We left Yacht Marina in Yalancı Boğaz near Marmaris on April 26 heading southeast to explore the east Aegean coast as far as Kekova. Our first stop was Ekincik where we tied to a restaurant quay on a beautiful bay. There are great views from the restaurant but it did not open for the season until the night after our deprture so we were unable to sample the food.
A line became tangled in the bowthruster prop as we backed down to the quay at Ekincik and was ripped off when I used the bowthruster. I put on my thick wet suit (the water is quite cool) to see if I could find the prop on the bottom, but it fell into thick sea grass and was lost. Fortunately, we had a spare prop. It took me 90 minutes with a snorkel and fins to replace the prop under the boat. Now I am very wary of the bow lines that come off of almost all the docks in Turkey and lead to an underwater mooring chain.
“Stroemhella”, with Wendi and David aboard, was the only other boat at the dock. As soon as I had the new prop in place, we arranged for a tour of the ancient city of Caunos the next day. Based upon a recommendation, we booked Abidin Kurt as our guide. He came the next morning on a large river boat with captain to take us up the Dalyan River to ancient Caunus. The city was founded before 500 BC and was a Lycian-Greek-Roman-Byzantine port during its thousand years of existence, until the port silted up. Abidin, who comes from Dalyan village near to the ruins of Caunos, was an excellent and enthusiastic guide. We also viewed the Lycian rock tombs on the river and stopped for lunch in Dalyan village.
On April 28, we sailed to the Skopea Linea marine reserve in the Gulf of Fethiye. We were amazed to see snow covered peaks in the distance. It has been a wet spring and apparently it is cold enough at high altitudes for there to be snow even this late in the year. The temperature was in the low 80’s F. on the boat during the day, and around 60 at night.
We spent two nights in the bay of Sarsala Koyu and had a nice lunch ashore at a small beach restaurant where there was only one other customer. In the summer it is supposed to be very crowded in this area but there are very few boats and tourists this early in the year. On April 30 we moved a few mile north in the Gulf of Fethiye to a bay named Boynuz Bükü where we dropped anchor in deep water and took a line ashore to a bollard. Boynuz Bükü winds a bit through steep cliffs like a fjord. We had great views of the snow capped mountains to the east.
Yesterday (May 1) we sailed 12 miles to the city of Fethiye and entered the Fethiye Ece Marina. We needed to get to a town in order to (1) get our internet working again as it had failed inexplicably some days before, (2) order a new bowthruster prop now that we see how easy it is to lose one in these waters, and (3) provision. We will remain here for one week because we really like what we have seen of this town, and also because the weekly rate in the marina was compelling as compared to the daily rate. We went to the fish market where we bought fresh fish and then took it to one of the small restaurants next door where they fileted and prepared it for us. It was a great meal. Next door is the fruit and veggie market, so that pressing need was also satisfied. And a block away is a Turkcell office that got our internet working again. So we got a lot accomplished in one day.