Did nothing much, lazed around and watched the antics of the Daz white
tourists, listened to the daily chants of the wailey wailey man in the
local mosque and generally chilled out. The wind is predominately
from the North West or West and blows strongest around 3pm which makes
mid afternoon a bit of a jumpy time when the anchor chain is stretched
02/07/09 Roger, Jordan and Leah went to Kos for their visa run
this morning. Astrid came over to my boat at mid-day for
coffee.......interrupted about 1pm by the sight of Storm Dodger
dragging anchor! We both dashed over there, started the engine,
retrieved the anchor and motored around the bay to re-anchor. Two
hours later, my own boat dragged as the winds hit 25kts, I hauled in the
anchor and repeated the earlier process of re-anchoring, this time
reversing until the chain jumped from the windlass gypsy under the
strain. At the
same time, several other boats experienced the same problem of anchors
dragging through the thick weed seabed - even two
Turkish boats which were buoyed on laid moorings.
04/07/09 Went ashore in the rub-a-dub for a few essentials,
then weighed anchor and made out of the bay under genoa alone, around
the headland and toward Bodrum Castle. I went into the marina for
fuel, leaving my dinghy with Storm Dodger and taking Roger's
petrol tank with me. An hour later, we had completed fuelling and
continued west under genoa in seas which became progressively more
boisterous. Our arrival in Çökertme, and mooring to Captain
Ibrahim's jetty was made interesting with a crosswind F6 blowing directly on the
port side of the boats!
05/07/09 Seven years ago, a group of us chartered an Oceanis
36cc named Getaway out of Bodrum from Nautilus Yachting, and ever
since I arrived in Turkey I've wondered if I would ever 'bump into' the
boat again. Well, today it turned up alongside me! I
think she was brand new when we chartered her, and today she still looks
good and is still with Nautilus Yachting charter - the only difference
being that the superfluous crew member (?) that I had in 2002
was, I am pleased to say, no longer defacing the foredeck.
07/07/08 F6's continue to blow but we are content to sit on
our wooden jetty and watch the comings and goings. Astrid and I
took the dolmuş inland, through the very rural areas of Bozalan and
Türkevleri, to Milas market and
wandered around there for an hour (Tesco take note....a very large bag
of cucumbers for about 20 pence!). You can't help but compare the
domuş ride to similar English countryside services......picture if you
will, a mini-bus which has seen better days, the suspension springs are
on the stops, the cushions of the seats have been flattened with years
of farmers carting bullocks to market (that's what it seems like), and
the road surface would give any council nightmares while the 'old Bill'
would be having kittens because the driver spends more time on his
mobile than concentrating on the potholes. So off you go into the
countryside, picking up the local peasant population from outside their
farmhouses before hitting the main dirt track along the coast.
Passengers say something to the driver, he stops at an isolated corner
shop and waits while they go inside and do some shopping. In Milas
on the return journey, he is flagged down by a young woman...the
door opens and a walking stick is thrown in - not placed in, but
thrown in, then an old lady (about 140) crawls in on her hands and
knees before starting a conversation with everyone onboard - she
probably knows them all anyway - until grand-daughter hits her with the
stick and tells her to sit down amongst the melons, potatoes and general
market paraphernalia. Then the dolmuş pulls into a filling station
and fills up with diesel (engine running continually and the driver
having a smoke) while other passengers board. Back into the
countryside and down what can only be described as dried up river beds -
the tracks strewn with rocks, boulders and deceased dolmuşes - cattle,
goats and the occasional sheep sharing the roadway with our transport.
Arrival back at Çökertme after what seems an eternity and I too feel
like crawling off on my hands and knees because my bum has been left
behind somewhere in the ploughed fields that I think we drove across.
Sailed around 9am and headed further east into the gulf, making for Degirmen Bükü,
again under genoa alone. On arrival there, we decided to go
alongside the jetty at Kaptan Restaurant in Okluk Koyu, the small cove opposite
English Harbour (so named after the SBS used the bay during the latter
stages of the Second World War). A couple of hours later 'Getaway'
arrived alongside also - I will probably keep running into her now!
Should you visit this location...be wary of the shop prices, the staff
are somewhat surly and do try to rip off visiting yotties.
Getaway departed, only to be replaced by the Turkish gulet Derin Deniz
- which is the one that anchored much too close to me off Magic Life in
Marmaris. We all trooped off for a walk into the village, but
after walking for miles uphill, we never succeeded in finding it and
turned back to enjoy a very welcome cold beer (or two!)
10/07/09 Slipped the mooring at 0900 and with full sail in a mostly
westerly F5, made up to 7 knots
to Amazon Creek, where we anchored just after 1pm. Sadly, the meltemi
continued to blow straight into the anchorage and made everyone jumpy
with the fears of dragging anchors. In the evening when the winds
had died, we took a walk through the pine forest to the campsite
restaurant I visited with Angie two years ago, this time Astrid freaking
out when we spotted a couple of scorpions on the steps from the rickety
11/07/09 The top step of my boarding ladder broke today whilst
Roger and Astrid were swimming from my boat - Astrid suffering a hard
knock to her knee in what could have been a very nasty accident.
Don't buy Plastimo boarding ladders......non UV resistant French
rubbish!! I will have to see if I can get something made up in
stainless steel when we get back into the Marmaris area. We all
went in the dinghy to 'explore' the creek as far up as the campsite,
Leah becoming worried when she saw the sign about feeding the
crocodiles! Our plan to leave just after 4pm came unstuck when
Roger was unable to lift his anchor due to a malfunction in his windlass
motor. I had already weighed anchor and circled Storm Dodger
whilst he tried to rectify the problem, later re-anchoring and going
over in the dinghy to discuss our next move.
12/07/09 Rowed over to Storm Dodger at 6am and gave a
hand to hoist the anchor by hand, then rowed back and lifted my own
anchor. We motored out of Amazon Creek as a pod of dolphins played
and set course to the north side of Gokova Korfezi - back to Çökertme
and Captain Ibrahim's friendly establishment. Mechanics from Çetin
Marine came over from Marmaris in the early evening and removed Roger's
windlass for repair in their workshop.
13/07/09 Doug from Magic came over from the next
restaurant jetty and suggested a lunch time beer.....joined later by
Astrid, then Roger......then Zachariah arrived in the bay with
Paul, Toni and Jordon......and the one beer turned into quite a party.
Someone made the mistake of using a hosepipe to wash down the tiled
restaurant floor and the hose was seized upon by Astrid. Both
Roger and I know from past experience that Astrid is dangerous with a
hose in her hand and we guessed what was coming............ everyone got
a soaking, including the startled waiters!
Doug, Astrid and I decided to go into Bodrum for supplies. Dolmuş
service is a once a day Pony Express type affair and we caught the 12.30
which climbed high into the mountains through a series of hairpin bends.
It's a fairly torturous route tthrough Yenikoy and Mumcular before
joining the coast road at Güvercinlik and dropping down into Bodrum but
the roads were a good deal better than the ones to Milas - and our
driver was practicing his qualifying speeds for the next Formula 1 race.
Bodrum itself has changed little, and is much the same as I remember it
from 2002. We lunched on calzone (a sort of pizza pastie) at a
restaurant near the marina, had a couple of beers and wandered in the
bazaar area before visiting the local Tansaş and catching the 6.30
Jensen Button special home again. Descending the mountain road was
interesting to say the least. The driver obviously had an
important call to make on his mobile, and not even the overpowering
smell of burning brake pad material was going to distract him! Our
miraculous arrival back in Çökertme at 8pm called for another beer
before dinner and an early night.
16/07/09 Çetin Marine returned with Roger's windlass and
fitted it - all now working and we should be able to leave in the
morning. Spent the day relaxing, swimming and boat/people
18/07/09 OK.....so we didn't go yesterday......or today!
A donation to the Efes Brewery last night left Roger suffering this
morning, so we decided on another day of relaxation and swimming.
During the evening, whilst in the restaurant, a large gulet backed up to
the end of the small pontoon (a good display of the Captain's control),
an ambulance was called, and a passenger with head injuries was
stretchered from the boat. Seemingly, she had too much to drink
and fell head first down a ladder.
- Paid our bar bill and said our farewells to Halil and his father
Ibrahim, who gave both myself and Storm Dodger a jar of olives
and another of honey as a parting gift (shame I don't like either!), before slipping the mooring
lines at 0930. Our intention was to sail around the Datca
peninsular to Datcha itself....but best laid plans and all that!!
The sea was unexpectedly unkind to us and although I was making
reasonable progress with a reefed main and the engine, Roger was having
difficulties in maintaining speed against the oncoming waves. We
decided to look into Mersinçik (right) as a possible overnight anchorage - made
more appealing when Uncle Albert (my autohelm) gave up the ghost at 1330
and refused to steer. The last hour of passage into the bay wasn't
pleasant as I had by now dropped the main and the wind was blowing F5 on
the starboard beam, with 2 metre waves on the same side. Dropped
anchor in the bay (very nice place with clear water) at 1530 and set
about stripping the autohelm, Roger coming over to assist. Two
hours later, we had replaced the snapped belt and re-assembled the unit.
Had a beer on Roger's boat, then something to eat on mine before resting
a couple of hours. Weighed anchor again at 2330hrs and sailed into
21/07/09 Quite a swell between the Datca peninsular and Kos -
hoisting a reefed genoa helped calm things down until I rounded the
lighthouse at the point, then full genoa and 7+ knots eastward on a
close/beam reaching F6. At
0330, the wind just disappeared and it was time for the iron sail again
until sunrise and the return of the wind. Made good time toward Keci Buku and dropped anchor close to the restaurant pontoons in
Orhaniye at 1045.
22/07/09 Helped Roger move his boat from anchor to the pontoon
at Iskele Restaurant, then did the same with mine, berthing alongside
each other and having a late breakfast ashore. All the restaurant
jetties that we have used are free of charge and supply fresh water and
electricity free too - provided that you use the restaurant on occasion.
So far, I haven't connected to either electricity or water at any of the
jetties and use them purely as a convenient means of getting ashore!
However, I will probably use the facilities to fill my water tank
tomorrow as there is quite a bit of surface weed floating around at the
moment. It will also give me an opportunity to clean all my water
A re-union today with Rob, Karen, Ben and Amy (formerly of Slip
Anchor) who, whilst on holiday in Rhodes, had phoned me a few days
ago. Roger and I went into Marmaris to meet up with them from the
ferry terminal and bring them back to Orhaniye for a short visit.
Great to see them all again and catch up!
Finally put some 'shore water' into my tanks - the first since the
beginning of June. Spent most of the day in the restaurant pool
being mobbed by Leah, Amy and Ben, in scenes reminiscent of our time
together in Gouvia Marina, Corfu. Temperatures over the last few
days have been in the forties, so the pool was probably the best place
to be! (photo's)
Fitted a new deckhead light (LED) in the heads - my old one had broken
at some point during the last two weeks - also stripped down the faulty
lock from the aft cabin door, though it's unlikely that I will be able
to find a suitable replacement barrel for it. Then had
breakfast and repeated yesterday's antics in the pool before Rob and
family left on the 1330 dolmuş to catch their return ferry to Rhodes.
27/07/09 Non UV resistant stitching used on my mainsail cover
zip in Gouvia failed during the last two weeks of sailing and I had made
arrangements for Mehmet of MC Sails to collect it from me here in
Orhaniye. With Astrid's help, I took down the sun awning and
removed the mainsail, folding it on the small car park, then took off
the sail cover and replaced the sun awning. Even though we did
this before 9am, the sweat just poured off in the excessive heat.
Temperatures over the last few days have been very high and we are
hearing stories from other contacts of big forest fires around Marmaris
28/07/09 A day in the life of........
OK, up at
5.30, coffee on, clean teeth, have a shower. Drink coffee whilst
reading Daily Mail and BBC News online, have a quick look at the YBW
Forum to see if I can help anyone. More coffee. Flush water
maker, have coffee. Check stern gland for leaks, dip engine oil,
check fresh water level of engine header tank. Shut raw water
intake stopcock and remove strainer, clean and replace. Have a
coffee. Defrost fridge, chuck away food I'm no longer sure of,
repack fridge and switch back on. Have breakfast. Go up mast
and take apart the steaming light (failed on the last night passage),
check voltage at deck connection and light fitting, decide new wiring is
required. Call it a day 'cos it's 11am now and too hot (45oC)
to work. Adjourn to the pool for the
afternoon, frolics with Leah, lie on sunbed, drink a beer or two.
Joy arrives on scooter with friend Ali. Move 10 metres to the
beach and have drinks with Roger, Astrid, Jan, Joy and
Ali. Shower, change and into restaurant for dinner. Return
onboard 11.30pm, update log, have a coffee and go to bed. This
cruising malarkey is tiring work you know!
30/07/09 Into town early with Roger and Jan. Bought the
required cable to run inside the mast for my steaming light, some 10mm
rope and a bit of shopping, returning on the noon dolmuş. Then a
new turn of events. It's been apparent to us liveaboards for some
time that the Turkish business mentality is somewhat lacking in logic -
if the service, quality of work, food, goods or whatever is
sub-standard, then the profits fall......that's obvious because the
customers go elsewhere. The Turkish answer is to keep the same
crap but raise the price in an effort to claw back the losses - the result is even less custom,
the failure of the business and eventual closure. We've seen it
happen to countless shops and restaurants over the last two years.
Another shortcoming is their refusal to accept competition from anyone -
as seen in Marmaris Yacht Marine with the shop, bar, restaurant,
workshops - even bus trips to town supermarkets. Now,
today.....Roger went into the shop next door to Iskele Restaurant and
bought a couple of beers, sat at a table in the shade outside the shop
and drank them. The restaurant owner saw this and within minutes
Roger was told to leave the restaurant pontoon.....not in the morning but
right now! It seems that he objected to Roger buying a beer
for 2.75 lira in the shop instead of the same thing for 4.50 lira at his
place......ignoring the fact that Roger ate and drank in the restaurant
each evening. So Storm Dodger left and went out to anchor
with Rhumb Do following a half an hour later. So now the
restaurant has lost two boats and two sources of income - and for what -
1.75 lira!! With our custom, and that of our visiting friends, the
restaurant's average daily income from us over the last eight days has
been about 100 lira....... down to nothing in the blink of an
eye. Needless to say, the adjacent Kadir Restaurant with it's
better service, better menu's, better food and friendlier staff, had the
benefit of our lira this evening.
31/07/09 In the absence of Astrid, who is staying in town with
Joy, I helped Roger take his boat from anchor to the pontoon at Kadir
Restaurant. Back on my own boat, I replaced the saloon light
fitting with a new, brighter LED one and cut the plugs from the old
steaming light cable. After a swim over the side in late
afternoon, I weighed anchor and made my way from 'Rabbit Island' to
Kadir pontoon - mainly because I have removed the propeller from the
outboard engine (a failed bearing) and need to go into town for a
replacement. Dinner with Roger and the crews of Full Flight,
Divanty and Roam II.