Posted 10th October 2011.
Merhaba everyone from Turkey. Yes back where we started from but before we arrived here there have been a few more Greek adventures, hence the delay in getting out the newsletter. Too many distractions. We visited Agios Nikolaos on Crete and once again did the marina thing. We ended up having a BBQ with others at the marina. It never fails to astound us the number of people that are obviously sailing from one marina to the next, looking for the cheapest deal and then complaining about what they are not getting.
After leaving Crete, the next island we visited was Kaparthos. Just before coming in to the bay to anchor we caught two tuna – one after the other and I didn’t even have time to record this momentous occasion on camera, before we lost them both! Fish fingers again. We did a little touring by local bus, from one side of the island to the other. It is always so interesting going by local bus. You are never quite sure where you are going, but hey, it is another adventure.
Following the rugby. I hope the All Blacks realise the lengths their devoted followers in the Greek Islands have to go to so that they do not miss a game in the world cup. Taking a bus to another town to go and check all the bars to see if they are screening the world cup. Finding that they weren’t but we could watch the Warriors play if we wanted to, we had to resort to listening on the boat, through the internet. Oh oh, about ¾ through the first half of the AB’s vs France and we lose transmission.
Sacre blue! Much muttering and trying all sorts of things by Bruce (steam coming out of the ears) and then in desperation, emailing Radio Sport in NZ to find that the IRB was blocking some of the live streaming but fortunately we were given an alternative site and ‘Magnifique’ we were able to hear the second half and the AB’s beat the French. We had to have a bottle of champagne to celebrate that win. Now that we are at the quarter final stage and we are in a marina so we went to the local bar that had a screen up and ‘Yes” said the nice kind Turkish man, he would have the TV on at 8am in the morning for us to watch South Africa play Australia and then the AB’s vs Argentina and “Yes” we could have breakfast there. Yay – on to a winner there. Next morning, off we trot and what do we find – the bar not even open let alone having the rugby on. So back to the boat to listen to the rugby with our muesli and then Bruce went back to the bar when the AB’s game was due to start and it STILL was not open! I think that Turkish man’s English extended to “Yes’. But never mind – a win is a win whether you listen to it on radio or see it on TV. Another bottle of champagne had to be consumed, I am sorry Dr Nigel.
Now I have to say that my rugby following in the past has been to watch the scrummy figures of those fine young men (yes Dan Carter – you still are my favourite) but listening to the commentary is a bit different. The Haka sends shivers up my spine even more so just listening to it. I don’t know how the commentators can remember all those foreign names so easily. Any way a few more games later and my man, Dan Carter is out. Please note NZRU and Graham Henry, I have repeatedly offered my services, not just to the aforementioned Dan Carter (I am not a favouritist) but to the entire All Black team. I would offer my services, without cost, to rub salve on to the limbs of our fine young athletes but no – you turned down my many requests. I am sure if Dan Carter had me rubbing emollients into his groin, he would not now by facing surgery and the nation would not have to be anxiously watching his replacement.
Greek cuisine. There are some things that we will miss about Greek Cuisine. The divine Kalamata olives, the feta, the olive oil but not the eating out really. We are so lucky in New Zealand with the variety of cuisines we get. Our dinner out in Kaparthos was one example – we picked this tavern because we had walked by earlier in the day and saw that it had Roast Pork on the menu – hey that is different from what we usually see – that could be nice. And the thinly sliced pork in the gravy was lovely but what did we get with it – French fries and rice! I ask you with all the lovely fresh vegies that we see in the markets, we get chips and rice. I must say though there are some things they do get right.
They don’t really offer desserts on the menu but they always give you fresh fruit at the end of the meal. Much to Bruce’s disgust though, it is often watermelon (he hates it) but often they have grapes as well. Another good thing they do, if you go out for a coffee, they almost always give you a glass of iced water as well.
After leaving Kaparthos we sailed to Rhodes Island and anchored at Lindhos. We had been here last year but it was about six weeks later, and the official tourist season had ended and it was very quiet then. It sure had changed. There were tourists everywhere and all the little shops that were closed last time were open for trade. The bestest thing was that there was another Kiwi yacht anchored there. We met John and Kerry, their children Davin (14) and Maddison (12) and Kerry’s father Ken.
It is so spooky that you can be on the other side of the world and you meet people who know people you know. John is a pilot for Air New Zealand, taking a year off to see how the family likes cruising in the northern hemisphere (they love it) and so he knows friends of ours and also my niece’s husband because they all are pilots. We had a lovely time with them and through them met another American couple, Geoff and Gayle off Lazybones and had everyone on board Midi for drinks, along with an English couple, Bob and Rachel off Wizard that we had previously met. This is what we love about cruising. Getting together with other like-minded people and sharing stories of adventures.
Priceless – as the advert says. It turned out that we were sailing on our previous boat, Bagpuss in Vanuatu & New Caledonia at the same time that John & Kerry were on their boat at the time and probably missed each other then, by only days.
While we were at Lindhos, they had a Tourism Festival night in town and we were all invited to a free night of food and entertainment. It was great. All the ladies were given a long stemmed rose each and plenty of food and we bought a glass of wine each as we watched the traditional dancing done by teenagers in their traditional costumes.
There were a lot of tourists there and I asked one man if I could balance my plate of food on their table. “Yes” he said in a broad Scottish accent, “and what island do you come from?” I said “the North Island – New Zealand!” “Oh I thought you were a local”. Obviously my tan had them fooled.We ended up having quite a good conversation with our Scottish mates and a few laughs.
Next we went to Rhodos town and there we met up with Joe and Jackie off Antares, another lovely American couple we knew from Marmaris. More drinkies with them as we caught up on our season.
Then we ventured forth in trepidation, to begin the exit formalities for leaving Greece. We thought we might have a huge black mark against our name as it was here last year where we were fined for over-staying. At first when we went to Customs, a nice kind gentleman there informed us that they were on strike so we would have to come back in a couple of days. No problem, we did that and it all turned out to be a piece of cake. No money needed to change hands at all. However the man in immigration would have to be one of the grumpiest officials we have had to deal with. First he barked at us “where is your crew list”! After demanding this several times he thrust a photocopied piece of paper at me to fill in grumbling all the time. He then on looking at our passports demands “why you stay in Greece more than 3 months”? I looked at him in disbelief and asked him what he meant and he all but yelled the query at me again. By now I am not feeling too friendly towards this fellow as I pointed out that we cleared into Greece on the 14th July and as it was the 30th September we were still a couple of weeks shy of being 3 months in Greece. At this he checked the passports again, grumbled something else to me and then proceeded to stamp our exit out of Greece. No apology was forthcoming. We have come to the conclusion that the Greek officials are generally just lazy and resent having to do any work. However most of them are very pleasant and with the government’s precarious financial position I guess they are all worried that their jobs are going to disappear and time soon. I think Greece is financially stuffed.
So then it was off to Turkey, heading to the port of Kas, 68nm away, but with not much wind so we ended up motoring a lot of the way and finally ended up arriving at Kas late in the afternoon, south east of Marmaris. We were quite late anchoring and didn’t have time to suss out the best anchorage before dark, and as options were limited as you can be almost on shore and still in 50mtrs of water.
We ended up anchoring a short way off a beach with a small jetty and restaurant ashore. Well as luck would have it we had hardly settled down for the evening when the wind shifted to the NE and came up at around 20 – 25knots. This put us off a lee shore and given that the bottom was largely covered in weed it was a bit dicey. However we seemed to be holding okay and as we were both pretty tired having not got much sleep the night before due to a bouncy anchorage off Rhodes we elected to stay where we were and I would keep a regular check on us. Which I did until about 2.30am when I must have dropped off into a deep sleep. At this stage the wind seemed to have dropped a little and we hadn’t moved. Well I was awoken at 4.30 am by the sound of our stern pushing up against the jetty (which fortunately was lined with old car tyres and fortunately was there for us to push up against)) and we swung in to action like a well-oiled team (well not that well oiled really), like we do this every night, and motored across the harbour in the pitch darkness and re-anchored.
The next morning, it was quite a performance doing the check in as they made us go and tie up in the little harbour, which was a tight little space with lots of large local boats coming and going all the time. But fortunately we managed it and after doing a little shopping, moved back to anchor where we caught up with a German couple, Otto and Rosie, who told us of their experiences in the EMYR rally (Eastern Mediterranean Yacht Rally). This is the rally where you visit Eastern Turkey, Israel, Egypt, Cyprus and Lebanon and previously you could visit Syria as well.
Our next anchorage was Asar Buku where we anchored beneath the ruins of the ancient village of Aperlai. Amazing sarcophagi everywhere. Must have been some feat carving these out of huge rocks about 2500 years ago. When we went to pull the anchor up here, we found that we had part of the deck of a fibreglass boat, caught up in the anchor. No trouble to Bruce who worked out what had to be done and go rid of it. It’s always the way that when you want to take a photo of something, the battery is flat in the camera, so you will have to believe me when I say it was rather large!
Next on the agenda was Kekova Roads where we climbed up the hill to the old fort on the top of yet another hill and yes, more sarcophagi at Kale koy. Even one down below in the sea water. At the anchorage here I spotted the next boat of my dreams. Always have to have something to dream about that you are not likely to ever be able to afford. This was a huge catamaran, a Sunreef 114 (that’s 114 feet, well that’s according to what we could find on the internet) called Che and it was magnificent! Made Midi look like a little dinghy beside her. We spent a few days in this area which is a lovely with a number of alternative anchorages in the sheltered waters that lie between the mainland, Kekova Adasi, which is an island that lies about half a mile to a mile off the mainland and runs parallel to it for about 2 or 3 miles. There is also the small seaside village of Ucagiz where we managed to get some essential supplies and Lesley had to resist the rug shops as we very little cash on us and there is no ATM in the village (well not that we could find).
Next was Gokkaya Limani just to the East of Kekova Roads and also another really sheltered anchorage where we met Barnu (Turkish) and Peter (Kiwi) on their yacht Denize II along with their dog, Uda, a Portugese water dog from which the poodle was bred. Barnu had quite an American accent and it turned out the she was a Professor who lectured in Istanbul University and America and her daughter was currently doing her PhD in Seattle in Neuro-Science! Peter has apparently sailed all over the world and has a story for every port in creation. He was very entertaining and they shared dinner with us on board Midi one night. We had a little explore in a cave in the dinghy. I am not very fond of caves so after a short look, I took the dinghy outside and Bruce had a snorkel inside but said it was not very interesting.
Now of course we are looking ahead to the RWC quarter finals and as we are only about 14nm from Finike, a smallish town further East we think well maybe we will find somewhere there to watch the rugby. Also the forecast is not looking so good so off we head (no wind again) and motor to Finike where the wind picked up from the west (behind us) as we get to within 2 miles of the marina. So here we are in Finke having listened to the AB’s secure a semi final spot, sat through a violent thunder and rain storm last night with winds in the vicinity of 35 – 40 knots (Windfinder gave maximum winds of about 18knots)and again today when we had hoped to move on further East more thunder and rain. We have very black skies above us and the town seems to offer little in the way of things to do, especially in this weather. Never mind we did make it to the market on Saturday afternoon and I got to go to the hairdresser to get my hair coloured. That is a bit of an adventure on its own. They didn’t speak English and I don’t speak Turkish but I have come out with hair that does not look too bad – thank goodness. Maybe we will move on tomorrow.
Now finally just a few odd photos (and I mean odd). One of Bruce, worn out after being a part of the All Black team. One of me showing how I store the pegs to hang out the washing and the final one of a bit of the local fauna – namely a lizard.
Hope this finds you all well.
Love from the Turkey Tebbutts