Saturday, 25 October 2008

Dodecanese Islands of Greece ... Oct 2008

18-25 Oct 2008

***Balvenie at anchor in front of the big monestary at Panormitis, on the Southwest corner of Symi***Morning light on the harbour at Khalki***

We had a couple of plans of what to do once Lesley left us to fill the time before our marina booking from 01 November, however like with most plans sailing you have several back ups. We stayed a few days in Bozburun, Turkey as there were very strong winds forecast for the Southern Aegean. Then we ventured out and started by having a great sail pointing towards southern Symi, until the wind died and the motor came on. We had a night in the sheltered enclosed harbour at Panormitis, and went for a big walk along to the monestary and all the way around to the windmill at the harbour entrance.

The following day we hoped to head for Kos, but plan B came into place when there was no wind at all and very confused seas. We headed back to Turkey and had a couple of nights up in Datca. Yesterday we tried to go to the Greek Island of Tilos, but messy seas and 20knots right on the nose put plan C into place and we bore away for a more comfortable ride an headed down to Khalki (Chalki, Halki - the Greeks seem to have 3 names for everything). We are tucked up in the small harbour here, just with one other yacht, its a cute little place but almost closed up for winter. The skies are still blue each day and its only just under 20degrees at night so still very nice. Tommorow (25th Oct) we will start heading back towards Marmaris.
Anchorage info:
Panormitis 36 33.07N 27 50.75E 7.2m swinging, excellent shelter better than it looked in guide book, could get possible roll, entrance straight forward but if strong winds seas may build outside, could be very lumpy. Monestry, small store and taverna ashore. Irregular bus to Symi town. No wifi

Khalki 36 13.35N 27 36.91E 14m swinging. Very good shelter, slight roll came in. Stay as close to shore as possible, we were asked to move after dark when very big inter-island ferry came in. In summer there is apparantley a swim platform that you can stern tie to, it had been removed for winter. Two reasonable stores, a few bars and cafes ashore. Small sleepy place. Bus service to beaches and monestry during summer (stopped now). Reasonable unlocked wifi Posted by Picasa

Friday, 17 October 2008

Datca Peninsular & Symi ... Oct 2008

11-17 Oct 2008
***The ruins at Knidos***Pedhi houses and harbour***Lesley - flat out on Monday morning*** The ancient sundial at Knidos***Pedhi on Symi, this one looks like a "do-up"***The cats of Symi with Balvenie at anchor in Pedhi in the background***

Lesley has arrived (see Dalaman Airport info below). Her flight was delayed so we didn't get back to Balvenie until 2.30am so we had a very slow start and cruisy day with some afternoon exercise kayaking to the head of the bay to Orhaniye, there are a few restaurants with docks up this end of the bay and the small Sunsail Charter base dock. Another blow was forecast for the night so we were very happy to stay put in our sheltered spot in Keci Buku. (anchorage details on previous posting). Sunday dawned bright and sunny again and we had escaped the wind so headed out and tacked along the peninsular in very light winds to the small town of Datca. There doesn't seem to be much in Datca, its a sleepy fishing village with a few day trip boats as well, a pleasant town quay and a few restaurants crying out for the tourist lira. We had a walk round town, lovely dinner ashore, a pleasant quiet night and pulled out the next morning.

More light winds with a very pleasant but slow sail along to our next stop at Kalaboshi. Lesley enjoyed the calm conditions to lie on the foredeck and top up her tan before that long English winter! The days are cooler now, even we are enjoying the suns warmth after years of escaping it in the shade. Winter is coming. Kalaboshi is a tiny cove tucked into the southern peninsular with a little pebble beach, a couple of restaurants and backpackers accommodations, very low key and a good stop for the night. We went ashore for a walk and happy hour but had dinner onboard. We heard Oguns did 60 for dinner though, all from yachts on the dock, it may be the end of the season but there are still quite a few of us out here. They have a good reputation.

Another day of light winds so we had to motor some of the way to the ancient city of Knidos on the end of peninsular. These Dorian ruins date from around 400BC. It was a thriving city in its time as it is an excellent spot to wait for favorable weather before stepping out into the Aegean. The ruins are spread over several kilometres and are great to rummage around in, with so many artifacts just "lying around". There has been some work excavating the ampitheatre and buildings and although they are not the best ruins we have seen we certainly enjoyed our time there. Entrance was free, we maybe just got lucky as we had heard it was 10Lira. There is a restaurant with a somewhat drunk owner ashore, he may be the reason the dock was empty!!

Just as we were supping on nightcaps we started to notice lightening in the distance, and sat and watched as it got closer, and closer. We, like all yachties hate lightening. A nearby strike can cause absolute havoc to the boats electrics, in some cases wiping out all electrics, navigational equipment, radars - the lot. We put what we can remove into the oven and microwave then cross our fingers and toes. It came closer and closer to the east of us and at one stage we saw 4 forks coming down at once. We had another long night on anchor watch, the winds in the end didn't exceed 25knots, but a couple of yachts dragged and some were way to close to each other. We are never comfortable enough just to go below to sleep in these situations, better to know whats happening. We have now done more anchor watches in Turkey/Greece than in our previous 4 years. Not so much because of the wind strengths but because of bad holding, too many yachts close by and other less experienced sailors who don't anchor well enough for the conditions.

So time again for a dip into Greece. We were looking forward to a great downwind sail back to Pedhi on Symi. The forecast had shown wind for the day but it must have been what came through in the night. There was much disappointment when we had to motor the 25miles back to Symi, with very grey skies and even a little drizzle at times, out came the sweat shirts - a first during the day for a very very long time!!! The skies did start to clear as we approached Symi, and by the time we anchored the world was looking a brighter place and it was even starting to warm up again. We got the small local bus over to Symi town. Everywhere was so much quieter than when we were there 10 days ago, the town quay was almost empty, some restaurants have already closed for the season and the last bus home is now 10pm. We had a lovely wander through the streets, it is such a quaint place, the postcard images of a perfect Greek Island. We completed it all with a fine Greek salad, souvlaki and mousakka before getting the last bus home, another peaceful night. We had a big walk around Pedhi in the morning in glorious sunshine yet again, while hoping and waiting for some wind to fill in.

Eventually we had enough puff to make our way back across to Turkey and have ended up at Bozburun, another well protected anchorage at the head of a bay, with a small quay (heard its 35Euros a night) a small town with a few restaurants and stores and a dolmus (minibus) service to Marmaris. We found a great fish restaurant ashore for Lesley's last night with us. Bozburun is famous for its boat building yards, and although we went for a big walk in search, so far we have only found gulets afloat and a couple of abandoned projects on shore, we are definitely missing something so further excursions will need to be made!! Sadly it is time for Lesley to leave so we get the dolmus to Marmaris (7Lira pp ow) where we have organised a transfer for her to Dalaman (see details below). We have had a great week with her exploring new territory and fitting in a return to delightful Symi.

Now we just have a couple of weeks before we are due into Netsel Marina for winter and we have to decide what to do, where to go. The weather is looking a bit blowy for a few days so we have finally decided to stay tucked up here then make a run out into the Aegean and visit a few more of the Dodecanese Islands in the Southern Aegean, like always that is plan A, stay tuned!!!
Anchorage info:
Datca 36 43.20N 27 41.38E mud 8.5m Good protection from N and W. Ample room to swing. Took dinghy into town dock. Wifi good signal but needed codes
Kalaboshi 36 41.00N 27 34.43E dropped 14m stern tied to rock wall (may be turned into dock by 2009) Restaurant dock was busy, room to swing anchor for one or two boats only and more exposed, bottom mix of weed and sand, very clear water. Oguns Restaurant good wifi, got password from bar. Also got water from them.
Knidos 36 40.99N 27 22.52E 10m think hard sand, swinging. 2 attempts to get anchor set. About 12 yachts & 2 gulets and still plenty room. Dock was empty despite attempts by staff to fill it, don't know why. Good shelter, had 20knots for a while during the night, 1 boat dragged
****The above 3 can be rolly we have been told if the meltemi is blowing, we had very settled conditions except for Knidos where we had an electrical storm during the night****
Pedhi 36 36.82N 27 51.49E dropped 12m settled 17m, swinging. Opposite side to where we anchored last time, holding seemed better and larger shallow area. Also picked up wifi at random to check emails. Fuel info - see "The season ends... 25-31Oct"
Bozburun 36 41.42N 28 02.46E 14m mud outside the town quay just to the west. Beware of the shallows further west which are easy to see in good light only. Good shelter from all but south. Several wifi-one unlocked, or have drink at Gordons Restaurant and ask for their code

Dalaman Airport Info:
To/from Keci Buku (Marti Marina)
We hired a car from the marina travel office from 2pm till 9am for 100Lira (120Lira for 24hours) and needed 50Lira fuel for the trip to Dalaman and back. Airport car parking was 9Lira. Keci Buku is 30mins from Marmaris on the Bozburun Road
To/from Bozburun
We caught the last dolmus into Marmaris at 5pm, takes 1 hour and is 7Lira. We walked to Netsel Marina and connected with a transfer from Yacht Marine (shared with 7 others and booked by phone earlier) at 6.50pm for Lesley which was 30Lira. The last dolmus back is at 6.30pm so we negotiated a taxi back to Bozburun for 100Lira, took about 50-55minutes.

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Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Datca Peninsular Turkey ... Oct 2008

05 - current October 2008

***Out kayaking to the ruins of the Byzantine Fort***Balvenie in Keci Buku, if you look closely enough you can see the olives on the tree***

We slipped out of Pedhi Harbour with a gentle southwest breeze, rolled out the headsail and had a very relaxing sail north to the Datca Peninsular and headed for the large bay of Kuruca Buku. As the wind was from the south we decided not to anchor off the beach, although there have been reports of wifi onboard from there (always a bonus!!). We went in search of a shallow enough spot to swing on the anchor but ended up stern to in a great sheltered spot. The next morning all the yachts that had anchored off the beach came over to join us as they had had a bumpy night, but by then we had heard that a northerly blast was due later in the day so we decided to move on to somewhere with better shelter and had another lovely sail east to the end of the Peninsular into the big bay Keci Buku.

We are in a great spot and have now had 3 nights here, dead flat water, wifi from Marti Marina and just getting a few jobs done. We have been getting some exercise in the kayaks and have been out and around the small island in the bay. We climbed up the Byzantine Fortress ruins right to the top for a lovely vista.

The weather is definately autumnal now, down to 18deg this morning but still getting up to mid 20's during the days and this week we have had lovely clear days., long may it last. We are not far from Marmaris by road here so can get to Dalaman Airport to collect Lesley on Friday and then we will explore the rest of the Peninsular with her.

Anchorage info:
Kerucu Buku 36 44.89N 27 53.81E dropped 18m settled stern tied in 13m. Had trouble setting anchor further out as thick weed bottom
Keci Buku 36 45.80N 28 07.22E dropped 13m settled stern tied in 5m. Can swing on anchor, very protected spot, access to marina for water, store, chandlery and wifi onboard (no password, very good signal) Beware of underwater large rock about 20m north of this waypoint close to shore if stern tying. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Dipping into Greece again - Symi ... Oct 2008

02 - 04 October 2008

***View ashore from the anchorage at Pedhi on Symi***Symi town leads steeply up the hill from the harbour***Walking around the harbour in Symi***

We had very calm seas for our short trip across from Turkey to the Greek island of Symi. Symi Town is at the northern most part of the island and is a busy harbour with many yachts, gulets, superyachts, fishing boats and ferries all wanting to tie up to the town quay. It is also an offical port of entry for Greece and a bustling little place. We decided to anchor in the next bay/harbour around on the eastern side called Pedhi, its alot quieter and you can just swing on the anchor - if you can find a spot. Like so many of the anchorages of late there is very deep water until quite close inshore but we managed to nestle in, in the far right corner and set our anchor. The difference between the Greek and Turkish architecture is so pronounced, there is no way of mistaking what country you are currently in!!

We caught the local bus across to Symi town, it leaves hourly at half past and is 1Euro. The view from the top of the hill before you drop down into Symi town is spectacular, oh so postcard perfect Greece. I closed my eyes as the bus made the final approach downhill along the one lane right on the edge of the water, it realy didn't look like we were goin to fit, but I guess he has done it before!!! We had a big walk wandering along the very busy town quay and right around the other side of the quaint harbour. Then time to relax with a cold Greek beer and people watch. We were joined by friends Robin and Marion off Simba who were tied to the town quay and we had a lovely evening with them and a great dinner out. We caught the bus home again, in this direction it goes on the hour until 11pm.

Everything was perfect, but that never lasts long and an unforecast blow came up about 1am, together with just enough rain to collect dust enroute to earth and make a right mess all over the boat, again. The anchorage was very busy and the wind direction put us much closer to the shore than we were happy with so we maintained yet another anchor watch until things settled down after sunrise. There was plenty to watch, a couple of boats dragged on the other side of the harbour, the water tanker left the town quay then another large cement freighter arrived, never a dull moment.

Wanting to add yet another country to his ever growing list of "Maintainence in Exotic Places" skipper needed to address a newly discovered problem of our leaking raw water pump. This was the same culprit that caused us to postpone our departure from Thursday Island in the Torres Strait, many moons ago, so we had a rebuild kit and a replacement pump onboard. After a few hours and not TOO much swearing the new pump was installed, the engine going and no leaks. We are not altogether happy with the replacment hosing that needed to be added but can save that for another day. We stayed another night, did a trip ashore to stock up on a few goodies not available in Turkey, mainly pork products. There is a small deli/supermarket right at the end of the pier, not a huge selection but adequate and their is a fuel station only a couple of minutes walk away for much cheaper diesel and petrol than Turkey.

Anchorage info:

Pedhi 36 36.94N 27 51.42E dropped in 12.8 settled in 5.5m. Larger shallow area on left side of jetty but too busy. Keep well clear of the jetty and allow turning space for reasonable sized freighters to come and go - all hours. Some yachts tied to left (south) side of jetty, ones on north side told to leave.

Town quay in Symi - drop anchor and back into concrete quay, imagine underwater looks like spiders web. Will be instructed where to go by harbourmaster. Standard Charge for any size seems to be 8Euros per night including power (maybe water too?). Lots of surge/roll from the endless traffic. Maybe asked for Greek papers, maybe not, may also have to show proof of insurance, maybe not. We decided Pedhi was a better option for us for a short stay. Posted by Picasa

Time to move on ... Oct 2008

30 Sep - 02 Oct 2008

***Digital cameras have so many uses, always a good idea to take a photo first so you know how to put it all back together again!!!***Our anchorage at Serce - onshore for a morning walk with the cows, its a while since we have woken up to the cows mooing***

We now have 10 days before our friend Lesley arrives from England for a week, so we have many discussions as to whether we stay in Fethiye Bay or move on to anchorages new. First we need to address our power problem. Over the last few weeks our batteries have been dying after 4 years of active service. We are now down to just 50% and struggling so it is time to invest in some new ones. Gocek has a good selection of chandeliers and we found "Blue Yachting" to be very helpful, competitive and they spoke good English. After delivering Mark and batteries by scooter down to the dinghy dock and removing our old batteries we then had the fun job of getting them back to Balvenie and onboard without getting them wet. Of course the sea breeze had kicked in by then, but we did it, eventually. Skipper spent the rest of the afternoon wiring them all up, while Admiral finally hard wired in our hot water cylinder we installed in Finike. By the end of the afternoon we were all wired up and made the big decision to move on the following day. A last trip ashore to get a few provisions, phonecard, and a delicious pide at "Gocek Pide". We have been in and around this general area for a couple of months now, we are sad to say goodbye.

We left early the following morning for our longest day sail since the Red Sea, just on 50 miles. It is a good idea to try and get around Kurdoglu Burnu (the bottom of Skopea Liman) before the sea breeze kicks in as it gets somewhat confused at the cape. The winds were light to begin and we motored sailed most of the way across, ending up bashing into 25knots on the nose before entering the very enclosed and sheltered anchorage at Serce on the southern tip of the peninsular west of Marmaris. When we came through the gap into the anchorage we were met by two rival restaurant owners in dinghies offering mooring buoys for the night. We explained that we wanted to eat onboard and the one from the northern end of the bay (which looked more sheltered) was happy to have us anyway so we slowly made our way up and they gave us the end buoy in 4meters, shallow - but enough. I quickly tied on the buoy then went ashore with stern lines to secure us there while skipper held station.

About 15 minutes later a couple of dinghies came by selling wares and as one was leaving he called that we were not attached to the mooring buoy any longer. Thinking of course that the buoy line had parted, and while getting a long enough line to take in the dinghy to reattach, we were doubting whether we should be on a mooring. This doubt was cast aside when Skipper realised the line wasn't attached to the cleat on Balvenie any longer, whoops. Admiral has been fired from the job of attaching lines!!!!!, personally I think someone must have come along and undid it (yeah right). Anyway, no harm done and we had a very peaceful night and awoke to the sounds of cows mooing. We had a good walk ashore to stretch our legs then let the lines go and motored in very calm water around to Greece, time for pork chops!!!!
Anchorage info:
Serce - Mooring buoy at 36 35.05N 28 02.89E each restauarant had about 8 buoys which took up most of the room in the bay, probably able to find somewhere to anchor with stern line though if necessary.
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