From Bozburun to Orhaniye it was a 20nm hop around the end of the Bozburun peninsular. A light winds start, we’d hoped the wind would pick up enough for us to sail down the Hisaronu Gulf. A few yachts out for a bimble from Marti Marina were managing to sail but for us with the wind astern it just wasn’t enough.
Around into the bay of Keci Buku we continued past the marina and picked a spot to drop anchor tucked up between the shore and a rocky island with the ruins of a castle on top. The scenery was stunning, not what we had expected at all given the more barren islands of Greece. As the sun set, the mountains turned pink and an owl hooted from the bank next to us.
The next morning we moved onto the pontoon at Ersoy Restaurant. We needed to make a few trips into Marmaris to arrange repairs and to buy some spares and a new shiny nose ornament for Emerald. Our sprayhood windows had done well given that they were 12 years old but over the last year the cloudiness had increased and I was getting a little fed up of not being able to see where we were going properly. Our main sail also needed a little bit of work – last summer one of the batten pockets ripped and another was close to going.
We caught a dolmus – minibus like vehicles which provide bus services around the smaller towns and villages. Our trips back and forth have been an experience, both for the views along the way and the occasionally hair raising driving! Lots of horn beeping goes on, although it seemed to be more of a greeting than a warning.
The journey into Marmaris takes about an hour and costs 6TL per person each way. Our first mission was to find the streets of chandleries to buy various parts for repairs and new projects. Our biggest purchase was going to be a new anchor for Emerald. Despite our CQR doing a sterling job over the last few years, Colin felt it was time for something a bit sturdier for those marginal anchoring occasions. After hours of research he plumped on a Rocna 33kg. We knew it was a good weight for the boat and would fit on the bow as many other Peterson 44s have this anchor too. We found a good deal and great service at Salpa Marine.
On our next visit to Marmaris we had time for some sightseeing. The town centre was busy and bustling and there were plenty of internet shops from which to buy a data SIM. The streets seemed very spacious and there are lots of beautiful bronze statues dotted around.
We paid a visit to the castle (8TL entry per person) which was built as a base by Suleyman the Magnificent during his capture of Rhodes. It was badly damaged by French Forces in WWI but has undergone extensive restoration. There are some good views from the walls and a couple of museums displaying artefacts from the area. It’s a pleasant place for a wander as is the old town with it’s narrow, winding streets.
We also strolled through the Grand Bazaar, a covered shopping area. Mostly cheap clothes and shoes, tobacco and souvenir shops. A barber was very keen to give Colin a shave and hair cut!
Selale Turgut (Turgut Waterfalls)
Up in the hills behind Orhaniye a river runs through a forest tumbling down waterfalls and forming deep, clear pools. It was a 10 mile (16km) round trip from the boat, walking up over a ridge through pine woods, through the village of Turgut and along a quiet, leafy lane. It was a warm day, not too hot although the shade from the trees was very welcome.
When we arrived at the falls we were pleased to see it wasn’t busy, with just two other couples at a cafe. We headed on up the boardwalk and along the walkways. All was quiet except for the sounds of nature – the water burbled away, frogs made funny noises and dragonflies and butterflies flitted about. It was wonderful. We hopped across some stepping stones made from tree trunks and ignoring the markings of the waterfall trail which doubled back on itself, we followed the red and white stripes of the Carian Way a little further. We found a spot to sit, have a picnic and enjoy some relaxation time soaking up the lovely nature in the shade of the trees. Bliss.
As we made our way back downstream a loud horn honk spoilt the tranquillity and we realised the tourist hordes had arrived. We encountered the group of 20 or so at the tall waterfall where they were stripping off for a dip in the pool; their tour guide loudly encouraging his clients to jump from the top despite there being a big sign saying no jumping. We quickly left them and their nasty noise behind.
Heading further down, we followed the path alongside the river rather than taking the road we’d come up on, but from the path we could see and hear 20 brightly coloured, open top jeeps driving towards the falls, boom-boom music blaring out. With 10 people in each that would be 200 people descending on the site. We realised we’d had a lucky escape with our timing to have got there before they did. We later learnt that morning or late afternoon is the best time to go to miss the groups – we got there about 11:30.
On the way back we detoured off the route to climb up to an ancient tomb, over 2000 years old and built with a commanding view down the valley towards the sea. It’s believed to have been the tomb for a warrior named Diagoras.
It was a fantastic walk, I love being out in nature. Along the roadsides wheat was ready for cutting in the fields and chickens ran around the legs of tied up goats and cows. We saw lots of frogs, fresh water crabs, fish, trout and two tortoises – including a baby one that was less than 10cm end to end. Very cute.
Kizkumu Sand Spit
It was Sunday when we arrived in the bay and many people were out having a stroll along the shallow sand spit that juts out from the side of the bay. The legend is that a young lady was trying to escape from pirates and filling her skirt with sand, spilled it out as she walked out into the sea. But when the sand in her skirt ran out, in order not to be caught, she committed suicide by jumping into the water. The name translates as Maiden’s Sand.
We went for a look ourselves. There is a statue to the legendary maiden at the start of the sand spit, her face has been modified by some wag and now looks slightly alarming!
We were a bit daft as we expected the sand spit to be, well, sand. Nope. It’s made up of little, pointy bits of stone that stick between your toes. It was a kind of trial by agony walking out, we got halfway and decided that was enough pain for one day. Should have taken our water-shoes!
Next to where we anchored is a small island with the remains of a castle atop it. A few walls are still standing and there is a flagpole on top that we’re hoping will act as a lightning conductor as there have been quite a few storms passing by.
We had a scramble around the rocks to climb to the top for some great views.
For a change of scenery we popped around to have a look at Selimiye, around 6nm away. We had intended to anchor off the town, but the depths, even quite close in, were around 20m. There were spaces available on some of the restaurant pontoons but we weren’t keen on that or the anchoring depths so headed back to Sig Limani, a bay we had passed on our way in. There were two other boats anchored but still plenty of room and we found a good spot in 6m to drop the hook. This was our first chance to see how Irene the Rocna set as we could clearly see the bottom. It was laid perfectly; just a small section of the curved bar was visible, the rest was completely buried in the sand.
From the head of the bay it was a thirty minute walk into the centre of Selimiye. The weather was being a bit iffy with rumbles of thunder and dark, brooding skies but I managed to stay dry. I wasn’t so lucky the next morning, when the kindness of strangers inviting me to shelter with them, twice saved me from a complete soaking.
Sig Limani was pleasant for swimming so Emerald was given a de-slime of her hull, maybe we’ll get an extra 0.1kt out of her now!
During our stay we had spun around in circles and sat out some strong gusts as the storms passed by and over us. When we came to lift the anchor it was still lying in the same direction as when it had set.
Dolmus busses run hourly from Orhaniye to Marmaris, journey time is just under one hour. The nearest stop is on the corner just down from the restaurant. Busses from other locations also run through the town. The cost was 6TL per person each way.
In Marmaris there is most likely every kind of boat service you could need. The chandlers were grouped together behind Netsel marina with canvas and sail repairers spread out around them.
Vodafone, Turk Cell and Turk Mobile all have many shops in Marmaris town centre.
In Selimiye there were many bars and restaurants, min-markets and tourist shops. It seemed a nice town although definitely aimed at the tourist market.
Services Provided By:
- Ersoy Pansion Pontoon – whilst we waited for repairs and deliveries we enjoyed delicious food at the Ersoy Pansion.
- Salpa Marine – a good price and service for our Rocna anchor. They are the Rocna dealers in Marmaris.
- Captain Marine – purchase of a MPPT controller to manage our solar array better, plus wiring and components for installation.
- South West Sails – mainsail repairs, repairs and new plastic in our sprayhood. Picked up from and delivered back out to us at Orhaniye.
21st May: Bozburun to Orhaniye, 19nm travelled
Weather: Dry, some cloud building during the day. Winds light from the west then north-west.
Anchored in 10.5m in position 36 45.588’N 28 07.504’E
The next day we moved to the Ersoy Restaurant pontoon where there is 2.6m of water. Electricity and water is available, Eat at the restaurant as your staying fee. Tasty, home cooked food. We had the lamb casserole and lamb shish.
29th May: Orhaniye to Sig Limani, 9nm travelled
Weather: light winds, dry until later that night, although thunder storms did rumble around us.
Anchored in 6m in sand in position 36 43.531’N 28 05 412’E