Aannsha’s Blog #147 – Datça and my birthday

Updated: Sep 12

Bodrum's Big Chandlers

We arrived in Bodrum and dropped anchor close enough to the quay that Baz could dinghy over to where the taxi rank was. He was on a mission to get to the Big Chandlers – Alize Marin Plaza which is situated 7.8Kms from the harbour. I stayed on board and edited our next YouTube video, which I was a tad sad about because I do love fossicking around in a chandlers. Oh well, probably for the best as Baz had a very long list and it wouldn’t have helped our budget if I’d gone along and found extra things to buy!

Bodrum harbour was busy and many beautiful wooden gulets were anchored under Bodrum Castle which dates back to 1404 when it was built by the Knights of St. John during the Crusades. It was subsequently taken over by the Ottomans when the church was turned into a mosque, and it now houses Bodrum’s notable Museum of Underwater Archaeology. Bodrum Castle itself is on the UNESCO World Heritage Site tentative list (whatever that means)!

Bodrum is definitely on my To See List.

Editing fun

Baz didn’t take the Sony with him on his taxi ride to the boat porn shop, but I wanted to include something to bridge our arriving at Bodrum harbour and him getting back on board A B Sea with a large carrier bag full of boat goodies. I found a short piece of footage on Pixabay.com and grabbed a few FX sound bites and then enjoyed a fun few (actually many) minutes editing a six second transition segment!

Unboxing the boat goodies

Baz ticked many items off his extensive list and you can see his ‘unboxing’ in this Saturday’s video. All of these purchases means we can now complete a lot of the smaller – and also important – jobs off our Boat To Do List.

Bodrum to Kissebükü

From Bodrum we headed east to a delightful, undeveloped bay called Kissebükü Koyu (Koyu means cove). There were a few yachts and gulets already anchored, some with lines ashore, and a few people were swimming along the waterline so we were extra cautious as we dropped the hook.

Once we’d anchored, we noticed how many tents were set up and I immediately felt at home – rather like finding an Aussie campsite along a creek in the hinterland of Queensland’s Sunshine Coast. As the sun set, people lit fires and barbecues and music drifted over to the boat from a few casual musicians. I instantly relaxed and after filming Baz’s show and tell, got back to editing.

Baz enjoyed a bit of ‘after-retail therapy’ as he replaced clips on the bimini straps and spent a longer time than he anticipated getting snug fender socks on the fenders. At one point he stopped for a while to record his thoughts about finally beginning to relax after months of boat related stress.

Birthday Girl, and it’s a Big One!

The following day I hailed in one more revolution around the sun and entered another decade of life. I have to say that as a result of my fairly recent change in eating habits and concerted exercising, I felt very proud to be swanning around A B Sea in my bathers because I was feeling fitter and looking a fair amount slimmer than I had for a long time. I know I have a way to go still, but I do feel good about myself. So hitting this big milestone birthday was for me one to celebrate.

Knidos – popular and packed

We left beautiful Kissebükü and made our way to Knidos which you may remember we visited last year. I particularly liked this anchorage as it is set in an ancient harbour and surrounded by ruins. Apparently, half of Turkey also likes the place because when we arrived we discovered they were all anchored there already, leaving no room for us.

Baz did a good job of backing out of the harbour that was so full there was no room to turn. On the way out we noticed that one of the leaving day tripper boats had snagged another yacht’s anchor chain as it picked up its own anchor. We didn’t want to run that risk, so Baz suggested mooring in the small sandy bay a stone’s throw north east of the entrance to Knidos.

The anchorage proved very rolly, so after a very swift swim off the back of the boat – I couldn’t resist it – we upped anchor and made our way to Datça which was about two and a half hours south and east around the peninsula.

Birthday fun in Datça

What a lovely surprise to discover that we were anchoring next to our friend Ismail on his yacht Wanda in Datça’s southern bay! We were both so focused on dropping our Mantus in the correct spot that until we heard the little beep beep from his boat’s direction, we hadn’t noticed it was him. Once we’d put A B Sea to bed, Ismail invited us over to Wanda for a Welcome to Turkey beer. Wasn’t that nice? And we met his new travelling doggie companion, a cool ex-street dog who had adopted him.

If you’d like to read Ismail’s fascinating story, you can pick up a hardback or Kindle copy of Dream On! at your local Amazon store. He features in the book along with us and seven other sailors who all met in Kaş a couple of winters ago and tell our stories of how we came to be there and what our plans are. Jens Brambusch is the author and it’s easiest to search for the book using his surname.

A short time later, Jim and his son Matt sailed into the northern harbour which was a little less crowded.

The four of us met up an hour or so later and we hit the town – complete with face masks and hand sanitiser. We were right in the middle of the Kurban Bayrami holiday so there were plenty of happy holidaymakers enjoying the festivities. Wearing masks in public is enforced in Turkey at the time of writing this, along with all the other conventional covid precautions, but we were glad that we could remove them while we were seated at our table.

The food was great and after a little Faulty Towers moment with confusion over when we wanted the beer, G&Ts and red wine served, we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

Faulty Towers seemed to be the leitmotif of the evening and at a second restaurant where we chose some delicious desserts, there was a bit of a mix up over our drinks, and my cake was whipped away before it was served! We all had a belly laugh trying to remember which Faulty Towers episode the rat was featured in and in my now slightly yet pleasantly sozzled state, I heard “Happy Birthday” music replace the piped music over the speakers. Wafting over along with the music, carried by a very diligent waiter, was my cake, complete with six candles. After a couple of attempts to light all of them at once, the waiter managed to leave with only minor burns to one latex gloved hand.

What a fantastic evening! Thank you Baz, Jim and Matt – and Ismail - for giving me joyful memories of my milestone birthday.

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Until next week when we sail to Çiftlik and Karacaören on our way to Kaş marina, I wish you a very pleasant week, taking action to bring your dreams to life.

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