Marmaris to Datça,
April 12-16, 2003
Travelog # 3 Spring of 2003
We have not moved since we got
in the water and that was three weeks ago. It seems that we can
always find an excuse to stay here a bit longer. The current
excuse to stay, at least thru Friday night, is that there is
to be a wine tasting in the restaurant. It is sponsored by a
Turkish Wine Company.
I think, every once in awhile,
that it doesn't seem like we are on a sailing or cruising vacation.
Then I find that if I think of it a bit differently, we are on
the proper sailing vacation. For example, if one were to sail
non-stop around the world he would have had a very long and most
likely exciting trip. However there would be no memories of people
and places, which make up most of our memorable recollections.
We are enjoying the locals, both resident cruisers and Marmaris
residents, and also the location. We have been here long enough
to know almost everyone that is living on board and find ourselves
invited to each gathering. Last Saturday, after breakfast, Kathy
was cleaning somewhere on the stern of the boat when our backboat
neighbor invited us to partake in a German Breakfast. It was
really a Bavarian Breakfast, and in this community of Germans,
there is a fairly clear distinction between Germany and Bavaria.
She accepted, and we went to a gathering outside the library
for a midmorning picnic. There were at times 15 Bavarians and
us two Americans at the place. We were the only non-Germans at
the event. They seem to have adopted us, perhaps because Kathy
speaks a bit of German and her maiden name is Steinmetz, perhaps
because of the name of our boat. Whatever, the few of us ate
80 Bavarian White Sausages, local fresh bread, sweet mustard
and beer for a picnic. It was a spontaneous event and you just
had to be here to get invited. Fritz would have loved it.
We have had a couple from Berlin
dock next to us, in a Bavaria 40 Ocean. Gunther has more electronic
toys than we do and seems to show us a new one each day. Ilse
is a retired teacher who speaks very good English. They invited
us to a movie, Romeo and Juliet with DeCaprio on DVD, and he
showed how his computer could be used for movies, chart plotter,or
computer. Last night we saw Casablanca, with Humphrey
Bogart and Ingrid Bergman, in the restaurant. There were two
American couples, Gunther & Ilse, and two French fellows.
As the movie started, Ilse turned to us to say apologetically,
She did not relate to the actions of the German soldiers
in the movie. Then you saw the Germans and French act in ways
that would certainly make anyone from one of those countries
be apologetic. The movie was from Germany and you had a choice
of three or four languages for audio, we selected English. There
were at least four choices for the language of the subtitles,
French was chosen. It was even more confusing when you consider
that the power went off about half way through the movie and
all of the settings had to be remade to continue. The resetting
was not a success the first time, and after it was, the power
went off again. It took a bit long but we did see the movie.
We are reading about the war,
with a different slant than you are perhaps. The war is causing
a considerable drop in the tourism for Turkey. There has been
a 55% cancellation in summer vacations. This is really harmful
to such a poor country. They depend upon the summer crowd of
tourists for their livelihood. There are no carpet vendors in
the Bazaar and only two shops open where one can buy pottery.
The bazaar is empty of tourists, except for Kathy and me. You
are supposed to bargain, even more so than in Mexico, when you
want to purchase an article. It is very hard to bargain for a
10% reduction on a $6 item when you know you are perhaps his
only customer for the day. It really is a great time to be here
as we feel completely safe and there are no crowds.
The wine tasting was a success.
A winery from Pamukkale provided the wine and the marina provided
the buffet. Everyone from the marina staff and all of the boaters
showed up. There must have been 100 plus people. Then comes Saturday
morning! We are going to leave today, April 12, 2003.
Saturday April 12, 2003, Marmaris.
We did a bunch of chores and dilly-dallied as long as possible
but having seen 8 boats leave this morning- we left. This seems
to be a big day for departing. It is the first day that we have
had where it seemed like a good sailing day. We moved to downtown
Marmaris, all of 3 miles. There is a swap meet at the Netsel
Marina tomorrow so we are to spend the night in Marmaris harbor.
A beautiful night was had by all at anchor in Marmaris Bay. It
is great to be floating free of the dock and swinging at anchor.
Sunday April 13, 2003, Palm Sunday.
We got up and found that we continue to be plagued with a deposit
of yellow pollen from the pine trees. This has been with us in
the marina, but we hoped to escape it at anchor. There are so
many pine trees and this is the time of year for the pollen.
The deck and all of the glass turns yellow overnight. You must
clean it off or it will be ground into the wax and then it really
is a pain. After cleaning we are off to the swap meet, locally
known as a JUMBLE. We dont find anything we need but do
see some people from the Cappadocia trip and Yacht Marine and
bid them adios. It is after noon before we leave and we really
don't go too far. We are in a small bay with great protection
from every direction except east. It is Gerbeske Bay, Latitude
36º 42.076' N , Longitude 28º 13.511' E. Not that it
makes any difference to most people. This is a bay somewhat similar
to the many bays in Mexico, where the fishermen stop to rest
and clean fish then go fishing again. In Byzantine times there
was a trading post in the bay and some of the stone walls still
exist. There is a church on the hill. It consists of the two
ends of the sanctuary and that is all. The walls on each side
have fallen. The sanctuary is about 20 feet long and 12 feet
wide. The ends are free arches with a bit of building going further
up. There are some indications of frescoes. The wall joints in
one of the corners clearly has some fresco material with red
paint on it, as do several of the inside columns. There is a
Greek cross carved into the stone on the north entry into the
sanctuary. This is where we observed our Sunday service and Palm
Monday, April 14, 2003. Today
was supposed to be clear, we awoke to a rain and fog beneath
the hill tops. Before long, there is a bolt of lightning followed
by pelting rain and small hail. In a short time, the boat is
clean! This ends shortly, and we must keep moving or we will
get nowhere. It is a short distance to the tip of the peninsula.
We have been here before, with Leroy. We passed Serce and the
bay on the end where the citadel is located. It is clear now
and we can see Rodos, Rhodes, clearly and are only 5 miles from
the island of Simi, in Greece. The distance between Greece and
Turkey being so small invites the coast guard to patrol the area
to stop those who go from country to country without getting
the necessary papers. There are many charter boats here in the
summer and I imagine it is a great game of cat and mouse. It
is about 2 PM when we get to our anchorage in Dirsek. The bay
winds around in a manner that makes the end of the bay very protected.
There is a two story dwelling where I am sure there is a lot
of action in the summer. There are three people here, a fisherman
and his wife and an older man. After we tie to their pier I ask
the older man for two beers, that is the way one pays for staying
at a private pier. Kathy, the older man and I sit at a table
on the veranda and look out over a bed of ice plant with purple
blooms and the two boats at the pier, Traumerei and the fishing
boat. The old guy wants to talk, only in Turkish, and we listen
and nod our heads. This goes on non-stop for 20 minutes. Occasionally
we would catch a word, location, that we knew and offer a nod
or shake the head. He is dressed as so many are, in as good of
clothes as he has and then a sport coat. We have noticed that
most men wear a sport coat and really do dress nicely.
Back at the boat we are sitting
in the cockpit reading and listening to some good music, country
western. The fisherman and his wife were straightening the nets
out preparing to set them this evening. The stern of his boat
is covered with wood and a carpet. She is standing on the carpet
taking the net from her husband and coiling it on the deck. Our
music might have been loud enough for her to hear it, I am not
sure. None the less, she was dressed in typical Turkish style,
with high top socks, full length harem pants (balloon legs) ,
and a dress covering all of that. She had on a sweater and a
headscarf also. All these articles are in contrasting colors
and patterns. This may seem unimportant, but I was trying to
play music of the type and loud enough for her to hear and at
least keep time with her toes. There was a small weather pattern
that brought thunder and rain for a couple of hours then a peaceful
night in a very secluded spot.
Tax Day 2003. This morning we
are going to Datcha. It is but 15 miles but takes us 4 hours
under sail. This is another calm and not too busy spot for a
stop. The town is of medium size and certainly depends on the
tourist, in the summer. Its proximity to two large Greek islands
assures it of a great tourist season. Almost all that come to
Kos or Simi to charter sailboats will want to make the trip to
a small town in Turkey. We were wandering about in the town when
we came upon the local jr high band practicing the drum and bugle
corps pieces for an upcoming celebration. We figured it is a
celebration because we also walked by a group of teenagers practicing
the regional folk dances and a group of kindergarten kids also
practicing a less rigorous dance. Indeed we later find that April
23 is a national childrens holiday and there will be much
While we were in the internet
café there was a two star general of the Turkish army
also there. There was an enlisted man with him; I assume he was
the guard for such a highly positioned man. As I have recalled
before, most people in the internet shops are young guys playing
war games. They play against each other on various machines in
the shop. So help me, this major general went into the next room
and sat at one of the consoles and I believe he was playing war
games. Kathy tried to see by checking the reflection of the screen
in his glasses, as he was opposite us, but the guard would watch
her and so she stopped. There were no other people in the room
to test his wits with, but then who would defeat a general?
We met a lady who has a carpet
shop this afternoon. A couple who went with us to Cappadocia
came to Datcha and noticed us and invited us to accompany them
to a favorite carpet shop. WOW you should have been there. I
know several of those to whom this is addressed that would have
gone crazy buying carpets. We saw wool on wool, silk on silk,
silk on wool and so on, learned the history behind them and something
about the villages where they were woven. Some of the designs
and weavings are from villages that date to 300 BC. I am afraid
I succumbed to her chatter and will buy several.
All is well.
April 16, 2003