From Bozuk Bükü, we anticipated stronger winds once past the first headland as there is just a 4-mile stretch of water between it and the Greek island of Symi. A reef in the main turned out to be prudent initially when sailing close-hauled in about 20 knots of wind but we soon shook it out as the wind dropped and we were reaching around the second headland and entering the next gulf, Yesilova Koerfezi, heading towards Bozburun in the NE corner of the gulf. Soon we were starting up the old “Iron genny” as the wind dropped yet more and we were barely making any way. At least we could then make water while the engine charged our batteries.
After anchoring outside Bozburun harbour, we were entertained by the many departing gullets that had been Med moored to the outside of the western breakwater. They tend to drop a lot of chain so on one or two occasions we were beginning to wonder if we may be a bit too close but fortunately we were fine. We later discovered that Saturday is changeover day, hence the “gullet rush hour”. The town was a lot more peaceful once they all departed! Being Cruising Association members, we decided to head to Osmans in the harbour where we had a beer and some mezze and met Lyn, with her broad Scottish accent, who is the HLR (local rep). She gave us a warm welcome and invited us to take advantage of their toilet and shower facilities and partake in their book exchange. The mezzes were good too!
We were very happy in Bozburun as it is quite a safe anchorage, tucked behind a couple of islands, and no swell so we ended up staying for 3 nights. Lots of swimming to keep cool as well as some paddle-boarding, and a bit of exploring ashore kept us occupied. We even found a lovely little carpet shop which, unlike any other we have experienced, we felt under no pressure to buy anything. The proprietor hailed from somewhere near Konya, to where he returned at the end of the season to pick up more locally made rugs. We ended up buying a small non-tufted one for the boat as Howard never was very keen on the smaller red ones I bought from Walmart!
From Bozburun we decided to try the shortcut between the islands Kiseli Adasi and Kisil Adasi. The water was beautifully clear so it was a bit unnerving as the depths dropped to less than 10 feet but at least we were following a larger yacht that presumably drew more than we do. We then headed west to round the next headland and then east to enter the long inlet of Hisaroenue Korfezi. Boats and more boats, both out on the water and in pretty much every conceivable anchorage! Indeed, Karl and Paul wanted to anchor in the first bay, Dirsek, but found it too crowded so eventually settled on a small bay off Selimiye. We had decided to go all the way to Keçi Bükü, a long inlet on the south side. The scenery was quite spectacular, starting off rather arid with several large vertical volcanic rocks here and there but becoming more and more verdant the deeper into the inlet we went. Keçi Bükü is surrounded by steep pine-clad hills with a couple of small flat valleys where there were small settlements. Having come all this way by sea, we were actually only about 9 miles from Marmaris as the crow flies! It was a great anchorage, good holding and no swell but with enough breeze to just about keep us cool. In addition to the very necessary cool-down swims, we took a few dinghy rides: to climb to a presumed medieval fort ruin at the top of the nearby island that gave us great views, to the marina to pick up some fuel for the dinghy, and to the head of the bay to see holiday makers walking out along the narrow sand spit (Jesus bank, at it appears that people are walking on water way off shore) and where we checked out a local hostelery (it was a very thirst-making climb up to the top of the island). The older we become these rock climbing exercises are more mentally and physically challenging. The primary concern with the former is the fear of falling, in somewhat remote places, and ending up in a Turkish hospital, although they can be very good.
Today we more-or-less retraced our path back out of Hisaroenue Korfezi but were closer to the northern shore on our way to Datça. Unlike the other two trips, this one was just over 20 n. miles. We started off motoring (good for water-making) but by about half-way, the wind filled in and we managed to sail the rest of the way, being careful not to venture into Greek waters. Datça is on a long narrow peninsula and as we got closer we saw many large wind turbines in perhaps its narrowest section. We have hardly seen any thus far in Turkey. We chose to anchor in the north bay but have not gone ashore yet this afternoon as the wind seems to gust from multiple directions. As it is now early evening, the wind seems to have lost some of its punch so hopefully we shall have a good night and will be able to explore if not later on today, then maybe tomorrow.
Our next passage will take us to Knidos, with its ruins, at the end of the peninsula, and then onwards across the bay, carefully skirting Greek waters, to Bodrum. Correction: Plans changed in light of forecasted stronger winds for Saturday so we are taking shelter in a lovely little harbour, Pamalut, before proceeding to Knidos.