Jun. 2005
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Check out Weeks ending:   [4 Jun 05] [11 Jun 05] [18 Jun 05] [25 Jun 05]

Week ending 4 June 05 (Bob)

Marmaris Bay - This was our first venture out of Marmaris Yacht Marine since arriving with Bekah last year, and it was nice to leave the dusty boatyard and grubby facilities.  We anchored for a couple of days near Pupa Hotel; still within range of the marina wireless internet repeaters but out of the range of the dust.  On our last day we cruised along the bay shoreline, seeing some of the beaches and anchorages up-close for the first time.  The Marmaris Bay is really a pretty area, well-protected from the Med swell with a wide variety of accommodations. 

Serece - It was finally time to leave the protected bay, so on the last day of May we headed SW along the Marmaris peninsula.  Just before 5 PM we pulled into Serece, a well-protected bay frequented by charter yachts.  The north end was pretty narrow with mooring balls in the center and half a dozen charter yachts tied between the moorings and the shore - all courtesy of the local restaurant that expected their patronage.  We went to the south end and anchored in 15', with the help of Osman who ran a stern line to a mooring to keep us from swinging.  We invited him aboard for tea and had a delightful conversation with him.  We found out:

  • The restaurant at the south end was closed; no one could afford the rent and still make money.
  • The land and buildings are owned by the Government, to be rented out.
  • Osman had a great personality, was married with no children yet.
  • No charge for the mooring.

It was a nice, quiet anchorage with only a few other yachts.

Bokuz Buku - Marcus and Debi had mentioned a restaurant on this bay, so we went the 3 miles from Serece to Bokuz Buku and picked up a mooring in front of the Cobanali restaurant, the middle of 3 restaurants spread along the NW shore of this sheltered bay.  Running the restaurant was Mustafa, owner/maitre de'/chief cook and nice guy.  We enjoyed the sun-downers and delicious meal in a tropical setting - Marcus and Debi score another good recommendation!

Sogut Limani - We have been nervous about battling the Meltemi and although we are pretty far south to experience the worst of it, we were a little leery of rounding the SW corner of Turkey since winds were predicted to be 20 knots or so.  So we were up at 0615 and underway shortly thereafter.  Wind and seas were settled and by 0900 we were snug in Sogut Limani, near a classic Turkish schooner and a tiny anchorage suitable for 1 yacht - us.  There was also a small marina on shore - site of a collection of charter yachts stopped for the night.

Kizili Adasi - Our prettiest anchorage so far, we were tucked in between two islands in shallow water, a little reminiscent of the Tobago Cays in the Caribbean, without the beautiful coral.  We whiled away two days, watching the yachts come and go and being visited by the locals selling trinkets, bread, fruit, vegetables and carpets, of course!

Marti Marina - After a week of anchoring we decided to join civilization for a bit so we pulled into Marti Marina, one of the marinas we had considered when we decided to stay over in Turkey a 2nd year.  It is in a beautiful setting, a wooded bay with steep hills on all sides and they have really taken advantage of the site.  It has a pool, gazebo with comfortable lounges, good restaurant with Thai food and wireless internet connections - all of the creature comforts.  We have met up with Peter and Jeanette on the schooner Voyager and will set out for Datca and then the Greek isles in a few days.

Plans - We plan to stop at several islands as we cross the Aegean Sea making it to the Corinth Canal by the beginning of July (July and August are the months of the strongest northerly winds in the Aegean, a good time to be elsewhere).  Between then and mid-September we will visit the Bay of Corinth, Italy, Sardinia, perhaps Corsica and reach Spain - more details to follow.

Week ending 11 June 05 (Bob)

Marti Marina - It seems like a repetition of the kudos from last week, but we have found this marina to be REALLY nice!  It is quiet, has good facilities and the setting is the prettiest we have experienced in years.  When we rejected it last year as a wintering option it was because it seemed to be so far from Marmaris, yet the dolmus gets you there in 40 minutes or so, only slightly longer than the trip from Yacht Marine to Marmaris. 

Sailing on Voyager - Peter and Jeanette have family visiting them here in Marti Marina, and their days will be full taking them on sightseeing trips and  day-sails on the bay.  We were invited and gladly jumped at the opportunity to see this beautiful schooner up close under sail.  So with 14 on board we set out on a sunny day with winds ranging from 10 to 20 knots.  Under full sail she handled the wind beautifully, dipping a rail in the water during a gust and heeling comfortably while close to the wind.  Its 50' teak deck provided a wonderful platform for kids and adults alike, and even Bob got a turn at the helm.  We were really impressed with the sailing characteristics of this classic with 76 years and countless miles behind her.

Week ending 18 June 05 (Bob)

Datca - We left the shelter on Marti Marine headed for Datca, a cute village with a laid-back atmosphere on a peninsula sticking into the south Aegean.  The westerly winds gave us our first opportunity to beat, so we set all sails and tacked north and south, wet but safe and making a slow 2-3 knots towards our destination.  After 4 hours we called it quits and ducked into a snug anchorage for the night. Early the next day we motored the remaining 12 miles in light westerlies, this time starting early while the breeze was light.  In Datca the winds picked up, and we hunkered down while 25-30 knot gusts howled through the anchorage.  Despite that, we were able to spend some 'quality' time ashore eating, visiting, and yes buying carpets!  This time it was Bob who insisted on getting a couple of small ones for the cockpit - they look very nice!

Crossing to Greece - The nearest Greek island was Symi, a 10 mile downwind sail from Datca.  However the prevailing wind in this part of the Med is from the North, and since we wanted to work our way north before we crossed the Aegean we waited for a day of light winds and motored north to Kos

Kos - Our guide book described a marina under construction in Kos - in this case it has been finished and was very nice, with all of the amenities and a short walk to town.  Kos was the home of Hippocrates, the father of medicine who lived in the 3rd century BCE.  We hired an ATV and competed with hundreds of bikes, scooters, and other ATVs to see the sights:

  • Asklipielion - An ancient Greek temple dedicated to Asclepius, the ancient god of healing - several levels of columns, ruins, baths with a wonderful view of the Aegean and Turkish coast to the northeast.
  • Lagoudi and Pyli - In the hills are several villages with white-washed houses and pretty churches and narrow streets - in one we saw a group of women carrying pies with cream topping and almonds to a church.  It turns out they were remembering the death of a relative in their traditional way.
  • Kos Town - Narrow streets, great restaurants and glitzy shops.
  • Mastihari - A small village on the northwest coast with good water views, and perfect place for a break and beer.
  • Roman ruins - In Kos town there is a fort and many ongoing archeological digs where they are finding Roman houses, baths, agoras and other evidence of long term settlement on the island.

What we miss about Turkey - We have only been away from Turkey for a week so far, but a few things that we enjoyed come to mind:

  • Call to prayer - We sort of miss the periodic call of the muezzin from the mosques during the day.
  • 'Yok' - When we arrived in Turkey we could receive one English TV channel, but within 2 months the programming was replaced by a note: Signal Yok - we found the yok meant expired, or gone and over the last 2 years have heard it often as we tried to buy things - we will miss this quaint expression.
  • Smiles - Many Greeks are friendly, but it is hard to compete with the Turks for friendliness and helpfulness.

Week ending 25 June 05 (Bob)

Leros - We broke up our passage to Patmos into two legs, the first to Leros where we anchored at Xirokambos, a deep and protected indentation on the south coast.  It is reputed to be relatively 'untouched', and we left it that way, staying only until early the next morning as we pushed on, taking advantage of the light winds.

Patmos - This was to be our stepping stone to turn west to Mykonos but we stayed a couple of days to socialize with friends on 'Destiny' and 'Bloom' and visit the historic monastery.  According to history, St John the Divine wrote the book of Revelations of the Bible while in exile in a cave on Patmos.  On the highest hill is the the monastery of St. John the Theologian, built in 1088 so six of  us piled into a couple of taxis and toured the monastery - which has a breathtaking view of the island and harbor.  We then decided to walk down to the Monastery of the Apocalypse, the cave where St John wrote Revelations - and were unable to find it despite the Lonely Planet's directions.  Oh, well, off to find a taverna and well-earned lunch of calamari!

Mykonos - In any collection of iconic photos of Greece, many of them are from Mykonos.  We picked a day where moderate winds were predicted to make the 70 mile trip from Patmos to Mykonos.  So much for predictions!  We had winds ranging from 15 to 30 knots, confused seas and lots of green water across the decks.  Fortunately the wind was mostly on the beam so we were able to make 6 knots much of the day and get into Ornos bay before sunset.  We will spend a couple of days here, monitoring the weather before making a move to Athens and the Corinth canal.

The Meltemi - Light winds are somewhat a rarity in the Aegean sea during the summer.  During July and August the wind blows from the north virtually all the time, varying from moderate to gale force.  Sometimes the area will experience 20-40 knot northerlies for days on end - this is known as the Meltemi.  We wish to get across the Aegean before the Meltemi sets in, and we are now in the area of maximum wind at the beginning of the season, so we need to move closer to the Greek mainland. The next couple of passages should be slightly downwind and get us closer to the sheltered waters.



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