Monday, 17 September 2012

Southern comfort with no ice

Anchorage at the eastern end of Kekova Roads
"Those were the days, my friend, we thought they'd never end...." A daytripper boat slides along "our" channel at the eastern end of Kekova Roads, blaring and sharing Mary Hopkin's lament of lost youth. Better than Turkish doof doof, but we've learned to tolerate that too. We're the guests, remember? Besides, all the day tripper boats will be gone soon after dusk, and should we be so unlucky as to spend another night in close proximity to a whooping cargo of German lads whose drunken revelry and the thumping old generator of their gulet almost cancelled out the glory of the starry sky at this southern tip of Turkey, we can be certain that they and their vessel will pull anchor soon after breakfast. Gulet charters always have other places to go, more ruins to see.

The breeze carries the ringing of a bell from the other side of the bay. Tea and cake anyone? I picture a slow rising up of sweaty bodies from sunbeds lined up under a foredeck awning, and a heat-dazed drift of said bodies aft towards the afternoon tea table. Gulets and their guests are like over-sized dogs; they have their habits, and you just watch them carefully, keep out of their way, and after a while you start to find them quite charming - at a distance.

We've decamped from the Marmaris zone of influence. On Friday and Saturday we made our way very quickly down the coast to what is probably the last stop on our summer cruise ticket, Kekova Roads. The pictures below show the sun rising over the Fethiye Gulf - we were parked on the Gocek side of the gulf in a small cover which reminded me a bit of the north island of New Zealand.

Our next stop was in a bay opposite the very pretty town of Kas. Alex was utterly taken with the house jutting out into the bay. He said, "Can you find me something like that in New Zealand?" Please someone, take up his challenge!

We'll come back up the coast in two or three weeks, maybe sooner, maybe later, but certainly more slowly than we came down a) because the wind will most likely be against us and b) because we'll be happy to linger until the last moment before we take Enki into her winter berth. The late summer/autumn weather will dictate our pace more than anything else.  In Kas, for instance, we saw our first sea mist rolling in. Beautiful. We haven't seen so much cloud clumped together since we left France.

We've spent a month or more revolving around Marmaris, for various reasons. Our latest visit to Marmaris Yacht Marina was to put to bed once and for all (we hope) the spectre of dirty fuel clogging up our finely-tuned engine, something which since Sicily we have felt as an ever-present danger. Alex had discussed various options with Burak and Erden at Marlin Yachting. What we ended up doing was replacing the three existing Volvo filters with Racor water separator filters with glass bowls, metal shields and electronic water sensing devices which shriek at the first sign of water in the fuel. As well as this, an Algae-X magnetic fuel gadget was installed in the main fuel line - whether this works or not is anyone's guess. There are plenty of positive testimonials and on Kukka, the previous owner Mr Tada had installed one. No harm done. While there were two (agile, young) bodies in the engine room, Alex got them to service both the Volvo engine and the Westerbeke generator. We also removed the inspection hatches from both fuel tanks to have a look at the clarity of the fuel and the cleanliness of the tanks. All good.

Frankly, Turkish mechanics win hands down over their EU counterparts -  maybe we just got lucky but we'd recommend Marlin Yachting to anyone passing this way.

While Enki was getting all the attention, I staved off my impatience to be gone from Marmaris by looking at .... boats. Don't people invest so much hope in their vessels? There are more than a thousand yachts parked at this mega-marina, from the miniatures to the obscene, and every one, at some time, somebody's dream. 

My dream is to return one day to Vanuatu - this boat is registered there, its name Freedom


  1. The team has been assembled. The mission, to find Alex and his crew member the well designed, seaside house in NZ.

  2. You have several years, but I've started the! x

  3. we know just the spot - but it's in Alaska. Plenty of clouds clumped together, though.

  4. Funny you should think we're cold climate people - have we been giving you the impression we're over the heat? Just looking at photos of your Sept "cruising" in Tassie brings me to my senses. See you in Vanuatu?