Barry's Blog #87 - Goodbye Turkey - Hello Greece

I'm usually a very meticulous planner but I had made an oversight in the flag department. Way back in May 2018, while we were still in Spain having work done to A B Sea, I'd looked at every country that borders the Mediterranean Sea and ordered courtesy flags for the ones that we'd hopefully be visiting including Turkey which at that point in time wasn't even on our radar.

So which flag had I missed? I'll get to that later in this blog.

Always have a plan B

We upped anchor at Knidos on Friday 10th of May. It was overcast and there was a slight chill to the 8 knot breeze that was totally useless for sailing A B Sea. Our planned destination was a small island off the Turkish coast called Catalada. After 3 hours of motoring we arrived just as the wind gods decided to actually do some work, this presented an issue with where we were hoping to anchor.

The wind was picking up quickly and the forecast websites indicated that it would be a steady 15 knots all night. The anchorage was totally exposed to the wind so it was probably going to be very bouncy. To add to that I just didn't like the depths that we'd need to drop our anchor in to be certain of staying away from the shallows.

Go to plan B. Which was a very protected anchorage called Gümüşlük just 45 minutes to the north. It's another entrance with the remnants of old harbour walls submerged just below the surface, so we took it nice and slow going in.

There were quite a few boats already anchored or tied up to the small jetty. So we worked our way to the back of the anchorage and dropped the anchor in 15 metres (49 feet) of water, she dug in straight away and we let 40 metres (131 feet) of chain out just in case the wind picked up more than predicted.

An uneventful night passed and the following morning we left the anchorage at 8.30am for the 3 hour trip to Didim. The ever playful wind gods made our ship's log read like this.

08:30 Left Gümüşlük - Sunny, some clouds, mild, slight breeze

08:30 Headsail up as 10 knots T on the beam

08:50 Headsail away as wind shifted to 6 knots on the nose. Motored @ 5.9 knots in overdrive

09:45 Both sails up as 6.1 knots T, close hauled achieving 3.6 knots speed

10:10 Wind died. Speed down to 1.6 knots. Furled away sails. Motored @ 5.7 knots in overdrive

11:35 Arrived Didim anchorage in the bay near the entrance to D-Marin marina

Dropped anchor in 4.5m of water, let out 20m chain.

Check out time

While we were in Didim we arranged to meet up with Beverley and Metin, they had dropped by A B Sea earlier in the year while we were in the harbour at Kaş and said that if we were ever in their home town to look them up.

Beverley very kindly washed a couple of loads of laundry at their house and Metin gave us a quick tour of Didim which included the huge temple of Apollo. As yacht owners themselves they fully understood what our priorities were and as well as everything mentioned above we were able to do a big shop, fitting everything into their car and easily getting it back to A B Sea. That evening we met up for dinner in a local Turkish restaurant and had a great time sharing sailing stories and musing over future sailing plans.

A sad farewell