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DESTINY DIARY 2013 - Up to Istanbul and back to the South.

Moi Destiny L'autreChalkida South
In Full Cruise Mode. The Old Girl. In Full Cruise Mode.
This year we went back to Teos Marina on April 2nd. Since 'Destiny' was out of the water and a lot of work had to be done before launching. I really don't like staying on the boat out of the water so we decided to stay in a hotel. I had booked a room in Orion Hotel, what a mistake, a rat hole! As soon as we could we moved to the Three B Marine Hotel just opposite the marina, much more comfortable with friendly people.
There was a long work list this year: the propeller and shaft to check and bearings to change. And lots of painting: the fridge and galley, the engine bilges, the forward decks top and bottom including the railing, the brown strip on the hull, the bathing platform, antifouling and repairs to the port holes. Plus we added the aft lockers, we asked a local guy, r if he could fibreglass them, the price was OK so we agreed, another big mistake, it took a month to do instead of a week and we had to finish the work ourselves - a typical Turkish job, NQR - not quite right!
Luckily our friend Ozkan was always ready to help to find the right people and the right place to get things done, such as the re-chroming of the hatches handles, and having our fuel tanks cleaned by his little apprentice.
Ready to Go Destiny Ducky
Polished and ready to go. Propeller work. Gi'us a job.. Our diesel tank cleaner!
On top of all this, John added a bit more, new side gates instead of the cables, again not quite finished right, a new bathing ladder, and some more TLC works.
We also had some administrative problems. We needed a visa for John (as a French citizen I don't need one). We decided to ask for a resident visa so that we could stay in Turkey for more than three months. This was supposed to be a simple thing to do, but the marina's agent was pretty useless so we end up with paying a lot of money to obtain a visa valid until mid October, instead of getting a full 12months visa. The next administrative problem was the telephone. In Turkey you have to register your 'foreign' telephone with the authorities to be able to use it, and of course pay a fee -115Tl/phone. But for us it never worked; even with the help of Oskan or Hikmet from the marina, and going to the head office in Istanbul, our paperwork was lost in the system!
We negotiated a new contract with the Marina which gave us a mooring through until May 2014. It worked out as a better deal to take a full year instead of just a few weeks!!
On April 22 we were back in the water, all systems working, but still a lot of painting left to be done. We were given a mooring opposite the the swimming pool which proved a good thing, it was great to go swimming after a hard day of painting.
All this work did not stopped us to having a social life. We met other cruisers George and Fran (Aussies) and had a fantastic curry night onboard their catamaran Zarafet. Also Alec and Angie (more Aussies) who live in Sigacik. Alec works at a gold mine down the road. And Steve and Jan from NZ who decided to go back to work (in NZ) for 12 months.
L'Aureline Filming Destiny Fruit
A day out on somebody else's boat. Action - Take 1. Local market - Cherries, 2 Euros a Kilo!
We also met the owner of a classic motor yacht 'Vagabond' who asked if he could use 'Destiny' as a film platform to make a movie of his boat, in return we received a nice little movie of Destiny on the water.
Finally it was time to go cruising and stop working. Painting was done, the watermaker was working, and our lockers were full of beer and soft drinks with plenty of food in the cupboards. We were delayed by a computer breakdown (the screen hinge broke on the laptop) and a bad weather front.
On June 3rd at 9.50 a.m. we left Teos Marina heading north for Istanbul. We were a bit concerned about the demonstrations and riots in Taksim Square, but it was not affecting the 'tourist' areas - they said.
For our first day cruising we didn't go too far, just a shake down to make sure all was OK on the boat, crew included. We dropped anchor in Nerkis Lemani, a beautiful bay of clear water, but still too cold to swim. Next day, we had good weather, a beautiful sea and south wind so we continued on to the Island of Karaada to anchor for the night. But in the afternoon the wind was blowing onshore a bit too strong for the skippers comfort. We couldn't find another close shelter on the Turkish coast so we had to go on to the Greek island of Chios and at 8.20p.m. we anchored in the lonely bay of Parapanta, much more protected and surrounded by goats. But we were in Greece without having cleared out of Turkey, illegal immigrants! We didn't go ashore and the following day sailed back into Turkey for a night in Yeniforca.
The third day of our cruising and the freezer stopped! The water pump had failed, fortunately we had another pump that would do, but I spent the following day cooking what could be saved and we had an orgy of ice-creams! Yeniforca was not as good as it looked, lots of mosquitoes, barking dogs and the imam started at 5a.m. He is getting louder each year so the prophet must be getting deaf! We continued north, the wind still with us. We were told to visit the hot springs in Bademli Limani. Inside a very shallow canal, we dropped anchor and took the dinghy ashore. What a disappointment. It's an old derelict stone building with no roof and a very dirty pool of water inside. We decided it was not worth staying here and headed north to Ayvalik and dropped the anchor in Kumru Kyu, a totally landlocked, quiet and very attractive anchorage. The water waas nice and being such a quiet anchorage we stayed for a couple of days.
Ayvalik Bademli Limani Bozcaada
Ayvalik Town. The Hot Springs??? Bozcaada Castle.
We took the dinghy to the town of Ayvalik. I liked this attractive old Greek town away from the usual tourist track. It was founded around 1580 by a few Greek fishermen looking for a safe place. The inhabitants of both Ayvalik and Alibey became very skilled seamen, trading with Romania in the Black Sea, and the region was quite prosperous until the ottomans took over. There are very attractive narrow old streets with interesting shops. We found a leather shop, the old man still working, he had a hand made waistcoat prefect for John and I bought (another) handbag! We went to visit the marina, too expensive at Euro81 /night for us.
On June 10TH we continued north, sailing past Lesvos Island in beautiful calm seas and arrived on Bozcaada Island late in the afternoon and found space in the harbour for the night at 75tl (about Euro30). Bozcaada Island is well known for its vineyards, the Greek inhabitants were allowed to stay after the war so the town has two quarters a Turkish and a Greek one. We walked through the narrow lanes and decided to eat in one of the little restaurants serving squid, the local speciality. Bozcaada is the main stop before entering the Dardanelles. We were trying to find information on Istanbul and the Dardanelles from other cruisers in the harbour so we talked with the skipper of 'Cavok V' a Jeanneau with Dutch flag. Surprisingly the owners were Japanese and they were also going to Istanbul so we suggested to travel together. We planned to go all the way to anakkale which is located strategically on the south side of the Dardanelles near the narrowest point. In the middle of the night the wind came up with a very unpleasant swell coming into the harbour. We never had such a bad experience, the boat jerking on its mooring lines and I ended up feeling sea sick! When we left the following morning for anakkale, Cavok V was already gone - their night was even worse than ours, being a sailing boat and lighter they rolled a lot so decided to leave at day break.
Sub Memorial Kilitbahir Castle
Submarine in the Dardanelles. The Gallipoli Memorial Kilitbahir Castle opposite Cannakale.
We entered the Dardanelles strait which is 33 Nm long but only 0.65 to 3.2 nm wide, averaging 55 meters deep with a maximum depth of 82 meters. (A real geographical crack in the world). Water flows south along the strait, from the Sea of Marmara to the Aegean via a surface current and in the opposite direction via an undercurrent. The current reaches up to 3.5 - 4.0 knots at the Aegean entrance to the straits. Once beyond anakkale the current slackens gradually from 3.0 knots down to 1.0 - 1.5 knots. At one time our maximum speed was 3.5nts. The water is very dark and full of jelly fish.
When we reached Canakkale harbour we met up again with our new friends Yoshi and Etsuko, we had a mooring on the quay for 95tl /night with water electricity and wifi connection! By the evening the harbour was full. The town is pleasant, not too touristic despite the 'wooden horse' from the movie Troy, exhibited on the seafront. That evening there was a concert on the esplanade but also a demonstration against the government - the demonstrations are spreading beyond Istanbul.
We were not really interested in the Gallipoli Monuments, but decided with the Cavok crew to visit the ancient site of Troy. We reached the site by 'Dolmish', the local small buses. Troy, with its 4,000 years of history, is one of the most famous archaeological sites in the world. In 1865, English archaeologist Frank Calvert excavated trial trenches in a field he had bought from a local farmer and in 1868, Heinrich Schliemann, also began excavating in the area. These excavations revealed several cities built in succession. There is not much left of the defensive walls around the citadel, eleven gates, a paved stone ramp, and the lower portions of five defensive bastions, but it was nevertheless an impressive place to walk around and the scenery was amazing, the only inhabitant today are squirrels.
Squirrel Troy Troy
Just call me Helen - A Modern Trojan. The Trojan Horse(s) All that remains today.
Back to the harbour we met Tony and Margot, the owners of 'Maranka' a motor yacht. We were curious to know more about the design, and they kindly invited us on board for a drink. They built 'Maranka' themselves in England and had sailed south through the Danube, a trip we would like to do one day. We spend a long evening talking boats and cruising, exchanging information and they introduced us to Mike and Cynthia, who had also come down the Danube with their motor boat 'Amida'
The following evening we were invited for dinner on Cavok V, but our 4 people dinner turned out to be an 8 people wine-fest, Maranka and Amida joining in - poor Etsuko was so worried that there would not be enough food for everybody, but it was a great evening with lots of wine flowing, so the following day there were some heavy heads around. 'Maranka' and 'Amida' had planned to leave but for some reason decided to rest for the day!!!
Talking with Tony and Mike, we were not so keen on going on to the black sea as we had planned. Checking in and out of Turkey from Istanbul sounds like a nightmare with a lot of running around between Police, Customs and Immigration controls and regular demands for Backsheesh! The coasts of Bulgaria, Romania and Ukraine were not very appealing to me and the black sea was known for lot of wind on the nose, but John wanted to go! As it turned out we made the right decision, since there were several gales at the time we were supposed to have been in the Black sea.
Cavok Canakale Maranka
On board CAVOK V, working on our hangovers.. As seen in the movie. Maranka in party mood.
It was time to plan our next leg. We agreed that Murefte would be our next port of call. On June 15th at 5.30 am, we left Canakkale harbour, a few minutes after Cavok V. We had to stop outside the harbour to clear jelly fish that made their way through the engine inlet again! John was not happy about it. We were not sure how much current would be against us for the second leg up the Dardanelle but by 2p.m. we were in Murefte harbour moored on the quay in front of Cavok V. The harbour is a useful port of refuge along the north coast of the Sea of Marmara where choice is limited. WWe were charged 40tl for the night. There is absolutely nothing around, some small sheds for repair and construction of wooden boats, but that's it.
The next stop was the commercial harbour Silivri. It's a fishing harbour and there are no provisions for visiting yachts but we managed to find a place alongside the rough central jetty. Cavok V moored alongside us. An interesting aside - just after we had arrived, there was a call from the quayside. A fisherman from one of the nearby trawlers handed me a a courtesy flag (the Turkish flag flown on the mast indicating that we are a foreign vessel) insisting that we replace our worn and tired flag. He wouldn't take payment he just didn't want any disrespect shown to his countries flag. In Turkey if you fly a worn out or tatty flag it is taken as a sign of disrespect and you will be fined for it.
Silivri Silivri Yelova
Tied up in Silivri. Silivri - restaurants without wine! Yelova sunset.
There were several fish stalls and a string of fish restaurants, so we thought we would treat ourselves for a fish dinner. Unfortunately most of them did not serve wine and the only restaurant serving alcohol turn to be a rip off! What a disappointment.
Another early start for our final leg up to our last stop for Istanbul, Yelova marina. We left Silivri at 7am following Cavok. The weather was great, calm seas and sunshine. We arrived in Yelova at 3p.m. The marina put us on the outside wall, but we asked to move closer to the town alongside Cavok V. We had chosen to stay in Yelova, on the Asian side, it was a reasonably priced marina than the others closer to Istanbul but further out, however, the marina is next to a ferry terminal to Istanbul. We enquired about price and time table, and the most convenient was 7.30 a.m. with a return at 5p.m.
So we spent the next four days getting up at 6.30 a.m. to catch the ferry and came back to the boat at 6.30p.m. These were very long days, but there is so much to see in Istanbul and I only had a glimpse of it. I will have to come back.
From the ferry terminal Istanbul side, we took the train to the town centre, arriving at the old Orient Express train station, unfortunately no more trains arrive from Paris but there was an interesting small museum about the old days!!
Istanbul Bosphor from Topkapi Suleymaniye
Welcome to Istanbul. The Bosphorus viewed from Topkapi. Suleymaniye Mosque.
It has been my dream for more than 30 years to visit Istanbul. John was not as enthusiasm about the town as me. We visited most of the famous places, part of the Topkapi Palace, will have to go back to finish seeing it all. Walked down the Sultanahmet square to Hagia Sophia, it's was very impressive, including the mausoleums of previous sultans. There is also Little Sophie, a beauty. The Blue Mosque was just another mosque but bigger. Some museums were closed, but we both enjoyed the Turkish and Islamic Art Museum. The grand bazaar was interested for its architecture, but no bargains to find there, just a tourist trap. We crossed the Galata Bridge, an amazing construction with cafes and boutiques underneath the road and of course a view of the Bosporus. We went up Istikal street which used to be called' Grand-Rue de Pra'. Walking along this pedestrian street you can see the remains of the 'belle epoque' buildings, when Istanbul grandeur was at its best. It's now just another shopping street and the old buildings are falling into ruins 'dommage'. We reached the infamous Taksim Square, all was quiet, only riot police on standby. We took the old funicular back down to the Golden Horn. We did walk a lot through the town, through the small streets, through the various bazaars, along the main avenue, some time too tired to enjoy it all. I wish we had spent a night in town, I will definitely come back.
Istikal Street Taksim Sq Galata Tower
Istikal Street leading to Taksim Sq. Taksim Square - What riots?. The Galata Tower.
Haghia Sophia Haghia Sophia Fresco
Haghia Sophia or St Sophia and fountain. Haghia Sophia or St Sophia interior. St Sophia - Madonna and Child.
Little Sophia Blue Mosque The Bazaar
Inside Little St Sophia. Inside the Blue Mosque. One of the Bazaars.
Every evening we met up with Cavok V, we spent a very enjoyable time together, it was a good opportunity to learn more about the Japanese culture which was a big unknown for me and changed my ideas about Japan. One evening Etsuko made a Japanese dinner for us, my first introduction to this type of food. It was delicate portions of rice with tofu sushi and chicken and for the first time I tasted sake, surprising it is not stronger than wine. What an evening, I responded with a 'French' dinner with confit de canard, French cheese and crpes au chocolat. One evening Yoshi's friend from the Japanese cultural attache spent the evening with us. She is a Japanese professor of Turkish history, who lives in Istanbul and a very interesting person.
Before leaving Yelova Yoshi suggested a visit the town of Bursa, a bus drive away from Yelova. The town was famous for being the largest centre of the silk trade and is still a major centre for textile in Turkey. We started our visit from the top of the hill with a stunning view of the town and then visited an old hamam which is now a school for handicapped children but the most impressive building we visited was the 'green mosque' an amazing building. The walls are covered with dark green tiles, and on each side a great circle filled with blue, white and golden yellow arabesque of tendrils and flowers. In the centre a white marble fountain with an octagonal pool adds to the beauty of this mosque.
Bursa Green Mosque Marmara
A View of Bursa. The Green Mosque in Bursa. Sunset on the sea of Marmara.
We also went to the bazaar which has lots of silk shops but there was too much choice and in the end you don't buy anything - it's just for the pleasure of the eyes.
Since we had decided not to go on to the black sea, it was time to head back south. Yoshi and Etsuko were staying on waiting for friends so we left on June 24th. We had the problems of jelly fish again entering into the engine inlet. The water in the Sea of Maramara was not very clean and John was longing for some clear blue water.
We first sailed south to the Kapidag Peninsula and anchored in Doganlar bayon on the north coast for the night. We did not want to go into the harbour as we didn't know how deep it was. There again, the water was full of jellyfish. Next we went to Marmara Island. We had been told that the port of Saraylar was a must. We anchored outside the harbour and took the dinghy ashore. This part of the island is famous for white marble quarries which has been quarried here for centuries. The harbour is totally built out of marble blocks (the local stone)and it is decorated with ancient column segments and other architectural fragments along with some new statues.
Doggy Statue Marble Quay
A Marble statues in Saraylar. Statues abound. Even the harbour is marble!
Because of a disco onshore, we decided to go to Asmalikoy for the night. It is a small harbour on the E side of Marmara Adasi. Asmaliky is very nice place, it has a few houses, some very attractively made of wood. There is only a basic restaurant and a most rudimentary store. We were charged 30tl (Euro12) for the first night with no electricity, but the possibility of water and no charge for the subsequent days. Since John had a bad cold we were forced to stay for 3 quiet days as there was not much to do here apart from walking along the very pretty pebbled sea shore.
Finally, with John feeling better we went on south to the town of Erdek and moored in the harbour. The waterfront is crammed with restaurants and tea rooms, and the water was again full of jellyfish. It was a bit smelly, but there was no charge. The quay was full. On our port side was French boat 'Makci-lou II' owned by Michel and Manou with a very old Labrador 'Delire'. We were lucky to arrive on market day, so I could stock up with lots of fresh fruits and vegetable - I enjoy so much these markets. We stayed 3 days waiting for rain to pass, and I took the opportunity to go to the hair dresser (it was needed) and we also changed the gas bottle, when very conveniently the van passed in front of the boat and John stopped him.
Asmalikoy Old House Erdek
Asmalikoy Bay. An old house in Asmalikoy Erdek Harbour.
On July 2nd all the visiting boats left the harbour. We had planned to go to the Island of Pasalimani but ended up on Avsar in Kuecuik port, a brand new harbour with nobody in, again charged 50tl for the night with water and electricity. This is a small town trying to develop into a tourist place. There is a wine producer/restaurant selling the worst red wine I have ever drunk! The food was not great either. We didn't find the Marmara Sea an attractive place, the water was too dark and there were too many jellyfish . John had to clear the engine inlet so many times (we need to find a solution to this - Ed). We left and decided to go directly to Canakkale for one night. With the current and the wind were behind us it was a quick trip. Canakkale was very quiet, unlike our last visit, we saw and met nobody - just goes to show!! but did visit the very interesting military museum.
Next day we sailed to Sivrice, a very nice anchorage, clear water and no jellyfish! We would have stayed longer, but a strong wind made us continue south. We had been lucky with south winds when we came up to Istanbul, and now the Meltemi from the north was taking us back south.
We tried to stop in Kkkuyu but there was no space in the harbour so we went south and anchored in Poroselene in the north of Ayvalik island. Again a very nice spot, but the wind came up and we couldn't stay so left for Dikili, not a lot of space in the harbour and not a very interesting town, charged 50tl for the pleasure. We had a terrible thunderstorm that night.
Kuecuik Winery Maranka
Recommended for the worst wine in the world. Maranka at sunset.
The following day we were going to meet up with Tony and Margot from 'Maranka' who we had met in Canakkale. We had kept in touch with them and were looking forward to seeing them once more. We had arranged to meet in Dalyankoy harbour. This is the most horrible place we have ever been, there was no space and nobody to help or ask - all very unwelcoming and no sign of 'Maranka'. We had no choice but to go into the next bay of Bademlik where we found 'Maranka'! They had had the same bad experience in Dalyankoy. We spent a great evening with them and their friends - again too many bottles of wine!!!! Tony entertained us with great feats of seamanship, first he didn't tie the dinghy to the rail properly and had to do an Olympic freestyle to retrieve it after the wind took it out to sea, then he capped it by dropping all of his anchor chain out whilst a little the worse for wear in the middle of the night. Cheers mate.
Our next stop was back to Teos Marina. Since we had paid for the mooring we thought we might as well enjoy it. We also had some little repairs to do, like a new windscreen wiper motor and John had some kind of skin allergy and irritation in his throat.
We also met up with our friend Ozkan. He came to the boat for lunch with his wife Havar, his sun Cenk and his new baby boy Berk, born whilst we were away last month.
Chez Ozkan Brothers
Our friends Ozkan, Havar, Eko and his wife. Ozkans sons - Cenk and baby Burque.
On July 12 we had a message from Cavok V; he was coming to Tos Marina and had two friends from Japan on board. The same day Maranka arrived and we found him moored next to us on our return from a shopping day in Izmir! The old crazy gang from anakkale was reunited.
Because of the wind Cavok V stayed a week in Teos and 'Maranka' for about 10 days. We had great times together with, many 'happy hours'. Everybody enjoyed the swimming pool just across from the boats, we even had dinner arranged one evening at the pool. We organised a 'BBQ' in the rotunda and everybody brought something. For that occasion Etsuko dressed me in a Japanese Kimono (in Japan she teaches young women how to wear the kimono). It was an interesting experience with so many layers, it was too hot to keeping it on for long.
Geisha Happy Hour Etsuko Tunisian
Eva san. Happy Hour (another) on Destiny Etsuko going North African.
We decided to show Izmir to our friends and rented a minivan for 8 people and John drove everybody into Izmir. We went to the bazaar - girls and boys went their own way which is a lot more fun for shopping, then all met up for lunch. A good day out, except John was not used to drive such a big car and damaged the running board! (Idiot). We took the car back to our friend Ozkan and he negotiated a deal for us, it cost us only 100tl for the repair.
Yoshi et Etsuko Teos BBQ Geisha and Friends
With our Japanese friends. Destiny, Cavok V and Maranka crews enjoy a BBQ. Downtown Tokyo.
On July 19th, it was time for Cavok V to leave and go south with their friends. Maranka stayed for few more days and John helped Tony install his sail which he'd never used. We also lent him our diving compressor so that he could clean his propeller which he'd never cleaned. The boys went to Izmir to the Sanaye (the industrial area), their favourite shopping ground for bits and pieces and I went with Margot to the market in Sheferihisa, and introduced her to Mexican Train!(Dominos game)
Happy Hour Dinner Tony
Yoshi and John getting happy. Dinner at the poolside. Tony prepares to go diving.
So on July 24th, the Meltemi having eased Maranka headed of south. The next day we decided to go back home to La Clayette for August. It was Ramadan time here and we didn't really fancy cruising in August, too many charter boats and too much wind. Furthermore, John still needed to sort out this allergy, plus we wanted to change the heating system in the house, and the mooring was paid for and and and.
It was hot and still very windy. We enjoyed being safely moored in the marina with the pool to ourselves. There were a few jobs on the boat and Ozkan invited us to his home for a Turkish dinner. We had some good times with Alec and Angie and we also did some shopping in Izmir. We are building a new bathroom at home so bought bathroom fittings which are less than half the price at home so the money we saved paid for our flight back home.
The first part of our 2013 cruising finished on August 4th.

We flew back to Turkey on August 27th. Our friends David and Lowie on 'Salty Dog' kindly came to pick us up at the airport and we caught up on gossip.
We went out for the day on the 29th to clean and check the boat. We had planned to go south toward Marmaris, but had to wait for the Meltemi (winds)to ease.
Since we couldn't travel by sea, we could visit by road. David and Lowie came with us to visit the ancient Roman city of Pergamon, north of Izmir. After a lunch in town, we took the cable car to the Acropolis on top of the hill. What a fantastic view of the country side, it most have been impressive when it was all there, the library, the temples of Athena, Dionysos and Trajan, and the famous Altar of Zeus, most of it is now a pile of old stones (aren't they all - Ed) but most amazing is the Theatre, one of the biggest, it had a capacity of 10,000 people! The view was really more interesting that these old stones unless you were a fanatic archaeologist, which we are not.
Pergamon Pergamon Theatre
Shall I push here? The view at Pergamon. Pergamons Amphitheatre.
It was time to go cruising again. John was a bit concerned about our fuel stock. We still had about 1000 litres but for us that's running on empty - Destiny was up by about 6 inches on the water line. One of the reasons to go to the Black sea had been to fuel up. We had been considered buying duty free but the minimum quantity required in Turkey was too much for us. We could not really go to far and wanted to visit the mugla region, between Bodrum and Marmaris.
Finally on September 10th we left Teos with favourable winds with us. We had kept in touch with 'Maranka' and they were on Samos Island. That would be our first stop. We dropped anchor outside Pythagore Bay and dinghied ashore to meet Tony and Margot. We were happy to see them again and also have the opportunity to buy some pork chops and stock up on some wine.
The following day Maranka who had been in the port joined us outside at anchor. John helped Tony sort his autopilot problems and we finished the day with a BBQ. Then our paths parted, Maranka was going west to Mikonos and we were heading south. For the first time that night the wind indicator showed 0.0!!!! So finally the weather was with us.
On 12th September we were back in Turkish territory. We sailed to the Gllk Gulf and dropped anchor in Kazikli, in a bay called 'Paradise', it was a beautiful little bay very clear water and surrounded by trees, unfortunately the gulf of Gllk is full of fish farms on an industrial scale, who are spoiling the place not only visually but they are also noisy, what a shame. It was not worth staying so we continue south, Tony had suggested we stopped in Gmslk, but it was too full. We were also coming into an area that reminded us of St Tropez, full of big power boats that only want to show off with incompetent drivers, so it was back to the quieter waters in Greece.
Pithagore Leros Xerocampos
Pythagore harbour. Xerocampas bay on Leros. Calm waters.
We went to Leros and anchored in the beautiful bay of Xerocampos where we had been last year. We like this bay and the Island it's very clear water and quiet - no imam shouting at a deaf prophet at 5a.m, free internet and nice cafe frappe. We took the bus to Laki the capital for some supplies. There was some wind so we changed our anchoring place and found a broken part on the autopilot,luckily we had a spare. We stayed for few days sheltering from the Meltemi again. We had lunch ashore and met Helmout et Louisa from 'Snowgoose'. They have sailed around the world and knew our Australian friends Phil and Margaret on 'Argos' - small world!
We had also kept in touch with Zarafet (George and Fran) and had arranged to meet them in Pserimos, south of Leros. When we got there the little cove was very crowded with day-tripper caiques and there was no room for a yacht let alone a catamaran and there was also an uncomfortable swell. According to the chart there was a cove on the east side of the Island, Vathy, so we went there and despite a fish farm at the entrance we found a beautiful empty bay with clear water, ideal! We anchored and called Zarafet who was coming north from Kos, on the VHF and they joined us in time for lunch!
It was great to catch up with Fran and George,who we hadn't seen since the beginning of the summer in Teos. George suggested having a BBQ on the beach that evening. The boys went to the beach with the dinghy to check that all was OK, in the meantime three other sailing boats arrived in the anchorage, two British and one Spanish; the boys went to see if they they wanted to join the party! Only the two British boats joined in - Ian and Johanna on Seductress and Mat and Lise whom we had known two years ago in Alanya.
Haut les Mains BBQ Pseramos
Stand and Deliver - George style. A perfect night for a BBQ. Walking over the hill.
The BBQ was fantastic, best evening ever. It was the equinox with no wind, flat seas and a wonderful full moon, no lights, just us. A real paradise beautifully organised by our Top Chef George with his special BBQ plate, plenty of food and drinks. Everybody decided to stay another day in this bay.
The following day we walked over the hill to the town of Pserimos, where we had originally planned to go. The village was full of tourists brought by the tripper boats. We had lunch in one of the little caf restaurants before walking back to the boats for a quiet aftternoon for me and some snorkeling for the boys. In the evening we were invited to Seductess for happy hour.
It was time to continue our journey, but before we left I went swimming and enjoyed a beautiful sunrise with a full moon setting. Every body left the beautiful bay of Vathy. Zarafet were staying in Greece and we went back to Turkey towards the Gulf of Datcha as planned. We had intended to stop at Kidnos, we were told it was a must, but when we reached the bay it was too full and too windy so we continued on and stopped in the little harbour of Palamut, a small touristy village with lots of small hotels and restaurants along the sea front.
A Meltemi was forecast for the next few days, so we made ourselves comfortable. We were moored between a Belgium Grand Banks with a serious water problem - he sank the day before we arrived, and a British sailing boat 'Fen Tiger'.
Palamut Resto Fen Tiger
The fishing harbour in Palamut. Turkish style ceiling in the restaurant. Peter and Dale on their new passerelle.
The following day being Saturday it was market day in Datcha. We took the dolmish (bus) to the town with John and Dale from 'Fen Tiger'. It was nice being able to get fresh fruit and vegetable, I even found a good butcher. We walked through Datchas streets and visited the harbour but didn't find it particularly attractive and were pleased to have stopped in Palamut. We had lunch in a very nice little restaurant, and then returned to the boat and invited John and Dale for happy hour. On Monday 23rd the wind had dropped and we continued to the end of Hisarn Golf and dropped anchchor in Orhaniye. At the entrance of the bay is one of the most expensive marinas in Turkey - Marti Marina, I don't know why, it's not very well protected from the wind and there is not much around. Orhaniye is in a beautiful setting, very woody and several little restaurants with mooring pontoons. We anchored out in the bay and then were surprised to see Fen Tiger appear. They anchored near us and then we took the dinghy across to say Hi. John (Fen Tiger) wanted to go onto a restaurant pontoon, so John (Destiny) drove him in to see about space. When they came back it turned out that we were both going to go in. We ended up on the Iskele Restaurant pontoon next to Fen Tiger. It was a bit tight for 'Destiny' but we made it. It was a good move as the wind came up later. These mooring pontoons are not really free as you are expected to use the restaurant, which we did. The food was not great for the price paid but Hey, we had electricity, water, internet and dinner for the price. We had planned to go to Marmaris with the Dolmish with John and Dale, who wanted a new passerelle, because Marmaris is where all the yacht shops are in Turkey!!
Orhaniye Orhaniye Bozborun Entrance
Orhanye Bay. Restaurant Moorings. Going into Bozborun.
On the way back from lunch in Netsel marina we went into Mavimar Yachting - a yacht agency where we met Ercan Erkut who had worked in Antibes in South of France and knew some of the people we used to work with when we had our business in the Gulf of St Tropez - small world. We were talking to him about some varnish work we would like to do on 'Destiny' and also talked about officialdom and duty free fuel. He introduced us to his son Engin who deals with customs clearance and he said he could arrange the fuel! So we planned it for the following week, we would bring Destiny around to Marmaris and fill up. It was not a wasted journey after all.
We had to continue south towards Mamaris only about 100 miles away and several days to do it. On Sept 25 we sailed to Bozburun, then in trying to find a good anchoring spot outside the harbour we went aground - but succeeded to free ourselves (that idiot driver again - Ed). The following day we had a call from Engin who had arranged for us to get the diesel and suggested we stay in Bozburun - great! We would move into the harbour fuel up and then check out of Turkey, which would be a requirement for the Duty Free. We found space in the harbour no problem.
Next day we waited for the delivery of the fuel. A Nordhaven (another type of trawler yacht) was also in the harbour, also waiting for fuel. John spoke with the owner, he winters in Malta and knows Daniel who built our aft deck roof. The agent arrived in the afternoon, I was a bit anxious of how long it would take for the fuelling and customs clearance as I did not want to arrive in Symi (the nearest Greek island) at night. Finally, 3000 litres fuller, 3 tonnes heavier, and Euro3000 lighter in the pocket we left Borzburun. A quiet quick crossing to Symi. 'Destiny' was now on her waterline and it made a difference in the motion. At 6.15 p.m. we arrived in Symi just as the sun was going down. It was quite busy in the harbour, we squeezed in and then had to do it again because the first time the anchor didn't bite. I was glad to be back in Symi, it's a lovely place.
I went for a walk around the town in the evening. In the morning, most of the boats had left the harbour and we moved to the opposite side where it was quieter. We had to do the administrative paper work to check into Greece formally, first to the police/immigration office where a nice friendly young man stamped our crew list - not the passport. He is from Athens and found the place dead boring! I presume it must be boring in the winter here for a young man. Next we went to customs, more stamps and Euro10 and finally to the port police, another friendly man who stamped our log book without problems - he asked for Euro20.7 I gave him Euro22 as we know they need money to pay for their stationery and even toilet paper as the government does not pay for it anymore! (Aren't we generous - Ed)
Symi Vathi Simi House
Symi on the Hill. Vathi from my hill walk. House in Symi.
John noticed on a poster that on Sunday mornings a local photographer was organising a photographic walk on the island - he suggested I went. So early in the morning I took the bus to the town up the hill and found the photographer Neil. We were 5 - three English, one Scot and me. It was a nice day, sunshine, walking through little tracks to arrive to Pathy bay. I took few pictures of scenery, flowers, goats, did not learn much except that I could do with a better camera. From Pathy we took the bus back to Symi harbour. We had to decide what next, did we continue in Greece or go back to Turkey. I had spoken with my sisters and they wanted to come and visit us at the end of October in France. So our return date home was settled for October 25th.
On Monday 29th September we sailed back to Bozburun after a pleasant weekend in Greece, the forecast was for rain and then wind in the next few days. We arrived at midday and found a safe mooring at the end of the harbour, soon it was quite full. So it was back to administrative paper work, a new 'transit log', few stamps and Euro110 later we were legally back in Turkey. We went for a drink in town and found Ian (Seaductress) who we met at the BBQ in Pserimos. On Tuesday bad weather was forecast and many boats came to the habour, it's always good entertainment seeing boats anchoring in the harbour, especially charter boats and by the end of the day it was pretty full. Rain and thunderstorms arrived in the evening as forecasted. We found water had been leaking into the pilot house - we would have to find from where and repair it.
John thought it was from the old solar panels fixing or the genoa pulley. We dismounted and re-sited every fixing and will have to wait for next rain to see if the problem had been solved. In the end we stayed in Bozburun for a week, waiting for the Meltemi to end, also the temperature dropped, it was 16 in the cabin - Summer was over! I enjoyed our stay in Borburun, a nice town, and we met with 'Rafiki II' an Australian sailing boat moored in front of us, Peterr and Deborah. John and Peter had a lot in common, they like racing boats and are not very good tourists. I liked Deborah, always cheerful, she likes walking and we went for a long walk in the country side.
Knidos Knidos
Ruins at Knidos. Panoramic view of Knidos Bay from the Temple.
Finally on October 7th we left Buzburun, heading back north to Teos, 'Rafiki II' left before us, and heading for Marmaris where they winter the boat. This time we could stop in Knidos as the bay was quiet and we managed to find a good anchoring spot. Kidnos is an amazing place, the Greek city was founded around 360BC on the mainland and partly on the Island of Triopion or Cape Krio. Today the connection is formed by a narrow sandy isthmus. It does not look much from the sea, but when you start walking through terraces where you can discover the remain of walls, both on the island and on the mainland, and in many places, especially round the acropolis, at the northeast corner of the city, they are in remarkably condition. There are also remains of the agora, the theatre, a temple of Dionysus, a temple of Muses, a temple of Aphrodite and a great number of minor buildings have been identified, and the general plan of the city has been very clearly made out. All this with a fantastic view of the Aegean and the island of Kos.
We thoroughly enjoyed the trip it was worth stopping.
After Knidos is was due north. We dropped anchor in Gmslk, this time we found space. This is an amazing almost closed bay, but more touristy than this harbour you cannot imagine. The water front is a row of restaurants, some of them with amazing decorations to attract the punters. In the back of the town a row of little artisanal kiosks selling pretty things but at prohibitive prices for Turkey. That evening we preferred to eat on board and watch Turkish boats trying to anchor as the harbour was full - quite entertaining.
Gumusluk Bay Gumusluk
Gumusluk Bay - sounds like Yorkshire! Destiny through the restaurant vines .
We had few days of good weather so we continued north, we tried to stop at St Pauls Bay, but did not like the place - too small for us, so it was back to good old Pithagore for another night in Greece, and more wine stocks. Finally it was back to Teos Marina, it had been a short cruise but very enjoyable. We met up again with our friends on 'Salty Dog' David and Lowie, Zarafet were also back on their mooring so we had few dinners with George and Fran, and Alec and Angie.
We spent the last two weeks before going back home sorting, wintering and cleaning the boat. We installed the new supports made for the aft solar panels. After another heavy rain we still found water coming into the boat, after investigation it turned out that the problem came from the life raft box we had made in Malta, I never liked it. We removed it and repaired the roof and it seems to have solved it, now we have to make good the water marks inside.
John had a guys day out to the Sanaye in Izmir and I had a girl's day out in Izmir with Fran. Shopping in the bazaar in Izmir is great and we also visited the ethnographic and archaeological museums.
We also met Rolf and Barbel, a German couple who are interested in the Diesel Duck concept, they have a house in the old Sigacik town that they bought over 20 years ago. It was fascinating listening to their stories of how things over the years from a small fishing village to an increasingly tourist town.
So 'Destiny' is out of the water again for this winter, on October 23 the boat was lifted out, the hull was pretty clean and no there was no damage from our grounding. We left Turkey on October 25th.
2013 cruising was different, for us it was very slow and lazy; we sailed to Istanbul, stopped for the summer and then started again in September, this time going south, with the occasional trip to Greece. Furthermore we met a great bunch of people and that's what it's all about, after all.
Goodbye Dinner turkey Vathy Sunrise
Goodbye dinner - Curry on Zarafet. Memories of 2013.
For next year we are trying to plan a 'Greek Odyssey' with some friendly cruisers from Teos, across the Aegean, down around the Peloponnese, up to the Ionian and for those who want to come back to Turkey, back through the Corinth Canal, with the option of going north around the Northern Sporades, like we did last year.
In any case we should be back to 'Destiny' in April 2014. Until then we wish you all a Happy Winter and Festive time.
Who's y' friend - I asked and just got a stony look.
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