Barry's Blog #177 - Hiding from big wind in Datça

Updated: May 8

One of our aims for exploring the Turkish coast for the summer of 2021 was to seek out different anchorages than ones we'd previously visited. However choosing which anchorage we spend the night at is decided by many factors.

First there's the wind direction. Along this part of the Turkish coast the wind is generally blowing either from the south or the north, so the anchorage has to have protection from the wind.

The next thing to consider is anchorage depth and holding. Turkey has a lot of anchorages that slope deeply very quickly from the shore and the only way to anchor there is with a line ashore acting as an opposite force to our anchor and chain. We much prefer to drop our Mantus anchor in shallow water and swing freely, especially at this early part of the year when the water temperature does not encourage Aannsha to don her bikini to swim ashore with a line to secure to a big rock and then swim back to the boat. There are many more deeper anchorages than there are shallow sandy ones.

Then there's travel time. Unless there's a specific reason to be somewhere at a particular time it gets tiresome travelling 8 or 10 hours per day between anchorages. That time could be better spent enjoying the views and sounds from our cockpit or doing some work for our sailing channel.

With all of the above said we were very happy to depart Bozukkale after our overnight anchorage and begin the 4 hour trip to Datça where we knew that we could safely anchor in shallow water and swing freely.

We upped the anchor at Bozukkale at 07:00 hours to arrive at Datça early enough to do some grocery shopping and get some more video editing done.

On the way there as we turned north to pass up and along the east coast of the Greek island of Symi we were pleasantly surprised to find that the wind was blowing nicely from the west. We quickly got both sails out and turned off the engine. Bliss.

The wind, as it always is in this part of the Med, was fickle, dropping as low as 14 knots and then getting as high as 25 knots. As the wind speed went up and down so did our boat speed. But it didn't matter and we enjoyed the ride while we could because once we passed the northern tip of Symi we'd be head into the wind as we made for Datça which lay to the west.

Sailing in strange times

As we've sailed the waters around Turkey and Greece we've watched all sorts of vessels ignore the territorial waters boundaries on the charts and although most of the time we try and do the right thing, when we're working with the wind and making good progress it's just easier to cut corners.

We did just that as we reached the north of Symi and sure enough within minutes of crossing the line we saw a high speed vessel come out of Symi town and head right for us. It was the Greek coast guard.