Monday, May 30, 2011

Making our way north

We departed the marina in Marmaris Sunday morning.  Had planned to leave Saturday but rain and cold temperature changed our minds.  Sunday dawned clear enough, so we headed out.  It felt so good to finally be moving again!!  After sitting in the marina in India for over a month, then sitting at anchor in Male for exactly a month, then waiting for the transport ship to arrive, and then dealing with an abnormally long haul-out, we were more than ready to sail again!

Looking out from inside Serce bay

We did not go far -- only about 25 NM -- to Serce, pronounced SER-chay -- latitude 36.34.63N longitude 028.02.83E.  The entrance to Serce is almost hidden.  You must get right to the entrance before you can see the opening.  There is a reef on the southern side of the entrance, so we hugged the northern side closely until we were well clear inside the bay.  The bay then does a right-turn and is more than a mile long.  We opted to anchor on the left (south) side just inside the entrance.  There were 4 large gulets there and one cruising yacht, with just enough space for us to squeeze in.  

Soon a man rowed out and offered numerous items for sale -- tablecloths, honey from his yard, shirts, very pretty bowls and various nuts and dried figs.  I wanted one of the pretty small serving bowls but already have way too many things like that on the boat, but I felt like we should buy something from him.  So we opted for a small bag of sesame coated peanuts.  How could we go wrong with that!  Within a half hour another man rowed out.  This time I bought a small bag of dried figs -- from his own yard (if I chose to believe that story).   These figs were much better than others I had tried a month ago.

Moorings at far end of bay at Serce
A couple of hours later the 4 gulets hauled up their anchors and left to take their tourists to another anchorage for the night.  Must show these tourists as many anchorages as possible so they feel they get their money's worth.  We did not like being so close to the cruising yacht, so as soon as the 4 gulets left we pulled our anchor and moved over.  Ahh; much better.  Then cruising yacht weighed anchor and left.  Guess we did not need to move after all.  Later, another smaller gulet arrived and anchored well away from us.  Down at the long end of the bay there were moorings being filled with one yacht after another.  We liked being well away from them.

Rain started pouring and then a catamaran arrived.  For some inexplicable reason, he felt compelled to anchor between us and the small gulet.  What the hell!  There was a wide open space off our port side, but he had to squeeze in and nearly hit our starboard side.  He immediately pulled his anchor and re-set even closer to the small gulet.  Will never understand why he did not anchor in the open space and crowded in between the only 2 boats in this end of the bay.  But at least now if he hit another boat in the close quarters, it would be the gulet and not BeBe.  I would have stayed in the cockpit all night if he had not moved closer to the gulet.  Now at least we could sleep without worrying about a collision during the night.

Monday morning we leisurely enjoyed being back out on anchor.  Finally left Serce around 09:00 with intentions of sailing to Datca (pronounced DAH-cha).  As we rounded the tip of the peninsula we breezed by Bozuk Buku, previously known as Port Apolotheka of ancient Loryma, and were afforded a very good look of the ancient citadel.  This citadel is of Hellenistic origin and is preserved virtually intact.  Amazing that with all the earthquakes common to this part of the world that this citadel remains as it was built so very long ago.  It is possible to anchor in the large bay and walk around the citadel, but the view from the water was good enough for us.

We skimmed around the Greek island of Simi headed towards Datca.  Technically we were briefly in Greek waters but never touched land.  The weather was just plain weird.  It was so hazy it seemed like fog.  We could not even see the high mountains of Turkey just 2 miles away.  Rain clouds formed over some of the mountains that we could see farther out on the peninsulas, but nary a drop found us.  There was positively no wind at all, so we motored the entire way.  As we reached the top side of Simi we changed our destination from Datca to ancient Knidos.  We had already see Datca during our road trip, and it made sense to continue farther while there was no wind against us.

Entrance to Knidos; sunken breakwater on left.
Shortly before 15:00 we arrived at ancient Knidos, latitude 36.41.09N longitude 027.22.47E.  There is a visible old stone breakwater on the western side of the entrance to this tiny harbor, and a sunken breakwater on the eastern side of the entrance.   The 8th edition of the Turkish Waters Pilot provides the waypoint for the center of the entrance between these 2 hazards.  Our electronic chart was almost exactly correct, but it was nice to have that precise waypoint for reference.

Restaurant at Knidos

The tiny harbor was already filled with 11 boats anchored and 3 boats tied to the dock in front of the single restaurant.  I was ready to just forget about staying here overnight and find another less-crowded anchorage when I heard a whistle from a guy standing on the dock.  He motioned that we could fit behind another boat on the dock.  I hurriedly pulled out fenders and lines and barely managed to get these in place as Bill backed BeBe alongside the dock.  Worked perfectly!  Just barely enough space for BeBe to be securely tied to the dock.  

Knidos anchorage

The owner of the restaurant helped with our dock lines, and I assured him we would eat dinner with him tonight.  The cost of docking here overnight was 25 Turkish Lira, with free electricity.  What a deal!  Sure, we will eat in his restaurant in exchange for such a cheap rate for docking.  Otherwise, we would have had to either backtrack 5 miles or continue another 12 miles to the next anchorage -- and who knows how crowded it might be this late in the day. 

Ruins of Knidos
Sitting in the cockpit we were staring at the ruins of ancient Knidos all around us.  The Dorian Confederacy had quite a city built here at one time; Knidos was one of the Dorian hexapolis, the six cities of the Dorian Confederacy.  This was a prosperous city.  Knidos was renowned for two things:  its statue of Aphrodite and the scientist Eudoxos. There are ruins of 2 theaters, one temple, an Army post, the city itself and an Acropolis a short distance away.  Due north of this harbor, across a tiny spit of land where the restaurant is located today, is the ancient Trireme Harbor.  So the Dorians and Greeks had one harbor us utilize when winds came from the south and another harbor to use when the winds blew from the north.  Both harbors were equally adjacent to the city.  A very nice arrangement.

Ruins at Knidos

The famous statue of Aphrodite was by Praxiteles, one of the greatest Greek sculptors.  In the 4th century B.C., the statue was one of the first of a naked woman.  Only male nude statues had been made until this time.  The sexy Aphrodite was believed to bring good fortune to seafarers.  It certainly brought a large numbers of tourists to view it.  Several stories are told of the statue.  One relates how an admirer crept into the shrine and kissed it on the thigh.  Thereafter, it was said to bear a dark stain on the inner thigh.  Another story relates how the shrine had a back door, so that admirers could view Aphrodite's shapely posterior.

Ruins at Knidos

The scientist Eudoxos was an astronomer and mathematician who lived in the 4th century B.C. and is considered one of the founding fathers of Greek geometry.  Eudoxos built an observatory at Knidos in his declining years and spent his time here watching and mapping the night sky.  The architect Sostratus, who designed the Pharos lighthouse of Alexandria -- one of the original Seven Wonders of the World -- was also a native of Knidos.

Ruins at Knidos

As we motored along the southern coast of this long peninsula toward Knidos, we saw a half-dozen areas that very obviously had been terraced in ancient times.  We have no idea why.  But possibly it was to quarry stone or granite or marble.  The Egyptians during Ptolemy reigns frequented this area.  We assume they traded grain for stones.

Ruins at Knidos

At one especially noticeably terraced area there were also 2 large caves or remnants of stone homes built into the mountainside.  To the right of these 2 large caves or homes there was the upper torso of a very large white statue.  With binoculars we could make out the head and shoulders and upper torso, with a large urn or vase at waist level -- also carved from the white stone. 

We have no land guide book for Turkey and this huge statue is not mentioned in our Pilot, so we have no idea what the story is for this obviously very old and very large statue.

It is 18:00 as I write this.  There are now 14 yachts anchored in this tiny harbor, and 10 double-rafted to the restaurant dock.  And I bet more show up before sunset!  Hope the restaurant isn't over-loaded with this crowd.  Looking forward to a fish dinner tonight! 

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