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                               SAILING THE FETHIYE KORFEZI AREA - TURKEY

August 7

It was smouldering hot in the Marina and we finally decided it was time to break away and get back out to the cooler anchorages. Our plan was to head east, toward Fethiye Forfezi where there is a group of islands offering terrific anchorages and many of our friends were spending their time in the area.

We were convinced that the new parts for the engine were working  and the oil and water leaks were fixed, so we checked out and prepared to leave the marina. Everything stowed, meters read, power and water cords disconnected, dock lines untied...and the engine started overheating!!! So we shut everything down and Gord proceeded to take the motor apart yet again. Not only the engine was smoking, so was Gord! He replaced the thermostat, bled the lines and did all the obvious things, and still it overheated. By the end of the day, unable to find anything wrong we were ready to check back into the marina when, lo and behold, the engine decided to relent and no longer overheat! We were never sure what changed, but it was the last time it overheated.

It was about 3 pm, too late to get too far, but being 99.8 deg in the boat, we decided to anchor somewhere in the bay where there might be a breeze.
We spent a wonderful much cooler evening at
Icmeler Bay again. Although the bar noise was overwhelming, we enjoyed the fact that we were away from the dock.

Aug 8 -12 Ruin Bay

The following morning we sailed east 35 miles toward Fethiye. We had a great sail until we ran out of wind and we had to reluctantly and apprehensively put the motor into action. It ran perfectly! We headed into Ruin Bay where Stardust was anchored. Since we were still new at the "stern tie to the shore" ritual, we all helped each other take a line to shore. We parked beside the remains of Cleopatra's Baths. In the cliffs high above were rock tombs, the pigeon hole type.

The bay sheltered many charter boats and gulets, although very busy with traffic coming and going all day, very entertaining. Many charterers were inexperienced and we helped several get settled. Stardust had an altercation with a gulet that dropped over their anchor chain. When the gulet pulled anchor to leave, Stardust was loose and Gord fended them off with the dinghy.

We had a great reunion with Tony from Tactical Directions and Gone With The Wind whom we had not seen for 8 months since Thailand! . It was so great having our little gang all back together again!

It was easy to remain in this idyllic spot. The crystal clear water was a perfect temperature for cooling off. Fresh bread (3YTL/round loaf), delivered in the morning by an industrious local who travels by boat from one bay to the next. And a little wooden boat travels amidst the anchored yachts, a woman making flatbread over an open fire right in the boat! That's fresh. Donkeys ashore grazing above the ruins, rock garden as our backyard (Our stern is about 20 feet from the rocks as it is incredibly deep all the way to the shore).

We did some hiking around the bay and climbed over the rocky saddle to another bay where GWTW was anchored.


 

Goats wandered to the water's edge

Aug 13 Fethiye
Dropped anchor beside the Fethiye Marina, behind Stardust , happy to see Balvenie, and Tactical Directions also in the anchorage.
There is a huge fine in Turkey for dumping refuge or an waste products into the water. The bays are regularly patrolled by the "potty police" and holding tanks are mandatory. Since we had been diligently stockpiling our rubbish, we had 3 bags to take to shore and dispose of. Just as we were consolidating the bags a large Coastguard ship pulled into the Coastguard Station directly adjacent to where we were anchored. We were horrified when they started throwing garbage over the side of the boat into the water...all kinds of plastic bottles, Styrofoam cups, plastic bags, cans and the like! Garbage floated by Ascension, littering the entire bay! We reported the incident to the Marina office although I am not sure what that accomplished as it is the Coastguard with the most control.

Fethiye is a charming town and although we had been there earlier by car, walking the pedestrianized downtown sector gave us a better insight into local atmosphere. I noticed that everything in Fethiye was quite a bit cheaper than in Marmaris. I even found a couple of inexpensive cushion covers that exactly matched our upholstery, a very worthwhile find.
A group of us went for a reunion dinner at a little restaurant offering a meat covered pita type dish for only 2 YTL ($1.80).

Aug 14
In the heat of the day we headed to shore to locate the local supermarket, Carrefour. I was able to buy everything I needed there including the basil that has come to be a staple in everything I cook since Thailand!
That evening, we got together on Tony's boat for drinks and dinner.


 

Aug 15-19 Sarsala Bay
We made a quick trip to town for last minute provisions, then headed out for a leisurely sail to Sarsala anchorage amidst a gorgeous shoreline backdrop of layers of high rugged mountains, diminishing hues of blues disappearing into the horizon. On the mountains high above the treeline, barren rock revealed the impressions left by the snow covered peaks. We dropped anchor beside Djarkka and stern tied to one of the large pine trees that covered the typical rocky shoreline.  We were happy to jump into the water to cool off and then enjoyed an evening breeze.

Aug 16
Another beautiful morn, sharp sunny sky mirrored by the reflection of clear glassy water. Sipping coffee we enjoyed the silence before the cicadas begin their catogaphony. A big shaggy mama goat with curly horns followed by her equally shaggy youngster, wandered  along a path skirting the shoreline. As the anchorage awoke and the chatter from passengers on the neighboring gulets broke the stillness, I went down to make breakfast.

A trail on the shore behind our boat led through the arbutus-type gum trees to a local public beach and restaurant.

Fresh bread delivered each morning, ice cream boat in the afternoon. So blissful we stayed for several days visiting with GWTW, TD and Djarkka and swimming in the transparent 87 deg temp water, A LOT!


Aug 19

Rose early before the heat of the day made us too lethargic and 7 of us hiked to the top of the rocky ridge following the goat trail that skirted the bays. It was great to get some exercise. Pictured L-R, Liam, Ginny, Mark, Amanda

Returning back to the boats 2 hours later, we decided to sail to a new anchorage for a change of scenery. GWTW, TD and Djarkka set off with us in a procession through several anchorages, bypassing each because they were too crowded with gulets and charter boats.

Boynuz Buku  35.42.5N, 28.53.7 E.

We finally got settled in  Boynuz Buku. Stern tied to the shore with 2 lines, we had a quiet shady cove,  the area commandeered for ourselves. The water was not as clear as Sarsala but it was cleaner (less weed and pine tree debris)

We had a guitar session on Balvenie with a sing-along. Next morning, we all went ashore and hiked up the rocky road behind the anchorage. Although the view was great, it was really much too hot to go any great distances.

August 22

Since our supplies were getting low, we planned to leave for Gocek to replenish. Sunshades down, sail covers off, everything stowed, stern lines untied and.....the motor would not start. Things had been going just too smoothly and we were always waiting for the other shoe to drop.

It sounded as if the battery was stone dead so we checked all of that as well as the connections. Liam and Mark came over for moral support as Gord tried to isolate the problem. Finally it was ascertained that the starter motor was faulty so Gord spent the remainder of the day getting the motor out (never an easy process in the limited space and sweltering heat!).

So plans changed quickly. We thought we would have better luck trying to get the repairs done in Fethyie (4 hours away) so GWTW organized their lines to tow us. Luckily the seas were flat so we buzzed along faster than our hull speed, pretty good considering we had no sails up and no engine running. Gotta love those cats and their big engines!

Fethiye round 2

We dropped the anchor in the harbour at Fethiye and used our dinghy to set the anchor. Gord headed to shore to find a machine shop. Several hours later he returned, the motor repaired with new brushes and solenoid so we were back in business. We spent a couple of days in Fethiye getting groceries and seeing the town but it was SO HOT there, not a breath of air at night. We finally couldn't bear the heat even another day so set out for a cooler anchorage.

August 25 Kucuk Kuyruk 36.37.85N 28.52.9E

Although the conditions were good for sailing we motored along slowly so that we could fill the water tanks, travelling only 3 knots/hr. Just before we arrived at our destination we discovered that the valve was open and all our water drained overboard, so the day's efforts were moot!

GWTW was waiting in their dinghy at the entrance to Kucuk Kuyruk early evening when we finally arrived and led us to the pick of the spots in the anchorage. We dropped our anchor in the clearest water we had seen so far, and backed toward the shore in 12 feet depth in front of a little pebble beach.

We went for a swim in this beautiful spot and really enjoyed the evening breeze that filled the boat. A wonderful change from the smouldering heat at Fethiye.

August 26 Lydae

Since the anchorage was so pleasant it was an easy decision to postpone our departure for Datca the following morn as planned.

GWTW moved around to join us in our little cove, deserted since 4am when the gulets left.

We all went for a hike to check out the ancient town of Lydae. Only the Roman and Byzantine ruins remain but there were certainly lots of indications that the city covered the entire hilltop once upon a time. The area around was hilly, splashed with olive trees growing among the rock.

August 28

Finally we left the Fethiye Korfezi area and headed westward toward Marmaris and the Datca Peninsula.


NEXT>>>>SAILING DATCA part 2

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