Marinturk Exclusive, Gocek by David Gerrard

Captains Log
Stardate 8th May 2011
36. 44N 28. 55E

We enjoyed our return stay in Didim as much as last time. Can Polat, Umut and the staff there went out of their way to make sure we had everything we needed; they organized a bus courtesy of the marina to visit the nearby Appollon Temple and Milet. I took a sideways left and passed on that one (we had been there last year anyway) and the owner had me on another shopping opportunity in the main town of Didim.

Altinkum, which is the nearest place to the marina, is a little tacky but the main town of Didim is really nice; with an excellent market and a good range of shops.

Our evening cocktail and presentation was in the yacht club again and the Dogus group did us proud, supplying a wide range of finger food and a seemingly endless supply of wine and beer. Here we go again I thought, party all night and sail all day, no will power have I when it comes to an offered glass.

It was a fair leg to Datcha so an early start at 3.30 am (!!) was planned but we actually left at 3.20 am (must be stark raving bonkers). I was a little apprehensive about this day’s passage as the wind had been blowing a Hooley from the south since we arrived. Although the forecast was for it to subside I am always a little unbelieving. Have faith young man in all that is told by Wind Guru and UGRIB. Motoring in a  flat calm saw us greeting the dawn just off Kos. Those who read my upward log will remember that I had a close encounter with the Kos ferry. Well he failed that time but lo and behold as we passed he took another lunge at me. I was too clever on this occasion I kept over to the Turkish coast and defied him to follow me into shoal water. With a toot of his horn he sped away into the morning mist.

We managed to sail across the gulf to Deveboynu Burnu, better known as Kinidos, but as we passed the point the wind dropped and the iron sail was engaged again. We managed to motor sail until we turned North for Datcha at Ince Burnu and turned the engine off and did 7 knots all the way into the harbour.

This year because of another event at Marti marina we were making a two day stop here. I personally love Datcha; big enough to keep you interested but small enough to be intimate. Ali the harbour master’s assistant had done a great job keeping the charter boats at bay and making space for us. He was just telling two disgruntled Russian charters that they could not possibly stop as the EMYR rally was coming and they were very powerful people in Turkey, as I nearly ran aground on an underwater obstruction. It somehow destroyed that allusion.

We managed to get nearly everybody in three boats volunteering to anchor in the bay, and dinghy in, well done those people.

The local administration organized a bus to the ancient city of Kinidos, Osman being our guide gave a superb local history lesson. A lunch on the way back was also taken at the small harbour town of Palamut.

The evening entertainment, presentation, and meet and great session, was attended by the Mayor, Governor and Harbour master. The venue was in a local restaurant which was good because we had some shelter from now a very strong North Westerly. Tomorrow looked good for our passage to Gocek maybe it would be fast passage.

I was awakened at 5ish by the sounds of an anchor being raised by our neighbours Heinz and Bridgette on Tori; trying to slip away before Mashona. We were soon up, brew made, bacon on, nav lights and instruments on and so we were soon after them. The skipper had a cunning plan, I saw them heading around Simi, ok thought I Simi gap it is, for those who don’t know it, there is a tight passage between the island off the north end of Simi and so it could be quite interesting in now a following sea. We scooted through and across the bay in front of Simi town, well in front now we were.

All good things come to an end and as we rounded Karaburun and plotted a course for Gocek the wind dropped and we soon had to motor. We carried on like this sometimes sailing, sometimes motor sailing. Then the highlight of the day; ‘a whale,’ not a small one either, we estimated the length near to 50 feet, brownish in colour and blowing some 3 to 4 meters. Unfortunately it was going the opposite direction for us so our visitation was all too short. Although I know there are whales in the Mediterranean the only ones I have seen are pilot wales which are really a large dolphin. I wish I could have taken a photograph but top marks to Kim who first spotted it. As we got into Gocek bay it was as if the summer had suddenly come; sweaters off and we soaked up the sun.

We are guests here in Marinturk Exclusive marina. Akbulut and his staff along with our longstanding EMYR secretary Faruk were on the quayside to welcome us. Faruk has been a friend from the first time we met eight years ago in Kemer, he is now operations and front office  manager at D Marine Gocek. Faruk has worked tirelessly for years now answering thousands of emails, preparing spreadsheets and even when he was whisked away to do his army service his wife Ceren was pressed into service. They have just has a baby boy, Deniz, and are very proud parents. We are looking forward to meeting the latest addition to the Gunlu family.

We were joined here by a large proportion of the rally fleet, some 27 boats, so no longer are we a small group, but a happy one, as the party on Nereus 11 last night illustrated well. Question of the day – how many people can you get into a 40 foot Halberg Rassy?

My head is not the best this morning, must be something I ate.

The rally participants have gone to Dalyan and the mud baths, my promises of them coming back ten years younger ringing in their ears. I am going to have a quiet day I hope; emails, groups to organize, clean the boat, fix this and that and of course go into the village and buy the owner a large lunch.

It is very quiet over here in Gocek bay, cat having visited virtually every boat had a large breakfast and is now reposing in the front cabin as usual.

Tomorrow is another early start for Kas and the new marina; we are looking forward to seeing the finished works and of course Tuncay.

So cheers and beers folks

Dave, Kath, Kim and Tilly

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