Thursday, 4th March 2021
When we woke up in the morning I took Lucy for a last marina and breakwater walk. Tim filled up our water tanks and did a few last minute down and uploads. The kids visited their several fur babies for a last time and we all had a walk around the marina to say good bye to all our marina friends. Late morning we started the motor and dropped the lines to our save heaven to head out to sea once more. We had our friends waving us off at the end of the jetties and it gave us warm fuzzies to have been welcomed into this lovely marina community.
Luckily the weather gods where super kind to us. The weather was perfect for a pleasant Champaign sail down the coast and it felt nice to feel the breeze on our faces again. We sailed 23 nautical miles to Cavus Koyu / Cavus Limani and anchored for the first time with our Mantis Anchor.
Once everything was stored and tidied Tim took Lucy for her evening dinghy ride to shore and met some Ukraine trampers in their tents at the beach. While he was at shore I started cooking dinner and we all snuggled in to watch masterchef Australia on our first night at anchor.
The next morning Tim and Luca both took Lucy to shore and Luca was given a bag of Lollies by the Ukrainian trampers. They where going to return home soon. There just seem to be nice people everywhere. We upped the anchor at around 1 pm, which took both me and Tim to figure out for the first time. Our Mantis is a lot a bigger than the Delta anchor we had before and I was worried about banging it into the boat. The anchor tends to swing when it comes up and Tim had just repaired a chunk that was missing in bow that we had inherited from the previous owner.
We sailed, aehm motored, a further 9 nm to Cineviz Limani and arrived at 3.30 just in time for coffee. There was no wind, so the kids did schooling while Tim and I manned the wheel.
We anchored in nice bay with clear water, surrounded by hills with pine and a nice beach. After our coffee we all headed to the beach for a walk and met another big group of trampers from Russia.
They where very interested in our journey and we all got talking and they invited us to share their late lunch soup that was cooked over the campfire. It was about 20 of them and it turned out one couple had lived in Berlin for the last 2 years. After the soup we where offered tea and chocolates and Nina created flower gifts with one of the ladies from group.
Some of the men made a rope swing on a tree at the beach and Tim did a couple of guided tours on our boat. A surgeon was wanting to charter a yacht later in the year with his family and was encouraged by us travelling with kids. Once evening came hordes of Mosquitos came out and we fled to the boat. We had a nice dinner and settled in for a rocky night in the swell that was coming in now.
The next morning we got up a bit earlier to do our walk to Chimaera, ancient Olympus, where the flaming rocks are located. It was a 20 minute dinghy ride from where we where anchored and there was a stronger wind and some rain forecast for the afternoon. We set off in the dinghy and half way there our not so trusty dinghy motor stopped. Tim went to check the fuel level and the fuel cap slipped out of his hand right into the sea – a little donation to Poseidon. Now our not so trusty motor had no fuel cap. I found a plastic bag in my backpack and undid one of my hair-ties to cover the opening on the motor. Luckily the motor started again and we finished our journey to the neighboring beach from where we could walk to the flaming rocks in Chimaera.
First we walked for some time in the wrong in the direction, which gave us the opportunity to observe village life. There seemed to be lots of little, cute pensions close to the beach and the village had a calm and beautiful charm. It felt still rural and authentic. Once we got our directions sorted with the help of our trusty friend Google we finally made it to the entrance of the organised site near the flaming rocks. We walked up a beautiful track through forest. The track was steep and lined with big stone steps. We finally made it to the top with a bit of huffing and puffing.
There where a few ruins on the side of the rocky hill and in several places we could spot some smaller and some bigger flames coming out of the rock. I had Lucy on the lead so she would not burn her little paws. We took some photos and videos and then got the bag of Marshmallows out of our backpack. Tim loves fire and flames, so naturally his first thought when hearing about the flaming rocks was to organise a bag of marshmallows to take to toast. We found a roasting stick on the way up and the kids and Tim had fun to take turns roasting marshmallows over the flames that the Olympic flame originated from.
I will attach the sign with more info on the history of the site for those of you who are interested in the history of these places. Here is a little excerpt from our cruising guide too about the Ancient Olympus: Where the greek bubbles into the sea in Cirali Limani are the ruins of ancient Olympus, now much overgrown and in a ruinious sate. If you wander around you will come across the ancient amphitheater and bits of arches and foundations. At one time the city was noted by Cicero for its riches and works of art., but by Byzantine times had declined to become the haunt of pirates.
The flames at the Chimaera are a mixture of gases, including methane, produced underground, which on contact with the atmosphere ignites.
We saw dark clouds forming over the hills and wanted to be back at the boat if a blow came, as it was not a short dinghy ride back to the boat, which was anchored in a lonely bay with our new anchor. So after having a short look around the ruins we made our way back to the boat. On the way we met our first tortoise this year, a small cutie. My heart always makes a jump when I see one. They are such magical creatures.
We where all tired out after the walk and climb, but so happy we had made the effort to the original place of the Olympic flame and first games.
Once we where back at the boat Tim wanted to set a stern anchor to bring the nose into the swell and stop us us rocking, which worked fine.
It was a calm evening, and after weeks of being fairly stationary I rolled my yoga mat out at the bow of the boat and stretched my creaky body. The bow of the boat is really the only place where I can practice and it wasn’t all that inviting in winter. It felt so good to get back into practice and stretch all those stiff parts out.
With some yucky weather forecast for the end of the following week we decided to sail on to Phaselis / Tekirova the next day, a further 6 nm. It took a bit of fiddling and some co-ordination to get our well set stern anchor up, as that doesn’t have a dedicated winch like our anchor at the bow. We had a lovely sail in light winds and anchored up in a cute little bay next to the ancient ruins of Phaselis.
It was early afternoon and we decided to go for a walk at the beach with Lucy. However it turned out that the beach was apparently part of the the organised Phaselis site with the ruins and the guard wouldn’t let us go to the beach without paying the entrance fee. So we decided to head back to the boat and go exploring the next day properly.
Back at the boat I made a quiche in the quiche tin Donna from Intrepid Kiwi gifted us as well as a green salad and sesame dressing to use most of our vegies up. We took some for a lunch picnic the next day too.
We got up earlyish the next morning and headed to land to explore the ancient city of Phaselis. Here is a little excerpt from our cruising guide about the site and I will also attach the info sign from the site if you are interested to learn more:
“The site is one of the most picturesque along this coast. On the headland and the isthmus between the two anchorages are numerous ruins: the necropolis with sarcophagi lying about the slopes, part of the roman aqueduct, the harbour street with dwellings and shops, and the most pleasing little theatre. Sitting near the top of the theatre, you have the view over the ancient city towards ancient Mount Solymnus (Tahtali Dagi) – its peak capped in snow until late spring – and over the northern and southern harbors. The slopes about are thickly wooded in pine and in a depression in the middle of the isthmus there is a reed-encircled swamp that was formerly a small lake.The city was founded in 690 BC by colonists from Rhodes, and quickly grew into a prosperous trading city with three harbours, the remains of which can still be seen. It was fames for its fast, light sailing boats, known as phaseli, but unfortunately we have no surviving illustrations of these craft. Phaselis shared the history and culture of the other Lycian cities along this coast. It surrendered to Alexander the Great in 333 BC, but thereafter remained quasi independent under Roman jurisdiction. It declined during the Byzantine era.”I had to agree with the cruising guide. The ancient site at Physalis is certainly one of the prettiest ones, lined by picturesque beaches either side, with lovely shady trees everywhere. The amphitheater is so pretty and well preserved, but with no added new “patch ups”. It still looks like it looked back then it seems, just with a whole heap of wildflowers growing everywhere.
The main street is lined by trees and buildings and gives one almost a feeling of being there.
In the ruins of the roman baths we could still see the blackened stones from the fires to heat the water. It felt so majestic and magic. Like in most of the sites we visited I wished I would have an invisibility cloak and a time machine to visit for just one day to experience and see how life would have been back then.
After some time exploring we had a break at a park bench that had sunk in the sand by the prettiest beach. Luca got his sketch book out, Nina went on to bury a magic crystal and decorate it with flowers, Tim went back and forth several times with his multiple camera’s so you can see and experience the places with us and I got a picnic lunch out and threw stones for Lucy in the water – she had a blast swimming and running about.
After a good rest and soaking up the scenery we went on a bit further to see the roman aqueduct and the necropolis. There where toppled over sarcophagi everywhere and ruins of churches or houses.
We walked back down to the beach and discovered some pretty looking sea creatures. Luca stuck his fingers into a little rockpool and discovered the sea anemones would hold onto his fingers just lightly, but we could feel it. I tried it too, Nina was too worried she would get stuck.
We looked for special shells and rocks and Nina found a lovely, knarly climbing tree.
Once we had enough of exploring we headed back towards the boat and explored the beach we weren’t allowed on the previous day, right in front of our boat.
The afternoon everybody just did what they liked, Luca looking at screens (mothers loud sigh….), Nina crocheting, Tim editing and me baking bread, apple cake and making vegetable soup, doing some yoga and admin.
While doing my yoga I heard a boat approaching and it was the coast guard. They came to check out papers and told us to take the German crew flag down. Its so interesting, as we have sailed in Turkey now for 7 months and none of the other coast guard boats took offence on our German crew flag.
There are not many protected anchorages in this area of the coast, so the next day saw us making a longer passage of nearly 50 nm back to Kekova / Ucagiz. It took us all day from 7 am til 5.30 pm. It was a grey, overcast day and we mostly motor sailed as there was little wind. At one stage we had a bit of a drizzle. Tim and I where snuggled in our winter gear on deck sharing manning the wheel, crocheting, listening to our audiobooks and often letting the auto pilot do its thing, while trying every now and then to get the sails adjusted to the breezes coming through. When we arrived in Kekova we noticed the whole boat was covered in a coat of red dust , most likely from the Sahara desert. We had this dust in Athens at times too.
When we where in this anchorage last we had to try and set the anchor several times and it dragged through the mud. I think it took 3 goes before it set. Now with out new Mantis it was one go and set solid. It feels so good to have a more reliable anchor.
We had barely anchored and tidied when the coast guard came to visit. Again our papers where checked. Once the coast guard left we got the buckets and broom and cloths out and set out to wipe and rinse that red sand off everything. If its left too long it can stain the deck. We settled down for the evening with a belly full of warm soup, movies and crochet.
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