Kapi Creek then Marmaris

Another 2 for the price of 1 log entry!

The 18th saw us getting underway early for a change, and after motoring out of the bay we were in sailable winds at last!  We managed about 5 hrs sailing altogether, with the wind being either directly behind us (with a period of goose-winging) or in front, forcing us to beat to windward for a couple of hours.  It was good practice to keep the boat moving in light airs and Red Panda excelled herself as usual.  As we entered Skopea Limani (the bay with Gocek at its head) we changed our minds about the night’s destination as strong east winds were forecast. 

 

Skopea Limani, looking all atmospheric with layers of cloud over the mountains, and a rare sight of a gulet actually sailing!

 

We hadn’t explored the bay very much, despite many recommended anchorages on the east side, so we opted for a really sheltered spot at Kapi Creek (aka Four Fathom Creek).  This is a tiny inlet with perfect all round shelter, somewhat spoilt by being totally crowded with boats taking advantage of the rickety pontoons and mooring lines provided by the restaurant at its head.  We had our 1st experience of bows-to mooring, which was perfectly easy to do, although somewhat less easy to get on & off the boat.  We had a good meal in the restaurant which was pretty crowded with mostly German sailors.

 

The next day (19th) marked 7 months exactly since we left our winter berth at Valencia as well as a return to stormy weather – not seen since the crossing to Sardinia.  Leaving the perfect shelter of the creek we soon found ourselves in quite rough seas and strong winds.  After nearly 2 hours motoring to get out of the bay we were able to sail downwind in exhilarating conditions.  Keeping an eye on the approaching squalls and rising wind speeds we reefed and battened down in time to cope easily with the F7 winds and 3-4m seas – even managing gusts of up to 38kts (F8) at times.  We hoped to get all the way to Marmaris in one long day of 40+ miles, but surfing along at approaching 9kts at times meant we got to the marina in 6.5hrs!

 

So here we are, back in Marmaris and signing off from the log for a while.  We’re getting the boat sorted: anti-foul & polish, sails repaired etc (various jobs not done last winter), which will all take 7-10 days, allowing us to go off exploring some of Turkey’s hinterland.