The early morning peace at our anchorage outside the Turkish Riviera resort town of Marmaris was shattered by the blaring of horns, tooting, sirens and loud music very close by.
A fire boat was spraying water and several vessels were moving in procession with a large Coast Guard ship leading the way.
We weren’t sure what the celebration was and wondered whether there was an important dignitary aboard the Coast Guard vessel.
In the midst of all the hubbub, a group of around eight JetSkis appeared with riders holding outsized Turkish flags. They put on a display of what can only be described as motorised version of synchronised swimming! That woke us up!
Since dropping off our boat buddies Sue and John from S/V Catabella at Dalaman airport and the lovely day out we had in the car, life on board had been pretty uneventful.
We had planned a stop in Marmaris to do various boat jobs and get a few things organised. Marmaris is heavenly for yachties as it has every conceivable boat orientated business you can imagine.
We ticked off quite a few items from our list and decided to shelve a few others (like buying a new bar fridge) for later. A plan of buying a fridge in Germany and bringing it back in the campervan in the winter was beginning to form in our minds.
One evening, after a busy boat job day we decided to go for a meal and wandered into the very charming area round the base of the castle.
This part of Marmaris has retained the character of a traditional village with narrow, cobbled laneways and whitewashed stone houses covered in bougainvillea.
We sat down for a cold drink at a lovely shady restaurant called Gorya and ended up chatting to the owner and then staying for dinner. We asked her to choose some meze dishes and then she recommended a couple of main courses. We ended up with an absolute feast! There was a very good singer performing that evening so we were serenaded as we ate!
This little area around the castle was so nice that we returned to explore it a bit more thoroughly and to go into the castle and small museum.
First built by the Ionians (1044 BC) and later on repaired during the era of the Alexander the Great in the 4th Century BC and again in the 15th Century by Suleiman the Magnificent, the castle was almost completely destroyed by French cannon fire in World War 1.
Fully restored in the 1980s the castle grounds have a few exhibits scattered round and lovely cool gardens to enjoy.
There were fabulous views over the bay and the small museum was interesting.
We also met up with Natalia and Bill from Island Bound at our favourite restaurant – Memet’s. We first met these two on the Indonesian Rally in 2015 and last saw them almost exactly a year ago when we had just arrived in Turkey and they introduced us to Memet’s. It was great to catch up again.
Our anchorage outside Marmaris was extremely comfortable and much cooler than being cooped up in a marina. Even though we could have used the “free” four weeks in the Netsel Marina we get as part of our 12-month contract with Setur Marinas, we much prefer to swing at anchor.
We did pop into the marina most days to check on S/V Catabella as we weren’t at all impressed by the way the marina workers had tied her up. Instead of attaching her bow line to an anchored line, they just tied it up onto the yacht next door! There was loads of space next to Catabella so there was no excuse really.
As anticipated, the wind changed and all that was stopping Catabella from banging against the dock was her small strategically placed ball fender.
After “a quiet word” with the office, Catabella was properly tied up.
There’s such a difference between Finike where the staff constantly patrol up and down the wharfs to check on boats and Marmaris where it appears that this is not the case at all.
Anchoring out was a better choice for us although there were a few days when it was very rough and riding in the dinghy to and from land felt precarious – and climbing on and off the boat even more so!
It could also be quite noisy – three or four mosques doing the call to prayer at the same (but with a few seconds delay so the high volume chorus just sounded like a jangled, out of time cacophony of sound). Worse were the high volume “beats” emanating from the tourist boats – many of them with towering “Pirates of the Caribbean” themed fibreglass infrastructures with massive sound systems to match.
At night the noise from the Clubs and Karaoke Bars drifted across the water but fortunately they didn’t keep us awake after a busy day.