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.
August 6, 2013
We had an uneventful transit to Kurucabuk where again, we catch up with Salty Dog. We learn that farmer market days are Mondays, Wednesday's and Fridays so we plan to spend two days here. It’s a nice bay, but crowded. The village ashore is wonderfully beautiful and colorful, full of plants and trees. The Wednesday market is the smallest we learn, and while stocked, seems that there is not a lot of variety. Still we find good stuff and had breakfast at a local "hut" so, all is still good. There was a report in June 2013 that thieves were stealing from the boats so we lock up tight when we go ashore. That means that the boat is sweltering when we get back. Oh well.
I watch other boaters as they handle their boat and I cringe. Most put out way too little chain and as long as there is no strong wind, they are fine. But in my honest opinion, all hell could break loose if we get a sustained 20-knot blow. None predicted so I sleep thru the night.
August 7, 2013
Had a wonderful dinner on board Salty Dawg. Intentions are to push off to Datca tomorrow morning.
This place has 32-amp shore power, but it is not cheap. First time in months that I could set the battery chargers to 100 amps and not pop a circuit breaker. Batteries filled quickly and today, they started a 12-hour equalization cycle so all is good. Walked around last night (first night of Seker Bayrami, which is the first night after Ramazan for those that need to break their fast). It was hopping. We were here in March and could not believe what we were now seeing. The town beach on the "north side" of the town is full of diners. The restaurants are humming. We ate at a small, mom and pop place, and while they have 9 tables, people waited 30-45 minutes to eat. This is due to the holiday. We learn that on Saturday, there is a "huge" farmer's market. I ALWAYS like to go to them because they always reflect the local character. Zehra, not so much. It tuns out that Zehra's Dad ALWAYS went to these markets, and Zehra's Mom... never. Zehra does not think that Mom EVER stepped into one of these, ever! If you all were here, you would be amazed as to what they sell and at what price. And, probably, like me, you would not want to miss one.
August 10, 2013
Today is warm and today is market day. We heard that Datca has a good market and for sure, they do. Every Saturday, by the PTT Telephone office, they have fruit, veggies, cheese, eggs, meat, chicken, and spice market, along with clothes, hardware, and the like. It is an easy walk from the quay, even in summer. We have not seen such a market since our days in Izmir. Marmaris does NOT have such a market. And, Marmaris is a larger city than Datca. Go figure. We ran into Salty Dawg at the market and they are in town to visit friends and hopefully, our paths will cross again.
While we will not be here next week, we bet that the crowd will be gone.
As for when we may leave? Maybe Sunday.
August 11, 2013
It is Sunday and we are leaving. Got the port charge bill late yesterday afternoon and was charged way less than what Mehmet Ali said we were to be charged. Of course I did NOT argue, paid, and pocketed the difference. We ate on board, took a walk, enjoyed the crowds and the life and the energy, and went to bed tired. Did some laundry, shopped for food, etc.; so underway was about 1000 and it was to be a lumpy ride to Hayitbucu. Winds were from the west (rare for the summer). We got there, after battling a 1.4-knot current, and find the anchorage to be REALLY LUMPY, TINY, SHALLOW and crowded. We are initially in 12 meters of water and lay out some 50m of chain while we "survey" the situation. While doing that, a sailboat in a better part of the bay leaves, and so we move, this time to eight meters of water. Thinking we will be spending the night, and that it will remain lumpy, I lay out 70m of chain. Take the tender in and come to learn we can go pier side. Cost, unknown. Help is unavailable except for a kind and generous Turkish cat Captain. So, we pick up 70 meters, lay out 30, and now we are stern to nest to a wooden pier that does not look like it will hold us, but does. Water and some electricity is available so we take advantage of that.
We are the only one at the pier at 1500. Come 1900? We are one of 11 squeezed in, a guy comes around collecting a 50 tl mooring fee, and we cook aboard at about 2030. The seas and the wind calm down so probably tomorrow morning, we are off 12 miles further west towards Knidos. After discussing it with Zehra, the restaurant that manages the pier is not too bright. Had they said, "Eat dinner with us and the pier is free," we probably would have spent more than 50 tl at dinner. But by charging and not offering the option, we ate aboard. Others did eat out, but not at that restaurant, but at others. Had they been asked to eat in lieu of paying, some 29 people, each spending 50 tl or more, would have ate at their restaurant. Oh well.
August 12, 2013
We are still at Hayitbucu but plan to leave after breakfast. We learned that the pier is run by the Mesudiye's Muhtar (muhtar is a mayor-like person of a village) and his representative is Lutfu (+90 542 817 9716). If he knows that you are coming, he will help with lines, but typically he says, it is rare that there is no one around to help the first boat in. While he speaks very little English, he knows enough that if you call, you are calling for help to get in. Guess that is acceptable. Today is better than yesterday and while the Turkish cat Captain has strongly recommend that we go to Palamut Buku, Zehra thinks we should push on toward Knidos. We shall see where we end up.
So we did stop by Palamut Buku but the anchorage was rolly, the other spots mentioned in the pilot guide were either too remote, rolly, or otherwise not acceptable and we did not want to go into the harbor. So we did push on to Knidos and when we get there at 1500, the place is packed. So, we drop 100 meters of chain in 20 meters of water and wait. But we do not have to wait long. Like clockwork, the charter gulets start to leave by 1600 and by 1615, a spot is open so we retrieve the 100 meters of chain and proceed to go inside to where the depth is 9-10 meters. Drop 45 meters, snub it, and we are in
But alas, not to be. I swim to check my anchor chain and see that I dropped my chain over a gulet's chain. Yes the water is that clear that one can see details on the bottom like crossed anchor chains. So, I swim over to him and try to tell him but they are in the process of leaving and keep telling me to get out of the way. No amount of talking can get their attention so I yell, "I dropped my chain over yours." When I am in a mask and snorkel, my Turkish sucks. Some one figures out this is important and now I have their attention. The Captain asks, "what should I do?" Strange question I think; I tell him if you give me 15 minutes, I will get lift my chain off his so he can retrieve his. He is grateful, I think. So, roust Zehra off the computer, start up LeeZe, retrieve all but 20 meters. That leaves the gulet room to retrieve their anchor but by now, my bow is in the stern cockpit of some sailboat. (The gulet must have dropped over 100 meters of chain because two sailboats down wind from me had to lift their chain to let him retrieve his.) It is my fortunate luck that he is leaving also so he retrieves his chain, leaving me room to retrieve my anchor and move closer to shore in about 8 meters of water. This "texas two step" occurs at 1715, takes about 30 minutes, and I am grateful that it was not at dusk.
So I close with this entry. We are in a port built thousands of years ago by the Greeks, where their sea-wall is still in use today, where the remains of a amphitheater are off my starboard side, where from the harbor, one can easily see the city's layout and with a little bit of imagination, imagine life back then. What I know that they could not imagine was 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.
Lee and Zehra had their George Buehler designed 50-foot raised pilothouse steel trawler built in Izmir, Turkey and started cruising the Eastern Mediterranean in the late summer of 2011. They completed the East-Med Yacht Rally in 2012 and then explored the Southeast coast of Turkey. This year, they decided to explore the SW side and you can follow their adventures on their blog, www.whereisleeze.blogspot.com.