Around the Datca Peninsula

We’d lingered a little longer than expected at Orhaniye. It wasn’t any problems with the boat that was keeping us there, it was just so difficult to leave – good holding, good shelter and plenty to keep us having fun ashore. But eventually came the day we upped anchor (and a large wodge of mud with it) and headed off to round the long pointy finger of land that is the Datça peninsula. First stop was the long inlet of Birecik, a trip of 6nm to the north side of the Hisarönü gulf.


a kayak eye view of Birecik

We headed out of Orhaniye with light winds and a small swell rolling into the gulf. Once inside the long inlet we could see around 10 boats, both gullets and yachts, all well spaced out and tied back along the sides and we were delighted to see that the anchorage off the campsite was empty giving us prime spot picking opportunity. It didn’t stay like that for long though. We wondered if it was the lemming effect as more and more boats came to anchor rather than tie back. The lack of common sense on display was highly entertaining as boats dropped without any sense or reason and settled back on top of others.

Then came a gullet, storming straight through the anchorage, spoiling the peace as it rumbled away like a 60-a-day chain smoker, dropped it’s hook obviously across a yacht’s chain and reversed to the shore. Well of course the yacht wasn’t happy so out gullet storms again, taking another 3 attempts and annoying many more boats in the process. There was ample space elsewhere along the shore for the gullet to go. We guessed that space is it’s ‘spot’ and the world will end if it has to go somewhere else.

Cute baby donkey

Birecik is a lovely anchorage with trees down to the shore and a family of donkeys roaming the abandoned campsite. Before you’ve got your anchor set a veggie boat will be heading out to you to sell it’s wares, I did some reciprocal language learning as a boat boy asked the English word for mushrooms and I learnt the Turkish word from him (mantar).

Then in the afternoon, just as Colin was hankering for an ice-cream, we heard someone calling. It sounded a bit like ice-cream but that might just have been our craving minds doing strange things. Then came the call again, closer and definitely ice-cream. Colin got waving and soon we were happily slurping away.

Midsummer sunset

When we arrived around 10:30 the wind was blowing lightly from the north, just after midday it changed to SW and blew a steady F4 for the rest of the afternoon.


The next morning was our earliest start in a while to beat the afternoon winds which were forecast to be from the NW and so would be on our nose. As it was we had a small push from the wind out of the inlet, then light southerlies until we were in Datça bay when it then went NW F4. It didn’t last long before dying off and going more west. We headed for south bay at Datça where there were only two others boats at anchor. The water was super clear making it easy to pick a sandy patch, however the wind was now southerly again!

Bobbing about at Datca

We had a stroll ashore and found it to be a pleasant holiday town. Lots of bars and restaurants and a night out whilst we were here was tempting. The wind had other ideas though and by late afternoon the NW wind had set in and gave us some vicious 30kt gusts well past midnight keeping us aboard. Instead on the first night we were entertained by a very loud outdoor performance by a Turkish choir in the amphitheatre behind the harbour. It was good for a while but when it was still going after midnight we were ready for it to stop!

Views from Datca

Anchored off the beach at south bay

Next morning all was calm again so we walked up to Eski Datca for a wander around it’s cobbled lanes. Back aboard early afternoon it wasn’t long after that the gusty wind arrived again and kept going till well into the night. So no night out for us again.

We noticed a lot of big dogs roaming around in Datca, more dogs than cats in fact. All the ones we met were friendly and shops and bars were putting water out for them, but it was sad to see so many homeless animals.

Pretty cobbled lane at Eski Datca

By Saturday we decided on a change of scenery and headed off in the afternoon for Kargi Koyu. There were no afternoon winds, the predominant wind for the rest of day was light and from the south and south east. That meant there was a swell rolling in, which although not too rolly rolly was enough to be annoying given we’ve had no rolly anchorages this season. Perhaps we should have stayed at Datça as the light winds would have meant a night out.

Kargi Koyu is a huge anchorage, at least 0.5nm across and we were anchored some way offshore in the northern section. In comes a gullet, steaming straight at us. He did slow down when he got closer and began looking in the water for our anchor and chain. Having found it in the clear water they dropped their fisherman’s anchor less than 5m from ours and reversed to shore. Now you might wonder what the problem is with this as he hasn’t snagged us or crossed our chain….. A fishermans anchor has two flukes, one which sticks in the seabed, the other sticks up in the air. We were free swinging, the wind was from every direction. It didn’t take much for us to imagine our chain wrapped around that sticky up fluke as we span in the wind. We waited a while in the hope they were just here for a swim, then picked up and moved to a new spot. Better for our peace of mind.


No wind again the next day despite a forecast on one site of north going west. Of the several weather sites we looked at, none could agree. We headed off early just in case west winds did arrive and were away by 7:30am. The sea was pretty flat with a handful of yachts heading in each direction. We came upon what looked like a fish farm in open sea and thought it an odd place to put a farm. As we got closer we realised it was a fish farm pen being towed very slowly by a big tug.

Arriving just before midday we eased our way between anchored boats and found a sandy spot in 4.5m. It was reasonably busy with different sized gullets tied back and free swinging but most of those had left by the afternoon.

An impressive place to be anchored

Temperatures were increasing and it was a sweltering walk around the ruins of Knidos (10TL per person for entry). The site seemed in need of a bit of love; paths were overgrown, signs had faded away and areas were roped off due to collapse. It was still an interesting place for a wander, a huge site which we tried to explore a bit off the main paths but eventually got beaten back by the spiky, scratchy foliage.

The ruins of ancient Knidos

Colin reckoned this was ye anciente loo with a view

Colin is a statue

Looking towards the lighthouse

Sailing Info

21st June: Ornhaniye to Birecik, 6nm travelled.
Anchored in mud in 16m in position 36 46.81’N 28 02.64’E

22nd June: Birecik to Datca, 19nm travelled.
Anchored in sand in 8m in position 36 43.226’N 27 41.349’E

24th June: Datca to Kargi Koyu, 3nm travelled.
Anchored in sand in 7m in position 36 42.148’N 27 40.767’E

25th June: Kargi Koyu to Knidos, 19nm travelled
Anchored in sand in 4.5m in position 36 41.027’N 27 22.48’E