Aktur, Kuyulu Buku, Keci Buku in Turkey
1st August 2020
In the morning we left for a 10 nm journey to Aktur / Kuruca Buku. It took us 3 hours and we had to do a bit of motoring since there was not much wind. The bay reminded us a bit of Lake Rotiti, with pine trees close to the rocky beach. And weedy, rocky, beaches. The water is still so perfectly clear that you can see right to the sea floor.
In the evening we went for an explore to the nearby bay, which has a campground and holiday village. We had some ice creams and cold drinks and a walk. We found a mini market where we could stock up in a couple of days. On the way back the dinghy motor didn’t start again, so Tim had to row us. The last little bit when Tim was already looking tired our boat neighbor drove past us in their dinghy and offered to tow us back. People are so kind and helpful everywhere.
The next day was a bit of a productive catch up day. One where you are anchored in the most beautiful location, and you do everything you do in a bikini, but the tasks are bit maehhh. We did schooling with lots of protesting and resistance, I cleaned both bathrooms and toilets, I made some pizza dough, Tim made some water and filled our water bottles, he edited our next video for a few hours, he repaired the dinghy motor. In between we had to undo our stern lines and lift up our anchor, because our neighbors where leaving and had trouble lifting up their anchor. Once we had settled down and done our jobs in the late afternoon I was just lying on the paddle board for a 10 mins when I heard someone call to me “Lady, lady – are you Turkish”. 3 man in a rubber dinghy had appeared out of nowhere with orange vests on and in a uniform. They informed me that they are coastguard, and that it was forbidden in Turkey to tie a stern line to a tree.
Our lovely Turkish neighbors informed us the previous day, that this was one of the only places where it was o.k. to tie to a tree and since every other boat in the bay had done so, we thought we would be fine. We pointed out to the coastguard that all the other boats where tied to trees as well and they told us they where just notifying all the boats. We realised that we had been let of lightly as a non-Turkish boat as they proceeded to take photographs of the other boats, their names and their stern lines tied to tried, most likely in for a hefty fine. So another hour went by securing a stern anchor and retying to a rock with offers of help from our neighbors who had tied up to the only big rock on the beach, so 2 other boats used that rock as well. We crossed all our fingers and toes, that the rock would hold all 3 boats.
On top of that I had a dull headache all day. The days are so hot, everything but a bikini or togs feel too much. Luckily we are parked in water, so regular swims bring welcome relief and the kids often sleep outside if the place is not too noisy and safe.
The next day started again with schooling. The mornings are now ideally only on weekdays dedicated to schooling with more or less success. We try to fiddle our way through with the support of our fabulous distance teacher based in New Zealand. We have to be a bit flexible of course if we might sail one day and not much schooling is happening.
Tim, Nina and I went to stock up on groceries in the nearby mini market, since we where out of fresh food. And the rest of the afternoon was spend making food, reading, swimming, writing.
3rd August 2020
We found out it was a long weekend in Turkey where its tradition to give each other chocolates. Our turkish neighbors came over to bring us a bag of delicious Pistachio chocolates, which we enjoyed. We had a chat with them and they left us their contact details if we needed help and assistance. It is always so heartwarming to experience the kindness, openness, willingness to help and curiosity of the locals and other cruisers.
In the evening we got the “Game of Life” out and played a game as it got dark. The next day it was decided to move on to Kuyulu Buku. Our solar system is still not working properly so we need to go to Marmaris to get it checked. It was a 3 hour trip and 11 nautical miles. Once we arrived we explored the beach, took Lucy for a walk and a swim and had a rest on the boat.
We saw a fishing boat come by selling fish and Tim and Nina went in the dinghy to see them. Tim bought 2 sea bass for about 40 NZ, which was a lot of money, but we were graving fish. The fish that is common here is usually small sardine type fish and we really wanted a fish fillet. The fisherman here don’t fillet fish like we do in New Zealand. They just cut the fish in a half with bones in and head on. It took them almost an hour before they came back to the boat. We enjoyed yummy super fresh fish from our BBQ that night and the next day. The game of life came out again for another round before going to sleep.
The bay we are in now is quiet with clear turquoise water and surrounded by hills and pine trees and shrubs. There is no settlement here. In the cruising guide it said there was to be campground, but it wasn’t there anymore.
Luca decided to go on the paddle board to climb on a big rock all by himself. Tim and I where a bit worried he might slip and hurt himself, but he is craving independence, so we have to make allowances for that and hope for the best. He did record his climb on a gopro and did a video with the footage. He wants to become famous one day as a youtube and have footage that goes viral…
I have started to do laps around the boat every day to get better at swimming. Luca and Nina are already like fish in the water and snorkel and dive like champs. Especially Luca has already been on missions to rescue our anchor. Me and Nina try to learn how to operate the dinghy. Its all so new and so much to take in. Luca is already a master of the dinghy operation and doing so well, ferrying us around most of the time.
The next day was one of those days again where the saying comes in “cruising is maintaining and repairing boats in exotic locations”. Our second toilet hasn’t been functioning properly for a while, so Tim decided to tackle it. It took him 3 hours up to his elbows in you know what. It turned out the hoses are so calcified on the inside that he couldn’t even put another smaller hose in to dislodge all the calcification’s in there. Trying to get all the muck out of the hose the hose actually broke, so the toilet is now entirely out of order until we find new hoses. While activities like that go on, the rest of the family tries to be like quite mice and tune out all the swearing and banging etc.
So once the toilet was done the generator was put on to fill our water bottles which don’t last us very long in this heat. We are super thirsty. Its already 30 degrees at 9 o’clock in the morning. That involved Tim crawling to the end of the spare room to access the hose from the water maker to fill the wate bottles. I had a catch up on my blog writing and put 3 of them up online in our several channels and schedules the ones that would come out later.
Next day it was moving time again to Keci Buku to which we just motored for 30 minutes as it wasn’t far away. Keci Buku is a cute little holiday settlement with mainly Turkish holiday business and cruisers. There are lots of little restaurants and holiday park type accommodation with tiny little family run hotel / motels. The beach is lined with sun chairs and sun umbrellas. There is also a little Marina and a little island with the ruins of a byzantine fort. We found a beautiful spot to anchor nearby the island.
When we arrived on Thursday there where only a few boats, but as the days went by the bay filled up with many yachts. While the kids “rested” with their phones Tim proposed we go for a walk with Lucy to the island with the Byzantine fort on it. It was so hot, but I didn’t want to miss out, so went as well. Sweating our butts off, we climbed over rocks and tried to find some sort of a path up to the top. We both where perfectly equipped with no water and just our flip-flops on of course! After about 30 minutes clambering all over the place we found the way to the top and it was the most beautiful views in all directions.
Turkey is a lot greener than Greece. It feels more unassuming, lower key, simpler, quieter. Not as many people speak English and tourism seems to mainly local, probably partly Covid related. There are however a whole lot of big super yachts around and we are told that they usually head over to Greece for the summer, but Greece has still got its boarders closed to people from Turkey, so they are all sticking around this year.
We decided we would get the kids up early next morning and have our breakfast up here by the fort. If this was Greece it would all be set up for tourism with signs and paths. We like that we felt like explorers with it all being left as is.
In the last 2 days 2 of our door locks broke and when Tim locked them up online he found out that to replace one is 50 Euros. So he googled if there was info on how to repair them and low and behold he found a youtube instruction from a German cruisers who repaired his locks around 9 times. He managed to repair both locks! He is a real kiwi engineer – so proud of him.
We read our books for a bit and decided to explore the beach and maybe have an ice cream somewhere. We found a roadside fruit and vegi shop and a couple of mini markets. Its such relief to our family that the cost of food is so low here. We can get a small loaf of bread for 0.30 NZD . I can stock up on vegies and fruit for 10-15 NZD and a top up with groceries might be around 40 NZD. In Greece on some of the islands I paid 80 NZD just for fruit and veg. Because our budget is so small it changes a lot for us, to not feel guilty or worried every grocery shop or ice cream.We decided to sit down in one of the little beach side cafe’s and had a traditional, home made rice pudding and home made lemonade, while enjoying free wifi and the sunset. We decided we would stay for a few more days as it felt peaceful and nice here.