Plans “written in the sand at low tide” during Covid

There’s a lovely anchorage in Bozburun so it beats us why people prefer to Med moor (where the anchor is dropped and then the boat is tied to land). We are grateful for this however, as it leaves all the more room for us!

At anchor in Bozburun

More of a village than a town, Bozburun can be reached easily by sea but the trip by car entails driving along 40 kilometres (25 miles) on a very winding road from the main highway. I’m sure this accounts for why the village retains its charm and a rather old-world atmosphere.

The mosque dominates the view of Bozburun from the anchorage
The trip by car to Bozburun entails driving along 40 kilometres (25 miles) of very winding road from the main highway
The long and winding road trip probably accounts for the peaceful atmosphere in Bozburun
As the sun goes down the village gets more lively

There is a small and busy harbour usually full to bursting point but if you make an arrangement with the harbour master at the fishing cooperative, a time to enter can be made to refuel.

The harbour was full of boats

With Sue away in England for a couple of weeks, we offered to help John on Catabella to enter the harbour so he could fill his diesel tanks. Thankfully all went well although we had to wait for almost an hour while the fuel tanker went off to fill up!

Finally the diesel tanker arrived!

Boats are excellent places for “people watching” – there is always so much going on. One day we watched in sympathy as two boats tried to sort out their tangled anchors.

We watched in sympathy as two boats tried to sort out their tangled anchors

We weren’t sure which yacht anchored over the other’s chain but it resulted in quite a muddle and the two yachts travelling conjoined for quite some way before they were finally able to disentangle themselves!

The two yachts travelled conjoined for quite some way before they were finally able to disentangle themselves
Finally free!

Sometimes we engage in a little involuntary people watching when other boats anchor super snuggly next to us. Occasionally we end up closer than we anticipated to other boats but unless there is a compelling reason not to, we always pull up and start again. Wish I could say the same for others!

Sometimes other boats anchor “super snuggly” next to us

Before we left to explore the area more thoroughly we also decided to refuel and John reciprocated our assistance by helping us into dock in the little port.

Happily settled in the port

With me on the anchor, Jonathan steering and John throwing the lines to the young men employed as “dock boys”, we had a very smooth entry. It helps so much to have an extra pair of hands!

We had a bit of a disaster with the diesel which left us feeling awful but also rather cross with the delivery guy.

The diesel tanker driver had his little boy helping him

We only wanted a small amount – about 100 litres in each tank – and expected the fuel to automatically click off when the tank was full. But no, it didn’t do that – when the first tank was full the diesel kept on coming and suddenly we noticed it spilling out of the overflow pipe.

Jonathan pulls the nozzle aboard

The driver of the diesel tanker was cross with us because we didn’t need exactly 100 litres and we were upset that his machine didn’t have a working sensor to allow it to click off automatically. The harbour master was naturally angry because some diesel (albeit a tiny amount) was spilt in the harbour. Fortunately the tanker driver had absorbent mats and these soaked up the spill.

The harbour master did scold Jonathan for the accident but we really didn’t know what we could have done differently. We have never before come across a fuel delivery system (even in the most poor and primitive parts of South East Asia) that didn’t stop automatically when the tank was nearing full!

View from Sunday facing away from the village of Bozburun

So we left Bozburun with our our tail between our legs but still really liking this small town.

We left Bozburun with our our tail between our legs

The trip to Selimiye was only about three hours and most of it was fine. We travelled down the Bozburun inlet in very calm waters but once we reached the open sea and turned North the winds were head on and the sea was choppy and crashing over our bow.

Once we reached the open sea and turned North the winds were head on and the sea was choppy and crashing over our bow.

As soon as we turned in towards Selimiye everything calmed down again but there was a lot of salt to wash away once we were safely anchored.

Our lovely new hatches encrusted with salt

We ended up anchoring in very deep water rather than dropping in shallower water in the overcrowded anchorage.

Anchored in deep water away from the main anchorage

Everywhere was very crowded as it was the Eid al-Adha holiday – one of the most important Muslim festivals. This special day also coincided with school holidays which accounted for the huge numbers of boats everywhere.

So many boats at anchor

We were trying doing a bit of a “reccy” of anchorages to take our daughter and her husband to (who were shortly due to arrive from the Netherlands), so we decided to get going the following day and scout around a few of the nearby bays for good places to anchor.

Some treacherous rocks barely visible

On the way to Orhaniye where we eventually anchored, we found some lovely spots where we could stay with Hannah and Pieter (Covid allowing!)

We found some lovely spots where we could stay with Hannah and Pieter
Another great place to stay
The water here looked perfect!
A potential anchorage but we would need to Med moor!

Orhaniye is a bay situated at the connection between the two long fingers of land – the Bozburun and Datça peninsulas – that stretch out towards the Greek islands of Simi and Rhodes. It is therefore extremely sheltered and a beautiful spot to anchor for a few days.

The anchorage at Orhaniye

Marti Marina is situated on the Datça side – we weren’t terribly impressed as casual rates were very expensive and we found the staff most unhelpful when we were enquiring about car rental. Having said that, we aren’t great fans of marinas anyway so aren’t great judges!

Marti Marina

We anchored in a beautiful spot not far from the picturesque castle ruins on a rocky islet, believed to have been part of the ancient city of Bybassos.

Catabella in front of the picturesque castle ruins
A closer look at the castle ruins

Turning the other way we overlooked the famous 600 metre long Kizkumu spit which seemed to be very popular with local tourists. From where we were it looked like there were throngs of people walking on the water.

The famous 600 metre long Kizkumu spit
Boats drop off their guests so they can “walk on water’
Orhaniye was a beautiful spot
The golden light before sunset
An early morning shot

One evening we went for a meal ashore and found a small local restaurant with checked table cloths. The menu was pretty limited (actually I’m not sure that there even was a menu!) but we saw on the blackboard outside that they were offering homemade soup.

A lovely evening – before dinner

It was a simple vegetable soup but absolutely delicious and served with great hunks of home made white bread. This was followed by huge servings of manti – the Turkish version of ravioli.

The small local restaurant with checked table cloths
Waiting for our soup!

The tiny little pillows were filled with mince meat and served in a yoghourt sauce with a splodge of tomato sauce on top. Delicious but extremely filling!

The Turkish answer to ravioli – Manti

The cafe wasn’t allowed to serve beer but they also owned the shop next door so they got round the rules by grabbing some beers out of their shop fridge and serving it in coffee mugs and a beaker!

Drinking beer from an assortment of cups

It was almost time to go back to Bozburun to get ready for Hannah and Pieter’s arrival from the Netherlands on 31 July. We had hired a car there but wanted a day’s grace to ensure the booking was fine and to buy food.

Just before we left for Bozburun Sue arrived back from England and we had a great reunion.

Full moon in Orhaniye

So we bade farewell and set off on the short trip back to the lovely little town of Bozburun. We were very excited at the prospect of seeing our daughter and son in law after five months apart but still slightly nervous that it might not happen as in this Covid world all plans can be changed at a moment’s notice. We have learned the lesson well that all plans have to be “written in the sand at low tide”!

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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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