Keçi Bükü

Ruins of fort at Keçi Bükü
Ruins of fort at Keçi Bükü

We left at Sunday morning for a sail to Keçi Bükü, a bay at the head of the Gulf of Hisaronu. Two kilometers inland from here is the small village of Orhaniye. The forecast called for southeasterly winds lasting only 18 hours or so, and we were determined to make use of them for heading to the northwest up the Turkish coast.
We left the marina on Saturday afternoon and anchored out in the adjacent bay. There, we set both downwind poles, installed jacklines, and made other preparations for a nighttime sail. After a couple of hours of sleep, we left at 1 am for our passage. We motored for 4 hours or so in light northwesterlies until the southeasterlies came in. When they did, we set our big (150 %) genoa on a pole and our mizzen on a preventer and had a great sail. Our route took us right in front of the harbor or Rhodes. Unbeknowst to us, a wooden sail boat carrying Syrian migrants crashed onto the rocks of Rhodes sometime that day, with the tragic loss of three lives.
The Rhodes harbor used to have one of the “Seven Wonders of the World” ,the Colossus of Rhodes, a 35 meter tall statue, as a landmark for ships. It was toppled by an earthquake in 227 BC. What a sight it must have been for sailors of the time. Now there are a couple of poles with flashing lights to mark the harbor entrance. Not quite the same effect esthetically, but still effective from a navigational point of view.
We were doing over 9 knots in strong winds when Laura was at the helm. We did only 7.5 to 8 knots when I was at the helm. Something about Laura brings out the wind and gets the boat going. When we started to bring in sail to turn up into the Gulf of Hisaronu, the turning block on the fore guy that holds the downwind pole in place completely blew apart, flinging bearings into the sea. We did not need the pole anymore to head up into the gulf and we have a spare onboard, but it was a beefy bit of boat hardware that was bent and destroyed by the force of the wind.
We are anchored behind a small island topped by a medieval fort but have not left the boat in the three days since we arrived. It is blowing so hard (from the northwest) that we are just hunkered down until it blows itself out a bit. Fortunately, we have plenty of food and reading material aboard, so we are happy. But we would like to stretch our legs and search for fresh fruit.

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