up with fresh water and slipped at 1015, motoring out into a calm sea with no
wind and headed further east into the gulf. Angie wanted to swim
in the deep blue water, so at 1200 we stopped the boat and allowed it to
drift whilst we swam for 40 minutes, then resumed course for Amazon
Creek, anchoring there just after 4pm. The creek was almost
deserted, just one other boat (flying an American flag), Angie again
going swimming whilst I unsuccessfully tried to sort out the problematic
outboard engine, which now won't even start! With no light
pollution from the land, the night sky glittered with stars as we
sat in the cockpit having our evening meal.
02/09/07 Remained at
anchor in Amazon Creek, swimming and relaxing. Suspecting
contaminated petrol in the outboard, I drained the tank and replaced the
fuel with new - success, engine running again! Walked through the
woods to Amazon campsite for dinner and not being able to choose which
starter to have, we took advice from the owners and had a bit of them all - then couldn't
eat a main course! The walk back through the woods to the dinghy was in absolute
blackness, a small LED
torch we had taken with us our only means of lighting the way.
03/09/07 After a swim
and breakfast we weighed anchor at 1015 and set sail across the gulf to
Cokertme, arriving there about 1515, and I was pleased that dolphins
were at the entrance to the bay when we arrived.....at least Angie got
to see some, and they are also the first I've seen since sailing from
Italy to Corfu. We
tied up to Captain Ibrahim's wooden jetty (a new one since my last visit
some years ago), and ate in the restaurant that evening.
after lunch and made our way westward into a force six bang on the nose,
arriving in the bay at Bitez after sunset at 2030 and anchoring close to
the beach. We took the rub-a-dub ashore to have a walk round and a
meal, then watched a film onboard - well,..... half a film, because I fell
early morning swim, we again went ashore for a wander around the town,
Angie deciding to swim back to the boat - a greater distance than she
thought, and her comments on reaching the boat are unprintable!! Weighed anchor after lunch and made the short passage
across to Kos, arriving in the marina 1630. My hair has grown
since Roger cut it in Preveza, in exchange for going up his mast, so
Angie gave me a trim which will last another six weeks or so.
06/09/07 Following a meal
ashore last night, we both struggled to keep our eyes open until Angie's
taxi to the airport picked her up from the boat at 0230. It's been
a great week, with sails in both flat calm and more boisterous seas and
I thank Angie for her wonderful company and the laughs we've had.
I'm glad she enjoyed all the new experiences and new foods.
Angie's verdict on the past week?......"the best holiday I've ever had!"
Come again soon Angie!! I took all the bedding to the laundry
and spent some time repairing a broken fridge door, cat-napping
throughout the day, it seems very strange not having anyone to talk to
again.....and I've hardly seen a soul in the marina, all the charter
boats are lying idle awaiting the new holiday crews. Angie
phoned around lunchtime to let me know she had arrived home safely and
had not had to pay excess baggage on the three hundredweight of Turkish
Delight she had taken home with her!
07/09/07 Make ready
for sea again! Filled the water tanks, bought the necessaries from
the supermarket, stored loose gear, topped up with diesel and slipped at 1000 heading back to
Turkey and the anchorage at Bitez (I'm beginning to think the boat is on
a piece of elastic) where my 'shore support' team of one
(Ann) will be arriving at an unearthly hour on the 11th. for her holiday
with me. Dropped the anchor in the same spot as before but had to
reset it four times before it 'bit' properly. The bay is open to
the south and today the wind is from that direction so the night was a
little uncomfortable with the incoming swell. There has also been
a significant and to me, a very noticeable change in the weather and temperature, there are now far
more clouds and it is much, much cooler than of late.
10/09/07 The meltemi
has been blowing day and night since anchoring here and although I could
have gone ashore, it would have been a very wet and bumpy ride across
the bay in the dinghy. I was also reluctant to leave the boat
unattended for fear of anchor drag - a problem of sailing single-handed
(the 'crew' having absconded in Kos a few days ago!!). However,
today seems much calmer and after an early morning swim, I finally got
ashore to collect e-mails and update this log. Ann should be
arriving here around 2am tomorrow morning for her holiday with me and we
will be making our way along Datca Yarimadasi (the Dorian peninsular) to Rhodes, although
looking at the next five day grib files, we are in for a bit of a blow
on the 13th with Force 7 forecast.
News update on 'the gang'.....
Moody Time is in Marmaris, Impulse and Storm Dodger
have transited the Corinth Canal and are in Poros, Rob and Slip
Anchor made it safely back to Barcelona and he, Karen, Ben and Amy
are now home in the UK.
12/09/07 Ann arrived
on time yesterday morning and we spent the day catching up on news,
swimming and relaxing, then had a bit of a laugh ashore during the
evening with an impromtu 'birthday' celebration! Weighed anchor at 1000 this morning and
headed out towards the tip of Kos and on toward the Datca peninsular, my
'yo-yo' courtesy flags getting dizzy from the last few days.
Having both been to Knidos before, we decided to by-pass the anchorage
and make straight for Datca in the westerley force 5 which would push us
in roughly the right direction. Arrived in Datca at 1800 with the
wind now a 6 from the NNW and had to anchor in the south bay as the town
quay was, as expected, full.
13/09/07 Only half
sleeping throughout the night because of the increasing winds, I finally
gave up around 4.30am and sat in the cockpit on 'anchor watch'.
Just after seven, a wind shift pushed the stern around toward shore and
the rudder touched bottom, so we moved into another spot, the dinghy
capsizing in the process and the two bags of rubbish stored in it
disappeared off into the distance! Two other boats then dragged
anchor and confusion reigned as we all tried to re-anchor in the ever
increasing wind. I eventually went close inshore again and dropped
both the main anchor and a secondary anchor at about sixty degrees to
the first, which held us throughout the day. During the early
evening, whilst having a meal in a spot overlooking the boat, we watched
a charter yacht come in to the crowded anchorage under sail....now, I
don't know if his engine had failed or whether he was trying to impress,
but he certainly didn't achieve the latter when the sails filled as he
turned to starboard and he rammed an anchored boat amidships! He
then dropped anchor and the mainsail, drifted back on the non-setting
anchor and .hit two other boats which were directly astern. At
this point, he hoisted sail again and accelerated across the bay into
yet another boat, and with all sail up managed to push the other boat
off it's anchor! The irate owner of the first boat rammed was now
chasing him in his dinghy, the last boat was trying to re-anchor and the
culprit went racing off out of the bay making terrific progress in the
force 7 which was still blowing.
both anchors and set sail just before 9am, eating breakfast as we went
along in the gentle west wind, sailing eastward into Hisaronu Korfezi,
which means Gulf of Fortresses and has to be one of the most
beautiful parts of Turkey in which to sail. The entrance to the
gulf seemed to close behind us and we were surrounded by land which
changed from the normal burnt mountainsides, to lush pine forests
stretching down to the water's edge. At the head of the gulf lies
Keci Buku - our destination for today. Keci Buku is a gem, the
slopes are covered in pine and the small village of Orhaniye is shut in
by bookends of steep rocky slopes. A stream keeps the enclosed
valley well watered. Situated on the left of the bay as you enter
is Marti Marina and we decided to have a night here rather than on one
of the restaurant jetties further into the bay. Friendly staff
welcomed us, there is a swimming pool, small chandlers, supermarket and
a beach from which to swim. The water is absolutely crystal clear
in the marina, and as a bonus......I was moored starboard side to,
rather than bows to! One year ago today.....I was
leaving Gillingham Marina......what a change of scenery - and 4,447
miles of 'oggin has passed under the keel!!
relaxed few days in this lovely part of Turkey and a decision to stay
until tomorrow. We took the dolmus to Marmaris one evening and had
a look around the town, neither of us were too impressed with the place
but I have been reassured that it is much better in winter when
all the holiday-makers have departed. Last night we were
chatting to a single-handed Turkish sailor from Istanbul who turned out
to be a documentary film maker and radio producer. He was keen to
have me on his radio show to talk of my experiences in the Arctic Circle
- a dream destination of his own - and was most put out when I said we
were sailing on Wednesday and would have to decline his invitation.
Slipped after a lazy breakfast and headed west for Nisos Simi under full
sail into a northwest breeze of around 15 knots and arrived in this
picturesque port just after 3pm. Rod Heikell says of
Simi..."discovering Simi is like discovering an exotic plant in the
desert" and he could well be right. The houses are of Neo
Classical design, coloured with muted yellows, blues and reds and
stacked one on top of the other up the steep sides of the harbour.
Simi was once the world centre for sponge divers, an honour now claimed
by Kalimnos, but there are many shops selling sponges and pumice stone
along the harbour side.
Several hours of cruel spectator sport this morning as I watched
the harbour come alive with the comings and goings of
yachts.....practically every one of them having fouled other
anchors..... and the thought 'there but for the grace of God'....
One small British yacht had picked up the anchor of a larger
American motor cruiser and was unable to hoist it clear of the water,
the motor cruiser eventually slipping and going out to the centre
of the harbour, where both boats drifted inexorably, with chains
entwined, toward some moored fishing boats - only alerted to the fact by
the shouts of panic from the fishermen when impact was just a few feet
21/09/07 We slipped
our mooring and retrieved the kedge anchor (without incident) just
before 9am, and with some regret left this lovely harbour and headed for
Rhodes (Nisos Rhodos), where Ann was to fly home from.
Arriving at Mandraki in Rhodes was a bit of a shock and I took an
instant dislike to the place. On approach, to the right of
the harbour entrance, is a beach with regimented rows of sun umbrellas,
sun-beds and the usual speedboats towing parachutes, bananas and the
like, but the entrance itself was a floating mess of discarded plastic
bottles, plastic bags, polystyrene cups, lengths of timber and all other
forms of human rubbish, all mixed with a huge black oil slick. On
entering the harbour, the staff were disinterested and made no
effort to find us a berth, the available ones were roped off for charter
yachts which were absent and the whole place had a feeling of 'go away,
we don't want you here'. We, and two other boats turned
around and left the harbour in disgust. I motored round past
the cruise ship terminal and toward the 'new' Rhodes Marina, only to
find that it hasn't even been started yet and is still a derelict
industrial site with no facilities whatever. So the decision was
made to leave the Greek Isles and head for Marmaris in Turkey, on what
would probably be the last leg of my travels for this year.
I wish I had something more positive to say about Rhodes but the only
good thing I can think of is - you can catch a ferry to other places
I sat up on the bow during the 20
mile crossing to Turkey, enjoying the late afternoon sun and the clear
blue of the sea, with the flying fish skittering across from the
bow wave, thinking of the experiences so far and wondering what the next
voyages will bring, which ports will be visited and in which direction
will I go? I have all winter to do the jobs which have been put
off whilst sailing, and to decide my plans for 2008.
Arrived in Marmaris Yacht Marina
as darkness fell and we were helped into our berth by two very competent
marineros. The marina is a big one, with all facilities for
hauling out, woodwork, stainless steel and sail repairs, and situated
about a half hour bus ride away from Marmaris town. We had a brief
look around the marina, but all the checking in and finding the
amenities could all wait until the morning. I did notice
Moody Time on the opposite pontoon, (Colin & Trish are home in the
UK) and also Wayne & Angie's
Hitrapia further along the same pontoon as myself.
is the anniversary of my first leaving home and going off to join
the Royal Navy in Plymouth - it seems like yesterday!
Checked into the marina and completed all the formalities, then went on
my expedition of discovery to find the bar, restaurant, gym, sauna,
library, snooker room, swimming pool,
showers - but not necessarily in that order - whilst Ann collected her
things and packed for the trip home to UK. Also stopped by
Hitrapia for a chat with Wayne, who told me that two other
Warriors (Blackfoot Warrior and Grey Glider) had been in
the marina a few days before. Ann and I then caught a dolmus into Marmaris and made our way to the ferry terminal
where she caught the 4.30pm ferry back to Rhodes, and her night
flight to Gatwick. On my own again, and the bottom fell off my
sandal.....great, out of town, no shoes! Angie, when she was here
made the comment that the soles of my feet must be like leather because
of being barefoot on the hot deck for so long - well it's a good job
they are now that I'm walking around ashore like that!! Made
my way back to the marina after having a cold coke in a pavement cafe,
browsed the chandlery for contact adhesive to repair my sandal, had a
pint in the bar and went back to the boat for my evening meal.
Thanks for the company over the last two weeks Ann, hope you enjoyed the
rest from work!!
Birthday Angie!! 29 years old today, and you don't
look a day over 40! Over the last week I've been finding my
way around and collecting information from other boat owners.
Wayne & Angie departed on Hitrapia, heading for Kemer, Ian &
Heather on Blackfoot Warrior came back in and Colin & Trish
returned from the UK, bringing with them some engine parts I had asked
for (which caused a bit of a fuss at airport security when they
thought my air filter was a bomb!). Impulse and
Storm Dodger having been trapped again in Nisos Paros by strong
winds, are now in Rhodes and should be here in Marmaris tomorrow
afternoon. On Friday (28th) there was a 'Goodbye to Summer'
party here in the marina, with Turkish dancers and fireworks which kept us occupied into
the early hours! I am updating some of the web pages and
adding a couple more (with access buttons on the left) but these will
take a little while to be up and running. I am also trying to
arrange a flight back to the UK to see family and friends in the near
future, however, the internet connection here in the marina is not the
best and apart from some web pages being unavailable, I find I'm unable
to use my Outlook Express for sending e-mails - seemingly this is a
common fault according to other 'yotties' here - so searching for
reasonably priced flights is a time consuming affair.
for previous logs