When The Wind Blows………

 

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The Wrong Way.

15th May 2017

This morning, we decided that we wouldn’t continue towards the ancient city of Knidos because there had been a strong wind that had carried on into the morning.

So, after the decision, mum and I walked into the town to stock up on food for the next few days at sea around the beautiful Hisaronu Gulf.

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On the southern shore, workaday, harbour-front Datça is the main settlement. It’s not built for tourists but this is where you’ll find most of the restaurants. In the hills above town is Old Datça which, by the 1980s, was more or less abandoned, but is now having a mini renaissance. Then there is a 235-mile coastline to take in, Datça’s sleepy villages and landscapes, and its most precious jewel: the ancient Greek ruins of Knidos, a city at the confluence of the Mediterranean and the Aegean.

Remnants of the Karians – who settled here in 5400BC – and the cultures of Lydia, Persia, and the Byzantine and Ottoman empires, stud the landscape: there are church ruins, ancient cisterns, tombstones and ruined olive oil facilities, all of which scatter the Datca peninsula, as well as to its north and south.

After shopping, we caught a taxi to the nearby Datca Vineyard and Winery, where some of the best Turkish wine is produced. In the family owned Datça Vineyard, they produce wine, olive oil and also organize wine tasting seminars. This was very enticing to Mum and Geoff as I read out the trip advisor reviews……

 

The vineyard and winery is located in Kızlan plains where you can enjoy the marvellous nature of Datça. It is also the farming location of the famous Cnidus wines of the ancient world.

You can visit and drink your wine with a nice sea view, and help the works at the vineyard. While you are enjoying your wine and cheese platter, a soft wind cools you down.

Upon arriving, we were happily given a tour of the complex, which took us to the vineyards, wine cellar, barrel cellar, and where the grapes are crushed, sometimes, by foot.

After the tour, mum and GEOFF got about the most important part of tasting the Rose, Red and White. We sat at the bottom of the windmill, taking in the breathtaking view and cool air.

When we arrived back at the boat and loaded it up with the wine we had bought, the skipper seemed perplexed at how much deeper in the water She seemed to have sunk!

There are lots of opposing forecasts at the moment regarding this weeks weather, wether we head to Knidos ( North) tomorrow or turn about, back to Bozburan is unknown really, until we see what the day brings……

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We Are Heading North…..

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Towards The a Datca Peninsula

10th May 2017

 

So we left our berth in Fethiye again this morning after sheltering yesterday from a force 6/7 which was blowing itself out in the RHODES channel. Mum doesn’t like that piece of water at the best of times, so it wasn’t likely that we could persuade her to cross it in those conditions unnecessarily. With a good breeze we sailed away from Fethiye, close hauled and reeled hitting a good 8.5 knots and really shaking the cobwebs out of the old girls sails.

Our plan was to stay at Kizil Koyu, which we have been to many times before. It’s always a tricky anchor here, although it bites well there is generally a cross wind. Today was no exception, and a strong cross wind at that! This anchorage is just before the entrance out into the Rhodes channel, so it’s easy enough to survey the state of the channel before deciding whether ( mum wants ) to go into it or not. With a kedge out on the starboard side to prevent the cross ( swirling ) wind from blowing us too close to rocks, we finally kicked back.

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The sunshine is nice and warm now, although the air is still cold. Believe it or not, there is still snow down on the mountain tops, and winter still feels like it’s lingering to me! This is surprising especially as we are approaching the middle of May now. Forecasts keep saying that the higher temperatures are around the corner, but Geoff thinks the forecasts are explaining what not to expect…….

People are still busy on the pontoons of Ece, readying their boats for the season, there’s heaps of activity and people now. The new Russians who are back again this week training have spent their obligatory three whole days learning how to perfect the Mediterranean parking ( i.e.: reverse along the channel, turn a sharp left and reverse up to the pontoon, slamming the gears into neutral then drive at the last minute to stop the progress towards the pontoon…..) three days is a lot for anybody to have to practice the same maneuver, it gets boring watching them so I hate to think what they think about the continuous practice. It also doesn’t explain the fact that even after their incessant training none of them can even then, actually fit the boat into the relevant gap when required in real time, and perform the maneuver when it matters, without a load of Russian shouting, Lycra, sailing gloves and boat hooks??!!

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In the evening, as the full yellow moon slowly rose above the crystal clear waters of the bay our campfire crackled pleasantly and the ghost stories were told…………

In the morning mum complained of too little sleep and nightmares!

11th May 2017

We left kizil Koyu in hot sunshine, at last the teak on the decks was hot to your feet! As I have mentioned the Rhodes channel isn’t too far away, and before you know it we had turned right and straight into the mouth of bouncy, wavy nonsense…
The strong wind and bumpy seas worked together to make a very unpleasant trip towards Asi Koyu, or as we like to call it, Secret Bay. We believe the Rhodes Channel was still suffering the aftermath of the force 7, earlier in the week. Most of the trip was spent dressed in coats and jumpers, which had made us upset since this month was meant to be the beginning of summer. Whilst motoring to Asi, Geoff noticed a splash in the water, and I managed to catch a glimpse of it. What I saw was a large, muscular animal with a rounded head and large tail,

We found it difficult locating the entrance to Asi, but upon arriving there, we were met with an old, scruffy man who was driving a deflated dinghy.

After telling him that we weren’t going to moor up at the restaurants floating pontoon, he asked if he could help with the shore lines, so we said yes. As we drove back towards the beach, mum dropping the anchor, Geoff steering, the man grabbed the shore line, and started up his engine, ready to take the line ashore…
The sound of non starting engine echoed through the bay, and as he rested his torso down onto his sinking dinghy and began to paddle towards the rock we wanted to hook mum pulled on her fins, caught up with him and extracted our line to take it to shore herself! Once we had both shore lines secure mum told him to come back to the yacht where we could give him some fuel so he could get back to his restaraunt!

 

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The rest of the afternoon was spent reading and swimming. I tried my new goggles and flippers out, and they’re great! And we had great pleasure watching two Ukrainian boats making a meal out of anchoring, two of the crew from the Bavaria scrambled high up a cliff to tie their line to a tree who’s roots were exposed in a previous landfall…. probably not a great choice… anyway they then proceeded to winch the stern line in so tight that even from our boat mum and I could clearly see that it was twin rudder! If they winched a bit tighter they could probably lift it completely out of the water to do their anti fouling, right there!

That evening, the sound of small waves hitting the black beach echoed through the bay. The night was bumpy and roly again and after breakfast early the next morning we were surprised to find the Rhodes channel calmer than the anchorage!

12th May 2017

Back into the channel on Friday and merrily making our way towards Marmaris with the wind directly on the nose, ho hum…… Finally with a stroke of good fortune we found some good wind and had a great sail in.

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I had discovered another new bay called Gerbekse, which is a small charming bay with a beach. Located south of the commercial village of Ciftlik, Gerbekse was thought to have been an old Byzantine trading post, and the ruins of market buildings and an old monastery are still visible upon entering the bay. After anchoring in the bay, we swam to the sandy beach, admiring the beautiful surroundings and turquoise waters, but the sea state changed that evening, when the wind whipped up and made the bay very windy.

That afternoon, mum and I took the dogs over to the shore to explore the ancient Byzantine ruins, but whilst there, we discovered that the rocky and rugged landscape was almost impassable, so we only ventured around the peninsula, close to the shore line.

When on anchor, when the wind blows, mum and Geoff normally get quite stressed, because they are worried about the boat ending up on the shore or the rocks, obviously depending on which direction the winds blowing….I was personally surprised that this well protected and usually calm bay could become so windy and uncomfortable. With the wind blowing sideways onto the boat our stern lines were working hard, Mum and GEOFF decided to put out the kedge anchor again!

Taking the anchor out to port and dropping it and it’s heavy chain over the side of the dinghy, mum pulled us in tight to the midships. Still broadsiding mum then rowed across with another stern line to the port and winched this line in tight on the boat, that was much better…. so much so, that when we again checked the kedge we found it flailing about doing nothing on the starboard side!!

Although we put a couple of extra lines on, we did feel obliged to help a little Swedish boat who had come in and decided to anchor just as the wind picked up……….they were swinging about for literally hours, working hard to get a shore line…… anywhere…… In the end it was only polite to help! The funny thing was, that when they had eventually found somewhere to tie to, firstly their two lines tied together were too short to reach ( we rowed out and loaned them one) then, in a big gust their dinghy, which was just pulled on to the shore, blew out into the sea and started making an escape bid!!! One of the swedes noticed and launched himself, fully clothed after his tender like an Olympic freestyle specialist…. quite funny though!

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Let’s hope that when we get to Serce Limani tomorrow, it will be calmer.

13th May 2017

After leaving Gerbekse, we motored out into the Rhodes channel, to find it like a sheet of glass. The only thing disturbing the glass like water were two Submarines and what looked like a supply boat. The two dark silhouettes glided across the water, and on this clear, flat day, they were clearly visible.

 

With the wind on the nose, we continued down the coast towards One Boat Bay, the bay we would be stopping at to.night. As the name suggests, only one Boat can fit in the bay, and upon arriving at the entrance, there was already a boat in it, so, we decided To turn back to Serce Limani, since the owner of the restaurant there said we can always use one of the jettys for the dogs.

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After mooring up at the jetty, we sat in the cockpit, admiring the beautiful surroundings.

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That evening, thousands of moths started flying around the boat, drinking the Rose wine from Mum and Geoffs glasses and drowning in it, little drunkards! Apparently they appear every April and May but only live for a week, terrible images of knee deep dead moths spring to mind! That evening, we had dinner at the bays restaurant keeping an eye out for the Asena kicking Donkey from last year.

 

14th May 2017

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We had an early start today, leaving Serce at eight in the morning. There wasn’t any wind around, and the sea was very calm, so we motored most of the way until we reached The northern tip of Symi, where the wind picked up, and we sailed all the way to the entrance of Datcas Harbour. Last time we were in Datca was when we came back from the Greek islands last year.

After parking flawlessly, we were about to go out for lunch when another boat picked up our anchor, but thankfully the anchor dug back into the sand.

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After some lunch, we walked around the coastal town, and visited the opens air theater. As usual, we were stopped many times so people could have there picture with Asena and Vodka. Today is actually the first day that it has been really hot, and when we got back to the boat, downstairs was like walking into an oven.

We spent the afternoon on the beach swimming and sunbathing and throwing balls for the dogs.

Come the evening a problem arose. Mums finger, little finger on the same hand as dislocated thumb ( which is just beginning to be strong again ) swelled up, started aching and couldn’t bend!

After some poking and prodding we figured she had been bitten by a spider ( again, the last time was a few years ago when overnight her eye swelled up like somebody had punched her ) and although it aches and swells, there aren’t any poisonous spiders here, so it was nothing really to worry about… she might just have to be a single handed sailor for a day or so!

A Week In The Bays

 

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4th May 2017
It was totally cool sitting around our controlled campfire, chewing the cud and righting all the wrongs in the world between us, all that was missing was marshmallows and Summer, my sister, who is the queen of beach bonfires! We made sure it was properly extinguished with a bucket or two of sea water and rowed back across to Steady On Jean, dripping phosphorescence off the oars, to turn in for the night.

 

In the morning we motored across the emerald water of Gocek bay to a bay we had never been to before. The bay was called Innice Iskelesi, and it was supposed to be a wonderful bay with steep cliffs. However, upon arriving we came into an open and swelly bay, it reminded us of “Rock and Roll” bay in Greece and it didn’t take us long to make the decision that we didn’t want to stay here overnight, rolling about in our berths, so we went across to one of our favorites, the nearby Yassica Adasi.

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Paddle boarding, fishing and swimming for the afternoon, and early the next morning too. Mum managed to dislocate her thumb literally pushing herself up to standing on the paddle board! Luckily it went back in virtually immediately, so now it’s just bruised and swollen. Clearly she needs to do more yoga and working out if her hands can’t support her own weight!!( ! )

The plan was , the following day, to head over to Gocek. We needed to collect groceries and if we berthed in one of the five marinas in Gocek, we could top up the water tanks too. We chose to stay in the municipal marina and were guided into a berth right against the harbour wall… I think we are going to stay here a couple of nights, there are one or two bits we need from town and mum loves the boutiques here!

When cruising and bay hopping like this, without any really long trips, there is always time to kick back and relax, so far this trip I’ve managed to consume almost half of my reading list already which consists at the moment of;
The Drift
The Trade
The Blue
A Foolish Voyage
Waypoint
An Idiot Aboard
Three Years At Sea

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Chris Thrall wrote the first two books in the above list and so far my particular favorite Novel has been the first one of the Hans Larrson series, called “The Drift”

Hans Larsson is a likable protagonist who has a gripping and interesting life story. Reading it from the start, you can easily identify that a lot of work has been put into the book, especially since main attractions ( which I found particularly interesting as they are familiar to me, personally ) and pieces of correct history have been put in, which again appeals to me as it’s almost like something I would write myself!

This knowledge and attention to detail is evident throughout the story and is especially relevant as you begin to learn about his understanding and execution of survival skills, it becomes clear that the character is created by someone with a survival/military past.

The author cleverly weaves the story’s of numerous characters together, in ways which are most unexpected and loads twists and turns into every chapter.
Like the second book in the series, ” The Trade ” the story in ” The Drift” is quite slow at the beginning as Chris Thrall sets the scene and explains relevant backgrounds, however, a quarter of the way through the book it suddenly starts to become very fast paced, and equally gripping. To summarize, “The Drift” is a brilliant book, gripping, interesting and overall a brilliant page turner. I’d highly recommend it.

As you can see the reading list predominantly consists of either real life dramas at sea or exciting sea survival/ mystery stories. Adventure at sea seems to rule my life!

 

So, two nights in the beautiful town of Gocek and a quick trip over to tomb bay on the way back to Fethiye. It wasn’t in the initial plan, but we have tripped back into our marina for a couple of nights visit here. The direction we were planning to head in is threatening high winds on Tuesday and as we will be skipping through bays across the RHODES Channel we decided that the shelter there won’t be great…. spending a couple of nights back in Ece means we can wait out the approaching bad weather, plus Skipper can carry out some unexpected maintenance required too then head off again Wednesday.

Lone Seagull Bay

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1st May 2017

The previous evening, we met some lovely people, called Jasmine and Alan. They were onboard a massive 62 foot catamaran they were intrigued by Asena, and came across to chat. After getting to know them, we exchanged numbers and said we would stay in touch. Also during the evening, our friends from Teobel came to see us, but they couldn’t stay because it was too deep of a bay. They did a very stylish drive by with their friend on board who is also a travel blogger as she hikes the Lycian Way.

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As the sun slowly rose over the barren and unpasteurized hill, the smell of wild shrubbery once again enlightened the air.

Protected from wind and waves, the small islet on Tersane had became one of our favorite places to anchor. Our itinerary for today’s trip was to go for a small sail around the beautiful Göcek Gulf, before heading to Kapi Creek, which is also known as Göbün.
Before we departed Tersane, we had a Turkish breakfast at the small, enchanting restaurant, which sat just behind the water line.

 

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Afterwards, we left Tersane and put the sails up, before heading out into a deeper and windier area.

We sailed for over an hour and a half, joyful to have the pure and salty air back on our faces. Gliding over the lush blue water at just under eight knots, we caught a glimpse of flying fish, which elegantly arched over the water. As water pounded over the hull, we, along with many other yachts sailing at the time rushed across the Göcek Gulf.

One thing that made us different from the rest of the boats roaring across the gulf, was the fact mums screaming was much louder than the rushing water or wind!
Whilst sailing, we practiced how to tack-(changing course by moving through the wind), and GEOFF amused himself by having a virtual ” not race ” with the boys in the yacht some distance ahead of us, he wasn’t really sheeting in and going yee hah, hung ho, trying to catch them up… no!

Before heading back towards the beautiful and enchanting inlets we caught them up and GEOFF let out an ecstatic ” whoop” of joy, then we lost the wind completely…. he can be a little embarrassing at times!

After having lots of fun, we put down the sails and motored towards Kapi Creek.

Upon arriving at Kapi though, we were met with a small, cramped bay, lots of boats (!) and no room for us to park, so after checking our Göcek Gulf sailing guide, we motored in and out of a couple of nearby possibilities, until we entered the unusually named Seagull bay. Once in there, it’s name immediately made sense.

At the far end of the sheltered bay, some stones where painted white and resembled the shape of a Seagull. After some perfect parking, (again, yes, well done Geoff! ) we spent the afternoon relaxing, mum and Geoff reading, while I built a den on the stony beach.

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Before the sun went down, mum and I rowed over to where the restaurant was. The ramshackle building and scruffy beach was not inviting, but what we did notice was the fact there were paths heading in all different directions, which would be perfect to take the dogs on, for a nice long stroll. After returning back to the boat, we planned to go for a walk on those paths the next morning, so watch this space…

Hammam Bay.

2nd May 2017

After a good nights sleep, I joined mum and Geoff in the cockpit, to discover that they had been awake since six o’clock, waiting for the sun to rise over the hills. However, a blanket of grey clouds had lined the sky, meaning there wasn’t any sunrise of any sort in sight.

 

An hour later, mum and I went ashore with the dogs to go for the walk on the supposed ‘path’ to the supposed Lycian ruins……

Upon landing Doris at the beach, Asena and Vodka rushed ashore on to the dirty sand. As Asena led the way up the dirt track, we were met with a farmyard, and a field where a Donkey and two goats were. The Donkey was immediately alarmed, and started pulling funny faces and making a very strange, loud noise.

Remembering her last experience with a donkey, where she nearly got kicked in the face, Asena shyed away, while vodka got picked up. As we continued our walk , we entered a forest where, on the other side, we were met with a lovely view overlooking a bay. We wandered deeper into the forest, all the time thinking about how very similar this expanse of trees looked to the last expanse of trees, etc… for, probably too long, and, by the time one of us voiced the alarm that, ” erm, do you think we should really turn around now and head back……?” We were pretty much lost! Aha, erm, yeah!

With mum deciding this way, and I concluding that ” this patch of densely populated woodland strewn with sharp, unforgiving rocks on the ground ” looked something like this patch of densely populated woodland strewn with sharp, unforgiving rocks on the ground, Asena actually discovered something she was good at, ( apart from rescuing passing snorkelers who don’t particularly want to be rescued ) and stood adamantly pointing ( with her nose, she hadn’t reared up on her hind legs with a fore leg extended ) deeper into the forest, then over some bushes, then through a clearing….. and hey presto, we were back in the donkey field.

Heaving a sigh of relief and waving at the disgruntled donkey we trudged down the dusty track to the beach.

We rowed the dinghy back to the yacht and glanced over what was once ( apparently, due to articles we had read about ” Seagull Bay ” or ” Yavansu Koyu ” ) a thriving restaurant and busy yacht pontoon… the pontoon/ jetty was now in massive ruin and virtually has no walkway save a meter or so of “passable” planks, the restaraunt doesn’t seem to exist anymore, but even in blogs and articles I read from 2013, even then the resteraunts owner was using a washing up bowl on the floor and his kitchen was outside under a tarpaulin. One article called him ” Ahmet the dreamer” because he was speculating that his pontoon would hold 200 yachts the next year, 2014! Wel, it doesn’t.

It is, however an absolutely beautiful Bay and is screaming for some major development. Mum mentioned that the bay reminded her of Marti marina bay, and sure enough, in some writings about Yavansu Kolu it is given several other names, one of them indeed, being ” Marti “……. Other articles talk about the wind being too dangerous to anchor overnight and the waves from the main Gocek Gulf being a disturbance, but we experienced none of that tucked away in our little, hidden anchorage which we had found, and No, i’m not giving you the co,ordinates!

Once back at the boat, we read our books and had lunch, before leaving Seagull bay and heading to our next bay, called Wall Bay. It’s name comes from the ancient wall dating back to the Byzantine period, and immediately next to it, on the other side of the wall (!) is Ruin Bay. This is another example of the same bays having many different names, some people know this as Hamam Bay, Cleopatra Bay and Ruin Bay we will stick with the latte….Ruin bay has some ancient houses which are semi-submerged in the crystal clear water, they date back to Roman times.

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After a flawless mooring manouvere ( yes… well done Geoff!) we sat chatting to a local fisherman who was upset that the large amount of pufferfish had now really affected his local fishing business, however, he did promise to catch us a big fish.

After meeting him, mum and I left the boat to go for the second walk of the day, this time heading to the ancient ruins in Ruin Bay. The bay is also known as Cleopatra bay, because Cleopatra herself came here at lest twice, once time even with the love of her life, Roman leader Marc Antony. The old Hamam is still there, but it isn’t protected, meaning it is getting damaged. The walk there was quite difficult, due to the fact we got of the path near to the Byzantine wall, but we soon arrived.
That evening, we enjoyed the sun setting and went for dinner.

 

The restaurant at Wall Bay has undergone some massive refurbishment over the past winter and a huge cash injection from one of the worlds top cancer doctors. The place, still in mid build, is really eye opening. They are importing sand for a private beach, building rock pontoons to accommodate super yachts, have a 300 seater restaurant, a massive glass library ( which will be the winter restaurant) an al fresco dance floor, several bars, massage/treatment rooms and a doctors surgery (?!) . Next year they are building bungalows or stilt houses in the landscaped gardens…. the place, half finished is very impressive!!!! We will return!

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Parking on their pontoons is side to, so the two pontoons can only accommodate limited number of yachts, but definitely worth a visit.

Camp Fire Bay.

3rd May.

Because the sailing was so easy this morning- under head sail only – mum had plenty of time to make coffee and sit in the sun, this , often poses problems…. for example, currently, mother is in the throws of a minor nervous breakdown because the spotty ” Whittards of London” mugs which have survived being tossed about in ships lockers since 2012, don’t actually go with the new orange and grey decor…… This is why the skipper likes to monkey us sal hard a lot of the time, it saves mother being distracted by cushions and girly stuff!!

We did some tacking around in the bay then lost all the wind so chugged over to Yassica Adasi, but round onto the beach side. We guessed that it would be quiet over here, free from trip boats, but we were wrong. There was space for us to anchor…. but too many tourists everywhere! ( which I guess is a good thing for Turkeys economy at last, perhaps it’s on the up turn?)

Returning to a secluded, unlisted bay opposite Yassica we claimed it as our own and named it ” campfire Bay” . I set about collecting driftwood for the afternoon!

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Tersane Creek

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36*40′.71N28*54′.70E

 

30th April 2017
Upon waking up, the smell of wild oregano and sage blossomed the air. The island littered with multiple colours of early summer flowers, red poppies, daisies, yellows and lilacs basked in the early morning haze. Unlike the previous day, the clouds had created a blanket over the sky, which meant the sun wasn’t radiant, but still created a warm setting.

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As the sea gently lapped onto the rocky coastline of Tersane and the thousands of tiny fish leaped as one from the water causing their re entrance to appear as silvery raindrops, mum and I went on our paddle boards, around the sheltered and deep bay. On our small exploration, the sea colour changed all the time, changing from turquoise to bottle green, deep blue, and Then to a mix between green and blue, all of which were very inviting. Beneath the water you could spy really large spiny sea urchins, fish of all sizes, water millipedes on the sea bed and the scary looking pipe fish, long and menacing looking.

As we returned back to the boat from paddling through the picturesque bay, many of the other boats in the bay started to leave, making the bay look much wider then it actually was. As the day continued, mum and I did some exploring on the rocky and almost-unacssesible land, although littered with beautiful indigenous flowers, the volcanic, sharp rock and cow pats made accessing the other side of the island impossible. Upon finding an aloe Vera plant, I tried living of the land, and cut the tip of it of. However, when I tasted it, it tasted disgusting, and nothing like what I normally take in liquid form. ( mums going to google it to make sure that I haven’t just poisoned myself!!) tip to other adventurers, discover what the plant is before you lick it!

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To also try and live of the land, I found what looked like a plant with pea pods hanging from its branches. However, we had to do some searching on the web, and find out wether the plant was a senna, a kind of cocoa or a pea plant. As it turned out, the plant in debate was a pea plant, part of the fancy named Fabaceae family. Although they looked ripe, the pods couldn’t be harvested until the mid summer, so we made a note of them.

 

Today, we also did some planning for the trip, so we spent an hour on that.

As part of the planning, Geoff taught me how to put the coordinates into our Raymarine navigation equipment. So far, the plan goes like:

Tersane-Kapi Creek
Kapi Creek-Wall Bay
Wall bay-Tomb Bay
Tomb Bay-Gocek
Gocek-Yassica Adasi
Yassica Adasi-Asi beach
Ask Beach-Ciftlik
Ciftlik-Serce Limani
Serve Limani-Bozburun
Bozburun-Dirsek
Dirsek-Neighbors Restaurant
Neighbors Restaurant-Datca
Datca-Knidos
Knidos-Palamut
Palamut-Serce Limani
Serce Limani-Marmaris
Marmaris-Asi Beach
Asi beach-Fethiye

The plan could change at any time, with sailing life the plans can change with the next rising tide, but this is our rough idea.

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Tersane Island, where friendships are made….

The Adventure Begins……Again.

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Tersane

29th April 2017
For the last few days in Fethiye, we have been preparing for this years sailing journey.

Though not definite on where we would visit, we happily left Fethiye in the afternoon and set of across the Gocek Gulf, leaving behind the snow capped mountains and the windy winter.

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As the sun blazed down upon the boat, we relaxed in the cockpit, taking in the salty air, which reminded us of memories from sailing around Turkey last year and all the lazy summers previously.

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Since we had left so late in the day, we didn’t sail, and instead focused on arriving at that nights anchorage, called Tersane.

We read, that Tersane is a small natural harbour located just a short distance from the mainland. In the natural inlet, the ancient remains of Lycian/Byzantine homes and a church lie around the lapping waters edge. In Turkish, the word Tersane, means dockyard, so historians believe that at one point in history, this secluded and beautiful bay was a small, but major port. Today, the island is uninhabited, apart from the one man and his family, who own the restaurant at the end of the bay.
As we eventually noticed, the farmer also has his own cows and sheep on the island, which are cooked at his restaurant. Most of the vegetables he uses are also grown on this island.

Upon arriving in the islet, we set about anchoring. Our normal method would be for Geoff to drive backwards, mum dropping the anchor, and when caught, mum would dive in and swim to the shore and tie the short line on to a sturdy rock, before settling the boat down and relaxing for the rest of the day. However, since mum didn’t want to go swimming in the ‘cold’ 20 degree water, we tried out a new and unused method of anchoring.

The plan would be for mum to row ashore, tie a line to the bays bollards, row back out to the boat, where mum and I would switch, mum doing the anchoring and I would keep the dinghy in one place in order to pass up the shore line. Geoff would then drive the boat back, while mum put the anchor down. I would meet them and pass the line to mum, who would tie it up, and (hopefully), hey presto!!- parked! Following these exact instructions Geoff helmed the boat amazingly, and we were parked.

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Upon settling down, we got to admire the beautiful surroundings. A large, rugged cliff towered over us from one direction, and a grassy but rocky landscape the other.

Not too far away we could see the restaurant and ancient buildings, which were close to complete destruction. As the time went by, we sat and read, relaxing in the first bay of the year. Geoff went swimming and said that it wasn’t really cold, but he could tempt neither mum or myself to go for a swim.

As the sun slowly faded away from the hill tops, I excitedly thought about what adventure and exploring we would encounter tomorrow.

Pamukkale

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Another World…..

20th March 2017

After a short drive from Ephesus, we arrived in Pamukkale.

This wonderful place has come about by many warm mineral springs which escape from the earth here due to many earthquakes creating fissures in the plates deep beneath the earth. The mineral rich waters have left it’s dregs on a platform which is 150 metres high.

 

The Pamukkale travertines are full of many different minerals, and temperatures in the pools can reach up to 35 degrees Celsius. The water is also very clear, and even drinkable, good for you even as they contain a wealth of earths minerals. These travertines are the most popular tourist attraction in Turkey, and they are frequently visited since they are very good for people’s health.

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The surreal, brilliant white travertine terraces and warm, limpid pools of Pamukkale hang, like the petrified cascade of a mighty waterfall, from the rim of a steep valley side in Turkey’s picturesque southwest. What makes this place so amazing is the fact nowhere else in the world can visitors enjoy exploring both picturesque travertine formations, but also incredible temples and Roman buildings in the neighboring Hieropolis, A Roman-Greco civilization.

After exploring the wonderful travertines, wandering around the fascinating museum at Hieropolis and exploring the vast and beautiful ruins we went to find the hotel. There are a couple of great Asian restaurants in pamukkale so afterhaving some lovely Asian food we walked back through the pretty town to bed for the evening.

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21st March 2017

Today, we planned to visit the ancient Roman metropolis of Laodikea, which was a major trading place on route to Ephesus. However, our day would begin by visiting some more local, famous hot springs, located not far from Pamukkale. These other hot springs are called Herakles Thermal Center, and, unlike Pamukkale, they are not hung above the valley, but instead located in the centre of a town. Although The Pamukkale travertines are much more impressive, Heracles travertines shouldn’t be missed. The water that comes out of these earth springs can be as hot as boiling, the pools they end up in are bath like with rich mineral mud.

After soaking in the mineral rich warm baths we drove on to the ancient site of Laodikea. In all the guide books Laodika isn’t really rated highly, but I must say that it really is as spectacular as Ephesus as far as I’m concerned and the ongoing excavations there seem endless and exciting!

 

Laodikea became important because it was situated on the road which connected trade centers such as Ephesus and Miletus to Mesopotamia, quandary thus linked it to the capital, Rome, in the 1st century BC. Laodikea was also one of the first places where a church was built during the spread of Christianity and is one of the seven churches of Asia, mentioned in Paul’s letters in the Bible. During the time we visited lots of excavation work was taking place, and a young man who was the archaeologist in charge of the site was eager to chat and show us around and take us on tour around Laodikea, he even had the keys for the church which is amazing inside, but which I couldn’t photograph as it doesn’t open to the public until this summer!

As it turns out, much of the area Laodikea is in has been hit by major deadly earthquakes, especially under the reign of Emperor Nero, when over a thousand people died.
Excavations have also revealed artifacts dating from 3500 BC (Late Chalcolithic) to 3000 BC (Early Bronze Age). The scenery around laodika was amazing, with large Montaigne in the backdrop, and rolling hills over near Pamukkale. When Our guide showed us a Church which was under excavation he was keen to point out The Large mosaic floors were beautiful, and each of the tiles told a biblical story.

It was a difficult tour, the heat, the size of the place and the concern over wether we were getting ripped off again by our impromptu guide, but at the end of the site when we tried to give the man a tip, he wouldn’t take it! It’s getting very confusing trying to suss out the etiquette here you know! Seems Laodikea is a lot quieter than other nearby sites and the chap was just keen to show it off to someone! We did shove some cash in his pocket though before we left!

After a long walk around the five kilometer site, we drove back to pamukkale and went back to the hotel. The yacht management company decided the boat still wouldn’t be ready, not for two more days…. we are heading back to Fethiye though to check out what’s going on this time with Steady On Jean, and to speak to the technicians.

We had an unexpected mini break in Calis, and got back on board on Friday. So sorry that I’m late with the last of these posts, but I hope that you have enjoyed reading about Didim, Ephesus and Pamukkale, all, well worth a visit.