Log #26d Lycian Coast to Bodrum

September 26, 2002 in Logs by Series, Series 26 Summer in Turkey, The Logs

Nisos Poros, Greece
Sept. 26, 2002

Hi Folks,

We have been on this buoy off Poros for three days now, and plan heading out into the Aegean again tomorrow. We rented a car for a marathon (pardon the pun on Greek geography) 600 kilometre round trip through the mountains of the Peloponnisos to Epidavros, across the Corinth Canal, and up to Dephi (of the Oracle of Delphi fame) and back.

This log ends our Turkish voyages until we return in October. I will start a new sequence of Logs #27 on Greece with my next log. This will probably have to be sent on Notepad again as I have not found an internet site here with Microsoft Word. I hope you can download and read it OK.

All the best,
Aubrey

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Log #26d Lycian Coast to Bodrum

Nisos Poros, Greece
Sept. 23, 2002

If ever we needed an economical, comfortable, and safe place to spend the winter on an anchor, we would select Fethiye. We left after five days to sail across the gulf over to Skopea Limani, a large bay protected by several islands. However most of the bays were quite deep, and we dislike anchoring in more than 10 metres of water as we have to lower and raise the anchor manually, hand over hand. To try to anchor in 50 feet of water, and not have the anchor grab even though we put out 150 feet of chain, makes for an exhausting exercise lowering down and hauling up that much chain. An electric windlass is on our wish list when we get back to Turkey. We scouted out all the bays in the south of Skopea Limani, and finally settled on Boynuz Buku, going right up to the end, to the mouth of the creek, to anchor in 12 feet of water. Incidentally, forgive my shifting from metric to imperial measures without any pattern or consistency, as I have readers who are conversant in one but minimally in the other system, and so my whimsical inconsistency. It was a pleasant wooded cove with fewer mosquitoes than I would have expected from a marshy creek opening.

We left next day to motor and motorsail to Ekincik, to anchor off the beach in about 20 feet of water. It is a nice sandy beach with several restaurants and a camping place, and in the northwest corner a large fleet of open tour boats to take people up the Dalyan River, a trip we took earlier in the spring. There were at least 36 of these craft, and they were asking $50.00 US per person for the trip. Too much! While at anchor a plastic floating water mattress was blown off shore and I rescued it as it came towards Veleda. Upon retuning it towards land I came upon the father swimming out for it. He spoke some English and was quite pleased to hear we were from Canada as he has a relative living in Montreal.

Off the next day, motoring again, into Marmaris Limani when in the middle of the bay we were hailed by Neree, a boat that was on the EMYR and whom we met again in Kemer in July. We had a good chat with them before finally heading over to a pleasant anchorage in the cove off the Pupa Yacht Hotel. The hotel was quite co-operative and allowed us to access their internet at a very economical charge. There is the Pupa Yacht charter fleet there as well. We dinghied down to the new Marmaris Yacht Marine for fuel and a few grocery supplies. We understand their rates this year are very economical in order to work up a customer base. Dinghying up to Marmaris, we visited the castle and a few chandleries, and made contact with Patricia Apa, a reporter for the Marmaris English News, who met us on the EMYR and wanted some pictures of it. We left a floppy disc with her of a few good shots. Next morning back at our anchorage at Pupa Yacht Hotel, we watched a large gulet go aground on the shallow bank astern of us. After several unsuccessful attempts to motor off they took a line from another gulet at the dock and were winched off. The shallows come up very suddenly as there is a sand bar created by a stream coming in, and we noticed fishermen wading in the shallows only 20 metres astern of us. It was an entertaining location.

One afternoon Judy went into Marmaris by bus to get some supplies. However she was picked up by a tour bus going that way into town, and when coming back she got a ride in a mini van with three older men who were staying at a cabin near the hotel. We went over later that afternoon and had a cup of tea with them. They spoke very little English but enjoyed the sharing their meager setting with us. Judy would never have thought of accepting a ride from strange men in any other country; but Turkey is a safe country where women do not feel threatened walking the streets at night.

We motored out of Marmaris Limani to the west side of the bay past Keci Adasi, and found ourselves thankful we did not anchor over that side as it is wall to wall tourist developments. Gerbekse Cove, our next anchorage, is a long narrow cove with a lovely sandy beach at the end, a favourite location for day trippers from Marmaris. We went up to the end by the beach, and found the next boat anchored beside us was “Kaptan Deniz” a Turkish boat that was on the EMYR. Also up the channel was “Saharet of Tyre” a Lebanese owned 100 foot ketch crewed by an English family whom we had met while at anchor near Marmaris a couple of days earlier. As they had us on that luxurious yacht (the owner was still in Beirut) when we were at the Pupa Yacht Hotel anchorage (exchanging reading material), they joined us on board Veleda for drinks. The few tripper gulets were no problem and left by 1700. I assisted a charter yacht to anchor at the head of the bay off the beach with the additional help of a versatile one-armed local fisherman who hopped into Sprite with me to take their lines. He tied a proficient bowline for them around a rock on shore and coiled an extra line of mine using his one good arm, his stump and his teeth. We got the landlubber and his attractive bikini-clad crew properly anchored with a line ashore, without the use of much language as the fisherman spoke no English and the yacht crew spoke only German, but we managed.

Next morning, after I wandered ashore to explore a Byzantine ruin and some other ancient ruins on the slopes, we weighed anchor and motored down the coast, nosing into Bozuk Buku, a bay we stayed in last spring (See Log #24h). When we were in Marmaris, the castle there had a museum which displayed the history of Loryma, which was, I believe, one of the six major cities of the Lycian Confederation, and this, Bozuk Buku, was its location. It was at its zenith in the 3rd century BC, under Hellenistic control, before falling into decline under the Byzantine and Ottoman Turks. When in here before we were beneath the ancient citadel which I described in detail in Log #24h. This time we motored down to the end of the bay and saw many other ruins of the era, a site we want to visit again for a day or two at anchor. This is one of the glories of Turkey as many ruins are out in the wilderness of the coast, not fenced off or controlled by parks or other officials. They are just there, in the open wild fields, silent sentinels of antiquity, still standing in their ruined grandeur.

On leaving Bozuk Buku, we continued down around Karaburun, the most southerly tip of Turkey, only 13 miles from the Greek island of Rhodes, and up to anchor just inside Kizil Adasi passage (36ْْ  40.25’N, 028ْ  02.21’E), there to be greeted by Utinam, one of the French boats that was in our Group 1 on the EMYR. After anchoring we swam over and had a good talk with them and a drink before they had to leave for other ports. We stayed at anchor behind that low spit of rocky peninsula for three nights, through a couple of gale force 8 storms, thankful that our anchor was well secured between rocks on the bottom. We dive on our anchor to assess how well it has set, and found this time it was wedged between a couple of large rocks, and so would hold through anything. However we were still exposed to the full force of the wind, and after the third night of force 8 howling 35 knot plus winds, we attempted to head out, but found ourselves pounding into 1.5 metre swells and a force 5 wind. So we returned but shifted up towards town (Bozburun) to anchor northwest of Yesil Adasi on our main anchor, with a bow line ashore and a stern anchor out to reduce our swing. This arrangement held us well, but the winds were lower anyways.

I enjoyed a couple of long hikes across the peninsula to a fishing cove, and over the surrounding hills past a couple of boat yards with the skeletons of traditional gulets in process of completion. It was interesting to nose around these wooden structures being built. At least three large (100 foot plus) boats were under construction. However I have heard, and saw, that green wood is being used and the expected life of these vessels is only about 8 years before they start to disintegrate. They have beautiful lines though! I also dinghied out to Yesil Adasi and hiked up to the summit wandering through the ruins of the castle fortress that used to defend the community from raiders, hundreds to thousands of years ago. The town itself was most pleasant, not too touristy, with a wide range of stores and restaurants (unfortunately no internet cafes), a good fresh spring water tap, grocery stores, and a large weekly market.

Next anchorage was at Datca, where we met up again with Ostrea, whom we had encountered a week earlier at Gemiler Adasi. Datca, after which the Datca Peninsula is named, is a large town with a very large flea market, post office, good bus transportation, good restaurants and internet cafes. One of dolmus trips was to The Olive Farm, where we had a tour of the factory to see how olives were processed, and to learn about olives, olive oil, and the harvesting of olives. We bought several jars of olives, olive pastes, olive lotions, and cold pressed extra virgin olive oil. It was a most interesting tour, after which the farm delivered us back to Datca. We would recommend this tour be an option for the EMYR when it visits Marti Marina in future rallies.

After another early morning predawn start we motored the 30 miles around the Datca Peninsula (Datca Yarimadasi) to anchor just inside the first bay of Mersincik. En route we were fortunate to see a small pod of dolphins feeding, but unlike Atlantic dolphins, they did not come over to play around us. Setting the anchor took three tries, and we still had poor holding. So we put out two lines across the entire cove to secure us. As it was, a catamaran came in, and wanted to go closer to the beach, so we lowered our line to permit him entrance and secured it once he was settled inside.

Frankly the cove and bay has nothing to recommend it, other than it is only a few hours (17 miles) motor from Bodrum across Gokova Korfesi. We were going to Bodrum to check out of Turkey, but did not want the expense of staying at the Bodrum Karada Marina. When we went across next day we went to the marina to fill our jerrycans, then had to motor over to the customs dock across the entrance to check out. This involved finding a place near the customs dock to tie up (which we did beside a local ferry that would not be leaving for a few hours), and walking (Judy) to three different locations in town and on the docks (Harbourmaster, Customs, and Passport Control), and paying small fees for this “service” while I guarded Veleda and bought some duty free rum. With this last bit of paperwork completed we finally left Turkey for Kos, only 10 miles away, but in the Greek Aegean at last!