After chilling for about 5 days in various Kekova anchorages, enjoying a bit of hiking, paddle-boarding and cooling-off swims in the oft chilly spring-fed waters, we set off around the next set of headlands, passing closely to a couple of small Greek islands. One of those islands was Meyisti (home to Castellorizo) where we saw a large Greek war ship patrolling the waters. Thankfully we hadn’t strayed into Greek waters as we so easily could have and continued our nice reach towards Kas marina, making good speeds of up to 9.4 knots! Kas is perhaps the most modern of the Setur marinas set near the head of a long inlet and is considerably larger than Finike with restaurants, a Migros supermarket, a small chandlery and a large dry storage area for boats all within the marina. The town that grew up around the charming old harbor (pictured at top of this post), is a short walk across the isthmus. We met a couple of other folks in the marina, who had wintered with us in Finike, and have formed a loose mini flotilla port hopping along the coast together, which has been fun. We tried doing some more hiking but found the heat too much, so didn’t get very far. Instead, we found taking the dinghy across to the other side of the inlet and doing a bit of snorkeling to be much more enjoyable!
We have tried a few different stops along the way, including Med mooring to rocks ashore, i.e., dropping the anchor and taking one or two lines ashore to prevent the boat swinging. The first time we tried this was in a little bay near Kalkan, Yesilkoy Limani. It worked quite well; we dropped the anchor and Hope took a line ashore using the paddle-board but unfortunately our anchor hadn’t dug in properly so we ended up to re-anchoring and swinging to the anchor, which was a better solution given that the gusts off the surrounding mountains were on the beam. It was here that Howard started to clean off some of the slime and weed that was starting to build on MAZU’s bottom. Our 3 months of waiting to get going in Finike marina clearly didn’t do any favors for keeping a clean bottom!
We had hoped to moor in Cold Water Bay next but maybe we arrived a bit too early so the large gullets were still there and it would have been difficult for us to find a spot to slip into so we instead explored the possibility of anchoring off Gemler Island but, being a Friday, I guess all the local boats, including some mega motor cruisers, had pretty much filled it to capacity. In the end, we opted to return to Karacoeren, where we stopped last year. We were assisted to a mooring where we swung freely and were able to watch the antics of passengers off a couple of gullets and a large ‘pirate’ ship that had a swim stop there. It is a beautiful spot. More cleaning of the hull and a bit of paddle-boarding for Hope to earn our meal ashore with friends.
We were now within easy reach of Fethiye where we hoped to meet up with the RYA instructor who was keeping a training chart package for me (Hope). We had another nice sail, albeit in flukey winds, across the large Fethiye bay. There are so many wonderful anchorages in the surrounding area so we opted to Med moor in Tomb Bay. It was a challenging exercise, given the number of weekend trippers about, but our third attempt was finally successful and we ended up staying 2 nights. The crowds thinned considerably by Sunday afternoon.
On Monday we headed across the bay to Fethiye, shortly after Karl on Wild Rover and Paul on Serinità. We, having a longer waterline, were able to sail past them on a lovely reach, which not only was satisfying but also meant we finally have a photo of MAZU sailing – thank you Karl!
We opted to anchor near the Coastguard station in Fethiye along with a few other yachts. An hour or so later the Coastguard RIB did the rounds of anchored boats and asked several to move, including Paul and Karl … but not us, we think because we were just outside their imaginary clear zone which is not clearly defined in the pilot. At least there is plenty of space for anchoring. Fethiye is a lovely spot so we weren’t too upset when our RYA man, Colin, said his car was in the shop and he wouldn’t be able to meet us in Fethiye on Monday afternoon as planned. However by Wednesday we decided perhaps it would be best to rent a car and go to him, which is what we did, with a few detours along the way, i.e. the abandoned Greek town of Kalekoy and the beautiful but too popular (and overpriced) Ölüdeniz beach and lagoon. His home town of Üzümlü, about 10 miles NE of Fethiye was also an interesting little place with narrow streets and a central square with mosque but with about 40% of the population being expats. I guess that was the reason there was bacon on the menu where we ate lunch. It tasted good after having been without for many months in Finike! With our mission accomplished, we took Colin’s advice to continue a bit further into the surrounding mountains round multiple hairpin bends to walk around the Roman ruins of Cadianda. How come the Romans built their settlements in the some of the hardest to reach spots? Our walk around the ruins was quite energetic!
After Fethiye we tried anchoring in Bükük Aga Koyu across the bay from Fethiye but on on the eastern side of the isthmus/island chain where the majority of anchorages can be found. We found it too crowded so instead searched for a suitable spot on the other side of the cut. We thought we had found an ideal spot in Seagull Bay, relatively shallow and somewhat empty …. BUT, after about half an hour or so, we figured our anchor was not holding, presumably because of weed on the bottom, so off we went again …. this time to join Karl in Sarsala Bay where finally we found nice bollards onshore to attach our shorelines to and our anchor held securely, whew!
Our next stop was in Ekincik. This time we opted to tie up in My Marina (on the RHS as you enter the bay). We loved it for multiple reasons: easy docking with lazy lines to laid moorings, excellent quality of docks, well maintained facilities, interesting stone buildings with a backdrop of high, steep cliffs that provided shade to the boats well past 9am, what luxury! This was where Howard and I celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary, but sadly the restaurant was closed until the following week so we had drinks onboard with Karl, Giles and Julia (who just happened to pop by) followed by a slap-up meal onboard. Fun to remember celebrating Jim and Tina’s 40th last year in Marmaris.
And now we have been in Marmaris for a week. It has been a productive stop so far as there are so many services and chandlers to choose from. We have checked multiple tasks off our To Do list, such as servicing the Furlex roller furling gear which we found impossible because we couldn’t raise the cone to access the grease points. Even the Selden guy had some difficulty. Today I took the top of our Force 10 stove to a stainless steel welder that Paul has been using because one of the bars was missing around one of the burners and another was loose. All fixed while I waited for just 50 Turkish Lira (less than $8)! And the social life has been good too since at one point there were 5 boats we knew in the marina. We celebrated one evening in a little restaurant slightly off the beaten path where the 8 of us were the only customers that night. Having said all that, it is very obvious that retail stores and restaurants are hurting. Most stores in The Grand Bazaar here are closed. We will probably be here a few more days to finish up our list and then slowly make our way further east.
The temperature here is a steady 36C+ or 96F during the day and still in the low 30s at night. During the day the breeze cools us down, but the continual heat can be rather oppressive and tiring. The 6 pm alarm brings a welcome relief, cool beer, G&T, or a tinto de verano (red wine, lemonade, a slice of orange, over ice).