Join Lee and Zehra aboard their steel, 50-foot George Buehler trawler as they explore the Turkish Coastline in the summer of 2013. Stay tuned for more entires from cruiser-bloggers in the Destinations section at www.passagemaker.com.
Our last "saga," I closed with this: we are in a port built thousands of years ago by the Greeks, where their seawall is still in use today. The remains of an amphitheater are off my starboard side, and from the harbor, one can easily see the city's layout. With a little bit of imagination, one can easily imagine life back then. What I know, that they could never imagine a 42-meter gulet (http://www.bahriyeli.com/bahriyeli-d-1.phtml) anchored just by their city gate, nor a 15-meter steel LeeZe somewhere in the middle of their smallish harbor.
August 13, 2013
The night was not so bad but I can understand the pilot guide explaining this is not a suitable anchorage to wait out a storm. I find myself wondering how the Greek and roman boats weathered out their storms here. My guess, being that since their boats were probably smaller, they could bring them ashore, tie them to shore, beach them or something.
Later on, we will meet Owen and Judy West from Hitchhiker. They were in this anchorage a couple of weeks ago when the winds were blowing hard. The winds forced them to come to the pier and their anchor failed to hold.
The main event of the day was the trip ashore to visit "these old rocks."
On the way back, Zehra expresses an interest to learn more about the tender. In the process of teaching her, a part from the motor she is handling drops over board. I immediately jump in to retrieve it but it slips from my fingers. My museum pass that was in my pocket is now no longer. Anyway, I searched the waters around LeeZe for the card as it costs about $20 and I just got it today, and it is good for a year. Anyway, I know this to be hopeless, but the water is clear to the bottom (15-18 meters) and I think I spot a "shiny object" among the weeds. I retrieve my air tank, get another lecture about this life from Zehra, and dive to the spot. Lo and behold, it is a museum card. And sitting next to it is the part from the motor that dropped. Today, God is on my side, or at least Murphy has decided to take the rest of the afternoon off. Come up from 18 meters, hand both to Zehra and call it a day. A quick fresh water rinse for the dive gear, hang it to dry, get out of my wet shorts, and its naptime.
At 1800, I need to take another swim to check the anchor. Those that are going to go have gone, and those staying will spend the night. Grab my mask, go to the bow, follow the chain and realize it has repositioned, and now it is making a great big loop. I believe it will still hold, but I warn the sail boater that is near to the chain that we may become very close neighbors during my retrieval tomorrow. He says that is fine, he can motor up and this will not be an issue. He is a New Zealander and has rented the sailboat with a friend for two weeks.
The plan tomorrow is to go up and around and follow the North coast of the Datca peninsula toward Golyeri. The pilot guide has nothing nice to say about this part of the Turkish coast so we expect to find nothing of interest. There is a "bingo field" at Mersincik and a small marina at Kormen, the place where the ferryboats from Bodrum arrive. The pilot guide picks up at Golyeri, but it is another 10-15nm before we start to see interesting areas again.
August 14, 2013
Well I sure was an optimistic fellow yesterday. And today, I got such a swift kick in the arse that it even hurts to write about. So, what happened?
We departed Knidos at about 0900. Knidos is a crowded anchorage so one has to work with your neighbor. However, an interloper came in during the night and plopped his sailboat and chain directly in front of me. So, when I get up and see him there, I am thinking, "oh, this could be interesting!" I start lifting my 40+ meters of chain and the New Zealander is not in harms way. But this interloper is directly in my path. I call his boat name. Call again. Call again... The New Zealander calls twice. Nope, nada, nothing. From inside, I sound my diesel locomotive twin air horns for 10 seconds.
Finally, a head pops out!
From the bow, I am maybe 5 meters from his stern. Zehra has the engine in reverse idle just so that I do not run into him. He looks at me and starts to say something and all I say is, "I am 44 tons of steel and you anchored in front of me last night so you get to move, and move now, please."
He is not happy but moves…maybe 10 meters. I still have 30 meters of chain to pick up, so, slowly, I inch forward picking up my chain until his eyes are bigger than flying saucers. He then really moves, I retrieve my anchor and some boaters who watched this tap dance start to applaud. After a bow, I head into the pilot house and we’re off.
Zehra thinks the wind may be too much but does not want to go back. We come around the peninsula and head generally North-Northeast to East. The first place to stop, Mersincik, is not worth it. The next port, Kormen, has so much construction going on that we cannot stop. The pilot guide talks about Golyeri but I think he must have been on drugs the day he made that entry because that place has no protection from any direction. So, we decide to continue on to Buyuk Cati and anchor.
The weather, waves and winds were actually quite comfortable. Today's underway totaled about 7½ hours. We are glad we made it to the point where the scenery gets interesting but the coast we just traveled was so boring that even the camera told us so and refused to allow us to take pictures.
We anchor in 5 meters of water, go for some swims and relax. We meet an Austrailian couple, Owen and Judy West, of Hitchhiker and invite them over for drinks at 2030 and they stay until about 2200. Good time!
August 15, 2013
Yesterday, I got an email from Rick and Mary on Orca that they are in Amazon Koyu. It turns out to be about 3nm NE of us, so we communicate over VHF and agree that to hook up with them there at about noon. We have been emailing on and off after their visit to Kos, Greece, as they were doing this bay clockwise, and after our decision to cancel our trip to Kos, we are doing the bay counter-clockwise. So, we were really hoping to meet up and now, we will.
After a short cruise, we enter Amazon Koyu, we see Orca nearby. We anchor and tender over to them to talk and greet each other. Then we take the tender to the local campground down a windy and shallow creek, and I remember to unlock the outboard motor's hinge "just in case."
Well, "just in case" happens a lot and the motor bounces off the bottom. We tie off, see a cute campground and resolve NOT to come again by tender, and return to Orca. We get back, drop off Rick and Mary, and go for a swim. Later in the afternoon, they come over to discuss their Greek Island's trip.
They had a scare earlier when seawater was coming into the boat while they were heeled over. Rick believes that in the haul out last year, the yard "squeezed" Orca too hard causing unseen cracks when pulling her from the water. So, he has some work to do when they finally stop for the winter. Right, good old fashion high-pressure tape is keeping the sea water on the correct side of the hull. I wish him luck. They will be back over for dinner tonight and we will BBQ some chicken. Very nice day.
August 16, 2013
We are up and Orca is already gone (toward Knidos and Datca). Turns out the weather, winds and waves were so bad they only make 4nm down route to the next cove, where they wait two days to continue on.
We are underway for Longoz Koyu after learning from Orca that the yellow jacket wasps that I am so allergic to are prevalent at dawn and at dusk in Kufre Koyu, which was to be our next planned stop. Coming out of Amazon Koyu we encounter meter-high waves and 20+ knots of wind. The bow is going and down like an elevator, and things are clanking around in the cupboards and closets. I wonder if there is a place to stop before Longoz, but as we round the first point, we are now moving with the seas off the forward port side. The ride improves so I elect to see how far I can milk this run. We continue past the next point and now the seas are off my port quarter, and the ride now is quite tolerable. However, the next turn will put the seas directly astern, and that could be problematic. After the next turn, LeeZe is quite happy and I realize that the seas are being blocked by the spit of land I am now behind.
We check out Longoz, and Zehra says, “no.” While I have no problem anchoring in a cove with maybe just one boat also there, Zehra does and so, we elect to move on to Degirmenbuku. This cove has parts and pieces. There is English Harbor, when some English warships would hide in during WWII while bombing the Germans on the nearby Greek Islands. While Turkey during WWII was mostly "neutral" in fact she was letting both sides use her as long as it was beneficial to Turkey. The pilot guide describes this harbor as almost like anchoring in a swimming pool. Then there is Okluk Koyu, where there are supposed to be lots of boats, two or more restaurants, and markets.
For completeness, there are two nondescript anchorage's called #1 and #2 deeper into this cove that the pilot guide briefly mentions. Some charts say the waters around it are restricted, but the current Turkish Navy charts I am using do not. Additionally, the electronic charts also are quiet on this issue. We anchor, no one says a word, the wind is blowing 10-20 knots and will be thru to early morning. After the wind dies down we will tender ashore and check the place out. We probably will spend two nights here before moving on to Karaca Sogut. There is a small marina there and a couple of restaurants with piers so if there is room, we will go pier side.
We elect to drop anchor near where the Turkish government has a summer residence for its President.
August 17, 2013
We stayed in Okluk and went ashore in the morning to check out the two restaurants. They both have docks and if you eat dinner there, the first night is free. If you eat subsequent nights, then they charge 20 tl for the electricity and water. Our plans today are to go to Karacasogut and stay a couple of days. We "hear" there is a small town there.
August 18, 2013
We move from Okluk to Karacasogut, where there are 3 "marinas" to tie up. I have experienced a fuel delivery issue with the generator so some time tied to a pier would be nice. We arrive in the harbor and there is no one waving at us. We drop anchor, tender ashore, and determine that the local municipality will take us. So we come in, tie up, hook up shore power, load water, wash the tender and aft deck, restore the satellite TV signal, take a shower and have dinner at Cardak's Restaurant, some 150 meters inland from the docks. The food there is good, priced reasonably and run by a small family. We walk back to LeeZe on a road that earlier had a BIG cow on it pestering each and every motorized vehicle operator passing it.
August 19, 2013
I am roused from sleep at ~ 0355 by a person coming into the marina by a tender using his outboard. It is dark, no moon, and the tender is lightless. I finally see it and watch as the person approaches the pier, ties it off, and walks into the darkness. I wonder how many others were awoken. Go back to sleep but not for long for at 0705, the gulet next to me has its passarella break, causing a noise as it crashes into the dock. Go back to sleep again and at 0915, Zehra wakes me.
Today is Grand Central Station here at the municipal marina. There are gulets coming and going. Alas our run lucks out. We are asked to leave. They need the space. So, at about 1230, we depart for Akbut.