Sunday, April 27, 2014

Final Goodbye to Turkey!

As soon as the new flares were delivered we departed Goçek to spend the night on a mooring in what we call Red Mooring Bay.  We have forgotten the real name of this place and do not care enough to bother to look it up.  There are red moorings placed around the edges of the bay; the only such bay in all of Skopea Limani.  Since the season has not kicked into full swing yet, we were able to tie off to a mooring and remain free need to deal with that dreaded long line tied ashore!  

Love this secluded anchorage.  Only inhabitants are in that hamlet.
Scenery reminds me of Moorea in French Polynesia.
This is not near Bozburon; it is nearer to Kos.
Next morning we motored out between the narrow pass and around the tip of the peninsula in very light southerly winds.  Making the most of the rare southerly wind.  It was so calm that we were able to motor straight across the points of the tips of the first peninsula and beneath the tip of Marmaris peninsula.  As we made that turn the wind picked up to 20 knots and finally we could sail for an hour or so.  Then the wind died and we changed plans and headed to Bozburon, where we anchored 2 nights.  Love that we now know the few anchorages that allow for swing anchoring!  Covered 66 NM this day.  

Another shot of one of my favorite anchorages.
And almost no one ever stops here.

The Harbour Master's office was closed for a national holiday when we arrived but the cafe owner next door said that we could clear out when the office opened the next day.  We returned the next morning and were informed by the Harbour Master that the Bozburon offices do not open for clearance formalities until mid-May and that we must go to either Marmaris or Datça.  Wind was 20 knots from the south so we headed over to Datça sailing wing-on-wing for most of the 25 NM.

Tiny cove in there!  This is next to our secluded anchorage
and off in the distance is Greek island of Kos.  To anchor
in the cove requires using a stern line ashore.  We opted
to swing anchor in the calm area nearby, of course!
Had it all to ourselves for 3 nights.
Clearance formalities were handled by an agent while we enjoyed a late lunch.  One is not allowed to handle clearance formalities oneself now in most ports in Turkey.  Outbound clearance was only 60 TL ($28.50) by the agent we used.  Thanks to Robin on S/V Endangered Species for recommending this agent, as the other agents' fees were higher.  As soon as we received back our stamped passports and closed transit log we stopped in a supermarket to find something to buy to use up all our Turkish Lira currency.  We left without a single lira in our pockets.  We remained there at anchor that night as it was too late to get farther west around the very long peninsula before sunset. 

The little device we use for internet access.  We were so far
from cell towers that we needed to raise it high to get
good connection speeds.  It connects via 3G, then broadcasts the Internet via Wi-Fi.
By 07:00 the next morning we were motoring west, rounding Knidos for the last time.  We will clear into Greece at Kos.  Most people clear in at Simi but we know 2 American boats who encountered difficulty at Simi and prefer to avoid it if at all possible.  Plus, we want to visit the island of Patmos as we make our way westward so Kos is the better point of entry into Greece for our planned route.

Bill raising our cellular Wi-Fi device in order
to get better connection.

Fresh OJ for our Coconut Rum sundowners

Bill's daily chore.  Squeeze the fresh oranges gifted to us
from Riza the day we left Gocek.

As we prepare to depart Turkey for the final time I remembered something written by Bill and Janet, S/V Airstream, in their blog of May 16, 2013.  They summed up the history and experience of Turkey so much more succinctly that I could write.  Here is what they wrote:

Three thousand years before Columbus 'discovered' America the Carian peoples inhabited this coastal area of what is now Turkey.  They were followed by Aeolian and Ionian sea peoples around 1000 BC. Between 400-500 BC Sparta founded several cities along the coast as colonies and the Dorian era began. Herodotus was born in Halicarnassus (modern Bodrum) in 430 BC. The Persians  moved in after the Peloponnesian War and then Alexander took it from the Persians. The Romans took it from the Greeks early in the new millennium.  With the fall of Rome the Ottoman Empire ruled until the advent of the modern Turkish state. There was an occasional war with the Greeks, of course.  

So when we cruise this beautiful coast we are immersed in the early history of western civilization. And it easy to see why civilization got such a good start in this part of the world. ......... The sea is relatively sheltered and coastal communications and trade were easy compared to overland travel. The climate is true Mediterranean, not harsh but not enervating. A human can survive here year around without being ruled by the climate but has to work a little to be comfortable. There are defensible positions on every headland and many well sheltered harbors. In a time before the Med was so heavily fished it must have been an easy place to find a decent meal.  ....

And, in a way, nothing has changed.

I love that final sentence.

A typical evening meal aboard BeBe while at anchor.
We shared a ribeye steak covered in mushrooms, Chinese
style eggplant, mashed potatoes and grilled Turkish red
peppers, served with our current favorite wine.
Could it be any better!

We have spent the past 2 nights at anchor in a very secluded *bay* in Turkey, after clearing out in Datça.  We have reserved tonight and tomorrow night at Kos Marina; as there does not appear to be a good anchorage at Kos there was no reason to rush over there.  Did not know if clearance officials would work over the weekend.  We waited out the rainstorms enjoying our time at anchor and getting back into the swing of cruising.  It was a rollicking and very rolly sail over to Kos this morning in 25 kts wind from the east.  We are now berthed in Kos Marina enduring a lightening storm with lots of wind and rain.

Upon arrival at Kos we followed the tradition of friends Mark and Cindy on S/V Cream Puff:  When go ashore in a new place, we "walk till our feet hurt and then drink until they don't."   We walked the mile from the marina to the ferry dock for Passport Police; then around the harbor to Customs and Harbour Master/Port Police.  Customs was closed even though both of the other offices said Customs was open; so the only clearance formality we accomplished was to get our passports stamped.  The transit log will have to wait until tomorrow.  We stopped for a very late lunch when walking back to the marina.

My feet already have blisters; we have devoured the first of what will be many gyros; Bill has rediscovered Alpha beer; and we are both worn out.

Monday, April 21, 2014

This is the reason we will miss Turkey so much.  The people!  Turks are such giving people, both gifts of material things and gifts of friendship.  This morning we received an email from Riza.  He is the third generation owner of Emek Marine.  This is what he sent:

And moments later one of his staff arrived at our boat laden with gifts.  Most of which are illustrated in the above images.   A huge box of oranges and lemons from the family orchard. A large jar of olives from the family trees.  Freshly laid eggs.  A selection of freshly picked herbs.  Plus a shirt with the Amel logo on the front; Bill had admired this type shirt one day when Riza was wearing one.  Riza remembered and gifted one to Bill today.
Gifts from the Cadges family

This was totally unexpected and we are humbled by the family's thoughtfulness.

As a token of appreciation I baked a loaf of banana bread and asked Riza to share with his mom.  I explained to him that Turkey has walnuts, pistachios and almonds; but this was made with pecans from our home state of Texas.  I also tried to bake a lemon pie because Riza had once mentioned that he had heard of such a thing and would like to taste it someday.  Unfortunately, it did not come out right -- more like lemon thick soup in a baked pie crust.  I am our of American style corn starch and tried making this pie using the Turkish kind.  Not the same thing...and did not set up nice and thick as the lemon filling should.  Apologies to Riza; he will have to taste lemon pie some other time and place.

One of my favorites!!
Later, fellow Amel owners Maria and Willy on S/V Pitu dropped by and gifted us with a bottle of Moet and Chandon.  What a lovely surprise!  This was to say 'thank you' for all our advice to them and (mostly Bill's) sharing of information on the Amel Owner's Group online.  I had given Maria a pullover Polartech jacket with the Amel logo on the front.  It was on the boat when we bought her and has been stowed away ever since because it was a size small.  Never worn; and since this is Maria's size I thought she might enjoy having it.  I did not expect anything in return; just wanted her to have it.  How nice of them to give us the bottle of champagne!

Backing plate for cockpit floor

The gelcoat repairs were finished this afternoon.  Stainless steel plates were added to the supports beneath the cockpit floor to spread the stress load.  The cockpit floor raises for entry into the engine room and those supports were causing the floor to bulge upward in those 2 spots.  We have heard this is a common problem on this model boat.  The backing plates should solve that problem. 

New stainless plate to protect from anchor chain hitting

Stainless protector over rub rail
for Med lazy lines
The stainless steel plate was put in place at the bow to protect from future chips caused by the anchor chain.  

New SS mounting post for GPS
The plastic ones crack and
disintegrate from UV.
The paint arrived which I will someday use to repaint the deck stripes.  It is vacuum sealed until I eventually get around to that project when my knee no longer hurts.  Still suffering from that fall in the mountains early last November.  

And, last but certainly not least, the new flares arrived and they carted away the expired ones for disposal.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Stopped in Gocek for a few more improvements

Fethiye Bay way in background.  Goodbye!!!

We have finally left Fethiye...for the final time.  It would be so easy to allow ourselves to be sucked into staying here much longer as we love this place, but unless we are going to live out retirement here in Turkey then it is time for us to get moving again.

Native poppy

Bright flowers of spring

On our final weekend we took a short walk with with Rick and Robin on S/V Endangered Species and Frank & Barbara on S/V Destiny over to the boatyard area to have lunch at a roadside vendor.  What we would call a roach-coach in Houston.  The setting was beautiful; again making us question why we are leaving here.
Lamb sandwich on roadside

Cooking lamb
Bill and I normally do not care for lamb but these sandwiches were great.  The man cooks the lamb on a horizontal rotating spit in front of a wood burning fire.  Makes the meat taste really good.  Then he chops the meat up fairly fine and heats on a grill for a few minutes before serving in a large chunk of freshly baked bread, along with lettuce and pickles and a few other condiments. 

The women dress like this year-round.  Even in the
110F heat of August!
 Large bottles of pickled carrots and hot peppers and pickled red cabbage sit atop each table to add to the sandwiches as desired.  Great lunch in a beautiful setting for about $2.75.  Hard to beat that.
L-R: Rick, Robin, Frank, Bill, Barbara

How they haul boats
And how they launch boats

The boatyard was busy as could be with the sailing/tourist season rapidly approaching.  The skids were out and boats were being launched and hauled.  It is something to see those large gulets moved around on these skids.  I would be a nervous wreck watching our boat being handled on those things!
Note they use tree trunks to support the boats

Public pet watering stations are placed all over town

Flowers were in bloom along the sidewalks on the hillside.  The public exercise stations were in use as we walked toward the lunch vendor.  But by the time we walked back towards the hotel marina dock all the exercisers had finished for the day.  I do not know why we do not have public exercise stations like this back in the USA.  I think it is a good idea.  

Public exercise stations

On our final evening docked at Yacht Classic Hotel marina we joined Rick, Robin, Frank and Barbara for a nice dinner in the hotel restaurant.  We each ordered the delicious braised lamb shanks which are so good at this restaurant.  For 2 people who do not eat lamb, this was the second time in 3 days that we willingly chose to eat it.  And enjoyed it immensely!
Public exercise stations

This was a farewell celebratory dinner as we were leaving the next day, heading to Goçek for a few days and then up to Datça to clear out of Turkey. Rick and Robin will be leaving YC at month end, heading down to Kaş to haulout and then beginning heading west soon as they will be crossing the Atlantic late this year.  Frank and Barbara also will be leaving YC at month end, heading to Greece where they will meet up with friends to sail the Aegean before returning to Turkey for another winter.  Likely all thee boats will again meet up somewhere in the Caribbean in a few years.  As I said on Facebook, cruising is a constant series of hellos and goodbyes and may we meet again someday.

Goodbye to Fethiye!  5 porpoises played in our wake
On Tuesday 15 April we motored over to Goçek and berthed at Skopea Limani Marina.  That afternoon the workers from Emek Marin arrived to start all the various bits of work we wanted done.  One of the things we wanted was 90 meters of new anchor chain to replace our 11-year-old chain.  The old chain still looked fine but we felt it was time to replace it.  The original chain was 100 meters of HT ISO 10mm chain original from Amel when the boat left the factory on 23 January 2003.  We had ordered 90 meters of DIN 766 chain as replacement.  Figured we did not need 100 meters anymore as we will not be returning to the deep anchorages in the South Pacific, so 90 meters should be enough.  We also had ordered a new gypsy to fit the pitch of the links of the new chain.  Unfortunately, when the chain was delivered there were only 76 meters.  And upon close inspection Bill discovered that this was actually re-galvanized used chain.  Bill requested that a couple of other people inspect the chain and they also confirmed that it was re-galvanized and not new.  That is 2 strikes against that supplier; we were not willing to give him the option of strike 3. 

Bill went to another supplier in Goçek and was told they would deliver 90 meters of new chain the next morning.  When the truck arrived Bill inspected it and it also was re-galvanized used chain rather than new.  What the heck is going on here!  He told them not to even unload that used chain and he returned to the supplier's office where he was told that the men had made a mistake, and that 90 meters of new chain would be delivered Thursday at 5pm.  

Bill then spoke with Riza at Emek Marine and learned that after that first supplier had tried to pass off the used chain to us that Riza had ordered 100 meters of new chain from Alti in Istanbul and that it also would arrive Thursday at 5pm.  Alti is the oldest chain manufacturing company in Turkey.  We would prefer to deal with Riza, so Bill again returned to the second supplier in Goçek and told them not to bother to deliver their *new* chain because we did not trust them after they attempted to give us used chain that morning.  Finally, right on schedule at 5pm on Thursday we received 100 meters of beautiful new chain!  Man, what an ordeal!   I relate this story as a warning to always double and triple check anchor chain when purchasing.  It is so important to have proper ground tackle.

Our rebuilt AFMA (Reya) fresh water pump.  Nice!
Bill had emailed a project list to Emek Marine several weeks before we arrived.  The workers knocked out each item in short order -- until they were rained out and work had to stop until tomorrow.  No major projects but several small things:  gelcoat nicks, new gypsy, anchor chain, rebuild the fresh water pump, replace watermaker membranes, replace the generator exhaust sensor, new batteries, add several pieces of stainless steel in various places, and replace expired flares.  They had come to Fethiye and done some of this work while we were still docked at Yacht Classic.  The rest of the list would be finished here.  It was a good thing that Bill decided to have our fresh water pump rebuilt!  When they took it apart the parts inside looked like that pump had only days left!  This pump costs over 600 Euro plus shipping.  It is a great pump and we have had no trouble with it at all.  But it is over 11 years old so was time for a thorough servicing and rebuilding.

We had several more cleats added to the stainless steel arch and a couple pieces of SS added at the bow to protect the rub rail from those Med-Moor lazy lines.  They also are supposed to add a couple pieces of stainless as protection at the bow where the anchor chain sometimes clangs and chips the gelcoat.  That is the only thing that did not get finished before the rain started.  We are hoping that can be finished tomorrow.  If not, we probably will leave without those 2 pieces of stainless protectors.

The flares are supposed to arrive tomorrow too.  Those we do need before we can leave.  We also have purchased a 20-liter container of Micron 77 anti-foul paint for our next haulout, which likely will be either in Italy or Spain next year.  We have been told by sailing friends going ahead of us that it is best to bring your own paint because it is impossible to find good anti-fouling in most places.  Now we are prepared.

We will be slowly working our way up to Datça this week.  Weather is predicted to be beautiful.