We left Bodrum vowing to return as there was so much more to see there. For now we we were pressed for time as our fellow travellers and cruising buddies Sue and John had a flight to catch to the UK and needed to get to Didim where they were going to leave Catabella.
They were going to do the trip to Didim in two hops, the first destination being a town on the other side of the Bodrum Peninsula, Yalikavak, where we would part company.
Yalikavak is an important hub for super yachts – mainly because the marina there caters specifically for these enormous luxury vessels.
Owned by an Azeri oil billionaire, the marina looked very swish and well organised. There were also many massive vessels – some almost the size of small cruise liners – anchored in the harbour.
We stayed in a one of the anchorages over the other side of the large bay to the marina, right near a sailing school.
It was great fun watching the kids doing the set course in their little dinghies – some taking it very seriously (mostly girls) some having little arguments about who got in whose way (mostly boys) and one rascal who tried to cause total chaos, almost managing to capsize his dinghy by standing up and rocking it from side to side, shouting and getting in the way of his fellow students and generally seeking attention in whatever way he could. He led the instructors (who would have rather been checking their phones) a merry dance! Great entertainment!
We all really enjoyed going ashore to the town although it was a bit of a long dinghy ride across the bay. There were plenty of amazing super yachts to ogle at as we motored over!
Formally the main sponge diving port in this area, Yalikavak still retains a village feel, with narrow laneways full of interesting shops and restaurants, some well kept green spaces and a delightful old fishing harbour.
On Sue and John’s last night before they departed for Didim marina and then on to England via Greece (doing a ten-day cruise instead of staying a a crummy hotel in England to do the required ten days of quarantine) we had a meal in a beautiful spot in one of those feet-in-the sand restaurants on the beach.
The ambiance was excellent and the sunset glorious and of course the company was excellent!
The following day we waved farewell to Sue and John and settled in for a couple more days in this comfortable anchorage.
We went into the town again to stock up on food and explore a little more.
Before leaving for our next anchorage we went to the marina to fill up with diesel and buy petrol for the outboard and the small generator we use to to power our water maker.
We felt a little intimidated lining up with the massive super yachts to get fuelled up but we were very impressed by the excellent organisation, helpfulness and service provided – even to little us!
Our next stop was a small and very sheltered bay outside a hotel complex called the Crystal Green Bay Resort. There was a bit of a blow brewing up so we thought it would be a good place to shelter – which it definitely was!
Apart from the resort, there was very little else in the bay – just a handful of fishing boats and the remains of a fish farm.
Nevertheless, we had a pleasant couple of days there, relaxing, walking, wandering in the hotel grounds and catching up with a few chores.
After a very peaceful and tranquil stay we experienced a drama when we were about to leave. As we pulled up the anchor we discovered that we had managed to hook onto an enormous and incredibly heavy old anchor left behind on the seabed.
It was quite alarming as while we were occupied in getting our chain off the massive anchor, we were being dragged further into the shallow water.
We eventually managed to disentangle ourselves but while in the process found ourselves almost wedged between the boundary ropes of the two swimming enclosures. Fortunately we were able to make a clean get away once we were unhooked!
The next anchorage – outside Port Iasos Marina was also super quiet and once again, we were the only boat anchored there.
After one night there we sailed on to Kıyıkışlacık – a fabulous little harbour full of intriguing history, pretty as a picture and where the remains of the Ancient Greek city of Iassos lie.
We anchored just behind a tower in the water which might date back to the 12th Century but could have been built much later, maybe in the 15th Century.
In the other direction was the delightful little fishing/farming village and towering above our heads to one side was the ancient city of Iassos.
Who could ask for more?This was definitely our sort of place!