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Archive for August, 2010

DAY SAILING WITH TURKISH FRIENDS

August 24th, 2010 No comments

Kent had the pleasure of working with Dergerhan Usluel in Albany, New York several years ago.  Dare is Turkish by birth and now lives back in Ankara with his family including wife, Mine and boys Baran and Batuhan. 

Dergerhan, Mine, Butahan & Baran

Dergerhan, Mine, Butahan & Baran

The family has a vacation home in Ciftlik on the Datca Peninsula and we were able to anchor in the bay in front of their home overnight and take them sailing to Bozburun the following day.  We left Ciftlik about 10 a.m. and motored across the gulf to Bozburun.  The wind that had been forecast the day before did not materialize on schedule. 

Batuhan shared time at the wheel. . .

Batuhan shared time at the wheel. . .

with older brother Baran

with older brother Baran

At Bozburun we anchored in a small cove where we had stayed previously (see “Goat Lady of Bozburun” post) and went for a swim.  Kent took the boys, who are ages 11 and 8, for a fast spin in the dinghy and ashore to see some ruins. 

Bozburun Anchorage. . .

Bozburun Anchorage. . .

and the usual goats.

and the usual goats.

After lunch at the Aphrodite Restaurant where we made our way out of Bozburun by going between some islands that had shallow clearance.

Destiny moored off Aphrodite Restaurant in Bozburun

Destiny moored off Aphrodite Restaurant in Bozburun

Channel through islands is shallow

Channel through islands is shallow

Once outside, the wind finally came up—almost more than we needed and we had a fast sail back to Ciftlik.

It was "hard on the wind" coming back

It was "hard on the wind" coming back

The boys didn't mind the heeling

The boys didn't mind the heeling

Everyone had a great time, including Jolie who got lots of attention. 

Jolie got lots of petting. . .

Jolie got lots of petting. . .

and found a new wedge spot behind Baran.

and found a new wedge spot behind Baran.

We were sad to see the day end, as sharing our adventure is a pleasure for us.

Back to shore in Ciftlik

Back to shore in Ciftlik

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GOAT LADY OF BOZBURUN

August 16th, 2010 No comments

 

Small cove off Bozburun

Small cove off Bozburun

We recently anchored in a small cove within sight of the small village of Bozburun in the Yesilova Gulf about 20 NM east of Datca.  Since the cove was very small leaving no room to swing on anchor, Kent took long lines to shore to secure us.

 

Oh no, there's a goat on my rock pile

Oh no, there's a goat on my rock pile

He had no sooner tied our first line around a pile of rocks on shore when a very curious goat came by. 

The goat carefully inspected our chain. . .hopefully he doesn't eat line.

The goat carefully inspected our chain. . .hopefully he doesn't eat line.

Before long it became apparent that there were goats everywhere on this remote spit of land.  They were strolling along the shore, chomping leaves off trees, and tucked into and on top of rocks. 

Not the most hospitable place even for goats with rocks and little vegetation

Not the most hospitable place even for goats with rocks and little vegetation

There are goats everywhere!

There are goats everywhere!

When we woke up the next morning, there was a small boat tied to shore and a Turkish woman, in loose fitting clothes and covered head, was unloading grass and water to feed the goats.  We watched as she hauled large 5 gallon jugs of water and poured it into containers for the many goats that came when she called them.

Hauling water for the herd

Hauling water for the herd

She called to some goats and shooed others away—with rocks thrown in their direction, as necessary.  After the grass was spread along the shore for the goats to graze, and water distributed, she sat on a rock and hand fed some of them. 

Fresh green grass is spread on the beach

Fresh green grass is spread on the beach

Hand feeding the goats

Hand feeding the goats

Chasing off intruders

Chasing off intruders

It was impossible to tell how she distinguished “her goats” from the general goat population.  They were all colors and sizes.  The ones she tended to shoo away appeared to be older, males with large horns, so we speculated that she kept the “bullies” away from the younger more fragile goats. 

This ram with 18 in. horns was not invited to dinner

This ram with 18 in. horns was not invited to dinner

Occasionally, several goats not in the “chosen few” would gather together and in a group start walking toward the woman and the food.  Sometimes, she just raised her hand and hollered and they took off the other direction, and other times they brazenly raced toward the food. 

The unchosen join forces. . .and wait.

The unchosen join forces. . .and wait.

She watched over her feeding goats for more than an hour, ensuring that they all had plenty to eat and drink.  It was obvious that she knew the moment she left the other goats would descend on what was left.  Eventually, she loaded up the water jugs, piled the other containers on shore for her next trip back, and raised her anchor. 

Keeping watch over her flock

Keeping watch over her flock

. . .then, time to go

. . .then, time to go

No sooner had she gone, than the other goats came trotting down the beach in groups and headed for the remaining food and water.  There was a little head butting among some of the males, but they all got down to the business of cleaning up the leftovers. 

Finally, it's our turn!

Finally, it's our turn!

Finishing off the feast. . .

Finishing off the feast. . .

Dinner's over. . .back to the shade

Dinner's over. . .back to the shade

In all likelihood at least some of these goats will end up on the woman’s dinner table this winter, providing food for her family.  In the meantime, she provides them with food and we suspect love. 

Once they were well fed, Kent and Jolie went ashore for her morning walk and had their own close encounter.

Jolie stands on a rock to get a look at the goats

Jolie stands on a rock to get a look at the goats

What an unusal and memorable experience.

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CAPTAIN BULLY

August 14th, 2010 No comments

On Friday the 13th, no less, we had an encounter with a gulet in Bozukale that left us shaking our heads in amazement.  We were swinging on anchor at the very head of the bay along with a half dozen other boats of various nationalities (French, German, Austrian) when just at twilight a large—and I do mean large—gulet entered the bay.  There are certain “rules” that apply to anchoring and one is that you make every effort not to cross or disturb another boat’s anchor.

OK so you're bigger, no need to bully us little guys

OK so you're bigger, no need to bully us little guys

There were numerous gulets already at anchor and tied to shore, and there were many spots open where this gulet captain could have easily anchored among boats his size and tied to shore as they were.   Bozukale is a very large and well protected bay, not one of the small ones where anchors are inadvertantly crossed as a matter of course.

Twilight is falling, but the Capt. can readily see he's dropping across anchors

Twilight is falling, but the Capt. can readily see he's dropping across anchors

However, this particular gulet captain decided that the best place for his vessel was smack in the middle of the “little boats” that were anchored and not tied to shore.  As he approached, I could see trouble brewing.

We're next in line as he backs across our anchor chain

We're next in line as he backs across our anchor chain

It became even more apparent when he started his turn to back to shore right across the bows of several boats—Destiny among them.  Kent was ashore with Jolie and I stood on the bow waving to bring his attention to the fact that he was laying his chain over our anchor to no avail.  When Kent saw what had happened he went over to address the captain directly about his disregard for the other boats at anchor, and did not receive any acknowledgement of the complaint. 

The next morning, we were trapped and could not leave until the gulet was ready to go which happened to be about two hours after we had planned.  Since the wind had shifted overnight our chain was now over and under his, making it necessary for us—and one other boat to move in order for the gulet to depart. 

Now its morning and we can't move until he does

Now its morning and we can't move until he does

The gulet capt. could care less that THREE boats had to move to accommodate his exit

The gulet capt. could care less that THREE boats had to move to accommodate his exit

The gulet from Bodrum is owned by a charter company.  While it was tempting to contact the company about this captain’s deliberate disregard for the other boats in this anchorage, we decided to caulk it up to Friday the 13th.  Hopefully, he will think better of his anchoring choices in the future.  He certainly didn’t make any friends in Bozukale that day. 

As a final insult he blew his horn and raised his fist at everyone as he motored out

As a final insult he blew his horn and raised his fist at everyone as he motored out

Most of the gulet captains we have encountered are very polite, professional and helpful.   This particular one we have nicknamed “Captain Bully.”

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TASTE OF HOME

August 14th, 2010 No comments

Turkish food is very tasty–a true Mediterraean diet filled with healthy veggies like eggplant.  But from time to time, we crave good ole American chow.

Leaving Marmaris yesterday, Kent dropped me at the quay and circled the harbor in Destiny while I went ashore to “top up” our internet card.  As it happens, right across the street from Turkcell is BURGER KING.  Yes, Marmaris has a Burger King too, just like Bodrum, but this one doesn’t have a terrace over looking harbor.

Burger King is BIG in Turkey--literally and figuratively

Burger King is BIG in Turkey--literally and figuratively

On the way out of the harbor we chowed down on Whoppers with cheese!

Nothing like some greasy fries and a Whopper

Nothing like some greasy fries and a Whopper

What about me?

What about me?

Earlier in the day at we had scored big finding both Heinz baked beans AND Pepperidge Farms Nantucket cookies.
Baked beans and BBQ chicken wings for dinner

Baked beans and BBQ chicken wings for dinner

After cookies for dessert we realized that our entire day had been a binge of foods we used to eat–and don’t really miss that much.  No wonder people in the Med live longer.

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THE TURKISH B.V.I.’S

August 10th, 2010 No comments

We just finished cruising Skopea Limani and the Gulf of Fethiye and have decided that this region of southern Turkey is to Europeans what the B.V.I.’s are to sailors in our hemisphere.  

One of many entrances to Skopea Limani

One of many entrances to Skopea Limani

The beauty of this area is not just the dramatic scenery and beautiful water, but the flat water and mid-day wind that makes for nice, line of sight sailing from one anchorage to another.  Some, like Tomb Bay, bear the mark of Turkey’s  ancient history. 

The empty tombs visible above this boat at anchor can be reached by a path from the bay.

The empty tombs visible above this boat at anchor can be reached by a path from the bay.

Close up of Tomb

Close up of Tomb

One thing that distinguishes this from the B.V.I.’s is the depth of the water, as is evident from the name “22 Fathom Bay”.  Dropping an anchor in 50-70 ft. of water is not uncommon, and we have lost our initial reservations about it.  The process begins with having the dinghy and motor at the ready for Kent to use in carrying a long line ashore while I back the boat against the set anchor. 

Kent tyin off to bollard on shore

Kent tying off to bollard on shore

The Turkish government’s efforts to make this area hospitable for boaters, including bollards regularly spaced along the shore, a free pump out boat for waste, and mooring balls in some locations makes this the Turkish equivalent of St. John in the U.S.V.I—although St. John didn’t have a pump out boat when we were there, so maybe Turkey is ahead of the curve.

Scattered throughout the Gulf are small islands that create additional protected anchorages and also serve to keep fetch from wind to a minimum.  This time of year there are many gulets and charter boats.  The charter boats tend to travel in flotillas and can quickly fill an anchorage or restaurant dock. 

One of many gulets in the islands known as Yassica Adalari

One of many gulets in the islands known as Yassica Adalari

Another bay, another restaurant

Another bay, another restaurant

After several very hot nights at anchor (see “Sleepless in Skopea”) we headed for the very upscale Yacht Classic in Fethiye which boasts a small boutique hotel, a swimming pool and a luxurious haman as well (see post on Turkish bath).  Plugged into shore power we slept in air conditioned comfort for the next couple nights.

Yacht Classic Hotel

Yacht Classic Hotel

Dock & grounds at Yacht Classic

Dock & grounds at Yacht Classic

Bar at Yacht Classic

Bar at Yacht Classic

While at Yacht Classic we met fellow Seven Seas Cruising Association Commodores, Ed and Helen Meusch on S/V Tahlequah.  We enjoyed spending time with them and hearing about their circumnavigation and surviving the Tsunami that struck Thailand several years ago.  We have a long way to go to be as “salty” as Ed and Helen.
Tahlequah, on the end of Yacht Classic dock is named after a Cherokee chieftain

Tahlequah (named after a Cherokee chieftain), on the end, is a lovely double ended ketch

The two major towns on the Gulf are Fethiye and Gocek.  We have “saved” Gocek for our next visit to this area later this fall.  Fethiye is much like other towns in southern Turkey that are primarily tourist destinations, with meandering streets lined with shops selling knock-off designer bags and clothing or gold.  The quay is replete with the usual armada of tripper boats and gulets as well as eateries touting fish or ice cream.

Gulets and parasailing boats compete for space in the harbor

Gulets and parasailing boats compete for space in the harbor

Fethiye Quay

Fethiye Quay

Ice cream anyone?

Ice cream anyone?

Although the ambiance at Yacht Classic made for an enjoyable stay, and the opportunity to provision–the market delivers to your boat–our preference was for the bays where you could swim and snorkel in crystal clear water to the sound of cicadas in the pines.

We spent two more nights at anchor at Deep Bay–aptly named–with new SSCA friends, Ed and Helen and Colin, a Brit on S/V Sharon J. 

Kent paddles around and chats with Ed and Helen--a favorite past time here and way to keep cool

Kent paddles around and chats with Ed and Helen--a favorite past time here and way to keep cool

We parted ways with Tahlequah and Sharon J at Deep Bay, but look forward to seeing them again.

We parted ways with Tahlequah and Sharon J at Deep Bay, but look forward to seeing them again.

The weather seems to be even hotter the further east you go this time of year–forecasts in the 42-43 C. range or 107-110 F., so we have decided to head back west and return later in the fall when the weather is more temperate. 

Nice breeze for sailing west

Nice breeze for sailing west

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