Our plan for May was to sail towards Bodrum and explore the Gokova Korfezi, the large bay east of Bodrum, before heading to Greece. Leaving Gocek and the Fethiye Bay behind (note snow still on the mountains!), our first stop was Gerbeske Bay. Although we were hoping to free anchor in this fairly shallow bay, the 2 other boats had already tied off stern to, so we were obliged to do the same, with Ian acting as ‘deckie’ for a change.
Lumpy seas and winds on the nose, we had a long day of sailing and motor-sailing to reach the lovely bay of Knidos – right on the very wetern tip of the peninsula. The beautiful, mainly Greek ruins (C 400BC) and the remnants of the city walls coming right down to the Bay, looked wonderful in the afternoon light – an incredibly sophisticated settlement in such an isolated location.
We were surprised by the large number of boats here (12 rafted up on the jetty) – as everywhere else so far had been so quiet. After chatting with the friendly skipper next to us (one of 11 Russians on a Bavaria 44!) we found out that is a 2 week Russian holiday. As we ate dinner in the local restaurant, they cooked theirs on BBQs suspended on boards between 2 boats!
After a very long day with little wind we arrived in Sehir Adasi, (Castle Island), thrilled to be the only boat in the bay. First swim of the season, the water is already 21 degrees, so very pleasant.
After watching the fishermen haul in their largely empty nets in the bay over breakfast, we still managed to get ashore before the first of the many tripper boats to explore the ruins on the island. Again surprising that a Greek settlement on an island smaller than Scottie, in 400BC “needed” an amphitheatre seating 2,500 people.
The island is famous for Cleopatra’s beach. It is rumoured that Cleopatra brought the sand from Egypt. The ‘special’ white sand beach (like we have on most beaches in Aus) is roped off to prevent visitors ‘souveniring’ the sand in their pockets.
The water around the island is wonderfully clear and blue. Another night in the bay, still only 3 boats here on a Saturday – this is the time to visit Turkey.
A few more nights in the isolated and peaceful anchorages of English Harbour and Tuzla Koyu, meant that Ian could practice his cooking skills.
Sea Cloud through her paces on a work into the 20+ knot northwesterly to Cokertme on the northern shore of Gokova Korfezi. A large bay with sand and weed and nice to be able to simply free-anchor without lines ashore.
Arrived in the large but very attractive and friendly town of Bodrum. We were lucky to get a spot for Sea Cloud amongst the super-yachts in the very busy Bodrum Milita Marina. The marina is in a great position, right in town, with great views of the castle. Being Friday, we hurried to get to the fruit and veg (and live animal) market before closing, obviously it had been a very long day for some people!
The castle, which now contains the archaeological museum of underwater treasures and artefacts from ship wrecks dating largely to 500 BC but some as far back as 1500BC, was well worth a visit. The re-creation of ancient sailing vessels from retrieved and preserved planks, as well as the display of their contents, was exceptionally well done. The peaceful gardens with their peacocks and views of Bodrum and the harbour below were worth dwelling on. Gulets stacked the bay outside the harbour walls. Seeing the number of boats here now, it is difficult to image what it would be like in the season.
Check out of Bodrum (by the agency at the Marina), and last shopping expedition completed, we set sail for Kos, only 13Nm across the water from Bodrum where we would enter Greece.