............we bloody well should have!
Instead we took the rib into the next bay to explore, small hamlet, Probably very sweet in summer. When we got through the gusts and waves, we pulled up onto a concrete jetty, tied up near the ever barking dog. We had a wander, found no one. A few buildings which looked to be farm related, with a cottage to one side, telly on but no sign of inhabitants. So we wandered back to the rib, climbed in and motored to where our boat was!!
It had drifted ..........really close to the rocks, the anchor clearly had not set. :(( We managed to recover it's position and decided to try putting the other rope out onto rocks, what a bloody nightmare that turned out to be! First rope was sooo heavy which meant Kevin could not pull the boat round with it. A few failed attempts, during which the rib engine kept cutting out, we decided on a lighter weight rope, which was also longer. Failed again! Last attempt, we chose to take the rope out to the rock first and then feed it back on board, it worked with a bit of tweaking.
Once lines all tidied and Kevin securely on board, we ate cottage pie for tea, gas bottle changed midway!
Had a look at route for tomorrow, due to Kos being inconveniently in the way.....we have to either cross Greek waters, or skirt around them, hmmm decisions. Decided to cut the corners but on the whole, avoid Greek coastguards. We could either go to Turgutreis or Yalikavak depending on the winds.
Settled down to some writing/ reading before retiring to bed.
Weather is expected to be terrible, hence the extra day here in Datca.
Woke to really high winds, 30 knots and above. As we had already moved the boat further from the harbour wall (wind would have blown her straight into it!)
Took breakfast into cockpit to watch the world go by (literally) whilst eating. Wow, waves rather powerful. We watched people being blown along the harbour and various fishing items flying through the air from the little cluster of boats alongside us. In the bay north of ours, we watched the fishing fleet and their owners bouncing around on the waves. They fought desperately to reign in and protect their livelyhood. eventually managing to take control.
We decided to go for a walk and investigate the area, eventually finding ourselves back in the cheesecake/ internet shop :)
Spent the rest of our day collecting provisions and organising ourselves for our journey tomorrow.
Decided to go for a meal to the local restaurant, very pretty place a lovely choice of fresh fish and meze (Turkish starter selection) Wandered back to ensure 'Kejstral' had not floated away, then snuggled into bed for the night.
What a beautiful morning, just a pity we woke at 02.00 hrs with the anchor chain rattling. Kept us awake for ages! So pretty knackered by 06.00 when Kevin got up!
By 07.00 hrs we were on the move........... rib secured, hatches closed and everything stowed safely. Sandwiches made with flask filled with hot water.
Wind was non existent, travelled the whole 23.5 n.m to Datca on the engine at 5.0 knots! arrived at 12.00 midday. Spoke to agent re arrival who suggested to moor on the harbour wall. Tied up with the help of the local fisherman. Anchor secure, papers in hand, we followed the agent to his office. Within a few minutes we were walking along the seafront to find a bank. (Run out of Lira) Town very nice, bustling with life. Bank located, more money withdrawn! Bought an additional memory card for camera.
A few phone calls back and forward with agent, including some confusion over how long the boat is allowed to stay in Turkey!! Stressful or what! all in all, customs just need a piece of paper declaring our UK address is where the boat has been for 185 days, something to do with a new customs regulation (your guess is as good as mine!) 400 TL paid and we are back in Turkey, thank goodness.
Needed a beer after all that, but very sparse internet everywhere , had to find a coffee shop and consume some cheesecake in order to get online. Back on board for a tidy up and secure 'Kejstral' as the wind was beginning to pick up. High winds expected overnight and tomorrow. Back out for a walk and beer to catch up with weather reports.
Settled into bed around 10.30 ish as we think it will be a little rough!
Heading to Dalisa bay today. Woke early again, mosque alarm clock pretty persistant!! Had a drink and breakfast before 08.00 hrs in antiipation of the day ahead.
First to check out of the marina, 25 euro per night, 75 euro total = 242 Turkish Lira. Not bad considering we had lots of assistance, water and shore power.
Next step ring agent, he will meet us at jetty next to coastguard pontoon.
Managed to leave the marina, motor round the corner and find the jetty. Now just need to pull in alongside!!! Our agent and his friend were there to help. We assumed we would drop anchor, reverse and tie up against the pontoon. Wrong ......... we were to tie up alongside, sounds easy until you see the pontoon!! it was only 15 ft long with a massive ferry pulling in behind us :( They literally ran us through the terminal as the Rhodes ferry was disembarking with 100 people requiring customs and passport check in too. So very speedily we were cleared out of Turkey, passports stamped and our "charter vehicle" is now officially our private yacht :)
Waving goodbye to the agent, we released our ropes and motored away from the jetty. Next leg of the journey to Dalissa bay began at 09.15, initially on the engine, virtually no wind at all. Travelled for a couple of hours this way. One yacht following us most of the way, sails tightly packed in their lazy jacks.
Naval vessel nearby, no doubt doing their early morning rounds. Noticed a helicopter too, which proceeded to land on the back of the vessel, amazing, wish I had the camera to hand!
Gradually rounding the headland we came into some wind, enough to sail gently, so .......... off with the engine and we were sailing :) Such an amazing feeling, around 14- 16 knots of wind with gusts of around 20 knots. Travelled comfortably, heeling over just enough. Travelled 23 n.m turning back to engine for the last hour as the wind was on the bow. Arrived around 3pm set the anchor in 10 meters and wow, what a beautiful bay
6.7 knots maximum speed today which was great. 5 hours of sailing. Fishing line out trawling most is the way, unfortunately, just as we were arriving at our destination, we noticed the line was taught, and it snapped as Kevin attempted to retrieve it :( lost a decent sized fish and a whole reel of line!
Kevin decides he wants to explore in the rib, so engine attached, lines free and we are off, a few shots of the boat taken and up to the north end of the bay. A few fishing boats and their owners, fine tuning their nets ready for the evening catch and an older couple fishing from a makeshift jetty were to be found. There was a restaurant, closed at present, but no doubt will be dusted off, painted and scrubbed ready for the new season.
On returning to 'Kejstral' we put out a few hand lines, a few nibbles felt then nothing for the rest of the evening. I began tea, cottage pie, ate around 6 pm. Showered, had really hot water which was fantastic. We then settled out in the cockpit with a cuppa, Kevin looking at our route for the morning and me, well writing this.
Suddenly we hear a very powerful boat engine nearby and looked round to see the coastguard boat flashing a blue light on its way to us :( he tied up alongside us and quizzed us for a while, checked our paperwork then left, happy with our story! Just as well really, we don't need any more holdups or hassle this trip. 20.15 hours we were alone in our blissful bay, with a raki in hand (Turkish drink) feeling very content that all was well.