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Barry's Blog #199 - What is that stench?

Updated: Oct 9, 2021

Along the less frequented parts of the Turkish coast there's a huge industry of fish farms. In our time here we've navigated our way around quite a few of them and their various support vessels.

The maturing fish held in those farms need to be fed and they like to eat other fish. But you can't feed them live food, because dinner would just swim through the holes in the nets and bugger off into the great big blue. Therefore there are, at various places along the shoreline, fish food processing plants and the most outstanding feature of these processing plants is that if you're approaching them from downwind you'll certainly smell them before you can see them.

We encountered one of these processing plants just after we'd upped anchor at Salih Adasi the stench was mind numbing. Apart from the smell, as we approached, there was also a sheen of fish oil on the surface of the water. It's certainly something to consider when choosing an anchorage where you might be swimming and also be downwind.

Exploring Yalikavak

This was our third time anchoring at Yalikavak and both of our previous visits had been short stops to refuel or hide from big winds. This time we were determined to stay a few days and explore the town and the marina.

Yalikavak is a big town and it caters for all budgets. We found supermarkets ranging from the basic BIM to a, new to us, Macro Center. The food choices and quality in Macro are outstanding and so are the prices. We bought just a couple of treats and made a hasty exit before we were required to take a out a mortgage. Eventually we found a fair sized Migros supermarket and bought most of our needed supplies from there.

Then we went to explore the very upmarket marina. Getting past security required a HES QR code, which we carry on our phones and all bags and cameras must pass through an x-ray machine.

Once inside we could immediately tell that they weren't aiming for people who travel on a cruiser's budget like us. The deeper we walked into the marina the more expensive it became. Eventually we were walking past a stern to pontoon named the 'Rolls Royce Berth' and yes there was a Rolls Royce car dealership right next to it with half a dozen very expensive models proudly on display.

It seems that boating, like everything in life, has various financial levels at which you can participate or not.

To Sahil Adasi

After nearly a week anchored at Yalikavak, the north wind dropped to a manageable level and we upped anchor, refuelled at the marina and made a short 1 hour and 40 minute run to an anchorage at Sahil Adasi.

It's at a small island ('adasi' is Turkish for 'island') with half a dozen abandoned villas clustered around the bay. Apparently the buildings were abandoned in 2005-2008 because the fish farms and the fish food processing plant established in the bay created a smell and polluted the sea. Eventually the fish farms were forced to move at least 1 mile from land, but the fish food processing plant remained. I wonder what that little endeavour cost him?

After 3 nights at anchor we decided to move on. The bay is a popular destination for local day tripper boats coming from the nearby town of Güvercinlik. The boats and the day trippers are fine however the jangling loud music they blast out at all hours of the day just drove me nuts and that's saying something coming from an ex DJ of 22 years.

To Aydeniz Koyu

A couple of weeks back we met up with Kevin & Dee from Sailing Kejstral Adventures and they told us about a relatively unknown anchorage that was a slice of paradise. It was located along the way we were going so we decided to give it a look see.

As we approached it, steering around fish and shellfish farms it didn't look too attractive from afar but once we got up close we could see that it was gorgeous. Crystal clear water, mostly sandy bottom with 5 metres (16.4 feet) of depth to drop the hook and swing freely and not a day tripper boat in sight.

Had we just found heaven on earth? Maybe, maybe not. Check back for next week's blog and I'll tell you what happened at sundown.

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