Gladlee of Guernsey

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APRIL 2003

April 9th to April 12th 2003 .  Our Original departure date of 7th April came and went, due to hangovers after dinner on board "Sooty Albatross" Sunday night and windy weather forecast for Tuesday (and not having done anything on Monday).  So we eventually left on Wednesday early morning in a rather blustery northerly wind.  The sea was pretty lumpy to start our first passage after winter in the marina and everything inside the boat took a while to ‘settle’ into cruising position – i.e. all over the floor!  Fortunately the wind and sea eased and even turned SE when we got to Taşlik Burnu so we motor-sailed with just the genoa until it turned SW so we changed the genoa for the main, even reefing when the wind got too strong but it didn’t last long.  We were still in company with "Veleda IV" and "Cinnabar" and anchored close together on the east side of Kekova.  Judy and Aubrey invited us over for a drink (Ed and Julie decided to just rest) so we had a quick beer with them, as we were also pretty tired.  The first outing for the dinghy and outboard was not a great success as the outboard was up to its old trick of cutting out every few minutes, fortunately by the time we left "Veleda IV" the wind had eased otherwise it would have been a very exhausting row back.

Thursday turned out to be a glorious day.  So nice to have escaped the marina and to be back out, at anchor, in the open air, lovely scenery and very peaceful and tranquil.  "Star of the West" and "Valerie Jean" came in later and Roger came for coffee Friday morning.  We moved over to the restaurants at Ucagiz Friday afternoon, where "Early Bird II" had come in earlier with two Swedish friends of Ziggies on board (Brita was still in Sweden).  Went ashore for a walk and had a beer with the Swedes while they had dinner, at Ibrahim’s, we had eaten on board.  The weather was still very nice on Saturday, and having found the problem with the outboard (fluff in the fuel filter) we ventured up to the west end of Kekova and went for a walk.  We saw quite a few birds, Woodchat Shrike and Wheatears, and some mating tortoises.

Sunday 13th April. Found us heading towards Kas and on to Kalkan.  The sea was choppy at first but not too much wind.  Decided to bypass Kas as Derek and Susie were still away.  Rafted alongside "Early Bird II" in the harbour and had beers with  them.  Rained in the night so let Ziggy out and stayed the day.  Left early to get  past the seven capes before any wind and had a pleasant trip in light winds, even managed to motor sail some of the way.  Picked up a buoy in Karacoeren anchorage, we were the only boat in but later half a dozen other yachts including "Trucial Coast" came.  Called Rob on the VHF and he came over for a beer with us.  Had dinner on board.  Pleasant evening but a bit rolly in the night.

Wednesday 16th April.  Left at about 6.00a.m. as usual with no wind but it soon picked up from the west and became quite strong later, up to force 6 and bang on the nose of course.  Put some main sail up and motor sailed a zigzag course across the large bay.  Thought we might go to (?) but were making reasonable speed and time so went on to Bozuk Buku and tied to our usual buoy off  Lorimer’s Restaurant.  Wind was quite strong and we didn’t fell like getting off the boat so eat on board.  The next day the wind continued, changed to SE and brought some rain.  Anchorage quite uncomfortable as the wind blew straight in at gale force strength, but not untenable.  Other yachts came in for shelter.  The wind changed to NW over the next few days but continued strong until Saturday.  Ventured out on Sunday but the channel between Simi and Turkey was still rough and windy (on the nose) so returned to Bozuk Buku where the wind continued to blow all day.  Did manage a walk ashore later and had a meal at the restaurant.  Chatted to Mike and Carol off charter boat.   Next day the same.  Walked round bay towards the citadel but didn’t get that far.  Beers and dinner again at Lorimer’s.  One highlight was watching a snake eagle soaring high and searching for food (snakes?)  Lots of Alpine Swifts, Kestrels and an odd Buzzard.

Wednesday 23rd April.  We finally managed to leave BB and had a pleasant trip up to Datça in a light northerly breeze.  Anchored in usual place and went ashore for much needed shopping and last stocking up of Turkish produce (i.e. Efes).  Changed Ipra gas bottle and Ron had haircut.  Found nice port Police woman to help us check out of Turkey,  harbour master and customs just as easy.  The weather forecast was deteriorating again and we had a lot to do in Kos so early night and 02.00 a.m. departure.  Once round the first cape the wind really picked up from the SE (as forecast) and we had quite a bumpy ride in winds over 30 knots.  The cape at Knidos was even windier and the strong east wind, which blew down the Bodrum Gulf, made a nasty beam sea.  Fortunately the marina has some shelter and the sea eased at the entrance so no problem entering.  We were given a berth right down the bottom and went bows in, head to wind, as it was easiest at the time.  The fuel berth and lifting berth have been built outside the marina and were completely untenable in these conditions.  We arranged to get fuel with the cans! (€0.75 per litre) We checked in at the office (€15.40 per night) and looked at their Poseidon weather forecast and realised that the weather window was the following day so we needed to do all we had to in one day.  Judy, from "Valeda IV" was there but we didn’t have much time for a chat.  We continued on to the port Police office and got a form from them, and then onto the Harbour office.  A pleasant enough girl filled in some forms and we had to pay about €105 for the privilege.  We had a DEPKA though and she stamped us in and out.  Our first proper breakfast of bacon, eggs and beans and then a walk up to the square for some fresh food shopping (i.e. pork).  Back at the boat we gave her a good wash down and did some washing, sorted out the fuel and found the fresh water pump was leaking.  Took some time looking at that. By the time we had shopped in the marina supermarket, showered and eaten it was pretty late and we were exhausted.  "Cinnabar" had come in but we didn’t see them.

Thursday 24th April – 1st May.  Up at 06.00a.m. as usual trying to beat the wind.  We did put the main up and managed to motor-sail most of the way in Force 3-4 from the NW.  Went into the ‘inland’ sea on the northeast side of Astipalaia and chose a spot in the centre off the small village of Vathi.  Later 4 more yachts came in and anchored around us.  Nobody left the next day when the wind blew in earnest and continued all the next day (as forecast) and the next.  It started easing off on the Sunday and we put the dinghy in the water for a wander ashore.  Just up the track we came to a gate and got attacked by some bees.  A very unpleasant experience and Ron got stung on the ear and Julie got stung on the cheek.  We managed to get away from them but it left us a bit edgy.  Some nice birds though, including, the European Bee-Eater (!), Golden Oriole, Kestrels, Hen-Harriers and lots of colourful smaller ones.  We found another way back and had a small beer in the Taverna where a sheep was being spit-roasted.

View looking at anchorage at Vathi on Asipalaia

This was the beginning of a spell of lovely calm sunny weather.  We motored to Amorgos on Monday 28th and anchored off the beach at Katapola as usual.  Ashore for some shopping, dumping of rubbish and a meal in a small slightly disorganised restaurant but the beer was cheap and the pork steak pretty good.  Moved on the next day about 40 miles and anchored in Ormos Despotica just off Andi-Paros in a large open area but sheltered enough. (Egyptian Vulture) The calm weather made it very pleasant.  A shortish trip on the Wednesday took us to Serifos Island and the port of Livadhi where we backed in to a small yacht quay.  A mini fuel tanker was there on the quay so we gratefully filled up with diesel again at the cheapish price compared to Turkey.  Nobody bothered to come and charge us for the mooring.  We had a stroll later and found the river rather high and running down a small road so Julie had to take sandals off to get down it. Did some shopping and had a meal out.   

Entering the harbour at Livadhi on Serifos


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