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