Category Archives: 2019/2020 – Turkey

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,, 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

Up the Bosphorus and into the Black Sea

After a great time in Istanbul it was now time to move on.  The original plan was to visit Romania and Bulgaria but Covid put paid to that, but Ian wanted to stick his nose into the Black Sea as we were so close.  With the strong current and a strong wind against us we needed to leave early before the wind arrived or it we wouldn’t make it up the Bosphorus and into the Black Sea.   So off we went at 5am with zero wind and flat water. 

We arrived in the Black Sea at 8.40am to winds of 15 knots on the nose and 1m waves.  Not such a great experience.  We were heading to Sile which was about 20 miles along the north coast of Turkey.  The harbour/marina was full of small fishing boats/local boats.  We stood out like a sore thumb.  I don’t think they get many visitors there. 

Sile is a Turkish holiday resort.  The weather is a bit cooler here, in fact the weather was reminiscent of the UK, raining and overcast for most of the time we were here.  We went out for dinner and I had jeans and a jumper on!  Sile has a lighthouse that was built during the Crimean war.  It is 19m high, 60metres above sea level and its light can be seen 35 miles away.

We only spent a few days in Sile and then headed back to the Bosphorus.  There is one way system in operation for Ships transiting the Bosphorus, midday to midnight is southwards.  We arrived at the entrance at midday and could see nine ships headed towards the entrance.  We had the sails up as well as the engines however, the Coastguard was not happy with this and made Ian take the sails down, he did try to explain that he had the engines on too, but they weren’t having that , it was engines only in the Bosphorus, so down they came.  With the current, just one engine and no sails we were doing 9.6knots.

We stopped at few anchorages overnight along the Dardanelles before arriving at Bozcaada, a small island but the third largest Turkish one, where we moored up on the harbour wall.  The current is quite strong in the Dardanelles and at one point we were sailing with just the jib sail up, no engines and with 22 knots of wind behind us we were making speeds of 6.5knots.  Bozcaada was a former Greek island which would explain why you would be forgiven for thinking that you were on a Greek Island in some parts of the town.  We had a meal here and a couple to the side of us must have taken a million photos of each other, slight exaggeration, but a lot anyway.  They asked the waiter to take a photo of the two of them, Ian couldn’t help himself and photobombed.  The waiter returned the phone to the girl and after looking through them turned around to look at Ian as she realised he was the third person in all of them.  He gave her his biggest smile again. 

Bozcaada became part of Turkey in 1923 mostly for reasons of national security as it was used by the Allies against the Ottoman Empire during the Gallipoli campaign.  Bozcaada Castle overlooks the harbour.

We left Bozcaada and headed to a place called Assos, also known as Behramkale.  It was very windy and entering Assos is not for the faint hearted, it is a very narrow entrance but a spectacular harbour lined with various restaurants and hotels. We decided as it was windy we would not enter here but as luck would have it, just 20 mins before getting to the entrance the wind dropped and so we went in.  We moored up bow to and stepped off the front of the boat onto a small wooden jetty about two foot long between people eating and drinking!  There is water and electric available, of which there is no charge and no pressure to eat at the hotel restaurant either which is what is normally expected, however, we did eat and drink there.   This was one of the prettiest harbours we have visited.  

There were more ruins here so we took the dolmus, local mini bus, into town to see the Temple of Athena which is at the top of the hill.  The rest of the city is further down the hill, quite a long way. I said to Ian it’s a long walk back but we have to go and have a look, so we did.  At the bottom is a 3rd century BC theatre.  We noticed that there was a turnstile out onto the road.  It was padlocked but fortunately no roof on it so we climbed over.  There was no way we wanted to walk back up. 

July 2020


After five days in Canakkale it was now time to start making tracks north towards Istanbul. I was a bit nervous about actually going into Istanbul, with it being a big city and was concerned about how many people would be there having managed to avoid crowds pretty much so far and the dreaded corona virus. We decided to play it by ear when we got there. Istanbul was about 130 miles away.

We left on an overcast day and as we approached the new “1915 Canakkale” bridge that is being built across the Dardanelles it was thundering and lightening. The length of the bridge’s main span will be 2023 metres and the significance of this, is that is when the centennial of the Republic of Turkey will be marked. The towers are 318 meters high and will be the longest suspension bridge in the world.

We arrived in the Sea of Marmara 10 hours later and moored up alongside in an abandoned marina on the Island of Avsa. We ended up staying here for four nights sitting out the winds. There was nothing around where we were so we took the bikes and rode to the town of Avsa which was about 2km away. It was a tourist town for the Turkish. Talking to a waiter apparently 50,000 people would descend onto the island the first week of July, so glad we were there the week before!

We had three more long sails until we arrived in Istanbul. We eventually stayed for 11 nights here, one because there is lots to see in Istanbul and two there was more wind and they were now in the opposite direction to the way we were going. The Northerly winds were in, these being the predominate winds for this time of year.
The marina was in Fenerbahçe, home to one of Istanbul’s top football teams, we passed the stadium on quite a few occasions, on the Asian side. Most of the sights were on the other side of the Dardanelles, the European side. We took a taxi which was about 10mins to the ferry port which set us back the princely sum of £3. The ferries run backwards and forwards and it is hectic. They moor the ferries like they are parking a car in a car park, no waiting for one boat to finish mooring they just slot in alongside.

Hagia Sophia

We were probably two of the last westerners to visit the Hagia Sophia as a museum. On 10th July a Turkish court struck down the 1934 cabinet decree that made it a museum and restored its status to that of a mosque with the first prayers to be held on Friday 24th July 2020.  It was built as a Christian church in the 6th century but became a mosque in 1453 after the Turkish conquest.  In 1934, President Ataturk, changed its status from a mosque and in 1935 it became a museum. 

Tombs of the Sultans

Blue Mosque

Unfortunately for us, the Mosque was having work done and so there wasn’t much for us to see as most of it was covered in scaffolding.  It was built between 1609 and 1616 and is still a functioning mosque.  It is known as the Blue Mosque because of the blue tiles surrounding the interior walls. 

Basilica Cistern

The cistern is located nearby to the Hagia Sophia. There are hundreds of ancient cisterns underneath the streets of Istanbul. The Basilica Cistern is the largest. It was built in 532 during the reign of Emperor Justinian I to meet the needs of the Great Palace. The Cistern is 143 metres long and 65 metres wide. It is supported by 336 columns, each 9 metres high and spaced at four meter intervals arranged in 12 rows of 28 columns.

 The Süleymaniye Mosque 

The mosque is located on the Third Hill of Istanbul. The mosque was commissioned by Suleiman the Magnificent in the mid 1550’s. It is the second largest mosque in Istanbul.

We decided that we should go for a drink, and take in the view across the Golden Horn of Istanbul. “There is a very expensive beer with my name on it” said Ian. No there wasn’t. Only fruit drinks here. Wasn’t always easy to find places that actually sold alcohol. On the way back down the hill on another day we passed a bar, which had football scarves hanging everywhere and here we did get a beer, although, you could touch the trams as they went by if you stuck your hand out.

Topkapi Palace

The Palace was home to the Ottoman Sultans for nearly four centuries.  It housed between 1000 and 4000 people.  The Harem was the living quarters of the Sultan’s family, it supported as many as 300 concubines (mistresses).  The Sultan, under Islamic law, was allowed four wives but clearly no restriction of concubines.  The Queen Mother, was the central power in the Harem, she was the chief consort whose son had ascended to the throne. She also had influence over the Sultan.

In the Domed Chamber (also known as the Council Hall) council members met to discuss state affairs. The Grand Vizier led state meetings and sometimes the Sultan would listen  through a grilled window from a small room above. 

The Ceremonial Throne

We thought we’d take a boat trip down the Bospherus, as we hadn’t spent enough time on boats! However, we ended up taking more trips that we originally anticipated going backwards and forwards as we hadn’t appreciated we had to change at Eminuou. So 90 minutes later we eventually headed up the Bospherus. Ian was checking the current as it rips along here so we knew which parts of the channel to sail up when we left to go up to the Black Sea.

We really liked Istanbul and it is definitely somewhere we’d recommend a visit.

July 2020

Gallipoli & Troy

The Dardanelles is a narrow natural channel of water (3/4 to 4 miles wide) which leads from the Aegean Sea through to the Sea of Marmara and connects to the Black Sea via the Bosporus Strait which we would later sail along.

There are many ships to navigate between whilst sailing along here. We were headed to Çanakkale but it was too far in one hit so we stopped at quite an open bay, which you can only anchor in if the wind is in the right direction and thankfully it was. We thought we would get a swell from the ships going backwards and forwards but surprisingly we didn’t. Standing imposingly overlooking Morto bay is the Çanakkale Martyrs’ Memorial, which stands 137 ft high and is dedicated to the Turkish soldiers who participated in the Gallipoli Campaign in 1915.

We saw the biggest group, in one place, of jelly fish. It was like they were streaming along off for a day out.


We arrived at the marina in Çanakkale which was right in the centre of town. More sightseeing here. Someone had recommended that we should have a tour guide for our visit to Gallipoli. We were their first customers of the season. We arranged our tour guide and we left at 9.15am on the ferry to Eceabat where we picked up the minibus to start our tour around the Peninsula.

We visited a number of War Grave Cemeteries, including 57th Infantry Regiment (Turkish), Lone Pine (Anzac) Lone Pine Memorial (Anzac and British), Helles Memorial (Commonwealth) and Çanakkale (Turkish). The Helles Memorial commemorates more than 20,000 servicemen of the British Empire who died during the campaign and have no known grave. Each of the graves at the Çanakkale Cemetery has 36 names and the background of the headstone depicts the Turkish flag.

Alongside the 57th Infantry Regiment Cemetery is a large statue of a Turkish Soldier carrying a rifle. The guide asked us if we knew what was wrong with the statue. Clever Clogs Ian, had the answer. The soldier was holding a Lee Enfield rifle, which was you probably know, a British rifle.

Part of our tour included the Gallipoli War Museum. They had various British notices encouraging men to enlist. Also there was a museum set up as a field hospital.

We visited where the Anzac front line trenches were, there wasn’t much to see but the tour guide told us some interesting stories. He then suggested that we might like to have a wander about. I was OK until he said “beware of the snakes”. “There are vipers and they are vicious”. Well that was it for me. I was back the minibus like a shot. A major phobia of mine. We then went to Walkers Ridge, which was mostly eroded now. We followed the guide who stamped his feet as he walked along. I looked Ian and said “is he doing what I think he is?” Yep! He was just warning the slithery things that we were there. Lost my concentration at that stage and kept looking about just in case!

Included in the tour was a three course lunch which was very nice. I would definitely recommend visiting with a guide to give you the history and our guide certainly knew his stuff. We arrive back in Çanakkale at 6.30pm, it had been a long day but worth it. So we thought we’d finish off with a couple of beers.


The other sight to see here is the ancient city of Troy. It is not your typical ancient ruins, or as some would say – pile of rocks. It is very incomplete but there are nine layers of Troy dating back as far as 5,000 years ago to 3,000BC.

Made famous by the legend Helen of Troy and the Trojan Horse. The original Trojan Horse used in the film “Troy”, is outside the marina in Çanakkale.

The landscape in this part of Turkey is surprising as it looks very much like parts of the English countryside.

June 2020

Kusadasi to Ayvalik

Kusadasi is a normally a busy tourist resort which is a regular stop for cruise ships, with approx 600 ships visiting annually, so this gives you an idea of how rammed it would be pre Corona Virus.  Whilst here we were asked on many occasions “where have you come from?” we clearly didn’t “look local”. Since then we’ve had to repeat the story many times, that we come from London (no-one knows where Canvey Island is) but we’ve been in Kas for the winter.

One of the reasons to go to Kusadasi is to visit Ephesus an ancient Greek city which later became a major Roman settlement.  It attracts about 10,000 visitors per day, yes per day.  This photo is the Street of the Curetes, which is 210 metres long, with not a soul to be seen.

There must have been possibly 50 people wandering around the whole site it was wonderful for us, but not for the local economy.  The Library of Celsus is magnificent.  The ruins also has public toilets, how civilised you would think, yes and no, they are open air and very public!

The House of the Virgin Mary is also at Ephesus, but unfortunately this was closed so we’ll call in there on our way back down to Kas. 

We also visited the Ephesus Archaeological Museum where there are two statues of the Artemis.  The first the Colossal Artemis dates back to the first century and the second, known as the Beautiful Artemis was made in the second century.  The signs of the zodiac are shown on her neck, symbolising her power over the heavens. 

The name Kusadasi means bird island and the small island that is connected to the mainland by a walkway is called Pigeon Island and has a castle that sits on it. 

The Caravan Saray, no it’s not a caravan park, was built in the 16th Century and was a place for travellers to stay.  Travellers would stay in the rooms on the first floor and the animals and goods were accommodated on the ground floor.  This particular Caravan Saray was also a fortress.

After a week here, time to move on.  We anchored in a couple of different bays one of which was an inlet where the boats for the fishing farms which were along this stretch moored.  Very pretty and sheltered.


Ayvalik was in a bay that was reached by a narrow waterway.  It reminded us of Poole Harbour but on a bigger scale and it was much deeper.  Ian, who constantly wants tea, Cay here in Turkey, spotted a café in a little square.  I thought it looked like a working man’s club, but he insisted it wasn’t.  The clue being there were only men sitting at the tables.  I translated the sign which is behind Ian’s head and it reads “Brothers Challenge Tea House”! I rest my case.

We spent just a few days here, we would pop back but as I mentioned before we wanted to get as far north as soon as we could before the prevailing northerly winds came in.  Ian had been looking at Google Earth looking for places to anchor/moor.  Babakale was one of those such places.  It was a fishing port and due to the pandemic didn’t have many boats in it.  An interesting fact we discovered is that Babakale sits on a cape that is the western most point of mainland Asia. 

Just one night here and we were headed to the Dardanelles strait which separates European Turkey from Asian Turkey. 

June 2020

We’re off for the season – Turkey

Finally we had been given the green light to travel and so on 14th May us and Copycat waved goodbye to Kas until later in the year. 

There was absolutely zero wind and it was hot!  We had planned to make our way to Fethiye, well we were in for a little surprise.  Four hours in and we were called up on the radio by the coastguard telling us that we need to turn around and head back south.  At that moment we heard a loud bang, which confirmed that yes there was firing practice going on.  So backwards we went, two and a half hours to Kalkan, which is about 16 miles from Kas.  It was a lovely bay and we ended up spending four nights here as the firing practice was going on for this long.  It gave Ian plenty of time to clean the bottom of the boat. 

We next headed to a little bay called Akvaryum Koyu, which is just three miles from the well known tourist resort of Olu Deniz and only reachable by sea.  There is just one restaurant here.

We anchored just outside the Blue Lagoon at Olu Deniz, as boats aren’t allowed in there.  There were a number of other boats there, and a couple of Aussie guys helped tie our ropes to the rocks, this was after Karen on Copycat had already jumped in the water to tie their ropes off.  We went ashore here and at this time beaches were closed and we had to try and get the Jandarma (police) to understand that we weren’t planning on sunbathing but that we had just come off the boat so it was our only way to get ashore across the beach.  IOlu Deniz is normally packed but it was eerily quiet, like a ghost town.  We got some strange looks from the few people about as to how we had got there.

My cousin Sue and her husband Rick joined us for a day.  Ian picked them up from the beach and they had to make the same explanation to the Jandarma. 

We dropped Sue off at the end of the day and then headed round to Fethiye where we anchored in the bay.  The following day we spent a lovely day at Sue’s and got to go swimming in the pool. 

There were some strong winds, the bain of a sailor’s life, coming through plus there was a four day curfew coming up so we headed to one off the islands by Gocek, us and umpteen others had had the same idea.  There were a number of pontoons here belonging to a restaurant which we tied up along side.  We were having a heatwave too, temperatures were in the mid 30’s, which is unusual for this time of year so Ian decided that he would cook a beef wellington, just what you need.  He’d seen some nice fillet in the butchers at a reasonable price and decided that it had to be beef wellington.  It was very nice.

We went for a walk and there was quite a bit of rubbish so Ian collected some of it, it was Trash Tuesday after all.

Our next port of call was Marmaris, which is a big yachtie place.  There are several streets of shops selling everything you could want for a boat.  Ian was and Ronnie, as you can imagine, like kids in a toy shop.  It’s normally the guys that stand outside shops waiting, well this time it was Karen and I.  This is another place that in normal times would be rammed.  We walked up to the castle but that was also shut.  We had a day of rain here, yes we do get it, the countryside is green, so it has to rain some time.  We need shopping so we went off in our pac-a-mac’s and our face masks which were mandatory in public places in the region of Mugla. 

We were due to leave Marmaris at about 8 o’clock.  Ian is in the wide awake club at 7, so that’s that, he springs out of bed and we’re off.  He, unbelievably I know, has a habit of doing this.  We had more strong winds coming through so we headed off to Bodrum to hide for a couple of days which we did in two hops as it was too far a trip in one day.  We left our Mahe Mates behind.  We wanted to get moving on as far north as possible sooner rather than later as Ian wanted to get into the Black Sea, to visit Bulgaria and Romania, alas at time of writing this, it’s not meant to be.  There are quarantine restrictions by them and Turkey which has just been extended.  Also the prevailing winds along the coast of Turkey are northerly which normally start mid-end of June, so it’s worth getting as far north as we can so that when they do start we are heading south with the wind behind us.  As Ian would say “Gentleman don’t go to windward”, I have to remind him of that on occasions when we are going to windward.  We anchored in the bay next to Bodrum, which wasn’t quite what we expected.  There were rows and rows of concrete blocks of apartments.  I expect in normal times, will things ever be normal again, this is a busy resort with loud music, jet skis and speed boats whizzing people about.  None of this on this visit. 

We were planning on going to Kusadasi and staying there for about a week as we wanted to see some of the sights there, Ephuses.  We thought we’d do it on the way up rather than on the way down as with no international tourists or cruise ships which dock here regularly it would be much quieter.  More on that next time.  We hopped along the coast over the next couple of days before arriving in Kusadasi. 

May- June 2020