Our Travels Between Fethiye and Marmaris, Turkey Oct 8 - Oct 12, 2021


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Middle East » Turkey » Aegean » Marmaris
October 14th 2021
Published: October 20th 2021
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Yes, as Tsamaya is a sailboat, we were finally able to leave Fethiye and head toward her winter home f which will be at the Marmaris Yacht Marina. It isn’t that far away, but we decided with the weather forecast we could take a few days more in order to have a chance to anchor out and do a little exploring as well. We not only wanted to enjoy the pleasure of being on anchor for a few days, but with having new batteries Bob also wanted to check out how things were working while away from shore power for a few days.

It turned out to be a great first day away from Fethiye, although we could have used a little more wind. We were able to get a sail out which was a great feeling, even if we didn’t get the full use of our sails. Fortunately, we found out quickly that we seemed to remember what needed to be done and which lines to pull to put the sail out as well as take it in – a good sign!

On our way to our first anchorage, we got a chance to see a dolphin –
One of Many Gulets That Leave from FethiyeOne of Many Gulets That Leave from FethiyeOne of Many Gulets That Leave from Fethiye

now seeing them from the water & not the dock
we always take this as a good omen! We had hoped it would come a little closer to us, but seemed as if the dolphin had a destination in mind and didn’t want to detour to check us out – oh well, we still had a good look as it went by.

The anchorage Bob picked was a nice one – a narrow and deep bay called Kucul Kuyruk, giving us plenty of protection in case the winds piped up later. We typically like to swing at anchor, but the center of the bay was quite deep and there were already a couple of boats there that had tied lines ashore from the stern, so figured we better do the same. It is definitely not our preferred way to anchor, but decided we better give it a go – the first for this season! For those of you that are not familiar with the concept, you put your anchor at the bow, back up toward shore and then one of you (Bob in our case) jumps in the water and swims to shore with a line tied to the stern of the boat. He then has to scramble around on the rocks on shore to find appropriate rocks to tie the line to. Thankfully Bob is still part “mountain goat” and seems to be able to do this pretty well, even though I still get nervous watching him do it! Probably the most dangerous part of this process is going to shore, avoiding the spiny urchins, climbing over slippery rocks and getting back to the boat in one piece. Unfortunately, this time Bob did have a little bit of a run in with some rocks as the water was so clear he took a step thinking he would be on top of a rock, but it was deeper and he slipped down causing him to scrape his leg up some. As he said when he returned to the boat, salt water doesn’t feel that great on an open cut! We originally thought we would only stay the one night, but the wind was supposed to turn around and blow from the wrong direction the next day, so decided another night here would be good. A few more boats arrived that evening as well as the next day. In talking to some of our neighbors and watching them, it appears
Yes, We Know We Need New ChainYes, We Know We Need New ChainYes, We Know We Need New Chain

this shows how much rust we do have on it!
that many put a 2nd line out from the stern to shore, so we did the same. Bob got the 2nd line in place, but for some reason we seemed to be pretty close to the rocky shore which wasn’t the most comfortable place to be. At first, we wondered if our anchor was dragging, but that didn’t seem to be the case. After some time, it really was un-nerving so one of the boats next to us offered to help with our stern lines if we decided to re-anchor. We did re-anchor, got the 2 lines run ashore again, and when all was said and done, it didn’t seem like it improved the situation at all. We were just getting to think we just have to put up with being nervous and being that close to the rocks. After some time, another sailor from another boat nearby that we had been talking to, made a great suggestion in figuring that we had more than enough anchor chain out that we could pull in a few meters which would take us farther away from the rocks. Bob had been thinking of doing that but we weren’t sure as our anchor
Here You Put Down An Anchor ANDHere You Put Down An Anchor ANDHere You Put Down An Anchor AND

run two lines to shore - the red ones are ours
rode ratio was not as much as we normally would have done if we were swinging on anchor. We took his advice, brought in some anchor chain, and it worked out perfectly. Now we will know for the next time as we have only tried this type of anchoring a couple of times before. We try, if possible, to avoid it, but with more boats around, sometimes that isn’t possible.

After two nights at the same anchorage, the next morning we took off about 7AM to head to our next anchorage. We knew it wasn’t far, but we had heard that we could line up a boat trip up a nearby river to visit the ancient city of Caunos and wanted to try to do that. The closest place to line that up was to anchor in Ekincik Limani which is where we were headed. It turned out to be a great place to anchor. The best part was it is a huge bay so there was plenty of room to swing at anchor and the water was only about 22 feet deep – perfect! We had expected to have quite a few tour boats come around the boat to check to see if we would be interested in going on a trip, but unfortunately that wasn’t happening. We have a dinghy but it is on our deck and we really didn’t want to take it off if we didn’t have to as we would want it on deck when we head into Marmaris. Fortunately, with a little research I found a phone number to call one of the tour operators and was able to make arrangements for the boat ride to visit Caunos, see the Rock Tombs and stop in the village of Daylan in time for lunch. As there wasn’t anyone else booking, we were able to book the whole boat for ourselves -it cost a little more but it turned out to be good as we could determine how long we stopped at various places. It is possible to include a stop at a turtle nesting site (however, this is not the time of year that they nest), a place to stop for a mud bath (not really interested in that) and a place that they harvest blue crabs to learn about and buy (we weren’t interested in that either) but we opted out of all
Yes, That Boat is "The Ice Cream Man"Yes, That Boat is "The Ice Cream Man"Yes, That Boat is "The Ice Cream Man"

going around to all the boats selling - a nice treat!
of those in order to give us more time than normal at Caunos and in the village so we could stop for lunch. Another benefit was that the boat would pick us up right at our boat so didn’t have to go to shore and keep our dinghy on deck.

The ride over to the river from our bay was a pleasant and calm one, but by the afternoon when we returned, the winds had picked up and the seas were quite rough. The captain of the boat did an excellent job of managing to handle the boat and “work the waves” to make it as pleasant a ride back as possible. I think he was quite happy to know that we were sailors and at least used to rocking around some at sea!

The entrance to the river has been filled in quite a bit creating quite a challenge depending on the tide in maneuvering the boat around the shallow areas. Again, he did an excellent job and we were glad he was at the helm and not us. The river is very winding through tall grasses and is busy with plenty of boats filled with tourists. We were surprised as there weren’t many leaving from our anchorage. We found out that the boats we were seeing had started at the other end in Daylan and were bringing people down to the beach that was created by the sandbar at the entrance of the river.

The turtle sanctuary is located near the sandbar/beach but we did not stop. We had been told that the nesting season is in July and that there wouldn’t be any turtles around to see. The loggerhead and leatherback turtles next here. We continued on our trip weaving back and forth around quite the hairpin turns of the river until we got to the ancient village of Caunos.

The history of Caunos dates back to the 10th C. BC and as a result has quite an interesting history over the years. It had been set up as sea port, but over the years with the river silting in, it now is located 8 kilometers (almost 5 miles) from the sea. Caunos had two ports originally, but by 200 BC one of the ports had silted in causing it to lose its importance as a port. With the loss of power as
Catching the Sunrise at the AnchorageCatching the Sunrise at the AnchorageCatching the Sunrise at the Anchorage

after our first night on "hook"
a port and finally a malaria outbreak in the 15th C. it was the end of the city of Caunos. Over the years it had been under Persian control, then the Greeks, and then the Persians again. During this time the Temples to Greek deities and the agora was established. In 129 BC the Romans took control of the area. The area flourished as a seaport under Roman rule and the Roman baths were established, the amphitheatre was enlarged and new temples were created. The area was invaded extensively in the 13th C. AD which caused them to fortify their acropolis on the hill with walls giving it more of a medieval look which you can see from quite a distance when approaching. In the 15th C. the Turks captured the area, the seaport started to decline and an outbreak of malaria caused Caunos to be abandoned. An earthquake caused a large amount of damage to the ancient city and it was later covered by sand and heavy vegetation. Fortunately, in 1842 an English archeologist visited the area and it was brought to light again thankfully.

The ruins cover a very large area and unfortunately, we did not have enough time to cover it all. The captain had originally told us we would stop for an hour but said we could take a little longer. As a result, we stayed 90 minutes to be able to get to a few more of the areas that have been uncovered. It was well worth the 17.50 TL entrance fee (1.87) each!

We continued our boat trip up the river which went through high grasses and twisted and turned for quite a distance. We went past another place that we could have stopped – one that farmed blue crab where you could learn how it is done and purchase some. We decided to bypass it in order to have more time to see the Rock Tombs and stop for lunch in Daylan.

The Rock Tombs are similar to the ones that we had seen previously in Fethiye, but much more numerous. They are carved from the limestone cliffs and were in a variety of styles and sizes. The tombs have been dated to be from the 4th C. BC. Thankfully with my camera and zoom lens we were able to pick up some of the amazing details carved into the
Waking Up to the Sunrise so We Can LeaveWaking Up to the Sunrise so We Can LeaveWaking Up to the Sunrise so We Can Leave

and move on to the next anchorage
tomb entrances. One in particular has 2 lions facing each other and others have detailed columns. Fortunately, we had some time to sit in the boat at a nice viewing area to get a better look at the tombs. Some of these tombs are quite small and we learned later that there is even a different type which are cut downward into the rock and have a rock lid. We were told that there are approximately 105 tombs in this area alone.

The village of Daylan was as far as we were going, though we did find out that we could have made arrangements to go further up to a large lake. Instead, we got out in the village and found it was one of the most touristy we have seen in quite some time. The riverfront here is lined with boats similar to the one we were on offering rides down the river to the beach, to the mud baths, the turtle nesting area and to go to Caunos. Every other shop here seemed to be offering souvenirs, selling t-shirts or was a restaurant or hotel. Fortunately for us we were able to find a bakery in order to buy bread to take back to the boat and then headed to a restaurant for lunch before our return trip. The meal was more expensive than most we have had since being in Turkey, but still reasonable for what we had.

The return trip was a pleasant and calm one until we reached the mouth of the river. The wind had definitely picked up and we could see whitecaps in the bay that we had to cross to get back to our anchorage. Fortunately, the captain of our boat knew what he was doing and worked it so that he used the direction of the waves to try to minimize the rocking back and forth (as well as splashes over the bow that did occur some). Quite a different ride back to Tsamaya, but it was nice to be on a boat for a while where we had no responsibility except to be a passenger!

The following morning, we knew that this move would be the last of the season as it was to take us to Marmaris. We were promised some wind, but unfortunately it never materialized! Every sailboat we saw were in the same situation
Views of Our 2nd Anchorage in EkincikViews of Our 2nd Anchorage in EkincikViews of Our 2nd Anchorage in Ekincik

where we decided to stay two nights
– moving with the motor only. It was a shame for our last day of the season, but we were pleased that we got to port when we did as shortly afterwards, the skies opened up and we got quite the winds.

As we were coming into the bay at Marmaris, it really hit how widespread the forest fires were in this area this year. We of course had been keeping tabs on the news of the fires in this area while we were still in the US, but to see the number of hills that were completely bare of trees and the blackness still showing on the hills. We also could see the luck some of the places had that were surrounded by trees but were still standing. We talked to people that were here in Marmaris when the fires were ongoing, and were told how hot it was here as well as how difficult it was to breath with the amount of smoke in the area. As we have not seen the results of wildfires like these before, it was amazing to see how haphazard the damage appears to be on the hills here with some completely burnt and others still lush and green.

We were lucky to come to a place where we already knew a couple that were here with their boat – well, we didn’t personally know them, but had been communicating with them electronically. Dawn and Joe from SV Pixie Dust met us as soon as we arrived at the pump out station. Always great to have people here as a resource. We also met Ingrid, the person that we had been told about from other cruisers that can help oversee projects and assist with lining up technicians. She had already been helpful to us while in Fethiye with finding someone to replace our batteries. She told us to call here about 10 minutes before our ETA for the marina so she could meet us when we arrived. Sure was nice to have others here to help us get oriented to a new place. This is not usual for us.

Once we got settled into our location on Foxtrot 13 (that is always such a lucky number for us!) Ingrid told us that we could grab lunch at the building straight in line with our dock. We took her up on that idea and quickly found out that the commissary is for the employees, but everyone can eat there. We found that they serve all 3 meals a day. We have been telling you how inexpensive our meals have been – this one took the cake! It was a lunch of rice, beans, yogurt with cucumber and a dessert all for the outlandish price of $2.15. It was basic, but had a very nice flavor so use their seasoning well. Later on, we found out that they publish the menu for the week so can take advantage of these offerings again. As this is definitely a working boatyard, it makes it easy for the employees as well as all the cruisers and boat owners that are here working on their boats.



Even though our time on the water was short this season, it was great to have time to anchor out, explore a historic site in the area, and get to our winter destination. We know that we could continue to sail a little longer in the season, but with wanting to line up work to be done on the boat, and have time to get in some exploring of Turkey, we decided it was time to stop moving this year and get ready for next season.


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