Hauling anchor – freedom! But wait. Stopped by Coastguards – twice!

We had a lovely last weekend in Kas with the crew of Polykandros, starting with a wonderful picnic in the grounds of the small Hellenistic theatre just outside the town.

Luca “posing” at the ancient theatre in Kas
Such a lovely place to meet

To get there we first took the dinghy to the very wobbly jetty near a fisherman’s ramshackle hut. We scrambled up the slope, skirting past the very noisy cockerel who was defending “his girls” by puffing out his feathers and crowing at the top of his voice while the hens pottered about scratching at the earth – totally unconcerned.

S/V Sunday in Kas anchorage (right of photo). The Hellenistic Theatre is just over the hill to the left. Photo courtesy of Yvette Jiang
Not much left of the picnic!

At the top of the slope we crossed over the road and found one of the paths that criss cross the hill which rises above the anchorage. As we walked we saw the remains of (more) ancient Lycian tombs, lots of very old and knarled olive trees and a huge array of glorious wild flowers. Spring has definitely sprung in Turkey!

S/V Sunday from the road
There are Lycian tombs everywhere in Kas
The wild flowers are just beautiful
The first poppy we have come across this year
There were so many wild flowers that Nina made some fabulous headdresses
Silke with her headdress

At the theatre we were introduced to fellow yachties Yvette and Martin and their son Jason from S/V Pisces 2. They had recently been in Finike Marina but first met the Whittaker family in Athens, at the Alimos Marina, shortly after we had escaped lockdown there, last June.

We met Yvette (in middle) and Martin (not pictured) from S/V Pisces 2 at the picnic (photo courtesy of Tim and Silke)

Later that day we had a last evening with the Polykandros crew. Fortunately the weather was very calm, unlike during the previous week, and we were able to sit outside and enjoy watching the almost full moon rise over the hills.

Watching the almost full moon rise
Our artist manikin – dressed in crochet work by Nina
A rare photo of Tim (he’s usually the one behind the lens)
A last cuddle with Ship’s Dog Lucy. And look – I got a headdress too!
A group shot before the Whittakers left (photo credit Tim Whittaker)

The following day was departure day for both boats but sadly in completely different directions. Polykandros was heading up the coast towards Fetiye while Sunday was going the other way, making for the Setur Marina in Fineke.

Departure morning – the reflections show how still it was

The morning was absolutely still – not a ripple in the water nor the slightest whisper of a breeze – so still in fact, that the yachts in the marina and the hills behind were perfectly reflected in the water. It was stunningly beautiful.

The yachts in the marina and the hills behind were perfectly reflected in the water
It was a stunningly beautiful morning

Luca had left his cap on board the previous night so we arranged to hand it over to him on our boat hook as Polykandros made a farewell “lap of honour” round Sunday.

Getting the anchor up on Polykandros
Luca’s cap at the ready for handover

It was really sad to say goodbye again so quickly but we will catch up again for sure.

Luca preparing to grab his hat
Yep, he got it!
Bye bye lovely Lucy
Farewell to the Whittakers

Later that day we also hauled anchor and left for the short three-hour trip to Kekova Roads – approximately the half way point to Finike.

And we’re off

We hadn’t been out on the water for more than 15 minutes before we were stopped by the Coastguard (border control) boat.

The Coastguards ask us to stop

It was a little unnerving waiting for the officers to give us the OK to leave. Had we transgressed a new rule? Were we on some kind of “banned” list? After checking our passports, ship’s papers and our transit log and spending an inordinate time on the phone checking with who knows what government department, we were sent on our way but not before a vital piece of paper came loose from the folder and blew away!

Jonathan receiving the man overboard victim

“Man overboard” I cried and while Capt’n Birdseye quickly untied the rope holding the coastguard’s boat, I kept my eyes trained on the errant piece of paper. Fortunately the coastguards were able to retrieve it and it was soon drying on our draining board!

We had a very pleasant motor to Kekova Roads – there wasn’t a breath of wind so we didn’t bother getting sails up.

A typical scene in Kekova Roads

Arriving back at Kokova was such a pleasure- we had last been there almost seven months ago and at that time this lovely spot had been very busy with lots of gulets and other tourist boats, cruising yachts and charter vessels.

Not another boat in sight

This time as we motored past Kokova island through one of the three entrances to this glorious and enormous fiord-like bay, we saw just one solitary fishing boat – such magic!

Until we met this solitary fishing boat

Under leaden skies we meandered along – past rocky islets with ruins on them, random craggy rocks and then the commanding Byzantine Castle built high up on a hill to fight pirates!

Under a leaden sky we pass rocky islets with ruins on them
The commanding Byzantine Castle built high up on a hill to fight pirates

We entered the anchorage outside the little village of Üçağız through the all-important port and starboard markers. There are so many rocks lurking under the water that much caution has to be taken!

The port and starboard markers indicating the way in

Safely anchored opposite the remains of what was once the ancient Lycian port town of Teimiussa, we were visited by another couple of Coastguards who once again wanted to examine our paperwork and made more phone calls.

Here we go again!

The chief pointed to our Turkish courtesy flag and shook his head tut-tutting. “New, you need new”. We looked up and sheepishly agreed. It was looking very faded and rather tatty!

Some time later the Coastguards depart
Our rather tatty and faded flag!

That night we enjoyed a long sundowner while we watched the full moon rise in all its glory.

What a gorgeous moon!
Moonbeams sparking on the water

It felt really good to be tying up at the wonderful fish restaurant on the quayside of Üçağız belonging to Hassan although sadly it was all closed up and none of the family appeared to be around.

One of the main streets of Üçağız

Wandering through the tiny streets it was a pleasure to see the village hadn’t been spoilt like so many others have by the growth in tourism. Sure, there were some restaurants and guest houses but nothing has been built to spoil the charming rustic character of the place.

Nothing has been built to spoil the charming rustic character of the place
Lemon season is here!
Spring is here!
Üçağız is still a fishing village at heart
More fishing boats

It was surprising to see how many ancient tombs were dotted around the village – often used as shelters for the local chickens and others just occupying random spots in the car park, people’s gardens and in laneways.

Ancient tombs were dotted all around the village
Some of the tombs were used by chickens for shelter
These tombs were right next to people’s homes

Before long, we had come to the end of the “modern” village and following a pathway that went cheek by jowl to the front door of the last cottage, we found our way to the ruins of Teimiussa.

Sunday at anchor in front of the ruins of Teimiussa
Little is known about these ruins

Apparently very little is known about these ruins but inscriptions on the tombs indicate they could date back as far as the 4th century BC.

Could these be fortifications?
Inscriptions on the tombs indicate they could date back as far as the 4th century BC.

There are ruins of a necropolis, but no city walls or other major structures – possibly these could have been damaged by earthquakes and just slipped into the sea.

The tombs are made from local limestone
Me – amongst the tombs of Teimiussa

The tombs are absolutely magnificent – made from local limestone, many have been carved into the cliffs but others have been carefully placed on site with stone wedges to level them up. Without exception, these tombs have been robbed – this must have been a problem even in the ancient times, since many of the tomb inscriptions are apparently curses against desecrators!

Many of the tomb inscriptions are apparently curses against desecrators
Jonathan examining some of the tombs
Wondering if the compass carved into this one means it was built for a sailor

It was poignant to see the holes ruthlessly bashed into the sides of tombs and lids “dangling” half on and half off with just enough room for a robber to reach in and snatch jewellery and other precious items belonging to the long dead.

The hole bashed in the tomb wall in order to steal its valuables is just visible in this (not very good) photo
The lid removed just enough to reach in to steal its contents
Definitely no body in this one!
One of the tomb lids just cast away to the ground

The day was still young so we made our way back through the village and hopped aboard our dinghy for a little ride around.

A beautiful green lizard sunning itself on the rock
On the dinghy and getting closer to the rocky islets

The good captain suggested that we should go for lunch in the village of Kaleköy so we puttered over to the small harbour that lies in the shadow of the castle fortress.

The fortress at Kaleköy
The village of Kaleköy under the shadow of the castle

There was only one restaurant open so that’s where we went!

The restaurant had been patronised by sailors from many different countries
Our dinghy tied up at the pier

This was the first proper meal out for months (because of Covid lockdowns) so we really enjoyed ourselves. It felt like such luxury to be eating at a table in the sun, with a crisp cotton tablecloth and an ice cold beer (our first this year!) in frosty glasses straight from the fridge.

We so enjoyed sitting in the sun with cold beers
Mmm delicious hand cut chips

Calamari, hand cut chips and a beautiful salad never tasted so good!

It tasted so good
We decided to forgo the dessert, not sure that “sweat” sounds that appealing!

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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.

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