So, there we were, tootling along happily to Kekova with our buddy boats Acheron (Jim) and Barbara Ann (Kev) with the intention of staying for a few nights in different anchorages. Last time we went to Kekova (in 2019), we lost AIS and the autopilot went on the blink, so we had to cut our visit short.
I was so looking forward to returning to Kekova which is a stunning location of islands, inlets, a fort and sunken Lycian ruins, less than four hours away by boat.
All was going relatively well until we got within 45 minutes of our first anchorage, although we did have a tad more light coloured smoke coming out of the exhaust than before. And then the oil pressure light began to intermittently flicker on, accompanied by a beep. We weren’t sure if it was simply a loose connection, but the beeping completely stopped when Baz put the engine into full revs of 2,500rpm to clear soot out of the engine and turbo just before anchoring.
After that, the beeping became more frequent until it was pretty much a continuous sound as we anchored in Sıçak Koyu, the first large inlet to port as you enter Kekova Roads.
We hurriedly anchored – easy as our anchor squelched into mud – and turned off the engine. Silence reigned.
What was up now? There wasn’t much Baz could do because he wanted to check the oil level with the dipstick and the engine had to be cool to do that, so we got ourselves sundowners, chilled in the cockpit and decided to put it all behind us until the morning.
The following morning Baz couldn’t remember if he’d double-dipped the dipstick (wiping the first high level of oil off and re-dipping to get a true reading) when he’d W.O.B.B.L.E.D. the engine the previous day before we left Kaş marina. However when he did double dip this time he discovered the oil level was far too low. In fact, it took 2 litres of oil to fill it up!
Once again the engine took our attention.
As it was the beginning of September, we had postcards for our $10 and up patrons, and Jim as a patron was no exception. But why mail him a card when he was a few hundred yards swim away from A B Sea?
I double-bagged his postcard in ziplock bags and, sure I had a watertight package, I swam over to Acheron. Jim was chuffed that I’d delivered his card and I was delighted to be able to have a little fun creating a segment for this week’s video! It felt very James Bond-ish!
To Üçağız and the Fort
After two pleasant nights at anchor at Sıçak Koyu, we all headed off to the bay that is further inland, and even more sheltered than the one we were in. Üçağız (whose ancient Lycian name was Teiminssa) is a small village with a fairly new council run marina that now sits in place of some of the old restaurant jetties.
Hassan’s world renowned seafood restaurant used to have a wooden jetty. The restaurant still sits with its tables on the waterfront and they will collect you in their little water taxi, or you can tie up your dinghy directly in front of your table.
That’s what we did when we went for dinner there on our first night anchored in the bay east of Üçağız. Jim, Kevin, Baz and I enjoyed a hospitable time at Hassan’s eating a wood-fire grilled fish, freshly caught in the area that morning.
Visiting the Fort at Kaleköy (ancient Simena)
The weather during our trip was fabulous – hot and humid and reminiscent of Queensland summertime in Australia. Baz and I took our dinghy and collected Kev fairly early at 8am as we had a bit of a hike up to the top of the hill at Kaleköy to visit the fort and tombs perched at the summit.
We’d been told there was a back road that could be accessed from the end of the bay where we were anchored. We dinghied through the glassy calm water, with the castle on the hill overlooking us on our right, until we came to an unkempt pontoon where we tied off and walked gingerly across a makeshift wooden ‘bridge’ ashore.
A sweaty half an hour later all three of us arrived at the top of the hill. And what a discovery! Tall Lycian tombs stood silently like ancient sentinels amongst the low lying bushes. Each of these heavy rock-hewn graves was placed so the inhabitants would have stunning views of the inland sea (Ölüdeniz). We made our way around the sandy path until we came to the Fort area entrance.
It does not surprise me that in 1990 this whole area was included in the Turkish Ministry of Environment and Forest’s specially protected areas. From the top of the fortress (which by the way was built by the Knights of Rhodes on the remains of the original Lycian structure) we had wonderful views of the sunken ruins which tourists are totally free to walk and swim amongst. From another aspect, we could also make out A B Sea, dwarfed by the distance, in the azure blue water of the bay behind the fort. This small castle also contains the smallest amphitheatre in the region.
Returning to A B Sea with picturesque photos, drone footage and clear memories, we planned to visit another anchorage at the east end of Kekova, before making our way back to Kaş. But how would our engine fare? And what was the actual issue? Find out in next week’s blog.
If you’d like to see the video that accompanies this blog, just click here.
Until next week, I wish you a very pleasant week, taking action to bring your dreams to life.