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2011 Cruise

April - June 2011

AYVALIK Thursday 14th April     We had a typical NE Aegean welcome when we got here just over a week ago with strong NE winds which blew for a day or so. Work on Kabardar has been progressing well with a good temperature for working and the sun shining to keep us cheerful.  Until today.  After a very windy night we now have persistent rain and occasional thunder so all external work is suspended.

AYVALIK Tuesday 19th April     A cold, wet and windy night.  Again.  However, Kabardar is almost ready to go and we are working towards a launch on Friday.  

AYVALIK Friday 22nd April     Kabardar was launched this morning but we have only got as far as the pontoon in the Marina!  The original intention had been to check out of Turkey and head for Greece today, but the first gale of the season struck yesterday and with gale warnings and forecasts of rough seas we have decided to stay put for a day or so.  Forecasts are now looking good for a departure on Monday. This wind is cold and we are still needing heating on morning and evening!

AYVALIK Sunday 24th April     Yesterday was a public holiday in Turkey to commemorate the first sitting of the Republican Parliament in 1920 and also Turkish Children’s Day.  So, in the morning we followed the flow of people through the back streets of Ayvalik and found ourselves at a sports field where the celebrations were going on.  In spite of the efforts by the organisers to stop people standing on the field on the ‘wrong’ side of the fence, a small group did and we managed to mingle amongst them and so got a good view!  There was dancing, a lot of awards - although for exactly what we don’t know as the only words we could understand were Attaturk, basketball and football - and finally ended with a very large, colourful parade.

MITILINI Wednesday 27th April     Arrived at Mitilini on the island of Lesbos yesterday and at the moment are the only yacht on the quay.  We had intended to leave Ayvalik on Monday, but that morning a rather windy weather forecast came on the Navtex and so we checked other on-line forecasts and all were windy so we stayed.  It was indeed a very windy day on Monday.  Officially checked out of Turkey yesterday and in a relatively light NWly had an easy, gentle sail here in hazy sunshine.   No problems - everything worked OK, we even had our first pod of dolphins of the season around us.  We are now officially checked into the EU, although the customs man wasn’t in his office when we arrived and didn’t answer his mobile so that part of the process was dispensed with!  Spent this morning exchanging an empty Greek gas cylinder, which the Turks won’t touch, and trying to buy a USB Mobile Broadband stick.  Vodafone won’t have any until Friday and Cosmote is shut for the afternoon and not open again until tomorrow so we can’t even talk to them!  Nothing is ever as simple as it should be.  And it’s raining.

OINOUSSA Sunday 1st May     Having eventually sorted the essentials of life (mainly an internet connection) we left Mitilini yesterday and after an unpromising start had a good WNW wind which blew us along nicely for the 47 miles to Mandraki, the only harbour on this small island just off the north end of Chios.  Today we have an unhelpful, strongish SE wind so we’ll stay put for today.  It’s a pleasant place to be but not for too long as there are very few facilities here.


CHIOS Wednesday 4th May     It’s been a good few days for going north!  With continuing SE winds we have come the 10 miles S from Oinoussa to Chios Town, the main town on the island.  A better place to be for the facilities of the town, but not for the comfort of the harbour.  The entrance faces SE and as the SE winds have been blowing for several days now, the sea is coming in and bouncing around this large harbour causing a lot of rolling.  The effect of the wash from the ferries entering and leaving at speed is nothing compared to it.  The next jump we want to make is the 50ish miles more or less SE to Samos and the end of this wind is now forecast, so hopefully we’ll be on our way tomorrow.  Yesterday we went on the local bus and visited a couple of fortified villages in the south of the island.  The advantage of visiting at this time of year is that it’s quieter and the touristy knick-knacky shops haven’t yet opened, the downside that it was impossible to find anywhere open to get some lunch!

KARLOVASI Thursday 5th May     What a difference a day made!  Yesterday afternoon the SE wind died down, the sea settled and Chios Town harbour became a calm, comfortable place to be.  We decided to head south to Samos today, but didn’t have any great expectations of a brisk sail as the wind forecast chart we looked at showed not a lot of anything from all sorts of directions.  What we actually got was light NE to begin with, then SW and then more W.  We sailed or motor sailed most of the way steadily down to Karlovasi on the north coast of Samos.  George steered most of the time and we played Scrabble.  Much better than we had expected.  As we came in, someone from the Port Police office met us on the quay and was helpful with lines and then advised us that a ‘big ferryboat’ would be coming into this small harbour later and we should watch our lines and have plenty of fenders down.

KARLOVASI Saturday 7th May     The ferry came and went on Thursday evening and didn’t cause us any particular problem.  It was indeed a very large vessel for this small harbour and it was quite impressive to see it turned round in such a small space.  We had a pleasant meal in a Taverna on the quay and settled for a peaceful night.  Then at 4am we were awoken by huge surging in the harbour causing the boat to be pushed manically against the quay (we were alongside) and it was apparent that we needed to move.  We tried to get away from the quay to go and drop the anchor some distance off and nearly made it when a rope got tangled around the propeller.  So there we were stuck against the quay.  We resecured the boat with all manner of ropes to try and reduce the rolling but it was getting worse by the minute and some damage was being caused.  Through all this we had the company of someone from the Port Police who shone a torch now and again and made sympathetic noises.  Just after it got light a fisherman indicated that there was a mooring we could possibly use to pull ourselves off.  So we untied the tail from the quay and attached it amidships and did indeed manage to haul ourselves a little way off the quay which improved things - for a while.  Just after 9am a diver appeared - no idea if somebody called him or if he just happened to be passing but down he went which surprised us as we regarded it as too dangerous with the amount of movement of the boat.  Anyway, he fairly quickly removed the offending rope and all the other lines were quickly undone and with a push from the diver, and a couple of other people we made it off the quay without further incident.  We tried the opposite side of the harbour but that was no better and decided to go back and try and pick up the mooring we had used to pull us off.  It was a strong one and a fair way off the quay.  Several attempts at picking up the buoy failed - the water was just too rough. Plan Z - we managed to drop the anchor and plenty of chain and get back close to the mooring buoy.  It was then relatively easy to get a line to it.  With our anchor down with plenty of chain and also attached to this mooring we felt fairly secure.

The sea outside was very, very rough yesterday but it was still a surprise how rough it got inside, given the wind direction.  And it got worse throughout the day.  So for yesterday and most of the night we tossed about in a pretty uncomfortable way. Today is much less manic - almost calm by comparison.  Still windy, but forecast to drop.  We haven’t fully assessed the damage but the teak cap rail is badly broken, 2 stanchions seriously bent, 1 fender smashed and 1 mooring rope passing through an aluminium fairlead wore through in a couple of hours!  We haven’t had a chance to get a good look at the topsides yet. But certainly, had we not got off the quay it would have been much, much worse.

One positive - today, for I think the first time, we have cloudless blue skies and sitting in the shelter of the spray hood it is nice and warm whereas people on the quay are in jeans and jumpers!

PATMOS Monday 9th May     We had an excellent sail today with the NW wind behind us to cover the 35 miles from Karlovasi to where we are now at anchor in a quiet bay on the island of Patmos.  Karlovasi is the first entry on our list of places which we would prefer never to see again!  Saturday night everything calmed down - we watched a DVD in comfort.  On Sunday morning we moved back onto the quay and settled to a day of washing and such shopping as could be done in a small Greek port on a Sunday.  There was a fair bit of noise during the evening as a Greek team had apparently won the European basketball championship.  This morning when we woke there was some swell coming into the harbour, not a huge problem at that time but we decided not to hang around and see how bad it got and so left fairly promptly and had breakfast as we went!

PATMOS Tuesday 10th May   A peaceful night at anchor.  This morning we moved round the corner to Skala, the main town on the island.  It’s very much on the cruise ship circuit as on this island (it is believed) St John wrote his poem of the Apocolypse.  When we arrived, tied up on the quay but soon a Coastguard official appeared and told us that they were shutting that part of the quay as they were expecting ‘fast boats with doctors’.  When?  Maybe tonight, maybe tomorrow morning!!  Anyway, we moved and anchored off in the bay which is no problem.

PATMOS Wednesday 11th May    The ‘fast boats with doctors’ was not quite the medical emergency we thought it might have been!  Certainly several small and potentially fast boats arrived but it looked like a race/rally sponsored by a suncream company!  Today have been up to the Hora and Monastery of St John.  Bus up to the top, walked down.  Only 1 small cruise ship in today so there weren’t too many people about.  Skala is a pleasant place but not so sure it would be as good in the peak season, it has all the signs that it would be totally dominated by tourism and be absolutely manic.

LEROS Friday 13th May   With F5/6 and a roughish sea behind us we sailed here from Patmos yesterday.  It was a bit rock’n’roll at times but we made very swift progress.  We’ve come into the marina here to get the repairs we need properly assessed so we may be here a few days.  Perhaps not such a bad thing as it will allow more time to recover from the strains and bruises suffered in that Boris Karloff place (as we now call Karlovasi).

LEROS Tuesday 17th May   We’ve walked and bussed from one end of this island to the other and Leros is what all Greek islands should be like.  No international airport (in fact what is called an airport would better be described as a landing strip), no mass tourism, pleasant people and very Greek.  And what a helpful bus driver we had yesterday who extended his route to come into the marina approach road, dropped us off and then did a U-turn and went back into town!  Try getting that done in the UK!  Lakki, the nearest town to us, is a curious place.  Built by the Italians in the 1930s with architecture of the period and wide tree lined streets.

The new bits of teak capping rail are due to be fitted today.  Stanchions/guard wires a bit more of a problem as we have non-standard spacing and so a bit more investigation as to the best solution is needed.  The fridge had starting being a bit temperamental so we’ve had that checked over and regassed.  Seems OK now so hopefully we’ve avoided what would have been a problem of monumental proportions, especially as summer now seems to have arrived.

ASTIPALAIA Saturday 21st May   The new teak was finally fitted on Thursday, and we were pleased with the job.   We were impressed with the boat yard and its facilities and liked the town and definitely have Leros in mind as a future base for Kabardar.  Without further delay, we left on Friday morning and had a good sail to the very small island of Levitha, some 20 miles west of Leros.  We intended to anchor in a bay on the S side of the island and had a choice of turning left or right on entry.  We chose left.  Later we took the dinghy to have a look around and found that had we turned right we would have been in company of 6 other yachts.  In our corner we were alone with only a cormorant and a seagull or two for company. There are apparently a few people who live on this island but the terrain looks as though even mountain goats would find life difficult.  A peaceful, uneventful night at anchor.

Today we headed 25 miles south with a F4/5 NW behind us and a fairly lumpy sea, but not enough to be a problem.  We are now anchored in an almost totally landlocked bay on this island, excellent shelter from both wind and sea.  Nothing ashore except a very small hamlet and a number of goats.  For the first time this trip enjoyed dinner in the cockpit.  And also for the first time Chris had a swim -  wearing a wetsuit!!!!

ASTIPALAIA Sunday 22nd May   Another peaceful night at anchor, the only sounds being that of the goat/sheep bells. Today we did a half circumnavigation of the island, under engine as there was never enough wind to keep us moving, and came into the main town of the island, a very pretty place.  Have tied up on the ‘new’ yacht quay which seems to have been in development for a number of years.  The planning does not seem to have covered anything to tie up to so we have improvised and used the concrete bases of the yet to be installed electricity/water points.


This is why we love Greece!!

ASTIPALAIA Tuesday 24th May   For the first time this trip we found ourselves on a full quay with around 12 yachts each night.  The town is a very pleasant place.  On Monday we walked up to the Hora and the ruins of the Venetian castle.  A Greek woman who was sitting washing vegetables pointed out the best way up and we followed her advice and went ‘up, up, always up’ the steps of the streets in the old town and finally got to the centre of the Hora.  Up a bit more and we got to the castle.  Totally deserted and only us there!  It’s really totally ruined and effort is apparently focused on stabilising what is left, but there was no evidence of any work whatsoever!  For 2 days in a row we enjoyed fresh bread, hot from the oven, for breakfast.  Have now left the town and are at anchor in a bay not far away with nothing here apart from a couple of churches (which always seem to found in the most inaccessible, isolated places) and several athletic sheep galloping across the rocks.  Yet again no mobile reception.

KOS Wednesday 25th May   A dull, grey day in the SE Aegean.  Once we left Astipalaia we had an assortment of winds!  All from the N/NW but with strengths varying so much that our speed ranged from charging along at 7+ knots with reduced sail to struggling to maintain 2.5 knots!  Anchored for the night of the SW coast of Kos.  Ashore is holiday development which in its pre-season, empty state, looks absolutely awful!

NISYROS Friday 27th May    This is our second night on this lovely island.  It’s a small island, only about 40 sq.km, and the main attraction is the dormant volcano where it is possible to walk down onto the crater floor and listen to the hissing and bubbling going on.  Pretty warm down there!

Today we’ve hired a car, visited the volcano and driven on virtually all the roads that exist on the island. It’s a very green island and much of the land absolutely covered with yellow broom.

As we came in yesterday morning a friendly greeting emerged from the next but 1 boat which turned out to be the Italian couple who were next to us in the boatyard at Ayvalik.  Further along was a French couple last seen in Preveza 3 or 4 years ago! It’s a small world.

ALIMIA Sunday 29th May   We left Nisyros yesterday morning with black clouds rapidly gathering and before long there were thunderstorms all around us.  At one point Nisyros then only 4 miles behind us could not be seen.

Once the storm and rain had passed we had a gentle sail down to Tilos to anchor for the night.  This proved a less than satisfactory stop as, there being virtually no wind, Kabardar lay sideways on to the slight swell which was coming in and rolled for much of the night.  To add to the problem, the water in the nearly full water tank was sloshing noisily from side to side.

Today was a much better day as far as the weather goes, but no wind so we motored the 22 miles to the uninhabited island of Alimia just off the west coast of Rhodes. Now anchored in a nice calm bay.  Hopefully it will stay that way!

RHODES Monday 30th May  After a perfectly peaceful night (water absolutely flat this morning) we have made our way round to Lindos on the E coast of Rhodes.  No wind but lots of sun!

RHODES Thursday 2nd June  Spent a couple of nights at Lindos, very picturesque bay and village below an ancient acropolis.  Unfortunately most of the ‘ancient’ remains are actually modern reproductions.  It was also the most manically touristy place we have been to on this trip.  Numerous coaches, boats and cars brought hoards of people each morning.  It was peaceful enough anchored in the bay though. Yesterday we headed up the coast to Kolymbia to meet Alison and Stewart, friends from Beverley currently on holiday there.  After lunch, and against all expectations, the W/NW wind got up to around F5/6 and we had a boisterous, and at times wet, sail up to Rhodes town.  The harbour here is absolutely full of all sorts of boats and at first the guy in charge of the moorings we could stay 1 night, and 1 night only, but later relented and agreed to 2.  Spent today looking round the old town of Rhodes.  

MARMARIS Friday 3rd June  And now back to Turkey with a reach in a W F4 for about half way which gradually died to nothing.  Then, on the final approach to Marmaris the wind was against us.  We have now completed the Turkish entry procedures and hope we have all the right stamps in all the right places.

GOCEK Wednesday 8th June   We spent a couple of days pottering around the Bay of Marmaris and on Monday met up with Stephen and Rosalind, Chris’ brother and his wife who arrived at the weekend to stay in Icmeler near Marmaris for a couple of weeks.  On Tuesday we sailed the 45 miles from Icmeler to the Skopea Limani.  It was a gentle sail in light winds and for the first time this trip we used the spinnaker. Skopea Limani is a large area of water to the SW of Gocek where there are islands and bays within bays. All very beautiful.  Tuesday night we anchored in Killeiskelesi Koyu, otherwise known as Tomb Bay and so called because there are some Lycian rock tombs in the steep cliffs.  We attempted to climb up to them but were defeated by the large number of insecty things in the scrub which kept biting.

Today we’ve come up to Gocek and managed to find a space to anchor.  It is a long time since we saw so many pleasure boats in such a relatively small area - all shapes, sizes and degrees of luxury. We thought the Marmaris area was full of boats, but that was nothing compared to this!  Fortunately, there are loads of places to anchor in Skopea Limani so it is possible to find a spot which is peaceful - once all the day trip boats have gone.

KALKAN Friday 10th June  Spent Thursday relaxing in Skopea Limani and overnight we had the bay we were in to ourselves, except for a very large 4 deck high motor yacht, fortunately they weren’t too close but they did give out an awful lot of light!

Today we have come the 45 miles SE to Kalkan.  The Greek forecast was WNW 5/6 soon 7, the Turkish forecast NW 3/5.  In the event what we actually got was SW 5 to begin with, then a lull where there wasn’t lot of anything and finally, NW 5.  The result was that apart from an hour or so we were blown along quite nicely.

NISOS MEYISTI Saturday 11th June  With a W F6 (and increasing) and a rough sea behind us and reefing the genoa more and more as we came eastwards, we made the short 15 mile jump to this small Greek island (also known as Kastellorizo), the furthest east of the Greek islands and just 2.5km from the Turkish coast.  On arrival we attempted to back on to the quay but the wind was swirling and gusting so much because of the steep land around the harbour  that it was very, very difficult.  So we gave up and anchored in a corner of the harbour. It wasn’t long before the Port Police arrived and told us we must go on the quay as we were in the turning circle of the ‘big ferry from Rhodes’ due at 4pm.  So we moved, thinking it must be a very large ferry coming to this tiny, remote outpost of Greece for us to be in the way where we were.  This time we got the kedge anchor ready to go over the stern and went bows to, which was a whole lot easier in the gusts.  The ferry was, indeed, a very large one but we’re not sure that we would have been in the turning circle - maybe a bit too close for comfort though! I have never seen a Greek ferry move so slowly as it came in - it barely caused a ripple!

NISOS MEYISTI Sunday 12th June  It’s nice here so we’re staying.  


UCAGIZ  Wednesday 15th June  We’re now approx. halfway between Meyisti and Finike, in patch of water which is very much a yachtie playground.  Very sheltered from the sea with lots of lovely, sheltered anchorages.  The sail here on Monday was dead downwind which Kabardar, with the large genoa, does very well.  So much so that we caught up and passed a larger yacht which left Meyisti just before us.

In several places around the edge of this piece of water there are ancient ruins from Bronze Age onwards. Monday evening we walked across a narrow neck of land to the site of ancient Aperlae most of which is now submerged but all around the waters edge are numerous sarcophagi.

The downside to this whole area is that if you pick the wrong spot to anchor the peace is soon shattered by trip boats and associated activities like jet ski rides! They’re fairly easy to avoid though.

FINIKE Thursday 16th June  Came into the marina here this afternoon and this will be Kabardar’s base for the next 12 months.

Total distance sailed this trip was 629 n. miles which is on the low side for us.  It’s been a good trip with mostly good winds and peaceful anchorages and, apart from Karlovasi, safe harbours.

2 improvements we made to the boat this year have been more valuable than one might have imagined.  The 2 small new hatches, 1 in the heads and a corresponding one on starboard side have made an enormous differnce to the ventilation - even early in the season when it was still pretty cool.  The electronic charting system, mounted immediately ahead of the wheel, has totally transformed navigation, particularly at short range.

August - October 2011

FINIKE Thursday 25th August     We arrived back in Finike in the early hours of Tuesday morning.  All OK with the boat except that the outside was very, very dusty. Now all clean.  There was a turtle in the marina yesterday - I think it was lost! Turkcell 3G USB Modem has been acquired and works; the newly obtained USB Wireless Adapter is picking up WiFi networks we didn’t know were there, so communications seem to be sorted.  Fridge and cupboards are full so we plan to be on our way tomorrow.

CINEVIZ LIMANI Saturday 27th August     Last night was spent in Cavus Limani, a bay about 22 miles from Finike and around 8 miles south of where we are now.  A gulet arrived soon after us playing loudish music which thankfully soon stopped. However, the peaceful night was shattered by a second one playing loud music arriving at around 2am and anchoring not far from us!

The bay we are now in is described in the pilot book as a spectacular, deserted anchorage.  Spectacular it certainly is but as with all beautiful spots, too many people want to see how beautiful it is and there are 5 gulets here for the night; thankfully, quiet

All seems well with the boat except that after 2 months in the marina we had a rather furry bottom and the propeller had provided the foundation for a high rise barnacle city - both causing us to be a bit slow!  Chris has now spent some time underneath and cleared the worst of it.

ALANYA Monday 29th August     Yesterday morning we moved a couple of miles north and anchored off the beach at Cirali.  The morning we spent walking around the ruins of the ancient Lycian city of Olympos just back from the beach.  Lots of now overgrown ruins - kind of maintained, but all in a very southern Turkish way.

We made the 75 mile jump across to Alanya overnight and had enough of useful winds to sail just a bit more than half distance.  A very warm and humid night which felt a bit like sailing through a Turkish bath!  At least the cleaner bottom helped our speed.

GAZIPASA  Wednesday 31st August     Just 22 miles SE from Alanya and, thankfully, a world apart!

We spent yesterday in Alanya and found it to be the most package holiday dominated place we have seen.  Anywhere.  Ever.  Very expensive by Turkish standards too.  The few places we might have found interesting were closed because it was Eid Al-Fittr but we don’t feel we missed out!

Today, in light winds, but from a useful SW direction, we sailed very slowly down the coast past development we haven’t seen the like of since the Costa del Sol until, at about the half way point, it suddenly changed and we saw hillsides covered with banana plantations and other cultivation.  We’re here in this makeshift harbour for the night in the company of a few fishing boats, a dolphin and somebody ashore playing the guitar.  Wonderful!

YESILOVACIK Saturday 3rd September     On Thursday we made the 42 mile trip from Gazipasa to Bozyazi for the night.  Hardly any wind for the first 30 or so miles then, finally, a nice SW 5 for the final 10.

On again the next day to Aydincik, a further 22 miles east.  Useful winds for the whole trip, but at about the halfway mark we were surprised by a 90° change in the wind direction from SE to SW!  We anchored in the middle of the small harbour at Aydincik as what was supposed to be the yacht quay was totally full of small fishing boats.  Quite a lot of money had obviously been spent in an attempt to make the harbour attractive - at night it had quite amazing blue and green lighting all around it.

Then today another 22 miles east to Yesilovacik with steadily increasing SE winds up to F5 and we were racing along, at times over 7 knots.  The small village here is a rather dusty, ramshackle sort of a place with chickens roaming around the streets. But as at Aydincik, the people are friendly and welcoming and you can get a lot of good fruit and veg. for your money.

At Bozayzi, and again here at Yesilovacik, we have met a man from Cyprus who has sailed up and down this bit of the coast for 4-5 months every year for the last 6 years.  He has told us an awful lot about many places around here - if only we could remember it all!

TASUCU Tuesday 6th September     Arrived at Tasucu this morning and are tied up on the quay - the only foreign yacht here.  We’ve spent the last couple of days at anchor just a bit SW of here and have watched turtles (fairly small with white faces) swimming around the bay.  But my goodness the nights! Huge gusting winds off the Taurus mountains causing the boat to constantly move about and creating all sorts of noises through the rigging. We were secure enough but try sleeping!

Back in Yesilovacik we had a kingfisher fishing near us.  We also had a battered old coaster clattering onto the quay ahead of us at 3am to load sand for glassmaking, before leaving at around 9am.

TASUCU Thursday 8th September     This has been a pleasant place to spend a couple of days.  We’ve been playing the tourist, going on the bus to look at the nearby town of Silifke and today further inland to Uzuncaburc, a village 1200m up in the mountains where there are some Graeco-Roman ruins.  What particularly struck us in the village, and along the way up there, was the large proportion of the people (particularly men) wearing traditional Turkish trousers.

When we walked into the village proper we found many,many large groups of men, and only men, standing around in the village centre (although we did later see a small group of women only).  It all felt a bit strange and we wondered what was happening. Later, a not fully occupied cafe owner who came to chat to us as we waited for our bus back explained that they were getting ready for a burial.  And what a helpful chap he was! The bus had only gone 100m or so when it stopped and started to reverse and all because this man had run after it to give us back the bag (containing 2 water bottles and a guide book) which we had left on a stone!

Just as interesting as the ruins was the bus ride up there through quite dramatic, mountainous countryside.

Bananas are good here and cheap too.  They grow the smaller ones and it always seems that when trying to get whatever number we want cut off a large bunch, before we know it there are a dozen or more are in the bag - and still only around 40p!

Moving on tomorrow.

MERSIN Sunday 11th September   Arrived in Mersin, a large city and port (pop. 1.5 - 2 million) this afternoon - a total of 74 miles from Tasucu.  We had hoped to find a place in the fishing harbour which is tucked in a corner of the commercial port so that we would be right in the town centre but there was absolutely no room so we’ve come into this very new marina which only opened a couple of months ago.  500 berths and only about a dozen boats here!!  We certainly had the attention of most of the staff when we arrived!  A mile or 2 out of the centre but there are buses.

All along this coast there are the remains of old fortifications and castles.  One place where we made a brief stop (Kizkalesi) has 2 castles - 1 in the sea on a rocky outcrop and 1 on the land (just).

Conditions remain calm with light SW winds in the afternoons and nights at anchor have been peaceful.

MERSIN Tuesday 13th September     Had a great day out today.  We went on the train to Adana, a large city about 70km NE of Mersin.  A city with lots of trees, parks and green spaces.  Modern parts and also the usual large, bustling bazaar quarter with all manner of small businesses.  The beautiful Sabanci Mosque in Adana is apparently the largest in Turkey with a capacity of some 30,000 people!

The scrum to get on the train back rivalled some we have seen for the unreserved seating carriages on Indian Railways.  Unfortunately we picked the wrong scrum and an argument between those trying to get off and those fighting to get on caused a big delay during which time people getting in the other door to the carriage got most of the seats.  We were lucky - some kind Turkish gents gave us their seats..

Yesterday we had a look around Mersin - little of tourist interest but a very pleasant city.  We actually saw a scribe at work!

Tomorrow we leave this lonely pontoon, although the shoreside bars and cafes are well developed and busy so it hasn’t felt too lonely.  It’s been a good visit.

The scrum to get on the train back rivalled some we have seen for the unreserved seating carriages on Indian Railways.  Unfortunately we picked the wrong scrum and an argument between those trying to get off and those fighting to get on caused a big delay during which time people getting in the other door to the carriage got most of the seats.  We were lucky - some kind Turkish gents gave us their seats..

Yesterday we had a look around Mersin - little of tourist interest but a very pleasant city.  We actually saw a scribe at work!

Tomorrow we leave this lonely pontoon, although the shoreside bars and cafes are well developed and busy so it hasn’t felt too lonely.  It’s been a good visit.

ALANYA Thursday 22nd September     It had to happen sometime - thwarted by the weather!  Plan A was to go from Bozyazi to Side (approx. 90 miles) in 2 hops stopping for the night in Gazipasa.  After motoring all but 3 of the 40 miles from Bozyazi to Gazipasa yesterday because there was no wind, and with the weather forecasts showing very light winds for the next few days plus thunderstorms, that plan was abandoned and we decided to make the shorter jump to Alanya marina today. This morning, for the first time this trip, we had breakfast down below as we sat at anchor in a thunderstorm at Gazipasa.  Once that had passed we set off and managed to sail most of the 23 miles but the winds were mostly associated with the thundery stuff around us.  Since arriving here early afternoon there has been thunder more or less continuously and steady, heavy rain for several hours.  It’s forecast to clear over the weekend but until it does we’re staying put.

SIDE  Sunday 25th September   We stayed in Alanya Marina for a couple of days, let the thundery conditions pass and also caught up with housework, washing and various other odd jobs.  Still with forecasts of light winds we set off for Side this morning and actually managed to sail not too slowly for most of the 30 miles.  Now we are in this small harbour amongst many trip boats, never the best formula for a relaxing time.

The Austrian guy on the yacht we tied up next to told us that it is in awful here overnight - no sleep possible until 4am because of the disco nearby.  He left at 5pm to spend the night somewhere else!

More of a problem is that we seem to have a problem with the gas supply to the cooker.  Chris thought he could smell gas down below.  Turning the hob on, the pressure was far too high and so we turned the gas off at source.  When lighting the hob with whatever was left in the pipe it lit in a rather explosive manner.  The cylinder connected at the time had been difficult to fit and is now not sealing itself. It’s sealed now with one of our brass screw on stoppers and safely in the gas locker.  All to be investigated further.  So, no aubergines baked with onions, tomatoes and garlic tonight!!

SIDE Monday 26th September     The disco noise stopped at around 3am and the trip boat next to us left just after 7.30am so not the best nights sleep.  We went out to find something to eat last night and were horrified at the prices asked so we stood up to leave without ordering.  At which point we were offered a reduced price and the chap explained that we must understand that it wasn’t a Turkish restaurant, it was a Tourist restaurant!

Have spent this morning looking at the ruins of the ancient city which are quite extensive. More high prices!  When Chris asked why the entry to the Roman theatre was 2 or 3 times entry fees in other places in Turkey the people behind the desk just shrugged and pointed to a notice from the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.  But in this package holiday town they get your money one way or another.  Planning to sail to Finike overnight, and with gas currently out of use we decided to find some lunch in the town and were very pleased when we found in a side street a very simple Turkish take away type of place with tables and the prices looked OK.  But they then charged us the highest price for 2 beers we have ever paid anywhere in Turkey AND added 10% service to the bill!

But in spite of all this, Side is an interesting place and we are glad we came. We have now moved out of the harbour to anchor more peacefully and in cleaner water off the beach before leaving for Finike during the evening.

FINIKE  Wednesday 28th September     We arrived at the marina here in time for breakfast yesterday morning, after an uneventful trip across sailing and motoring about half distance each.

We believe we have now sorted out the gas supply problem.  The regulator on the cylinder appears to have failed causing the problems at the cooker end.  Have now obtained and fitted a new regulator.  The people in the chandlery here have been very helpful, but we still had to deal with the difference between the Turkish approach to safety issues and ours. For example, to connect things which aren’t designed to fit together, just add a few rubber washers!  Unfortunately, whatever actually happened seems to have caused a problem with the cooker in that one ring and the grill will not stay alight.  A job for the winter!

Can now be on our way tomorrow.

KAS  Friday 30th September   Now 30 miles west of Finike we came into the busy harbour here at lunchtime today after spending an yesterday afternoon and night at anchor in a bay 10 miles further east.  After the time spent further east when we saw hardly any other yachts on the water we suddenly find dozens.  Last night we were in a small, very attractive bay and there were 6 others!

Kas is an extremely pleasant holiday town.  This afternoon we climbed up behind the back of the town to a some of the Lycian tombs cut into the steep rock face.

UCAGIZ  Sunday 2nd October     On Thursday and Friday we went west against the wind and sea coming from the west, the most common direction.  Yesterday, after a very windy night in Kas harbour, we came east against the wind and sea now coming from the east!!  We’re now in the landlocked bays and inlets near the lovely village of Ucagiz (approx. halfway between Kas and Finike) to spend a day or 2 relaxing at anchor.  Blue sky, sun, good book and a cold beer.

CINEVIZ LIMANI  Thursday 6th October    A good day on the water!   After several days when there was little or no wind and what there was, was against us, we had a really good sail from Finike to here today.  A close reach as far as the headland and then after turning to go NE, a dead run to this bay.  Neither too much nor too little wind.  Cineviz is still spectacular but still not deserted - 5 gulets and a couple of yachts in here tonight - it’s still a nice place though.

Yesterday we went to visit Demre, a small and fairly typical Turkish town except that it was the home of St. Nicholas, the real Santa Claus!  The ruined Byzantine church dedicated to him is a major attraction for coach loads of Russians.  That aspect was almost more interesting than the small church.

KEMER  Saturday 8th October     Came into the marina here last night to await Kate’s arrival later today.

CINEVIZ LIMANI  Monday 10th October     Last night was probably our worst night at anchor ever.  Strong SW winds were forecast so we came in here on our way south again as it is very sheltered from that direction, several boats were already in here but we managed to find a spot to anchor.  By late evening the wind got up and was gusting wildly around this steep sided bay causing all boats to swirl manically around.  On top of that it was pouring with rain. At one point the wind came from virtually every direction possible in the space of of a few minutes, anchors dragged, boats faced all ways, we turned round a complete 360°, chaos.  Everybody re-anchored.  And that was the pattern for the night, suddenly finding ourselves close to another boat or believing that one was drifting onto us.  We re-anchored 4 times in total and all in swirling gale force gusts and persistent torrential rain.  There were 17 boats sheltering in here last night and 24 hours later we are all still here apart from 1 small fishing boat.  Still raining, but wind forecast to drop tonight.

UCAGIZ  Friday 14th October     The horrible weather took a day or 2 to clear but now blue skies and sunshine have returned and we are spending a few days pottering around these, now, relatively quiet waters.

FINIKE  Sunday 16th October     Thwarted by the weather!  There was one place in the Ucagiz area left to investigate but a windy morning and the weather forecast for a near gale this afternoon into early evening and not much let up in the wind for the next day or 2 made us decide to head for Finike a day earlier than planned.  So, with only a small bit of the genoa out and a F6/7 and a rough sea behind us we had a wild ride back to Finike.  But still warm with blue skies and sun.

FINIKE Tuesday 18th October    When we woke yesterday morning to blue skies and calm we felt a bit as though we had been cheated out of a day - but not for long.  The rain clouds soon gathered and we got thunderstorms and heavy rain for a lot of the day and watched a couple of boats coming in with people wearing full foul weather gear.  Then we were glad we had come in the previous day - a rough sail in a good boat with warm sunny conditions was infinitely preferable to a rough sail in any boat in the rain!

Kate left for Antalya this morning and now we get ready to have Kabardar lifted out on Friday.

We did around 860 miles this trip - east where we stayed mostly in fishing harbours with very little in the way of facilities for pleasure boats, then the package holiday factories of Alanya and Side and finally the yachting playground between Finike and Kas.  Three very different types of sailing.

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