Nea Marmaras

Rob and Jacky Black
Sat 23 Jul 2011 09:14
40 05.6 N 23 46.9 E
Nea Marmaras Saturday 16th - Friday 22nd July
We motored all the way over a glassy sea and on arrival found there to be no room on the pontoon that was tenable for us.(the next evening we watched Skylax anchor and reverse onto the wave breaker so this can be used as a last resort). We decided to go along side the trip boat quay and find out where else was available - it was quite shallow 2.4 metres at the outer end.
There was a friendly chap in the taverna above this quay and he was able to tell us that the trip boats did not return until mid afternoon so we could stay where we were for a while. In the mean-time we spotted a yacht leaving
so hurriedly let go our lines and were very soon anchored and reversed back onto the pontoon between a large Greek Beneteau and a smaller charter boat ( an older Bavaria that remained un -occupied for all of our stay). Several charter boats seemed to base here but they were not part of a flotilla. Later in the week 3 Neilson boats arrived - they use this port on both their one and two week flotillas. We had to re anchor the following day as the Greek yacht left in the late afternoon when it was blowing a good F5 and they were blown sideways dragging their anchor across ours and picked it up! They spent 30 minutes trying to get it off and only succeeded in drifting downwind across two more anchors and lazy lines taking our anchor with them! A friendly fishing boat came and helped and our anchor was unceremoniously dumped where they were so we did not want to leave it like that. However it was too windy to alter at the time - we launched the dinghy and Rob rowed out to pick up two lazy lines to hold us until the morning. Most boats seem to anchor and use one lazy line - but be warned there are large concrete blocks scattered around the sea bed so look carefully before deploying your anchor! Our friends Steve and June arrived over the weekend as did the French boat Odyssee and later Skylax with Rod Heikell and his partner Lu Mitchell. We had a lovely sociable time here with drinks onboard everyone's boats at various times and  a couple of meals out with June and Steve. June and I also had several coffee stops over the 5 days. We were lucky enough to get some new updates on the Greek Pilot Book which were recently surveyed by Rod and Lu on their journey east from the Ionian this year. We too were able to give them some updated information from our journey into the Sea of Marmara where they were heading for next.
This is a busy tourist town with plenty of shops, supermarkets, butchers etc and of course lots of tavernas etc. We found the laundry  (up a steep hill away from the port and close to two butchers a fish shop another supermarket and a fruit and veg. shop) - had two loads washed and dried for 20 Euros. The larger of the two butchers was excellent and we bought fresh chicken and pork from him and he agreed to freeze this for our collection the day before we left.
The pontoon here has both water and electricity and we were delighted to discover that we didn't have to pay for anything! However this didn't last as the power went off after 3 nights and we were told we would have to pay. It took a while to sort this out and in fact we had already left before June and Steve from Piper got all the details and went to the Town Hall - paid 5 Euros for 4 nights. There was a good market on Thursday morning on the road just above the marina with both fresh produce and the usual clothes shoes and household paraphernalia.
It was very hot while we were in Marmaras and we were able to use our air conditioning unit which was a real treat! I had to sort out my dongle to enable us to have the internet and in the end having made a fruitless trip by bus with June to Nikitas where we were told there was a Wind shop I ended up having to go to Thessaloniki. It took 5 hours to get there and back and I was only able to purchase credit on cards worth 30 Euros ( valid for 1 month) so I took 2 months worth and we will try to be back in Turkey by the time they run out! I have to say that I was not impressed with the Wind customer service and would not recommend using this company as their shops are few and far between and it is not possible to re-new subscriptions over the phone.
We had a final meal out with Piper on Thursday evening to say cheerio and also to help Steve celebrate his birthday which falls next week. It was ad to say cheerio to them as it has been great cruising with them on and off over the last 2 months. We hope we my meet up with them again when they return from the UK in the autumn. We left bright and early on Friday and motored to our next destination a tiny bay set behind the island of Spalathromisia about 5 miles south of Nea Marmaras. We spent a lovely quiet time there swimming and enjoying the peaceful setting after the bustle of the previous port.