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.
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!