Friday, 12 January 2018

Sailing In Turkey. Gokova Bay, Bodrum To Bozburun. 10 - 24 August 2017.

Sailing The West Coast Of Turkey Around The Bay Of Gokova And Then Round The Datca Peninsular Into The Bay Of Hisaronu.  Bodrum To Bozburun. 10 - 24 August 2017.

1.  2 Weeks Of Fun.    After the disappointment of The Bay of Gulluk, it was a pleasure to sail around Gokova and Hisaronu Bays over the next 2 weeks during which we completed 300 NM. We enjoyed some wonderful sails without the worry of the dreaded Meltemi except when rounding the Datca Peninsular that sticks out like a long arm between the two bays extending well into Greek waters. The waters were cleaner, their was a distinct lack of large tourist resorts or cities of holiday villas and the general ambiance was a lot more relaxing. The scenery in most places was stunning with wonderful pine forests, enormous mountain ranges coming right down to the waters edge, hidden bays and wonderful restaurants catering for the yachties managed by very friendly Turkish families.  There were still plenty of boats, but not too many gullets. The sailing was exciting as there was a good steady wind without being too strong and the close proximity of other boats, the Greek/Turkey boundary and islands all around offered a chance for Kisti Two and crew to thoroughly enjoy some excellent sailing with plenty of tacking. It was a hard 2 weeks as we were constantly on the move in new waters and it was great to meet up again with Dave and Ali of 'Whitesands' or as we called their boat 'Stealthsands'. The only issue was the heat, 40C by day and 30C at night which called for many swims and calls on the ice cream boats plus EFES beer.

The Route Around Gokova Bays And Around The Datca Peninsular.
Bodrum To Bozburun. 10 - 24 August 2017.

2.   Tashan To Oren Marina.   10 - 11 August 2017.    We departed Tashan Bay at 0900 hrs on 10 August as the first Bodrum tourist Gullets boats started to arrive complete with hideous decor and noise. We motored along the coast until 1130 hrs and dropped the hook at Alakisla Bay for a much needed swim. Supplies were running low so on 11 August we departed Alakisla Bay at 0800 hrs and again motored through thick fog (we even had the radar on), to Oren Marina where we were tied up at 1215 hrs after refuelling and filling up with water. We were not able to pump out as their machine was not working! It is an excellent small marina with wonderful facilities, reasonable price, a good bar and with a large supermarket built as part of the marina. It is possible to just pop in and do a shop.

Alakisla Bay.

The Journey From Oren Marina (1) To Sehir Adalari (2), Then English Harbour (3), Tuzla Bay For Pumpout (4),
Back To English Harbour (3) And Then North Cove At 7 Islands (5).

3.  Oren Marina To Cleopatra's Party Island! 12 - 13 August 2018.     It was exceedingly hot, over 30C that night in the marina, so after shopping we were pleased to depart at 1315 hrs on 12 August and sail in a lovely F3 eastwards into the bay. We had a look at Akbuk anchorage which has a most stunning view. It reminded me of the towering Mulanje Mountain of Malawi, but instead of rising up from tea fields, the range rose from the sea surrounded by gorgeous pine forests. The depths and potential for strong gusts put us off stopping so we then headed SE to Sehir Adalari (Snake & Castle Island) where we were to find a most stunning anchorage. We dropped the anchor at 1800 hrs as the last of the tourist boats departed from the jetty leaving us to share the lagoon with only 2 other yachts. We had a most welcome swim and enjoyed a tasty BBQ and few beers while viewing a stunning sunset. Snake and Castle Islands have an interesting history. It was once part of the ancient City of Cedreae where Anthony and Cleopatra spent some time together partying and cavorting. It is certainly a stunning spot with an Ibiza type sunset. Cleopatra was not happy that there was no beach so had several tons of sand brought across from Egypt to create a most stunning spot and beach. The sand has been examined by geologists who confirm that it is more Saharan than local! Tombs litter the surrounding islands and there are plenty of ruins of the ancient city including a stunning amphitheatre complete with view of the anchorage. We were charged 20 TL to land on the island and walk around the ruins. It is an absolute tourist trap by day so we did not hang around but set off on 13 August at 1315 hrs. A pity as we loved this stunning spot. Definitely an excellent night anchorage as no one stays overnight so you can explore and imagine as much as you want while enjoying the sunset.

Akbuk Limani.
Akbuk Limani

The Stunning Pine Forests Of Akbuk Limani.
Tomb Island Off Snake And Castle Islands. The Last Tourists Depart.
The 1000+m Mountain Range Off Akbuk Limani.
Sunset At Cleopatra's Island.
Sunset At Sehir Adalar─▒.
Simply Stunning.
Castle Island Left And Snake Island Right.

Castle Island Anchorage

Castle Island Lagoon Anchorage With Akbuk Mountain Range In The  Distance.

Castle Island Lagoon Anchorage.

Guy Doing His Indianna Jones Stuff!!!

The Amphitheatre.

The Amazing View North From The Amphitheatre.
The Lagoon Anchorage And Akbuk Mountain Range.

Ginny In The Palace Doorway Doing A Goliath!!

Looking South From Castle Island.
Just Amazing.
Castle Walls.

Roman Cemented Rocks.
Back At The Amphitheatre.
Approaching Cleopatra's Beach.
Before The Tourist Hoards Arrive!!
Ginny On Cleopatra's Beach.
What A Stunning Spot.

Cleopatra's Beach.  Just Amazing.

Looking Back To Cleopatra's Beach.
The Tourist Boat Jetty With Kisti Two Anchored In The Lagoon. So Peaceful.

And Then The Tourist Boats Arrived!! Time To Go.
The South Side Of Castle Island.

4.   English Harbour 13 -16 August 2018.       After departing Sehir Adalari at 1315 hrs, we motored round to English Harbour exploring the various pine clad coves and stunning scenery. We eventually ended up in Degrimen Buku and motored up to English Harbour, so named from WW2 when English Torpedo boats and the SBS holed up during daylight resting and preparing for their evening raids against the Germans in the Aegean. This wonderful spot was to be our base for 3 nights where we swam, enjoyed the scenery and ice cream boats, the coming and goings of various yachts and generally relaxing amongst the lovely smelling pine forests. We needed our holding tank to be pumped out and found out that a 'Pooo' boat was to be in Tuzla Bay on Monday 14 August, so we upped anchor at 0815 hrs that morning and quickly motored round to Tuzla to get pumped out at a cost of £10. We then returned exploring the various creeks on the way back to tie up to the shore in English Harbour again. It was a wonderful base tourist but even here we would be invaded by day-tripper gullets! Guy also changed his engine oil, diesel filters and oil filter as we had already done 250 hours of motoring this season. 

The Stunning Scenery Around The Bays.

Skippers View While Exploring The Bays And Islands.

Motoring Up To English Harbour.

Looking back From Our Anchorage In English Harbour.

Departing English Harbour.

The Stunning Scenery Of Gokova Bay.

Tied Up To The Shore In English Harbour.
The POOO Boat That Pumped Us Out In Tuzla Bay.

5.    English Harbour To Yedi Adalar (7 Islands), North Cove. 16 - 18 August 2018.     We left English Harbour at 0645 hrs on 16 August to motor the 3 hours round to Yedi Adalar, also known as 7 Islands. Guy was keen to get a safe spot as the Meltemi was due to blow again and it blows from the NW right into the coves of this Bay despite the protection of the islands. It was also important to find a spot as a launchpad to get west around the long Peninsular of Datca to the southern side. It would be a long full days trip with few places to anchor and the potential for uncomfortable seas and wind at the tip. We went into the North Cove and found a lovely spot tucked in behind a small headland. We were met by a very helpful young lad called Upti who told us where to drop the anchor, reverse and then he took our lines ashore and tied them to very secure trees. There was what looked like a Communist Jungle Camp on the shore, the red of the large Turkish flag ashore hidden amongst the palm trees and forest of the swamp area, but was to be a very pleasant Restaurant. Upti picked us up that evening and took us through a safe narrow channel for our excellent meal and then returned us later to Kisti Two. Two charming ducks would always come round to the yachts each morning and evening to be fed. There was a strong blow on 17 August and we were very happy that we were hidden round the corner and safely tied ashore with 70m of chain out to the anchor. 

One Of The 7 Islands Of Yedi Adalar.

More Of The 7 Islands.

Anchored And Tied Up Safely In North Cove.

6.    North Cove To Datca Around The Long Datca Peninsular. 18 August 2018.   We arose at 0530 (dawn), pulled in the ropes from the shore and then raised the anchor. We motored along at 2000rpm in a lovely calm morning determined to get round before the usual winds were switched on at mid-day. It was a lovely trip westwards and we could see the Greek Island of Kos where Guy's sister Jane was staying and then Nisiros as we rounded the headland of Cape Krio sticking to Turkish waters at 1030 hrs. There were plenty of flying fish who would take off out of the sea and fly some 20-30 metres to keep us amused as we sped along at 6+ knots. We looked in at the Ancient city and harbour of Knidos as we rounded but decided not to stay due to a lack of room. An 11 ton Lion was discovered at Knidos which is now in the British Museum! Praxiteles carved a nude statue of Aphrodite (a first nude female carved statue) in Knidos which became a must see for all ancient mariners. Sadly it no longer exists. We then continued our voyage eastwards along the Datca Peninsular with the Greek Island Symi on our starboard bow. We turned north half way along the peninsular leaving Symi behind us and dropped the anchor in North Bay just off Datca in a lovely sheltered patch after a good 64NM passage.  We went ashore and enjoyed a good meal while looking over to the Greek Island of Symi. 

Skippers Looking A Bit Ruffled.  Dawn Coffee.

There Is Something Magical About Dawn Starts. Once You Are Moving That Is.

Sunrise As We Depart 7 Islands.

Rounding Cape Krio. All Amazingly Calm.

Cape Krio Lighthouse.

Knidos Amphitheatre.

Knidos Harbour And Beach.
Knidos Ancient Harbour Wall.

Looking Back To Knidos.

Several Boats Heading East Or West Using The Calm Day To Make Passage.

7.  Exploring Hisaronu Bay And Meeting Up With Dave And The Bod Ali Of 'Stealthsands'. 
19 - 21 August 2018.       We departed Datca at 0815 hrs on 19 August with instructions from 'Whitesands' to RV that evening at Kocabahce. Our holding tanks were full so we motored eastwards into Hisaronu Bay enjoying the most amazing scenery and flying fish leaping about. We went right up the bay to Marti Marina, a 5 star marina way beyond our price range and had our holding tank pumped out again for £10. Poooing in Turkey can be quite expensive!! We than sailed around the bay exploring the various inlets while tacking and heading slowly to our RV. We rounded the corner into Kocabahce and spotted 'Stealthsands' coming round the corner as well. We were just tied up to a boy with lines behind us when Dave and Ali also came alongside. This is an old favourite of theirs from when they worked on charter yachts. They always visited this Bay with the fleet and used Sailor's Paradise Restaurant to gel the group together. The owner had slowly built up the restaurant, the wooden pier and its reputation over several years with his wonderful family all chipping in. It was an amazing and deserved success story but one that was under severe pressure now that all the charter company's had left Turkey due to new costs, taxes and regulations. We had a great time here with Dave and Ali and Guy renamed the spot as 'Copacabana Bay' as it was so wonderful. Sadly we had to depart on 20 August and continued to explore the bay, islands creeks and anchorages sailing and tacking our way around. We finally finished up anchoring in the most stunning beach with palm trees of Kuruca. It was a lovely spot with an interesting holiday village hidden amongst the palms. Dave and Ali had come across with us and that evening we had a most wonderful evening being entertained on Whitesands enjoying the fantastic cooking of Ali followed by the usual games.

The Route From Datca To Marti Marine (1) Then Kocabahce (2) 19 August, Then To Bencik (3)
And Kuruca Buku (4) On 20 August And Finally To Bozburun (5) On 21 August.

Departing Datca.

The Large Hotel And Anchorage At Tavsan Island.

Sailor's Paradise Restaurant At Kocabahce (Copacabana)

Dave, Ali And Ginny Enjoying Cha (Tea).

Guy With Dave And Ali Waiting For His Beer.

Sailor's Paradise Restaurant And Jetty.

Sailing Around Hisaronu Bay.

Deserted Greek Monastery On Karnerie Island.

Selimiye Bay.

Bencik Creek Entrance.

The Amazing Rocks Of Dislice Island.

Bencik Creek Palm Trees. Very Carribean.

Motoring Back Out Of Bencik Creek.

Southern View Of Dislice Island.

The Stunning West Indies Bay Of Kuruca Buku.
Kuruca Buku. A Stunning Anchorage.

8.   Sailing To Bozburun For Resupply And Clean Up.   21 - 24 August 2017.       We left Kuruca Beach after a lovely swim at 1115 hrs on 21 August and had a fun sail keeping in Turkish waters off from the Greek Symi Island round to Bozburun entering into Yesilova Bay. It was a cracking sail in F3/4 tacking our way round while regularly being attacked by kamikaze flying fish. We went into the harbour at 1800 hrs and were soon tied up right opposite the Usmans Place restaurant of the Scottish CA representative called Lynn who was to prove most helpful.  We spent 3 nights here restocking and Guy had a most amazing Turkish style shave and haircut which left him looking 10 years younger. We resupplied from the various supermarkets and most importantly stocked up with more beer and water. Usmans Place catered for us extremely well including providing a most delicious cake for our wedding anniversary. Bozburun was an excellent pit stop for us to rest and recoup having been on the move for a good month.

Great Winds For A Sail To Bozburun.
Sailing Round Kiseli Island Outside Bozburun.

Approaching Bozburun.

Skippers Gone Mad!!! Too Many Days At Sea!!
Before Haircut And Shave!!

A Youthful Skipper After An Excellent Haircut And Shave.
A New Man.

Kisti Two Tied Up Opposite Usmans Place.

Celebrating 36 Years Of Marriage At Usmans Place. Note The CA Flag.

Guy Carving Up The Anniversary Cake Provided By Lynn, The CA Representative.