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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Settling in early for the winter season


A tiny part of Skopea Limani
 The last day in Ekincik Limani we met a couple of boats.  A fellow American boat arrived and invited us over for drinks.  An ex-New Yorker now living in Germany, Steve & Margaret aboard S/V Joy.  They were headed north and we were headed south, so not likely we will meet again.  The other boat was a charter boat.  The charterer had been following our blog for months and wanted to meet, so we joined them for coffee the following morning.   They had recently purchased an Oyster; I believe a 58-footer.  It will be delivered to them next May after it is displayed at the Dusseldorf Boat Show next spring.   If you chance to see an Oyster 575 named Pamarzi, take the opportunity to meet Roger & Lynn.  They are a very nice couple.  Hope they enjoy their new boat for years to come.

After chatting much too long with Roger and Lynn, we departed Ekincik Limani with intentions to sail to Gocek.  As always in the Med, the forecasted winds never materialized.  Wind was light and from the wrong direction.  But we were able to ever-so-slowly sail for most of the day, taking the opportunity to run the generator and watermaker.  This charged the batteries to 100% and also put 1,000 liters of water into the tanks.  This would be enough water to last us until we berthed at the dock for the winter.

Rounding the point of the peninsula, the wind died completely.  Engine switched on and sails furled away.  We turned toward Gocek.  But the sky started darkening and we quickly decided that maybe going to Gocek might not be the best idea.  We had never been there and were not familiar with where to anchor or if there even were anywhere to anchor there.  So we hooked a right and headed toward Fethiye.  We know that enormous bay quite well.  We could safely anchor there even in a storm after dark.  



A rock formation I liked in Skopea Limani.  An
anchorage is hiding behind those rocks.

About halfway across Skopea Limani towards Fethiye the skies opened and it poured.  Rain!!  Yes!  First drops on rain to fall on BeBe since 3 May.  It has been a hot and very dry summer, typical for this part of the world.  The persistent HI over this part of Turkey during the summer begins to break down with the cooler nighttime temperatures of early autumn.  It will rain more and more often as the temperatures continue to drop.  







Finally!!! Rain!!!
Bill put up our cockpit side panels and we were snug as a bug inside the dry cockpit as the rain washed off layers of red dust off the boat.  Felt so good to be on a clean boat again!  It rained for about 20 minutes and then cleared, so we enjoyed a clear entry into Fethiye and dropped anchor near Yacht Classic Hotel.  We anchor well out and do not try to get as close in as possible.  Let the other boats try to crowd together.  We have a big dinghy and a reliable 15hp outboard so we don't mind having a slightly longer ride to shore.  Better than being crowded too close among charter boats that usually are not anchored correctly.  The rain started again and slowly drizzled all night long.  Temperature inside the closed-up boat was cool enough to need a lightweight blanket.  Nice.  It would warm up again the next day, but it was certainly nice for the little preview of cooler weather anticipated to arrive soon.


Going to put out a wildfire.  Bet some people who believe
the cruiser rumors thought it was a poopy-copter using
video to record their illegal dumping of waste.  BTW, these
people obviously have no idea of the hi-tech stabilized
equipment that would be required to accomplish such a
video.   IT AIN'T HAPPENING, FOLKS!!!
Since arriving in Fethiye we have met people on several boats, none of which will be wintering here.  Most cruisers who are not longtime residents of Yat Marine or Netsel in Marmaris are going to Finicke for this winter.  Finicke offered a special promotional rate for this winter, including electricity.  We had obtained a quote from Finicke much earlier in the spring and it was too high to interest us.  A day or so after we committed to winter in Fethiye we received the promotion email from Finicke.  It was basically the same price we are paying to dock at Yacht Classic Hotel for the same time period; the difference being that electricity would be included at Finicke marina and we will be paying extra for electricity here.   But we are still happy we chose here.  Finicke gets more severe weather because of where it is situated and that marina did not look very protected.  The docks at Yacht Classic Hotel in Fethiye are much more protected from winter storms, basically no fetch to cause rough water at the docks.  We feel more secure about leaving our boat in the water here while we travel.  We would worry about leaving BeBe in the water unattended in Finicke during the winter.


No Anchoring sign -- right
next to an anchored boat
Oh! You don't mean me, of course!
Since arriving in Fethiye we have enjoyed lunch ashore practically daily.  The little cafe we like best is about 1.5 mile round-trip walk from the hotel dock where we leave the dinghy.  Makes for a nice little daily walk.  And we pass by a couple of supermarkets along the way so it is easy to pick up a few things on each trip.  Thus far we are thoroughly enjoying Fethiye.


Bill on top deck at swim stop
One Sunday we took a large tourist gulet over to Gocek,, just to check out what is over there.  It was a lovely day outing.  Driving our own boat there would have cost about 100TL in diesel; the gulet was only 45TL round trip for the both of us.   It made sense to let them do the driving.  Plus, we wanted to see how one of these large gulets behaved on the water. 
Enjoying the ride
 It was very pleasant. 





Entering Gocek on gulet trip
 While in Gocek we visited their big Sunday market.  


Someone had told me that rotisserie chickens are only 6TL each there instead of the 12TL in the supermarket here.  We brought a hot/cold bag to keep the chickens hot during the trip back to Fethiye.  We loaded up on heirloom tomatoes, about $1.10 for what would have cost $15 or more back in Houston.  I paid 2TL for a kilo (2.2 pounds).  Back in Houston in 2006 heirloom tomatoes were $6.99 per pound.  Tomatoes are such a staple in Turkey.  There are many different species and all are wonderfully delicious.  And always extremely inexpensive.  These heirlooms were ever-so-good.  We should have bought more.


Motoring away from Gocek, looking forward on the gulet
Another reason for this trip to Gocek was to meet the new Amel rep for Turkey.  His name is Riza and he is the third generation in the family-owned business.  Riza treated us to a lovely lunch (Caesar salad with grilled chicken! Not something often found here; a real treat.).  He showed us some photos of work performed on other Amels.  He impressed us and Bill decided that we will do our next haulout in Gocek rather than returning to Marmaris next spring.  I will write more about Riza and his company when we do the haul-out, which probably will be next March.


Top deck of the gulet we took to Gocek





On the gulet trip back to Fethiye we stopped at an island to give folks an opportunity to swim for an hour or so.  Not me, buddy!  It was much too cool to think about getting into that water.  A nice cup of hot coffee was more my style.  




The gulet drops anchor and backs up toward shore.  Lowers
the ramp into the water so people can go swim.  And a crew
guy swims ashore with a rope to tie to a rock to hold the
stern from swinging.



video






Handing fishing off the bowsprit.  Notice that some Turkish Muslim girls
dress like typical westerners instead of all covered up.







Several of the crew  fished off the bowsprit; nothing caught that we saw.  










Crew member preparing to dive off the top rail of the gulet



And off he goes!
And one crew member did a few dives off the rail on the upper deck.  


Rabbits galore!  Notice the pile of carrots they are
eating.  Left by one of the visiting gulets.
More rabbits.  They were everywhere!






The island was inhabited by lots and lots of rabbits.  Wonder what the story is there.  There are no structures on this island and no ancient ruins.  It appears to never have been inhabited by humans.  So how did rabbits get out on a little island?  And why? 


Entering Fethiye on gulet trip



An ancient citadel or fort on hillside behind Fethiye


Entering back into the big bay at Fethiye we noticed some Lycian rock tombs and an ancient citadel or fort on the hillside.  How had we missed these before?  We have been in and out of this bay about 6 times and never noticed these tombs or fort.  Guess we were always too concentrated on watching boat traffic rather than looking at the mountains.  It appears that one can walk up to one of the rock tombs.  Maybe that will be a day hike on a cool day.


Lycian rock tombs on hillside at Fethiye
One of the boats we met in the anchorage is a fellow Amel Super Maramu named Serafin, owned by Hajo and Julia, a lovely German couple.  They will be wintering in Finicke.  They departed last week but then encountered a bow thruster problem in Kas.  They have been living aboard for about 3 years but had no experience with working on the bow thruster.  They knew we had experience in that area, so they returned to Fethiye a few days ago.  Bill gave Hajo a printout of the steps to follow to replace the prop on the bow thruster while the boat is in the water.  Bill observed while Hajo did the work.  Serafin is a slightly older model than BeBe and their bow thruster had a different hub on the prop, so the spare replacement would not fit properly.   Bill called Riza the Amel rep in Gocek. Riza sent someone to the anchorage, picked up the part, returned to the shop where they have lathes and re-worked the part to fit.  The part was returned in perfect condition in less than 2 hours.   How about that for excellent service!! The next morning Hajo reassembled the bow thruster under Bill's supervision.  Now Hajo will feel more secure doing the job on his own next time.

Later that day Hajo and Julia treated us to a fabulous meal at Pasa Kebap Restaurant .The food was great and the company even better.  Hajo and Julia are people we hope to see again.  They departed this morning, heading once again towards Finicke.  They also plan to haul-out in Gocek next spring so maybe we will connect once again.  Lovely people.

This morning we weighed anchor and visited the fuel dock at Ece Satay Marina, the large marina adjacent to Yacht Classic Hotel.   Cost of diesel was 4.39TL per liter, which comes to $9.26 USD per gallon.  $1370.17 to fill our tank.  Glad we don't have to do that every month!!  We prefer to have our fuel tank completely full for the winter so that condensation does not form inside the tank to pollute the diesel.   We are now settled in once again for dock living for the next 6 months.  The weather is perfect to cruise for another month or more.  But we are not interested in re-visiting the anchorages we have already seen this summer.  We have several little interior projects to keep us occupied during the upcoming cold weather.  

On Friday we leave for a 6 day trip to Cappadocia with a tour group of cruisers, mostly from Marmaris.  Very much looking forward to  seeing this special place.

As always, click on any image for larger view.

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