Gunboats, Pirate Caves and a rocky slip-up!

The most remarkable part of our trip from Finike Marina to Kekova Roads – apart from the wonderfully dramatic Turkish coastline – was sighting a Turkish gunboat steaming past us the other way, leaving a massive wake behind it.

a Turkish gunboat steaming past us
A reminder of the hostilities between Turkey and Greece

Having already witnessed helicopter gunships flying overhead on three separate occasions, the existence of the naval ship reminded us yet again that hostilities between Turkey and Greece over drilling rights were of grave concern.

Leaving Finike

But we had no time to worry about that! We had our guests from England – my great niece and her boyfriend – on board and we had a lot of fun planned!

A welcome from a herd of goats at Gökkaya Liman

Our first stop was a lovely inlet in the stunning Gökkaya Liman (Bay) near the tiny island of Asirli at the Eastern end of Kekova Roads.

Papa goat watching out for his flock

After anchoring and a wonderful swim we took the dinghy over to the island to see the famous Blue Cave – so named because of the dazzling hue of its water.

A beautiful swim before heading for the Blue Cave
Inside the Blue Cave
It really was blue!

It is also known as the Pirates Cave, as supposedly, once upon a time, it was used by pirates to lay in wait for trade ships that journeyed along the coastline of the Mediterranean Sea.

No pirates but lots of little bats inside
Plenty of room to hide

Near to our anchorage there were some poignant ruins – not the usual Lycian tombs or Roman remains – this time they were from a Byzantine church.

Ruins of a Byzantine Church

Much of this coastline had been populated by Greeks for hundreds of years but in the 1922 population exchange they were moved out and Turks previously living in Greece were moved in and almost all the Churches were left abandoned to crumble back into the landscape.

After the population exchange the churches were left to crumble back into the landscape

During our swim we were surprised how cool the water was but then we learned that a cold water spring flowed into the bay. No wonder!

There was a cold water spring that flowed into the bay

We decided to head up the creek to see if we could discover the source but weren’t able to locate it but it was fun trying!

We headed up the creek to try and find the spring
It was a lovely dinghy ride but we didn’t find the source of the spring

We wanted to try and show our guests as many different highlights of this beautiful area so we quickly moved on to the village of Kaleköy – accessible only by sea- where we anchored just for a few hours while Jonathan and our guests walked up to the fort – built in the Middle Ages by the Knights if St John.

The village of Kaleköy with the fort built in the Middle Ages

I stayed on board to keep watch as the holding at this anchorage isn’t very good and there are nasty looking rocks everywhere you look!

Almost at the top of the fort

After the climb we reconvened for a light lunch at one of the restaurants at the water’s edge where we could keep an eye on Sunday.

Looking down to the Kaleköy anchorage – Sunday is the second boat from the left
The jetty with the red roof is where we had lunch

We motored to a great spot just outside Üçağız, the sweet little village we had visited (and loved) previously.

Üçağız, a sweet little village

The bay here is completely landlocked with three small entrance channels that lie between low rocky islets – hence the bay’s name – Üçağız which means “three mouths”.

One of the rocky islets on the way in to Üçağız

We anchored just east of the village right in front of several sarcophagi and other ruins. Apparently they are thought to be the remains of ancient Teimiussa which used to be the administrative centre for the region.

The sarcophagi opposite our anchorage
These ruins are thought to be the remains of ancient Teimiussa

My great niece and her boyfriend then had a chance to hone their driving skills when they took the dinghy to check out Üçağız. Later we all went again for another delicious meal at Hassan’s restaurant (discovered on a previous visit).

My great niece honing her driving skills on the dinghy
With her boyfriend as navigator and first mate
The seafront restaurants at Üçağız
This is the restaurant to head for!

Our next “tourist destination” was to the sunken ruins over the other side of the bay at Kekova Island.

There were quite a lot of ruins on land as well as under the water

The ruins were once a vibrant ancient town called Dolchiste which was destroyed by an earthquake during the 2nd century AD.

The ruins of Dolchiste which was destroyed by an earthquake during the 2nd century AD
When you sail over them you can clearly see ruins under the water

The water there was turquoise and clear as gin and as we drifted slowly by we could see the shapes of walls, stairs and walkways.

We could see the shapes of walls, stairs and walkways
The stairs to nowhere (left hand side of photo)

We had heard that Karaloz Liman, a completely landlocked cove on the south of Kekova Island, was a beautiful, sheltered anchorage with wonderful clear water water for swimming and snorkelling, so we headed over there to anchor for the night.

What we didn’t realise was the cove was absolutely tiny and it was already quite full when we arrived. We tried to anchor and put a line ashore in one spot but after several unsuccessful attempts to get our anchor to grab before getting dangerously close to the rocky shore (and a neighboring tourist boat) we gave up and found the only other spot suitable for our sized boat – just inside the cove.

We left our guest behind on a rock when we gave up – he was rescued in the end!

All seemed fine until Capt’n Birdseye decided to readjust the long line so we would be more comfortable if a swell came up in the night. Unfortunately while doing this he stepped on a very sharp rock, cut his foot, lost his balance, fell down into “a hole” and lost his glasses.

The long line was well set up but Capt’n Birdseye decide to adjust it

I saw him on his hands and knees, blood pouring down his face and not moving. Thinking he was concussed my great niece’s boyfriend (egged on by us!) dived in and swam to the rocks to “rescue” him.

Fortunately he was absolutely fine and was just looking for his glasses! The good news is that he found them – the bad news the glass in one of the lens was completely shattered! Fortunately he had a spare set on board – always a necessity for cruisers!

Broken glasses and a nasty graze but thankfully OK otherwise!

Published by

Salty tales from Bali Hai

In 2015, after a break from cruising of almost 30 years, my husband and I sailed off into the sunset - this time to the wonderful Islands of Indonesia and beyond. Three years passed and we swapped sails for wheels driving through Scandinavia and Europe in a motor home. Now we are on the brink of another adventure - buying a Lagoon 420 Catamaran in Athens. This is our story.

One thought on “Gunboats, Pirate Caves and a rocky slip-up!”

  1. Wow – all looks fantastic! Glad you all had such a good time together despite Jonathan’s contretemps with the long line and the specs!



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s