Our departure from Marmaris was delayed because we wanted to get our boat insurance sorted out before we left. Our current insurance is with Pantaenius US but they, like several other companies, are getting out of the yacht insurance business (too many hurricanes?) so will not renew our policy that expires on August 10th. We have had difficulty finding alternative insurers. Some US companies were not keen on us being either in Turkey or in Greece (EU?), most UK companies don’t insure US-flagged vessels due to licensing laws and the quote from the one US company that we received was 25% higher than last years premium. So, while we are this end of the Med with Turkey as our base, we have decided upon a Turkish company.
We had decided we wanted to make it to Bozuk Bükü, about 27 n. miles from Marmaris but we knew we were likely to encounter head winds so we set off from the dock earlier than usual. After hanging around for about 45 minutes for a space to open up at the fuel dock, we decided we could manage without refueling for now. There wasn’t much wind initially so we motored the first leg but then it gradually picked up after the first headland so we raised the sails and gave the engine a break. It wasn’t long before we put in a reef in both mainsail and genoa as the wind gusts rose to around 27 knots. The boat was in her element with just a light touch needed on the helm, despite a 2-meter sea running … but we were kept busy putting in several tacks to make it into Bozuk Bükü. So, instead of taking us the estimated 4.5 hours, it actually took us about 7 to complete the trip. We were met by both Karl and Paul, who had arrived the previous day, on the dock at the Sailors House restaurant as well as someone from the restaurant who helped us with our lines, how nice is that? The meal ashore that evening was excellent with a very generous and tasty range of mezzes followed by lamb shank for Hope and fish, surprisingly, for Howard. It was enough food to keep us going for at least another day!
Bozuk Bükü is a lovely long bay with a Hellenistic fort on the headland guarding its entrance. This area of the Carian coast belonged to the Rhodeans so, with Rhodes only about 10 n. miles away, it would make sense that the fort was built to protect Rhodes from invaders. It was, apparently, the ancient Port Apoltheka with nearby settlement of Loryma. Our hike to the fort the next day was well worthwhile, even if it was on very rough terrain over the top of the first hill, down towards the Ali Baba marina, then up again to the fort. Even the fort itself extended about half a kilometer with all of its solid stone block walls being remarkably intact after about 2,500 years! We are still mystified about where the massive carved blocks of stone came from and how they could possibly have put them in place. Given the clear night sky, we were fortunate to see, with the aid of binoculars, the comet passing overhead, quite a sight. It will be around again in about 6,500 years, so better to take the viewing opportunity this time.
The Carian coast is very arid with limited vegetation, in comparison with the Lycian coast, which is not exactly lush. The heat can be quite oppressive, especially in marinas, hence our preference for anchoring. We achieved this in our next stop, Bozbrun; more of which in our next blog