Saturday, November 6, 2010

Orhaniye, Turkey – still sailing! 36 40'N 28 05'E

We reluctantly left Simi town quay on 3rd November, after filling all available lockers with beer and wine, thus avoiding certain poisoning with Turkish alcohol this winter. Since the increase in duty and tax with the Greek austerity measures, there is not so much saving to be made, but still much much less expensive than Turkey, and without the nasty chemicals that they use to teach us naughty non-Islamic people a lesson.
15 miles from Simi, we checked into Bozburun, a sleepy little village chock a block with gulets that are tied up for winter. Everyone was very friendly as they took our 180TL (90 euros)for the pleasure of cruising Turkish waters for a year. Stu lost no time at all in sniffing out the expat bar, and spent many hours trading tall stories with all the other flotsam and jetsom of the cruising world.
The weather is still glorious, 25 – 27 degrees, and 22 degrees in the water. It is such a luxury to still be swimming on the day of Guy Fawkes night. Remember, remember the fifth of November, woolly hat, scarf and gloves and still feeling the chill despite the gluwein, or depressed that the fireworks might be rained off in yet another southwesterly gale. Thanks but no thanks!
Last night we were the only yacht anchored in Dirsek, with such clear water it was like an aquarium. It was so still that you could hear the goats snuffling around on the hill, and after dark there were little flashes of phosphorescence in the water as tiny fish darted about. The bay has no road and only a solitary man in a taverna/pension playing dial-a-minaret at full blast just for himself at prayer time. How far would you have to go in England to find peace and solitude like that? It would be a very different place in summer so close to the charter boats of Marmaris.
Monday promises to bring a southerly gale here, which at this time of year could be pretty bad, but those in the know suggested that Orhaniye is a good bolt hole for bad weather. It is near Marti Marina, a very expensive option, but at the head of the bay are 5 restaurants, all competing for customers. This competition led to the installation of wooden pontoons for yachts to tie back to, then free water and electricity on the pontoons, then free wifi, toilets and showers and possibly laundry. In true Turkish fashion all the restaurants copied the first one and so there is little to choose between them now, but all of their profit margins are somewhat reduced. Maybe next year, they will offer free dinner too. The garden of our chosen restaurant is home to a noisy cockerel, several goats,a couple of sheep and many, many cats. It may be a challenge to keep them off the boat, but a novelty to have a goat visit the cockpit.
It is obviously a very safe bay – the boat next to us has been here for five years!! Just around the corner is a barge anchored and tied back to a tree, with a house built on it Apparently it belongs to the second richest man in Turkey – it is just his holiday home, and it gets towed from bay to bay when he is bored with the view. I promise a picture real soon.