Windiest spot didn’t disappoint

One of the windiest spots in this part of the world – Alaçatı – didn’t disappoint. After a great sail from Sığacak we arrived at Turkey’s windsurfing capital to find a good breeze blowing.

Arriving at the windsurfing capital of Turkey

Alaçatı is in the province of Çeşme, located in Western Turkey and a short ride from the country’s third largest city of Izmir.

The protected bay is a windsurfer’s paradise (apparently the wind blows consistently for more than 300 days a year) but there is more to this place than wind and holiday resorts.

The wind blows consistently in Alaçatı for more than 300 days a year

A short taxi ride away was the delightful old town of Alaçatı with its cobblestone streets, colourful laneways, brightly painted stone houses that have been turned into boutique hotels and boarding houses.

The cobblestones of Alaçatı
There are many colourful laneways in the town
Our guest Jackie strolling through Alaçatı

There were many, many restaurants but also little shops selling art, jewellery and all kinds of bric a brac.

There were many, many, restaurants
A crazy flower bed with glass flowers
A pretty laneway
One of the little shops selling art, jewellery and all kinds of bric a brac.
An interesting door into a shop

We found one little workshop/store which was making and selling beautiful pens made from blown glass. Such an unusual product that would make a unique gift.

The glass blowing workshop
The pens were made in lots of different colours
The three wise monkeys

We noticed that the graceful Alacati Market Mosque had a plaque with Greek writing on it and discovered that it was originally built as a Greek church in 1874 but became a mosque immediately after the proclamation of the republic of Turkey in 1923.

The graceful mosque
The mosque was originally built as a Greek Orthodox Church
The plaque with Greek writing

In the centre of Alaçatı there are many houses from the Ottoman period and the ones that belonged to the Greeks are distinguishable by their enclosed balcony areas, that are often painted lilac or a shade of pale blue.

The old Greek houses are by their enclosed balcony areas

The wind was blowing quite strongly and we were just a little concerned about our boats (Catabella and Sunday) so we decided to go back to check them out.

All was well so we the Sunday crew (us and our Australian guest Jackie) had a meal at the resort where we left the dinghy.

This resort allowed us to moor our
dinghy at its jetty

The next day we went to fill up with diesel at the bowser in the marina – carefully avoiding the many wind surfers ( beginners and experts!) as we motored in. We were amazed to see the speed at which the new style “foiling” windsurfers travelled. Even more amazing was to see how they travelled completely off the water except for the foil underneath the board.

Catabella on the way to the fuel jetty
at the marina
We had to be careful to avoid the many windsurfers
Only the foil remains in the water with these windsurfers – they go at such a speed!

Then we were off headed for Çeşme, a resort town famous for its restored Ottoman castle built as a precaution against further attacks after it was invaded in 1472 and again in 1501.

Heading for Çeşme
Time for a new NZ flag (to show where Sunday is registered)

On the way we encountered a NATO warship which announced its presence on our chart plotter’s AIS (automatic identification system) in no uncertain terms.

Warning, a NATO warship ahead
Apparently it was a supply ship

It was only a quick hop to Çeşme where we anchored round the corner from the town in sheltered Dalyan Koyu as Cesme Bay was too open to swell and wind.

The anchorage at Dalyan Koyu

We were surprised to receive a visit from our friends Liz and Steve from Liberte who, we found out, were anchored in the same bay as Sunday and Catabella, although we hadn’t noticed their boat when we first anchored.

Steve and Liz paid us a surprise visit

The following day we decided to walk into Çeşme town as we hadn’t given our legs a good stretch for a while.

Sue from Catabella entering Çeşme
Lots to look at in Çeşme
These cakes looked fabulous
I wasn’t tempted as I think they look better than they taste!0

It was well worth the hike as the castle was very interesting and had a great little museum which had a display about the 1770, Ottoman-Russian Naval War, of which I knew nothing about previously (I have to confess that I hadn’t even heard of it!)

Walking down the hill next to the fortress to find the entrance
Cezayirli Hasan Pasha (an Ottoman Admiral and Grand Vizier) and his pet lion he brought from Algiers.
Çeşme International Music festival and Çeşme festival are held in the castle
The castle houses a good museum
The typical dress of an Ottoman sailor
A Russian army sword and scabbard dating from the 18th Century
I always enjoy seeing beautiful
glassware like this piece which dates from the 1st Century BC
The design of water jugs hasn’t changed much over the millennia
The fortress was built in 1508 and is well preserved
View from the battlements overlooking
the marina
Inside the fortress

We had a few lovely get togethers on board with the crews of Catabella and Liberte before leaving for our next destination – Foca.

Jonathan receiving some barbecuing tips from John skipper of Catabella
The evenings are long at this time of year
Drinks on the foredeck of Sunday
A great curry night aboard Catabella
Another lovely sunset
Arriving at Foça

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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.

2 thoughts on “Windiest spot didn’t disappoint”

  1. How wonderful that there’s a place where the wind blows more than 300 days a year – and also that there are people who want to windsurf on at least one of those 300+ days! The perfect match, even though I wouldn’t be a candidate myself!

    Liked by 1 person

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