Aannsha’s Blog #87 – Knidos TURKEY to Samos GREECE

“I don’t know how comfy this is going to be,” I said as we scoped out Catalada bay.

“No, and the wind’s picking up too,” Baz replied. “I don’t like it.”

Catalada – no shelter – keep going

We’d headed to Catalada island on an overcast, mildly cool morning. When we arrived at Catalada just over three hours later, the wind was increasing, it was a lee shore and there was no shelter. Baz also didn’t like the depth as it got pretty shallow quickly and if the wind had swung around we’d have been in strife.

Plan B – Gümüşlük

We carried on to Plan B – Gümüşlük, a long thin bay with a seaside village and fishing port just north of Bodrum. Baz had to negotiate an old harbour wall to port and an island to starboard, but we found a nice spot and anchored in 15 metres with 40 metres of chain out. The wind was steady at 20 knots and took most of the night to calm down, but by morning it was mild and sunny with a few clouds and slight breeze.

Upping anchor was a bit hairy as a yacht had anchored close to our own anchor the previous evening and we weren’t sure if we’d get away safely, but we did and were soon heading out of the bay towards Didim.

Didim

The weather was sunny and mild, with a slight breeze and by 8.30am we had the headsail up as we had 10 knots of wind on the beam. Of course this didn’t last! Twenty minutes later with 6 knots on the nose, we turned on the engine. By 9.45am though, we were close hauled and doing 3.6 knots in 6.1 knots of true wind! At 10.10am those fickle wind gods flicked us the proverbial finger and our speed dropped to 1.6 knots – we weren’t going anywhere fast at this rate! What did we do? We furled in the sails and motored, achieving 5.7 knots. This is how we arrived at Didim at 11.35 and we soon chose a lovely spot in the calm aquamarine water where we dropped anchor in 4.5 metres of water, letting out 20 metres of chain. We were close enough to the D-Marin Marina that we could visit Jim easily, but far enough away that we didn’t obstruct either yachts nor the coast guard vessel.

Didim is a huge sprawling town which caters to tourists along its long waterfront with rows of bars, restaurants and hotels with as many tourist shops and ATMs to satisfy visitors’ demands. Baz and I met our sailor friends and followers, Beverley and Metin who showed us around Didim. Then while Beverley kindly washed our laundry, Metin took us to get our gas bottle refilled (unfortunately they couldn’t fill our particular bottle) and stopped for a while so we could look at the Temple of Apollo. Wasn’t that a surprise!

Temple of Apollo – it’s colossal!

(That’s what she said!) Baz and I have seen some impressive ruins since we’ve been to Turkey, but this one amazed us. This temple was the third largest structure in the Hellenic world with pillars up to 20 metres (65 feet) tall and 2 metres (6.5 feet) in diameter. The oracle at this temple was second only in popularity to the oracle at Delphi and people came from miles around to visit. If we ever return to Didim, we’ll definitely do a proper tour of this vast temple.

That evening we had dinner with Beverley and Metin at a beachside restaurant and thoroughly enjoyed a traditional Turkish soup as an entrée and I then feeling like something different, I had pasta! As is fairly customary for Turkish restaurants, we had sliced fruit as dessert and washed it down with several glasses of Turkish tea. Afterwards, they drove us around the town to show us Didim by night. It was lovely spending time with these two lovely people who we consider good friends and who have been so generous to us.

Enjoying dinner with Metin and Beverley