Monday, May 27, 2013


Above the anchorage at Gumusluk
Pronounced "Goumoushlouk" roughly. It's the ancient city of Myndos, nice place, nice anchorage and despite the rampant tourism on this northern section of the Carian coast, it still retains the atmosphere of a Turkish sea side village. There are a couple small markets and a very nice little bakery right off the wooden town wharf. The bakery has the usual fresh bread and an exceptional assortment of baked goodies including the very best baklava we've had this trip, perhaps ever. There are also the usual restaurants lining the sandy waterfront walk but they aren' t too pushy, usually, and the food is good. 

Turkish baked goodies
This anchorage did get crowded on a Saturday with charter boats and boats from the big city of Bodrum. That led to our first anchoring cluster this trip. Some idiot on a chartered  38 foot Bavaria came into the anchorage about nine PM and just had to anchor right in the middle of the densest part of the fleet. We had been here several days and had gotten closely surrounded already that day but this guy dropped right beside us. It was over fifty feet deep in that position so naturally he dropped about fifty feet of chain. When he couldn't get the anchor set  he started dragging it around and hooked our chain. Then they tried to bring their anchor up with our anchor chain hooked on it and we started dragging. They had no idea what to do so we had to start up our engine and Janet kept us in position while I got in our dinghy and went over to their boat to help with an 'anchor thief',  a device built just for this situation. They had little English, my Turkish consists of "hello" and "thank you"  and the three women and one guy on board were pretty much clueless. I can only say that after about an hour of chaos our chain was freed and they motored off into the darkness where they should have gone in the first place and we got re-anchored and hit the sack. This was in flat calm. If it had been blowing as it had a couple nights earlier somebody would have got hurt.

And a few nights ago it did blow 30-35 knots from the southwest. This anchorage is well protected from about anything but a southwesterly. We had a few short drags that night, the first time our Rocna anchor has ever dragged anywhere, and getting re-stuck was an interesting exercise. We finally took an open mooring for the night. A big Oyster next to us started really dragging down onto the boat astern and our air horn woke them up in time to avoid a major collision. They just pulled anchor and departed.
Tourist "gullets'
Now we've been here a week.  We're having some canvas repair done in Bodrum that should be done today. There's another big southerly forecast for day after tomorrow so we'll depart tomorrow for a bay just north of us, Ilica Buku,  that's well protected from the south.
Bodrum Castle
Since our last blog entry from Knidos we've continued north to the Bodrum Peninsula and the city of Bodrum itself. Bodrum is a nice modern city with a lovely, if touristy, waterfront and an impressive 15th century fortress centered on the harbor. We toured the fortress and enjoyed a couple expensive nights in the excellent marina. We also found a pretty good Chinese restaurant that was an interesting change of fare.
Bodrum harbor
From Bodrum it was just around the corner to a nice anchorage off Catalada Island. So far it's the only place we've had almost to ourselves this trip, one other boat,  and in a northwest wind it was well sheltered, quiet and lovely. Having the kind of secluded anchorages you might expect in the Pacific or SE Asia is a rare event in the Med. There are a lot of boats here and people anchor a lot closer than is the custom elsewhere. The major stops are MAJOR stops and I think we'll be hunting for the out of the way places most of the time. The coastline in this area is infested with "holiday villages" which are concrete jungles that all look alike and bring in tourist hoards to artificial towns made over to serve them. This is a very good place to be on a boat and able to escape this stuff.
Catalada Island
Gumusluk is not one of those "holiday" places and I believe they don't intend to get that way. There are tourist places on the beach south of town but the village itself still has some character.
Woman at the vegetable market
So we'll be outta here tomorrow to sit out the southerly. We may stick around the area to have the Ullman Sails guy in Bodrum work on our genoa. I was very unhappy about the service supposedly provided by UK-Halsey Sails in Marmaris and these people at Ullman actually seem to be interested in doing a good job. Anyone thinking of having UK Sails in Marmaris work for them should think again and find someone else. And we do have UK-Halsey Sails on our boat. 

So not to end on a sour note, its a beautiful morning, couldn't be prettier, the anchorage is quiet and uncrowded and life is good. We'll take a Dolmas (small local bus) into Bodrum this afternoon to do a couple things and move on tomorrow. Whenever we leave the Bodrum Peninsula we plan to work north up towards Kusadasi. Maybe with stops on the Greek islands of Agathonisi and Samos and a couple places on the Turkish coast.

Love to all,
Bill & Janet


Roving Jay - Expat in Motion said...

Good tip about the bakery. I'm in the middle of writing a Travel Guide for Gumusluk, so if you have any more tips about your time there.. I'd love to hear about them.

thanks, Jay

Roving Jay - Expat in Motion said...

Hi Bill and Janet... I'm writing a Guide Book about Gumusluk, and will be including narratives about this lovely Turkish location from people who live there or have visited. Could I use an excerpt of your article in the book? I'd credit you as the source and can include a link back to your website... please let me know if it's ok to proceed with this... thanks Jay