39:19.630N 26:39.848E

Chris and Alison
Sat 16 Sep 2023 19:00

Well, what an eventful few days. We anchored in Candarli to shelter from the effects of storm Daniel. It was a perfect anchorage for such an event but not if one suddenly wants to get off the boat to find a doctor (yes, I thought I had better try out the Turkish health care system as well this year). The wind did not get up to a F9 thankfully, but we were anchored far enough off the beach to make going ashore in the dinghy very tricky in the wind that we did have. On our arrival, my contact lens in the right eye had been a bit uncomfortable during the day’s sailing so I was glad to get it out of my eye. If it was bad hygiene on my part or something that had been brewing for a while I will not know, but within a short time after taking it out, my eye was very red, inflamed and very painful. To cut a long story short, I needed to see a doctor as my sight was now affected to the extent I couldn’t see to read or make out detail. 
We managed to get me ashore and while Chris stayed with Muskrat, because of the strong winds, I made my way to the nearest hospital. What a shock after the wonderful care in Greece. The hospital was dirty, the (I think) doctor, did not examine my eye, I was not asked for the history of my complaint and was not at all concerned that I said I couldn’t see out of my eye. I was given a prescription for some artificial tears and some, what looked like, herbal drops, much less effective than the Chloramphenical eye ointment that I had been using up to now. By now I was getting very concerned about my eyesight. 
Thankfully, after emails back and forth to my family (doctors) I was advised of the medication I should be trying to get and was strongly advised to try to see the doctor again and get the prescription I needed.
As the strong winds were abating, we decided to sail to the town where the hospital was instead of having to get a taxi. We had wanted to get to Dikili anyway to visit the ancient site of Pergamum so off we set in fairly strong winds to start with. The harbour, we had been advised, would be busy but the locals friendly and willing to fit you in as best they can. We arrived to find the harbour packed to the brim with trawlers and fishing boats of all shapes and sizes and rafted out 3 deep across the entrance. Chris was determined to get in somehow, so slowly entered the harbour. It was VERY shallow and VERY full, what we didn’t see as we went in was all the mooring lines right across the harbour from one side to the other only just under the surface. After getting into the harbour we now had to get out without getting a line around our prop or the keel and without going aground. No one came to our assistance, even when one of the lines got under the keel. How Chris managed to reverse out without us getting tangled up in the lines we shall not know but we slowly reversed out of the harbour with the coastguard and trawler skippers looking on in amusement. No photos unfortunately - we were rather busy.

I still had to get to see a doctor but unfortunately there were no anchorages between Candarli and Dikili so we had to make the decision to sail back to Candarli so I could get a taxi back to the hospital in Dikili.

Back in Candarli anchorage, I went ashore again. 
We had been told by a fellow sailor, earlier this year, that you could get antibiotics at local pharmacies in Türkiye without a prescription. I was not convinced about this but decided to try it before getting the taxi back to the horrid hospital again. Sure enough, I asked for what I wanted and the pharmacist gave it to me, no questions asked, no prescribing advice. 

It has now been 4 days on the antibiotic drops, my eyesight has improved and the pain has gone, I am hopeful that I will not have any permanent damage, but we will have to wait and see. I have ditched the contact lenses for good.

So instead of Dikili we are now in Ayvalik Lake, a group of islands that form an inland lake, very attractive and very sheltered. We will visit Pergamum from here although it is a bit further to travel to than if we had been able to stop at Dikili. This is the furthest west we will go in Türkiye, from here we will go back to Greece at the end of September.

View of Ayvalik lakes over Alibey

Narrow streets in Alibey, they still ride motorcycles and cars through.

Chris with Ayvalik lake in the background
Sent from my iPad

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