Gladlee of Guernsey
March 1996 - April 1996
The previous week was mainly taken up with our thoroughly enjoyable visit to Ankara. Our friend Deniz Kilicer from the Foreign Ministry lent us her flat (she was staying with her mother), so we had a comfortable base. We had supper out twice at the “Hitit”, a delightful evening in Bilkent with Hakki and Angela Aydinoglu, and dinner at “Mona Lisa” with Deniz and Nigel’s former colleague Clive; had a chance meeting outside Nigel’s old flat with his former landlord’s son Riza, who invited us in for coffee (the place looks much smarter these days); called on Nedret Bey, still hanging on to his carpet shop; skipped the Hash (sleet and drizzle), and spent a happy Sunday afternoon with Nigel’s former secretary Rachel, husband Apo and two children at their Army quarter in Mamak. On Monday we called at the Embassy, where Engin issued Nigel’s new passport with customary efficiency, and then took a bus down to Ulus for a last wander round Kale and Samanpazari before heading back to the bright lights of Tunali, finally joining Deniz for an early supper at “Hitit” before catching the overnight bus back to Antalya.
Sunday 31st March, Antalya
We duly got back in the water ten days ago, not without minor ructions when the crane driver turned up to re-step our mast and obviously hadn’t a clue how to do it (fortunately Hakan was on hand to sort things out!). We spent the next few days installing ducting and cabling for the radar, connecting the radio tuner to the backstay and getting on with various other odd jobs. The anchor and chain we’d sent off for re-galvanising turned up with holes in the former and lumps on the latter, so we took them back to Technical Services for attention. Work started on trying to reinforce our second alternator bracket, Julie made up new cockpit cushion covers, while Nigel spliced a new length of rope on to the end of the anchor chain. Otherwise the happiest and most important event was the return of Dietmar’s girlfriend Sigrid: with Dietmar by now in reasonable shape again this could only lift his spirits further, and so it turned out (Sigrid later paid us the nice compliment of sketching us into the middle of her mural of “Porthole” personalities behind the club bar).
Saturday 6th April, Antalya
We’re getting ready to leave early tomorrow after a busy week, the latter part of which has been taken up with Bill and Betty’s visit. This started with a farcical muddle on Nigel’s birthday, when B & B were supposed to arrive from Tel Aviv on a mid-afternoon flight. We picked up a hire car in the morning and did various odd jobs round town (Julie had a farewell game of squash with Gisela at the Sheraton) before heading out for a shop and snack lunch at Migros, thence to the airport. The arrivals board showed several flights from Tel Aviv (it was the Passover holiday), but B & B were not on their advertised one and there wasn’t another for some hours, so we left a message at the pension we’d booked for them and headed back to Setur. Ebru in the office made some enquiries for us and discovered a flight scheduled to arrive at 18.30, so we duly drove out to the airport again. Nothing on the board for 18.30, but two flights advertised as getting in at 20.30 and 20.40 respectively, so we pushed off again and wasted some time driving around looking for somewhere to eat. This, too, proved elusive, and Nigel’s birthday dinner eventually consisted of a can of Efes and a packet of crisps, eaten on the side of the ring road! Back to the airport, but by 21.30 no more flights had turned up. At this point it occurred to Nigel to ring the marina, where one of the gate guards carefully read out a message from the office to the effect that B & B were at the pension........ Back to Antalya, where the friendly proprietor of the Doğan confirmed that B & B had indeed arrived (in the late afternoon!) but had gone out to supper at the restaurant 50 metres up the road. The restaurant welcomed us enthusiastically as potential customers, but once we’d explained why we were there they told us that B & B had already left. We wandered down to the Old Harbour, on the assumption that they might have gone for an after-dinner stroll, but eventually we gave up and went back to the Doğan - where it turned out that they’d been all the time! Bill turned out in his pyjamas looking very weary (they’d had an eventful day themselves, with considerable hassle at Tel Aviv airport), and we exchanged brief news before arranging to meet again next morning.
Meanwhile our time had been taken up getting ready to leave on our Spring cruise. There was a lot of last-minute checking of equipment, with slow progress on the “new” alternator bracket, repairs to the anchor and the dinghy, extra work on the new sprayhood and general cleaning and tidying. Harry and Bev left for Cyprus in “You & Me”, seen off by several of their Turkish friends (and a few of us too!) on a damp-looking morning: we expect to meet up with them and “Daphnia” at Gökkaya in a few days’ time. Nigel had a difficult first session with Zafer discussing terms for repairs to the hull, at the end of which Zafer rather weakly suggested that N. should set his proposals out in writing (done on the WP the same afternoon).
Before we set out to meet B & B at the hotel yesterday our reinforced alternator bracket turned up - but without the adjusting strut for the alternator. More satisfactory was Zafer’s agreement to our terms for repairs to the gelcoat. Meanwhile we managed to finish most of the other work on the boat - Peter and Erika left, sadly saying goodbye to their ”Petrika”. We had a good day out with B & B, driving down to Phaselis in fine weather - only a few people there so early in the season - and stopping off at a trout restaurant near Olympos for a good and inexpensive lunch before returning to the marina for tea. B& B were looking in much better shape after a good night’s rest, and they were being well looked after by the friendly proprietor of the Doğan. At Setur it turned out that our alternator bracket had gone missing, but Hakan promised to have a new one measured up and made in the workshop next morning. Later on we joined B & B in town and had Margaritas at the Marina Oteli (smart little place in a restored Ottoman house) before going down to the harbour for dinner at the terrace restaurant. Almost panic first thing this morning when we learned by chance from Ilkay that Hakan was off sick (hardly surprising after a particularly stressful week), but we explained our alternator problem and the good Ilkay promised to find out what was going on. We took our hire car into town for the last time, then showed B & B the market and the bus station (from where they were to leave for Finike): mine host at the Doğan promised to make sure they got there safely. Back at Setur again our alternator strut was ready, and we spent the afternoon refitting the second alternator, sorting out the Porthole T-shirt account, settling accounts and saying goodbyes, though we were sad to see no sign of Dietmar and Sigrid next door (busy with visitors). Dinner at the “Ship” with B & B was a great success, preceded by drinks with Hans, Gisela, Talon and Leslie at their charming best.
Saturday 13th April, Kekova Roads
Up at 0500, just before first light: we weren’t expecting a send-off, and Nigel started scribbling a quick note to “Magic Carpet Ride”. At this point there was a discreet knock on the hull from next door, and we went upstairs to find Dietmar and Sigrid at the rail looking uncharacteristically bashful. Dietmar made a little speech about how much they would miss us and could we please send them a letter or fax from time to time - and “to remind you and cheer you up sometimes” produced a small toy penguin as a farewell present. (The significance of the penguin was Nigel’s quote to Dietmar of something he’d heard on the radio, to the effect that if anyone felt a bit down all they had to do was look at a penguin: Dietmar had obviously remembered this and got Sigrid to bring the penguin out with her!). Hugs all round, and for once we were close to tears as they waved us off. We had a dull and uneventful drive down to Taslik Burnu in calm conditions, but round the corner the wind picked up and we had a good beam reach up to Finike, tweaking the rigging a bit on the way. Finike greeted us with rain and thunder, and it was still dull and damp when B & B arrived later on the bus from Antalya. Nigel saw them into their hotel (again friendly and helpful staff), and we met up later for dinner at “Petek” overlooking the harbour. Monday dawned clear and calm, and after a shop at the market we embarked B & B and set off for Kekova. There was enough wind approaching Kekova Island to get the sails up and reach for a bit, giving Bill a chance to take a turn at the wheel before we made our way into Gökkaya Liman and anchored for lunch. Then on to Kale Köy, where a slightly incredulous Sloss family was waiting to greet us on the jetty of their guesthouse/restaurant. There was quite slop inshore, so we dropped B & B off and headed for our usual anchorage round the corner in Üçagiz before walking back over the hill to join the family for supper - Julie spotted glossy ibis and egrets on the flooded fields above our anchorage.
The last few days have been a mixture of settling in to cruising mode again and helping to amuse B & B and the Slosses in less than ideal conditions - the weather has been mixed and pretty cool, and arrangements at the guesthouse haven’t been altogether satisfactory. Still, everyone’s had a bit of an outing on the boat, and we’ve had lunch at Ibrahim’s a couple of times and a two of trips up to Pölemos, including one of Hatice’s memorable fish suppers earlier this evening after a walk across to Aperlai. Nigel had to have some fairly stern words with Salih at the pension in support of Neil, who concluded (rightly) after a few days that he was being ripped off. B & B left for home on 11th, and yesterday we took the Slosses round to Karaloz Liman, on the other side of Kekova Island, for a snack lunch. We had the place to ourselves, and Natalie was persuaded to have a go in the dinghy before thundery clouds started building up and we decided to head back. This involved quite a stiff close reach into F4 going on 5, and with an increasingly steep sea we started taking occasional waves over the bow. Neil, for one, was getting cold and a bit seasick, so we called it day and motor-sailed back to Kale.
Meanwhile we’ve made the acquaintance of Jim and Kees, New Zealanders on “Johanna”, who came over for what turned out to be a late session after a pasta supper. “Okura” also put in a brief appearance before heading off towards Kas early this morning, only to sail back in later on with their engine u/s - we towed them the final few metres to an anchorage with our dinghy. Apart from minor jobs on the boat the week has been mainly notable for giving us the first chance to test the radio in earnest (conditions are never very good at Setur). We’ve kept in touch with Gisela at Setur and have spoken to “Redeye” (Terry) on Levkas, Larry (“Canadian Flyer”) in Sicily, and Portishead Radio in UK - we’ve also picked up Ken of “Kishorn” somewhere in southern France on the UK Maritime Mobile Net!
Thursday 18th April, Kas
Sunday 14th was the date for our reunion with “You & Me” and “Daphnia” at Gökkaya Liman: we weren’t all that convinced we’d see either of them but thought we’d at least make the effort before heading for Kas. After a quick shopping stop at Üçagiz we made our way along to Gökkaya to await developments, and eventually “You & Me” appeared in the distance with a distinctly odd-looking forestay. On closer inspection it had their shredded genoa wrapped round it, and once they’d dropped anchor we went aboard to hear the hair-raising story of their trip back from Cyprus. Bev remarked at the end that she’d been so relieved to see us there to meet them so that they could get the whole experience off their chests! We downed several beers before rustling up some soup and bread for lunch, then chicken pasta salad for dinner - no sign of “Daphnia”, which wasn’t altogether surprising given unsettled conditions and a choppy sea. We had various minor jobs to do in the morning before Harry and Bev came over for brunch: they fixed up a late soup lunch before we said our goodbyes, parted company and headed back to Üçagiz and a final (better than usual) supper with the Slosses at Kale Pansyon.
There was a fairly brisk ESE breeze overnight, bringing spots of rain, but we decided to have a look outside: it was quite rough through Kekova south entrance, with a heavy SE swell, but we pressed on with a reefed genoa in F4/5, making good over 6 knots with the current behind us. Rounding Ulu Burnu by midday we had a comfortable reach past Kastellorizon and into the bay of Kas, eventually mooring stern to the quay in Kas harbour next door to Dutch yacht “Anthias”. The wind swung WNW as forecast, it looked as though we were in for a blow, and this duly developed yesterday. Meanwhile, though, we’d managed to get some laundry done, exchange a couple of gas bottles and top up the fuel supply. “Anthias” left as the breeze freshened further, but they were back before too long after meeting a strong headwind and rough sea (predictable, but Jan explained to us over a drink this evening that he’d wanted to see for himself!). Kas has never been one of our favourite places: despite its wonderful location it was spoiled beyond redemption a decade or more ago. The quay tends to be noisy at the best of times, and Nigel had to get up and complain early this morning when loud music started up on a neighbouring gület. Meanwhile the wind had picked up again overnight and continued to increase throughout today. We’d laid rather short for comfort, so we unmoored and re-anchored this morning. During the afternoon the wind freshened to F6 and was kicking up a nasty swell in the bay: a charter boat turned up at the harbour entrance and almost fetched up on the rocks, and there was an uncomfortable slop and surge in the harbour itself. This evening seemed a bit calmer, though, and it looks as though the blow may be over.
Tuesday 23rd April, Ormos Pethi, Simi
We’ve spent the past four days or so anchored in Ormos Pethi on the east side of Simi. It’s a long relatively sheltered inlet, with a small settlement at the end of it and a jetty occasionally used by a water tanker. Simi town is over the ridge to the north-west: it’s a stiff climb up to the top, but there’s a nice cafe/bar where one can stop for a glass of something and an excellent view over Simi harbour and the coast beyond it. We got the tip to go into Pethi (rather than Simi itself) from “Ironbark”, an Aussie boat who came up the Red Sea earlier in the year and is a great chatterer and source of information on the radio. Simi hasn’t really woken up yet and there’s plenty of room in the harbour, but our anchorage looks quieter and more comfortable. We managed to clear in just before the officials shut up shop on Saturday morning (you’d have thought they’d never seen a British passport before!), and while we were in town we bought a couple of sponges (one for Aunty Betty) from an engaging British salesman called Bob. The weather was lovely, as it had been the previous day when we’d cleared out of Kas, after a wash of the boat, some laundry and a final food shop. We left after lunch in a promising ESE breeze, but it turned out to be one of those fluky coastal winds which died to nothing a few miles out. We passed Kalkan bay and could clearly make out the breach in the harbour wall caused by February’s freak gale. The sunset was a beauty, and we had a quiet overnight passage: good conditions for playing with the radar and SSB radio (Nigel got through to a very surprised Bill and Betty via Portishead, who generously treated the call as “an introductory offer” - we haven’t yet arranged an account).
Sunday was more or less a day off, with a strongish wind forecast and a cool gusty breeze most of the day. With F6/7 forecast yesterday we weren’t about to go anywhere, so we walked over the hill to Simi, got some money, did some shopping, had a chat with Bob the Sponge, rang James and had a pleasant calamari lunch on the waterfront. It was a pleasant surprise to run into Gérard and Régine (“Dream 2”) from Antalya - they’d anchored in Ormos Pethi soon after we’d left to go into town - but a less welcome one to return to Pethi and find “Gladlee” almost on the beach after dragging her anchor. We retrieved her and parked alongside the jetty, Nigel returning to help relay the small fishing boat’s mooring we’d pulled up as we extricated ourselves (owner’s initial indignation entirely disarmed!). By this time the wind was gusting up to 25 knots, and “Dream 2” was also starting to drag as Gérard and Régine got back from town. They came and rafted alongside us (which gave a good opportunity to ask them across for a drink), and a couple of Austrian charter yachts pulled in behind: there were gale warnings for nearby areas, but we had a relatively quiet night. We’d thought of leaving this morning, but the 10.00 weather forecast still gave F5-7 so we decided to stay put. It’s been a fine day, with wind from all directions but less strong and there was a religious procession along the waterfront this morning (presumably for St. George’s Day). Nigel’s spent a pleasantly sunny afternoon on the jetty remarking the anchor chain, while Julie’s put another coat of paint on the dinghy: drinks on “Dream 2” this evening, followed by Julie’s version of moussaka.