Sunday, 3 June 2012


We departed Kas for Finike at 0700hrs with little wind and motored towards Kekova Roads.  After passing through the entrance we turned to starboard and went past the sunken city.  Compared to when we were here last summer it was very quiet and we were able to take our time without the gulats with their crowds of tourists taking up prime position closest to the shore.  It was then across to Kalekoy where we anchored under the castle and took the dinghy into the small village to find somewhere for lunch.  All very peaceful as not too many boats were at anchor, and the island is not accessible by road.  After lunch the wind had come up a bit and we were able to put up the gennaker and had a good sail for a couple of hours before the wind did the usual and dropped away.  So it was back to the motor and we arrived at Fineke around 1600hrs.  It was a few cocktails in the cockpit (very appropriate) with Sean & Jane from “Happy Hour” and Andre from “Tyna Two” – well probably more than a few, before having a nice quiet night onboard.

The next morning was fine and sunny but a bit breezy, and decided to have a relaxing day.  Walked into town which proved to be very ordinary with nothing much of interest.  After having the obligatory shave and buying some really nice fresh bread from a small bakery we found, it was back to Awatea for lunch.  In the evening everyone was picked up from the marina and driven to a large resort hotel about 15 minutes away for a cocktail party.  It was set in a beautiful garden area with tables dotted around that had some plates of small nibbles.  The beer flowed but we were all disappointed to learn that that was it as far as food went.  The bus back to the marina was not until 2200hrs when the belly dancer had done her thing, and it was a group of hungry sailors by the end of the evening.  Once back onboard it was a snack of scrambled eggs on toast before calling it a night.

We left Finike marina around 0730hrs in heavy rain, with showers continuing on and off most of the way down to Kemer. Fortunately we were able to miss most of them, so did not fare too badly.  The positive was that there was a good steady breeze of around 15 knots which increased to a maximum of 30 knots later.  We had a fantastic sail downwind reaching speeds around 11 knots.  Arrived into Kemer marina around 1330 hrs and had lunch onboard once we had completed berthing.  That evening there were some cocktails hosted by the marina management before a roast lamb dinner onboard – a beautiful boned leg that Robert had brought out along with all the trimmings including mint sauce and loads of roast potatoes. 
Another lazy morning but obviously the word had got around the fleet about our lamb as several folk asked us how it was when they saw us.  We carried out a little maintenance including putting Robert up the mast to fix the radar reflector which had come loose, and some general cleaning.  Lunch was the remainder of the lamb from the night before with some fresh bread and salad.  In the afternoon we walked into the town, which was really nice.  They had a long street with great shops aligning both sides some of which were very upmarket.  The town had a really nice feel about it!  Passing by a patisserie we couldn’t resist the cakes in the window, so it was a French Vanilla Slice and coffees all round – a lovely treat for us all.

That evening it was a formal dinner so it was out with the best bib and tucker (with a few moans from Robert about having to wear long pants – very rare), but we all scrubbed up well and certainly looked the part.  Shaun and Jane hosted cocktails on “Happy Hour” with everyone looking radiant in their gowns and jackets. 

The dinner was really nice and once everyone had eaten we had a flag ceremony.  

All the different countries of the fleet were represented, with Derek holding the New Zealand flag and Robert the Australian flag.  We all then had to give a small speech before parading our flag – good fun! The band from Kas had travelled to Kemer, and the dance floor soon filled up with everyone having a fantastic time. Another great night, albeit another late one.

Unfortunately the late nights socialising doesn’t help with the early starts, and it was off to Alanya at 0515hrs.  We had some trouble putting up the mainsail as one of the battens had come out, but managed to do some running repairs and we were underway.  By mid morning the wind was around 14 knots hard on, and we had a speed of around 7.5 knots so it was a good sail.  

This lasted most of the day which was a nice change and we arrived in Alanya around 1530hrs.

There were several boats joining the rally here in Alayna, including “Watershed” from Kusadasi, with John’s friend Alan and Alwen.  In the evening there was a cocktail party at the “local” King’s Pub in the marina.  A lot of the local “live aboards” joined us and a good party was had by one and all and as usual we all drank our fair share – well to be honest probably a bit more than that!  The pub then put on a nice Turkish buffet meal for TL22.00, so of course a few bottles of wine were in order -  just to be polite.  

We all staggered home a little worse for wear and fell into bed.  Poor Robert had to be up at 0400 the next morning for his tour to Cappadocia, which would have been no mean feat!

We woke up to an awful day with thunder and rain so had a nice lie in before a very lazy morning.  The weather started to clear in the early afternoon so we decided to catch the dolmus and head into town for a bite of lunch.  Alayna proved to be a great town with a picturesque water front lined with huge Gulats doing day trips to the local sites.  

Behind the old town on a big hill was an amazing walled castle and city, with the wall stretching around for miles – quite spectacular.  We found a little Turkish restaurant and enjoyed Tavuk Doner Ekmeks for lunch.  There was a large shopping precinct which we explored before heading back to Awatea.  In the evening Woei Haw cooked up a fantastic Chinese meal, which we ate while watching the movie ‘War Horse’.

On Sunday Woei Haw & John went to a little coastal town called “Side”, which John described as one of the nicest tourist developments he had seen.  

Derek set off with Jane & Russell (Ta B) to explore the old castle, and found a local dolmus took you right to the top of the hill and to the castle.  There were the most fabulous views along the coast towards our marina, and on the other side you overlooked the harbour and town.  We decided to walk down to the bottom and on the way found a lovely restaurant with tables right on the edge overlooking the town, and we were the only ones there – talk about being spoilt.  We enjoyed a well earned cold beer and a nice luncheon.  Our walk from there took us through the “Old Town” which was a maze of little cobble stoned paths between some really run down homes and some magnificent villas.  We ended up at the waterfront and the ancient shipyard which was very interesting.  This evening’s cocktails were on “Kookaburra” with Dave & Sue before a meal back on Awatea and another movie.

Next day was fine and sunny and we had Scott & Alwyn from “Watershed” over for breakfast with yummie pork sausages, tomatoes, bacon and eggs.  A good start to the day!  Then it was a quiet day with shaves, haircuts and shopping.  Robert returned from Cappadocia around 5.30pm and it was a quick change before cocktails and a formal dinner at the marina pool side restaurant.  The red wine flowed and during the evening we had another flag ceremony, with Woei Haw presenting the Malaysian flag for the first time.  It was then a parade of the flag bearers around the pool area and across the bridge which spanned the pool.  The band was excellent as was the entire night and everyone was having a fun time.
Our final day in Alayna, and it was time to do some small maintenance which saw Robert hoisted up the mast once again to change the ‘steaming light’ bulb.  Robert and John took the opportunity to visit the castle in the afternoon, Woei Haw did some work onboard and Derek went to the supermarket for the last of the supplies.  We were invited over to ‘Ta B’ for a superb Roast Chicken dinner – Jane does the best roast potatoes!

23 MAY – a momentous day when Captain John Spedding celebrates his own Jubilee (not to be outdone by HM Queen Elizabeth ll). Congratulations and best wishes from one and all!

We departed Alanya marina en route to Bozyazi around 0545hrs, so no breakfast in bed for the skipper as a birthday treat.  Had a good days sail on the main with pleasant winds.  However they did start picking up a little later and when we rounded Anamara Point we were hit with gusts up to 58 knots.  Fortunately we had warning from other EMYR yachts ahead and had put in two reefs.  We had no problems but unfortunately a few of the yachts suffered damage and “Happy Hour” broached and managed to break their “goose neck” fitting on the boom.  We arrived in the berth around 1500 hours.  Bozyazi is a small fishing village and no facilities to speak of which was fine as we had the Jubilee Dinner planned for that night.  The rib eye fillet (Robert’s hand luggage from Brisbane) was put on the BBQ and along with roast potatoes and a selection of vegetables the “Royal” feast was prepared.  We invited Shaun & Jane from ‘Happy Hour’ and Andrea & Tyna from ‘Tyna Two’, as well as Scott from Kusadasi.  We sat out in the cockpit having pre dinner drinks and John was serenaded by the yachts from Group Two who were having a pot luck cocktail session on the wharf.  The word had got out and they stood at our stern and sang a boisterous rendition of “Happy Birthday”.  It was a great evening – good food, good wine and good company!

The next morning a tour had been arranged by the local community, so it was a quick breakfast and off on the bus.  We visited the old city of Anamur on the point we had rounded the day before, and there were fantastic ruins and excellent mosaics – especially in the old “Odeon” which was a concert theatre in it’s day.  We spent around 2 hours exploring this wonderful old city clamouring over the bath house, the aqueduct, and numerous old houses and churches.  Then it was into the ‘new’ town for lunch before stopping at Mamure Castle down on the waters edge.  It was a classic style castle and you could just imagine the horses trouping in the gate with their knights and all the pageantry off the days gone by.  It was in remarkable condition, and it would make a wonderful movie set.  We arrived back at the harbour to find tables and chairs had been set up on the quay in preparation for dinner that evening hosted by the local council.  They served fresh fish which had been grilled whole and served with mezes and salads – they had gone to a lot of trouble to make us welcome and it was a very enjoyable evening made even more so by the beautiful setting.

We set off the following morning around 0525 hours and immediately after exiting the shelter of the harbour hit an awful swell.  

Put the mainsail up but not long after took it down and started up the motor as the swell was just to big.  At 0900 we made contact with ‘Leeze’ (otherwise known as “Little Toot”), the only motor vessel in the rally and they had major engine problems and were running on emergency fuel.  They had been hit hard by the swell and the boat was in a mess so John suggested they go into a small village called Aydincik where there was a sheltered harbour and we would come alongside and transfer Robert to assist. “Happy Hour” also came into the bay and anchored off to render further assistance if required.  We then went out into the bay and had some breakfast while waiting to see if the problem could be fixed.  They discovered clogged fuel filters were the cause and after these were replaced ‘Little Toot’ was back in business and departed to a blast of horns from us and ‘Happy Hour’, with Robert still on ‘Little Toot’ returning the salvo.

The wind continued to pickup all afternoon and by the time we got close to Tasucu it was blowing around 35 knots.  The fleet was unable to go to the small yacht harbour as planned due to the conditions, so were all directed into the large commercial harbour where we all had to anchor for the night.  After finally getting the anchor to hold firmly we settled in for a long night and had a meal onboard.  The wind finally dropped around 2200 hours much to everyone’s relief.

At 0700 hours the next morning we proceeded to the yacht harbour and were berthed again by 0830hours.  Thankfully it was a nice day with a light breeze.  We decided to have a cooked breakfast and Pug from ‘Maxi Cossi’ joined us.  We were berthed right at the town, and a lot of locals were walking up and down taking photos and speaking to everyone.  We were meant to have dinner on ‘Watershed’ the previous evening, but because of the weather and being at anchor it was changed to lunch today.  So after a few chores we went onboard for a really nice lunch that Alwyn had prepared.

In the afternoon we took the local dolmus into the town of Silikfe and walked around the markets for a while.  The town is situated on a river with a huge castle overlooking it, but was not the most inviting town we have been to.  After a couple of hours we headed back to Tasucu as John had to be back for the Skipper’s meeting.  Dinner that evening was at the marina restaurant, and once again hosted by the local council.  After the usual speeches from the rally committee and local dignitaries there was a disco which had the group up on the cobbles dancing, including quite a few local towns folk who couldn’t resist joining in.  Everyone is so friendly and we are made to feel so welcome everywhere we go.
Our next port was meant to be Mersin in Turkey and then head to Northern Cyprus, but due to a few issues with yachts sailing from Northern Cyprus direct to Lebanon, we are now heading straight to Girne in Cyprus, and then returning to Mersin before heading down to Lebanon.  More about that in our next blog.

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