Didim Marina, Altinkum by David Gerrard – 24/4/2011

Captains Log
Star date 24th April 2011
37.20N 27.15E

I think I left you all on our way past Simi. Wind was on the nose and then it changed as we passed Kinidos. The North Easterly that we had been promised all day appeared and we had a good sail into Kos. Our plan was to spend a night there, do a quick raid on Lidl (cheap supermarket, renowned for its cut price beer, wine and Gin, well you do need the necessities of life don’t you) and scoot North either up to Kilimnos or head on past or go to Samos.

Again the best laid plans have a tendency to go somewhat pear shaped so despite now being well stocked up with goodies the weather gods decided that they would somewhat take a hand in the proceedings and threw us a mixture of rain, wind and more wind.

So here we are on the beautiful island of Kos, only it isn’t so beautiful when it’s cold and wet and most of it shut. There are only so many times you can visit the castle and the tree of Hippocrates, buy a Gyros and walk along the esplanade, and in addition to that my 3G dongle stopped working and the marina internet was, to say the least, steam driven.

On the plus side the marina is clean, the staff very nice and we met a few old friends who had either wintered there or kept their boat there. We had dinner one evening with Tony and Lynn on Lord Anthony. They were participants in the 2010 rally and because of the proposed visa changes in Turkey last summer changed their wintering port from Kuşadası to Kos. Bureaucrats who do not think these things out before issuing unworkable policies  do not realize how much inconvenience they put people to and how much potential revenue is lost to the marinas.

I of course did my usual trick of falling to sleep around 9.30 but it was a great night what I remember of it and we bade them farewell as we intended to get away early the next morning. Again we were thwarted by weather. It was still blowing hard from the North; another day kicking our heels and trying to avoid doing all those little jobs that the owner suddenly remembers needs doing.

The next morning despite the weather again forecasting gloom and doom I awoke to find it still with only a gentle zephyr. A quick crew call, a hasty brew and we headed northward. Then came the first bad omen of the day -we were nearly run over by the Kos ferry. I can assure you that the ‘rules of the road’ COLREGS and stand on/standoff boats have absolutely no influence when one boat is 12 meters and the other is a hundred. He turned at the last minute and passed us by less than 50 metres (well at least it seemed that close.)

We set a course close to the Turkish coast in between the small islands and shoals. All was going well, the wind of course by that time had freshened but Mashona plowed steadily onward and even the cat resigned herself to it, put her paws over her eyes curled up as much to say, ‘wake me when you get there”

As we reached level with Gumusluk it really started to blow and soon we were down to under two knots and if we went any slower we would have been going backwards. An executive decision was to turn round and head into Turgatries marina. There we remained for two days and it didn’t make any difference how many times I consulted the weather forecast, Grib files, Wind guru, Turk meteo, Poseidon (Greek weather) they all said the same: no change, Gale or Near Gale from the North.

I did spend one fruitful day however sorting the computer out and another we had a visit from two very old friends who have a home in Bodrum and a boat they did the rally on a couple of years ago. The day went very quickly as we chatted and lunched with Ken and Sandy. Fish and chips that night with mushy peas!! Good but not as good as at home; the mushy peas were ground garden peas and cold but never mind it gave Kath a night off from being galley slave.

It blew all night again and my head above decks at three and again at five did nothing to convince me that we should move. However at 7.30 all was still; crew still in bed. I decided let’s go for it or at least try, and we slipped fairly quickly and headed north, wind still on the nose but only 8 to 10 knots and we could easily manage that, and although the sea and wind increased we got into Didim marina before it really set in.

Our good friend Can Polat is now the marina manager here moving recently from Cesme so it was good to see him and hear how the new marina is progressing. Certainly the yard was fairly full, mainly super and mega yachts. It never ceases to amaze me where people get the money to buy these; some of them are around 60 million pounds. Even a good win on the national lottery and you couldn’t get near it, however it is good to dream and see how the other half live.

It howled all day and it howled all night and it is still blowing now at between 14 and 20 knots in the marina right out of the North and so cold it feels like straight out of the Arctic.

So it looks like a day for us in the flesh pots of Altinkum, at least we may be able to get a newspaper.

Today of course is Easter Sunday and I am still awaiting my Easter eggs.

So I wish you all a very happy Easter from all of us.

Dave, Kath, Kim and of course Tilly our cat.



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