Choosing an anchorage
We take a few factors into consideration when we’re planning an anchorage. The wind is a big part of that consideration.
Firstly, we check to see whether we’ll have wind to sail with, will we have to motor (have we got enough diesel?), or will it be too high and therefore unsafe to travel? Which direction will the wind be blowing from when we get there and how strong will it be? We then select at least a couple of anchorages to include the forecasted wind state and one that gives us protection should the wind be actually blowing from the other direction. Because that can happen.
We generally look at predicted wind gusts on Windy.com and Predictwind.com as well as the local weather forecasts. We’ve found that wind gusts commonly give a more realistic sense of the true wind state.
After that we sit down and look at Google Earth because that presents a great top down overview of all the bays in the area. We also get an idea of the holding (whether it’s a sandy or rocky bottom) and how deep the water is (whether it’s actually viable to anchor there).
Navily App is our next stop, and I get that up on my phone as Baz steers around Google Earth and we compare the bays we’ve chosen on Earth to the App. If there are designated anchorages on Navily with decent reviews then we fine tune our choice. One of the issues we have with Navily is that the reviews are often subjectively written by holiday-makers. They often share more about whether they liked the view or restaurants and often present useless actual anchoring information.
The pilot guide comes next. In our case it’s Rod Heikell’s Turkish Waters Pilot Guide. This gives more useful detail about anchorages for sailors than Navily App, but it doesn’t include all of the anchorages along the coast.
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Once we’ve made our final decision of our three best anchorages ranked in order of preference, we scoot up on deck and check out the chart plotter which has up to date information and the possibility to zoom into each anchorage closely.
After that when the day to sail arrives, we prep the boat and off we go!
Marmaris to Bozzukale
Baz worked out that if we had to use the engine without refuelling as we headed up to Didim, we’d practically be running on fumes by the end of the journey and we didn’t want to do that. As we left Netsel (Setur) marina in Marmaris, we stopped at the fuel dock and topped up the tank.
Barry’s calculations had been pretty spot on. It turns out the engine eats about 5 litres of fuel per hour.
We did get the headsail out for part of the way to Bozzukale but eventually furled it back in as the wind was on the nose (right in front of us). Some sailors ask us why we don’t tack and sail more. As travellers first and sailors second, we would rather get there in 5 hours, than tack and get there in 10 hours. It’s as simple as that. Of course, we love it when we do bring out the sails and turn off the engine. It’s quiet, cost effect, cleaner and A B Sea is a sailing yacht after all.
Goldilocks and our three choices
There are three restaurant jetties in the long deep bay of Bozzukale and the first one was our preferred jetty to tie up to as it offered more shelter from the predicted wind and swell. It would also be good to support the restaurant owners who must have suffered financially over the last year. However, although there was one yacht tied up, nobody came out to take our lines and after a short wait, Baz said ‘stuff this’ and we motored towards the head of the bay where our chosen anchorage was.
As we passed the second restaurant jetty a guy waved a big flag at us, letting us know they were open for business. We decided to give them a go. Unfortunately that proved to be quite a dangerous option. As I was up trying to secure the slime line with the fellows on the jetty holding our stern lines Baz realised that the swell was simply too boisterous. The jetty is parallel to the swell that comes into the bay and the surges threatened to slam us into the jetty. Saying sorry to the restaurant owners, we let go and headed off to our original anchorage choice.
The guys at restaurant number three, Loryma, waved at us to tie up to their jetty but as we got closer, we could see they were actually still reconstructing it after the winter storms. No. Goldilocks kept on going.
The anchorage proved to be just right. The wind was picking up and the swell was significant, but after a failed attempt, we got the anchor nicely dug into the sand/pebbles and put A B Sea to bed for the night. The wind dropped overnight and we had a good sleep in the calm water.
Back in time now to January 2021, when we visited Arykanda which is located near the small village of Aykiriçay on the Elmali-Finike road.
As the ‘anda’ part of the name suggests, this site is one of the oldest Lycian sites with Anatolian roots stretching back as far as the 2nd century BC. Having said that, some of the oldest ruins and coins found at the site date back to the 6th or 5th centuries BC.
The name Arykanda roughly means ‘the place next to the big rock’ and as it’s built on five terraces up a rocky hillside, I reckon that’s an apt name. It was ‘discovered’ in the 19th century by Charles Fellowes, an English person, who managed to ship a lot of his finds back to the UK. Since 1971 Ankara University has been excavating and restoring this incredibly impressive location.
A part of what makes it impressive to me is the fact that, while historians decided that the original occupants were lazy and hedonistic, they still managed to cut, haul and place massive blocks of stone up the side of a steep mountain.
Secondly, there are three definitely different styles of architecture and construction there, with the older ones being the most impressive with massive blocks of stone hewn and placed in such a way that you couldn’t get a piece of paper between them. They reminded us of ruins found in South America.
If you want to explore Arykanda, leave yourself a few hours because it’s got many worthy features including:
The largest bath complex in Lycia, a large flat agora with some shops still intact, a 2nd century AD amphitheatre, an odeon, a half-sized (106m/ 347ft long) stadium, two necropolises and a bouleuterion (where the council members met). There are existing mosaic tiles on some of the floors and evidence that the builders incorporated separate fresh and sewage water systems.
We were glad we took the drone, because we got some great footage of the immensity of this site, for this week’s video. To watch our YouTube episode that dovetails with this blog, just click here.
Next week, join us as we head on up to Datça.
Until next week though, I wish you health, wealth and courage, as you take the actions to bring your dreams to life.
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