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Sunday, November 20, 2011


In the last three years of cruising we’ve spent quite a bit of time around Bodrum, so on 1 November when we left Bodrum probably for the last time, it was with a twinge of sadness. However new horizons beckon next year!
Our first stop on our journey south was Knidos with its still-impressive ruins dating back over 3,000 years. At first we were the only boat there, but later two other cruisers came in, and then 12 charter yachts moored to the jetty, making this one of the most crowded anchorages we’d encountered all year.

Envoy anchored in ancient Knidos harbour with sun on the lighthouse to the right

While anchored at Knidos we were joined by a fleet of 12 charter yachts

Laurie examines some remains of the city walls dating back some 3,000 years, and still in good shape (the ruins and Laurie!)

The weather forecast was again for strong northerlies, so we moved on to Kargi Koyu, near Datca, which has excellent shelter and plenty of room to swing. We stayed there three nights until the wind gusting to 25 knots abated.

Kargi Koyu provided excellent shelter from three days of 25 knot northerly winds

Turkey is definitely a blend of the ancient and the modern, and this is well illustrated by this wooden sledge used to pull boats out of the water for maintenance in Kargi Koyu

Wrecked fishing boat ashore in Kargi Koyu

It was then only a couple of miles to Datca, where we anchored off the harbour.

Envoy anchored off the town of Datca

Later an Australian yacht, Kondili, came in and after meeting her owners ashore in a bar, we had a roast lamb dinner aboard Kondili. Plenty of wine flowed and later we had an impromptu music session with guitars and harmonicas. Kondili’s owners, Phil & Robbie, are heading in the same direction as us next year, and we’ll definitely be meeting again.

Laurie aboard the Australian yacht, Kondili, with Karen, Jimmy, Phil, Robbie & Josh

Laurie alongside ancient lion statue in Datca. This was early November and starting to get cooler

These fishermen are peparing to antifoul their boat. There is negligible tide here, so they used a car to pull their boat out of the water, and will later get help from about 10 friends to push it back down the ramp

From Datca we moved on to the Greek island of Simi, which epitomizes everything great about Greek islands with its picturesque harbour and old buildings.

View of Simi's spectacular harbour

Church overlooking Simi harbour

By now time was getting short for our return to Marmaris and we moved back to the Turkish bay of Bozuk Buku, a sheltered bay overlooked by the ruins of an ancient citadel.

Laurie well wrapped up against the cool outside Alibaba’s restaurant at the entrance to Bozuk Buku bay

This picture taken from Alibaba’s restaurant shows how sheltered Bozuk Buku is

There is nothing to report except we are now planning Envoy’s winter lay-up in Marmaris. This will mostly be very routine, as we are only leaving Envoy for about 18 weeks, and here in southern Turkey we don’t need to allow for freezing conditions. Envoy will be left on the hardstand with her full cover on, and a reputable guy we know is going to check the boat every two weeks, and charge the batteries and run the dehumidifier monthly. The cost for this service is Euro 60 (about NZ$105) per month.
Envoy has a dry exhaust system, and this has not been checked for at least eight years. On advice from the previous owner we will get some help to strip away the heat insulation from the exhaust system and check it for corrosion and leaks.
LOG (to 8/11/11): 190 days aboard since leaving Marmaris, 2,190 NM cruised for 447 engine hours.

Friday, November 04, 2011


After going to a cafĂ© in Bodrum to watch the All Blacks beat France and win the Rugby World Cup, we went to the Bodrum private hospital to have our stitches removed. As we studied a map to find the hospital a Turkish man asked if he could help us, and then guided us the few hundred metres to the hospital. We bought him a cup of tea in gratitude, but he seemed to want to stay with us until eventually he asked if we’d pay him Lire 10 to buy some cigarettes. I was happy to give him Lire 5 and say our farewells. This was rare, and usually the Turkish people are extremely helpful and ask for nothing in return.

Laurie & Chris look on as the atmosphere is readied to watch the Rugby World Cup final ashore in Bodrum

We had decided to explore the Gulf of Bodrum – an area we’d not visited since 2007.
Our first stop was the village of Cokertme, and we had a great dinner ashore in Hasam’s Cokertme Restaurant. This was a nostalgia trip, as we’d had several memorable nights here previously with family and friends. The food was delicious, but we made an old mistake of letting them organise the food, resulting in a bit too much food and cost.

Diane, Chris & Laurie in Hasam’s Cokertme Restaurant

Our next stop was the Snake & Castle Islands, which have impressive ruins dating from ancient times right up to the Byzantine period, as well as a well-preserved amphitheatre. We arrived around 1600 just as the gulets were leaving with their tour groups, so we had the area all to ourselves.

Envoy anchored between Castle & Snake Islands

Chris & Laurie in Castle Island’s amphitheatre

Cleopatra’s Beach on Castle Island is reputed to be where Cleopatra swam with Mark Anthony, after importing galley loads of Egyptian sand. Scientists have determined that the sand is of a special silica type not from this area. Chris is not usually a swimmer, but even he couldn’t resist having a dip here. All swimmers have to shower after their dip to ensure no sand leaves the beach.

Chris after swimming at Cleopatra’s Beach

Diane & Laurie relaxing with Cleopatra’s Beach all to themselves

We moved on to English Harbour, a well-hidden, perfectly sheltered bay used as a base by the British Special Boat Squadron during WW2. We visualized their camouflaged motor torpedo boats anchored in the bay, and their base camp on a flat section of ground nearby.

Envoy anchored in perfectly sheltered English Harbour

Mermaid statue near English Harbour

We had a great two weeks with Chris, and like last year greatly appreciated his assistance with numerous small maintenance jobs aboard Envoy, including the supply and installation of a new DVD player and 510mm wide flat screen. Chris’s nickname of “MacGyver” was once again well justified.

Chris with our new DVD player and flat screen he supplied and installed

We enjoy a BBQ breakfast with Chris on his last day

Nothing to report so some comments re communications.
When cruising, communication costs are significant. Typically we spend about NZ$100 per month for internet access (using USB plug-ins), and about NZ$50 per month for phone (separate phone and sim card for each country). Sure you can use free WiFi, but this involves going ashore to find out passwords, and we want to have internet access every day.
“Rebtel” keeps our cost down for international phone calls. We can speak to family in NZ for 30 minutes for a cost of about Lire 2 (about NZ$1.30). We don’t understand how Rebtel manage this, but the system works well, and we highly recommend it for international calls – see their website.
LOG (to 31/10/11): 181 days aboard since leaving Marmaris, 2,121NM cruised for 434 engine hours.