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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