2022 – A bit of exploring – Antalya and the Countryside

We like to try and visit some places during the winter we wouldn’t necessarily get to during the sailing season.  There are lots of hotels outside of Antalya.  We visited one at Lara Beach in November with my cousin Sue and her hubby Rik, and a couple of their friends and had a great time.  Unfortunately, the photos I took were lost on my corrupted hard drive!  This time we went to Antalya’s old quarter, Kaleiçi.  We found a very nice hotel but it must be the smallest room we’ve ever stayed in but hey ho.  We took the bus from Finike and then the tram.  A cheap and easy way to travel.

The old town is narrow, winding streets inside the ancient city walls.  Antalya is the eighth most populated city in Turkey.  The city was occupied by Italy for three years following the first World War but was recaptured during the Turkish War of Independence.  On our first evening it was very cold.  We found a bar for a pre dinner beer which had a log burning fire in the middle of the room which fortunately had a untaken table right next to it.  There was a couple of guys playing some music so we ended up staying longer than we anticipated.  We wandered about, as you do, looking for a restaurant we fancied and the one with some music playing caught our eye.  Later the traditional belly dancer did a few turns and twirls.

We’ve discovered there are various houses dotted around Turkey that are identified as Ataturk’s House. In fact, some are actually places he stayed when he visited.  Ataturk visited Antalya on three occasions and the house was allocated to him for his visits.  It was converted into a museum in his memory in 1986 and some of his personal belongings are exhibited there.

The only entrance gate in the city walls that remains is Hadrian’s which was built in honour of the Roman Emperor Hadrian, he who built Hadrian’s Wall. Hadrian visited Antalya in the year 130.

The Kaleici Museum, which we stumbled upon, wandering around the narrow streets, is a traditional Antalya house built in the 19th century.  The sets are made up of authentic garments, covers, furniture, rugs and kilims collected from the Antalya region. 

Outside of the old quarter are lots of shops, bars and restaurants.  Very different to the old town.  We succumbed to a Burger King here, as you don’t often get the opportunity for Western junk food. 

Let’s go walking – Clare on Tula arranged a couple of walks with a guide for a group of us.  Well, when I say walk there was a fair bit of hiking up and down hills.  The first was along part of the Lycian Way which is over 300 miles long and the direction of the path is marked with a white stripe above a red stripeWe were picked up by mini bus and then dumped, I mean dropped off, about 40 minutes from Finike near to Demre.  The weather had not been that great so far, it had been quite cold, it was the worst winter in 30 years.  It was like an English day, unpredictable and with lots of variations.  We started off with lovely warm sunshine, followed by rain, then snow and finally large hailstones.  The path often looked just like a pile of rocks which it often was.  The path could easily be lost so the guide on a few occasions went ahead to look for the white and red marker. 

Where we were dropped off there were a number of street dogs.  There are a lot of them in Turkey and the majority are very friendly.  One decided to join us on our walk which was nearly 8 miles long.  We stopped for lunch and she never bothered anyone while they were eating.  At the end of the walk our mini bus was waiting to take us back to the marina.  We all felt we couldn’t leave this lady so far away from where we started.  We coaxed her very gently into the mini bus, there was no resistance and so we dropped her back to her friends in the boat yard by the beach where we started. 

When the hail stones rained down on us we took shelter under a tree on some farmers land where there was a shed for the goats who were sensibly all inside.  We did laugh as there was a gap in the tarpaulin and there were a number of heads bobbing up and down to get a better view of us silly sods outside. 

“Look at those silly humans in the rain” said the old goats!

The second walk we did was split into two parts either side of the road.  We walked/climbed up and the views were quite amazing.  Then down again and across the road.  Looking at what was in front of us I thought we can’t possibly be going down there, yes of course we were.  It was thankfully all down hill but it was a long way and quite rugged in places.  At the end we walked across some farmers land and to the ancient city of Sura.  The monumental tomb, is the largest sarcophagus in Lycia.  This was a long day we left the marina at 10am and arrived back about 6.30pm when it was dark and my feet and hips certainly reminded me I’d walked a long way. 

Clare and I decided to have a day out in Kas, which is 90 minutes on the bus.  We had a wander around the shops, a bit of lunch and then back again.  As I mentioned there are a lot of street animals and on turning the corner in the Waikiki store there lying asleep on the floor was this little fella, bothering no one and no one bothered him.

Let sleeping dogs lie!

May 2022

Myra – Off to visit Father Christmas, amongst other things!

We had a group trip out with 18 of us from the Marina organised by Maggie.  Our first stop was the Ancient City of Myra.  There are Lycian Tombs carved into the hillside from the 4th century BC and were for VIP’s.  On the outside walls of the tombs there are carvings, some of which are funeral scenes and others showing the daily life of the deceased. 

The Greco -Roman Amphitheatre is the largest theatre in Lycia  It has 38 rows of seats and its facade was richly decorated with theatrical masks and mythological scenes.

Turkey is a Muslim country and doesn’t celebrate Christmas.  However, we didn’t realise that St Nicholas was born in Myra.  Although at the time of his birth Myra, now known as Demre, was part of Greece not Turkey. 

SPOILER ALERT

The next segment is about Father Christmas, so if you don’t want your illusions burst then don’t read the next bit!! ……

St Nicholas, AKA Father Christmas and in Turkey he is known as Noel Baba, was born in Patara, and died on 6th December 343, contrary to popular belief he isn’t in the North Pole.  He was the Bishop of Myra and is patron saint of sailors, merchants, archers, repentant thieves, children, brewers, pawnbrokers and unmarried people.  Legend says amongst many other things he stopped a violent storm to save doomed sailors and donated money to a father who was forced to sell his daughters into prostitution.  His tomb is in St Nicholas Church, Demre, however, some say that a group of sailors came to Demre from Bari in 1087, opened his tomb and took his bones to Bari in Italy for protection.  The bone fragments, which were believed to belong to St. Nicholas that were not taken to Bari, are exhibited in the Antalya Museum.

We visited St Nicholas Church on the anniversary of St Nicholas’ death on 6th December.  This day is a big occasion and a service is held in commemoration. A priest from either the Greek or the Russian Orthodox Church visits and conducts the service.  Pilgrims travel here every year on the anniversary and there was quite a crowd.  They all took holy communion and then kissed the cross the priest was holding which was quite a surprise considering we were in a pandemic!

SAFE TO START READING AGAIN – the story about St Nicholas, AKA Father Christmas, is over.

After a spot of lunch, we headed the Lycian Civilisation Museum which has only been open for a couple of years.  There are various ruins and displays of artefacts that have been found in Lycian cities.  The museum sits on the port of Andriake and was used until the 7th Century AD.  It is now a swamp and access to the sea has been cut off.    

Finike Community

Finike has quite a big marina community and there are the usual Friday night Happy Hours and Sunday BBQ’s.  We also had regular training sessions where Sarah took us through our paces and bridge twice a week, this does sound very middle aged!

We also had some musicians amongst us and the week before Christmas they put on a concert for us where songs were played and some sea shanties were sung.

May 2022

Winter Time in Turkey – Ankara

It was lovely to finally get back to the boat after so long away albeit it was raining when we arrived. Little did we know this was going to be a regular weather pattern over the winter.   We had a couple of weeks then we had a visit from our good friend John. 

We took a ride in the Olympos cable car up the Tahtali mountain, known as Mount Olympos in ancient times, which is 2365m high.  It was a very clear day and we could see for miles.  It was a bit chilly but worth the ride up above the clouds.  Unfortunately, I downloaded my photos to a hard drive which has corrupted and despite taking it to a shop, they weren’t retrievable.  That will teach me to always have two copies of everything. 

Ankara





We like to go to the capital city of countries we visit so along with Colin and Maggie off we went.   Ankara is not normally on people’s list of places to visit in Turkey, people tend to go to Istanbul.  Ankara only became the capital in 1923 after the Turkish war of Independence. Buses go most places here so rather than fly there we decided to take the bus to see some of the Turkish landscape on the way.  It left from our local bus station at Finike and arrived in Ankara about 10 and a half hours later.  It was very comfortable, a 52 seater size coach but it didn’t have 52 seats just two one side and one on the other side of the aisle.  We stopped every couple of hours and it was nice to see some other parts of Turkey. 

Atatürk’s Mausoleum – Anıtkabir

One of the main sites to visit in Ankara is the Ataturk mausoleum.  If you’ve been in Turkey, even for just a short time, you will see that there are lots of references and pictures of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, even in small shops.  Ataturk transformed Turkey which became a republic on 29th October 1923  and is a great day of celebration each year.  Ataturk was the leader of the Turkish Independence War and Turkish Revolution and the founder of Turkish Republic. 

Ataturk’s ultimate aim was to build a modern progressive and secular state.  He made education free and compulsory.  He introduced a latin based Turkish alphabet.  Women were given the vote in 1930

When Ataturk died in 1938 he was initially laid to rest at the Ethnography Museum of Ankara.  The mausoleum was built to reflect his greatness and took nine years to construction, beginning in 1944 and was completed in 1953.  He was transferred to the Mausoleum, known as the Anitkabir on  10th November 1953, on the 15th anniversary of his death. 

Atatürk’s Tomb

The corpse of Atatürk is in a grave dug directly in the soil below the ground floor of the Mausoleum. The tomb is situated directly beneath the symbolic sarcophagus in the hall of honour on the first floor of the mausoleum and is an octagon in the Seldjuk and Ottoman architectural style, topped with a pyramidal roof and its ceiling decorated with mosaics bearing geometrical motifs. The ground and the walls are covered with black, white and red marbles. İn the middle of the tomb, the smaller sarcophagus made of red marble is directed towards the Kaaba (a building situated in the Grand Mosque at Mecca, Saudia Arabia). This marble sarcophagus is surrounded by vases filled with soil from every province and from the Turkish Republic of northern Cyprus.  Viewing of Ataturk’s tomb is by a video screen only.

Changing of the Guard

Whilst here we saw the changing of the guard.  The guards were very imposing and when the guard shouted, along with the soldiers I jumped to attention too!! He scared me .  The guards march with bent knee goose step.  It was quite mesmerising watching them.

Other sites of Ankara

Ankara Castle – The castle sits on the hillside overlooking the city.  Here along the streets we found a tea pot that should keep Ian going, as he does like a cuppa. 

Rahmi M. Koç Museum is situated just outside the Castle.  The museum is a collection of industrial and engineering objects and documents from all countries and all periods from past to present.  It houses all sorts of items ranging from small models to steam engines and classic cars, it is home to more than four thousand objects in 32 rooms that reveal the history of many industries from maritime to road transport, aviation to medicine.

Notice the woman working on the boat while the guy is sleeping!!!!

Museum of Anatolian Civilizations

This is a history of Turkey  from the Hittite era (2600 to 1300 BCE).  We saw some interesting artefacts.  Certificates for Marriage, which states that if the husband divorces his wife he has to pay her five minas silver.  Divorce, states that men and women had equal rights to divorce and remarry.  The Will interestingly states that a wife had first rights on the inheritance, which showed that even all those years ago how important the woman was and quite rightly so!!

Marriage, Divorce and a Will all set in stone, literally. 

We managed to find some cuisine that wasn’t Turkish, which is quite difficult.  We went to a very nice  Italian restaurant one evening and a meat restaurant that served the most wonderful rack of lamb, that the waiter served up at the table. 

After taking the bus to Ankara we decided to fly back which although only an hour’s flight by the time we got to the airport an hour away, allowed time for being at the airport ahead of the flight and having to get back from the airport it still took about six hours.

20th April 2022

A Different Season

As we were back in the UK we took the opportunity to visit some yachty friends while Ian’s dad was in hospital.  Due to covid no one was allowed to visit to begin with and then it was limited to one person for one hour at a set time each day. 

Karen and Ronnie, our Mahe Mates, were now landlubbers living in North Wales.   They live in a pretty part of the world near to Conwy.  The town is overlooked by the impressive Conwy Castle which was built between 1283 and 1287 by Edward I.

We have been through a few straits over the last few years but this one we went across on the suspension bridge.  The Strait separates the Island of Anglesey from the Welsh mainland. Anglesey is connected to the mainland by two bridges.  The area between these bridges is known as the ‘Swellies” which has strong reversing tidal flows, rapid currents and whirlpools. 

Ynys Gorad Goch is a small island in the “Swellies” of the Menai Strait.  Access is obviously only by boat and has a main house and a converted smoke house. The size of the island varies between 0.5 acres and 3.7 acres depending on the range of the tide.

Llanfair­pwllgwyngyll­gogery­chwyrn­drobwll­llan­tysilio­gogo­goch, and no I cannot pronounce it, is on the Island of Anglesey.  The name was supposedly contrived in 1869 as a publicity stunt so that the railway station had the longest name in Britain.  It is known locally as Llanfairpwll or Llanfair PG.  The name translates in English as “St Marys Church in the hollow of the White Hazel near to the rapid whirlpool of Llantysilio of the Red Cave”.

We had a lovely couple of days with Ronnie and Karen before heading off to Southport to see Lin and Rob, who we’d not seen since Cartagena in 2018.  We stopped off on the way at Crosby Beach which is home to The Iron Men, an installation in the sea by Antony Gormley.  There are 100 cast iron figures spread across 3km of sandy beach, each weighing 650 kilos.  The men are made up from 17 body casts of Antony Gormley.  Some are placed further out into the water so all you can see at high tide is their head and then gradually more of the statue becomes visible with the recess of the tide.  It is a strange sight. 

One of Southport’s legends was Red Rum who was exercised on Southport Beach.  To commemorate this a mural of the three-time Grand National winner was commissioned as part of Sefton’s Borough of Culture celebrations for 2020.  We had a walk along Southport Pier too which is the second longest pleasure pier after Southend-on-Sea, near to our home town.  It was lovely to catch up with Lin and Rob but we had to head home trying to avoid the traffic on the motorways.

Ian, not one to be kept away from sailing for long, was invited to crew on a trimaran for the Multihull National Championships being held during Burnham Week and won the title.  This was one mean machine of a boat which reached speeds in excess of 25knots which made Ian realise that he maybe getting too old for this sort of racing. 

Ian’s Dad, John, after six weeks in hospital was finally discharged.  Sadly, he passed away on 19th September 2021.  Fortunately, covid restrictions had been lifted and so we were able to give him a good send off.  We held the wake, at the only place we could and that was at the Island Yacht Club, of which he was a Trustee and had played a big part in his life. 

One of the annual events at the Yacht Club is the Laying Up Supper.  There was quite a crowd of us that went along and we had pre and after dinner drinks at the Riches Household.  Apologies to the neighbours for the row we made but we did have a fantastic night.  A final farewell before we headed back to the boat.

February 2022

A False Start

Having arrived back to the Boat in April, we thought it would be a while before we got back to the UK again how wrong were we.  Unfortunately, Ian’s dad, John, was taken ill and so we came back just a month after arriving back at the boat.  Easy you would think, just hop on a plane but no, two days before we got the call Turkey had been put on the red list which meant all flights from Turkey were banned and anyone arriving from a red list country has to go into hotel quarantine.  Having joined a Facebook group solely for people in quarantine hotels or are looking to have to go into hotel quarantine, we didn’t relish the thought of being stuck inside for 11 days with no opening windows, which most hotels don’t have plus the cost of it.  So, we did some research and decided on going to Sofia, Bulgaria for 11 days which was half the cost.  The covid cases were dropping there so we thought this would be a safe bet.  We stayed in an apartment about 20 minutes out of the main city.  We didn’t go out everyday as we wanted to keep contact with others to a minimum. 

Sofia was about a 15 minute walk and there weren’t that many people about so we did venture out on a few occasions but we tried to keep our contact to a minimum.

We hired a car for a couple of days and drove up into the mountains which are quite stunning. 

We visited the Rila Monastery, the biggest in Bulgaria.  It was founded in the 10th century by John of Rila, who later became Bulgaria’s patron saint, known as Ivan Rilski.  There are still approx 60 monks living at Rila Monastery.

We, by chance, found a place doing PCR tests just around the corner from the apartment after wandering around Sofia trying to find somewhere with no luck.  We arrived back in the UK and stayed for the next few months.  We arrived back to Cuffysark in July in extreme temperatures, hitting the late 30’s early 40’s.  Now that’s hot even for me!  We left the marina after a few days to a wonderful anchorage just a couple of hours away, Kekova.

This is a very sheltered anchorage.  Kekova Island to one side with the castle and the village of Kaleüçağız the other. 

A lovely place to relax however, it wasn’t to be for long.  We had a call to say Ian’s dad had had a fall and been admitted to hospital.  Turkey was still on the red list and it would take us two weeks to get home so we made the decision we had to go back straight away as we didn’t have the luxury of getting home in a day or so in these covid times.  So off we went again, this time we went to Thessaloniki, the second largest city in Greece.  As we were double vaccinated, we didn’t need a PCR test to get into Greece our certificates were sufficient.

We stayed in an apartment out of town but there was a bus stop immediately outside for getting into Thessaloniki.  Again it was very hot here. The temperatures in the med this year had been extreme, this is where we missed being out on anchor, as with a breeze it brings the temperature down.  However, much to Ian’s delight the apartment had air conditioning which he made the most of. 

The White Tower was built in the 15th Century.  It had various names, in the19th century it was known as the Tower of Blood (Kanil Koule), when it was used as a prison and for the execution of convicts.  In1883, by order of Sultan Abdul Hamid II, the Tower was whitewashed and given the name White (Beyaz Koule).  After the liberation of the city in 1912 the Tower had a number of uses. During World War I, one floor was used to preserve antiquities from excavations by the Eastern Army Archaeological Service. The city’s air defence, the meteorological laboratory of the Aristotle University and scout systems were hosted on its premises.

Hagia Sofia of Thessalonikki – The church was built in the 8th century and followed the design of the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul.  It became a mosque in 1430 when the Ottomans conquered the town.  It remained a mosque until the liberation of Thessaloniki in 1912 when it reverted to being a Christian church again.

The Rotunda

The Rotunda  also known as the Church of Agios Georgios, was built in 306 AD by the Roman tetrarch Galerius.  In 1590 during the occupation of the Ottomans it was converted into a mosque.  In 1912 it became an Orthodox church.  The Rotunda has a diameter of 24.5 meters and its walls are more than 6 meters thick.

The Castle of Thessaloniki, also known as Heptapyrgion is situated on the top of the hill overlooking the city.  In 1889 it became a prison until 1989 when it was closed

We had to again, find a place to get a PCR test before flying back to the UK. There was a medical centre opposite.  We were waiting for the bus one day and I said to Ian that guy has just stuck something up that guy’s nose!! Hmm looks like he’s doing PCR tests.  Yes he was which was nice and convenient.

We made an appointment and they insisted we only needed to do the test the day before as they results come in six hours later.  Well it didn’t exactly go to plan! The results should have arrived after 5pm.  Mine duly arrived.  I kept checking and checking and still nothing for Ian.  The medical centre was supposed to be open until 9.30pm, so over we trot at 9.15pm all closed.  They opened at 6.30am the following morning.  I managed to drag Ian out of bed and we were there at 7.20.  After a 15 minute wait they found Ian’s result which was just as well as we were leaving for the airport at 9.30, nothing like a bit of extra added stress. 

January 2022

Our Winter 2020-2021

We arrived back in Kas Marina on 3rd November and just over two weeks later Turkey went back into a shutdown with bars and restaurants closed except for takeaways and the weekend curfews began again, this pesky virus still with us.  There seems to be a pattern emerging here, we arrived back at the end of February 2020 and three weeks later Turkey went into lockdown. 

We had a trip by car to Fethiye to get some things and took the upper road and the views of Kas are amazing. 

On our drive we see the contrasts of Turkey with the snow on the mountains and the air conditioning blasting out in the car because it’s so hot.  Turkey is quite green which is not what you would expect but when it rains, it’s absolutely torrential.

Mum & Dad, Father’s Day – June 2019

We were going back to the UK for Christmas.  Just as we were about to board the plane we got the announcement to say England was going back into lockdown from Midnight that night.  Oh well we were going into quarantine for 10 days to start with anyway.  As you all know the Kent Variant had been discovered and like dominoes, countries began banning flights from the UK.  As time went on it looked like our age group would begin being vaccinated sometime in March and we were fortunate to have our first jab on 19th March.  We were thankful that we were in the UK as having lost my father in December 2019 my dear Mum decided to join him on Mother’s Day, 14th March.  They were only parted for a mere 15 months.

After our lockdown in the UK we finally flew back to Kas.  It was a bit of a convoluted trip.  Staying at Heathrow airport, the early morning flight to Amsterdam, then connecting flight to Istanbul.  Another over night stay at Istanbul airport this time and then a flight to Dalaman the following morning and a taxi back.  Eventually arriving back 48 hours later.  England just on the verge of reopening and Turkey the day after our arrival going back into lockdown. We then had to quarantine on the boat when we got back.

We couldn’t go anywhere so we spent time doing jobs on the boat, as there is always maintenance to do on a boat! 

Our Mahe Mates, Karen and Ronnie, were coming to the end of their adventure and they were due to fly back to the UK at the end of May.  However, we had to say goodbye to them a little earlier than anticipated as Turkey was put on the red list from 4am on Wednesday 12th May, so they dashed off so they could quarantine at home rather than have to do the hotel quarantine.  We were sad to see them go as they were the first fellow sailors we met in 2017 in Santander, that’s Northern Spain not the bank, and they will be missed.  We’ve had some good times with them.

May 2021

The Final Countdown……. of 2020

After spending a week anchored at Fethiye we left to go to the islands at Gocek which even though it was later in the year, were still busy.  I think because of the delayed start due to the pandemic people were extending the season.  The weather is still very good in October.  We found a small bay, Martili Bay, as far south of Gocek as we could get and tied up to the rocks.  The water was crystal clear here.  There was nothing here except a few goats grazing on the shore.

We spent a few days here and then ventured off to Gocek itself.  The anchorage here was really busy and this was late October, so who knows what it’s like in the height of the season and in normal times, if we will ever know what normal will be again.  Being a catamaran we can get very close to the shore, out of the way of most other boats.  We had dinner out and was asked if we would like some bread to go with our meal, couldn’t believe how big it was and it was delicious.

We only stayed the one night in Gocek before we headed back to Fethiye for a couple of days.  We were cruising in company with Colin and Maggie on Serafina.  We paid another visit to the Fishmarket with Colin and Maggie.  The cats waited very patiently for any offerings.  There is a regular turtle in the harbour at Fethiye.  Clearly knows where the food is. 

The season was nearing the end so we headed to Kalkan Bay, where we had a few issues getting the anchor to set but eventually we got there.  As our season hadn’t started until Mid May we were reluctant to head back to our winter berth quite yet so we sailed past Kas and headed to Finike, which was to be our winter berth for 2021.  This was the hairiest sail of the year, Ian was in his element but absolutely not me.  Now normally Ian would say I’m exaggerating and it wasn’t that bad and I wouldn’t have anything to show how hairy it was but as it happened we passed another boat that looked like it was standing still and the owner was a keen photographer.  So there’s no denying from Ian that I was exaggerating just look at the photos below!!!!!  This was just prior to me screaming at him to put some sail away. 

We eventually, much to my relief, arrived in Finike Marina.  We didn’t get to see much of the town as I’d managed to trap a nerve in my hip which meant I couldn’t walk very far.  But we would be back next year so there was plenty of time for that. 

Our final stop before making the final trip to Kas was to Kekova which is a lovely sheltered anchorage.  There is a castle here at Kalekoy which we walked up to.  I was still a bit of a hop along with my trapped nerve but I pushed on!  The views from the top were worth it

There are lots of tombs scattered around the countryside and one in the sea. 

The castle was built in the Middle Ages to fight the pirates who were in Kekova.  There are a number of restaurants along the water front which are reached through narrow cobbled streets and so after all that walking and still with my dodgy hip we stopped for lunch and obviously some refreshment. 

Our final trip was motoring, as there was no wind, back to Kas. The Greek Island of Kastellorizo is just a couple of Kilometers from Kas.  Greece to the left and Turkey to the right. 

We arrived back in time to join in the celebrations for Karen from Copycat’s special birthday. Our friend Gary had a special birthday this month too so although thousands of miles away we were able to join him and Shelley, albeit it virtually, in the celebrations.  

So another sailing season over, our fourth now.  It’s been a strange year, but then it’s been a strange time for everyone.  We were lucky to still to get out there and explore some of Turkey. 

October/November 2020

Knidos to Fethiye – October 2020

We waved goodbye to Jessica at Oren and made our way to Mersincik where we were meeting Colin and Maggie on Serafina.  The wind was blowing hard and of course on the nose hence the reason we dropped Jessica at Oren and not back at Bodrum.  So, it wasn’t the most pleasant of sails. 

We dropped anchor and boy was the wind gusting hard.  It’s bad enough during the day but when it’s gusting at night it’s unsettling but we survived.  The water was very clear here and you could see the anchor.

We set off for the ancient city of Knidos which is on the other side of the Datca peninsular.  There is a small harbour here with a jetty to moor on.  We arrived quite early so secured a space on the jetty, by mid afternoon it was packed and there were also lots of boats anchored off too.  We took a walk around the ruins at Knidos.  The views on the other side of the peninsular were spectacular. 

We had some short hops next the first one was Datca which is quite a characteristic tourist spot.  We anchored here and found a lovely restaurant which served a variety of cuisine that wasn’t Turkish, which was really nice for a change.  Then off to Ciftlik which was quite open but had a number of jetties with restaurants.  As we approached people came running down to the end of the jetties with very large flags frantically waving them about to attract you to their jetty.  We anchored again. 

We were on our way back to the marina at Marmaris, it seemed a long time ago since we left on 31st May.  We spent a week here while Ian looked around the “Toy shops” AKA boat shops!!!  We hopped from here to Adakoy, a bay just around the corner from Marmaris and then off to Ekincik before arriving back in Fethiye.

We didn’t get back to Fethiye until 4 o’clock and it was a Saturday. In normal circumstances this would be fine but Ian had developed a toothache.  So, after getting some advice from my cousin Sue, who lives locally, we contacted a dentist on the water front.  Within 20 minutes of anchoring up Ian was in the dentist’s chair.  He had to have an x-ray, which reminded him of Joe 90, I’m sure none of you reading this are not too old to know what he was referring too. An infection, so antibiotics and pain killers plus the emergency visit all for £15. Great service. 

Set in the hillside are Lycian Rock Tombs which are carved into the hillside.  We took the steep walk up to have a look, the views were spectacular.  On the way down we passed a tortoise, not normally something you come across. 

We saw turtles here in the bay as well as the Migros floating Supermarket.  The Migros boat goes across to the bays around Gocek, we didn’t visit the Migros boat but understand once inside it’s like being in a supermarket. 

We also visited the Fethiye fish market, which is quite an experience.  Set in the middle of the market is a round stall.  Different fishmongers sell their fish from here.  You pick a restaurant and then go and choose your fish, haggle on the price, as Ian does with everything in Turkey particularly with the price of a beer, buy it and then the restaurant will cook it for a small charge. 

October 2020

The Bodrum Peninsular – September 2020

Up until now we had had quite a hectic time cruising along the Turkish coast and now, we were in a more leisurely mode.  We made our way Port Iasos.  This was an anchorage behind a breakwater alongside the marina.  Ian decided to get his drone out and take some pictures.  He flew it for all of about five minutes when I heard those immortal words “Oh f**k”.  Yes, you guessed it, it had just dropped like a stone into the water, never to be seen again.  If it loses connection it should fly back to its starting point but not this time.

We visited Iasos Bay which is an ancient harbour where part of the wall is submerged under water on one side of the narrow entrance and on the other, the remains of the breakwater tower. Also here is the ancient city of Iasos sitting alongside the harbour and is over 4,000 years old.  There is a theatre and what looked like a grave yard. 

This photo proves that Andy does visit what he calls “piles of rocks”.

Just on shore were cows grazing, well actually they were so motionless you could think they weren’t real, which did cross my mind.  They looked like plastic models.  An hour or so later the plastic models had been collected and moved, no they were real!!  One of my blonde moments.  Another day the farmer walked them along the pathway at the end of the day, just like taking the dog for a walk. 

We hopped about to a few other anchorages and then visited Guvercinlik, a small town next to the main high road along the coast.  At the entrance to the bay were some very large hotels with very large speakers booming out very loud music.  We decided to head further into the bay away from this tourist hotspot.

Our daughter, Jessica, was due to visit and we were collecting her from Bodrum so we needed to get a move on.  This part of the Bodrum peninsula is saturated in super yachts, either tied back to the rocks in the bays or anchoring outside because of their size.  They can be a pain with the amount of wash some of them leave.  One particular “idiot” and that’s being polite, was so close as he whizzed by you could see what the group sitting at the back were having for lunch. 

This photo below is of Eclipse, the fourth largest super yacht in the world, whose owner also has an interest in football, notably Chelsea FC!  Note the superyacht moored to his bow to get an idea of its size.  Eclipse is 533ft long. 

Bodrum wasn’t what I expected.  It was quite a tourist trap but the old town was very quaint.  Plenty of happy hours being offered on drinks though.  We anchored on a mooring buoy overlooked by the castle.  Unfortunately, we were broken into whilst we went ashore for a meal.  On arrival back to the boat we noticed wet marks on the floor, yes footprints, then we saw the handprints on the table.  Our front hatches were left slightly ajar but you had to be very small to get in, child size. We think they must have swum, as if you came in a dinghy there wouldn’t ‘t be so much water everywhere.  We have a motion sensor light at the back hence why we think they went there and then went to the bow and climbed up the mooring buoy onto the boat.  Thankfully they only took a few things which we guess they put in a water proof bag.  Still not nice to have your stuff riffled through.  We have some nice metal bars to put across the hatches so they can be left open to keep the boat cool but no-one can get in, not even a small child. 

The next week we spent hopping along the coast.  We visited Cokertme, pronounced “yougetme” where you have to have a Cokertme Kebab, which is marinated strips of veal served with thinly fried potatoes, garlic yoghurt, tomato sauce, fried tomatoes and green peppers.  Delicious!

We also visited English Harbour, which is where British naval vessels secretly took shelter in the second world war.  It is also where the Turkish President’s summer house is.  There was a small boat guarding the stretch of water up to the house, so no going up and being nosy.  It was very busy here and I expect that in normal non covid times we wouldn’t have got in here.  Being a catamaran we have the advantage of being able to anchor close into the corner of the bay where there is shallower water. 

English Harbour isn’t very wide and the gulets drop their anchors on one side and tie onto rocks and trees on the other side.  We spent two nights here and the locals come along each day selling bread and fresh produce as well as ice creams.  We thought we should support them so naturally had ice-cream.

There were very strong winds coming through so off to Oren next where we spent the night in the marina and where Jessica left us to go back home.  It was lovely to see Jessica and how lucky were we all, that less than a week later Turkey was taken off the UK Corridor and so those returning would have to quarantine for 14 days.  This would have meant Jessica couldn’t have come out to see us, so she got back in the nick of time.

September 2020

Our little adventure to Kusadasi

We next returned to Ayvalik, we had hoped to leave the boat here for a week whilst we travelled back to the UK.  Unfortunately, the marina was full and the only way we could stay here was to be lifted out.  We didn’t see this as too much of an issue as we needed to lift the boat out.  We still had a week though before heading home so we left the marina to have a mooch around the bay.  In the meantime we contacted Cesme marina, who also had no room at the inn but Kusadasi did so we had a change of plan and thought we’d spend the next week sailing down. 

We decided to go to a place called Foca. We arrived about 1.30, a lovely harbour with bars and restaurants surrounding it.  Having been there all afternoon we decided to go ashore that evening.  We sat down ordered our food and drinks, had a gulp eachof our beer, a couple of mouthfuls of the bread and dip and Ian said “the boat’s moving”!!!!  It definitely was.  We quickly handed some money to the restaurant and left.  We were like Olympic sprinters we belted round the harbour, back in the dinghy and back on the boat.  The wind had gusted and thankfully the anchor had caught again.  We lifted the anchor and tried resetting it, not once, not twice but three times in different parts of the bay, but it wasn’t to be.  It was now 8.30 and starting to get dark, so we made the decision we had to leave.  We hoped to head to a bay about 30 miles away.  The wind which wasn’t forecast, picked up and we had 35 knots behind us.  We didn’t want to go into a bay in the dark.  Oh and did I mention our starboard engine was playing up too.  So, we made the decision we would sail overnight to Kusadasi.  We slowed the boat down so that we would come out into more open water in daylight.  After 19 hours we arrived in Kusadasi.

We flew home from here and on our return we had arranged to have the boat lifted out of the water so that we could do some maintenance and clean off the bottom.  The locals on the pleasure boats moored up behind us were really helpful, sorting out gas for us.  The guy we hired a car from, http://www.romeorentacar.com, sourced us some oil too.  We used him for a transfer from the airport as well so would definitely recommend him.  They are on the main street about 10 min walk from the marina. 

We eventually left Kusadasi and sailed down to Kuruerik, which is near Didem where we met up with Clare and Andy on Ula.  After all the work on the boat we were ready for some chill time which is what we did for five nights. 

We next visited a bay called “Paradise Bay” and it was paradise.  We tied back to the rocks here.  From here we went to Antolia Garden which was very sheltered.  There was a restaurant ashore that had tables that could be pulled out to see whilst eating your food.  Ian and I had been ashore to sit on the beach and on the way back there was a table out in the sea and we were serenaded with “Row, Row, Row your boat, merrily down the stream, ……” some Brits having a nice time.

We next visited a small fishing village called Akbuk.  Clare on Ula found a steak restaurant, called Olaa, where we had a kilo of filet steak, sauces, two litres of wine, salad and chips between four us and it only came to £11 a head.  Ian negotiated with the waiter on the wine, as he always did and he managed to get a reduction but we weren’t expecting litre bottles.  The steak was lovely.  It was a nice change from Turkish cuisine. 

August 2020