“The gopher’s come out!” I heard Baz laughing as I stuck my head and shoulders out of the starboard hatch in the Princess Suite. It was early (for me) and I’d woken to hear a lot of commotion from Jim’s boat.
Getting internet up the mast!
Turns out, Alex was hoisting Jim’s tablet to the top of his 18 metre high (59 feet) mast in an attempt to get internet. It actually picked up a signal from the Greek island of Rhodes, 11 nautical miles away! That meant we could all get on with our internet work which was a bonus as the weather had turned gnarly – overcast, with 30 knot cold winds.
We were tied stern to next to Jim’s yacht Acheron as it allowed us to leave our boat via his without deploying our dinghy off the back davits. We’d started out side to but it got a bit choppy as the wind increased and we weren’t happy with leaving A B Sea in that position.
While the weather was still dry, Baz and I explored the hill at the back of Loryma restaurant and came across a few ruins from the ancient settlement of the same name, Loryma. There was also a small herd of goats munching on the hillside greenery, and a great view of our yachts tied up on the jetty. Bozukkale is a beautiful bay and can only be approached by sea, so well worth a visit if you’re sailing in that area.
That night we dined (all rugged up in warm jackets) in the open air restaurant. The food was amazingly tasty. Every tapas was delicious and I have to say, the bread crumbs around the calamari was the best I’ve ever had. It turned out that the regular chef was away in Marmaris and the lady who cooked our meal was the kitchen hand. They should increase her wages!
Night fell and we watched the blue and red lights of a coast guard vessel approaching. It was towing a 15 foot yacht which it brought to the jetty and left once it was tied up. It turns out the Turkish sailor had trouble with his engine and he was being blown towards Greece when he was rescued. He needed to get to Datça to have his engine fixed but would have to stay in Bozukkale until someone turned up who could give him a tow. This is where Jim came in: he offered to tow the yacht the 21 nautical miles to Datça as we were heading that way once the wind died down! When Baz asked him if he’d done anything like that, Jim said he hadn’t but was happy to help out a fellow sailor. He then spent some time learning how to tie the appropriate towing lines from Auntie Google and her mate YouTube. Jim has many fine qualities and altruism is up there at the top.
Towing the yacht
On Monday the 6th of May Baz and I slipped the lines and circled the bay while Jim tied the tow line from Acheron to the 15 foot yacht. We had woken up to blue, hazy sky and calm seas which were perfect conditions to tow a boat.
At 8.30am we all exited the bay safely and motored at around 5 knots of speed. Baz and I put the Gori folding prop into overdrive so we could arrive in Datça and deploy the dinghy in time to assist Jim when he arrived in Acheron. We arrived at Datça’s south bay at 12pm and at 12.15pm Baz took the dinghy to Acheron and then towed the small boat safely to the harbour.
We voted Jim the hero of the day – well the weekend – as he’d got us internet and towed a yacht.
Datça is a pretty harbour town
Datça actually boasts two harbours – north (where the gulets dock) and south and has a pleasant waterfront with a mix of cafes and restaurants that meanders around both bays. The front has a more eclectic feel to it than the long touristy bay of Marmaris, with painted slender trees sporting little lights. There is a main street with all the shops you’d expect and one shop that sells spit roasted chicken with two jacket potatoes and roast vegetables for 28 TL (AU$ 7), which is less than it would cost to buy just a roast chicken in a supermarket in Australia. We were there for two nights and bought one for our stay, and one for on passage!
Datça to Knidos
After spending two restful nights at Datça, it was time to weigh anchor and head 20nm to the ancient port of Knidos which was once a famous commercial port in ancient times. The wind gods were very playful on that journey and we did everything from motor, to sail, to motorsail.
Knidos still contains ruins of the ancient civilisation today, although it will cost 10TL to enter the site, but there is a lot to see. I was happy to look at it all through the wire fence, as we’d been spoiled by living on the Lycian Way when we’d moored in Kaş and had visited the immense sites of Patara and Pinara. We did have a drink at the restaurant with Jim after we’d anchored in the bay though. When we anchored here, the anchor actually dragged about 200 metres (656 feet) until the Mantus eventually dug itself into some sand. We did check the anchor when we went over to see Jim, as the water was crystal clear - and it was dug in well.
Jim who had tied to the restaurant jetty, chose to eat at the restaurant that evening while Baz and I went back to A B Sea for a chicken dinner. Later that evening Jim told us that the owner had charged him an extra 50 TL on top of his meal as not everyone who was in his party had dined there! I thought that was pretty rude and not in keeping with the other restaurant jetties that we’d stayed at, who had been welcoming and generous.
We stayed there for two nights and stayed clear of the restaurant. On Friday it was time to leave so we headed for Plan A anchorage – Catalada. But that turned out not to be a good option. Why? I’ll let you know next week.