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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