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The Adventures Of LeeZe: LeeZe Versus The Stone Pier (BLOG)

LeeZe is visited by a fire-fighting airplane and Lee and Zehra face a challenging med mooring that could come back to bite them when the wind picks up.

June 20, 2014

The anchorage is choppy due to the sustained winds, so we spent some time in the late morning and early afternoon ashore walking about and doing some shopping just to get off LeeZe. When we returned, Zehra took a nap down below in the master cabin. My nap on the aft deck was interrupted by what sounded to me to be an airplane, really close, but I discounted it as my mind playing tricks.

Seems there was a forest fire ashore and this plane needed water to help fight it. By radar, the distance between the shore and I was about 300 meters so my guess is this pilot was coming to within 150 meters of me. Was he coming this close to allow me to get a good pic? Or, was he showing off? Somehow, given that the there is more than 2 kilometers of empty water on the other side of LeeZe, without any boat at anchor, leads me to lean toward showing off!

The fire fighting airplane scooping up water.

The fire fighting airplane scooping up water.

In Kucuk Deniz (Little Harbor) we found this small restaurant that had great food. In the background are the small fishing boats that go out to catch the fish we were eating that night, One can also hire these to give you a private tour of the area. The day charter gulets are docked about 50 meters to the right of where Lee is sitting.

On this our last night in town, the city put up a stage (just for us?) and a Turkish Band started playing all types of songs starting about 2130. We listened to the music for about an hour and then called it a night.

June 21, 2014

We get up, have coffee, and depart toward the north for Çandarli, about 20 to 21 nm away. The trip is Okay but the seas are not flat, not having time to calm down after the last two days of wind. Upon approaching Çandarli, Zehra calls the head of the fishing port and he informs us that there is a place available for us to tie up.

By this time the wind is a steady 20 knots and he wants me to med moor to a small rusty pier close to some very large rocks in less than 3 meters of water (LeeZe’s draft is 1.6 meters) just inside the harbor wall. Righhhhhhhhhhtttttttttttt…

An aerial shot of Candarli, LeeZe is moored to the end of that seawall.

An aerial shot of Candarli, LeeZe is moored to the end of that seawall.

Having learned my lesson from Cesme, I drop my anchor 60 to 80 meters from this pier upwind but I have a devil of a time getting LeeZe to get close enough to get lines over. The wind keeps pushing me east, and the anchor, which normally helps line me up, is just not cooperating.

After some 45 minutes, I get close enough to get one line over and then another. We have some locals onboard so Zehra is trying to understand what they are doing, telling me how close I am to the rocks, me listening to them, etc etc. Get the picture? Controlled Chaos!

After both lines are over, I am told to take a strain on the anchor and guess what? It comes all the way back to me. By this time, the guy incharge has called a friend to help who also happens to Captain a big fishing trawler. But even though I tell them I want to leave and go anchor, they will have none of that. I am about ready to take my big knife and cut the aft lines when the Captain comes aboard, tells me this is salvageable, and tells me to retrieve my anchor.

I do and I learn why my anchor never held. In it was a concrete block the size of a carry-on airline bag. So, the Captain tells me this stuff happens (the word is "işte" in Turkish it is used a lot when things do not happen as you want. To tell you the truth, it is spoken quite frequently). So, as I sit back and worry about being close to the rocks aft, and Zehra not looking too happy, a small fishing boat comes along, knocks the concrete block out, cleans off the mud, and then proceeds, with my help to put the anchor on his stern so he can motor out and drop it for me. I have seen this done before 3 years ago when the yard launched LeeZe, but having not remembered the particulars too well, (and LeeZe was not ours yet so the Yard Owner became quite excited when this trick did not work for him either) I knew this would not work but could not put my finger as to exactly why.

LeeZe med moored to the pier.

LeeZe med moored to the pier.

Then I saw the small boat just stop some 10 meters ahead. He was trying to motor with my 88 kg anchor on his stern and pulling my 12 mm chain along using his 1 cylinder little diesel engine. Not going to happen. There is more confusion and I tell the Captain that for this to work, call the boat back, and let me place both the anchor and the chain on the fishing boat. Then as he motors away, he can slowly let the chain into the water. The Captain thinks that should work and I am now back in charge.

The boat gets quite low into the water but it works, and he slowly motors upwind, while the chain is slowly being let out. That seems to do the trick, but I thought one or more of the fishermen on the boat was going for a swim when they tried to get the anchor off their stern. With the anchor upwind and in the water, I bring it in and now, it is holding. LeeZe's bow starts to come to starboard and we are becoming more aligned like we should be.

90 minutes after first entering the harbor, we are moored.

The rock wall is high enough that once LeeZe is tucked in, the southern and westerly wind blows over LeeZe and does not seem to push on her too much. But until one gets close to the wall, these winds work havoc on vessel control.

School is out and it is quite crowded for a Sunday. Next week starts the 30 day Ramadan period so if past Ramadan summer period trends hold, the number of people vacationing will seriously drop and will not pick up until it ends, when the "Sweet Holiday" is celebrated.

June 23, 2014

Today we had sustained winds from the North and those winds pushed LeeZe's bow toward the South and LeeZe’s starboard stern came into contact with that rusty pier.

So far have not done a complete inspection but I do have at least some cosmetic damage to the boat name's stencil that will require changing. There is probably more but I cannot see it. Stuffed three tires into the gap as a makeshift fender and put a long line from the port forward cleat to the rocks to help prevent the bow from twisting anymore. I’m waiting for the winds to die down to take in the line somewhat and get the stern away from the pier. The forecast has the wind dying down this evening but it seems an interminable wait.

Lesson Learned: I should have installed that long line from the port bow to the rocks earlier when the wind was blowing from the south and west. If I had I would not be in this predicament. Sadly, it is what it is.

The nearby beachfront with a restored Ottoman castle off in the background.

The nearby beachfront with a restored Ottoman castle off in the background.