Lots of Lazing About, Saturday 1st July
The last fortnight has been hotting up. I had a lovely birthday (thanks to all for cards stashed away, presents, emails and messages ). In the previous blog I mentioned that we were in Ortisim Bükü or Laundry Bay, on account of its fresh water spring. After opening presents, we took the boat and anchored as close to the "spring" beach as possible. There were two Turkish boats there (as well as the little Russian family from Gemiler) who obviously had experience of accessing the spring water. There was a large, very long pipe that snaked its way down from the spring and ended in the sea. It had a sort of connector on it that with the right bits, enabled a hose to be attached. The water pressure was enormous, lifting the pipe out of the sea, the fresh water gushed out a bit geyser-like. Apparently the valve is best kept at half closed, to enable the hose to stay attached. Our hose was not long enough. One of the kind Turkish chaps rowed over with his hose and connector and between his and ours, it managed to reach our boat. We filled our tank and spare water containers with the best soft, clean, delicious, cool water we have ever had. A different start to the day!
We set off to a nearby island for lunch and, through a little mishap on leaving, we both ended up with bloodied and scraped knuckles and arms trying to free ourselves from a barnacle covered buoy - Richard came off worse than me, doing the gallantry bit. From there we went to Tomb Bay, so called because there are cave tombs in the cliffs above the bay. We moored up to a restaurant jetty and treated ourselves to a birthday meal out and use of all their lovely facilities. Unusually, there was a small gathering of nations, including a British fellow HR owner whom we had last met in Bayona, northern Spain - small world! And so to bed with the eyes of the Dead keeping a friendly watch over us.
From then until now it has been a case of it getting hotter and hotter and us getting lazier and lazier. So we have been idly bay-hopping - slowly out of the Skopea Limani and Gulf of Fethiye, round into Marmaris Limani to visit Marmaris itself, Gerbeske Cove (aka Wasp Bay) and Serce Limani (beautiful, peaceful, also pretty waspy). They don't want to sting you, they are just a bit of a nuisance around fresh water and meat for a couple of hours at dusk and early morning - Francesca, our innovative wasp collector, has been doing a sterling job. And finally back round to the Datça Peninsula and the Hisarnou Korfezi (Gulf) area prior to finally clocking out of Turkey on Saturday in Datça.
In all this time, we have done some unusual food shopping, with a Carrefour Supermarket boat coming alongside us, for me to step across to them to make my purchases. We have done laundry anchored in a bay, Kuruku Buku, where a very organised campsite by the beach had a çamaşırhane or laundrette with about 40 domestic-sized washing machines. You paid your TLira 10 per machine (we needed two), a young man unlocked and locked the laundry room for you and the machines took at least two hours - no getting away quickly. Driers are unnecessary, in 42deg heat and a hot breeze, everything dried in minutes.
And last, but not least, we have been good and had a couple of "pump-outs" of the holding tank at Fethiye and then Marti Marina in this gulf, and had them recorded on our Blue Card. You must understand that loos and holding tanks and the like are important, much discussed boaty topics. Apologies to the non-sailors! We think the Blue Card gets checked as part of the exit procedure which goes something like this: pay Agent TL80, he takes all our paperwork - 6 pages to be stamped, Passports, Blue Card, Transit Log, Customs, Police: a mirror image of the entry requirements. In theory I think we have 24 hours then to clear Turkish waters, but apparently the authorities have been getting a little bit twitchy or sticky about allowing too much latitude. It has been striking, the absence of foreign boats this trip, compared to when we were last here 3 years ago. We are usually the only foreign boat wherever we have been. The Turks, however, are out in full and seem to have filled the gap somewhat.
It is now so hot - 42 deg in the boat, in the shade, and at night not really dropping below 32-35 ish. Time to go. In the gulfs, the water was becoming 30 deg bathwater. We are now in Datça, closer to open sea and it has thankfully reduced to 25-ish, so much more refreshing. After an unbearably hot and noisy night, today's treat was Datça Saturday market that we missed on the way here, with its fabulous spices and fruit. We limited ourselves - partly heat and partly not wanting to exceed our remaining stash of Turkish Lira. We then went onto the quay to do the exit formalities. The harbour chap actually remembered us, greeted us effusively and refused to charge us even the short stay fee. The town was gearing itself up for a festival later in the day - things like climbing a greasy pole competition (over water) and general fun and games. Our exit papers in hand (surprisingly casual procedure this time), we have decamped to the next bay so as not to be under the direct scrutiny of the Port Police and to be ready for an early start tomorrow: aiming for Kos. So the (still) Red Flag comes down and a nice new Blue Greek flag goes up for our last 10 days of this leg. Time to stop lazing about.