Surprise, Surprise! Room for two more?!

Between us, the crews of Sunday and Catabella have had some wonderful surprises and some other lovely things happening just recently.

Sue and John – crew of Catabella

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves on the surprise front! The first happy event for Sue and John – and by default, for us too – was the arrival all the way from Australia of their grand daughter and her boyfriend who were at long last embarking on their delayed (due to Covid) post Year 12 overseas trip.

Sue with her granddaughter and granddaughter’s boyfriend

Istanbul was their first stop which was a great thrill for Sue and John. Only a few days later, their son Simon (based in England) and his two children arrived fresh off an epic sail – crewing on Sue and John’s youngest son’s (Andrew) yacht from Greece to Turkey.

Sue and John’s youngest granddaughter and me playing games at the dinner table

They disembarked at Çanakkale in the Dardanelles Strait and took a bus to Istanbul while the yacht travelled the last 150 nautical miles with two Australian friends of Andrew’s as crew.

We had been in the marina too long so it was a very happy day when we motored out of the marina heading for the Prince’s Islands with Catabella and her much enhanced crew.

Heading out of Viaport Marina
to the Princes’ Islands

We hadn’t been out more than a few minutes when John radioed us to say he was having trouble with one of his engines. Apparently the water intake was blocked with growth from the mega rich environment in our marina.

Oh no ! Engine trouble on Catabella

He was able to continue with one engine and made a repair when we arrived and anchored at the Princes’ Islands.

Our usual anchorage in the lagoon at Heybeliada was rather full (it was the weekend!) so we anchored for one night around the other side of the island.

The lagoon at Heybeliada was very full
We had to go and anchor round the
other side of the island

The next morning we had the first rainfall since we had arrived back on board in April! There was quite a storm with thunder and lightening alarmingly close.

A swim at long last!
Quite a storm approaching
Lots of rain with thunder and lightening alarmingly close.

Sue and John’s son and granddaughter had slept on board Sunday due to the large number of guests on Catabella and the weather was so bad that they couldn’t get back in the morning!

Sue and John’s son visits before the storm

To avoid disappointment about missing Poppa’s special breakfast I ended up having to make pancakes from scratch for the first time in many, many, years. Fortunately they got the thumbs up from our young guest and as she polished off the last one, the rain stopped and we were able to deliver the guests back to Catabella.

Later on that day we motored round to the lagoon on Heybeliada where we experienced the first of the surprises – Sue and John’s youngest son and his two crew suddenly arrived at our anchorage, having sailed Sea Pony overnight to arrive well before scheduled and at our lovely anchorage rather than the marina. What a reunion!

The first of our surprises! Sue and John’s youngest so arrives unexpectedly
Sea Pony arrives well before scheduled
Rafted up and time to celebrate!

Back at Viaport Marina the next day, the new arrivals on Sea Pony settled in on the same arm as Catabella and Sunday – almost opposite us in fact, where she will spend the winter.

Seapony moored Viaport Marina

The following day we all went out for a great meal together in a lovely Meze restaurant just back from the waterfront in Tuzla.

A lovely meal in Tuzla village

A chicken dish was ordered for the children and a huge portion arrived. Not wanting to waste it we took it home with us and the cats that live all along the seafront enjoyed a special dinner that night.

Feeding chicken to the local cats
What a feast!

You probably recall that we had (alarmingly) lost a window in some rough weather and that Jonathan had sourced a local manufacturer in Tuzla who was able to fabricate some for us at a vastly cheaper price than was offered by Lagoon, the company that built our boat. Well, after the windows were delivered Jonathan did an excellent job of installing the replacement for the one that fell out, using what seemed to me a very elaborate and complex series of different types of Sikaflex (flexible sealant). The other windows will be installed when we are pull Sunday out of the water before the start of next season.

Peeling the protective film off

A little later on, Evren, who organised the window fabrication, came to apply the tinted protection/sun proofing to the window. This amazing film allows us to see out but in the day time at least, people outside can’t see in. We tested this while it was being installed by waving and pulling faces inside. There was definitely no reaction from the guys outside who were standing on the dinghy while fixing it up!

Applying the tinted protection/sun proofing
We could see them but the couldn’t see us!

Now to the big surprise….

Sue and I had just finished a game of Scrabble one afternoon and we noticed she seemed to be hesitant about leaving. We offered her a gin and tonic which she accepted. Then she said “oh I have to go” and rushed off. The next minute John came over with a beer “to thank Jonathan for helping out this morning “.

Then Sue came back and told us that we were about to get a big surprise and before we could grill her about what it was, we heard a voice from behind our sunshades saying “Room for two more aboard?” and out stepped our daughter Hannah and son-in-law Pieter!

Room for two more? What
an amazing surprise!

What a wonderful and totally unexpected surprise it was! We couldn’t believe our eyes!

Ahhh hugs are so good !

We had hoped that they could come and visit but Hannah had looked at airfares and found them to be hugely expensive. However, apparently she had found a reasonable one which included going back to the Netherlands via Antalya in the southern Mediterranean region of Turkey and Copenhagen in Denmark!

It was so great to see Pieter and Hannah again!

After we had settled down (a little bit anyway) from the excitement we went for a stroll along the seafront and for an ice cream at the traditional Turkish ice cream seller nearby.

Buying ice cream at the
traditional Turkish seller nearby.

Buying ice cream in Turkey isn’t a simple affair of paying your money and receiving your cone – the sellers play all kind of tricks like handing you a cone with a flourish and with a sleight of hand whip it away leaving you holding an empty cone.

Buying ice cream in Turkey isn’t a simple affair of paying your money and receiving your cone
Expectant customers at the ice cream store

The following week went in a flash – we went bowling and shopped for cheap clothes for Hannah and Pieter’s forthcoming trip to Central and South America, in the shopping mall just outside the marina.

Pieter beating us all at bowling
Jonathan did quite well too!

We sailed over to the Prince’s Islands and anchored in the lovely lagoon at Heybeliada where we went swimming, hiked, feasted on wonderful fresh produce and played games.

On the way to Heybeliada
The water was lovely once you were in!
Hannah and Pieter enjoying a swim!
Jonathan showing off the new dinghy covers
Hiking along the road – golf carts only allowed!
Lovely view from the wooded track
Another beautiful view along the way
Hannah and Jonathan look out to sea
Breakfast feast!
A stop for a cold drink at a small stall
Feeding time for the local street cats
Looking down onto the lagoon anchorage

After a couple of days we moved on to nearby Burgazada where we anchored in the shadow of the rocky islet called Kaşıkadaşı (Spoon Island) and where Sue and John joined us.

On the way to Burgazada
Anchored off Kaşıkadaşı (Spoon Island)

That evening we enjoyed sundowners, and a lovely meal together in Burgazada at a lovely restaurant perched on a rocky outcrop. The views and the food were outstanding.

Perfect view – our boats anchored
in the distance!
Hannah and Pieter at the lovely restaurant
Sue and I at the restaurant

Immigration office, discoveries and being dinosaurs

While our boat guest, Jonathan’s brother Jack, had a few days stay in Istanbul to see the sights, we stayed on the boat and started the application process to extend our Turkish temporary residency visas.

Sunday moored at Viaport Marina

My tourist visa had almost run out and Jonathan’s three month extension of his temporary resident’s visa was also about to expire. The reason why we had different visas was that he had arrived in Turkey a few days ahead of me back in April when our year-long resident’s visas were still (only just) valid. He had to then renew his after his arrival in Turkey but was only allowed three months because our marina contract at Didim was about to run out.

Soon after we had applied on line (with the assistance of Attilla, our agent in Didim) we received a date for our interview which happened to be the day Jack was leaving Istanbul.

In the meantime there was of course, lots of boat jobs to do, one in particular that took up a fair amount of time for Jonathan – researching how to replace the window that had dropped out (

The empty space where the window was!

He found out that to obtain one from the manufacturer of our boat, a Lagoon 420, would cost almost 1,000 Euros (excluding shipping ) around $1500 Australian and would have had to come from the Netherlands. That was for one window – and we wanted to replace all four of our large cabin windows!

Apart from the cost, we were aware that there could be a hefty import tax to pay on top of that. We had also heard that getting items through customs was difficult and there were often long delays. So it was decided that we should try and get one made locally.

Jonathan’s excellent temporary repair

Jonathan used the Lagoon Owner’s Facebook site to find out whether other people had experienced the same problem and if so, what their solutions had been.

Surprisingly and rather worryingly, it seems to be a regular issue with Lagoons and we discovered that it is advisable to have Lagoon windows reseated after ten years!

We decided to have all of ours replaced and after quite a bit of research Jonathan found someone locally who could manufacture our windows from 15 mm thick Plexiglas. We also received some great advice from the adhesive manufacturer Sikaflex (the factory actually happens to be in Tuzla!) on exactly which adhesives should be used, in what sequence and exact timings. It was much more complicated than you’d expect.

Getting our new windows on board

Using computer aided design technology Evren, who was introduced to us by one of the marina’s helpful dock assistants, produced a perfect three dimensional plan for the windows. A week or two afterwards the finished windows were delivered – at the cost of roughly $850 Australian for all four!

Jonathan examining his new window

With more guests visiting soon we really needed to buy a bar fridge to replace the old one which no longer worked. So we found a very well priced locally made one on-line and then discovered a nearby store that stocked the one we had picked.

We found a shop that sells marine fridges

After a long hot walk we not only found the store and ordered the bar fridge but also discovered a brand new chandlery shop not far from the marina and a great hardware store owned by the British retail chain B&Q which sells supplies for home maintenance and gardening projects. A successful day of discovery!

Ours is actually smaller than this one but at least we have icy cold drinks
We discovered a good hardware store

We spent other days discovering everything about Tuzla – the suburb of Istanbul in which Viaport Marina sits.

The local Hamam (bath house)

We found some charming back streets with decaying Greek-style houses which looked as though were about to be renovated.

A charming but decaying Greek style house
A very elderly and dilapidated house
An ancient water fountain in Tuzla
Another house waiting to be renovated

On our walks we also discovered where the best fish and meze restaurants, shops and places of interest were located.

On our walks we founds the best places to eat
One of the excellent fish restaurants in Tuzla
As well as excellent fruit and vegetables this shop sells home made mezes, Branston Pickle and baked beans!
The population exchange museum was closed but we will visit it one day
The roller coaster is terrifying judging by the cries of “Allah Akbar” (equivalent of OMG in English) from the teenagers as they fly by

We enjoyed people-watching along the promenade – a lively place at night with people dancing, picnicking, riding bikes and scooters, busking and generally having fun.

We love people watching on the promenade
There’s often people dancing or singing
The younger children love this
mobile merry-go-round
You can try your hand at popping balloons
with a pellet gun (health and safety is rather more relaxed in Turkey)
Night drawing in
There’s even a a little train that on occasions runs along the promenade

One of the delights of Turkey is the care lavished on street cats and dogs. Along the seafront there are numerous “cat hotels” with food and water topped up each day by volunteers. The cats particularly get lots of cuddles too from young and old and really seem to enjoy the affection they receive.

A mumma cat and one of her babies
Big old street dogs are always very docile
One of the many cat “hotels” along
the promenade
A pale ginger cat saying “hello”
One of the many fine and healthy street cats
This one was waiting for a titbit
from a fisherman

We had a good few days with Jack after his Istanbul adventures and on his last night he treated us to a night at the movies – the latest in the Jurassic Park series. Three old dinosaurs watching a whole load of theropods like Tyrannosaurus Rex and Velociraptors scrap with each other and meeting unpleasant ends at the hands of humans. An edifying experience!

Three dinosaurs watching a movie
about – dinosaurs!

Jack’s plane was scheduled to take off in the morning and our appointment at the Immigration office was at 9am and as the airport was very close to the office we were able to share a taxi. As always it was sad to say goodbye but will be meeting again in Australia before too long.

Our meeting at Immigration went very well although initially we had to queue up with hoards of people. I think they might have been seeking refugee protection status as they were guided to a different part of the building. Turkey hosts the world’s largest refugee population with 3.7 million Syrians under temporary protection and over 320,000 refugees and asylum-seekers under international protection. Take note other countries – you are not doing enough!

Queuing up to get into the Immigration building – there were several lines of people behind these barriers
Our queue for temporary residency
visas was the shortest

We were treated very courteously and embarrassingly, were moved to the head of the queue. When we questioned this someone in the line explained that in Turkey older people are treated with the utmost respect and this is why we had been given precedence. I suppose there are some advantages to growing older but really? Do we look that decrepit?!

Gallipoli – an intriguing enigma

An intriguing enigma was playing on my mind as we drove from Troy to the Gallipoli Peninsula:

Why are events of more than one hundred years ago in Gallipoli, awarded an almost mythical status in Australia?

We left for Gallipoli after a great wander round Troy
We had a coffee first under the shady trees

If you are Turkish, Australian or from New Zealand you will have an understanding of the significance of Gallipoli and its importance in the national psyche of your own country. However, there are many people of other nationalities who probably haven’t heard of Gallipoli or if they have, do not understand its importance to other nations.

The Gallipoli Peninsula showing the locations of the Allied forces landings

So why does this small but beautiful peninsula that sits on one side of the Dardanelles Strait, in Turkey, hold such an irrevocable place in the hearts of almost every Australian person?

Looking out onto the Dardanelles Strait from the Gallipoli Peninsula

On April 25 each year, thousands of people turn out at dawn all around Australia (and also in what is now known as Anzac Cove, on the Gallipoli Peninsula) to commemorate the day Australian troops landed in this pretty little cove.

The spot where ANZAC troops landed

As I have come to understand, the significance of the Gallipoli campaign for Australians (and I imagine for New Zealanders too) is strongly aligned to the birth of nationhood and the development of national identity.

The terrain was unexpectedly
difficult to traverse

When war broke out in 1914 Australia had been a federated nation for only 13 years. This was the first major military action fought by a combined Australian and New Zealand force and so it was of course, an extremely important milestone.

The ANZAC landings represented an important milestone

But it’s not just a “coming of age story” – it is also about the great courage, endurance, initiative and discipline shown by the ANZACs that continues to capture the imagination of a nation.

Of course it’s not just those that died at Anzac Cove that are remembered on 25 April, the services and ceremonies are about commemorating all soldiers that fought and lost their lives in every subsequent battle in World War l and every other war in which Australians were involved.

There is a lot of reverence and respect for those who died here

For the Turkish, the events at Gallipoli (known to them as “Çanakkale Savasi”) were a great triumph. Turks also remember these events in terms of the birth of nationhood. The victory has been given mythic status within Turkey’s national identity as well.

ANZAC Cove has been preserved in a respectful and unsensational manner

The struggle against the allied forces in the Dardanelles was the impetus for the Turkish War of Independence, under the charismatic command of Mustafa Kemal (later known as Atatürk) who first rose to prominence as a commander at Gallipoli. The Republic of Turkey came about under his leadership eight years later.

Atatürk is revered in Turkey

I had plenty of time to mull all this over because we drove “the scenic route” to Anzac Cove. We somehow missed the turn off for the ferry and ended up driving over (at vast expense!) the 1915 Çanakkale Bridge for the second time in as many days.

A magnificent mosque we passed in Çanakkale
Over the 1915 Çanakkale Bridge – again!
And then we went under the new bridge again – first time by sea, this time by road

The Gallipoli Peninsula is absolutely beautiful with fields full of sunflowers, beautiful clumps of lavender scattered everywhere, lovely copses of trees and beautiful views of shimmering blue water.

The Gallipoli Peninsula was very beautiful
Fragrant lavender scattered everywhere

We were quite surprised at how small Anzac Cove was – only 600 metres long, bounded by the headlands of Arıburnu to the north and Little Arıburnu, known as Hell Spit, to the south.

There were signs recounting the events of 1915 in ANZAC cove

This is where the Australian and New Zealand troops landed and the beautiful beach became an enormous supply dump with two field hospitals – one at either end.

Looking out over the sandy beach and the clear blue water it was hard to imagine the mayhem that existed in this place during the year of 1915.

It was hard to imagine the mayhem that existed here in 1915

I expected to feel the ghosts of those who lost their lives there but it felt peaceful, almost idyllic. However, once we started to read the signs (in Turkish and English) the harsh reality of what occurred here – a badly conceived, ill-fated, and major strategic failure that almost derailed Winston Churchill’s career – settled like a blanket of sadness and anger.

The evacuation of troops was the only success of the campaign

Australian and New Zealand (ANZAC) troops spent eight fruitless months making no ground and achieving nothing. Around 11,500 of them died and thousands more were injured during this futile campaign.

This grim reality sat with us as we drove home, this time via a ferry across the Dardanelles Strait and back to “Sunday” moored in Tuzla on the outskirts of Istanbul.

A war memorial on the waterfront at Eceabat where we got on the ferry
It was quite choppy on the Dardanelles
On the ferry to Çanakkale

Back at Viaport Marina we had a couple more days with Jonathan’s brother Jack aboard before he went for a few days of sightseeing in Istanbul.

The seafront in Tuzla near our marina
The seafront has some lovely
shady spots to enjoy
There are cat hotels all along the seafront

We went in to Istanbul together by taxi and once Jack was settled into his hotel we all went for a wander towards nearby Sultanahmet Square where many of the top sights are situated.

The reception area at Jack’s hotel
Jack registering at the hotel
There were great views from
the rooftop of the hotel
Views of the Bosphorus from the rooftop

It was extremely hot and very crowded and we were thankful that we would have the opportunity to do more sightseeing later in the year when it was cooler and hopefully, not so crowded.

Walking the backstreets of Istanbul
We loved all the decorative restaurants
Another lovely eating spot

We saw the exteriors of the Blue Mosque (Sultanahmet Mosque), Hagia Sophia (once a Christian cathedral, then a mosque, then a museum and now, controversially, a mosque again) and the Basilica Cistern which was closed for renovation but which is now open again.

The magnificent Blue
Mosque (Sultanahmet Mosque)
The entrance to the Badilica Cistern

We had lunch at an old haunt of Jack’s the world famous Pudding Shop (the nickname for the Lale Restaurant in Sultanahmet).

Jack and his wife Carole had visited this renowned cafe back in the 1970s when it was a popular meeting place for young travellers hitting “the hippy trail” – the overland route between Europe and India, Nepal, and elsewhere in Asia.

The World famous Pudding Shop

So named due to the delicious desserts it had on offer, the Pudding Shop was the place to go to meet like minded people, buy and sell combi vans, swap information and recount travellers’ tales. There was also a notice board where people could leave messages. One of the most famous messages was a love letter from “Megan” to “Malcolm” in which she asked for his forgiveness and apologised for “the business down in Greece.”

The Pudding Shop Menu harking back
to the hippy days

Miraculously Jack also found the place where he stayed all those years ago – just a stone’s throw from Hagia Sophia. It looked like some kind of community centre now.

The place Jack and Carole stayed back
in the 1970s
Things hadn’t changed much
It was a hostel back in the day but now appears to be a community centre

In the afternoon we went for a lovely stroll in the Gulhane Park which is just outside the walls of the Topkapi Palace and which was once part of the Palace gardens.

Entrance to the Gulhane Park
The walls of the Topkapi Palace in
the Gulhane Park

The heat was quite intense so we were grateful for the lovely shade provided by the avenues of tall trees.

The tall trees provided much
appreciated shade
The gardens were very attractive
I loved the water seller’s wide brimmed hat

We left Jack in the early evening and caught the train back to Tuzla. It was a long trip (25 stops!) but very easy and extremely cheap (less than $3 or €2!).

We took the tram to the station
Travelling deep into the bowels of the earth to the railway line
Gorgeous decoration in the train station

A short cab ride from the station and we were back in the Viaport shopping centre once again.

Back at Viaport Marina

Destination Viaport Marina Istanbul: Inauspicious arrival

We (S/V Sunday and our buddy boat S/V Catabella) were finally arriving at our destination – Viaport Marina in Tuzla, Istanbul – which is going to be our base until the first half of 2023.

This research vessel is anchored close to Viaport Marina

With the promise of quite a few visitors arriving in the coming months – after a dearth of guests over the last two years due to Covid lockdowns and travel restrictions – we thought it would be a great idea to be somewhere easy to get to from anywhere in the world.

S/V Catabella is greeted at the entrance to Viaport Marina

Viaport Marina is a twenty minute taxi ride away from Istanbul’s second airport and has plenty of appeal for people coming on holiday: easy access by boat to the nearby Prince’s Archipelago and the Bosphorus Strait; a train line into centre of Istanbul for sightseeing, a shopping mall on the door step complete with water park, aquarium, funfair, lion park, bowling alley and cinema and some lovely sea food restaurants a stroll away.

Viaport Marina has plenty of appeal for people coming on holiday
There is even a massive water park

We were greeted by the marinaras, as is usual in Turkish marinas, who pick up the “slime lines” that are anchored to the seabed and to which you tie to your own lines at the bow. Monohulls only need one line but catamarans like ours require two – one for each hull.

Quite the welcoming committee!

Unfortunately they expected us to manage with one slime line each and then one to share between us. This effectively meant we were tied together and the result was that it was impossible for either boat to straighten up properly.

We requested that we have a second line for each boat but the head marinara seemed reluctant to do this. A young marinara, Mehmet, who spoke brilliant English translated for us and he told us that they needed permission to do this. In the meantime the wind started to blow up and our two boats started to act like kittens in a sack (or like cats on a shared line!). Both skippers lost the plot and demanded action before damage was caused “act now and ask permission afterwards” entreated Sunday’s skipper. Both skippers said if there was no action we would leave the marina immediately and not come back.

Mehmet translated for us

At this point our dinghy which hangs off the back of the boat was banging against the fire hydrant and hose on the dock which we pointed out as one urgent reason for action. In the end we were given our own lines and we were able to settle our boats properly. It was an inauspicious start to our stay.

Our dinghy which hangs off the back of the boat was banging against the fire hydrant

Things got better from then on fortunately. Mehmet was able to help organise a diver to scrub Sunday’s hull below the waterline to get rid of all the little sea snails, limpets and other sea life that had attached to her “bottom”.

The diver scrubbed Sunday’s bottom
Mehmet (right) and the diver

The following day we went to the office and signed the contract and paid the balance of the annual fee.

Kittens in the Viaport Marina office

We had a couple of days to get our bearings before heading off on a road trip with our guest Jack, Jonathan’s brother. Unfortunately he had come down with a very nasty chest cold and had been ill for about a week. We decided a road trip is what he needed!

It was strange being in a marina with so much going on – even robots for hire!
The children have a great time
driving these around!

After some difficulty (it was the school summer break and a public holiday) we managed to hire a car. The day we headed off Sue and John left for a canal barge holiday in England with two of their sons and their two youngest grandchildren.

S/V Catabella and S/V Sunday happily settled

We decided to head for the famous ancient site of Troy – we had been there previously in the campervan but had spent so long at the museum that we didn’t have time to go round the archeological site. This time we were going to do both!

Jack and Jonathan waiting for the taxi to take us to the car hire place
Crossing the Bosphorus Strait
We saw so many sunflowers
More gorgeous sunflowers
Time for lunch. Çay was served in a large flask
Another restaurant in the shell of
an old airplane

On the way there we drove over the new 1915 Çanakkale Bridge – the longest suspension bridge in the world – that we had sailed under just a few days earlier.

The longest suspension bridge in the world

There were hardly any vehicles crossing over it – not surprising really as it costs more than 200 Turkish Lira (about 12 Euros or $16 Australian) which would be prohibitive to the average Turkish resident.

There were hardly any vehicles crossing over it
The toll would be prohibitive to the
average Turkish resident

The Troy museum is fabulous but we feel it is utterly wrong and absolutely heartbreaking that all the best treasures from Troy are sitting in museums in other countries (mostly in the Pushkin Museum, Moscow) – having been looted by antiquities hunter Heinrich Schliemann in the nineteenth century.

The Troy museum is fabulous
Some of the treasures plundered
by Schliemann
Heinrich Schliemann’s wife wearing some of the Trojan gold

The Museum of Troy still has many treasures to boast about however, including a wealth of artefacts from nearby Tumuli and other sites close to Troy.

The Museum of Troy still has many treasures such as this gorgeous sculpture of Aphrodite wearing snakes as jewellery
Some lovely animal models
I always enjoy seeing beautiful glassware
These lovely models caught my eye
Some good examples of ceramic vessels

After a great wander round the museum we returned to our lodgings – a small bed and breakfast place over the road from the museum which also caters for campers and one or two vans.

Our home for the night
This is where dinner was served

We had a good set dinner and then settled in for a red wine or two in Jonathan’s and my bedroom!

The site of Troy was a pleasant surprise. We had somehow gathered that there wasn’t much left to see (Schliemann had destroyed layer upon layer of evidence of habitation in his frenzied search for treasure) but in reality the ruins were very interesting.

A big model of the famous Trojan horse
This is known as the Schliemann trench but there is some doubt as to whether this is where he discovered the historic treasure

There are a remarkable eleven layers and sub layers (each with sub divisions) containing the remains left behind by more than three millennia of human occupation.

This site contains remains left behind by more than three millennia of human occupation.
The Sanctuary of Athena
Some of the remains have been partially reconstructed
The bouleuterion (council meeting place)

It was fascinating for example, to see fortification walls built around 2920 BC, and then a partially restored ramp which dates back to the next incarnation of Troy, and built over the remains of the original city. Fascinating stuff.

Part of the fortification wall from the
original city of Troy
Later fortification walls
The walkways allowed us to get an excellent view of the remains
The partially restored ramp which dates back to the next incarnation of Troy
Another view of the ramp
An artist’s impression of the ramp
and the city entrance

Consternation created by Coastguard’s visit

While we were staying in Erdek, a holiday town on the Sea of Marmara, we were paid a visit by the local Coastguards.

Anchored at Erdek

As per normal they wanted to see our passports, check our visa status and examine our boat papers, including information on when our black water tanks had last been pumped out. Fortunately all was fine in that department.

The view from Sunday towards the
restaurant and beach club

One of the key documents we have to have in Turkey is our transit log – it’s really the boat’s passport. To our utter amazement and consternation the Coastguard told us that the transit log ran out the very next day! They seemed very nonchalant and unconcerned by this but we knew that it was a very serious situation and needed to be remedied straight away. Big fines apply if your transit log isn’t current!

The transit log is equivalent to a boat’s passport

Jonathan immediately swung into action and jumped into the dinghy with the necessary documentation and then on to catch a taxi to a larger town – the port of Bandırma – where there were Customs and Immigration offices.

The taxi route to Bandırma

After much to-ing and fro-ing between various offices he paid the dues and all that remained to be done was to obtain a stamp from the Harbour Master at Erdek. So the next morning he was up with the lark and arrived bright and early at Harbour Master’s office and duly had the paperwork stamped.

While Jonathan was at the Harbour Master’s I was stocking up at the local market

He hadn’t been back on board long when he received an urgent email from the Custom’s Office in Bandırma, asking him to return to the office as they had filled in the forms incorrectly and needed to do them again. So another taxi into Bandırma and another round of to-ing and fro-ing between offices and much drinking of çay (Turkish tea) and the transit log was redone. This time the young guy from customs who spoke good English insisted that Jonathan should travel the 20 kms back to Erdek by government car.

The town of Bandırma

We thought the process was finally over but wait, there’s more! Later that day Jonathan received another summons – the forms were still not right! Arghh! So off he went again for the third time – by this time everyone knew who he was and even the security guards at the government offices waved him straight through.

It appeared that yachts were relatively rare visitors to Bandırma and the authorities there really hadn’t any idea how to fill out a yacht transit log. However, they were very kind and generous in trying to get our papers sorted so we remained “legal” when they could have ignored Jonathan and told us we should go to Istanbul, where no doubt we would have been fined for out of date paperwork.

Jonathan and the Deputy Director of
Customs and Immigration in Bandırma

The Deputy Director of Customs and Immigration had become personally involved and was genuinely fascinated that we lived on a boat. He insisted that Jonathan should pose for a “selfie” with him and gave him his personal contact details in case he should need help of any sort. We hope that won’t be necessary but feel very grateful for the warm treatment we received by Turkish bureaucrats in Bandırma.

In the meantime, our boat guest, Jonathan’s brother Jack, had come down with a rotten chest cold and was “hibernating” in his cabin. Fortunately he tested negative for Covid but he was quite unwell for a few days.

Jack made a rare visit above decks but he was still feeling really awful

It was time to push on to Istanbul – Jonathan’s temporary residency and my visitor’s visa were both due to run out soon and we urgently needed to start the application process for a year’s temporary residency soon.

The view from the restaurant we went to on our last night. Sunday is in the
background on the left

We left Erdek on a rather cloudy day but the weather cleared up as the day wore on and we had a pleasant trip to our anchorage for the night – just outside a tiny fishing village called Çakilköy.

It was a cloudy day when we left Erdek
The tiny fishing village of Çakilköy.

This was absolutely the worst ever anchorage we have ever stayed in during our two plus years in Turkey – mainly due to the fact that the locals had used the sea as a rubbish tip. Quite literally! The view from our boat that evening was of the village’s waste. Our boat guest Jack commented that we took him to the best places! Needless to say we didn’t go ashore.

We have never see this before – rubbish from the village tipped over the cliff and into the sea

Our next stop – Armutlu – was a great deal better although en route we were called up by the custodians of the prison island of Imrali – even though we were many miles away – to tell us to change course. Very strange as we were moving away from the island at the time. We thought that the guards there were probably suffering from excruciating boredom or maybe training new recruits. Our responses were met with silence and we guessed that their English was probably as good as our Turkish!

Although we were many miles away we
were called up on the radio and
asked to change course
This was where we were in relation to the prison island – far enough away
you would have thought!

Anyway, we arrived in one piece at the little seaside town of Armutlu and anchored just outside the small town marina.

Armutlu marina – spot Sunday’s
and Catabella’s mast just outside

We had a wander round the small town and bought a few items at the local supermarket and ate delicious ice creams!

A good view of Sunday and Catabella
from the beach at Armutlu

That evening we watched dolphins play around the entrance to the marina and enjoyed the serenity of a beautiful calm evening.


On the move again the next day we knew that we were almost at journey’s end when we saw the multitudes of ships waiting to go into the Port of Istanbul to either offload their cargo or take on new cargo.

This mass of ships meant we were near our destination – Istanbul

Some of these great iron monsters were just sitting there without any anchors down – we guessed so that as soon as they received the call to go in they could move off quickly – so it felt a little fraught weaving our way through them knowing they could spring into life at any moment!

It felt a little fraught weaving our way through the huge number of cargo boats
Was this drifting our way?!
Hoping we weren’t too close for comfort (photo credit Sue Done Catabella)

We arrived in the Princes’ Archipelago – a cluster of nine islands just an hour’s ferry ride southeast of Istanbul – around lunchtime and decided to anchor at Heybeliada in a lovely sheltered lagoon.

Arriving in the Prince’s Archipelago
The island of Heybeliada

There were some boats anchored there but we were surprised there weren’t more due to the proximity to Istanbul. However, there was a beach club belting out tunes but after the last ferry departed peace was restored and we had a great evening.

There were some boats anchored in the lagoon but it didn’t seem too crowded
The ferry arrives to take the beach
club guests away

Apparently until 2020, apart from ambulances, fire tenders, police cars etc the only form of transport on the island was by horse-drawn carriage (phaeton). With increasing tourism and concern for the welfare of the horses, it was decided to make the change to electric vehicles.

The the only form of transport on the island used to be horse-drawn carriage

We left the island looking forward to spending more time there and exploring this little piece of paradise so close to the craziness of Istanbul.

We left the island looking forward to spending more time there
We couldn’t believe the size of Istanbul

One good turn deserves another

We had been looking forward to exploring the Marmara Islands but sadly didn’t have nearly enough time to do them justice.

Part of the reason was because we had to get to Istanbul to begin the process of renewing our temporary residency visas but a sudden attack of really painful toothache also hastened the end of our exploration.

Approaching Paşalimanı Island

There are four inhabited and 17 uninhabited islands in this archipelago which is located in the South of the Sea of Marmara.

Great place to leave the dinghies while we explored Paşalimanı Island

Our first stop was Paşalimanı Island which has five small villages and a total permanent population of 962. We anchored in the calm bay at the village of Paşalimanı which has a population of 180 people.

Always something interesting to look at!

It was a lovely little place, very rural, unspoilt, with really friendly people and a mosque with the the shortest minaret we’ve ever seen, and two small supermarkets.

The shortest minaret we have ever seen

Walking around the lanes that surround the village it was a pleasure to see all the veggie gardens and delicious fruit growing (especially the cherries and plums.) Along the way we found a farm stall and bought some home-grown fresh fruit and vegetables.

There were small fields and veggie gardens everywhere we looked
It was lovely to see all the wonderful
home-grown fruit and vegetables

We were just admiring one plum tree groaning with fruit when the owner came along and picked a whole heap of ripe juicy fruit for us. Such kindness!

Lovely cherries – little red jewels!

Like many places in coastal Turkey, the island was once inhabited by people who were members of the Greek Orthodox Church who lived happily side by side with the Turkish Muslim residents. That all changed with population exchange of 1923 when 1.6 million members of Greek Orthodox Church were forced to move to Greek territory and between 450,000-500,000 Muslim people were forcibly moved from their Greek homeland to Turkish territory. The ruins of a Greek Orthodox Church that we came upon as we walked serves as a reminder of this cruel piece of history.

The remains of the Greek Orthodox Church

Another remnant from the past that we came across, a windmill, had been converted into a home a while ago but it looked as though it had remained empty in recent times.

A converted windmill – looked like it was deserted now

Our second and final (for now!) anchorage in the Marmara Archipelago was on Avşa Island.

The entrance to our next anchorage
on Avşa Island

This fourteen square mile (36 square kilometres) island has a local population of around 2,000 but during the summer season the number of visitors increases to forty or fifty thousand.

Catabella anchored at Avşa Island

Mercifully for us, the place where we anchored was literally deserted! We had found a perfect spot to shelter from the strong prevailing winds at a half built marina that consisted of little more than two breakwaters and quays, with no shore facilities and with only a very few local boats tied up. It was perfect!

The half built marina consisted of little more than two breakwaters and quays
There were only a very few local boats tied up
The strange sight of Catabella and Sunday anchored in the middle of a marina

Even better there was one lonely restaurant a short walk up the hill with views to die for.

The restaurant had views to die for

We were taken to the back kitchen to check out the meze selection and with the help of Google translate found out that a meat delivery was expected at any moment.

Local cats hoping to be fed

Minutes later, we heard a motor bike approaching and the meat had arrived! It was brought to the table and we selected our main course!

The meat delivery has arrived!
Sunday and Catabella at anchor in the unfinished marina
Such a lovely view!
Walking home from the restaurant

That night one of my teeth started to ache really badly and by the morning I was in quite a bit of pain. So we decided to head for the town of Erdek on the mainland so that I could see a dentist.

A quirky sculpture in Erdek

Fortunately I found an excellent dentist who was able to see me that afternoon. He put me on antibiotics which brought immediate relief and in the ensuing days performed root canal work.

There was a club near our anchorage which made it a little noisy at night
Lovely fruit on sale on a street stall

Sue and I also took the opportunity to have our hair cut at one of the local salons. We were delighted at the price – wash, cut and blow dry for $7 – but I was less than delighted with the styling!

Sue having her hair cut
Her style looked better than mine!
At least the cut was cheap!

In the meantime we got to know the lovely little town of Erdek – a low-key popular holiday destination for domestic tourists.

The centre of Erdek

The pace was slow, there was an extensive pedestrian-only section and some pleasant eateries to enjoy.

Good cafes in the pedestrian only precinct

The peninsula on which Erdek sits used to be the site of the ancient city of Kzykos dating back to the 8th Century BC.

Remains from the ancient city of Kzykos

Apparently several earthquakes destroyed the city but from time to time relics are unearthed. Some of these are displayed in a small area on the shore very close to where we parked our dinghies.

Another relic from the ancient city destroyed by a series of earthquakes
An ancient tomb

One day we noticed a navy frigate anchored behind us in the bay. This isn’t the usual type of vessel with which we tend to share our anchorage!

A “fully dressed” naval vessel
anchored behind us

It turned out that the following day was Seaman’s Day in Turkey and the presence of the frigate was part of the celebrations. The highlight of the day was a swimming carnival which took place in the he fisherman’s harbour – not too far from where we were anchored.

The swimming carnival – part of the
Seaman’s Day celebrations

There were many swimming races but the high point of the carnival was the greasy pole competition where young men ran up a narrow and precarious slippery pole set at an alarming angle and tried to grab the flag at the end.

Ooh this one nearly grabbed the flag!
But disaster struck!

There were many attempts, many near successes and some truly spectacular falls but no one managed to grab the flag! It was hard to watch as the potential for serious injury was self evident!

Another near success but …
Off he goes!
Sue and John motor back from
Sunday after sundowners
Another fabulous sunset!

While we were in Erdek our latest boat guest arrived – Jonathan’s brother Jack from Australia. He had flown into Istanbul from England where he and our sister-in-law Carole had spent several months catching up with family and friends after a prolonged separation due to Covid. Jack was now travelling solo as Carole had returned to “normal life” in Brisbane while he continued to live the nomadic life for a while longer. After a night’s rest in a hotel in Istanbul he caught a long-distance bus to Erdek where we met him at the bus station.

Waterside catch up with brother Jack
Jonathan enjoying a chat with his brother

One day while the three of us were walking along the sea front, we came across a lady with a bike loaded down with water bottles and plastic bags. Her carrier was so full that it had come away from the handle bars and she was struggling to keep everything from spilling on to the ground.

A fully loaded bike!

We stepped in to help her and discovered that she was one of the wonderful army of Turkish people who keep the thousands of street cats and dogs alive by providing food and water and where appropriate, vet care.

Jonathan fixing the basket

Her name was Nurten and her English was about as good as my Turkish (a few words!) but we had a lovely “chat” while Jonathan and Jack fixed her basket with wire found in a nearby waste bin!

All fixed now

I took a few photos of the nearby cat shelter and when the repair was completed she insisted on stopping a passerby to take a photo of all of us.

One of the cat shelters for which Nurten supplies food and water

We were very impressed with the care and devotion Nurten shows to the animals of Erdek and were glad we could help her in return. As the old saying goes “one good deed deserves another”.

We all pose for a photo!
Good night from Erdek

Chance meeting mid-sea “like ships that pass in the night”

Çanakkale wasn’t the most comfortable of anchorages – in fact at times the swell was quite annoying – but at least we were close to all the town has to offer.

At least we were close to everything – including the mosque!
A dramatic sunset always lifts the spirits

Being the gateway town to the famous ancient ruined city of Troy and also the much fought over strategically important Gallipoli peninsula, we thought Çanakkale would be heaving with people but actually it didn’t seem crowded at all.

The busy ferry taking passengers to the Gallipoli Peninsula
View from our boat of the Trojan horse used
in the movie “Troy”

The day after we arrived Sue and John caught up with us after having had an extra day on the island of Bozcaada. Rather than anchor out they decided to tie up inside the small public marina.

Sue and John arrive in Çanakkale on Catabella

Later that day John, Jonathan and I headed for the very interesting naval museum, some of which is housed in the 15th-century Çimenlik Castle.

Çimenlik Castle, which houses some of the Navel Museum’s exhibits

Before entering the castle we boarded and looked round an amazing replica of the minelayer Nusret which played a pivotal role in resisting the Allied invasion of the Dardanelles in World War One. The Nusret laid 26 mines in an “unexpected” position just before the ill-fated invasion in February 1915 which sank, or left severely damaged, a significant number of British and French ships.

The replica of the minelayer Nusret

It was this defeat that precipitated the disastrous Gallipoli Campaign.

Replicas of mines that were laid by “Nusret”
Models of Turkish sailors in the “mess”

Nearby to the replica vessel lies a graceful pale lemon painted mansion that beckoned us in. Downstairs there was an exhibition with a lot of information about the rise of Ataturk ( the founding “father” of the Republic of Turkey.)

The lemon painted mansion which
housed an exhibition on Ataturk and
sketches by war artists

Upstairs was an exhibition of sketches made by a Turkish War artist who drew what was happening during the chaos of war. Although they might lack artistic merit, (maybe because the artist often sketched sitting on the back of a horse!) the pictures capture the devastation surrounding him. Several of them depicted the aftermath of a shell fired from the English naval ship Queen Elizabeth which fell in Çanakkale causing a big fire and widespread panic.

One of the sketches showing Çanakkale in ruins

From the mansion we walked through the castle grounds in which there were many shells, cannons, mines and other instruments of war on display.

There were many instruments of war on display in the grounds of the castle
More guns!

Inside the castle the exhibitions were mostly depicting the events of the Gallipoli campaign or as it is known in Turkey, the Battle of Çanakkale.

The castle entrance

This section of the museum was interesting and extensive with exhibits displayed on two levels. Upstairs was very atmospheric as the lighting was subtle and all the low doorways, passageways and other characteristics of a castle were still in place.

A mock-up of a hospital trench from the time of the Gallipoli invasion
The museum was very atmospheric
All the characteristics of a castle
were still in place

The exhibits included short films, dioramas, uniforms, paintings and models.

One of the costume exhibits
A painting of Ataturk on horseback

On the way back we saw the the enormous wooden horse which was used in the 2004 movie “Troy” and is on display on the seafront.

The enormous wooden horse used
in the movie “Troy”

Before leaving Çanakkale we decided to go and fill up with fuel at the dedicated dock in the small marina so we radioed in to see if the fuel dock was free and were told to come on in.

Entering the small marina

When we got there, a large motor yacht was refuelling which was annoying as we were happy to wait outside until the dock was free. Instead we were obliged to worm our way into a small space with none of the usual assistance from a dock worker in a dinghy.

We had to wiggle our way into a small space with none of the usual help

We eventually did get in but managed to get one of the marina lines caught in the starboard engine propellor. Then unbelievably, without telling us, the marina management asked a diver who was working on a nearby boat to go down and cut the line while we were still trying to settle the boat! The consequences of this could have been utterly disastrous for the diver and we wondered why on earth they hadn’t tried to tell us. There was no indication anywhere that there was a diver working below which seemed to us as being potentially dangerous and very slack!

I think the diver had been inspecting damage below the waterline on this old girlSetting off from

We set off from Çanakkale with our companion boat Catabella and our journey up the famous, 61 kilometres (38 miles) long, Dardanelles Strait continued.

Setting off from Çanakkale

It is difficult to think of another stretch of water (except maybe the Suez Canal) that is as significant from both a strategic and commercial point of view.

The Dardanelles Strait is a crucial international waterway which connects the Black Sea to the Aegean via the Bosphorus and the Sea of Marmara. This allows maritime connections from Black Sea ports belonging to, for example, The Ukraine and Russia, all the way to the Mediterranean Sea and onwards to the Atlantic Ocean via Gibraltar. From there goods can travel on to the Indian Ocean through the Suez Canal.

The Dardanelles Strait is a crucial international waterway for ships like this

The importance of the Dardanelles Strait has been highlighted during the current conflict between Russia and the Ukraine when massive ships containing wheat have been prevented from safe passage to the “outside world”.

One of the forts built to guard the Strait
We weren’t sure what these were but guessed they were oyster or mussel beds

The highlight of our passage along the Strait was travelling under the world’s longest suspension bridge. Yes that’s right, the newly opened 1915 Çanakkale Suspension Bridge is 4,608 metres (15,118 feet) long with a main span of 2,023 metres(6,637 feet) which beats (by 32 metres (105 feet)), the length of the previous longest, the Japanese Akashi Kaikyo Bridge.

The World’s longest suspension bridge

The toll (one way) on the bridge is 200 lira ($15.64 Australian dollars or a tick over £9). A Turkish person earning the minimum monthly wage of 4,250 Turkish lira would have to spend 14 per cent of their monthly income for one round trip on the bridge! No wonder there was scarcely any traffic on it.

The newly opened 1915 Çanakkale Suspension Bridge is 4,608 metres (15,118 feet) long
Plenty of room for our mast!
It is quite a feat of engineering

Watching Sue and John approach the bridge it really looked as though Catabella’s mast wouldn’t fit under it but of course, the bridge’s height above the water is a massive 70 metres (230 ft). As they got closer to the bridge we could see the space opening up!

Looks like Catabella’s mast won’t fit
under the bridge!
This is Sunday going under (plenty of room!) thanks Sue Done for the photo
Plenty of room – even for cargo boats
It’s a fine looking bridge but with hardly any traffic on – not surprising considering
the cost of the toll

It took us roughly an hour and a half to get to the end of the Dardanelles where the strait opens up to become the Sea of Marmara.

The dot marks us entering the Sea of Marmara

Just as we entered this inland sea which covers 11,350 square kilometres (4,380 square miles) we received a text message from Alper who had been the project manager for our new bowsprit built at Didim Marina. He had spotted Sunday from the yacht on which he was sailing as crew heading towards Marmaris.

Fancy meeting someone you know in the middle of the sea!

A few minutes later and we were alongside having a quick chat. What a strange place to meet up and what a coincidence that we were sailing so close to each other – “like ships that pass in the night”! It was especially strange as there were literally no other vessels in sight right then, except for Catabella ahead of us in the distance.

“Like ships that pass in the night”
Not another boat to be seen except for Catabella in the far distance

Our anchorage for the night was in Kemer, a modest fishing village with a fair amount of industry on its fringes. Not the most salubrious of places and it had a bit of a swell going on too so not surprisingly we departed early next day heading for the Marmara Archipelago, a group of 21 islands where we hoped to find some great anchorages.

Anchored outside Kemer, a
modest fishing village
Kemer, not the most salubrious of places
There was fair amount of industry
on its fringes
But the sunset was still glorious!

Heading up the “difficult and potentially dangerous” Dardanelles

The long haul north before heading up the internationally significant Dardanelles Strait – the narrow waterway that links the Aegean Sea to the Sea of Marmara was almost over.

The internationally significant Dardanelles Strait, with the island of Bozcaada bottom left

The day before we left for the Turkish island of Bozcaada – our last stop en route to the Dardanelles – we moved from the safety of the landlocked bay, Çamlik Koyu in the Ayvalik archipelago, to nearby Cunda (Alibey) Island. This was to give ourselves a head start when we set off the next morning.

We stopped for the night at Cunda Island

Soon after we arrived at Cunda Island, we hopped into our dinghies to explore the village ashore. On our way over John and Sue noticed a dolphin playing with the anchor chain of a motor boat.

The dolphin was playing around this
motor boat

We caught sight of it too and went over to the boat to have a closer look. We had heard from other yachties about a lone dolphin that often likes to play around anchored and moored boats in the bay.

Sue from our buddy boat Catabella managed to get a shot of it

As we approached, the playful animal moved on to have a look at Sunday’s anchor chain but then disappeared again as we approached our boat. Later on that night we were woken up by thumping noises on our hull – I think it was a call to play from the dolphin but it wasn’t the right time for us sleepy people.

The dolphin moved on to our boat (Sunday) but as soon as we got near it disappeared

The village – which we had visited the day before with our guest Jackie for her farewell lunch – was very beautiful but the terrible history of the island involving the killing of several hundred of the Greek islanders and the displacement of many hundreds more, before the population exchange of 1923, still haunts this place.

The village was very beautiful
Sue exploring the old town

It was an early start for us the next day – our anchor was up before 6.30 am which was unusual for us although many (maybe most?) yachties would claim that it was the “normal” time to leave!

The sea was like glass and there was a beautiful rosy pink glow as we motored out of the anchorage. “We should get up this early more often” we said. However, unless we have to, we don’t! Just not early birds I guess.

Early morning departure!

We motored most of the way to Bozcaada Island but had a bit of a sail too. Along the way there was plenty to look at – including various coastguard vessels speeding to and fro (something seemed to be going on but we didn’t find out what), and a huge cargo ship steaming across our bow (the picture below looks dramatic but we were not in danger at any point!).

There were various coastguard vessels
going to and fro
Something seemed to be going on but we didn’t find out what
On Catabella’s navigation system Sunday looks like she’s heading straight for this
rather large cargo ship
Taken from Catabella – looks like Sunday is heading for a collision

In order to save a considerable amount of time, we cut the corner and sailed into Greek waters for a while, just skirting the north of the island of Lesbos. Apparently this is quite acceptable – both the Greek and Turkish authorities appear to turn a blind eye to boats taking the short cut.

We entered Greek waters to cut the corner

As we sailed close to Lesbos I really wished we could pop in for lunch in a Greek taverna but that just wasn’t possible.

Lesbos looked absolutely beautiful
We sailed very close to Greece!
Wish we could have stopped for
lunch in a Greek taverna!

We approached Bozcaada mid-afternoon and judging by the large ferry that we narrowly avoided, it is a popular holiday destination.

Dodging the ferry!

The first thing we noticed were the Greek windmills on the cliff top (Boscaada was previously known as the Greek island of Tenedos famed for being the place that the Greek fleet hid while a small number of their troops entered Troy hidden in the Trojan horse).

Look closely and you’ll see the remains of some Greek windmills

We also had a great view of a very fine castle which dates from 1455 but had been remodelled in the 17th and 19th centuries.

The very fine castle was first built in 1455

Our friends from Liberte, Liz and Steve, who had left Cunda even earlier than us, were already anchored and settled by the time we arrived in the compact anchorage.

The only settlement on Bozcaada

Before long we were also snugly anchored and ready to go and explore the town which is the only settlement on this 39.9 square km (15 square miles) island.

Catabella and Liberte anchored in the shadow of the castle

Despite its size, the island has always been strategically important due to its proximity to the entrance to the Dardanelles. It has had a rich history with many invasions and has been under the control of a succession of powers over the centuries.

A closer view of the castle
Checking out one of the many restaurants

During the 1923 population exchange the Greeks in Bozcaada were (unusually) allowed to stay and the majority of the population was Greek until the late 1960s/early 1970s, when a large proportion of them left the island.

This one looked tempting

Walking through the streets you could still see and feel the Greek influence. There were many restaurants and lots of wine shops.We learnt that Boscaada is famous for its grapes and has a burgeoning wine industry.

A beautiful “hot dog”

We stopped for a quick tasting at a “cellar door”- the varieties we selected weren’t great so we didn’t end up stocking up our wine cellar on this occasion.

The wine wasn’t the best but these
cakes looked delicious

Later on we (Jonathan and I and our sailing buddies Sue and John) met up with Liz and Steve and had an enjoyable dinner at one of the many local restaurants.

This was where we eventually had dinner
Sunday, Catabella and Liberte at anchor

Due to the possible threat of strong northerly winds coming and the hope of having a decent sail before they did, Jonathan and I decided to get going the next day while Sue and John made the decision to have a rest and catch up with us the following day.

Night time in Bozcaada
A lovely sunset
The same view first thing in the morning
See ya Catabella!

We had a good trip but we were intrigued by the strange currents around the entrance to the Dardanelles that slowed us down by almost a third of our normal speed.

Great to get the sails up
Hard to photograph but the currents were definitely visible

It was quite a thrill to “turn right” into the famous Strait which apparently is considered “one of the most hazardous, crowded, difficult and potentially dangerous waterways in the world.” (Wikipedia)

It was quite a thrill “to turn right” into the Dardanelles

We didn’t really find it hazardous and it was much less busy than the Singapore Strait which was definitely a little daunting! (Read all about crossing it here: )

The Dardanelles link the Aegean Sea and the Sea of Marmara and at the other end the Bosphorus leads out to the Black Sea

Although the strange currents persisted, alternately slowing us down and then speeding us up again, we pottered along quite well – now under motor (sailing in the Dardanelles is not allowed unless permission has been granted).

We should have been going over six knots but the currents were slowing us down.
The entrance to the Dardanelles

Sunday was heading for Çanakkale, a small seaport on the southern shore that sits at the narrowest point of the Dardanelles and is the nearest major urban centre to the ancient city of Troy.

Along the way we sailed past the Gallipoli peninsula on the northern shores of the strait. We could see in the distance the impressive war memorials to the fallen soldiers of the Great War. One of them commemorates the service of about 253,000 (56,643 of whom died) Turkish soldiers who participated at the Battle of Gallipoli (1915–1916). Another commemorates the Anzac troops (11,025 who died).

The impressive Turkish Memorial
The Helles Memorial built by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission

The Gallipoli peninsula is actually the point where the continent of Europe ends while on the other side of the strait the beaches constitute the start of the continent of Asia.

Coming into Çanakkale we were impressed by the huge figure of a 1915 Turkish soldier carved in white on the hillside. In one hand he holds a rifle while his other arm is outstretched towards an inscription engraved into the hillside. Translated, the words form the beginning of the famous Turkish poem by the Turkish poet, Necmettin Halil Onan. The poem starts “Stop wayfarer! Unbeknownst to you this ground You come and tread on, is where an epoch lies; Bend down and lend your ear, for this silent mound Is the place where the heart of a nation sighs.”

One of the massive cargo ships we encountered in the Straits
The huge figure of a 1915 Turkish soldier carved in white on the hillside
An unusually cloudy but nevertheless
glorious, sunset

Tantalising close to Greece but Turkey still has a hold

The Greek island of Lesbos (Lesvos) loomed into view as our catamaran “Sunday” slid gracefully though the water. Ah Greece!

The Greek island of Lesbos (left) and the Turkish mainland (right)

Tantalisingly close but Greece was not our destination just yet. Turkey still has a hold on us with many treasures and experiences in store.

The pink line shows the sea border between Greece and Turkey

We were actually on our way to an anchorage in Bademli, a tiny Turkish fishing harbour just a few hours by boat from the northern Aegean town of Çandarlı.

The sleepy fishing harbour of Bademli

Our journey there took us along the sea border in the narrow Mytilini strait between Lesbos, the third largest Greek island and Turkey. Anchored in Bademli we were literally only 4.8 nm from Greece. So near and yet so far.

In Bademli we were literally only 4.8 nm
from Greece

Bademli was a very quiet backwater and when the crew of S/V Sunday (Jonathan, our guest Jackie and I) went ashore to explore it struck us as being very ramshackle and down at heel.

When we went ashore all looked
rather down at heel

As we wandered along the foreshore we noticed the rough track we were on joined a road ahead and beyond the junction we thought we could see a restaurant! It seemed an unlikely spot for one but then, the road was probably one used quite a bit by tourists so hopefully this wasn’t just a mirage!

This was no mirage!

A few minutes later we found that the restaurant was real and had a delightful lunch in its pretty garden. It even served Jackie’s favourite Turkish white wine!

We had a delightful lunch overlooking
the water
The restaurant even sold Jackie’s favourite Turkish wine!

Off again the following day we were enchanted by a couple of dolphins who stayed only briefly. Dolphins seem shy here in Turkey as they generally don’t play around in the bow wave for very long, if at all. It’s still a treat to see them though!

Sadly the dolphins didn’t hang around long enough for me to take a decent photo

Sailing once again very close to the border with Greece we encountered a large Customs vessel and thought we might be up for having our papers checked. Quickly trying to calculate when we had out last pump out (thankfully quite recently) we prepared to be boarded but then saw that there was going to be no Customs visit that day.

Warning coast guard vessel ahead!

Of course not. We soon realised that the reason for their presence was because this narrow strait is frequently used by illegal boats carrying refugees trying to reach Greece with the aim of seeking asylum in Europe.

As one of the islands closest to Turkey, Lesbos has borne much of the brunt of the European migrant crisis that began in 2015. In that year alone, over a million migrants and asylum seekers, fleeing wars in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan arrived in Greece.

Lesbos has been one of the islands where refugees have been kept in camps for endless months in terrible conditions. Fortunately, the number of refugees has eased but conditions for those who remain there are still simply awful.

We pressed on to Ayvalik but in the meantime the wind had started to increase and the white horses were dashing over the waves so after a quick look round a few of the lovely anchorages of the Ayvalik archipelago we decided to head for the spot that was most sheltered from a northerly blow.

There were white horses were
dashing over the waves
Approaching Ayvalic

We found the perfect spot – an almost landlocked bay called Çamlik Koyu (Paşa Koyu) where there was excellent holding in mud and beautifully sheltered by steep wooded slopes. We had to go through a narrow gap with jagged rocks either side to enter the bay which looked a little hair-raising but was actually fine.

Çamlik Koyu (Paşa Koyu) looked like a safe haven from the low
There were jagged rocks on each side of the narrow entrance
It looked daunting but was actually fine

Once again we found that we had chosen the same anchorage as our friends Liz and Steve from Liberte.

Liberte anchored in Çamlik Koyu (Paşa Koyu)

Liz told us it was market day in Ayvalik so we went off for a look and to restock with fruit and vegetables.

It was Market day in Ayvalik

The old town of Ayvalik was a maze of narrow lanes and finding the market was easier said than done but eventually we made it and were amazed by its size and the variety of goods for sale – everything from clothes to household items as well as wonderful cheeses, fruit and vegetables.

The market had an amazing variety of goods
We were able to stock up on
fruit and vegetables

The following day the girls (Our guest Jackie, Sue from Catabella and I) splashed out on a beach club experience and drank cocktails on the beach while lying on sun beds. It made a nice change!

The girls had a beach club experience
It was very relaxing!

Later on we had an excellent “pot luck dinner” aboard Sunday with the crews of Catabella, Liberte and new friends Barbara and James from Complexity.

Pot luck dinner aboard Sunday

The high winds and choppy seas persisted so the following day we decided to enjoy a land based day and visit the wonderful ancient site of Pergamon.

Arriving at the wonderful ancient
site of Pergamon
Many of the buildings and structures were built on terraces with strong outer walls

The settlement can be traced to prehistoric times and by the time the 1st Century BC rolled round it was described as “the most famous and respected city of Asia Minor”.

This was once described as “the most famous and respected city of Asia Minor”.

This once magnificent city sits high up on a 335 metre (1,100 feet) hill with commanding views to the vast plains below.

The city had commanding views
Amazing how far you could see from
this once imposing city

It was captured by Alexander the Great in 334 BC and established as the capital of the Pergamon Kingdom around the third century BC. It was in this period that buildings such as the palaces, temples and amphitheatre were built.

The views from the hill were breathtaking and it was easy to understand why this majestic city was so important for such a long period.

The views from the hill were breathtaking

The amphitheatre was just spectacular. Capable of seating 10,000 people, the theatre is literally perched on the hillside at an incredibly steep and alarming angle. As a theatre goer in ancient times you would have had to have a strong stomach and not be affected by vertigo!

This amphitheatre was built on an incredibly steep angle – an amazing engineering feat
Theatre goers in ancient times would have had to have a strong stomach and not be
affected by vertigo!

Another highlight were the remains of the library which was renowned for housing more than 200 thousand books during the Hellenistic period.

The library was renowned for housing more than 200 thousand books during
the Hellenistic period
How elegant these buildings must have looked in ancient times
Many of the treasures from this site (and others) were stolen and are now in museums across the world
These would have once had magnificent friezes but they have long since disappeared

We were amazed to learn that during the same period the Greeks constructed a very effective high-pressure water pipeline which rose up to a height of 900 metres, and was 45 km long. The 240,000 ceramic pipes laid up the hillside supplied the city at the top with fresh water from its source below – a miraculous feat!

How amazing to think that all those centuries ago the Greeks constructed a very effective high-pressure water pipeline which travelled up the hill and was 45 kilometres long

The taxi driver who drove us to Pergamon suggested that we take the inland hill-side route home which was absolutely lovely. We went through thickly forested areas with many varieties of pine trees and past mile after mile of wonderful olive groves.

We travelled past mile after mile of olive groves

We were told that the best olive oil comes from this district so we asked the driver if he could stop at an olive oil shop which he did, so we bought oil, olives and a few other goodies to take home.

Sadly, the time had come for Jackie, our temporary crew member from Sydney Australia, to leave Sunday and embark on the next leg of her world trip. On her last day we took a taxi across the connecting road bridge to Alibey Adasi (also known as Cunda Island) where we had a wonderful lunch (thanks Jackie) in a waterfront restaurant.

Travelling over the road bridge to Alibey Adasi (also known as Cunda Island)
Thanks for the lunch Jackie!
Love these windmills- a legacy from the Greek population pre 1923

Waking up the next morning we all felt a bit muggy after a farewell to Jackie night on board Catabella.

John and Sue having a dance on
Jackie’s last night

Fortunately Jackie’s flight from Izmir to Istanbul wasn’t too early so there was plenty of time to drink cups of tea before she stepped sedately into our dinghy for the last time this trip.

Jackie about to step on the dinghy

Hopefully she will be back again one of these days!

Off she goes!
Last wave!

Protected seals, Siren calls and shapes in the sky

We all fell in love with Foça – a gorgeous little fishing village with gracious historical houses, old hill-side windmills, lots of open-air waterside restaurants and the remains of a Genoese medieval castle.

A sculpture reflecting how important
fishing is in Foça
One of the many delightful restaurants in Foça
We liked this cool shady cobbled street
So much colour in this village

Formally a Greek village, until the population exchange of 1923, the village has a rich maritime history and the busy little fisherman’s harbour stands testament to its salty heritage.

The village has a rich maritime history
There were loads of pelicans around
the fishing boats
The mad cat lady (our guest Jackie) and the cat mad skipper trying to make friends with Mumma so they could stroke the kittens
The kittens had other ideas!

We anchored very close to the castle walls in Küçük Deniz (“Small Sea”). Round the corner was another harbour called Büyük Deniz (“Big Sea”) where there were lots of tourist boats and other craft tied up to the harbour wall.

We anchored close to the old castle walls
The view was particularly lovely at night
A model of a penteconter (50-oared sea going vessel) called Cybele

Today there is not much left of the Medieval castle – just remains of the fortifications and some traces of a turkish bath inside.

There isn’t much left of the castle
apart from the fortification walls
Considering it was built in Medieval times it is still pretty impressive
Beşkapılar (“Five Gates”) in the castle wall.

The windmills that stand atop the hills behind the village are much younger – they were mainly built in the 19th century. Sadly they are in a dilapidated state even though some of them were still functioning until the 1960s. They are still lovely to look at though.

Looking across town to the
dilapidated windmills

On a happier note, there are numerous large mansions along the seafront that have been beautifully renovated. These date back to when the village was inhabited by people of Greek heritage before the population exchange of 1923.

The stately Greek mansions have been beautifully renovated
Jonathan admiring one of the
Greek-built mansions
One of the mansions along the seafront
Heading to our favourite bar
(with the white umbrellas)
A great spot for a sundowner
There were some amazing rock formations behind the town
Some of the rock formations were being used for abseiling

After we had left Foça, we discovered that the ocean surrounding this area is the site of one of three marine protected areas established in Turkey for the preservation of Mediterranean Monk Seals.

Although we didn’t see any in Foça, we had previously seen these rare and beautiful creatures in both Finike and Didim marinas where they loved to splash about amongst the moored boats.

This was a Monk seal we saw in Finike marina

There are only a few hundred of these seals left in existence and as they are a critically endangered species, people are encouraged to report sightings to the Monachus guardian organisation or a local marine conservation society.

A lovely close up of a monk seal
in Didim Marina

While we were in Foça the captains of Sunday and Catabella, Jonathan and John, were persuaded to get their hair cut. For John, who had previously had a discombobulating and somewhat world shattering experience at a barbers involving hot wax and burning coals, another hair cut was a daunting prospect.

And so it begins….

Jonathan was therefore the first victim and he agreed to sit in the barber’s chair once we made it clear to the barber that he wanted a haircut only and no nose or ear hair grooming whatsoever.

The first “victim” looks much better

They both came out looking much neater and with their dignity and extraneous body hair intact!

Definitely neater but with dignity and extraneous body hair intact
Turkish doughnuts street-style
They looked very yummy!

After a very pleasant stay in Foça we sailed to our next destination, Çandarlı.

On our way to Çandarlı

On the way out of Foça we noticed some unusual rock formations and realised these must be the Sirens’ Rocks that are mentioned in Homer’s epic The Odyssey.

We noticed some unusual rock formations
just outside Foça

Homer describes how ships crashed and sunk after sailors lost their way by listening to the spell-binding voices of the Sirens.

We realised these must be the Sirens’ Rocks that are mentioned in Homer’s
epic The Odyssey

These strange rocks were originally formed by volcanic eruptions, waves, wind and rain and would have presented a real hazard to the unmanoeuvrable ships of Homer’s time.

These strange rocks would have presented a real hazard to the unmanoeuvrable ships of Homer’s time.

We arrived at Çandarlı without hearing any Sirens’ voices and fortunately without crashing our boats!

I’m not sure why, but we were not so drawn to this village – we just didn’t really warm to Çandarlı as we had to Foça.

The 15th Century Ottoman Castle is a real landmark when approaching Çandarlı

We were however, very impressed by its fine looking 15th Century Ottoman Castle which was in an excellent state of repair.

The castle was in an excellent state of repair
Unfortunately it was closed when we arrived so we didn’t get to see inside
It certainly gave a very good impression

After a pleasant meal in a beachside restaurant we went back to Sunday for a nightcap and were treated to a wonderful full moon.

We had a pleasant meal on the beachfront
The sun was soon going to set
Time for a post dinner drink aboard Sunday
Sue and John from Catabella and Jackie our Australian guest enjoying sundowners
Good night sun
Hello moon

Later, the night became cloudy and the dark clouds scudding across the sky combined with the bright moon to produce amazing shapes that in our imaginations looked like various animals and birds in the sky. Ah the joys of the cruising life!

The clouds combined with the moon to make animals in the sky
This looked like a dachshund to me
Was this Godzilla?

Windiest spot didn’t disappoint

One of the windiest spots in this part of the world – Alaçatı – didn’t disappoint. After a great sail from Sığacak we arrived at Turkey’s windsurfing capital to find a good breeze blowing.

Arriving at the windsurfing capital of Turkey

Alaçatı is in the province of Çeşme, located in Western Turkey and a short ride from the country’s third largest city of Izmir.

The protected bay is a windsurfer’s paradise (apparently the wind blows consistently for more than 300 days a year) but there is more to this place than wind and holiday resorts.

The wind blows consistently in Alaçatı for more than 300 days a year

A short taxi ride away was the delightful old town of Alaçatı with its cobblestone streets, colourful laneways, brightly painted stone houses that have been turned into boutique hotels and boarding houses.

The cobblestones of Alaçatı
There are many colourful laneways in the town
Our guest Jackie strolling through Alaçatı

There were many, many restaurants but also little shops selling art, jewellery and all kinds of bric a brac.

There were many, many, restaurants
A crazy flower bed with glass flowers
A pretty laneway
One of the little shops selling art, jewellery and all kinds of bric a brac.
An interesting door into a shop

We found one little workshop/store which was making and selling beautiful pens made from blown glass. Such an unusual product that would make a unique gift.

The glass blowing workshop
The pens were made in lots of different colours
The three wise monkeys

We noticed that the graceful Alacati Market Mosque had a plaque with Greek writing on it and discovered that it was originally built as a Greek church in 1874 but became a mosque immediately after the proclamation of the republic of Turkey in 1923.

The graceful mosque
The mosque was originally built as a Greek Orthodox Church
The plaque with Greek writing

In the centre of Alaçatı there are many houses from the Ottoman period and the ones that belonged to the Greeks are distinguishable by their enclosed balcony areas, that are often painted lilac or a shade of pale blue.

The old Greek houses are by their enclosed balcony areas

The wind was blowing quite strongly and we were just a little concerned about our boats (Catabella and Sunday) so we decided to go back to check them out.

All was well so we the Sunday crew (us and our Australian guest Jackie) had a meal at the resort where we left the dinghy.

This resort allowed us to moor our
dinghy at its jetty

The next day we went to fill up with diesel at the bowser in the marina – carefully avoiding the many wind surfers ( beginners and experts!) as we motored in. We were amazed to see the speed at which the new style “foiling” windsurfers travelled. Even more amazing was to see how they travelled completely off the water except for the foil underneath the board.

Catabella on the way to the fuel jetty
at the marina
We had to be careful to avoid the many windsurfers
Only the foil remains in the water with these windsurfers – they go at such a speed!

Then we were off headed for Çeşme, a resort town famous for its restored Ottoman castle built as a precaution against further attacks after it was invaded in 1472 and again in 1501.

Heading for Çeşme
Time for a new NZ flag (to show where Sunday is registered)

On the way we encountered a NATO warship which announced its presence on our chart plotter’s AIS (automatic identification system) in no uncertain terms.

Warning, a NATO warship ahead
Apparently it was a supply ship

It was only a quick hop to Çeşme where we anchored round the corner from the town in sheltered Dalyan Koyu as Cesme Bay was too open to swell and wind.

The anchorage at Dalyan Koyu

We were surprised to receive a visit from our friends Liz and Steve from Liberte who, we found out, were anchored in the same bay as Sunday and Catabella, although we hadn’t noticed their boat when we first anchored.

Steve and Liz paid us a surprise visit

The following day we decided to walk into Çeşme town as we hadn’t given our legs a good stretch for a while.

Sue from Catabella entering Çeşme
Lots to look at in Çeşme
These cakes looked fabulous
I wasn’t tempted as I think they look better than they taste!0

It was well worth the hike as the castle was very interesting and had a great little museum which had a display about the 1770, Ottoman-Russian Naval War, of which I knew nothing about previously (I have to confess that I hadn’t even heard of it!)

Walking down the hill next to the fortress to find the entrance
Cezayirli Hasan Pasha (an Ottoman Admiral and Grand Vizier) and his pet lion he brought from Algiers.
Çeşme International Music festival and Çeşme festival are held in the castle
The castle houses a good museum
The typical dress of an Ottoman sailor
A Russian army sword and scabbard dating from the 18th Century
I always enjoy seeing beautiful
glassware like this piece which dates from the 1st Century BC
The design of water jugs hasn’t changed much over the millennia
The fortress was built in 1508 and is well preserved
View from the battlements overlooking
the marina
Inside the fortress

We had a few lovely get togethers on board with the crews of Catabella and Liberte before leaving for our next destination – Foca.

Jonathan receiving some barbecuing tips from John skipper of Catabella
The evenings are long at this time of year
Drinks on the foredeck of Sunday
A great curry night aboard Catabella
Another lovely sunset
Arriving at Foça

Another day – another drama x 4

Before we started our new adventure on S/V Sunday in early 2020 quite a number of friends from Australia had said they would come and visit us. And then Covid hit.

S/V Sunday sailing

Fast forward to this year and we have our very first Aussie visitor- our friend Jackie, a former colleague of mine from Sydney in the 1980s!

Jonathan and Jackie at dinner

As she was our first Aussie guest (we have had visitors from England and the Netherlands) we decided we should go and meet her at Izmir airport in a hire car so she didn’t have to mess about with taxis or other means of transport to get to our anchorage at Sığacak.

A few days before she was due to arrive we took the small shuttle bus (dolmuş which means “stuffed to the brim”) to the nearby town of Seferihisar to try and find a place where we could hire a car.

On our way to hire a car on the dolmuş

As Seferihisar is a fairly sizeable town we thought we would find a place to hire a car easily but that definitely did not turn out to be the case. After chasing up various possibilities we ended up at last finding a place that advertised car hire in big letters at the front of the building. When we walked in and said we wanted to hire a car they looked totally blank!

Jonathan on the dolmuş

Not sure what they did for a crust but at least they directed us to a genuine car hire company. So it was that we were there when Jackie arrived on her flight from Istanbul for a three week stay aboard S/V Sunday.

Jackie arrives at Izmir airport!

Unfortunately a big northerly wind was blowing persistently for a number of days which meant we had to spend a few more days than we had planned in Sığacak but as it was such a great spot we didn’t mind at all.

Discussing our plans on the
waterside in Sığacak

We spent time introducing Jackie to the delightful alleyways and narrow pedestrian streets behind the ancient town walls and eating at some of the great spots we had found before she arrived.

Jackie going through the ancient gatehouse into the lanes of Sığacak
The delightful alleyways and narrow pedestrian streets behind the ancient town walls
So many interesting things on sale
Anyone for a basket?
A well camouflaged cat hiding in
the town walls
A well deserved lunch after a walk
around the water front

As we wandered through the tiny network of lanes Jonathan found a walking stick that he declared he “might need one day” and which was calling to him. He’s called it Michael (Michael Caine – get it? Ha ha)

The shop where Jonathan found
his walking stick
Jonathan’s new friend Michael (Caine)

One evening soon after Jackie’s arrival we met up with sailing mates from Didim Marina Lyn and Brian and discovered that Brian has just had a lucky escape from serious injury when his finger and thumb were caught in their anchor chain. Luckily he has completely healed but the accident served as a reminder that we all have to be so careful when working on boats!

Brian and Lyn telling us about
Brian’s lucky escape
Dinner out with friends!

Talking of which, we had another timely reminder that accidents happen when your guard is down AND that alcohol and boats don’t mix! After a big night out I nearly fell in while trying to get in the dinghy to return to Sunday.

Jackie and I pose before the potential disaster

There are photos to prove this (thanks to Sue on Catabella) but I don’t want to publicise my loss of dignity! I have to say they are very funny and make me laugh every time I look at them but it could have ended so badly.

All was going well at first!

Another day, another drama – I was mopping the deck when I realised the wind was blowing a rubber dinghy closer and closer to our starboard bow. It seems his engine had conked out and he’d tried to anchor it while waiting for the coastguards to rescue him.

Another drama aboard!

The anchor definitely wasn’t holding so we took his painter rope to the stern (rear) of our boat and tied it off. We invited him aboard (using our own sign language as our Turkish is pretty basic) but he declined and before too long the coast guards arrived to tow him away.

Hanging off the back off Sunday
waiting for the coastguard
The coastguard arrives
The coastguards give our new friend a tow

Later on that day we decided to take a look at the ancient site of Teos, just up the road from Sığacak.

The ancient site of Teos

Teos was one of the twelve cities which formed the Ionian League in the mid-seventh century BC (Ephesus was another of these cities). Sadly, there isn’t that much left to see but excavations appeared to be happening so there might be more to see in the future.

Teos was one of the twelve cities which formed the Ionian League
The remains of some fine columns
Nicely carved detail
The amphitheatre at Teos

A highlight of this site was a 1,800-year-old olive tree which still produces olives. In fact in 2018 there was an auction held for a half a litre of olive oil produced from this tree that sold by a charity for 30,000 TL!

The 1,800-year-old olive tree which still produces olives!
Resting in the shade of the ancient olive tree

A couple of days later the weather had settled so we were able to head further north at last. As we hauled up our anchors John and Sue discovered theirs was caught up on something on the seabed (this was the second time it had happened while in the bay!) Whatever “it” was, it was a) very heavy and b) well and truly stuck.

Jonathan with his special kit for detangling anchors from nasties picked up on the seabed

We had pulled up a lot of our anchor chain by the time we received the call for help but Jonathan quickly got the dinghy down and left me in charge of Sunday.

You can just see Jonathan
between Catabella’s bows
Jonathan under Catabella trying to disconnect the anchor from the rubbish it had picked up (photo by Sue Done)

It took almost three quarters of an hour to untangle the mess. In the meantime, Sunday was slowly dragging her anchor as Jonathan had dashed off to assist Catabella while we were in the middle of raising it and she was left without enough chain down to hold it in place. I should have put more chain down immediately after he left but we thought the untangling wouldn’t take long! I just put on the engines and kept edging forward to keep out of harms way.

Eventually the anchor reset near the marina entrance and although we got a bit too close for comfort, I just used the engines to steer away. A dock worker from the marina came out to see if we were in trouble but I told him everything was under control. I explained with gestures that Catabella was the boat in trouble but he didn’t seem at all interested in going to see if he could assist.

In the meantime Sue on Catabella was getting worried that we were too close to the marina wall and sent Jonathan back. We would have been fine but it was good to be able to pull the anchor up and reanchor.

Sunday dragged her anchor and ended up at the entrance to the marina
Jonathan came back to help me reanchor

Eventually Catabella’s anchor was free from its iron prison and we were at last heading north.

Eventually Catabella’s anchor was free
from its iron prison

As we left we had helicopters constantly flying over and around us and in the distance we could see the NATO fleet that had been on exercises in the vicinity for at least the previous week. It would be good to move on, if only to escape from the distant but threatening booms of the mock explosions and the persistent slap of helicopter blades overhead.

It was good to move on from the persistent slap of helicopter blades overhead.
Can you make out the warships in the distance?

Death of a scooter and splendid Sığacak

After our window drama we felt in need of a bit of rest and relaxation so we stayed put in Çam Limanı, near the Turkish town of Kusadaşı, for a couple of days.

A beautiful evening in Çam Limanı

Once Jonathan (aka Capt’n Birdseye) had completed his clever repairs we realised there was no harm done accept that his birthday gift from me – an electric scooter – had stopped working.

The day Jonathan received his now very dead electric scooter

Unfortunately, when the window slipped out and sank to the bottom of the ocean, the poor scooter took the brunt of the water that washed in through the gap that was left.

When the window slipped out the scooter took the brunt of the water washed in

For quite some time after our mishap the scooter’s rear red light kept on flashing forlornly as if it didn’t really want to flee its non-mortal coil. Gradually the blinking light got slower and weaker and eventually it stopped altogether. For those of you who remember 2001-A Space Odyssey, it reminded me of Hal, the on-board computer in the doomed space ship singing “Daisy, Daisy, Give me your answer do”, getting slower and slower until the song became completely incomprehensible.

Our next destination was Sığacak, a small harbour village that sits on a peninsula not far from ancient Teos. The day we travelled the winds allowed us to hoist up the sails and switch the engines off for once. Lovely!

A lovely day aboard Sunday
Enough wind for a great sail!
Thanks to Raylee for this photo
of Sunday sailing

In Sığacak we anchored in Cemetery Bay, not far from the entrance to Teos Marina. Sue and John from S/V Catabella with their guest Raylee, were already anchored when we arrived.

Catabella already at anchor when we arrived

Once we were settled we took our dinghies into Teos Marina – Sue and John wanted to enquire about staying there for a couple of nights at the end of Raylee’s stay and we thought we would be able to tie up in there to visit the office and then leave the dinghies while we explored Sığacak. Unfortunately that was not the case!

When we entered the marina precincts we were intercepted by marina attendants in a dinghy and told firmly and unequivocally that we were not allowed to enter the marina in our dinghies. I think that’s the first time we’ve ever been turned away like that. So we turned back and headed for the sea wall where fishing boats and pleasure craft were tied up and managed to scramble up from there.

The sea wall where pleasure boats and some fishing boats were tied up
We had to scramble up from the dinghy

We could see some ancient walls from where we tied up the dinghies but we had no idea what lay behind them nor did we realise that the old village was completely surrounded by the these massive fortifications.

We could see the ancient walls along
the seafront
Except for this section (behind the chairs and tables) the walls were totally intact

We saw a huge timber door ajar and on pushing it open entered an airy stone chamber with an amazing ceiling which I later realised was part of the ancient fort.

We saw a huge timber door ajar..,,,
..,,,,, and entered an airy stone chamber

Walking through another door opposite we entered a large courtyard where a few days later, we found the Sunday Farmers’ Market.

Raylee going out of the doorway
on the other side…..
…….It opened up into a courtyard
The following Sunday we found a
farmers’ market in the courtyard