Category Archives: Places visited

The posts cover all the Places we have visited in our travels.

Lift out in Lefkas

With the weather returning to more normal conditions we hosted an ‘Après Storm’ BBQ (we always find a reason for a BBQ) on Saturday evening, inviting our neighbours from Rusty and Magnificat.

Colin, Glenn, Lynn, Jean and us

Having arrived here our friends Grahame and Jane from Scarlett had told us to look out for their friends Lynn and Glenn in  Magnificat; we didn’t need to look too far as we had moored beside them!   The BBQ went off well and a good time was had by all and now both are heading for their winter berths, Magnificat to Ágios Nikolaos on Crete and Rusty to Preveza.

We had a few more days in Lefkas before we head on to Roccella as the engine service revealed a leaking seal on the starboard sail drive – the leg on which the propeller is mounted.  This was allowing water into the gear box and the seals need to be replaced; a job  requiring the boat to be taken out of the water, which is obscenely expensive.  But not as expensive as replacing the salt water damaged sail drive.

We were lifted on Tuesday and being unable to stay on the boat while out of the water Valeria found us a B&B for Tuesday night.  Once in the boatyard Valeria went off into town to find our hotel and I stayed to ‘supervise’ the work.   In addition to having the sail drive seals replaced I also had the sail drives themselves cleaned of marine growth then anti fouled and our new ‘bumpers’ fitted.     These are not the most aesthetically pleasing things but they will protect the stern from intentional and unintentional contacts with quaysides.

New grey bumpers and clean props

When the fitters and mechanics went home I joined Valeria for the evening and we went to our favourite restaurant in Lefkas, the Taverna Eytyxia, happily directly across the street from the B&B.  This is the oldest Taverna in Lefkas and the food is fantastic!

On Wednesday I went back to the boatyard as the guys completed the work and by 2 pm we were being lifted back into the water.

This was an unavoidably expensive end to our season, but with newly serviced engines and sail-drives our passage across to Roccella should be trouble-free, especially as we have a two window of light and moderate south-easterly winds; they’ll be right behind us the whole way!

Cyclone ‘Zorba’

Arriving in Sami with Ana and Charlie our attention turned to the weather; there was a storm brewing to the south and the winds were due to start building on Tuesday afternoon.

To avoid them and the ‘rush hour’ in Lefkas we slipped from Sami at 5.30 am in the pre dawn light airs.  The passage from Sami to Lefkas was 30 miles or 6 hours and, apart from one unlit yacht visible only on radar, we had a straightforward passage in slowly building winds, arriving in Lefkas by 1 pm.   The quay was happily almost deserted and we slotted ourselves in close to the Contact Yacht Services building; they were to do our machinery service and some other bits I want doing.

Unfortunately there was no one around to take our lines and no bollards to ‘lasso’ so I had to put the back of the boat against the quayside so Valeria could step ashore and tie us up; we plan to have big bumpers fitted while we are here for this very purpose!

Our timing was perfect as the forecast wind arrived a few hours later.  Then the winds that weren’t forecast joined them.   The wind speeds built all through Tuesday night, steadying at about 30 knots from the north-east.  This was directly on our beam and it was as the wind speed increased I found that our anchor was no longer holding properly; if I pulled it in to pull us off the quay the anchor simply dragged. Slightly worrying.   So I put out a couple more lines, securing one to a lamp-post; the small mooring ring on the quay looked suddenly very small and insubstantial.   Our neighbours on a small mono hull called ‘Rusty’ put on Face Book that they were ‘sheltered by a large cat (that was us) tied to a lamp-post’. This confused their non-sailing friends who were appalled any one would tie a cute little pussy cat to a lamp-post in such weather …..

And the wind built further. Still rather concerned about our anchor and the starboard hull in heavily fendered contact with the quay Valeria and I stayed up most of Tuesday night, just in case. Although strong, 30-35 knots, the wind was pretty steady and there were few waves crossing the canal so we were held against the quay without moving around too much.

But panic set in further up the quay side and a group of boats let go and left, heading south. This was apparently a good choice as the winds on the south side of the canal were much lighter. One boat tried to re-anchor but dragged and simply ended up laying alongside the quay; luckily there was space for him to do so!

Tight squeeze ..
Tight squeeze ..

As we were sheltering ‘Rusty’, we in turn were being sheltered by a large 50 foot motor boat, until his anchor started to drag and one of his lines parted. This boat has apparently been on the quay for ages and looked rather tatty, but people did appear to re-secure it.  Had it moved much more there would have been a domino effect on all the boats down wind of it, ourselves included!

Current wind speed 43 knots. Thirty minute average wind speed of 38 knots with gusts to over 50
Current wind speed 43 knots. Thirty minute average wind speed of 38 knots with gusts to over 50.

By Thursday the winds were at a constant 35 to 40 knots and showed no signs of abating and during the evening built still further; overnight into Friday morning we actually recorded wind speeds of 50 knots, although Valeria saw a peak speed of 54!    Those are Storm Force winds. Another sleepless night. And throughout this the forecasts were constantly predicting 20 knot winds around Lefkas. We are used to having to add 5 knots to a prediction, but 30! The actual cyclone causing all this, christened Zorba by the Daily Mail, showed storm force winds hundreds of miles to the south, so hopefully they weren’t underestimated by 30 knots!

Cyclone 'Zorba' at 4 am Friday morning
Cyclone ‘Zorba’ at 4 am Friday morning.
Predict Wind ‘predicts’ 15 to 25 knots …….

By Friday morning we had news, via Facebook, that a boat further north along the Lefkas canal, by the bridge, had sunk at its moorings.

Very rough at the entrance to the channel right now!

Posted by Joseph Sandland II on Friday, 28 September 2018

Originally alongside the jetty, at some point this guy has put out his kedge anchor to hold his boat off the jetty but across the wind!

It is the dark line going into the water from his starboard quarter (right hand side at the back). But it wasn’t big enough to stop him being slammed bows-first against the quayside.

Now at N entrance of Lefkas.

Posted by Claudiu Visan on Friday, 28 September 2018

On the quay around us the wind was getting into loosely furled fore sails and ripping them to shreds and generally testing every ones nerves.

And then of course Friday is hand over day for charter boats, and the entire town quay is infested with them. It would only take one to drop their anchor in the wrong place and then dredge up one of ours and we’d all be in trouble. Happily not too many braved the conditions although the ones that did, and kept away from us, did provide some entertainment. One Charter Company boss was frantically running up and down the quay screaming instructions into his mobile phone to the charterers trying to control and anchor his boats in the harbour in front of us.

Then the wind began to die away; 30 knots seemed quite reasonable after what we’d had, but as the winds died the charterers began to return in force requiring some ‘words of advice’ to be offered by ourselves and our neighbours.

Friday evening, light winds and a beautiful sky
Friday evening, light winds and a beautiful sky!

Then calm.   Like it had never happened. As they say, what a difference a day makes

Olympia

On Monday morning, 27 August, we were up quite early intending to beat the rush of cruise ship tourists to Olympia.  There were three ships in the terminal in the morning and the suitably olympic sized car park behind the boat was full of coaches and taxis.

The train to Olympia is a small narrow gauge affair but I assume most of the visitors from the ships were booked on coach tours but even when we got to Olympia it wasn’t that crowded.

The site of Olympia is on the floor of a river valley below the hill named after the god Khronos.  The area has been occupied since the Neolithic times, 3000BC, developing into a centre of worship and during the 2nd millennium BC the Myceneans founded the cult of Zeus there.

Ruins of the gymnasium where athletes trained before the games
Entrance to the Stadium. .
The Stadium. Seating was not provided, requiring spectators to sit on the banks. Capacity of 30,000 to 40,000
View across the Leonidaion, a hostel for distinguished visitors

The origins of the games are lost in myths; the Gods held wrestling matches and running races in Olympia and so ‘games’  were likely a part of religious rites.  They were possibly held as far back as the 11th century BC as fairly local affairs but were reorganised in the 8th century, the first Panhellenic Olympic Games being held in 776BC. The concept of the Sacred Truce, during which the warring city states stopped fighting, was instituted to allow peaceful competition.

Workshop of Pheidias
Workshop of Pheidia

Another myth of Mycenean origin  has the king Oinomaos involved in a chariot race with a suitor for his daughter’s hand. Oinomaos had dreamt he’d be killed by his son-in-law and so, equipped with a pair of unbeatable winged horses from Zeus, challenged all potential candidates.  The draw back was that the winner killed the looser!  Pelos, arrived on scene and had been given winged horses by Poseidon; Pelos won, killed Oinomaos and had the Peloponnese named after him!

Southern facade of the temple of Zeus

The athletes competed in the games for prestige alone, winning a wreath of wild olive leaves. However; anyone caught cheating had to pay a large fine which was used to dedicate a bronze statue to Zeus.  These were known as Zanes and were displayed on the approach to the Stadium. These statues bore the name of the cheating athlete  and the manner of his cheating as a warning to others!

Reconstructed Pelopion

The Games developed down the centuries much as they do now with new events being added at intervals, until 393AD when the Byzantine Emperor Theodosius I banned them. His successor, Theodosius II then ordered the monuments burnt in 426AD and two earthquakes in 522 and 551AD finished the job. Although a farming settlement remained even that was abandoned by the 7th century and the site slowly disappeared under the flood plain of the Alpheios River.

Altar of Hera, where the Olympic Torch is lit, with the Temple of Her in the background

When you bear in mind this is the birth place of the Olympics and the place where the Olympic Torch is lit before each Games they could have made a bit of an effort with presentation; it is rather overgrown in places and, as elsewhere, there is a dearth of information about the ruins.   We had a guide-book but it was difficult to relate the text to the ruins especially as I now find we went around the site ‘backwards’!  Some direction arrows could have helped !!   There were some signs around the place but it is an extensive, complex site and a lot more wouldn’t have hurt; Audio Guides would have been fantastic; the wold even be a job opportunity for official guides!    Despite that it is an impressive site and the sheer scale of some of the ruins give a hint of the enormity of the original.

The Hermes of Praxiteles
The Nike of Paionios
Statues from western end of the Temple of Zeus depicting drunken Centaurs at the wedding feast of Peirithoos and Deidameia. The Centaurs tried kidnapping all the female guests.
Statues from the eastern end of the Temple of Zeus showing preparations from the chariot race between Pelops and Oinomaos.

Olympia is a fantastic place and well worth the visit but it could be an amazing experience with attention to presentation.

Katacolon

Katacolon was a small fishing village until a local boy made good shipping magnate decided that it would make an ideal cruise ship terminal for tourists visiting Olympia.

The village is about 700 metres long, at one end is the beach and the cruise ship terminal and at the other is the station for the narrow gauge railway to Olympia.

Katacolon harbour front

The village comprises the harbour front and two streets behind that. The harbour front is dedicated to restaurants, end to end. The next street back is home to souvenir and jewellery shops for the cruise ship passengers and the third street, well, the third street is behind the second. There are more ATMs per square metre than some islands we know.

We arrived on Friday afternoon in a ghost town, literally no one on the streets, tumble weed deserted. The town quay is in front of the largest and emptiest car park imaginable and on the other side of that is the railway station and the local church. They have a very loud set of bells and a loudspeaker system that broadcast the entire Friday evening sung service to the village. Happily that was the only one although the bells did get a bashing on Sunday morning as well.

Saturday was Valeria’s birthday so we spent a quiet day doing little and wandering along to a nice restaurant for a late lunch. We decided to leave the visit to Olympia until Sunday, not appreciating that the train wouldn’t run.

We did little on Sunday, waiting to visit Olympia on Monday, although I did take a walk over to the Museum of Ancient Greek Technology, which was fascinating. Everything from sundials and water clocks to self-loading cross bows and holy water vending machines. They even had a steam-driven device linked to the fire for the temple offerings. When the fire was hot enough the temple doors opened in approval! When the fire died down the door closed and the only way to get the gods to show their approval again was to make another offering! And of course numerous types of crane and lifting machines.

Katacolon really has little to offer visitors unless you are on a cruise ship, it is easier to buy jewelery or a leather coat than to buy groceries.   Once the cruise ships leave there is little here at all.   It is a useful stop over on the west coast of the Peloponnese and one of the few places with shelter.   We planned to be ‘not sailing’ on Valeria’s birthday and to visit Olympia, but with those two targets achieved sitting waiting for the wind to change got to be a little boring.

 

Adama to Katacolon

We left Adama at 2 pm on Tuesday, 21 August headed for Porto Kayio, Methoni and Katacolon.  This was a total of just over 200 nautical miles and, due to the settled weather we decided to do it in three days.

The first leg, Adama to Porto Kayio was the best part of 100 miles miles, or 20 hours and we did this as an overnight passage to arrive in the morning as other boats would be leaving.  The weather was also predicted to be calm which was good.  According to the Pilot Book the two easternmost fingers of the Peloponnese, Capes Malea and Matapan, should be treated with respect as far as the weather is concerned and can be subject to violent winds.  We had a little taste on our way up here from Crete last year, but this time made the passage without much wind at all, the biggest challenge was all shipping using the Steno Elafonisou, the channel between Cape Malea and Nisos Kithera.

Approaching Porto Kayio
Porto Kayio

We made good time and  were anchored by 9.30 am on Wednesday.   We spent the day resting and swimming before going ashore for an early dinner. unfortunately it was not as good as we remembered and so leaving on Thursday was not such a chore.

Thursday saw us up at 6 and away by 6.30 heading for Methoni.  Methoni has the ruins of a Venetian fortress occupying the entire headland which looked pretty impressive as we’d sailed passed last year so I wanted to visit.  After a straightforward passage we anchored at 4.30, put the tender in the water immediately and went ashore. I had a look around the castle while Valeria supped wine on the beach.

Artists impression of the fortress from the north

The castle is Venetian and was built in the 13th century to control the east west trade routes around the Peloponnese.  Although it looks spectacular there is little actually there apart from the round tower and the adjacent castle gate overlooking the old galley harbour.    It passed to the Ottoman Turks who built the hexagonal tower, the Bourtzi, at the southern tip of the headland after they took the fort in 1500.    This apparently had little defensive value but did help enclose the galley harbour.

Main entrance
Southern gate
Bourtzi tower from southern gate

Interior of the fortress looking north-east
Granite column from an early Christian shipwreck, erected in the main Piazza d’armi by the Venetians in the 14th century

View from the Kastro taverna

After an hour or so hiking around the site, it is very large, I went back to Valeria and we went for a meal to Taverna To Kastro right outside the castle entrance.  And what a fantastic meal, mini cheese pies, stuffed zucchini flowers and a delicious mousaka.  Our intention had been to spend a day here looking around but we decided to push on so that we wouldn’t have to travel on Valeria’s birthday.u

Anchorage off Methoni

So, at 6.30 on Friday morning we set off again for Katacolon.  This is the small port and cruise ship terminal close to the ancient site of Olympia, the home of the Olympic games.

Milos

Milos.  We had planned to start our cruise around the islands with a visit to Milos but as it turns out we ended it here.   Milos is a large island, with an airport, close to the mainland and that adds up to ‘tourist destination’.

Adamas port

The port of Adamas is the island capital and is obviously set up for tourists, busy but not in an ‘in your face’ way.  It is not exactly picturesque but is pleasant enough and would perhaps fall into the ‘vibrant’ category in the evenings.

But with only one day free here, we needed the other day to do cleaning, laundry  and shopping, we decided to hop on the bus to the village of Trypiti which boasts an amphitheatre, catacombs and the ruins of the ancient city of Melos where the Venus de Melo was unearthed.

View across site of ancient Melos
Side street in Tryipti

And what a surprise!   We got off the bus in Trypiti and had a stroll along the main street which revealed a typical Greek island town.  From there we followed the signs for the Catacombs and the Amphitheatre.  It was hot and all down-hill,  which meant hot and all up hill on the way back!

Overlooking Klima

This was the site of the ancient city of Melos which thrived between the 9th century BC to the 7th century AD.   The site overlooks the small village of Klima, the site of the original port and only small sections of the city wall still remain.   It was in 1820, whilst ploughing a field beneath these ruins, that a farmer found the statue that we know now as the Venus de Milo.   After some disagreement over ownership the Ottoman Turks gave the statue to the French in 1821.

Amphitheatre of ancient Melos

The amphitheatre was a complete surprise.  Suddenly we were looking down and there it was!  It is Roman and dates from the 1st to 4th centuries AD.  Only a few rows of seats have been excavated and  renovated and a section of ‘mural’ has been restored to give an impression of the original backdrop.  The first rule of building an amphitheatre appears to have been ‘find a hill with an awesome view’ – if the production was awful at least you’d have something to look at!

Restored section of mural
The arches each had niches for small oil lamps and so would have been lit, although not as well as this
The arches each had niches for small oil lamps and so would have been lit, although not as well as this !

From there it was further down hill to the Catacombs.  These were an early Christian cemetery dug about 200 metres into the hillside in a number of ‘galleries’.   Each tomb was in the form of an arch above the actual tomb, some larger than others accommodating whole families, rich ones obviously.  When they ran out of space in the walls they dug down into the floor to accommodate more.  There were some 2000 tombs but many had a number of occupants.

The walk back up to the bus took us past a very welcome taverna, the Methismeni Política.    We had a gallon of water each and a light lunch, which was really delicious, included something, not entirely unlike pastel and included complimentary ice creams.

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On Monday, 20 August, we spent the day doing ‘housework’  in preparation for our next overnight passage to Porto Kayio, the bay north-east of Cape Matapan.   We loved our last visit and had planned to be there for Valeria’s birthday, but may use the coming settled weather to push on around the Peloponnese towards Cephalonia.

Pedi Bay and Marathouda

Our first morning back in Greece, just planning a wander along to pick up a Cheese Pie and the Port Police tell us, very politely, we had to move by 11 as we were on a ferry berth.

Simi is a pretty place and we were in two minds as to whether to move to another gap when someone left, or to simply leave all together.   The berths in Simi are exposed to the wash from the numerous ferries, and the previous evening had been so unexpectedly good that we didn’t want to spoil the memory with a mediocre second one. With just enough time for a the Cheese Pie, we left and headed for Pedi, a large bay a few miles south of Simi.

We’d heard nice things about Pedi, which is pretty and thought we’d stay overnight before moving on.   But, it is notorious for poor holding, with yachts invariably dragging their anchors; even the author of our Pilot Book dragged his anchor there so what hope did we have?!   So, we anchored and made sure it was well dug in then settled down for a BBQ and a nice cool swim, planning to go ashore for a walk in the evening, grab a wine and a welcome-back saganaki.

As the afternoon wore on the wind began to build and got to about 20 knots when we started to drag. It is quite alarming really, suddenly finding all the other boats around you drifting slowly by ……. . We heaved up our anchor and had two other attempts to get it to hold, both unsuccessful, before I decided to head out for another anchorage before everyone else got the same idea.

There are 4 other bays on the east coast of Simi where you can anchor. The first is described as being deep, the Pilot Book advising ‘anchor where depths are convenient’, code for ‘good luck with that’, the second is ‘a good lunch stop’ or ‘you wouldn’t want to be here for too long in a blow’. I set off for the third bay called Ormos Marathouda;  ‘anchor in 4-8 metres at the head of the bay’.

Many of these islands are subject to Katabatic Winds on their lee sides. The wind climbs one side of the island and then falls off the other, rolling down into the bays at higher than expected speeds. As we passed each of the bays the wind was gusting to over 20 knots, dropping away again before the next inlet, and Marathouda was no different, it was however, almost empty.    Either a really good sign or a really bad one.

Marathouda

The only other yacht there was tied to a 20 litre plastic can on a piece of string. These are ‘laid moorings’ which are generally concrete blocks with a chain and rope attached. There was a second one not too far away from it but I am always loathe to pick up such moorings as you do not know what is actually on the other end; with my luck it would a lobster pot, the 20 litre drums have multiple uses!!

We anchored in the dead centre of the bay and let out plenty of chain.   It felt well and truly set in a depth of 7 metres and as the water was crystal clear I snorkelled out to check the anchor was well dug in before settling down for the evening.

There is a small hamlet at the head of the bay with a very local taverna on the beach; we took the tender ashore in the evening for a light snack and whiled away the time watching the local goats, watching us, watching them. The picket fence made sense now; cats in a taverna are bad enough, but a herd of goats !!!??    We also tried to connect to their WiFi, but it was hopeless. This is my ‘blogging challenge’, getting strong enough WiFi signal or enough data to publish photos and blogs! We almost completely failed to connect!

It was so nice, and the winds forecast to be so strong on the west side of the island we stayed at anchor for the whole of Wednesday waiting for our opportunity to push on towards Tilos.

Marathouda sunrise

Marathouda was one of those last minute, spur of the moment destinations which turned out to be lovely. It was fairly quiet, relatively sheltered with good holding and beautiful clear waters. Clear other than first thing in the morning when a slick of unmentionables tends to wash in on the morning sea breeze. If the wind is in the other direction it goes to Turkey, but on Wednesday it was Greece’s turn! We found this out chatting with a local fisherman, ex Merchant Navy engineer who had worked in the Brooklyn Shipyards in the 1970s and whose family owned 11 of the houses around the bay. We only counted a dozen buildings, not including the taverna and the church so figured he must also be the Mayor! The slick dissipated, as the Mayor had predicted and the waters returned to being crystal clear so we spent our time swimming and snorkelling and then planning our next legs west, dodging the Meltemi.   We have a cunning plan to dodge the adverse winds which will be put into operation tomorrow morning at 4 am!

Symi

Our Port of Entry back into Greece was to be Symi.   We’d had mixed reports about the place and as soon as we arrived we were turned away by the Port Police and told to come back at 4 pm.   A good start!

Our first sight of Symi

Our passage across had been straight forward and as expected the wind was from right ahead of us although only 5 to 10 knots.   It built as we approached Symi and was gusting to 20 knots as we tried to find somewhere close by Symi port to anchor for an hour or so.   We couldn’t.   The nearest bay, Empourio, is just north of Symi and is too deep for us to anchor in apart from one small, shallow spot off the village, easily identified by the yacht anchored on it.   There was nothing for it but to drift for an hour then join the rush hour back in Symi harbour.

Symi harbour

We found a spot and once secure, and paid, I went in search of officialdom. The first office to visit was the Port Police for Immigration, they are on the north side of the harbour entrance.  Then on to Customs, right in the middle of the end of the harbour before going round to the other Port Police for the DEPKA, they are on the south side of the harbour entrance directly opposite the Immigration Port Police.   Immigration were impressed I had the correct Crew List, the Customs man wasn’t interested in VAT, he only wanted the Insurance, Registration and our impressive Crew List and the other Port Police wanted the same documents and our DEPKA, and to collect a €15 tourist tax.   It is a mystery why you need 3 offices at, quite literally, the three extremities of the harbour, but rules are rules, and at least I didn’t need to pay someone to do it for me!   Another bonus of touring the harbour was locating a Bakery close to the Customs House.

Looking along the harbour from the Customs House

That evening Valeria found us a great restaurant, Taverna To Spitiko, just a few metres from the boat.  Wow.  We had a seafood meze and it was fabulous. We were munching our way through it trying, unsuccessfully, to recall better this year; it was a great welcome back to Greece!

Following that we went for a wander around the streets and found ourselves at an open air concert, three singers and an organist doing classical type music. Hardly Greece has Talent but it was fantastic to simply pull up a chair in the church yard and relax; Valeria was Live Face-bragging for most of the recital. Really cool.

And then it was back to the boat for another night of Air Conditioned comfort!

Symi is a pretty town, built along the steep sides of the hills which surround the port.  None of the stark blue and white buildings we’ve been used to, here the colour scheme is far more subdued going for pastel tones in cream and white!    Symi is the nearest Greek port to Turkey and so is very busy with boats doing what we were doing.  The ferries ploughing back and forth set up quite a surge in the narrow confines of the harbour which makes it rather uncomfortable, alarmingly so sometimes.    Our idea is to stay another day to look around the town in day light before moving on to explore some of the bays around the coast.   Then we will embark on our journey westwards through the Southern Cyclades to the Peloponnese and on to Cephalonia for September.

Bozburun

We had an uneventful 3 hour trip from Selimiye round to Bozburun on Saturday morning.   We planned to stay in Bozburun on Sunday to have look around before clearing Turkish Immigration on Monday morning on our way back to Greece.

Bozburun Bay has numerous anchorages around it but anecdotal evidence suggested we’d need to be in the port so that Customs could come and check the boat if they wanted to.

Bozburun is only a small place and when we arrived there was one gap in the corner on the quay just a bit bigger than we were. Happily the wind was very light and we manoeuvred ourselves alongside very nicely and paid to stay for two nights. We also paid our 70TL pump out charge.

Bozburun was once a ship building and sponge fishing centre. The sponge fishing is long gone but the ship building is still going and the local yard builds gulets; the prime industry now seems to be tourism. It is a small, busy place and had little to really recommend it to us other than a Customs and Immigration post!

We had a couple of meals in the harbour front restaurants, bought a few bits and bobs and enjoyed the electricity which meant we could run the A/C all night; it was rather warm, although probably not by current UK standards!

Leaving Turkey was a bit of a saga. As with our arrival in Bodrum you need an Agent to conduct all the paperwork to ‘check out’ of the country, although the system does seem to be set up solely to create the role of Yacht Agent for locals to earn money conducting the paper shuffling, scanning, photocopying and rubber stamping. However on this occasion the cost was a mere €40.

Bozburun harbour, looking at the Customs Berth

The Agent then took us along to the Harbour Master’s Office.  Here we had to wait while He finished His breakfast on the balcony of His office looking out over the sweating mortals below awaiting an audience. However; it transpired that we weren’t actually to be admitted to His presence. He only had to rubber stamp the rubber stamps on the aforementioned photocopied documents. This was a bit of a relief to be honest as we were in our scruffy sailing garb and hardly attired appropriately to be admitted to His presence! Immigration was simple, two more rubber stamps and then the Agent then told us we’d have to move onto the Customs jetty.

When you consider that Bozburun harbour is 100 by 131 metres (as measured from the chart plotter) I was firstly surprised that there was room for a Customs jetty, and secondly that we would need to move the boat 100 m along the wall to it! But rules are rules and so we let go, manoeuvred along the line of 12 moored boats, dropped our anchor and reversed onto the Customs jetty and tied up. As soon as we got there the Agent handed me the Ship’s papers back and said we could leave! She had sat on the quayside and watched us move! If she’d walked to us she’d have been back in her air conditioned office practising with her rubber stamps about a half hour sooner!

So we left Turkey.   And to be honest we have been slightly under-whelmed by the visit. The high point was visiting Zeynep in Bodrum, the ruins at Knidos and one or two pleasant anchorages, the low points which will sour our memories were all the rip off Agency fees and officialdom.   I think perhaps we spent too little time here to make all that worthwhile, only 3 weeks, which isn’t really long enough to get the feel of a place.   We left finding ourselves looking forward to returning to Greece; as we crossed into Greek Territorial Waters I could almost smell the Cheese Pies!

Selimiye

Our next destination was to be Selimiye about 7 miles from Kuyulu Bükü.  Zeynep’s guide  suggested 1 or 2 days here and as the wind was forecast to be uncomfortably strong from the west until the weekend we figured we’d follow her advice.

Again the PB info was dated and we did a tour of the bay looking for a mooring spot.  The bay is very deep until close in shore and so anchoring free was going to be difficult as those spots were taken.    All of the quayside was full, most of the jetties too; I figured the empty jetties were empty for a reason.  We wanted to be close to the town and so we found ourselves a spot in the south east corner of the bay, anchored and took lines ashore.

Although crowded Zeynep’s advise was good.  We went ashore a couple of times for wander and a couple of meals and enjoyed both.  Selimiye seems to be a Turkish holiday resort and the vast majority of the boats in the bay appeared to be Turkish, the gulets obviously disgorged large numbers of people but over all it was a quiet, peaceful place..

Selimiye from the Poseidon Restarant
Selimiye from the Poseidon Restarant

We were tucked out of the way close to the Poseidon Beach and Yacht Bar, close enough for their Internet which was better 100 m off than it was sitting on their jetty.    We asked about mooring on that and were told the last ‘guest’ had run his AC continuously, overloaded the electricty supply and nearly burned the hotel down.  Possibly an exaggeration but no is no!  But the staff were nice and the food was good and anchoring cost us nothing but some fuel to run our AC a couple of times!

Seliemiye was once a small fishing village but has grown with the tourist trade and it was a pleasant place to spend a couple of days swiming and relaxing.   We’re not sure if the forecast winds blew or not as the bay appears very well sheltered and we aim to leave for Bozburun on Saturday morning as originally planned.