Friday, 15 August 2008

Waiting in Fethiye ... Aug 2008

01 - 18 Aug 2008
CLICK ON EITHER PHOTO TO ENLARGE ***Lycian Rock Tombs set in the cliff just behind downtown Fethiye***The culprit watermaker part - lighter is to give some idea of size!!!!***

The good news is that the watermaker part has finally arrived. This little piece of plastic with shipping from Swtizerland (quite close to Turkey!) has cost $295NZD and we will treasure it dearly, lets just hope that when skipper finishes fitting it, we will have freshly made water again and no more big big drips. Latest moral to the story is if you want parts sent to Turkey, well frankly, just try and do without them, or get someone to bring them, or fly somewhere and get them yourself!!! If you really really have to; and you are in Fethiye DONT use DHL, they don't have an office here (besides the marina staff telling us to use them), use UPS or FedEx. So now we have our part but there is a tri nations rugby game on tomorrow between New Zealand and South Africa so we best stay to support the All Blacks, whats another day!!!!

We have actually taken some time out from just waiting and done some more sightseeing. The Lycian Rock Tombs in the photo are just on the cliff face behind the harbour area and are quite impressive for a little excursion. Then a couple of days ago we caught a dolmus (minivan) and went to Kayakoy. In past history this present day "ghost town" of around 2000 stone houses was settled by Ottoman-Greeks who were relocated to Greece after the Turkish War of Independence. This was around 1920 when all the Greek Orthodox Ottomans were moved to Greece and the Muslim Ottomans were moved from Greece to Turkey. The numbers weren't even though and no Muslims settled in this village so over the years it has decayed away, with help from the frequent earthquakes that occur in these parts. It was all a somber sight and well worth the visit. For those of you that have read Louis de Bernieres' novel "Birds without Wings", this was this village that provided the inspiration for Eskibahce the village in his novel. Unfortunately I went out without my camera so the scenes from this haunting location are committed only to memory.

The days don't seem to be much hotter than July was but the nights are not cooling off as much at the moment. Last night saw 32degrees celcius in our cabin at midnight. We have now taken to putting our water spray bottle in the fridge (previously left at room temperature) during the day and when we go to bed we spray ourselves down and turn the fan on full and try to lower our body temperature. Mark is constantly melting, whereby I am still enjoying it especially knowing that for the first time in five years we are going to experience a winter this year, long may the gloriously hot, cloudless, sunny days remain!

It's 18 August today, and we are seriously thinking about leaving!!! We have been enjoying the Olympics, the quaint little port area, the cheap restaurants we have found, plus its a great secure anchorage, but can't stay here forever so maybe today will be the day to leave. Update at 5pm, after a busy morning provisioning we have decided to stay another night!!!!
19 August 12.40pm, sea breeze just kicked in, we are off cruising again at last.
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Wednesday, 6 August 2008

Some days are diamonds - some days are just horrible ... August 2008

***Bread delivery in Kekova Roads, looks like a tough job!!!*** *** Balvenie tucked up in Kalkan***

01 August 2008

July was great, but August has not got off to such a good start. We left Yesilkoy Liman reasonably early as the cruising guide states that when the prevailing westerly wind builds there can be a nasty chop as there is a strong current running the other direction. Things started ok, but it turned into one of those days when sailing is just no fun at all. Leave anchorage in 10knots - all sails up, near first headland gusting 25knots - put reef in main, clear headland nice breeze 15 knots - main back up, wind comes round on nose start aiming for Libya, tack back into shore wind comes around with us and builds - reef back in ...... this coastline has 7 headlands so the above scenerio just kept happening over and over again, I suppose 7 times. We finally approached the last headland which we needed to clear to get into Fethiye Bay, but do you think we could get around it, tacking in and out and going nowhere, I was well past my use by date and declared to Skipper that if we did not make it on the next tack I was jumping overboard. I actually thought he might be pleased with this suggestion and just keep tacking all afternoon!!!! but maybe he had just had enough too and the engine came on and we motorsailed round the final cape, expecting a nice beam reach once around and up to Fethiye across the bay.
Once around the cape the wind died to 5 knots but we had a 2 1/2 metre slop, couldn't even really call it a swell as it just came in from all directions tossing us around like a cork. Our first option of heading for Fethiye was abandoned in favour of a closer anchorage in Gemiler Bay and after a very uncomfortable motorsail we finally got into some flatter water and anchored the evening in Karacaoren Buku. The local restaurant has laid some moorings and assists in attaching to them, but we had heard that dinner was a set menu of 30Lira pp which for Turkey is quite expensive so just anchored a little further out. The whole bay was affected by the swell coming in and we had the rolliest night we can remember for a couple of years.
Anchorage info: 36.32.47 29.03.19 in 16m holding ok, very rolly but sheltered
We left early the following morning, the swell was still there but had died down somewhat and we had a reasonably pleasant motor around into Fethiye where we have anchored just outside the marina in mud which is rumoured to set like superglue.
We have met up with old friends here and made some new, the social scene has been rather hectic with outings to the movies ("Wanted" - not recommended!!), dinner at the Fish Market where you buy your fresh fish from the vendors then take it to the nearby restaurants for cooking, Happy Hours (nights) aboard Gone with the Wind that ended with the guitars out and a sing along, and several other excursions. We have certainly slipped into Med time, with dinner after dark around 9pm, off to bed around midnight and a somewhat slow start each morning. Its hitting 40degrees now each day, today the wind is very hot also, but it's August and we did expect it, so we are taking it easy.
Anchorage info: apprx 36.37.46N 29.05.82E 13m mainly mud with some think spots of weed. The anchorage is comfortable, a slight chop in the afternoon sea breeze but generally calm at night. You need to keep clear of the small 'Sunsail' dock (especially with the charter boats returning in a strong seabreeze and backing in!!!!) and also there is a coastguard jetty to be aware of. Try and anchor between Coastguard and the main marina to keep out of the Coastguard ships way. Every now and then they ask yachts to move. Dinghy tie up in the marina and generally access to wifi although it comes and goes a little (I have an external aerial). Wifi code changes every two weeks, on counter in marina office is yellow leaflet advertising Levante Restaurant. Wifi code is on this leaflet.
We are waiting now for a part for our watermaker, it deserves its own blog really but I won't bore you. I will just say that we started trying to source this part from Katadyn in Switerland when we arrived in Cyprus. It finally left Zurich yesterday, it is a 25SFR round piece of plastic that weighs around 100grams, the DHL courier charge to Turkey is 194SFR. (I suspect we may have got a return flight cheaper and gone and collected it) This morning I checked the tracking to see where it was and it is having a problem being cleared by Turkey Customs, they didn't call us so I'm not sure how long it would have sat there, so we called DHL Istanbul who have told us we need to go to Istanbul (it's only 600 miles away) to clear it. We have told them that because it is valued at under 100Euro's it doesn't need customs clearance, they are DHL, shouldn't they know this? Meanwhile the debate is going on ................. and we wait!!!!!!!!!
No idle hands though, the ensuite sink blocked last night, and the good ole rubber plunger just didn't clear it so this morning Mark has taken all the hosing off underneath it and found the culprit. A little plastic cap had fallen down the plug hole and was a perfect fit to block it completely, oh well the pipes and cupboard have had a good clean.

Saturday, 2 August 2008

Yesterday Greece - Today Turkey again ... end July 2008

***Mark outside one of the many rug shops in Kas***Welcome to Greece, Balvenie on the wall at Kastellorizo***Kastellorizo Harbour from the other side Mark with small fishing boat*** Balvenie in tiny Kalkan harbour***

26 - 31 July 2008
We are having a truly wonderful time moving west along the south Turkish coast from Finike. We have been overwhelmed by the amount of stunning spots, tiny villages, tourists towns, excellent ruins and great anchorages we have discovered so far, and everyone keeps saying it is better further west. Today we are in the small harbour of Kalkan which is probably the cutest little "tourist town" we have ever come across. It is very steep and the small lanes head skywards, there are very tasteful shops, hundreds of restaurants all with bourganvillia covered roof terraces affording a spectacular view out over the med, the whole place has a very nice atmosphere.

Yesterday morning we left Kastellorizo which is a Greek Island about 15 miles east of here. We anchored stern to in the harbour in front of all the small cafes and bars, it was another amazing spot which we loved. So all in all life is good at the moment, the sun shines every day, it is getting a little hotter but still manageable and the tourist season has certainly kicked in, charter boats abound but it all makes for great entertainment - always something to watch. Will update more when we get wifi again.

Now we are in Fethiye, getting up to date again. We left Kekova Roads and sailed to windward along the coast, it's what you have to do here as all the prevailing winds at this time of year are from the west, or northwest, which ofcourse is always where we want to go. We have certainly honed our tacking skills and are happy to sail when we have enough wind, but tacking with light winds is soul destroying for at times you really do feel you are just going back where you came from. My soul has been destroyed a few times along this coast but in fairness we have, for the most part, enjoyed the sailing so far.

Our next stop was Kas, the small harbour in Kas is mainly for fishing boats, gulets and small local tour boats and at 70 Lira a night isn't such an attractive option so we anchored in a bay about 1 mile south called Bayindir Liman which is mostly around 20 metres deep. We stayed a couple of nights and had a few hours ashore in Kas which is a lovely town. We had been here before when we came by hire car but enjoyed spending some more time, its quite touristy but is quite upmarket and has some lovely little lanes, cafes and rug shops.
Anchorage info: 36.10.67N 29.38.58E about 22m , some boats anchored stern to.

From Kas it was time to put the Turkish flag and Liras away for a couple of day and it was back out with the Euro (left over from Cyprus) and hoist our new Greek flag. Yes we were off to Greece, and it was only 3 miles away!!!

There is the small Greek Island of Kastellorizo just off the coast here, 70 miles from its closest Greek neighbour of Rhodes and it is a popular spot for those wanting a quick change of country. We had been advised by other cruisers not to anchor in the main harbour but to go to the next bay called Mandraki which we did. The holding isn't too good in there, there is a thick layer of weed, but found a little spot and settled in. The wind picked up during the afternoon so we decided to stay onboard until it dropped, as it's a small bay with lots of big crunchy rocks around the edge. We had a nice swim and leisurely afternoon, but as the afternoon progressed the winds increased and by 8pm we had over 25knots so decided to up anchor and either try to anchor in the main harbour or follow our track back to Kas before dark. We entered the main harbour and we are still not sure if the wind just stopped or if it was much more sheltered but calmness overcame us and we tucked up next to a couple of other anchored yachts and wondered why we hadn't done this a few hours ago.
Anchorage info: 1)Mandraki 36.09.08N 29.36.07E about 18m, loads of weed spots so poor holding. There is another bay to the east but we found poor holding in there also.
2)Co-ordinates not recorded for anchorage in main harbour but just tucked up in the far right corner as far as we could in 10 metres. They do have cruise ships and the Rhodes ferry come into the harbour so not sure how long you could anchor in here. We had no problem overnight

This is now a tiny settlement which has had way more than its far share of tragedies over the years, severely bombed during the world wars, devastated by fire that wiped out over 2/3rds of the houses and most of those still standing then turned to rubble in an earthquake. There is no water on the island and apparantely it is almost a ghost town during winter. However during summer it has been revitalized by many expat Greeks that went to live in Australia and have now come back and bought little waterfront cottages to spend their summers (Australia's winters) . It is slowly being turned into a place definately worth stopping at. There are some good restaurants along the waterfront and we went ashore and sampled our first Greek dinner at the Olive Garden which was excellent. Next morning we up anchored and went stern-to on the harbour wall which was free as long as you ate ashore, not a hardship!! There is a very good little museum here and also a mosque which has the history of Kastellorizo well displayed, they also have a 20 minute video on at 12noon which was excellent. It showed photos of the harbour in the early 1900's and then now. It is not many places that were booming then and empty now, but this is one. This was an excellent stopover, no issue at all of checking in/out, just change courtesy flags.

We left the harbour at Kastellorizo and went down the eastern shoreline and around the bottom for a little tikitour and to find the "grotto" which is reported to be very good but were unsuccessful in spotting it so we set sail westwards to Kalkan and had an ok sail with not too many tacks. The closest sheltered anchorage is 2 miles away which is really too far in the dinghy for us so we looked at anchoring outside the breakwater where a couple of other boats were, although the depth was ok it is very exposed if any wind comes up and it was also quite rolly. So still feeling confident from our Greek Med mooring we decided to get some more practice in and entered the small harbour and "parked" where directed by the harbourmaster. We timed it quite well, about half an hour later it was like Picadilly Circus with yachts, gulets, fishing boats and tour boats arriving at once. It seemed quite full, but they just kept on coming and no one was turned away, it was tight but ok. We decided not to plug into shore power, a smart move as we later noticed smoke coming out of the dockside power unit. The 3 boats plugged in all had small fires onboard as a result, not a good thing - they were all charter boats so weren't so worried, they were more concerned about would the hair dryer, toaster and fan still work! The harbour fee including water was 60 Lira for us, expensive but we could not have come in here otherwise and Kalkan by night is a true delight.

As I have already said above in the first paragraph we thought this was one of the cutest little tourist towns we have been to, its attractive by day and vibrant at night. We would have liked to have stayed longer but its a little too expensive for us, so next day after a morning walk around we left the harbour and went the 2 miles to Yesilkoy Liman, a lovely sheltered bay just to the west of Kalkan. This was the first night since our arrival in to Turkey that we had wind during the night, not much but we have become to expect no wind and calm seas each night.
Anchorage info: 36.15.64N 29.22.23E around 18m in middle of bay, holding ok, a little swell
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