Friday, September 14, 2012

Finally out cruising

As always, click on images for larger views.
Mountains as far as the eye can see
We finally left Yat Marin marina in Marmaris on Saturday, 1 September.  Predictions were for light winds, which they were.  Always on the nose, of course, since this is the Med.  Every time we neared a change in course which should have put the wind at a good angle for sailing, the contour of the land and mountains caused the wind to change direction too, always putting it right back on the pointy end of the boat.  In the afternoon when we made the turn north around the peninsula to head toward Datca (pronounced DAH-cha), the wind was almost on an angle that we could sail.  Not quite, but almost.

Bosburun as seen from our anchored boat

So we changed destinations to a direction that allowed us to sail, and headed toward Bozburun instead of Datca.  Those fabulous sailing conditions lasted a whopping 15 minutes!   Wind died to basically nothing; we furled the sails; and motored up to Bozburun.  Total mileage for the day was an easy 40 NM.  Dropped the hook at 36.41.365N  028.02.563E for those readers with either electronic charts or Google Earth.  

Bosburun anchorage---Turkish girl learning to sail

This is a great place!  Swing anchorage; small town with decent small markets for fresh produce and basic provisioning items.  And even a limited selection of chandlery items.  A small sailing charter company bases out of Bozburun so there are plenty of quayside restaurants, as well as several resort hotels along the shoreside.  Boats can go inside the small harbor to dock wherever space is available, but we prefer to swing anchor.  We stayed there 4 nights.

Near Bosburun is a wooden boat building yard.  Inside
this gigantic building they are building the largest
wooden boat in the world for a very rich Arabian man.

A group of cruisers in Marmaris were planning a lunch outing at a bayside restaurant in Keci Buku (a/k/a Goat Bay -- pronounced KETCH-ee BOO-koo) near Oranthiye on 6 September.  We decided it would be fun to join them.  They would arrive by bus; we would arrive by boat. 
Leaving Bosburun anchorages

So, on Wednesday 5 Sept we motored 18 NM farther north to the very lovely bay with the sand spit down the center.  We had seen the Keci Buku bay from the mountain road last year when we shared a rental car one day with Jackie & Brian on S/V Songster and drove out Datca peninsula.  This was our first time to visit this bay by boat.  There are several choices of anchorage in this bay, plus several catwalk docks in front of small restaurants at the head of the bay behind that sand spit.  As we motored past Marti Marina we noticed 3 boats anchored just west of there.  That looked like just a good a spot to anchor as any other place, so we dropped hook at 36.45.922N  028.07.659E in 10 meters depth.  We would have a longer dinghy ride into the restaurant, but we were happy out there.  Good breezes; not crowded; and had a lovely view of the tiny island with the ancient fortress on top.

Trying to plan the rest of our time in the Med.  This is incredibly
 frustrating because of the 90-day Schengen Treaty visa limitation --
90-in then 90-out.  Not sure the Med is worth this much worrying.
We also had wanted a closer look at Marti Marina.   After that closer look, we continue to be baffled as to why this particular marina is so expensive.  What is the attraction to warrant the high prices?  We had emailed the marina in late July to inquire about berthing space for a few days.  Price for our 16-meter (53-ft) boat was $1,046.25 USD for one week.  We responded; thanks, but no thanks.  Bill told them their rate was too expensive for us.  We think the marinas will continue to increase pricing to whatever the market will bear.  Someone has to tell them when they have reached the price that exceeds what the market will bear.  Obviously, many people are willing to pay that high price because the marina appeared to be full.  But we are not paying that!!  Especially with so many anchorages nearby.

BTW, while motoring from Bozburun to Keci Buku we passed a fjord-like bay on the left that is called Bencik.  There is an interesting little story about this place.  At the head of the long Bencik bay the Dorian Peninsula is at its narrowest point.  Knidos is situated on the western tip of that long peninsula.  The 5th century B.C. historian Herodotus wrote that when the ancient Knidians who inhabited this area were threatened by the Persians, they set to work to dig a canal across the peninsula as a defensive measure ( a means of escape if attacked).  The red rock was evidently hard going; and, upon consulting the oracle at Delphi they heard what they wanted to hear:  that if the peninsula had been meant to be an island then Zeus would have made it so.  Work was then abandoned; and when the Persians invaded, the Knidians were forced to surrender.  Herodotus does not mention what the Knidians had to say about the oracle after that.  During a survey of this region in 1844, traces of the ancient cuttings of the rock were discovered, believed to be the work begun on the ancient canal reported by Herodotus some 2500 years ago.

What I found interesting in that little story is that the oracle of Delphi was a very long way from here.  Seems like a lot of effort was expended to go to the oracle in mainland Greece on the Ionian Sea; consult with her; and return to here.  There were several oracles but the one in Delphi was considered the highest and most important.  

Oranthiye Bay looking out from restaurant

The next day we met the cruising group that drove up from Marmaris, organized by Gwen on the boat KW in Netsel.  And S/V Songster was docked at the restaurant dock!  Jackie and Brian also joined the Marmaris crowd for lunch.  The 4 smokers sat together at a small table well away from the rest of us; and 16 of us sat together at a long table.  Later, 5 more people arrived well after we had finished eating and joined us around the long table.  

Ersoy's Restaurant

Ersoy's Restaurant is known for their shrimp (or prawns as the rest of the world outside Texas and Louisiana call shrimp).  The shrimp are caught locally, although we have seen no shrimping boats of any description anywhere in Turkey or Greece .  In fact, we have seen no nets of any kind in use by any fisherman in Turkey or Greece.  Not saying they aren't here somewhere; but we have not seen them.  Most of us ordered shrimp (prawns) since that was the restaurant specialty but a few people varied with lamb shish kepab or whole sea bass.  

Ruth's whole grilled squid.  I think she was
expecting something more like fried calamari as
it is served in the USA.
Ruth on M/V Dora Mac order grilled calamari.  Gwen asked Ruth if she knew what she was ordering.  Ruth said later she should have taken that as a warning sign because she was not expecting what she was served --- a whole grilled squid.  I thought the whole grilled squid looked delicious; it looked very similar to the grilled squid I had eaten in Japan.  In Japan the squid had been scored very well, which I think helps tenderize it.  I don't think Ruth really enjoyed her squid.  I enjoyed my shrimp but would have been happy to trade meals with Ruth if we had been sitting next to one another.

Celebrating our 43rd wedding anniversary

BTW, besides wanting to enjoy the camaraderie of friends and fellow cruisers, Bill and I also were celebrating our 43rd wedding anniversary.  It was very nice to share the day with old and new friends.  Our lunch lasted over 4 hours.  Guess you can tell by that we had a good time.  

On the dinghy ride back to our boat Bill noticed an American boat flying an SSCA Commodore burgee.  Being fellow commodores, we stopped by to say hello and met Steve on S/V Threshold.  His wife, Karen, was off swimming around the little island with the ancient fortress on top of it.  BTW, others tell us that island is home to hundreds of black and white rabbits.  The local people bring water out to the island for the rabbits since there is no water source on that very rocky island.  As we motored past the island Bill spotted several rabbits and numerous large buckets, presumably filled with water.

Fortress on top of tiny island in Keci Buku
Keci Buku is off the far-northeastern section of Hisaronu Lumani, the very large bay or gulf between the peninsula off Marmaris and the Datca peninsula, a/k/a the Dorian Penninsula......the huge bay in which the large Greek island of Simi is located.  Slightly north of Keci Buku is the small village of Hisaronu, from which the gulf takes its name.  In antiquity it was called Bybassus.  On a rocky outcrop nearby the remains of an acropolis can be seen; little else remains.  Bybassus was part of the Rhodian Peraea and was important for its association with a temple complex at the east end of Keci Buku.  It is likely that Keci Buku was utilized as the harbor for Bybassus as there is no harbor at the actual location of that ancient city.

Fortress at Keci Buku.  What were they protecting?  Nothing inside
there except lots of rocks.  Guess the villagers hid inside if attacked.

The temple at Keci Buku was dedicated to Hemithea, literally the 'demi-goddess' who was revered for her healing powers, particularly for women in childbirth.   She practiced a method called incubation, which also was practiced by Hippocrates in Kos.  Incubation was a method whereby the goddess stood over the sick woman and cured her in her sleep, or over a woman in childbirth and helped alleviate her pain.  It is pure speculation today, but some people assume this incubation method was hypnosis.  Hypnosis supposedly can be used to alleviate pain.  Who knows what the demi-goddess did.  However the 'cures' were effected, this temple was popular for some 200 years from the 4th to the 2nd centuries B.C.

On Saturday, 8 September, we sailed to Kuruca Buku (a/k/a Kochina Bay) and dropped anchor at 36.45.228N  027.53.809E.  On this 13.3 NM trip west we actually were able to sail!!  For about 1 1/2 hours!  That might be a record for our sailing in 2011 or 2012 northbound or westbound in Turkey.  This short sail involved 2 long tacks, pinched as tight to the wind as we could handle---which is 54 degrees TRUE wind angle.  That is as tight to the wind as our Amel can sail.  Anything closer and we begin to lose power.  We were sailing in company with 2 American boats:  Steve and Karen on S/V Threshold, and Fred and Jane on S/V Escape Key.

Escape Key has been cruising Turkey for about 10 years.  They know all the bays and coves and the best anchoring spots.  We followed their lead and anchored nearby in Kuruca Buku.  Karen invited all of us over for sundowners aboard S/V Threshold that evening.  OMG!! Have we finally caught up with real cruisers!!!

The last time we enjoyed sundowners with fellow cruisers was when we met up with Marc and Jane (and kids) on S/V Imagine at Kythnos island in the Aegean Sea of Greece in June 2011.  In general, the people cruising in the Med are not friendly and do not socialize like cruisers in the Caribbean (or in the South Pacific).  In anchorages we never see dinghies going to other boats to visit.  Everyone seems to be quite stand-offish and keep to themselves.  Oh, they sometimes gather in small groups at restaurants and bars.  But the casual socializing that comes so freely in the Caribbean and all other cruising areas we have visited is very noticeably absent in the Med.  At least that is true in the eastern Med.  This lack of socializing is not because we are American or because of us personally; we have noticed the missing socialization regardless of nationality or personality, although sometimes German boats stick together and socialize occasionally together.   During our past 16 months here in the Med we have been invited to a couple of boats for very proper entertaining (crystal glasses and fine china), both of which were quite lovely and enjoyable.  But the only casual entertainment between boats has been when we invited people to our boat or a few times aboard M/V Dora Mac with fellow Americans Randal and Ruth.  Only once have we been invited to a non-American boat for casual drinks, and that was a British boat who had spent years cruising the Caribbean.  They told us how much they also miss this type of cruiser camaraderie but that people in the Med simply don't do that.  

We thoroughly enjoyed the evening visiting aboard S/V Threshold last night.  As so often happens, sundowners lasted well past sundown and late into the night.  Some function was happening on the tiny dock at the harbor village and belly-dancing music blasted the harbor until almost midnight.  But the cockpit where we were chatting was on the opposite side of the bay, so we could talk over the music.  Exotic music reminded us of where we are and made the experience more enjoyable.  We 3 boats moved on our separate ways the next morning.  Sure enjoyed meeting these folks and sharing their company for a few hours.

The next day we backtracked eastward to Selimye.  Winds were predicted to change to SE in 3 days and we would wait for those winds to help push us NNW to Bodrum.   We positively love Selimye.  I think it is our favorite place in all of Turkey.  We anchored and stayed there 3 nights. Unfortunately, those SE winds never happened.  While in Selimye a boat caught our attention.  Poor woman hand-cranked over 200 feet of anchor chain with that manual windlass while her husband sat in the cockpit doing nothing!  I will never understand why some men make their wives or girlfriends handle the anchor.  That should be left to the person with the most muscles, which normally is not a female.

 Yesterday we moved back to Kuruca Buku, enjoying several hours of great upwind sailing.   At sunrise this morning we weighed anchor and ended up motoring the entire 50 miles to Bodrum, arriving this afternoon.    We are now anchored in the shadow of the Castle of St. Peter at 37.01.704N  027.26.005E.  Tomorrow we will visit the castle and the accompanying museums.  That is why we came here.
Castle of St. Peter in Bodrum, Turkey


1 comment:

  1. Love that castle ... how cool!

    Happy belated 43rd Anniversary ... That's something to celebrate! Sounds like ya'll are having a great time!


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