Gladlee of Guernsey
October 1994 - November 1994
Cloudy and cool conditions in the morning, and we made a slow start after David had pottered over for coffee. We left at lunchtime with a NE forecast for the area, but we got a SSW F3-4 instead, which in spite of heavy swell gave us a run, goose-winged, for almost 2 hours across Siğacik Kőrfezi. Nigel busied himself with a small holding tank problem until we got the sails down and motored up the inlet of Siğacik Liman to the picturesque little yacht quay outside the old walled village. Mooring wasn’t easy in the confined spaces with a crosswind, but Nigel got the line right in reverse, and we got help with lines from a neighbour and “Jerry” the boatman. There was torrential rain again during the night, but the morning was fresh and clear as we cleaned the boat and did some washing before wandering round the village and doing a bit of shopping: apart from a few inevitable tourist shops and a restaurant or two, the village looked as if it hadn’t essentially changed much since its mediaeval walls and fort were built. By the time we got back to the boat the wind was picking up from the north, blowing straight in to the inlet. We did some minor repairs (dinghy and alternator cable) before lunch, then set off down a pleasant country lane to find the ancient ruins of Teos. We were escorted by one of the village dogs, a very well-behaved animal who trotted along with us as we found our way to the Temple of Dionysos and up the hill to the theatre, as usual with a magnificent view. We found another route back down to the village in time for drinks on “Myfanwy”, who’d arrived earlier and had also invited an American poet/writer and his wife (Tom and Barbara), who’d been based in Siğacik for some twenty years. We ate out with Dave and Sue, then went on to the rather attractive courtyard of the “Apellikon” bar where Tom joined us later. Next day was wet and windy – no conditions to do anything but potter about on the boat – and Friday was much the same. We thought about going up to the weekly market in Seferihisar, but Julie wasn’t 100%, with a cold, and we stayed put. The weather moderated throughout the following day: it was almost calm by evening, and we began to wonder whether we oughtn’t to have left. Meanwhile, though, we took the dolmus into Seferihisar, the pleasant enough little district town, did some shopping and (almost) decided to winter in Sigacik in 1995/96. Nigel went and discussed this possibility with “Jerry”, we had a pleasant enough walk round the bay, and later we were invited for drinks with Jean and Phyllis on board American yacht “Tranquility” (sic).
16th – 24th October
We got up bright and early and left soon after 07.00, motoring out of the bay into a moderate NNW breeze. Once we got out and started heading south we got the genoa up, and in mid-morning we hoisted the main, goose-winged it and rigged the pole. Rather to our surprise the wind held up all the way down to Samos, and after gibing the genoa we sailed on through the Samos strait. There were a few irregular gusts off the island, but it made for pleasant sailing in magnificent surroundings as we listened to a play on the World Service. South of the island conditions were less pleasant, with a confused swell from the north which made steering downwind difficult. Just before sunset we put three reefs in the main, which kept backing because of the swell, soon afterwards we took it down and continued on the genoa with the wind at the top end of F4 and a full moon. We had to gybe the genoa and move the pole across later on, and the swell got worse, but otherwise it was a lovely night. By early morning we had passed inside the islands off the Bodrum peninsular and were rounding Huseyin Burnu into Gőkova Kőrfezi, still sailing. The swell disappeared, and with Bodrum’s lights in sight at 02.00 we took stock of our requirements (no fuel used, food probably available somewhere or other) and couldn’t see any reason not to press on. Just over four hours later we took the genoa in off Çokertme bay, having sailed for 24 hours without starting the engine until the last half hour (to charge the batteries and heat water for a shower!). There were only a couple of boats in the cove on the W side, so we went inshore of both, anchored at the second attempt and rowed lines ashore. The other boats left later in the morning, and we took the dinghy over to the restaurants across the bay for a beer and a wander in pleasantly tidy surroundings. Some charter boats arrived later but left our corner undisturbed. There was a heavy rain shower in the night, and the morning was thundery with more rain, but there was no wind as we paddled across to “Rose Marie” restaurant to get chicken, eggs, bread and a bit of veg. We left in light rain soon after 11.00, but the weather cleared a bit as we headed eastwards and the sea was flat calm. The scenery was spectacular, with the mountains dropping steeply into the sea on the north side of the gulf, and low, thickly wooded hills to the south. We saw a few yachts in the distance, but there was only one anchored in the bay on Castle Island (Sehir Adalari) when we arrived there in mid-afternoon. They left later, as did a couple of tripper boats, and we had the place to ourselves. We had a delightful wander ashore to “Cleopatra’s Beach” (among the many so called, there is some evidence that this one might be the genuine article!) and round the ruins dotted all over the little island among the pine trees. The small theatre still boasted some magnificent ashlar masonry, and the view across the water to the mountains must have been wonderful before the trees grew high above stage area.
Gűlets started arriving early in the morning, and we left to motor round the short distance to Karaca Sőyűt, a lovely bay lying below steep wooded slopes and sheltered by an island off the entrance. A small restaurant ashore has a wooden jetty where several yachts regularly winter, mooring is free, and the restaurant runs a surprisingly well-stocked little shop. We tied up and went for a wander along the river valley at the head of the bay, then up the hill behind the moorings, accompanied by a mad hunting dog who kept trying to eat the sticks we threw for him! Later a strange-looking boat arrived with a real old character of a skipper: “Eroica” turned out to be a converted British lifeboat, the home of Shimon (Russian-Israeli) and his Swedish wife Tina, whom we were to meet again in Antalya. We had dinner ashore, then got a lift over to a restaurant at Degirmen Bűkű to watch European Cup football on TV (a poor game between Galatasaray and Goteborg followed by the first half of a better one between Man. Utd. and Barcelona). Next day the weather changed – unsettled, with mostly grey sky and showers about – and we didn’t hurry off, topping up our tank with lovely spring water and chatting to our neighbours. “Erioca” had laid over us, but we disentangled ourselves easily enough as we left after lunch, fetching up just over an hour later in the narrow inlet off Degirmen Bűkű known as “English Harbour”. We anchored well up the creek, inside a Swiss boat – lovely surroundings again, though forest fires had left the slopes above us bare. The weather continued grey and showery through the next day, and it was still pretty damp on the second morning as we picked up bread from one of the restaurants across the bay and headed round to Yedi Adalar: we had an hour’s sail on the genoa as the wind freshened to F4-5 off Balisu Burnu. The area behind Yedi Adalari (The Seven Islands) seemed to be unoccupied, so we decided to tuck ourselves in to the far end of the east creek, a narrow inlet with densely wooded slopes on either side, a bar halfway up and a pretty but shallow little lagoon at the far end. We anchored off the north shore with stern lines to a couple of trees, spotting a heron, kingfishers and (possibly) a woodpecker before the rain set in in earnest during the afternoon.
There were heavy showers overnight, and at 06.00 we were woken by a couple of huge gusts of wind from the south, the second (and less strong) of which registered 45 knots on the wind gauge – a couple of trees fell noisily on shore, though fortunately the ones we were attached to held firm! The weather brightened up later, and Nigel ventured on shore to take photos while Julie had a swim. After lunch we both went ashore for a walk up the forest track behind the anchorage, with lovely views over the Gulf and the hills behind – we got caught in a couple of downpours, though, and the head of the creek was starting to look like a tropical rain forest! A clear and starry night later, and a reasonably bright start the next morning, so we took our time about leaving on the short hop round to “Amazon Creek”. This popular anchorage was entirely deserted, and we dinghied ashore to find the campsite where we hoped to find some basic provisions. The campsite was more or less closed for the winter, but the friendly lady in charge sold us some eggs and a loaf of yesterday’s bread, and Julie was able to put a birthday phone call through to her mother. We wandered back through the tall pines and up to the promontory at the entrance to the creek, where a sign saying “The End” pretty well summed up the grey sky and lowering rain clouds to the south. There was heavy rain again overnight, but the evening weather forecast didn’t sound too bad – the strong southerlies of the past few days appeared to be easing off, and we might still be able to get round the Datça peninsular to Marmaris in time for the start of Race Week.
25th – 31st October
It was still dull, but there wasn’t a breath of wind when we got up next morning. The 06.30 Athens forecast seemed OK, so we headed west down the Gulf as the weather steadily cleared and the wind picked up – unfortunately from the W, with some swell, which made life a little uncomfortable for a while. Visibility was very good, and we could see Kos from 35 miles away. By lunchtime wind and sea had died down again, all the weather had cleared away, and there were a dozen or more yachts in sight as we rounded Cape Krio and turned into the anchorage at Knidos shortly before 15.00. The anchor dug in at the second attempt (others weren’t so lucky), and later on “Hanti” came in, last met briefly as we left Bodrum for Çesme on 16th May. We got up early to go ashore before the crowds and had a lovely wander through the ruins as far as the upper theatre, stopping for a chat with “Hanti” on the way back (they gave us reports of the previous weekend’s storms, with chaos in Simi as the ferry dragged its anchors, gűlets laid over at Gumbet and Marmaris closed for a day!) We left just before 11.00 in lovely conditions, with a light northerly allowing us a gentle sail from time to time as we made our way round to Datça. Here we decided to anchor off the beach outside the harbour, with the afternoon sunshine making a pretty picture of the waterfront. We went ashore and bought a leg of lamb for the following evening, and later we treated ourselves to a reasonably good dinner at one of the restaurants above the harbour. We also had a drink at one of the waterfront bars (a Dutch girl, unusually, in charge), and learned that the storm had swept at least one neighbouring bar several metres inland! In the morning we had coffee on board the NZ ketch “Claudia B” anchored nearby – Steve, Cathy and daughter Yvette had sailed via Australia, the Indian Ocean, Madagascar, Oman and the Red Sea, and they were interested in our own Black Sea experiences. In a gentle NW breeze we sailed round the north coast of Simi, then motored down to Cape Alupo before sailing again ENE-wards to the virtually landlocked bay anchorage of Serce Liman. There was fierce competition here from restaurants at either end of the steep-to and rather forbidding rocky bay, and we settled for the less busy corner, anchoring in 6m after dispensing with some unwelcome help from a boatman. The lamb occupied our evening, so we didn’t bother to go ashore.
Up early next morning, and we set off for Marmaris shortly before 08.00 in a moderate NNW breeze, occasionally gusting off the mountains but giving us a wonderful sail for a little over an hour until it died away completely. We motored the rest of the way into Marmaris Bay, fetching up at Netsel Marina’s fuel quay just before 13.00 ( a good moment to choose for refuelling – there were queues shortly afterwards) and backing neatly into a berth soon afterwards. Once checked in we wandered off round the huge marina, tracking down “El Sikala” (Canadians Pirette, the controller of the East Med “ham” net, and husband John) and dropping off some laundry. We went shopping in town (very touristy, as expected) and tracked Erica Beard down to the “Antique Bar”, before calling at “El Sikala” again for a beer and a chat. A fuel can and a supposedly marine (but cheap) battery had caught our eye in a nearby chandlery, so next morning Nigel went off to buy them, calling at the Beards’ yacht “Nikki” on the way back. Jonathon had arrived meanwhile and invited us to come out with them for a cruise round the bay and lunch. We had a memorable outing on “Nikki” (a Sweden 51), starting well when we passed a surprised Geoff and Phoebe on “Bidarka” at the entrance to the marina! Our fellow guests were Orhan, an experienced racing sailor, and Pinar with dog Amadea, with virtually no wind we motored up to Kumru Bűkű, where a delicious buffet lunch appeared from a nearby restaurant while we all did a little hull scrubbing. We sailed gently back, enjoying company and conversation, and with only a few minutes left before the 18.00 hours deadline for crew registration Jonathon made it clear that he was hoping that we’d crew for him during the Race Week. It hadn’t occurred to us that his previous suggestions to this effect had been serious, and with no time to think or consult we turned the invitation down…..
We duly kicked ourselves next morning as we motored out towards Rhodes, after leaving an apologetic note and some photos on “Nikki”’s deck, but it was too late for regrets, and at least we got a bit of a sail to take our minds off what we’d missed! Arrived at Madraki harbour we found that the pontoons on the east side of the entrance had disappeared, so we moored rather precariously in shallow water on the end of the jetty opposite the PTT. Here we found “Alk” (but Hans van Rijn not on board) and a friendly Dutch couple on the 18m “Sealion” who’d been to Bulgaria and Romania soon after we had. Later in the afternoon we explored the upper part of the old city, stopping to ring James and for a couple of (very expensive) beers. Rhodes is certainly picturesque, and even quiet away from the main tourist routes, but the town still didn’t grow on us much. We picked up mail as soon as the PTT opened on Monday morning, had a quick read over breakfast, shopped at the nearest supermarket and got meat, veg and gas from around the harbour area. Hans turned up and we had a long chat about North Africa over a few beers, then Joke and Maarten of “Sealion” called in to talk about the Black Sea, and by the time we’d finished it was early evening. We just had time to get some letters in the post and do last-minute food shopping, since we’d decided to leave very early in the morning and head for Kalkan – having moored right under the windows of the port authorities we didn’t want to push our luck over a Transit Log (which Rhodes was apparently still insisting on) or mooring fees!
1st – 7th November
We got ourselves up at 03.00 and were on our way soon afterwards. An hour out from Mandraki we were challenged by a Hellenic patrol boat (usual shouting and searchlight in the eyes), and we thought for a minute that we were going to be arrested for not checking in and out of Rhodes properly. In the end it turned out that someone had reported a red distress flare, and the CG wanted to know if we’d seen anything! We managed to sail for a couple of hours until 07.00, but then the wind packed up for the day. Twelve hours after leaving Rhodes we arrived off Kalkan and anchored at the head of Yesilkőy Liman on the west side of the bay. Swell started to roll in here soon afterwards, though, so we tucked in to a small bight on the more sheltered SW shore of Yesilkőy instead. In the early morning the wind shifted round to the north, blowing from our beam, but the anchor and line ashore seemed to be holding OK, so we held on until ready to leave at 09.00. The NW wind looked ideal for our short run to Kastellórizon, but it dropped almost as soon as we got out of the bay and eventually picked up again from ESE, right on the nose. We pushed on under power towards Kastellórizon, skirting the main harbour and feeling our way into Madraki cove behind the town – shallows on both sides, but enough clear water in the middle for a couple of boats to swing. Quite an attractive spot, with trees shading a small cemetery on one side and the land rearing up several hundred feet behind, but made a little forlorn by the derelict or half-built houses on the town side of the bay. Later on we walked across the saddle to the town and harbour, sadly diminished since its prosperity during the last century, when the harbour was full of merchant ships on passage between the Aegean and the Levant. Now there was just a lone South African yacht and a fishing boat or two: the waterfront still looks quite neat and tidy, but many of the houses behind are derelict, and the hillsides are dotted with ruins where rich merchants’ houses once stood. Threatening clouds sent us hurrying back to the boat, but no rain materialised – a bit of swell in the bay towards evening.
The morning brought a northerly wind again – more slop and noise than any real problem, so we went ashore again; failed to find bread, then climbed the path up the steep scarp behind the town for a magnificent view over the harbour and Mandraki towards the Turkish shore, Kas and the outlying islands. We went some way inland across the plateau, which boasted grass and wild flowers after all the rain: Julie went off in search of birds while Nigel tried to track down an ancient Hellenistic stronghold (had to settle for a Byzantine watchtower inhabited by goats!). We picked thyme and oregano on the way down, wandered up to the ruins of the Knights’ castle above the harbour entrance and visited the museum. By that time we’d earned a beer, and we had pleasant chat to the owner of a quayside bar who was busy catching fish for the numerous cats in residence. After lunch we motored the short distance across to Bayindir Liman, the bay to the SE of Kas, and anchored in 9 metres with a line ashore near the remains of a jetty. We were woken just after 05.00 the following morning by the sound of our port keel bouncing on a rock – the familiar morning NE wind had pushed us back on our anchor, which had dragged for the first time in our cruising career. We couldn’t get off under power alone, but we managed to get a line sideways on to the jetty and warp ourselves off without great difficulty – having reanchored further out Nigel went back to bed while Julie kept watch. Later Nigel took the dinghy in to Kas harbour to get supplies, running in to Geoff and Phoebe of “Bidarka”, who were anchored in the inlet to the west of Kas along with “Kishorn” (Ken, alias G0RJA of the East Med net).
Soon after midday we set out through the islands towards Kekova, sailing for a while in a light SW breeze, but giving up off Iç Adasi and getting the main down as we spotted a school of dolphins some distance away. In front of us “Bidarka” managed to sail all the way into Kekova on her spinnaker, followed by a yacht with brown sails, later identified as “Layla of Itchen”. Once into the outer roads at Kekova we peeled off and headed up Pőlemos Bűkű, anchoring off the shore near Ramazan’s ‘Restaurant’ just after 16.00. we saw Ramazan go off fishing with his wife and son, but it wasn’t until the following morning that we got ashore to present them with the flags we’d brought and to chat over a çay with Ramazan and a couple of friends from Kekova. We wandered across the isthmus to the ruins at Aperlai, then back to Ramazan’s to take some photos before ghosting back down on genoa and engine to the inner roads (Űçagiz Liman). Here we found an unexpected gathering of friends old and new, all of them bound for Setur Antalya, amongst them “Layla”, “Half Time”, “Bidarka”, “Bora Bora”, “Rupel”, “Kishorn” and eventually even Norbert and Monika on “Sturnvogel”. The wind picked up quite briskly in the evening, so there was no visiting, but the morning (Sunday) was fine, and greetings and invitations were soon flying about on Channel 67. Myrna of “Half Time” arranged a lunch at Ibrahim’s on shore for the following day, we shared a scratch lunch on “Bidarka”, and invited ourselves to tea with Roger and Penny on “Layla” to hear Geoff and Phoebe talk about cruising in North Africa (also our first face-to-face meeting with Ken and Jo from “Kishorn”); meanwhile we’d been ashore for a beer at “Kekova Point” with Norbert and Monika (Norbert boycotting Ibrahim’s as a result of an altercation the previous year – good move anyway, since Yusuf’s beers were cheaper!). The wind blew up again overnight (gusts up to 30 knots), but the anchor light, newly decoked by Julie, survived the onslaught unquenched. Next day was relatively calm and sunny again, and lunch was a great success, with 25-odd tucking in to a generous meze buffet, followed by an impromptu Okey tournament: later Roger, Penny, Ken and Jo came back with us for tea on board “Gladlee”.