Kalkan to Kemer with a Birthday on the Way

Selkie Dancer alone in Kalkan



Two items of note:

1)      Still in Greece with the water temperature way too cold I was nominated/volunteered to swim and look for the anchor remote control that was thought to have gone overboard.  Stoically I shivered myself into the water to trawl the likely area when, having found nothing but some old beer cans and bits of plastic,  I gave up and returned to the boat expecting to find hot chocolate and warm towels waiting all I could see was a sheepish face apologetically holding suspected lost device! Forgive!

2)      Having just left the anchorage at Serce Limani with a long journey ahead of us, the engine died.  Luckily there was wind to continue sailing and luckily there is a talented engineer on board who, after changing every filter possible declared it fit and so it has been – touch wood



We braved our first small Turkish harbour in Kalkan.  There are boats on either side of the narrow harbour with anchors laid out well over to the opposite side from where they berth and the trick is to avoid laying your anchor across anothers.  So it was with great trepidation that we selected a suitable spot and laid our anchor.  All was well and we were sitting pretty and loving the surroundings amongst local boats and a couple of gullets nothing more, when, within a couple of hours we were surrounded by a flotilla, a total of seven more boats so it was all pretty crowded and us in the middle of a sea of white plastic and we weren’t so special anymore!

Having successfully managed the small Kalkan harbour our next challenge was Kas which we had been told was smaller.  We anchored in a bay south and had a lovely morning swimming with turtles, it was wonderful, I didn’t realise they sat on the bottom of the sea, hoovering up food I suspect.  I disturbed one and he flew off exactly like a puffin, flippers flapping with furious speed.  So now a little wiser I approached from a different angle and managed to get very close as the turtle swam up in front of me to the surface.  As he got rather close, two thoughts came to me at once – ‘do they bite?’ and ‘they feed on jelly fish!’


We were going to visit the Greek Island of Kastellorizo for my birthday and really wanted to know that the boat would be secure in our absence so we thought briefly about  going into the marina (all concrete and without soul) however, happily we both arrived at the same conclusion that we would be brave and go into the harbour.  So we did and we were favoured because instead of laying our anchor we were given a lazy line and were thus totally secure – later I will tell you that this had its disadvantages but not now.


I had a wonderful birthday.  We took a ferry to Kastellorizo (an island so close one could reasonably expect it to belong to Turkey but in fact is an isolated Greek enclave 70 miles from its nearest Greek neighbour)  There was even an Hellenic Navy submarine standing by – in honour of my birthday or protecting Greek waters?  We were among Greek people again, hearing and speaking the language once more, a lazy coffee and a walk around this very pretty but dilapidated town.  There were flowers in abundance and ruins and cats and old walls with ‘property of N. Savas Perth WA and a telephone number’ scrawled on it, a museum, a castle and a glorious swim and finishing with a delicious lunch of huge prawns and retsina with a tame turtle coming up to eat the prawn heads and tails – yes they definitely might bite!!!



That night is when we experienced the lazy line as a disadvantage.  We were woken at 4am by a Katabatic wind of some ferocity.  We both went on deck to discover poor Selkie Dancer almost pinned and nearly crunching her stern on the concrete wall of the harbour.  On our port side had come an enormous Gullet and its anchor was loose allowing all its weight to be blown onto us and skewing us sideways.  We spent an hour trying to pull ourselves off but it was pretty ineffective and eventually the wind died, so back to bed we went only to be woken once more, this time by torrential rain.  Eventually morning came but with it the wind and the same problem so we decided to leave ASAP

It all must have been meant as the place we went to find safety produced our first ever sighting of the Mediterranean Seal – I saw them for only seconds, first two wet black heads and then the bodies, surprisingly big and up they came and I could see their whiskers and then they disappeared never to be seen again.

There are ruins of sunken cities in the Gekova Roads area east of Kas and sarcophagi pop up in the most surprising and, to our eyes random places; between the rubbish bins and the toilet block, in a car park and submerged in the sea.  We anchored for a short swim at Aperlae and looked up to where we could see old town walls, tumbled masonry, flights of steps now leading nowhere and fallen tombs.  We swam and looked down at the foundations of a house long since swept away by earthquake and storm.


Cineviz at Dawn Olympos in the background


The sort of day I love starts with a swim early and is full of the variety only found when trapped on a small boat on a big sea as we move from one area to another.  We motored waiting for the wind and trying to activate our brains with a cryptic crossword.  Decide we do not like the compiler as we cannot understand his mind – yes, we cheat and go to the answers, in an effort to improve you understand;  rounding the cape and suddenly a wind from behind materializes, eating lunch and drinking cool white wine as the boat surges ahead in a 20 knot wind.

Andy sailing.JPG

Deciding not to go all the way to Kemer but anchor in a remote bay – the wind has died, a deep cathedral silence prevails while on gossamer wings we come closer to our anchorage.  We are surrounded by tall, grey, gnarled, elephant hide rocks, very tough looking, green pine trees cling to the steep sides, growing where they can and seagulls flying over take on an exotic appearance reflecting  the turquoise of the water on their wings and belly.

Coffee Break.JPG

Cabin Crew?  Sometimes I feel like a Flight Attendant; the ease and familiarity with which my hands reach out for supplies, retrieving and distributing food and drink – any drinks or snacks – any rubbish?  The local time in Kemer is……………………………


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