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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