Monday, August 26, 2013

BeBe has been mutilated!!


Yep, we did it.  S/V BeBe has been mutilated! And we are the ones who did the mutilation. Only question we have is, "why didn't we do this sooner?"

Actually, we are glad that we waited until we found the right company to do this job and do it right.  Last winter we saw a couple of Amel 54 yachts with very nice and well-constructed stern arches.  The nicest we had ever seen on any yachts.  

We talked with the owner of the shop that built these arches (Riza at Emek Marine in Gocek) and looked at photos of arches he had built for another Amel Super Maramu 2000, the same model boat as BeBe.  We did not fall immediately in love with the arches on the Amel SM.  The stern on the Amel 54 is very wide, which is the current trend in yachts; the stern is as wide as the beam.  That boat might be only 1-foot longer than our Amel SM but it is 1/3 larger because of that widening from the beam all the way to the stern.  Much, much larger than ours. This  wider stern allowed for more graceful curving to the solar arch.  The narrow stern of the SM called for a much more angular arch.  Neither Bill nor I thought it looked very good.

Over the winter we continued to think about how solar panels could be added to BeBe.  Rail mounting was ruled out.  Our bimini folds down like a convertible car top, so mounting over the bimini was ruled out.  Mounting on the mizzen deck made no sense because both the the standing and running rigging as well as the mizzen boom and sail would cause too many shadows and ruin the effectiveness of the solar panels.   It always came back to requiring a stern arch if we were to add solar panels.   We wanted solar panels so that we can leave the boat at anchor for a day (or possibly even two), which was not possible because our heavy energy use required that the generator be run twice per day to charge the house batteries.  Meant we had to be on the boat for an hour each morning and an hour each night to run the generator and charge the batteries.  We had done this for 7 years (except for times in marinas).  Wouldn't it be nice to not have to adhere to that schedule anymore?  We thought so.

Laser cut name plate on each side of arch.  Three plates
provide anti-wobble stability to the arch.
AMEL  --  53 -- BeBe
Bill emailed back and forth with Riza during the spring while we were in Houston.  Bill told him that we wanted a stern solar arch but we wanted one with more graceful lines than what had been built for our model boat in the past.  We wanted an arch that looked like the ones built for the 54s; we realized our narrow stern presented a problem and would limit the number of solar panels that could be mounted; but we wanted one that looked good.  Riza understood and said he would design one with the graceful lines but that only 3 solar panels could be fitted on it.  Okay; we would make do with only 3 instead of the 4 panels we really wanted.

Replaced capacitors on all A/C and
generator fan
We docked at Skopea Limani Marina for 9 days while this stern arch was built and installed.  One day Bill replaced the capacitors in all 3 air-conditioning units.  Those things get weak over time.  Very noticeable difference of fan strength now.  The a/c blows much harder than with the older capacitors.  Bill also replaced the capacitor in the fan in the Onan generator.  He thought the older one was also getting weak.  That fan also seems to be moving more air now.  I would never have thought of that; glad Bill is such a handyman and has good mechanical and electrical knowledge and skills.

Injector Nozzles for Yanmar engine.  These little puppies cost
about $850, plus labor and testing fees = about $1200.  Do not
even want to think how much actual injector replacements
would have cost.

While there we took advantage of Emek Marine's services to repair our outboard engine, replace the rivets on our bimini, clean the injectors and mixing elbow on the Onan generator, and clean the injectors on the Yanmar 100hp turbo engine.  The injectors on the Yanmar failed the test and the nozzles had to be replaced.   

New stainless steel mixing elbow

The mixing elbow on the Yanmar had developed a tiny leak and needed to be replaced.  We had replaced that mixing elbow in Phuket December 2010 and were surprised to find that it was already worn out.  Riza said these usually fail at about 1500 hours of operation.  Oh, great!  The one in Phuket cost right at $1,000.  We were not happy campers to know this had to be replaced again so soon.  

Riza's mixing elbow
Much better than original
Riza said his machine shop could make a stainless steel mixing elbow for less than half the price of a factory Yanmar one.  The Yanmar factory replacement would cost about 750 Euro; he could make a SS one for 300 Euro.  He did.  The stainless is much thicker than the Yanmar factory one; hopefully this will last longer.  His diesel mechanics tuned up the generator and engine and both run better than they have during the entire time we have owned this boat.  We are extremely pleased.

Welder is guy in green shirt.  An artist!
The welder who built the stern arch was more of an artist than a welder.  It was a pleasure to watch him work.  He came to the boat and took measurements.  Built the arch in the shop.  Then delivered it to our boat at the dock to fit it to the boat and TIG weld or spot weld everything.  He added the cleats where we wanted and welded in the 3 name panels on either side of the arch -- AMEL -- 53 -- BeBe.  These laser cut plates look great but also act as anti-wobble support to the arch.  He then took the arch back to the shop for finish welding and polishing.

First day
Arch bolts into toe rail which is
reinforced with steel
The next day they returned with the completed arch and with the 3 solar panels installed into a frame that screws onto the top of the arch.  Wiring had already been run a week earlier.  Running wiring in an Amel is a breeze and was finished in less than 20 
Arch bolts into ridge on stern scoop
which is steel reinforced
minutes.  Bill loves the wiring in our Amel.  All they would need to do is connect to the solar panels and instal the MPPT (regulator to control how many amps are dumped into the batteries).  But that work had to be performed by a licensed electrician.  Bill could do this himself, but this was a turn-key job; so best to let the shop do all the work.  That way, if there was a problem in any way then there could be no finger pointing.  This was Emek Marine's job from start to finish.

Holding arch with halyard while it is TIG weld fitted to boat

The electrician had been sent to Marmaris on another job that day; so we had to wait 2 days to finish the job.  Riza graciously paid our marina bill for those extra nights we had to remain at the dock.  When the electrician and his helper arrived the work was completed in very short order.  It was finished.  BeBe had been mutilated.

Lots of headroom when docked.  No more bumping our heads on davits
It has now been 3 days since we left the dock.  We are amazed at the production capability of these 3 solar panels.  We have not yet had to start the generator.  So far (knock on wood!) we are getting 150 to 160 amps daily from these 3 solar panels.  Could be getting more but the regulator turns off input from the solar panels when the batteries reach fully charged status. The 3 panels are 135-watt each, Kyocera brand, installed with a Victron MPPT controller.  

We are exceptionally pleased!  Love the appearance of the new stern arch.  And love the solar panels which will allow us to put fewer hours on the generator and provide us with freedom to leave the boat without having to follow a daily generator schedule.


The neg BATT output from the MPPT was wired incorrectly. It was wired to the neg side of the SHUNT which is the same place the battery monitor is connected. Placing this output neg wire close to the connection of the battery monitor causes the battery monitor to overstate the number of amps going into the battery. I rewired the neg BATT output from the MPPT to the Battery side of the main battery switch. This changed the registered output of amps by something like one-half. Rather than getting 150-200 amps of 24 volts/day, we are probably getting about 75-100 amps of 24 volts/day. This is more in line with our expectations.

We are still very pleased with the output of these solar panels.  We are energy hogs.  We never hesitate to use any electrical device, unlike many people we know on boats who curtail their movie viewing or computer time or electric mixer or whatever because they need to save battery power.  With our normal heavy electrical usage it appears thus far that we will need to run the generator only about every third or fourth day since adding this solar array.  That is better than we had hoped.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Another birthday aboard BeBe and Baby's gone home

View from our 2nd-favorite anchorage
Fish!  Not many here.
After Frank's birthday we hung around Fethiye for several days, then sailed a day for pleasure and to operate the watermaker.  Ended up in a small cove on the southwestern entrance to Sarsala Koyu, the large bay with the red moorings that we enjoyed several weeks earlier.  Turned out we very much enjoyed that little cove.  It was too small and narrow for most of the tourist gulets to anchor in, so it was pretty much filled with smaller yachts like ours. 

This pump out boat roams Skopea Limani.  Just call him over
 if you need to pump out.  No need to return to a marina.
At the end of the bay there was a restaurant with a long dock that went completely across the bay.  No electricity or water; just a dock with laid lines making it easy to stop for the night.  Dock was free but you were required to eat in the restaurant.  The owner of the restaurant would come out in a dinghy to each arriving yacht that was anchoring and taking a stern line ashore.  He would tout his restaurant with "very reasonable prices" and many boats would then opt to go to his dock rather than deal with that stern line ashore.  Others just thanked him for the information but opted to stay on anchor.  He would assist with their stern line ashore and then zoom off to try and catch another customer.  
As always, click on any image for larger view. We enjoyed swimming almost daily.  One day Bill and Elisabeth went to the restaurant to see if anything on the menu tempted them.  Nope; just the usual stuff.  And the "very reasonable prices" appeared to have about 20TL added per menu entree to cover that free dock.  At least it seemed that way to us.  Prices averaged about 20TL higher per main course than what we pay at Yacht Classic Hotel in Fethiye; and I am certain that the quality of the food served would not compare.  Thanks; but we will stay at anchor and cook on our boat.

One afternoon a boat anchored off our starboard side.  I was down below napping and woke up to loud "whoop - whoop - whoop" noises.  The boat had one of those large wheels of nylon webbing and had used that to tie off to the bollard ashore.  The wind was abeam and that nylon strapping was whipping round and round, making loud 'whoop-whoop' sounds.  Extremely annoying.  We have the exact same wheel of nylon webbing and don't use it for this same reason.   That noise is very irritating.  Figure if it irritates us then we should not impose it on others nearby.  We often use the spool of nylon web strapping to attach to a bollard when we first anchor; but then we run real stern lines from cleats on each side of our stern to 2 widely-spaced bollards, and remove that nylon strapping and roll it back up.  I would not recommend fitting one of these on a boat.  We bought it when we first arrived in Turkey.  It seemed like a good idea and the nylon strapping is 300 feet long so it allows attaching when must be a long way from shore.  But we would never rely on it to hold our boat because you just never know when strong winds might gust down between these high mountains.  Give us a couple of good strong ropes instead! 

Enjoying pasta & wine in cockpit
I sat in the cockpit giving the people in the other boat annoyed looks when their webbing would whoop extra loudly as the wind gusted.  They did not take the hint.  I burst out laughing when that nylon strapping snapped loudly during one strong gust.  Bill and I had been wondering how long that nylon would take that abuse before it parted.  About 4 hours, as it turned out.  And when it broke it sounded like a shotgun.  

Almost daily swim at 2nd-favorite anchorage
The poor woman on that boat had to swim ashore 6 times before she finally got a real line attached to the bollard and the broken nylon strapping removed.  Her 2 teenage daughters appeared useless and her husband didn't seem to know how to handle that charter boat, but mom seemed to know boats.  It appeared that the charter company did not equip that boat with long lines and had expected the charter customer to use that nylon strapping all the time for stern line ashore.  I think that charter company soon might be re-thinking that policy. 

Next we went to Tomb Bay.  Managed to tie up to the same bollard that we tied to 4 times last summer and already once earlier this summer.  This is our favorite anchorage in the Skopea Limani area.  Frank and Barbara on S/V Destiny were anchored across the bay.  They joined us for a pot-luck dinner aboard S/V BeBe one evening.  We enjoyed catching up with them again.

Woke up one morning to see this leaving Fethiye.
In background there is a mosque on right and left.
After about 5 days we sailed back to Fethiye on Monday 12 August.  Our transit log (sailing permit) expired on 13 August and we had read that a new transit log could be purchased at ECE Saray Marina for 50 Euro and we could renew it without using an agent.  HAH!  All of that turned out to be false information.  Things change almost daily in Turkey when dealing with officialdom.  The clerk at ECE Saray Marina said they do not stock transit logs for foreign flagged private yachts; she had 3 other kinds of transit logs but not the one we required.  She also said we would be required to use the services of an agent and gave us directions to 3 agencies that sold transit logs.  

High speed ferry between Fethiye and Rhodes.  It raises
up on "feet" and goes very smooth and fast.
We found one of the offices and contracted for them to obtain a new transit log for us that day; cost of 300TL (about $156).  A new twist is that Turkey now requires proof of competency, basically a drivers license for boats.  Bill and I each still have our captains licenses issued by the US Coast Guard, called Merchant Marine licenses; and those were acceptable as proof of competency.  Six hours later we had the new transit log, good for one more year of cruising Turkey.  That takes care of the paperwork required for the boat for another year; we still need to obtain new residency permits for ourselves to be legal once the initial 90-day visa expires in late September.  

BeBe in Turkey on her 12th birthday
Elisabeth celebrated her 12th birthday on the same day we obtained the new transit log.   Her only requests for her birthday were french toast for breakfast, a cheeseburger and chocolate milkshake at Yacht Classic Hotel for lunch, and fettuccine Alfredo with shrimp and green peas for dinner, accompanied by chocolate birthday cake.  Can you tell her life revolves around her stomach these days!  She got all those wishes so she was a happy girl.  She is growing up so fast!  Hard to believe she is already in her 13th year of life.  Lucky girl to have celebrated birthdays aboard S/V BeBe in Bonaire, Australia, Singapore, Greece and twice in Turkey.
BeBe in Bonaire on her 5th birthday 

We were supposed to go to Gocek the following day but the work guys weren't quite ready for us, so we moved to a new-to-us anchorage.  It was okay and was one of those very rare swing anchorages, but it was exposed to the west so if wind picked up at all we would have had to leave immediately.  A calm weather only anchorage which was a good place to stop and cook breakfast.  Then we ever-so-slowly sailed in the 2 to 5 knot winds over to Boynuz Buku, another of those rare swing anchorages.  This anchorage is very buggy -- lots of mosquitoes because of the 2 small streams that feed into the end of the bay.  There is a restaurant and dock located there but not appealing because of all the biting insects.  But surely we could deal with the insects for only 1 night; we were going into Gocek marina early the following morning.  Sure enough, at dusk the mosquitoes swarmed the cockpit.  We hurried below and closed all the hatches; started the generator to charge the batteries for 1 1/2 hours; and turned on the air-conditioning in the main saloon.  Then we put on the hatch screens and remained bite-free for the rest of the night.  Don't plan on returning to that anchorage.  Just is not worth it to deal with all those insects.

Starting up the mast
Yesterday Elisabeth and I flew to Istanbul bright and early.  She was flying back to Houston; school starts soon; summer vacation with the grandparents was over.  I flew back to Dalaman and arrived back at the boat in Gocek before 7 pm. -- exhausted.  Don't know why that day trip to Istanbul wore me out so much; it didn't last summer.  
Almost at first spreaders
The day before she flew home Elisabeth insisted on going up the mast to the first spreaders.  In summer 2011 she and Zachary both passed a bunch of sailing-related tests and received a Midshipman's Certificate for aboard S/V BeBe.  
Very proud she went up the mast
Zachary went up the mast to the first spreader and he received a Midshipman First Class certificate.  Elisabeth was terrified of the bosun's seat and started crying when she was only a foot off the deck, so she received only a basic Midshipman certificate.  This year she was determined to get a certificate equal to Zachary's -- even if she is terrified of heights.  She did it on her last day here.  She says next time she is going up to the second spreaders.  

1st certificate, but didn't go up the mast
To qualify for these certificates the kids had to pass tests about basic sailing knowledge, navigational lights, cardinal markers, manage the helm under sail and under engine power, read a navigational chart, understand the electronic chart and AIS and vectors of AIS targets, and a number of other sailing-related topics.  They both did very well.

Promoted to First Class since she went up the mast

We are berthed once again in Skopea Limani Mega Yacht Marina in Gocek while Emek Marine does some maintenance work on the boat.  The new stern arch and solar panels should be installed next Monday/Tuesday.  The injectors for the generator were removed, refurbished and new nozzles installed.  The generator runs totally smoke-free now.  The injectors for the main Yanmar engine have been removed and are also being refurbished and new nozzles being installed.  Those should be ready tomorrow.  We figured the boat is now 10 1/2 years old and it was time to do those maintenance items.  The surprise was that the mixing elbow for the Yanmar engine has a leak and must be replaced.  We had replaced the mixing elbow in Phuket in December 2010.  Riza at Emek Marine said that his experience is that the mixing elbow on the Yanmar engines need replacing about every 1500 hours of operation.  That is about the number of engine hours we have run since Phuket.  Rather than replace with the factory Yanmar mixing elbow (about $725), Riza is fabricating a thicker stainless steel mixing elbow which will cost less than half the factory one.  We will be the guinea pigs for this new item.  Figure it surely will last as long as the Yanmar factory one; after all, 1500 hours is not very long; these should last longer than that.  Hope the stainless steel one is better.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Frank's birthday and a few tidbits

New villas and pools added to Yacht Classic Hotel
We have been anchored in Fethiye for days; going into the hotel dock today and tomorrow to get a break from the heat and to enjoy the swimming pool and restaurant dinners.  Yacht Classic Hotel dock will be our home again this winter.  The changes in the hotel from last year to this year are surprising.  When we left early last December the area to the right of the hotel was under construction.  They had just completed building the retaining wall to the edge of the roadway on the rise of the hillside.  The rest of that land was just boulders and heavy vegetation.   The manager, Banu, told us that a new dock was going to be built off the piece of land, including new facilities for boaters.  Supposed to have a separate swimming pool and toilets/showers and some shops.

Notice the heavy vegetation to the right of the
 hotel, beneath the green minaret on the hillside.
That is now new villas and swimming pools.

When we returned in July, the changes were shocking!  Man! Did they ever get this built fast!  Five new hotel villas with their own private pools, overlooking the new large pool and new bar and a large lounging area as well as a tiny beach.  It is all just beautiful.  Just very surprising that it happened so quickly.  Turkey is not known for rapid construction.  This looks top-notch.

How it looked when we left early Dec 2012
The new dock(s?) is/are not yet in place.  Two sections of floating dock have been constructed and are secured in place alongside the lounge area, between the new little beach and the old dock.  They are waiting for bureaucracy to spin its slow wheels, for the final okay paperwork to circulate from one desk to another ever-so-slowly getting the required signatures and stamps.  The building permit was issued last year; the dock(s) built months ago; just need that final paperwork before the dock(s) can be put into permanent position and secured.  Then electricity and fresh water can be installed.  If this gets completed in September as hoped, then there will be plenty of docking space for the winter, even with all The Moorings boats that now base out of this hotel.  If the dock(s) do not get completed in September, there might be a shortage of docking space this winter.  Sure hope lots of Moorings boats go on the hard for the winter season so some room can be made available on the old hotel dock.  This is especially important to us because we really need to be at a dock on October 15 (as per our contract) because we have booked a land tour trip starting October 21.

Guy in the blue boat yells instructions to the rowers

We enjoy being anchored here.  Almost every day there is some form of entertainment on the water.  A guy in a small blue boat operates some kind of school teaching various forms of water sports.  

These young men row really fast!  A few rowers are girls,
but they are always in a single person boat, never with boys.
Some days he follows teams of crew boats, loudly yelling instructions to the rowers as they speed through the anchorage.  Some days he follows younger kids in small sailing dinghies, loudly yelling instructions as the kids learn to tack back and forth through the anchorage.  No accidents yet, although a few have come really close to our boat and others anchored here.  And some days he follows teenage kids on some kind of things that look like sail boards, yelling instructions at them.  These kids are sitting down on flat boards that look like surfboards but have a mast and sail.  I assume eventually they will learn to stand up and sail on their own.  Please let them do that somewhere else or do it here when we are somewhere else.

Finally can drive the dinghy --- slowly.
Bill has started letting Elisabeth drive the dinghy.  Grandson Zachary can drive that dinghy like a pro, but Elisabeth is much more hesitant about it.  She has no upper body strength at all; very girly girl.  She can steer the outboard engine but no way she can start it -- just like her grandmother in that regard.  This outboard requires good muscles and shoulders to pull that start cable.  But she is so weak that she cannot even twist the throttle on the handle to go faster.  Guess that isn't a bad thing since it means she won't be speeding in the dinghy.  She is getting better at steering and has managed to learn to take us right to the stern steps of the boat.  Good job!

This week Bill discovered a new way to lift the dinghy.  Only took 7+ years to think of this.  We usually lift the dinghy at night.  Not always; but usually.  It helps prevent marine growth from fouling the bottom, which reduces our scrubbing maintenance work.  In the Caribbean the mantra is "Lift it; Lock it; or Lose it" because the theft problem there is so bad.  A dinghy like ours and outboard costs about $6,000 to replace, so sailors do whatever they can to prevent theft.   Not so here in the Med and especially not here in Turkey.  Dinghy theft or outboard theft here is almost unheard of.  Nice!  Anyway, back to the explanation of the new way to lift our dinghy.

We used to own a sloop and sometimes we still think like sloop owners rather than owners of a ketch.  For years we either lifted the dinghy on the stern davits at night when at anchor or we lifted it alongside in the front area.  Because we used the winches and halyard on the mainmast to lift it.  After all, that is what sloops do.  Unfortunately, our winches on the mainmast are all manual.  That meant I was the one cranking and cranking and cranking to raise that dinghy while Bill fended it off the side of the boat.  Don't want any rub marks on the hull, not even rub marks from soft hypalon against waxed gelcoat on fiberglass.

New place and method of lifting the dinghy -- almost effortless!
It finally dawned on Bill that we could use one of the halyards on the mizzen mast to raise the dinghy.  DUH!!  Why didn't we think of this years ago!  There are 3 large electric winches in the cockpit, one of which is located on the mizzen mast in the rear of our cockpit.  We really should start thinking like ketch owners.  

When we were in New Zealand Bill purchased a new preventer for the mizzen boom.  The one we had was still serviceable but had developed a tiny crack in the wheel of the block.  Luckily, Bill saved this old cracked preventer.  He used it to replace the forward attachment line of the 3-point lifting harness that we use to lift the dinghy.  Now it is really simple to change the length as needed when lifting the dinghy whether or not the outboard is mounted on it.  The weight of the outboard obviously changes the centerpoint of gravity when lifting and storing the dinghy on the halyard.  Using this old preventer makes this job ever-so-simple.  Now we can lift the dinghy in a couple of minutes with almost no effort at all.  It does still require Bill being physically capable of climbing from the dinghy at water level up onto the deck of BeBe.  Thank goodness he is still physically capable of doing that; I'm certainly not.  If he continues to do this every day or two, maybe he will be able to do it for years.

L-R: Barbara &Frank of DESTINY; Paul & Gloria of
SKALLIWAG, Elisabeth, Judy & Bill of BeBe
and Riza, everyone's newest Turkish friend
Last evening we joined a fellow cruiser to celebrate his 65th birthday.  You know that is a big one, especially to Americans.  It was a very fun evening.  Frank and Barbara treated everyone to all we could drink and eat at the restaurant at Yacht Classic Hotel.  Their guests included Paul and Gloria aboard S/V SKALLIWAG, Riza of Emek Marine who has become a good friend to all of us, and the 3 of us aboard BeBe.  Bill arranged for the restaurant to provide a birthday cake for Frank.  It was indulgently delicious; chocolate, of course.  

Birthday boy in his hat
Call us the giggle girls
Barbara had decorated a birthday hat for her hubby Frank, and brought party whistles and other celebratory trinkets.  Frank donned the hat a few times for photo opportunities but said it was too hot to wear.  Dinner was wonderful.  And the company even better.  Lots of fun.

Bill made a Certificate of Entitlement for Frank, complete with wallet-sized cards, since Frank has reached the official age of several types of entitlement.


Friday, August 2, 2013

Kayakoy---deserted by the Greeks in 1923

 Kayakoy was the final place we wanted to visit while we had a rental car.  There are dolmuses (small van buses) from Fethiye to Kayakoy but we preferred to visit in our own car and not be tied to a bus schedule.  So this was our opportunity.  We could get there and back to Fethiye well before dark.  We backtracked to Fethiye, through town and found the road to Kayakoy going out the southern side of Fethiye.  It is only 14 kilometers (8.7 miles) south of Fethiye to Kayakoy and some serious hikers make that trek on foot.  I think those people are totally crazy because it is almost straight up a mountain and then back down the opposite side.  I don't do inclines, so via car would be our choice.

Tomb in the middle of the street
Seriously?  In the middle
of the street!

The first thing we noticed on this road was a Lycian sarcophagus right in the middle of the street as we exited Fethiye.  This was a section of Fethiye that we had not seen before.  That struck us as funny.  They couldn't build the road around the tomb rather than leave it in the middle of the street?

Abandoned stone houses of Kayakoy

Kayakoy is a ghost town of 4,000-odd abandoned stone houses and other structures that once made up the Greek town of Levissi.  Kayakoy is now an open-air museum "dedicated to Turkish-Greek peace and cooperation" according to our Lonely Planet guidebook for Turkey.  I bet the Greeks who were forced to abandon their homes here feel differently about that statement.  I am reminded of our neighbor from years ago named Nick Koutroulous, obviously of Greek heritage.  His mother was part of that population exchange.  Her hometown was on an area of present-day Turkey that used to be considered Greek.  The town was called Sparta, Greece, when she was born there; today it is called Izmir, Turkey.

About 4,000 abandoned homes up the hillsides
Levissi was deserted by its mainly Greek inhabitants in the general exchange of populations supervised by the League of Nations in 1923 after the Turkish War of Independence (when Ataturk formed the country of Turkey from the old Ottoman Empire).  Most 'Greek' Muslims came to Turkey from Greece; and most Ottoman Christians moved from coastal Turkey to Greece.  This is not even mentioned in most American history classes, but it was a really big deal in this part of the world.

Entering the abandoned town

The people of Levissi, who were Orthodox Christians, were moved to the out-skirts of Athens where they established Nea Levissi (New Levissi).  The abandoned town remains abandoned still today.  At first the local Turks were afraid that the departing 'Greeks' had left explosives in or under the buildings, or that the water wells had been poisoned, or any number of other ways to retaliate for being forced to leave their homes.  Those thoughts proved incorrect over time but the city remains uninhabited still today.  It was badly damaged by an earthquake in 1957.

This abandoned town was the inspiration for the mythical Eskibahce, the setting of author Louis de Bernieres' highly successful 2004 novel, Birds Without Wings.

As there were far more Ottoman Greeks than Greek Muslims, many Turkish towns were left unoccupied after the population exchange.  Kayakoy is just one of those.

Stone walls along both sides of the very narrow streets
we drove in and around Kayakoy.

With the tourism boom on the 1980s, a development company wanted to restore Kayakoy's stone houses and turn the town into a holiday village.  Scenting money, the local inhabitants nearby were delighted.  But Turkish artists and architects were alarmed and saw to it that the Ministry of Culture declared Kayakoy a historic monument.  This designation keeps it safe from commercial development.

There is not much to see except the abandoned stone houses on the hillsides.  There are 2 churches still prominent:  the Kataponagia in the lower part of the town and the Taxiarkis further up the slope.  Both retain some of their painted decorations and their black-and-white pebble mosaic floors.  According to our guidebook, the abandoned stone houses on the hillsides are spotlit at night, making the old town appeal truly surreal.

We will never know.  Because we will never be traveling that narrow winding mountain road in the dark.
Looking down at part of Fethiye from halfway
down the mountain on our return from Kayakoy

Tickle the Trout

Tickle the Trout

After passing Tlos we continued to drive winding around the mountaintop, searching for the restaurant Elisabeth remembered visiting with her parents last year. 

The RIGHT Yakapark
Don't be fooled by other Yakapark signs

Ah, but they do try to confuse the tourists.  The name of this place is Yakapark.  We had been following signs both for Yakapark and for The Original Yakapark.  Which one were we really looking for?  Elisabeth only remembered the name Yakapark and that there was more than one of them.  Nothing but the SAME Yakapark would do.
As always, click on any image
for larger view.

Can you picture a more relaxing lunch stop!
Eating platforms are placed throughout the grounds

Past more roadside veggie stands manned by children.  Past more roadside handmade table linen stands manned by elderly women.  Past several small restaurants or eating establishments.  All out on this very narrow mountain road, along with the odd chicken or rooster or goat and occasional dog.  

The smile says it all.  This is HER place!

Sometimes there would be a break between the trees alongside the roadway and the views of the valley were spectacular.  Sure seem to use that word a lot lately, but cannot think of a better descriptor -- just spectacular.  What a valley down there!  No wonder they built Tlos way up here on that outcrop of this mountain.  It commands views of the entire valley.  Even Alexander the Great wouldn't have arrived here unannounced.  Great place to oversee the work of the peons, peasants and slaves down in the valley.

But, forget Tlos and the valley.  Continue on the search for the 'right' Yakapark.

A Turkish family sharing lunch nearby

On the back side of the mountain we finally say a big sign for Selale Yakapark.  Elisabeth did not remember the entrance looking like that ---- but, hey, she admitted she slept several times in the car when on the trip with her parents last year, and might have missed the entrance.

In heaven!

We continued on around and up the mountain and soon found a sign for The Original Yakapark.  We turned down that road, but upon arrival Elisabeth loudly announced that this was not the right place.  Okay, turn around and go back to the Selale Yakapark.  A few hundred feet after we turned into the entrance roadway Elisabeth announced that THIS was the way to the right place.  Sure enough, it was.

And we are so very glad she insisted we search it out and not settle for The Original.  This Selale Yakapark was so much nicer.  A perfectly relaxing place to enjoy a leisurely lunch.

Trout stock tanks
Cooler mountain air; delightful after the heat at sea-level elevation of Fethiye and Gocek and the anchorages visited.  We would recommend this restaurant.  The restaurant stocks tanks with trout -- a lot of tanks filled with trout.  There are enough fish grown here to supply more than just this restaurant.  The Original place probably had the same kind of stock tanks and we just didn't see them.  Seems quite the thing to do up here.

More trout stock tanks going down hillside.

Very cold water circulated down waterfalls into small pools located all over the restaurant grounds, spilling ever lower into other pools, until it flowed through pipes over to the stock tanks to be pumped back up to the top of the hillside and start the downward process all over again.  Mountain streams added to the circulation.  And the fish thrive here.

Cold, cold beer!  Shows just how cold that water is!

The water is so cold that it is used to chill the beer and other beverages submerged in a pool behind the bar.  Colder than most drinks served straight from a fridge!

Trout bar.  Not really.  Just a bar with trout to amuse patrons

On the top of the bar is a long shallow pool where trout swim.  Patrons are encourage to "tickle the trout."  Elisabeth thought this was great fun.  There is a larger and deeper pool where people can swim with the trout but we had already had enough icy water at Saklikent Gorge, so we skipped that activity.  Even Elisabeth wasn't ready to get back into icy water.

Just as we arrived a large group of tourists in a Jeep Safari were loading up to leave.  Good! They were loud and boisterous and ruined the whole ambience of the location.  We wanted to enjoy the serenity.

Think that thigh is long enough?  She is going to be tall.
Notice more eating platforms in background.
We liked our spot the best.

We wandered the grounds and selected our 'table' for lunch.  It was higher up and near one of the waterfalls, with a tiny stream flowing beside the table.  Lounging cushions are placed around very low tables.  This looks comfortable but I found it most UN-comfortable.  It is almost like sitting on the floor, except on a 4-inch cushion.  My legs and hip are not made for this position and my legs kept going numb.  

Bill stretched out in a corner and said he was never leaving.  Cold beer was delivered and he was happy as could be.  Pretty scenery, trickling waterfall and stream, cool temperature, no insects -- plus beer and good food.  What more could he ask for!
Plus french fries and a large basket of what I know as mountain bread.
It is very thin and cooked in or on a traditional wood-burning oven.
Our food arrived and was soon devoured.  Bill and Elisabeth opted for the tavuk shish (chicken shish kebab) and cips (pronounced chips -- french fries).  I figured since we were at a trout farm that the only thing I should eat was trout.  And salad to share.  The fish was delicious, not strong fishy tasting as I feared it might be.  

The lady who made the bread
Her oven and bakery space

We hung around longer than we  should have.  But none of us was really in a hurry to go.  

Finally we could neither eat nor drink another bite or sip, so it was time to move on.  There was one more place we wanted to visit today since we had rented the car for only the one day.

We would love to return to this restaurant again before it closes for the winter season.