With the afternoon wind being southerly, we had to beat out of Gocek. Being cruisers we usually try our best not to go to windward but here we had plenty of time and a nice wind so we did put in a few tacks and had some very pleasant close-hauled sailing. However, tacking Mazu, a cutter-rigged boat, was a very different experience from that onboard Melodrama, a modern sloop, in July. The only sure way of getting the large genoa past the staysail was to partially furl it first. This was fine on port tack but on starboard tack the electric winch we usually use to furl the genoa was occupied by the genoa sheet so a lot of winding in on the smaller winch was required; good exercise but I was happy to share it with Jim!
The late afternoon wind became fickle and we could see thunder clouds and lightening over the mountains as we approached Karacaören. Being somewhat safety conscious we dropped the sails and motored the last couple of miles. Once in the anchorage we were met by Charlie in his dinghy who, after confirming our intention to eat at the restaurant that night, asked us to have 2 bow lines and 2 long stern lines ready. He attached the bow lines to two moorings and the stern lines to rocks ashore so we were very secure. We discovered the reason why we had so many lines was because the previous night a boat had broken free from its mooring during some ferocious winds and ended up on the rocks! It wasn’t the most peaceful of nights for us either as some strong gusts came down the mountains at times but at least we were secure.
Charlie was a busy man that night because he not only helped boats to moor but also taxied folks back and forth to the restaurant and, we discovered, later became the disc jockey which sadly stole the peace and tranquility of the anchorage for a couple of hours. The meal was excellent, a simple, limited menu but using great fresh produce, the view was fantastic and the restaurant interestingly quirky.
The next day we wanted to depart fairly early, i.e. at 8am, as we had heard that Kalkan can fill up and there aren’t any other good mooring options nearby; plan B would have been to continue to Kas, another 15 miles. However, Charlie had tied us to the rocks and the moorings with bowlines. So, Jim valiantly jumped in, swam ashore and proceeded to first untie the leeward line. The windward line was more difficult with the wind on the beam, no matter how much slack we tried to give him … until we ran out of line. Fortunately Charlie appeared in his small runabout and took the strain off the line, Jim managed to return to the boat safely and Charlie then helped untie our bow lines; what a process! As it turned out, we would probably have been better waiting a while because we arrived in the small town harbour of Kalkan to find that the harbour master refused to let us dock, until after four flotilla boats had docked. This took quite a while but eventually it was our turn and he found room for us in between two yachts. We thought we had probably taken the last spot but he managed to squeeze in a couple more yachts and so by evening the harbour was chock-a-bloc with gulets, fishing boats and yachts. Two yachts were turned away and had to anchor outside the harbour.
Kalkan has grown significantly since Jim and Tina were last there in 2001. Originally Greek, it was resettled by Turks after the Lausanne Convention in 1923. The village was largely destroyed during the 1958 earthquake and villagers were relocated to a new settlement immediately above. Eventually the old village was purchased by an Istanbul entrepreneur and today it is brimming with many fine restaurants and there has been more development further up the hill. We had a good meal at the Aubergine restaurant close to the harbour.
From Kalkan, it was a short hop to Kas so we again enjoyed gentle close-hauled sailing most of the way and further improved our tacking skills. We berthed at the relatively new Setur marina close to the head of a long inlet, about a 15 minute walk from the old harbour across the isthmus The marineros were super, making docking so much easier and the facilities were good. Sadly this was to be our last stop with Jim and Tina onboard. We stayed two nights so had time to explore the town and nearby ruins, which included sarcophagi and a restored Hellenistic theatre, one of the oldest in Antalya, that is still used today for concerts and performances.
On our final evening together Jim and Tina kindly treated us to a lovely meal, overlooking the old harbour of Kas.