Aannsha’s Blog #175 – We only broke one thing at Marmaris!

Updated: Apr 24

We awoke before dawn on Monday the 29th of March. Blurry eyed, although surprisingly alert, I didn’t even have my usual ‘get up and go’ cup of coffee. I’d enjoy that once we were underway. The reason for our early start? We had a long trip ahead of us. We were leaving gorgeous Gemiler Bay, surrounded by the impressive distant mountains with a view of the small nearby Gemiler Island crammed with Byzantine monastery ruins.

As we were getting the boat ready to leave, I looked at the island, wishing we could stay and explore, but knowing we had to get to Marmaris before the big blow that was predicted. Baz and I promised ourselves that we’d return on our way back to Kaş. We’d anchor and tie back to the island itself with a line ashore and that way we’d be able to step onto the rocks and spend a good few hours checking out the 4th and 6th century ruins. One of them is reported to be where St. Nicholas spent time doing his work. We’ve already visited his birth site at nearby Patara, and the Turkish tomb where he was buried in Myra. We can’t miss the opportunity to discover Gemiler Island. But that will have to be later in the season.

How we estimate our TOA

Today, we were headed for Marmaris and it was a fifty nautical mile trip. We always work out our travel time on A B Sea by dividing the nautical miles by five, which is our slowest estimated speed. That way we cautiously guesstimate our time of arrival and are usually pleasantly surprised when we shave an hour or two off the actual time it takes to get there. So, using those calculations, we expected that, if we left Gemiler at 07:00 hrs, we’d arrive at Marmaris by 17:00 hrs, or sooner.

The nearly-full moon was just setting behind the still dark hills and everywhere was quiet except for a slight lap of water against A B Sea’s hull. There was no wind, the water was flat in the bay and lifting the anchor was a breeze. As we headed into open water we kept the engine on as we still had no wind, the water was lovely and calm with a slight long slow swell. We were getting 6 knots speed over ground (SOG) so we were optimistic that we’d get to Marmaris earlier than estimated.

After tidying up the anchor locker, I headed down below to make a coffee for myself and breakfast for the two of us.

A chilly passage

By 09:22 hrs we were passing Göcek Bay area and turned towards Marmaris. The wind was only giving us a concessionary 3 knots (True wind), so we kept motoring at 2000 revs and our SOG picked up to 6.5 knots. Nice.

It was an uneventful but pleasant journey, passing a few other yachts and catamarans on their way to unknown destinations. Having said that, as the sun was either behind us or shielded by the bimini, it got quite cold on deck and we both donned another layer of clothing.

At just past 15:00 hrs we entered the large Marmaris bay area which in summer is hugely busy with yachts, motor cruisers, gulets and gimmicky tourist boats playing loud music. Today it was relatively empty. But in Europe and here, March is still early in the season, pandemics notwithstanding, so we didn’t expect to see many vessels. Give it a couple of months though, and sailing space would be at a premium.

We prepped the stern slip lines and as we approached Netsel (Setur) marina, Baz hailed the office on VHF 72. He mentioned that we were from Setur in Kaş and that we’d booked a week there and that we were requesting assistance from the marineros. One of the reasons we like the