Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Back in Skopea Liman .... Sep 2008

24-30 September 2008

***Mark and Mum in Skopea Liman watching the scenery go by***The partly submerged ruins in Ruin Bay***Mum at the helm under Skippers watchful eye***Out for a morning walk in Ruin Bay, looking across into Wall Bay

Oh dear, at last our amazing spell of months of perfect settled weather has ended, unfortunately this has coincided with the arrival of Mark's Mum Jackie from London, however we are not blaming her!!!!
After a stormy night at anchor in Fethiye with a couple of boats dragging, the weather perked up and we had a nice easy sail back across Fethiye Bay into the sheltered waters of Skopea Liman.

We headed back to Tomb Bay where we had spent a couple of perfect days while Neil and Barbara were on board and anchored back in the same spot. Although the weather has cooled it is still warm enough for swimming and much more pleasant for getting out and exploring onshore and we did a dinghy ride across the bay followed by a walk up to one of the Lycian Tombs carved out of the rockface, many moons ago. We went ashore to the small restaurant for dinner which was good but cut abruptly short when the sound of distant thunder suddenly seemed very much closer. Whilst zooming back to Balvenie the skies opened and we had the simultaneous sound of thunder cracking overhead while the world lit up around us, this was not on the holiday itinerary!!!!! Another night for the crew on anchor watch, as the bays here are very deep you need to drop your anchor in deep water then reverse into the shore and tie lines ashore to rocks, trees or bollards. Normally we swing to the wind, so when we are tied ashore we feel very vulnerable, and never at ease if there is any wind. But these storms pass and the following day dawned clear and sunny again.

We moved onto Wall Bay and tucked up all snug in the corner and enjoyed a dinghy ride around into Ruin Bay where we explored the partly submerged ruins of an old stone building. There is no information on these ruins so we sat and wondered who had lived here and when and what their lives would have been like. There is a walk from here right back around into Wall Bay or in the other direction you can follow the red painted arrows on the rocks and walk right up to the top of the ridge (45mins one way we were told), we have saved that for another time. A gale warning was issued for our 2nd night in Wall Bay so we put extra lines ashore and made sure everything was secure on deck. Marmaris, Gocek and Fethiye all had high winds and rain but we were lucky and had a peaceful night.

Mum's week was nearly up so we motored in flat seas up to Gocek for her last night in Turkey with us, we were treated to very calm conditions in the anchorage. We went ashore and spent time at the weekly Sunday market, tasting Turkish Delight and Apple Tea while Mark happily watched the latest Grand Prix at the "West Cafe" (good free WIFI here too). We stayed ashore for an early dinner at the "Kebab Hospital", something went a little wrong in the translation to English, no its not Hospital food, it is very good!!!

And then it was time to say our goodbyes. We had a lovely week with Marks Mum onboard, we are sorry she didn't get the picture perfect weather we had been having but as she kept reminding us it was much much better than anything they had experienced in England this summer, it was sunny every day, warm enough to swim and she finally got to experience life on Balvenie, in all its ups and downs!

Anchorage info: All the above were places already visited, see details below under "Fun in the Sun ... Sep 2008 - Cruising Skopea Liman 07-11 Sep 2008
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Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Off out Cruising again ... Sep 2008

24 Sep 2008

***Getting in and out of the dinghy is never easy but Mum mastered it no problem!!!!***Dinner out in Fethiye, spot which meal is on fire***

Marks mum, Jackie, has arrived from London to spend a week with us. It is the first time she has seen Balvenie, so after us being onboard for nearly her 5 years it is quite an occasion.

Yesterday we drove over to Calis Beach while we still had the hire car, and had a look around that part of Fethiye Bay. It's all pretty much tourist hotels and the waterfront is lined with small shops and restaurants catering to the English and Polish package holiday markets.

Enroute we took in some historical sites and visited the Lycian Tombs behind Fethiye town, passed a couple of sarcopogus and the ancient amphitheatre. Then we took in the weekly market and topped up on all the fresh produce available.

A stay in Fethiye wouldn't be complete without a visit to our favorite little restaurant "Kervan" @ Carsi Cad 36, (the first road after the central market covered area). Tastefully decorated with orange and white satin tablecloths and chair covers and big orange bows, lovely! The food, service and price are great though and we had a lovely evening.

Checking in and out: Our 90days are up so we need to check out of Turkey. All the offices in Fethiye are close together and it was only about an hour of skippers time to complete formalities. Cost for checking out was just 6Lira. We returned and checked back in after a few days, all very quick. Harbour Master 12.50L, Transit Log 77.50L (cheaper than our last one in Finike) and no cost for visas on our NZ passports. All took around an hour.
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Saturday, 13 September 2008

Fun in the Sun ... Sept 2008

Cruising Skopea Liman … 07 - 11 Sept 2008

***Mornings exercise in Tomb Bay, the view from the tomb***View of the tomb in Tomb Bay***Neil and Barbara in Tomb Bay*** ***Balvenie nestled in Wall Bay***

For the first night in a very long time we had wind all night long in our anchorage at Rhodes, a reminder of the excellent conditions we have on the Turkish coast where the sea breeze kicks in late morning and drops generally early evening.

From Rhodes we headed back northeast and had a comfortable downwind sail right back to the bottom of Skopea Liman where the wind dropped away. Never such a bad thing as we then had a chance to charge the batteries, heat the water and most importantly - cool the alcohol. Our first stop back in this excellent cruising ground was Wall Bay. We found a great spot to nestle into, and anchored stern to attaching to bollards provided on the shoreline. Practice is paying off with this stern to anchoring and having extra sets of hands onboard is invaluable, we were tucked up in no time.

The evenings entertainment was provided by the latecomers jostling for the best spots, complete with all the yelling and shouting that normally accompanies anchoring.

We had the next day at leisure enjoying reading, swimming, kayaking and even squeezed in a walk ashore to stretch our legs. There are some ruins just around the corner in Ruin Bay which are partly submerged and you can kayak through the rooms, going in one door and out the other which was fun. That night after onboard Pimms happy hour we patronized the onshore restaurant for dinner and had pre-ordered the roast leg of lamb, served with potato and rice, plus it included breads and dips for entrée and melon for desert. At 35Lira pp it seems about the average price for these rustic cafes that also provide free mooring docks for those that wish to tie up. Most of the market for these places are the charter boats, away on one or two weeks holiday with a much higher budget than us long term cruisers and generally converting from Pounds or Euros, so they all seem to do quite well during their very short season.
Anchorage Info: 36 38.58N 28 51.06E dropped in 20m stern tied to bollards settled in 7m. Very sheltered, a few little gusts only

Another sunny day dawns and after more water activities it’s time to get another sail in. We had lots of fun in Tony's kayaks with exploring and races around the bay. Mark got a little over enthusiastic and actually managed to flip his which Barbara did well to capture on film (see extra photos below!!!) Skipper and crew raise all the sails and it’s a fast ride in flat water across to Fethiye. We have spent so much time in Fethiye now that we are recognised by the restaurant owners when we walk down the street!!! It is a good spot to top up on a few supplies, look around the interesting old town area and eat out.
Anchorage info: apprx 36 37.46N 29 05.82E 13m mainly mud but with some thick spots of weed. The anchorage is comfortable, dinghy tie up in the marina and generally access to wifi although this time I had no luck (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 just stayed one night and had another fast sail in flat water, hard on the wind, back across Fethiye Bay into Skopea Liman again, this time we headed for Tomb Bay which came highly recommended and was just beautiful. Two nights there gave us time for more relaxing with Neil and Barbara making the most of the sunshine before heading back to London. The water is still very warm and clear but refreshing, and we even did quite a long walk and climb to explore the Lycian Tombs high above the bay.
Anchorage info: 36 41.64N 28 ?2.00E dropped in 20m, stern tied to one bollard and a tree, settled in 6m, flat water very little wind

We left late afternoon in light winds and motored the few miles to Gocek. It’s only about 20 minutes to Dalaman airport so a good option for drop offs/pick ups. Taxi prices still very expensive though, 45Euro/60Lira one way - everything priced for the shortstay tourist market.
Anchorage info: 36 45.18N 28 56.04E 20-25m good holding. Very busy anchorage with yachts, motor cruisers and gulets. A lot of very fast tender traffic makes for much noise and wash. Try to tuck up in the north east corner as far as poss. New marina being built which will decrease anchorage space even more. Can be exposed in afternoon seabreeze, choppy dinghy ride ashore but calm at night. No wifi but several free ashore (rec Cafe West on front)

We had chosen to pick them up from Marmaris so we could get some good sails in as well. For a week long taste of cruising, sailing, blobbing, swimming, exploring, eating, playing, we think we did about the best mixture you could do around these parts. We really enjoyed Neil and Barbara’s company and had a great time with them onboard. We hope they have gone home with some great memories (besides the blocked toilet – another story on another day!!!!).
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Off to Rhodes ... Sept 2008

06 Sept 2008

***Neil, Barbara & Mark on one of the old town walls in Rhodes with the med in the background***Well they did order 2 large beers!!!!***Checking out the boutiques in Rhodes old town***Neil and Barbara in the main square***

With Neil and Barbara having been in Turkey now for 2 nights we decided they needed a change of culture so time for a quick dip into Greece with a trip down to Rhodes. It’s less than 30 miles south of Marmaris so makes for a good spot to top up on all those yummy Greek delicacies, pork products and much much cheaper alcohol. We left with light winds and motored further west along the Turkish coastline in flat seas until the wind started to pick up. We then headed south towards Rhodes at a slightly kinder angle but still had the strengthening afternoon meltimi pretty much on the nose for most of the trip but with seas under 1m so comfortable enough. Down came the Turkish flag as we closed in on Rhodes and up went the Greek one. Because this was a one night stopover we stayed outside the main harbour areas and anchored off a small beach just 20 minutes walk from Rhodes Old Town.

Again we had the anchorage to ourselves, it was a short dinghy ride ashore and we left the dinghy safely on the beach while we set off to explore.
The walk into town went through the “car repairs” area and we started to question if this had been a good idea. Once we hit the main harbour area – jam packed with 4 cruise ships and found an entrance through the old city walls a new world opened up in front of us. Rhodes town has been around since 408BC, with plenty of wars and sieges to add colour to its history.

The magnificent walled old town has been beautifully restored and is very well maintained. The shopping/eating area is a “cruise ship passengers” emporium of upmarket ‘designer label’ boutiques, craft shops, galleries, duty free shops, restaurants and cafes, and with the passengers of 4 cruise ships packed onto the narrow streets it was very very busy, but this didn’t detract at all from its charm. We had a great walk around through the alleys and around the wall then stopped for a drink on a roof top terrace where the boys had a foot of beer each at inflated cruise ship prices (or are we just used to Turkish prices now).

We enjoyed a traditional mix of Greek food in a lovely courtyard setting for dinner and ambled back through the rather seedy car repairs area to Balvenie. We never really like leaving her in an anchorage alone with the dinghy on the beach, but both were just where they should be when we got back. Back onboard we cracked open a bottle of Balvenie Doublewood 15 year old Scotch, that Neil and Barbara had spotted ashore and kindly bought for us and ended the excellent evening with a nightcap.
Anchorage info: 36.25.60N 28.14.20E 6m shallows up slowly, sandy bottom off beach. Possiblity of anchoring inside breakwater (unfinished marina?) just north. Over 20knts daytime, around 15knts overnight but comfortable and calm water. Bali Hai advised ok snorkelling off shoal area by breakwater but we didn't investigate
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Friday, 12 September 2008

Dalaman Airport & Marmaris Bay ... Sep 2008

04 September 2008

We have my cousin Neil and his wife Barbara arriving onboard at 1am from London so we are getting organised to go sailing for a week with them around the Marmaris/Rhodes/Fethiye area so will update everything when we are back in Fethiye for a couple of days. The sun is still shining and its forecast up to 20 knots and 35degrees today, excellent!!!!!!!
Anchorage Info: 36.49.53N 28.18.85E 12m mud - good holding Little choppy if strong afternoon sea breeze. Closer to Yacht Marine also puts you close to resort (watersports, music etc) Access to Yacht Marine Wifi (no password needed), dinghy ashore to YM. Dolmus to town half hourly 2.50L each, each way. Chanderly, supermarket, showers, toilets, swimming pool and upmarket restaurant at marina.

Dalaman Airport Information … Sept 2008
We decided it was easier to rent a car to go and collect Neil and Barbara from Dalaman airport which is the one airport that covers this whole region. It’s not actually far by boat but it’s around 120 km’s by car so quite a distance. All the flights seem to arrive and leave late at night, so we got our car delivered at 11am and did a trip into town for some last minute provisioning, met up with Sarah and GB off Djarrka and Tony off Tactical Directions for lunch in Marmaris then back to Balvenie still at anchor outside Yacht Marine to get things looking shipshape. We left Marmaris around 6.30pm and stopped enroute for dinner and arrived at Dalaman around 10pm, in plenty of time for their 10.45pm flight. The airport has obviously been designed for holiday traffic only, there is really no access permitted inside to even wait for or see off any body, luckily the weather is good, as there is an open café in the carpark and nothing else except an ATM machine!! They arrived on time and we were back on Balvenie by 1am. It wasn’t a bad drive, the road ok.
Airport info: We got a small car from Koral Travel for 80Lira (special rates now for winter!!!) and needed 50Lira fuel for the journey, petrol is currently 3.40Lira a litre, one of the most expensive in the world. You can organise a transfer through the marina (either Netsel or Yacht Marine) for 65Euro - about 104Lira, I think it will take up to 8 people – cost per transfer not per person, and they have a book you an put your details into. The car was best for us as we got all our heavy shopping done and we wanted to meet them at the airport.

They arrived laden with all sorts of goodies for us, from much needed Marmite for skippers morning toast, Dijon and Colemans Mustard, duty free alcohol and a selection of magazines and papers to get us up to date. Thanks guys!!!

05 September 2008
After a well earned nights sleep and a slow start to the morning we went ashore and dropped off the car keys, said goodbye to Tony off Tactical Directions who flies back to Thailand next week for winter. He has very kindly lent us his 2 kayaks to play with until we go into the marina so we are looking forward to lots of fun and some exercise on them. With us all back onboard and settled we decided to start the weeks adventure with a sail around Marmaris Bay, up into the old town area and then had a pleasant but unpredictable downwind trip outside Marmaris Bay. We anchored stern to in a little cove just north of Gokce Limani, we didn’t find it in our old guide book but it was a lovely spot and the bullets shooting down the bay kept missing us. We had our own anchorage for the first time in Turkey, a relaxing dinner onboard and a very peaceful night with just a slight roll.
Anchorage info: 36.45.77N 28.16.02E Dropped in 17m backed up to 7m stern lines to rocks, sheltered in settled conditions with afternoon seabreeze
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Tuesday, 2 September 2008

A few days in Marmaris ... Sep 08

03 September 2008

Currently we are anchored outside Yacht Haven Marina in Marmaris South Western Turkey. We are just here for a few days. We have booked into Netsel Marina in Marmaris town for winter starting 01 November so will be coming back here for about 5 months. At the mo we are sorting out the boat as we are lucky to have visitors coming during September/October. The first arrive on Thursday night, my cousin Neil and his wife Barbara who live in London, so we are busy getting Balvenie ship-shape, moving her from passage mode to entertaining mode. I have been having a major clean out and Balvenie now weighs less and there are even empty lockers. Still it does help not having to provision food, drinks and spares for an Indian ocean crossing. Supermarket and chandlerys are aplenty around here!!!!

I have posted CHRISTMAS IN THE SURINS .. DEC 07. It's a little overdue but still making our way through our journey and hope to eventually get everything we have done on the blog, bear with us.

Mark still promises to do "The Skippers Cruising Notes" - on how it really was!!!!! I am still waiting.

Monday, 1 September 2008

Sheltered Waters of Skopea Liman ... Aug 2008

19 - 29 August 2008

We have finally managed to prise ourselves away from the sheltered anchorage at Fethiye, with all those great little affordable cafes, big screen televisions for all the sport Mark could watch and reasonable wifi access free at anchor, to say nothing of the sun shining everyday, oh well - time to move on.

Our first stop over here was at Boynuz Buku, the bay shown in the photo on the left. We met up again with Gone with the Wind, Tactical Directions and Ascension and enjoyed being out in a quite sheltered bay again with clear water and good friends. There is a dock ashore with free tie up if you dine there. It looked pretty flimsy but looked to have good depth and there were plenty of boats using it.
Anchorage info: 36.42.66N 28.53.79E 22m some stern to but we swung in the middle along with several other boats. Rustic restaurant and dock ashore. Walk up gravel road, ok for some exercise and think there is a walk to waterfalls but didn't find it. A couple of fresh water creeks some talk of bad mossies but ok while we were there

After a few nights it was time to explore further and moved around a couple of bays into Sarsala Cove. It is another lovely spot but this time everywhere was too deep for us to anchor out and it was time to get into med mooring. For our 1st real attempt we didn't do too bad, we didn't do too good either but we got the anchor set and the new floating stern lines attached where we wanted so not a bad result. We met up the following day with friends off NZ yacht Baracca who we met in Fethiye and had a very productive afternoon with Emerald Lady who are seasoned med cruisers and gave us plenty of info on must see spots along the way. In our excitement of successfully med mooring I didn't take down our anchorage details.

It was time to make a move onto Marmaris, and we decided to do it in 2 hops, first a short one around onto one of the bays on the southern peninsular of Skopea Liman. We ended up in the small bay on the right (north) of Kizil-Kuyruk Koyu, a delightful small bay with a couple of little peebly beaches, well treed, very scenic, thats it in the photo on the left. Balvenie looks rather small next to the gulets!! Dinghy around to the bigger bay and take path on far right up the hill to some reasonable ruins and good views, partly in shade about 15minutes up, reasonable path. We had our first experience of "nude yachting" in here with an Israeli yacht anchored next to us. Firstly the chap on board went skinny dipping, not much harm in that, but the following morning when they went to leave he prepared the sails and stood up at the bow raising the anchor all in the nuddy. Oh well, it was hot ... each to their own!!!

Anchorage info: 36.37.30N 28.52.08E dropped 20m stern tied to rocks, settled in 15m. Our rock came away (it looked solid enough when I tied it), since then we have put 2 lines ashore and tried to find trees instead. We just pulled up on the anchor but if it had happened during the night or if there had been more wind it may have got a little messy!!

The sail from here across to Marmaris will always be on the nose, unless you are very very lucky. We had up to 20knots and were able to sail the entire way but it was very tight and very wet, not one of our better days but we have made it to Marmaris.Posted by Picasa