Once our family had left us in Vouiliagmeni – mainland southern Greece - and with Kaylene – Alec’s younger brother’s wife - as our new crew member, we made our way down the coastline spending a night in the bay of Anavissou. Chapel Cove was our anchorage that evening and the waters here are clean enough to swim. We had good shelter from the ‘meltemi’ – the name given to the northerly winds which begin blowing in June and reach full strength in July and August. They blow throughout the Greek Islands and the coast of Turkey all the way to Istanbul. They can be extremely challenging making some legs nearly impossible. You just have to sit in a sheltered bay and wait for a lull, and then motor.
|SHAMAL, Vourkari, Kea|
|Town Quay, Khios|
|Fish Farm off Khios|
|Wind Gust, Ciplak Island,|
|Shoe Cleaners, Ayvalik,|
By evening we were all checked in, having to use an agent, done some shopping and walked about the town. The first impression we got was that Turkey is more affluent than Greece. Not all the shops close in the middle of the day like in Greece. The people are happier and more friendly, and the shops are all well stocked. After a night anchored out in a more sheltered bay on the other side of Ayvalik Lake, we headed north again towards the Dardanelles. After 31nm of sailing we had to take shelter in the fishing harbour of Babakale, under Cape Burun as winds were now gusting up to 35kts on the nose. With the strong winds even in the harbour we had a little trouble coming alongside the quay, but with the help of other local yacht crew we tied up safely. We had just finished organising ourselves when a man arrived down from a local restaurant with a huge piece of chilled watermelon. It was 34degs, so that was most welcome. There was also a business card that came with it saying we could dine at his restaurant if we liked. Well OK. And of course we did that evening, being offered a lovely variety of scrummy Turkish dishes, including a seaweed dish, and it was not expensive either. The restaurant was high on the hill above the harbour with wonderful views looking all the way back to Lesvos. We are now well off the track of most cruising yachts and find everything is more authentic which is so nice. In the afternoon we took ourselves for a wander around what was an old Greek village which sits on a hillside overlooking the harbour. There is also a restored fortress and an old Ottoman cemetery.
|Sheltering in Babakale Fishing|
We had another day of tacking for miles before we entered the entrance of the Dardanelles and dropped the anchor in Morto Bay on the northern side. We were in the shadow of the huge Turkish Monument for the Dardanelles Martyrs.
|AIS showing shipping entering|
The following afternoon we are moving on again praying for no wind and again not too strong a current. With another night stop north of the Dardanelles we make it to Istanbul where Kaylene will leave us. We motored those last two days, but were glad of no wind because when it does blow here it would have been on the nose for us. In 2011 Alec and I were stuck on Marmara Island for ten days due to the winds. So the following morning we took Kaylene ashore and say our goodbyes. She has been a great crew member and fun to have on-board.
|We carry anything!!|
Lots of Love
The Admiral and The Commander