'Click'… That was the sound of summer arriving along the Turkish coast. Just like someone flicking on a light switch.
It was the beginning of July and we were suddenly aware that there were many more boats out on the water. When we departed Kissebükü Koyu, on the 2nd of July, enroute to Yalikavak, I was surprised to see that A B Sea was surrounded by 14 other vessels making their way up and down the coast and it was only 07:30 hours.
Making sure that we don't cross paths too closely with other vessels we rely on two things. The first is our eyeballs and the second is AIS information which is displayed on our chart plotter.
AIS stands for Automatic Identification System and the equipment usually consists of a small transceiver with built in VHF transmitter and an antenna. Any vessel equipped with AIS transmits its position, speed, course, vessel name, call sign and overall dimensions.
Based on what A B Sea is doing relative to what the other vessels transmitting AIS data are doing we get to see the closest possible approach distance and how long it will be before that happens. It's our experience in Turkey that only a third of vessels have AIS installed which is a shame because it's a very useful tool to have.
Last time we were at Kissebükü we didn't go ashore, but through the binoculars we could see some old ruins and a small campervan with a handful of tables and chairs set out under some shade cloth. When the wind blew in the right direction we could also smell some delicious food being cooked. We were definitely going ashore this time.
We took our dinghy across to the eastern side of the bay and found the remains of a 5th century AD church, a tomb and surrounding buildings. Evidence of an archaeological dig and some restoration work was also found.
After wandering around the ruins for a while we felt that it was getting close to lunch time and hopped back into the dinghy, zipped back across the bay and beached her just in front of the small campervan.
An old Turkish couple greeted us and we sat down, ordered a couple of beers and some food. It was all pretty basic so we got a fresh salad, chips and meatballs. All very tasty. It's these little moments that really make us appreciate what this journey is all about. Eating inexpensive local food, enjoying a cold beer and watching A B Sea gently swinging at anchor.
The morning of our departure from Kissebükü for Yalikavak was dead calm and windless, the sea was like glass.
We did the whole 5 hours trip with our Gori folding prop open in the overdrive position, pushing us along at 6.7 knots of speed with just 1,750 rpm. Great fuel saving and perfect conditions for using the props unique overdrive feature.
As well as helping us ensure that A B Sea and the many vessels along the way didn't come into contact, our AIS really came into play once we entered Yalikavak big bay. There's a very upmarket marina there with some very expensive boats coming and going across the bay. My eyeballs also spotted several jet skis, numerous dinghies and tenders and a small fleet of what we call munchkin boats. These are the small Optimist sail boats that kids learn to sail in. All of that had to be navigated before we could get into a position to see if there was any room for us at our preferred anchorage in the north east corner of the bay.
Luckily there was a spot where we could drop anchor. Not our preferred depth at 10m (33 feet) but it was the only spot available where we knew we'd be protected from the forecast big winds that were coming in from the north over the next couple of days.
The last time we'd been anchored at Yalikavak was April and now just 3 months later the place was madly busy with anchored boats of all shapes and sizes so we were very glad that we'd found a spot.
Now all we had to do was to buy some beer and wait out the coming wind.
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