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Barry's Blog #212 - New winter home

Updated: Jan 15, 2022

I lived in Australia for over 20 years and never visited Sydney, Uluru or the Northern Territory. This is a trait that I've noticed all through my life wherever I've lived, I've never been inclined to visit the icons of the country, be they big or small.

On the last day of September 2021 we were anchored at Gökkaya in the beautiful area of Kekova, Turkey. Gökkaya is also colloquially known as Smugglers because tucked up near the head of a creek at the anchorage there is a ramshackle open plan bar/restaurant called Smugglers Inn. We've anchored at Smugglers many times and never once visited the inn. Time to put that right.

The only way to get to the inn is by dinghy. The creek shallows and narrows too much for a yacht to get near and there is no road access. Not sure how shallow the depth would get and unable to see the bottom through the murky water I slowly nosed our dinghy up to the rickety looking pontoon. As Aannsha was tying us off a shirtless bloke who actually looked like a pirate wandered down to help us. We introduced ourselves and found out that he was called Mustafa.

The weather was still very hot and there were plenty of boats anchored in the area but there were only two other people at the inn. Mustafa told us that we could sit wherever we liked, we chose a shaded table near to the bar and ordered two cold beers.

We've heard that the place can be a little raucous at the height of summer and that the eating and drinking goes on until the very wee hours. Today however it was peaceful and relaxing and we returned to A B Sea after just one beer, but at least we had ticked the box that we had finally visited the famous Smugglers Inn.

Back at the boat we watched as a herd of goats made their way down the rocky hillside and began drinking at the water's edge. We know that goats are hardy creatures but didn't know they had the ability to drink saltwater. Then Aannsha came up with a sensible answer. There are many freshwater creeks that empty into the anchorage and the fresh water floats on top of the saltwater. The goats had obviously figured out that this was one of the spots where they could source fresh water. What clever creatures.

New Winter Home

The following day (October 1st) it was time for us to take a short 2 hour hop to our new winter home at Finike marina but before we could leave we had to ask the yacht in front of us to move forward as we were pretty sure that they were sitting right over our anchor.

The couple on board were Turkish and through a combination of our little Turkish language skills and generic hand gestures we got our message across and they happily moved forward enough that we could retrieve our anchor without colliding with them.

Once again it was a windless day so the iron sail was put to use to get us to Finike.

The wind gods around here love to have a laugh and as usually happens just as we got to the entrance of the marina the wind began to blow at 11.7 knots.

Before we went to our allocated berth we needed to pump out our black water tank. I assumed that the pump out would be at the fuel berth, but here at Finike it's at a different part of the marina. Luckily Cem (pronounced Jem) the marinero came scooting out to us in the marina rib and pointed us in the right direction.

After pump out we found that the wind was actually in our favour as Cem released the bow line and the wind perfectly blew our bow off the dock and pointed us in the right direction to follow Cem to our designated berth nicely tucked in at the beginning of B pontoon.

Very convenient for the shower block, wonderfully protected from swell by a whole heap of other boats and close enough to the admin block to get a good marina WiFi signal. It was going to be a good winter.

Until next week stay safe and healthy.

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