The bays of Goçek, Skopia Limani and Fethiye are like The Solent in the UK. At just 10 or so miles across it’s an easy sail from one town to the other, and with many anchorages in between a month or two of one’s life can pass unnoticed.
Below is an image taken from our plotter. It shows not the actual track of Esper but of log entries every 30 minutes (hence the appearance of us going over ground occasionally!) and demonstrates our familiarity with some of the anchorages. There are still many we have yet to discover, however.
The following few pages are some comments and ideas on the places we have visited between May and July. It’s not intended to replace the information gleaned from pilot guides. It’s basically a lazy way of updating our log with as little writing as possible, bolstered by some pics taken over the last month. Even so, decisions on where to cruise are frequently based on word-of-mouth recommendations, so allow me to confuse you a little more.
Pros and Cons of This Area
As we get to know Turkey a bit better so we are able to make some judgements on places we have visited as yotties. One thing that really sticks out when comparing this area to anywhere north of here is just how busy it can get. It’s one thing I’m not really able to get my head around as we’re used to anchorages with one or two other boats as neighbours, not entire flotillas of gullets and party boats! That said, when sailing around here one begins to understand the theory of The Three T’s (the three best cruising locations in the world – Thailand, Tonga and Turkey).
- Superb sailing with smalls seas and excellent winds
- Predictable weather system that is less affected by outside weather and more by afternoon katabatics
- Wonderful clear-water anchorages, many with restaurants, jetties and mooring lines
- Good for shopping, both in terms of boat parts and food (2 outstanding markets)
- Gets very busy in the summer and extremely packed at the weekends
- Not cheap and much price fixing amongst shops and restaurants in the anchorages
- Locals getting greedy with hugely inflated prices on food and drink
- Disregard for yotties by authorities in terms of imposed fines
The last point is worth bearing in mind. One only has to spend a few afternoons in a pretty anchorage for it to be spoilt by local gullets emptying their holding tanks with complete disregard for the swimmers (and locals who live by the water). Rumours abound of yotties getting fined for dumping their waste whilst a blind eye is turned to the gullets who do the same. Not particularly fair but this is to be expected of the Turkish authories who can’t seem to understand how important the yottie is to their tourist industry, especially in the last couple of difficult years. These laws, fining boat-owners for pollution, are actually forward thinking and far more stringent than anything in the UK, but they are abused. Let’s hope this situation improves and let’s not allow this point to spoil what is essentially a much-admired and beautiful cruising ground. There is so much to offer the cruiser…