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Aannsha’s Blog #197 – Bodrum and Kissebuku

Updated: Sep 25, 2021

As I write this in the bay next to Kaş marina it has begun to rain. It’s the first rain we’ve had for months. And it’s lovely, soft warm drops of water landing on my shoulders as I sit in the cockpit writing to you. The temperature is slightly cooler, the sky is blue but overcast with grey-white clouds and the water is a deep teal green. Perfect.

Yes, it’s a perfect day to doze, read, and basically do nothing. So as I battle this feeling of blissful inertia, I’m allowing my fingertips to describe my current situation. But that’s quite different to what this week’s video is about.

We stayed for several days in Bodrum and while many of them were also spent relaxing, something we don’t do often enough, we also went exploring the castle. And wow! What an amazing discovery that was!

Excellent value for money at Bodrum Castle

For the price of 90 TL (AU$ 14.50) we got access to a fairly large and well-kept 15th century castle plus the superb Bodrum Museum of Underwater Archaeology, located in the castle grounds. From the moment we entered Bodrum castle we encountered one treasure after another.

It is built on a rocky peninsula (as high as 30 metres in some places) between two bays and includes a moat on the north which took advantage of the sea over which they built a draw bridge. Making it a ‘proper castle’ in my humble opinion! It has a definite medieval character but contains blocks of local green stone which have been dated to the 4th century BC. These are considered to be base stones of the palace of King Maussollos of ancient Halicarnassos.

Every courtyard contains something of interest. From alters to grave stones to massive iron anchors. I was intrigued by the several dozen stone anchors which were used originally. These are basically large flat oval stones containing three holes through which they tied the ‘anchor chain’. Presumably they chucked enough of these overboard and the weight on the sea bed would keep the boat in place.

The Underwater Archaeology Museum

Along with various towers that contain finds from sunken ships and ruins in the local area (one being Knidos), the most impressive part of the castle for me was the Museum of Underwater Archaeology which was established in 1964. This contains many displays, photographs and videos of ancient treasures that were lifted from the sea bed by divers. Some of the original dive equipment is on display too, giving me an appreciation of the dedication required to excavate underwater sites and retrieve finds. These finds include amphorae, ancient glass, bronze, clay and iron items from shipwrecks dating back to the 14th century BC.

I thoroughly enjoyed walking around the castle, with its blue and also white peacocks scratching around under trees in the courtyards.

The two exhibitions that I found most interesting were:

  • The exhibition of the contents of the tomb of a Carian princess, who died between 360 and 325 BC. Baz and I even had a video interaction showing us wearing her golden necklace and crown!

Also the

  • Glasswreck Hall. This contains a reconstruction of a ship believed to have set sail in 1025 from (today’s) Syria and was wrecked in Serçe Limanı on the Southern Turkish coast. The cargo included over 3 tons of glass – chunks of raw glass for recycling as well as fine glassware - that has forced historians to re-think some of their views on Arabian history due to the glassware and symbolism of the contents. I particularly loved being able to walk above and around the boat, seeing where the contents had been stowed. The amazing glassware was incredibly beautiful and shown off extremely well – in darkness, and under-lit or backlit.

Runaway Lilo

One day Baz and I were editing down below when we heard a Turkish guy near our boat calling out. Running up on deck we saw he was clinging desperately to an airbed. He was hundreds of metres away from the beach, having been blown from the safety of shallow water by the gusting wind. Baz jumped in the dinghy and towed the grateful fellow back to shore. While he did so I considered my takeaway from the situation: if you or your children are on a floating device, please be aware of the power of the wind. It can whisk you far offshore very quickly. This guy was fortunate that he headed towards A B Sea. You or your children may not be so lucky. So be aware!

Meeting Sailing Kejstral

After Bodrum we headed to a fantastic little bay called Kissebükü Koyu which is a little further east on the peninsula. We went there to meet another couple who have a YouTube sailing channel: Kevin and Dee of Sailing Kejstral Adventures. After a decent passage where we’d had some wind in our favour, we anchored in the large bay nearby Kejstral. That afternoon Dee and Kev came over to A B Sea for a chat and a drink. The hours flew by with stories and laughs, and we had dinner together on board.

The following evening they hosted us on Kejstral and another few hours flew by. We had a thoroughly lovely time and look forward to seeing them again. Dee and Kev are from the UK and have been in Turkey for years, owning an apartment near Didim along with their yacht. If you’re interested in seeing their channel just click here.

Next week we explore more of Kissebükü Koyu and Baz gets to fix the small headsail issue that prevented us from opening the headsail fully on our way to Kissebükü.

To watch this week’s YouTube episode that accompanies this blog just click here.

Until next week, I wish you health, wealth and courage, as you take the actions to bring your dreams to life.


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