Didium and Datcha

Rob and Jacky Black
Mon 10 May 2010 19:49
37 20.1N 27 15.6E
The cocktail party at Kusidasi was super - held round the swimming pool with high tables beautifully decorated and laid out with a variety
of canapés. Later hot snacks were available too and of course there was plenty to drink. The party was not just for EMYR participants but also for
berth holders and other guests of the Marina management so all together around 150 people. There was a live violinist who played beautifully and in between her sessions
a good selection of back ground music was provided. We were introduced to Caglar the marina manager and it was
agreed he would arrive at our boat the following morning for a 0630 start. (Poor chap didn't get away from the marina until 0130 so he was a bit exhausted
when he finally arrived on board around 0645.
There wasn't much wind to start with (as usual) but we did manage some sailing later in the day and even had to put in a reef before arriving at Didium. It was interesting to chat to
Caglar and hear more about Turkish culture and family life.
This marina is very new and the facilities were lovely almost 10 out of 10 for the showers - but no hairdryers so only 9.5! Unfortunately there were no washing
machines in the 'laundry' as yet but a large sink for hand washing was useful.
We had a morning tour to see the ancient temple of Apollo  begun in the 6th century BC destroyed by the Persians, rebuilt in the 4th Century BC and extended but never
finished under the sponsorship of Alexander the Great. It was an amazing place and must have been incredible when it was whole! The intricate engravings on the marble
surrounds were still there for all to see despite the ravages of 3000 years. In addition we also visited the important remains of the city of Miletus which was the commercial and
centre of government from around 700 BC until 700 AD. The Amphitheatre is still in very good condition nothing like as large as the one at Ephesus but none -the-less impressive.
On the way back from the visit we stopped in modern Didyma town centre to visit the Saturday market which was fantastic. I bought our first Turkish carpet - now on the floor in the after cabin
as well as an abundance of fruit (fresh strawberries and apricots) and vegetables. Saturday night saw us dressed up again for another 'cocktail party' held in the very splendid Yacht Club at the marina. The infinity pool
surrounded by low arm chairs and sofas looked very inviting - but unfortunately we had no time to make use of them. The staff at Didium had prepared an amazing display at the centre
of the buffet - a huge ice-sculpture of a Greek column with two other decorative flowers either side. Set on the floor beneath this was what appeared to be an arrangement of huge sunflowers
but on closer inspection they were made of large oranges with swirls of carrots inserted around the edges and the centres dipped in seeds!
We were pleased to be introduced to Rod Heikell and Lu Mitchell (for those that don't sail Rod writes the Pilot books we all use!) who were at the marina while their boat was lifted out for some
work to be done after returning from New Zealand.
The following morning we were up at dawn and left for the Datca peninsula - the plan being to anchor somewhere overnight ( free choice for skippers) and then sail on up the Hisaronu Korfezi to Mart marina the following day,
on the north side of the Marmaris peninsula. Some boats decided to wait until later in the day and sail overnight straight to Marti as the wind forecast was more favorable. However we opted to go in the early morning and
in hind sight probably should have waited! We had southerly winds of up to 25 knots at times and then periods of calm so a rather frustrating day. Our plan to anchor in a quiet bay with possibly a swim for
me were soon altered as the wind increased and all the possible options became untenable as they offered no shelter from strong southerlies. We had a radio message from the Rally leader David to say he
had secured places for those that wanted at Datca so that is where we headed arriving around 1800.
We were soon moored up next to Twixter (from the USA) and after some chores headed for the restaurant right in front of our moorings. We were later joined by David, Cath and Kim from Mashona and new rally arrivals
Margareet and Bas (from Holland). Enjoyed some good steaks and beers before retiring for a quiet early night.
On Monday morning we were able to have a lie in and then explored the town before leaving in a brisk NW wind for Marti marina. We certainly liked this place and plan to visit again.
The sun was shining the wind varied from 12 - 30 knots and we screamed along with just our genoa out at times touching 8.5 knots! We were rather pleased to overtake the catamaran en route!
By the time we reached our destination the wind was force 6 gusting 7 so I was not looking forward to docking! However we managed o.k. with the help of the marineros despite Rob taking an unexpected 'swim'
off the back of the boat as we approached the pontoon! (he was throwing a line to the marineros and the boat lurched so his body momentum kept going and in he fell!) Fortunately the water temperature is now very warm
25 degrees C. when I checked on the way into the bay so no harm done except some injured pride perhaps!