Thursday, 21 May 2009

The Southern Battlefields, Gallipoli ..... May 2009

16May 2009

We left the harbour at Kabatepe, again with calm weather and headed back south, pushing the current that swept the row boats further north than they planned.We turned left into the Dardanelles (the waterway that leads from the Aegean Sea up to the Sea of Marmara, onwards to the Straits of Bosphorus then ultimately into the Black Sea). It was access to this waterway that caused the Allied Forces to invade Turkey, as by being able to get into the Black Sea they had entrance via the back door into Eastern Europe.

At the entrance there is the Cape Helles British Memorial and cemeteries, we took the opportunity to anchor for a couple of hours and dinghied ashore landing on V Beach. There are also Turkish memorials, trenches, howziters and bunkers, we were surprised at the number of Turkish visiting the site, we forget it is a huge part of their history also and so many of their men were lost defending their homeland.

At the cemetery down on V Beach we found gravestones for both a Private J Farrell and a Private J Moran, both part of the Irish Fusilers, both died during the initial attack in April. Maybe they were distant relatives of ours. So many more thousands of men died here during the campaign, this whole peninsular is one big graveyard.

We headed back to Balvenie and continued our journey up the Dardenelles another 15 miles and are now in the 'marina' at Canakkale. We plan to visit Troy from here then check out and say our final farewells to Turkey and head west to Greece. This plan has been delayed, our run of calm weather has been followed by a forecast spell of 30-40 knots for 4 days, so finally I have a chance, while being blown around, to update the blog!!

Cruising Info:
Anchorages -
V Beach - 40 04.44N 26 10.95E 5.4m sand just stopped a couple of hours
Canakkale - 40 09.134N 26 24.259E 3.4m bow to. Staff on dock will pass mooring line for bow/stern. Saw 2.8m on way in. No showers etc. Cost under 12m 55L p/n over 12m 75L p/n. Transit log checked. Pricey spot but we are sitting out strong Northerly winds and it is reasonably sheltered, no wake at all from the many passing ships and cross channel ferries.
It looks possible to anchor in calm waters out of the way of the marina entrance to the left around 40 09.40N 26 24.44E, flat water in these winds, but pretty shallow. We encountered around 3 knots worse case counter current coming up the straits. We came up the north coast and didn't cross over until 'The Narrows' at Canakkale. We are looking forward to a fast ride back down! Excellent downtown location with all city facilities.
Internet - No wifi onboard (marina signal currently broken!!) but can use computer in marina office if you can cope with the heavy smoke, plus a couple wifi cafes (Ghetto is one) on shorefront and internet cafes by clocktower 2L p/h.
Provisions - Diesel tanker has been delivering to large launches, unsure of minimum required. Water and power on dock. Carrefour supermarket about 10minutes walk
Formalities - Will add checkout details when completed but no compulsary agent here, actually no agent at all must do yourself. Marina staff very helpful but speak almost no English.
Sightseeing - Trip to Troy by dolmus ... see Troy blog update
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