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Barry's Blog #86 - Back to beautiful Bozukkale

Complimentry Turkish tea and biscuits

Complimentary biscuits and hot Turkish tea upon arrival was how Jim, on our buddy boat Acheron, sold us on the idea of tying up at the inner most restaurant jetty in the gorgeous bay at Bozukkale on Turkey's Mediterranean coast.

I don't drink tea or coffee, but there's something about Turkish tea that appeals to me.

Marmaris to Bozukkale

Leaving Marmaris with favourable wind

We left the big bay at Marmaris with a functioning autopilot and promising winds with both sails unfurled, but as our 5 hour journey unfolded the wind gods got up to their usual playful tricks and our sails were in and out more times than a meerkat on steroids. Eventually the wind died off completely so we furled the sails away and were once again motoring.

We had previously visited Bozukkale bay when we first arrived in Turkey in October 2018 and at that time we tied up at the first restaurant jetty on the port side as you enter the bay. All three restaurant jetties have their own charm so if you do visit the bay pick whichever takes your fancy, or depending upon the time of year, whichever one has some free space. They do get very busy in high season.

Initially there was only Acheron and A B Sea at restaurant Loryma and Jim went in stern to while we tied up alongside. This was simply to allow us to get on and off A B Sea through the side gate and not need to drop the dinghy from the davits and deploy the passerelle.

We were eventually forced, by building 30 knot winds, to move to a stern to position but as we were right next to Acheron we were able to cross from one yacht to the other and get ashore via Jim's passerelle.

The accepted protocol for tying up at a restaurant jetty is to, at a minimum, buy some drinks and maybe a snack, but more generally to have an evening meal with drinks. That first evening Alex had some work to do so he stayed on board Acheron and Aannsha, Jim and I enjoyed dinner and drinks at the restaurant.

While we were eating we spotted the blue and red flashing lights of a Turkish coast guard vessel coming into the entrance of the bay a mile away. Aannsha always gets nervous in the presence of officialdom so we joked that they were coming to check her papers.

As they got closer we could see that they were towing a small sailboat which they proceeded to bring alongside to the restaurant jetty. They took about 15 minutes to make him secure and then they disappeared off into the night. Later the restaurant guy told us the details, apparently the sailboat outboard engine had failed and the wind was blowing him towards a Greek island, so the sailor had called for coast guard assistance and their protocol is to tow you to the nearest safe port of call and leave you to figure it out from there.

We spent two nights at the Loryma restaurant jetty and managed to get some video editing and blog writing done thanks to Jim hoisting a backpack, containing his tablet with a Vodafone sim card, 18 metres (59 feet) up his mast to get an Internet connection from the Greek island of Rhodes some 11 nautical miles away.

The stranded sailboat

While Aannsha and I were working, Jim found out that the guy with engine problems was trying to get to Datca which was where we were headed to next so he offered to tow him there, otherwise who knows how long he might have been stuck in Bozukkale.

Bozukkale to Datca

Perfect weather for towing

On the morning of our departure the wind gods were actually in Jim's favour. Zero wind, flat calm seas and just enough sunshine to make it t-shirt weather. Perfect for towing a sailboat 21 nautical miles to Datca.

Jim had never previously towed a vessel, but for a first attempt we think he did a bloody good job of it. I've never read the towing text book but if I ever do, I reckon Jim did it text book perfect. Now Jim can officially wear his underpants on the outside like the superhero he is.

Putting A B Sea's Gori folding prop into overdrive we motored across the glassy sea and put on an extra knot of speed so that we could get to Datca before Jim, anchor securely and deploy our dinghy ready to tow the small sailboat into a safe position in the harbour.

The whole thing went to plan without any hitches and we left the grateful sailor to fix his engine woes.

The next morning as I stood on deck and checked that everything was as it should be, after a calm and peaceful night, a smile was brought to my face as I watched the rescued sailboat owner motor past us, with his now functioning engine, and disappear off around the corner out of Datca bay.

Datca to Knidos

We stayed in Datca for 2 nights before taking the short 20 nautical mile hop to our next anchorage at Knidos.

Entering Knidos bay has to be done through the red and green channel markers otherwise you run the risk of coming into contact with the remnants of the ancient harbour wall which lies just below the surface on the starboard side of the entrance.

It's a fairly well protected bay with a restaurant jetty where you can tie up. We decided to anchor even though the holding was reported to be quite patchy. Positioning A B Sea in as shallow water as possible I ordered the anchor dropped into what I thought was a large patch of sand. It turned out to be rock with a super thin coating of sand. Needless to say our beloved Mantus anchor could not find purchase, so I motored in reverse very slowly and dragged our anchor backwards until it eventually found what it needed and dug firmly in.

This manoeuvre could only have been done in a completely empty anchorage as it took close to 200 metres (656 feet) before A B Sea came to a halt.

Jim had tied his boat Acheron to the restaurant jetty and once we'd put A B Sea to bed we launched our dinghy and went over to have a couple of beers and a chat about where we were and where we were going next.

But I'll tell you all about that in next week's blog.

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