Sunday, 27 July 2008

Beautiful Kekova Roads... Jul 2008

21 - 26 July 2008

***Enjoying the long balmy med evenings - Having our first bar-b-que onboard we think since NZ, *** ***Looking down to Kale Koy from the ancient Selchuk Fort*** ***Looking the other way towards Ucagiz, Balvenie is closest on the left*** ***The Sarcophagi at Ucagiz, there are hundreds***

We didn’t really know what to expect along this coast. So many people we had spoken to have said Turkey has some of the best cruising in the world. Calm nights and mornings, afternoon sea breezes, scenic bays, excellent affordable restaurants, cute villages, amazing ruins and shore excursions, snug harbours, the list of positives goes on and on. So we had reasonably high expectations but have been disappointed before so came with an open mind and hoped for the best. So far all our expectations have been exceeded . This part of Turkey is amazing and we have only come about 20 miles from Finike!!!

We left Finike just before the sea breeze kicked in and had a lovely sail to the far eastern anchorage of Kekova Roads. Kekova Roads is the name of a long thin island about 4 miles long which lies west to east about 1 mile off the Turkish Mainland. There are several other little islands within the sheltered waters and loads of great little bays, a few little beaches, a sunken city, a dominant fortress, sarcophagi tumbling down to the waters edge and a couple of cute villages. All in all it’s easy to while away a few days and just enjoy it all.

We stopped the first night at the most eastern end in behind Ashil Adasi with several other yachts and had a wonderful still evening so decided to dust the cobwebs off the bar-b-que. Next morning we took Dougie the Dinghy ashore to some ruins and had a wander around, there are just ruins everywhere along this coast, I guess we will get “ruined out” but at the moment we are enjoying them all.
Anchorage info: Ashil Adasi/Gokkaya Liman 36.12.65N 29.53.66E Sheltered and flat water but excellent conditions

Back on Balvenie and a short motor along the channel. We passed the magnificent castle which sits high above Kale Koy dominating the hillside and would once have kept a very watchful eye over all the comings and goings below.
Mooring info: There are a couple of docks in Kale Koy (can be hard to see as many gulets may be at anchor off) with about 8 metre depths that you can tie alongside and use water and power, one had free wifi, as long as you eat at the corresponding restaurant, meals were between 10 – 15 Lira pp. We didn’t find these until we had a dinghy excursion there and anchored around the corner in an inner bay called Ucagiz Liman. This is a totally enclosed bay and although the water was murky we still had our daily Med dip.

We dinghyed around to Kale Koy late in the afternoon and got intercepted by a local woman, Angel who basically gave us a walking tour and escorted us to the top of the castle. It was impossible to not have someone go with you, there was one with every tourist, all with their basket of wares then at the top they show their goodies to sell. Unfortunately Angel only had shawls/wraps, something that I have bought a few of along the way and just don’t need any more of, especially not at 25Lira each, so the outstanding view from the top was somewhat overshadowed by my guilt at not parting with any money when she had walked all the ay up with us. Kale Koy is a great little place though, with cute waterfront restaurants, ruins underwater, sarcophagi lying in the shallows and a lovely outlook, we stayed for a couple of drinks as the sun dipped over the hills , then got back home though the rocks before dark.

The village closest to us at anchor, Ucagiz, looked flat and uninspiring and very busy with the tour boats going out to Kale Koy but we decided to go ashore in the morning to have a look and get some bread. Turkish bread is great, its everywhere, big white Vienna type loaves, lovely and soft, keeps well and only around .60Lira a loaf, yummy. Well Ucagiz was really quite nice, in between the bus and boat loads of tourists it settled down to a little local village and we enjoyed walking round the winding streets behind the waterfront.
Anchorage info: The one in the photo on the left was our first anchorage in here. 36.11.67N 29.51.23E, very sheltered, totally enclosed inner bay. Reasonable dinghy ride to KaleKoy if you decide not to go on the dock there.

We moved on in the afternoon, another 2 miles to Polemos Buku where we had had a restaurant recommended, it was a windy afternoon with the wind whipping through the anchorage and it didn’t die down till after dark so we had dinner onboard. We had a few nervous moments late in the afternoon with charter yachts coming into the anchorage under full sail in over 25knots and then going upwind of us to drop sails, very entertaining but totally unnecessary.
Anchorage info: 36.09.92N 29.48.23E Wind bullets over the hill, flat enough water

Next morning strong winds were forecast for another 2 days so we sailed with the headsail downwind for the huge 2 miles journey back to Ucagiz and settled in. We amused ourselves by watching all the comings and goings of the charter boats, gullets, bread delivery boat, ferries, and went ashore a couple of times for drinks in a couple of places with free slow internet (better than nothing), one was a treehouse place, set up the hill and flies a mini red hot air balloon. Health and Safety would never let this place operate in many countries, its all different levels built upwards through some trees and very rickety looking but very cool.We did a quick mercy dash one afternoon when a teenager off a neighbouing charter boat had gone ashore to get some assistance as they could not get their anchor up. Her dinghy was t-boned by a small incoming ferry and she ended up in the water with the dinghy motor still going, round and round her in circles. Her parents were obviously quite distraught watching all this from their boat with no means of getting to her, so we zoomed over to them as quick as Dougie with his little 2.5hp outboard will go and went to the rescue. Luckily she was not hurt but it is a reminder to us all how things can turn turtle. Talking of turtles, we saw some in the bay. There are a couple of docks here also that you can tie up to, 1 advertises 4 metre depth but we believe it is only 1.5 metre – we didn’t test it!!! I should also mention that if you have dinner at Hassans restaurant the next morning they deliver a loaf of bread to the boat, not bad aye! There are close on 100 sarcophagi lying around here, through the village and on the shoreline, it’s a great place to explore and we enjoyed our time here.
Anchorage info: anchored further into the bay this time at 36.11.64N 29.50.66E flat water in strong winds
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Tuesday, 22 July 2008

No Scurvy and No more Nappies ... July 2008

Posted by PicasaCLICK ON ANY PHOTO TO ENLARGE ***Mornings shopping at the market*** ***The hole in the wall and the old cylinder*** ***Plumbing by brail - Admiral eyes direct Skippers hands*** ***New blue cylinder***
12 - 20 July 2008
At last the hot water cylinder arrived, only a week late. I didn’t mind at all because at last I am in Finike for the Saturday market so while Mark starts disconnecting and removing the old leaky cylinder I get to check out all the wonderful fresh produce at the market. There is still a thriving market culture in Turkey and the market is in different towns in the region on different days of the week, it was huge, not only with fresh produce but clothing, shoes, hardware, carpets, fabrics, crockery – basically the shopping mall comes to town once a week and everyones needs are catered to. We planned to leave the following day so I filled the fridges with fruit and vegetables, as you can see from the photo we will not be getting scurvy anytime soon. All the goodies displayed, plus a few extras that did not quite fit in the photo cost 18Lira, about $20NZD/$15USD and were all very fresh and tasted just great, especially the peaches. Sadly the end of the cherry season was upon us, they had been sensational and at 4Lira per kilo an absolute bargain.
Meanwhile Mark has made good progress on the cylinder, the old is out, the support shelving strengthened and the new put in place. It is 40degrees inside Balvenie, he is trying to attach the hosing by brail and 3 out of 4 are in place. But as with anything when he has foolishly uttered those words “this looks pretty straightforward” before starting there is a hiccup. The 4th connection is different, none of our joiners will work, the nearby chandlery has closed and its Sunday tomorrow. Time for a swim and several cold beers!!!! After much more searching through our spares and with the kind help of fellow cruiser Chris off Billabong the cylinder installation was completed on Sunday. The nappies are removed as at last there are no longer drips to catch and finally we made plans to start cruising West along the Turkish coast.

Monday, 21 July 2008

So just what do we do all day???... July 2008

CLICK ON ANY PHOTOS TO ENLARGE THEM ***Mark with hose at the top of the mast*** ***Was that a seagull with bad diarrhoea or just the first splats of dirty brown hitting the deck as he cleans above*** ***Dinner out in Finike with Bill and Tony, the big round thing in the middle is turkish bread, its full of hot air and its fun bursting it. It also tastes excellent with the accompanying dips***

12 - 20 July 2008
Another day and no new hot water cylinder. Its day 19 since ordering, eta was 10-14 days, oh well, this is Turkey, and its a great place, beautiful weather, lovely people and the food is just so good, what's the hurry to move.

We anchored outside Finike Marina when we returned from our little tour east. We had 5 nights out there, its pretty comfortable and we could bring the dinghy into the marina to come ashore, but yesterday strong winds were forecast so we decided to splash out and come in and tie up for a few nights until the Water cylinder arrives. We are all snug, power plugged in, wifi booming in, step ashore and endless water on tap. Shame not to take advantage of all that water really, although we have cleaned and cleaned the boat since leaving the Red Sea the dirt just keeps coming out so Mark decided to attack it from the top, so up the mast in the bosuns chair he went, with me on the electric winch sending him on his way - right to the top - along with hose, can you see him, that little spec in the photo. And what about the mess he made, look at the first few drops that came down, yuk, soon the whole deck, basically everything on the boat including me was just covered in brown sludge. After a couple of hours we had Mark back down to sea level we then hoisted the mainsail to clean it. It had done an excellent job of catching much of the brown sludge to add to the layers of Red Sea dust it already had accumulated, so as it went up, more muddy water came down, oh what a mess. Anyway we hosed down all the sail, pulling it up and dropping it more times than we should have, something went wrong with our planning and strategy and we sort of did it all back to front, but eventually it was done, dried and lower just before the wind kicked it. By then it was definitely time for lunch and to admire the work we had done, but only if we looked upwards because deck level wasn't pretty. So all afternoon was spent by me finishing the deck, stainless steel, all the dodger, even got the clear zip-in windows out attached them and polished them up. Meanwhile Mark was in the dinghy and washed then cleaned and polished the hull, it is gleaming. Somewhere inbetween I took down all the mosquito screens which I'm sure had been black at one stage but all looked chocolate brown, amazing they are all black again and the air can even get through them again now that all the dust has gone. Plus I even managed a load of laundry by hand, and replaced some bungies that didn't bungy anymore, and did I mention that I broke my toe this morning!!!!!, nasty cracking noise and we have been watching it change colour all day long, oh well life goes on!!!! Then about 6pm we walked over to the swimming area here and cooled off, followed by a nice long shower, then we met friends Bill off Mariah and Chris and KT off Billabong for a few well earned drinks ashore and finished off the evening with excellent "pides" (turkish thin and crispy pizzas) for dinner, at 5Lira (NZD5.50 or Euro2.50) for the 2 of us why eat in. So phew, no wonder we are sitting here at 11.30pm feeling total wrecks. Maybe we will take tomorrow off for good behavior!!! Still the end result it outstanding, after 2 full days of cleaning and polishing Balvenie is absolutely gleaming, and we need a holiday.
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Sunday, 20 July 2008

Skippers Malaysia-Med Cruising Notes


Advice (for what its worth) and things I would do different if we did the Indian Ocean again.

1) Make sure your engine is in the best shape of its life !!
2) Make sure you are seriously spared up big time !!. Assume there is nothing between Thailand and Turkey. Get as much as you can in Langkawi. I waited until Phuket to get my Volvo and Yanmar spares/filters etc and paid up to 4 times more than I would in NZ or Oz. All the ports you visit support commercial and fishing fleets so there is always a local guy to help as long as you have the bits on board.
3) Have a very very close look at the booze situation. If you miss Sri Lanka and India you can’t buy any booze until Eygpt . Most boats ran out this year. Just think 3 cans a day (ha ha) for 5 months equals 450 cans equals 19 cases!!. etc etc. Tonic was not easily available (even in Phuket they had run out!!)
4) Have plenty photocopies of ships papers, passports and crew lists. Our boat stamp was well received. Need plenty passport photos too.
5) We have steps up to our first spreaders. These were invaluable on several occasions, we would not have been able to access some anchorages without them. So if you haven’t got them maybe consider fixing ratlines to get that extra height for visibility coming into the reef anchorages.
6) Handy to have a few jerry jugs. You don’t want to tie up to the wharfs - ugly ugly.
7) Don’t get too hung up on food supplies. There are first world supermarkets in Sri Lanka, Oman, Aden, Hurghada and Ismailia. Top up big time in Egypt its much cheaper than Cyprus, Israel or Turkey.
8) Unless you check- in at Malle, Maldives and pay a ton of money for a cruising permit (No time for cruising anyway you’re on a mission !!!) use Uligamu in northern Maldives as a pit stop only for a few days. Checking-in and out, getting fuel and water is a breeze, but you are not allowed to visit any other islands. Rest and move on. The best stuff is ahead of you.
9) Make sure you have a fishing line out closing on Salalah, plenty plenty Mahi Mahi!!!. Couldn’t haul them in fast enough. Good fishing right through till Egypt
10) Stay close to Yemen coast 15 miles or so, don’t miss Al Mukalla or Sana’a. Don’t leave until you’ve smoked a hubble bubble pipe in a Bedouin tent!!
12) No need to get involved in some military style formation synchronized motor sailing exercise. Just hang out with a couple of other boats and keep in sight during the day and maybe close up at night. Honestly we were as apprehensive as anybody about pirate alley but we ended up stopping along the Yemen coast and felt reasonably comfortable moving along the coast line with a few very friendly Yemeni patrols zooming by from time to time lobbing fish on to the boat!!
13) It is true. If it’s blowing 20knots in Aden its blowing 40knots in the Bab al Mandeb Strait. Gets very lumpy but its down hill and things flatten out after a few hours going north.
14) We more or less day sailed to Eygpt and worked our way north up the west coast in side many reefs and islands often sailing close hauled in lightish winds and flat water. Easy peasy!! This takes more time but be patent don’t push it. Just keep nibbling away. Reefs are very obvious.
15) North of Massawa – BEWARE!! An unexpected solid southerly is followed by a few hours of no wind is followed by a howler from the north. 3 times we were enjoying wing on wing sailing thinking the Red Sea is a breeze then the wind died and we motored for a few hours only to be stopped in our tracks by big northerly. Take the southerly but don’t be greedy and head for safe haven during the lull.
16) Don’t miss Massawa and Suakin
17) We only got adverse conditions a couple of times, both further north at night when you are forced to do a couple of overnighters so have a plan B.
18) I don’t mean to be a negative Nigel but the Red Sea isn’t done until its done. The toughest part for us was the last 180 miles from Hurghada up the Gulf of Suez. We were a tad late in the season by then (early June).
19) Fill up with diesel in Egypt USD0.18c a litre. Turkey is well over USD2.00 a litre, Greece currently 1.15Euro a litre.
20) Lastly have some "pirate packs" onboard. We put together water (or fizzy drinks), cigarettes, biscuits/cookies and basically anything else surplus we wanted to get rid of (old liferaft supplies!!) and threw them to the boats that came for a look. They were so grateful, and if you give them something they will then leave you alone (especially in Sri Lankan waters). Baseball caps were a winner too.

The journey from Thailand to Turkey was the most amazing season of our adventure so far. There is no doubt it’s a long haul and you are always aware of the clock ticking. The urge to get the whole journey behind you is strong when you leave Asia but try to fight it and spend time in these places. We left Nai Harn Bay on Phuket 21 December 2007 and ended up stopping in the Surins 1 week, Andamans 3 weeks , Sri Lanka 12 days, Maldives 1 week, Oman 10 days, 3 weeks in Yemen, 12 days in Eritrea, 13 days in Sudan , 5 weeks in Eygpt and a week in Cyprus and arrived in Turkey 25 June 2008. Wouldn’t have missed any of it!! Posted by Picasa

Sunday, 13 July 2008

Cruising east of Finike ... July 2008

***Tony, Jessica and Mark on the bridge to Paradise Cafe, Adrasan Beach*** ***All the Gulets at Tekirova Beach*** ***Ruins at the ancient city of Phaselis with Mt Solymnus in the background***
03 -12 July 2008

We are killing time waiting for a new hot water cylinder to arrive into Finike. This has been an ongoing problem since Malaysia when it first started leaking. Unfortunately they built the boat around the cylinder and we couldn’t get it out until we got to Thailand and had a big hole sawed in our aft cabin wall. Then we couldn’t get a new cylinder before we left so had the old one repaired. Well that lasted till the Maldives when it started springing new leaks and has been ever since. It wouldn’t be so bad if it just leaked into the bilge but it sits above the generator so leaks down onto it, so we have had all manner of contraptions rigged to catch the water, along with nappies to soak it up. Needless to say the 1100NZD's we are being charged for a new cylinder will be money well spent!!
So while we await its arrival we have taken the time to cruise east and have spent the last 10 days in some lovely spots between here and Tekirova. We were in company with Tony on Tactical Directions for most of it who had Swedish friend Jessica onboard. We spent the 1st two nights at Cavus Liman or Adrasan Beach. This was a big fairly sheltered bay that had a row of beach restaurants and pensions that looked to serve mainly the local market. We had a long walk ashore right to the end of the beach and followed the road and a small stream and discovered about 6 little cafes with wooden platforms built over the stream which housed the tables, chairs, loungers and umbrellas. All a very laid back environment in a delightful setting.
From there we moved onto Cineviz Liman (Liman means bay in Turkish), this was a stunning spot with dramatic steep hills coming straight down to the waters edge, beautiful clear water, almost totally protected from the wind, and a couple of small pebbly beaches ashore to swim to. We had 3 lazy days in there with a mixture of large overnight tour Gulets, day tripper Gulets, small local craft and a few yachts coming and going. The Gulets are large wooden boats, usually schooners but very few using sails, which are used for the tourist market all along the southern and western Turkish coast. There are 100’s of them and we haven’t got to the touristy parts yet!!! We met up again with Annie and Liam off Gone with the Wind for a couple of days which was great, they had just arrived in from Cyprus along with another Australian boat Mercury II and British boat White Rose.
From there we headed a little further north to Tekirova while Tony continued to Kemer to drop Jessica off for her return flight to Sweden.. When we arrived into the bay at Tekirova I counted a least 22 Gulets, it seemed we had found the tourists, we anchored in the southern end of the bay staying as far away from the crowds as possible. By 4pm all but a few small local craft remained, peace had been restored. Tekirova is the site of ancient Phaselis founded in 690BC by Greek colonists and became a busy trading port for the area. We spent three hours ashore in the morning while all was still quiet wandering around the ruins of this harbour town, under the aqueduct arches, through the houses, into the bathhouses, up onto the terraces of the amphitheatre for an uninterrupted view across to Mt Solymnus, then a walk through the pine forest to the necropolis where there are broken sarcophagi lying covered with pinecones. It was a great stopover and gave us this weeks ration of culture!!! By the time we left the bay there were 30 Gulets in there, most tourists just lounging about onboard or swimming, very few seemed interested in the history ashore. We had a great sail back to Cineviz Liman and tucked back in there for another 3 nights, meeting up again with Tony on Tactical Directions, and meeting at last Sarah and GB off American yacht Djarrka who we have heard on the radio all season, great to finally meet and spend a couple of happy hours catching up with them. Yesterday we came the 30 miles back to Finike, we managed to sail all but the 1st 40 minutes, having wind from all directions and up to 23 knots, somewhat challenging but keeps skipper on the ball. Now we will sit and wait for our parts.

Thursday, 10 July 2008

Made it to Turkey - Finike ... Jun 2008

25 Jun - 03 Jul 2008
***Cute little beach between Finike and Kas*** Us at Kas Fishing Harbour*** Evening out at the Opera under the Stars - Norma by Bellini performed at the stunning 1800 year old Aspendos Ampitheatre***

Our first week in Turkey has been action packed, we need to leave the marina and find a quiet little bay to get some rest!!!! We arrived at 9am on 25 June and were assisted into our med mooring berth at Finike Marina by extremely helpful and professional staff and we were tied up before we knew it, always a relief. Finike is a small town about half way between Fethiye and Antalya. It is very Turkish with few tourists except for the yachties, but has some excellent little local cafes, a couple of reasonable supermarkets, a huge Saturday produce market, a good marina with all facilities and a nice leisurely, local feel to it all. We were going to stay a couple of days to check in and have a look around, we are now up to day 8!!!!

We have had a day out exploring by car with Tony off Tactical Directions and Bill, crew member off Mariah. We headed west along the winding coast road first to the Church of St Nicholas (Santa Claus and the patron saint of Sailors), although its not in great shape it was built in the 3rd century and still has Byzantine frescoes and some mosaics floors. Next stop, about 2kms further on were the ruins of Myra with a well preserved Greco-Roman ampitheatre and Lycian Tombs high in the cliffs. Then coffee time and we headed down to the lovely harbour area at Kas. This looks like a great place, as did our next stop Kalekoy and we plan to go back on Balvenie and spend some time there exploring. Then it was time to explore more ruins at Xanthos, the ancient Lycian capital. We were befriended by a local man who we are not sure was a tour guide or not but his English was ok and he had a great knowledge of the history of the ruins and showed us all sorts of things we would not otherwise have found - terracotta water pipes, ancient swimming pools, hidden mosaics. It was a worthwhile stop and had an outstanding vista of the plains below. Next it was onto Fethiye to checkout the marina, anchorage and of course the chandlerys. It's a medium sized town with quite a tourist presence but had a nice feel to it. The drive home was interupted by a flat tyre, I enjoyed the view of the med while the boys , changed the tyre in record time, happy hour was upon us!! It was a great day out, many thanks to Tony for the car.

A couple of nights ago we joined an excursion organised by the marina to the outdoor opera at Aspendos. With a 5pm departure and 3am return it was a long evening but totally worthwhile. We had a dinner stop in Antalya with excellent food then it was onto the 1800 year old Aspendos Ampitheatre which is an outstanding venue. It is totally restored, completely enclosed around but open to the stars and is a fitting setting for an Italian Opera. A must do (even for non Opera fans) if you have the opportunity. Meanwhile this week has been the Finike Music Festival with local guest performances in the square each night, finishing off with a big nightly fireworks display at 12.30am, so you can see why we must leave and get some sleep. Nearly time for our daily dip in the med to cool down. More updates when we get out cruising this beautiful coastline.

Anchorage info
: Finike Marina - med mooring, line for the bow provided, need own stern lines x 2. Gets afternoon seabreeze but very sheltered, very big breakwater. Marina fees expensive on
daily rate 46Lira, no weekly rate, monthly and longer much much more affordable. One of the cheapist marinas in Turkey
Checkin info: Full checkin facilities all at marina - takes a couple of hours max. Turkish visas are 90days 43Lira for the 2 of us on EU passports, free on NZ passports. Harbourmaster fee 10Lira, Turkish Transit Log 97.50Lira

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