Marmaris - Bozburun - Selimye
As August turned to September and we moved slowly north, the fall in temperature was quick and noticeable. Having got used to days at 36ºC and warm nights of 29ºC (plus sea temperatures over 30ºC), it was a surprise to suddenly have days of 29ºC and nights at 22ºC. But with water temperatures down below 27ºC, Kate almost refused to go swimming!
Four go sailing in Turkey (but not very much)
In Selimye we met up with Derek and Jane to sail together, but it looks like we only travelled 12 miles in a week so whatever we were doing, it wasn't travelling! We had lots of fun catching up, messing about in boats, eating each others food and sharing an occasional bottle of vino. All too soon it was goodbye as Stroller headed south and Freedom cast off to adventure north.
The Gulf of Gokova: Cokertme - English Harbour - Castle Island
We had a couple of weeks visiting lovely anchorages, wandering Turkish villages and taking life easy. The only down side was the strong westerly wind in the east-west gulf. It pushed us in with no problem but it
was a wet battle to motor the 50 miles back out a couple of weeks later. On Castle Island is Cleopatra's beach, so called because she is rumoured to have imported the sand from Egypt for Mark Anthony. You used to be able to go onto the beach but it is now protected - by concrete blocks, weathered wooden posts and a bit of old rope - so it's not very pretty any more.
Our last anchorage in Turkey was in a near gale at Gumusluk. As the wind blew up, chaos erupted around us as one boat after another discovered they had not dug their anchor in successfully. While Kate held the fort onboard, Andy whizzed from boat to boat in the dinghy helping them solve their problems. It would be nice to say that there was no damage caused, but we saw 2 boats bashed and scraped caused by the incompetence of others. We were so glad Freedom was far enough away not to become involved.
Visiting Kos was very exciting for all the wrong reasons - they have great supermarkets and a McDonald's. It's a lovely place to be as well, mooring up
stern to the old crusader castle and zipping around town on their numerous cycle lanes. We were back in Greece so Greek salads and take-away gyros-pita were high on the agenda too. We would also like to report that the standard light, soft Turkish bread loaf is much nicer than the heavy, cakey Greek equivalent. We got chatting to Brian and his family from Santa Barbara who invited us on board their catamaran for drinks. They were taking a 12 months off to travel because their son David was a year ahead at school - fabulous young man (and Andy is extremely jealous that he can free-dive to 12 metres and he must only be 12 or 13 years old!).
Kalimnos - Pserimos - Leros - Patmos - Leros
We carried on north through the islands and enjoyed the last of the good weather, even though it was getting cold at night - we had to dig out warm tops and socks. For the last few weeks sailing it started to feel a bit like last year, hiding away from the wind and waiting for an opportunity to move on. (When we did move though, we had some
wonderful sailing days.) This meant that we spent some time in Leros and in Patmos exploring the islands. In Patmos we achieved a spectacular double - we ran out of water and gas on the same day! Within a few hours we had water from the “water truck” but it took us almost a day of searching to confirm there were no gas bottles our size on the whole island. After 24 hours without we bought a little camping stove and had a very welcome cup of tea. It was a few days later in Leros that we finally got the gas and could have our toast for breakfast.
So we are now on the island of Leros and today, Saturday 16th October, Freedom is hauled out and once we've put the cover on we will have ticked off all the jobs on our almost endless list. We're very happy with the marina at Leros. The yard is tucked under a vertical cliff and seems protected from the winds. This afternoon we wave goodbye to Freedom, left to rest on a steel cradle until next summer, and take a taxi over to Alinda on the other side of the
island where we have rented an apartment for 3 nights before we fly off to Blackpool..........
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