Visiting Kos, Greece and then on to Turkey - October 3-October 7, 2019


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Europe » Greece » South Aegean » Kos
October 7th 2019
Published: March 24th 2020
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As we had been anchoring out quite a few nights in a row and our next stop was going to be the last one in Greece before heading to Turkey we thought we’d book into the marina in Kos. We made contact with them to make a reservation and found out that we could stay at the marina on Thursday night, and would have to move out the next day as they fill up with the bareboat charter boats that return after being on their week’s vacation. With what we were seeing in weather predictions we figured we might have to stay a few days. We wondered if it was worth going to the marina, but decided that it would be nice to get a “Hollywood” shower and get a chance to wash the boat down.

The marina in Kos is quite large and was definitely busy. Bob got busy hooking up the hose to wash down the boat while I got the boat documents together to register at the office. Once those tasks were done we decided to walk into town. The marina is a little ways from the central part of town, but we could take a very
On Our Way to the Island of KosOn Our Way to the Island of KosOn Our Way to the Island of Kos

The Greek stone flag is at a military site
pleasant stroll along the water’s edge to get there. It is definitely geared for tourists with plenty of choices of restaurants with a staff member greeting everyone that walked by trying to tempt you to dine with them. Looks like we have plenty of places to choose from when we do decide to eat, however, we are getting to the point where so many of the menus look the same, we were getting to the point that we wanted something a little different. We will see… Yes, we actually found a Chinese restaurant so tried that for a change of cuisine. It did seem strange to be sitting in Greece eating Chinese, but it was a welcome change of menu.

When you get into the main part of town there are plenty of boats with numerous options of tours that you can take –everything from “pirate ships to fishing boats and even what they call a yellow submarine (however, I wouldn’t count on it submerging!) There are also numerous two or three mast sailboats that we have seen plying the waters here called a gulet. They are traditional boats of Turkey but are now used widely in the Med
Standing in Greece, Looking Over at TurkeyStanding in Greece, Looking Over at TurkeyStanding in Greece, Looking Over at Turkey

yes, these two countries are quite close in places
for tourists. It is rare to see them actually sailing, but instead seem to motor around with plenty of tourists onboard.

The next day we had to move out of the marina and were told it needed to be done by noon. We decided to actually leave earlier as the winds were picking up and they weren’t going to be getting any better, in fact they were going to get stronger. We moved out of the marina and put an anchor down in the bay just outside the marina. We hoped we would get some protection from the marina break wall, but nothing seemed to help. We had winds up to 22 knots which we have definitely had before, but combine that will 4-5 feet in surge mixed in with the waves and it was sure making it uncomfortable. When the boat rocks from bow to stern, that isn’t that uncomfortable, but definitely not as nice when it rocks from side to side which it was doing instead as we were being hit broadside. It is times like this that we are both very lucky that we are not susceptible to getting seasick. We found it the most comfortable to either be sitting or lying down in the salon as it is the closest to the center of the boat. Neither of us got much done except napping when we could and some reading. We just made a salad for dinner as neither of us felt like standing (or being strapped in) at the stove tonight. What a difference from the last couple of anchorages we were in! At least having nights like these just reassures us again that we can handle it and better yet that the anchor holds well! With the seas being the way they were we decided to stay on the boat all day as we didn’t want to lower the dinghy and motor in these conditions and there wasn’t a real strong reason for us to go to shore (except to get away from the rocking!) We still aren’t quite sure how people think that babies would like to be rocked from side to side – we definitely don’t like it at all!!

As mentioned we had to move out of the marina due to all of the bareboat charters returning on Friday. With being out of the marina it definitely gave us plenty of “entertainment” as we watched the large number of boats trying to get into the marina, all around the same time. It turned into quite a circus with up to 20 boats at a time trying to all get in to the marina. They were told they had to go in one by one to allow the marina staff time to help them with arriving at the dock. This meant that they had to go around in circles dealing with the waves, surge and wind and a number of other boats doing the same “dance”. As some of these were with people at the helm that weren’t all that familiar with their boats (even after a week onboard) it was something we decided we’d stay up in the cockpit to watch. Many were trying to get in close to shore and were even going around us. A couple got quite close and we wanted to be sure we didn’t have any surprises of a “bump”. As it was taking quite a bit of time for boats to head in, a couple decided to put an anchor down near us which would have been a good idea if they didn’t drag (which they did!) Fortunately they recognized it and moved farther away. Luckily we all made it though that without any accidents occurring (as far as we know as not sure if there were any in the marina itself).

By the next morning the wind had changed direction and as a result we were sitting a little closer than we would like to the marina entrance as we had put out quite a bit of chain. We also wanted to tuck in a little closer to shore due to the wind direction for today so about 7AM we pulled up anchor and moved. It sometimes is hard to move in an anchorage when you already know you have a really good “hook”, but it was important to move away from the marina entrance. Fortunately the wind, waves and surge had settled down so it wasn’t a problem with moving. Once we felt comfortable with having a good hook, we put the dinghy in the water and treated ourselves to having breakfast out. We haven’t done that in a while and we were definitely both ready to get off the boat after yesterday.

We aren’t quite sure why but we found on many of the menus posted in front of the restaurants here make special reference to the Netherlands – either with “Dutch pancakes” or other references to the Netherlands. We also noticed very quickly that there are separate bike paths all around town here in Kos and large groups of people using them. The bikes are of a similar type found in the Netherlands – tall and ones that you sit up very straight on. Many of the tour group signs are also translated into Dutch which we have not seen in other places – just an interesting observation that we don’t have an answer for. If anyone else knows, please let us know what the connection might be with the Dutch here in Kos.

As in many places we have visited there is a long history so plenty to learn. The city of Kos was started in 365BC, however, it was a result of earlier communities coming together to settle this city at the end of the island of Kos. Yes, it is a little confusing but both the island and the city are named Kos.

We decided to explore the Casa Romana, a Roman villa from the late 2nd C. AD. It was a home built on top of an earlier one which had an extensive drainage system which can still be viewed today. The home had 36 rooms and 3 atriums with numerous magnificent mosaics on the floors which can still be seen today. We enjoyed our tour of the home and were pleased that they included an informative audio guide with the price of admission.

We also took time to wander around the ancient agora which was one of the largest commercial and social centers in Greece in the 4th C. BC. We learned that there had been 16 buildings here but unfortunately over the centuries and with numerous earthquakes much had been destroyed, but you could still get an idea of what it might have been like.

We visited the Archeological Museum which we would recommend visiting as it holds a wide display of artifacts including pottery, jewelry, statutes, household items and many items used for medical purposes. With this being the birthplace of Hippocrates, there was a concentration of items in this later area. Fortunately the signage was excellent and very informative.

In looking at the weather
The Surge Made All at Anchor UncomfortableThe Surge Made All at Anchor UncomfortableThe Surge Made All at Anchor Uncomfortable

with plenty of rocking back and forth
it appeared that we would be able to leave the next morning so while onshore we also had to do our official check out of Greece. It took a little bit to find the right place to go as it had moved recently and some didn’t seem to understand what we were asking, but eventually we made it to the commercial ferry port and got our paperwork done very efficiently. We now had the paperwork to leave Greece (and thus the EU) and head to Turkey in the morning.

Neither night at this anchorage was a comfortable one, but fortunately we did have a good hook in a sandy bottom. It worked out fine for a couple of days but we were now more than ready to get moving again.

The next stop was Datka, Turkey. We knew the weather wasn’t going to be perfect as the seas still were 4-6’ but it seemed to be a good enough window of opportunity to go. We had to officially check into Turkey and to do so the suggestion is to work through an agent. In doing our research and being in touch with others, we decided to pick Datka
While at Anchor the Loads of Charter Boats ArrivedWhile at Anchor the Loads of Charter Boats ArrivedWhile at Anchor the Loads of Charter Boats Arrived

and had to circle in heavy winds to get into marina
as our port of entry. We had made arrangements before hand with an agent and we were ready with all the paperwork needed. It is times like these that we are so thankful for the ability to communicate electronically to make arrangements with the next country you are going to enter. Also glad we have a printer on board which we can use to scan documents. This is one piece of equipment that we would always highly recommend liveaboards have as it really comes in handy.

We left Kos at 7AM and by 1:30PM we were putting our anchor down in the bay in Datka. We lowered our dinghy and went to shore where the agent met us and took us to start the paperwork. When you hire an agent they actually take the paperwork around to the various offices so we could then take the time to wander around and see a little bit of town. Unfortunately by the time we got to shore and were given the go ahead to wander most of the restaurants were closed. We had hoped to have lunch but most places close between the mid-day meal and dinner so we were struggling to find a place. Finally we finally a place open, but believe it or not it was a place that didn’t have much on the menu except pasta. So much for our first taste of the Turkish cuisine. At least it filled us up and it killed some time while we waited for the paperwork to be completed. Once we had that in hand the afternoon was over and we headed back to the boat as we wanted to get a good night sleep after having 2 rough nights in Kos. We wanted to get an early (very early) start to head to our winter location in Fethiye.

Finally the next morning, on October 7 we pulled out of the Datka harbor at 12:45AM (as I said it was going to be an early start!). Fortunately the harbor is an open one so there was no difficulty in leaving in the middle of the night. We did this in order to get to our destination during the day early enough to have staff and the office open for our arrival. For our last sail of the season the wind cooperated nicely and we enjoyed our sail along the beautiful shore of Turkey. The mountains here are such a contrast to what we have been seeing and were striking. We are looking forward to having a chance to explore this country more.

In researching where we were going to leave Tsamaya for the winter, there were numerous places suggested. We were quite torn in making our decision as there were so many variables to consider – price, location, number of possible liveaboards, closeness to town to walk for groceries, ability to grab public transportation and size of marina. We finalized on Yacht Classic Marina in Fethiye which is actually attached to a hotel (Yacht Classic). We hope we made the right decision, time will tell.

We were informed where we would settle in and had excellent help at the dock – a good start. Typically soon after arriving you take your boat papers and passport to the office to check in, but here, they didn’t seem too concerned and said we could take time to settle in and even do it the next day. As we had sent quite a bit of paperwork ahead when we first booked for the winter, guess it wasn’t a problem.

One major plus with being attached to a hotel is that we have complete access to the facilities which includes a couple of swimming pools and a great restaurant. As our last swim in the water was on October 2nd when we were in the last anchorage before arriving in Kos, we were anxious to get back in the water again. It really is great to think that we are still swimming in October!

As Turkey has its own currency, we did decide that the first order of business when we arrived was to find an ATM to get some Turkish lira. This was good as it was a great excuse to walk into town and start getting oriented. The marina is not in the center of town, but is a pleasant o walk so it was great to stretch our legs and have a first check around to see what is available here.

There is a very large marina next to where we are staying which we can see brings in lots of foreigners and as such there are plenty restaurants along the waterfront and numerous stores to choose from. At first glance it looks like Fethiye will work out well as a base for us.

It has been quite a long journey this year, starting from Tunisia and ending in Turkey. We added up our mileage and realized we traveled 2,500 nautical miles (2,877 miles) from May through the first part of October. We have been in 8 countries this season, met many wonderful people and made lots of friends. The changes in scenery have been wonderful, the food has been enjoyable to try, we have learned so much history that we never knew, and are thankful that we are still able to physically still explore this portion of the world by sailboat. We really have been fortunate to have this ability to explore and enjoy our retirement in this way.


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