Monday, 30 May 2011

Ortism Bay, Turkey

May 2nd

Day started with an enjoyable brekkie of bacon & eggs and we were joined by Irene & Chris from Cuttyhunk. A real treat in this Muslim country and not sure if the aroma of bacon cooking wafting across the bay would have gone down with the locals.  After brekkie we motored to Gocek to drop off Robert & Muzza as they were leaving us for 4 days to stay with Murray’s cousin. (Finally some peace and quiet!!!). We met up with Sue, a lovely lady who has been living in Turkey for 9 years and had lunch with her ashore.

We then headed back to Awatea via the supermarket for a few supplies, and motored back to Ortism Bay. It was a lazy afternoon just passing the hours relaxing and enjoying the peace of our beautiful surrounds.

Desmond & John later decided to take the dingy for a spin around the bay. The water at the upper reaches of the bay were very shallow some metres out from shore making it quite difficult to get in.   There was no walking path up the hill so being the intrepid explorers created their own with the help of branches and rocks.  

It was ‘pot luck’ and held on board Belle Helene. Derek made a very delicious baked chicken thigh with tomatoes and olives, that blended well with the other yummy food brought by the others. It was an absolute feast and all very enjoyable.

May 3rd
Not a good day. We tried starting the generator but it kept cutting out after a few seconds. There was no water in the system and found out the impellor had perished. John contacted the supplier as it had only been installed the week before.  Not much else we could do so had a lazy day at anchor with the occasional swim in the crystal clear water.

May 4th
We motored back into Gocek to meet Mustafa from Typhoon Yachting, the company that installed the generator. He replaced the impellor and thankfully all worked well. Then as luck would have it another problem! The onboard 24v alternator didn’t appear to be charging the batteries when the engine was running.  Turned out to be the regulator
Brow beaten by rotten luck, we motored back to Ortism Bay and had a very quiet afternoon, hoping the next day’s destination would bring better luck.
May 5th
And it couldn’t have been better. A perfect Thursday morning and after untying the stern line we slipped out of the bay and headed down to Tomb Bay in a 15 knot breeze. Surprisingly we were the only yacht in the bay. We anchored with a stern line ashore, directly under some 3000 year old Tombs of the old Kings.

Couldn’t wait to explore the sacred tombs, so we went ashore straight away and slowly climbed up the steep hill.

The upper hill path seemed like a ready track and we discovered blue paint marked on some plants and stones, which we realized were marking the way from tomb to tomb. From the tombs there were amazing views across the bay.

A beautiful sunny day in a perfect setting, it helps you understand why these old kings choose this place to be buried.

After taking heaps of photos we returned to Awatea, and then later motored across the bay to have a drink in the little restaurant located at the center of the bay. Before that we did a bit of a Tiki Tour around the bay which has two types of landscape = one side is the steep hill with the tombs that we just visited, and the other is a rolling terrain that you can walk around easily with access to the local restaurant by foot. Some other yachts sailed in later and anchored here, but we were happy to be alone just under the tombs.
Robert and Murray are scheduled to return tomorrow = more laughs to be expected and no doubt some wild tales to tell.

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Fethiye Bay, Turkey

After a very enjoyable night we bid farewell to Ekincik and steered eastward to our next destination- Gocek at the end of Fethiye Bay.

En route we motored past a long sandy beach just out of Dalyan, which is well known as Turtle Beach, as the soft sand attracts heaps of sea turtles to produce their next generation. It was a shallow passage into the bay, and we had to cruise very slowly giving us a good view of the beach. The water was so clear we could see the bottom even though we were still a couple of hundred metres off shore. We also spotted a resort on shore that was pretty packed.

Soon as we steered away from turtle beach the wind built up so we raised the sails. One of the main enjoyment of sailing is the peace and quiet with no noisy engine and just the sound of the yacht gliding through the water.

We were passing through a reasonably narrow channel at the beginning of Fetyhie Bay and there was a bit of drama with another yacht.  The wind was quite strong and changed direction suddenly, and the boat in front us lost control and spun wildly around and was heading straight for the rocks.  We slowed down in readiness to offer assistance as it looked like there was no way out for them. Somehow with only a matter of centimeters to spare the yacht turned and disaster was avoided – how, God only knows.

We anchored in a small bay and Murray, being the wiz in the galley that he is, made two nice salami pizzas for lunch.  Sitting onboard in an idyllic location with beautiful weather it was hard to think that just a matter of some weeks ago we were all coping with the boring work routine at home.

Fethyie Bay is absolutely fabulous and attracts hundreds of boats in this oceanic arena during the summer. It was like the scene when Harry Potter first entered into Hogwarts' hall, the reflection off moving hulls from different angles, and the shine from crystal clear water formed a sensational visual experience.

We sailed into Ortism Bay where our friends Irene & Chris on Cuttyhunk, Helen & Justin on Belle Helene and Brian & Carol on Endeavour were already moored and enjoying a few coldies on Brian’s boat.  Shortly after we were anchored and had the stern line ashore we boarded our dingy and went across to join the crowd. Loads of laughs and fun as usual when people from different backgrounds with a common pastime of yachting gather together.

After a few beers we made our way back to Awatea for our next treat! Huge succulent steaks sponsored by Robert – another cut of meat he struggled from Australia with. The steak was beautifully prepared by Derek and Murray and was cooked to perfection on the electric BBQ.  Shame that we did not have enough to share with our other yachtie friends, but could only tease them with the smells drifting across the bay. Lol.  Needless to say the meal was well complemented with some bottles of nice red wine – Yum! Yum!

We all had an early night after another busy day and the long sail and look forward to meeting Murray’s cousin Sue tomorrow in Gocek, the busy marine town that has 6 marinas.

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Enkicik Bay, Turkey

Robert and Murray arrived on Thursday 28 April, a couple of days before we set sail on Awatea’s first ever sailing expedition. It was great to see them, but even better was the 20kg of fresh meat they had brought from Australia – legs of lamb. rib fillets of beef, bacon, lamb racks as well as some other goodies.  We had a great night at La Fortune, celebrating Woei Haw's birthday and a welcome dinner for the likely lads.  On Friday we stocked up with other essentials such as beer, wine, more beer and some food before spending the afternoon in Pineapple, our local English Pub at the Marina, watching the Royal Wedding.

Early Saturday we set off to our first destination - Ekincik bay.

The weather was kind to us and we hit a 20 knots breeze very soon and Awatea sailed beautifully, flying through the water at 10knts.

The wind built up very fast and soon was gusting 30 knots (captured on the wind sensor) so Captain John decided to put in a reef, which took some doing as the reefing line was trapped and the rough water made it very tough. We had to loosen the mainsail and swing it to the other end to untie the rope while she was moving at high speed at a 45 degree angle to the sea surface. After few attempts the reefing line finally freed up, and with the good breeze we soon arrived at our destination - Ekincik Bay.

We anchored in a small bay opposite the marina where we were berthing for the night while waiting for another yacht skippered by a friend to arrive. While enjoying lunch prepared by Derek, we saw there were quite a few yachts coming in so we decided to raise the anchor and motored across. The marina was incredibly beautiful, with the pontoon along it’s coast line and right under mountains covered with flowers and all the boardwalks around the marina lined with nautical ropes. We were directed to moor on the right end of the pontoon, which isolated us away from the crowd.  Thought our reputation may have preceded us but then realized it was probably allocated according to the boat size – and we all know bigger is better!!. Behind us was a small building in ruins, and there was a cable car on rails up the hill, that we later found up was a means to commute elderly or handicapped guests from the pontoon up to the restaurant.  Not sure if Robert was pleased or not when they said he didn’t qualify!

Some Germans that arrived earlier were enjoying a swim (water was still icy), while we were exploring our little piece of heaven. One of the things to highlight was their beautiful shower facilities that were done in a  nautical style. At the entrance you found wooden clogs to put on and then walked in through a big resting room into the shower area. The wall was decorated with sea shells and other items from the sea, and an amazing color scheme to complement the theme.

Mooring and use of the facilities are free as long as you dine in their restaurant, and shore power is TL25 a day and water TL10. All well worth the experience in such a beautiful setting.

On the top of the hill overlooking the bay was their magnificent restaurant, which happened to be the sister restaurant to our local in the Netsel Marina in Marmaris. We booked in for the dinner, and celebrated the first days sailing on our adventure, and finished the evening back on Awatea for a few night caps.

The restaurant didn’t have a written menu, but the waiter presented a selection of entrees, lots of freshly caught fish and made recommendations for our meals. Although the restaurant was only partially full, it did take awhile to get served, but it was well worth the wait.  A big thank you to our honorary Chief Engineer - Murray for a beautiful meal!

Our other friends didn’t arrive that night however we met up with them at Ortism Bay near Gocek, another 38 nautical miles away – however that is another story!