9 to 15 April 2018
Deep Bay, N36° 40.41’ E28° 51.80’
Tomb Bay, N36° 41.47’ E28° 52.39’
Göcek, N36° 44.92’ E28° 56.31’
Sarsala Köyu, N36° 40.64’ E28° 51.84’
to Ekinçik, N36° 49.12’ E28° 33.27’, 30nm, 5 hours
to Marmaris, N36° 49.14’ E28° 18.48’, 25nm, 4 hours
If Porto Heli was the place that Stefan’s sailing dreams took off then the Lycian coast from Marmaris was where mine started. Fresh from completing their day skipper qualifications in 2012 I joined Stefan and Clive on a week’s flotilla out of Marmaris for my first ever week at sea. Armed with the ability to tie a fender knot and not much else, I left most of the sailing to the boys but we had a brilliant week in the sunshine. It was therefore perfect timing that Clive should fly out to meet up with us in Fethiye to sail back towards Marmaris with us, on our own boat this time.
Veteran of our delivery trip from Gosport to Essex, many a trip up and down the Crouch and our unexpected crossing to France we love having Clive on the boat, not least for that extra pair of hands that sometimes just makes things that much easier.
So after one last night of luxury at the Yacht Classic Hotel we headed across the bay from Fethiye to the peninsula and island fringed Skopea Bay, an area of beautiful bays and coves with descriptive names like 22 Fathom Cove, Ruin Bay and Seagull Bay. In the two days between Lavinia and Richard leaving and Clive arriving we had already spent two nights there and were keen to return and show Clive these fabulously isolated and beautiful spots.
First we had a night on a mooring buoy in Deep Bay. Too deep for anchoring the buoy was welcome additional security for a good night’s sleep and we took a long line ashore to ensure we didn’t swing round in the narrow space.
Clive wasted no time diving into the clear waters. Coming from a harsh and long winter in the UK he was less acclimatised to the climbing temperatures in Turkey than us and enjoyed cooling down in the beautiful surroundings.
After a near silent night except for the occasional goat calling or owl hooting we moved round to the next bay, Tomb Bay – named for the rock tombs surrounding it. We moored on a very rickety pontoon at a restaurant just opening for the season and run by a young husband and wife. They had reassured us that depths at the pontoon were 4 metres so plenty for us. When we tied up we had only .2 of a metre under Pintail’s 2.1 metre keel! Another concern were the very rustic and rusty mooring rings simply nailed to the pontoon. A strong wind and they would not have held us. Luckily we had dead calm.
After 36 hours on the boat we were all keen to stretch our legs and discovered it was possible to walk from the bay to a nearby village. We were told it might take 1 hour maybe 2 depending how fast we walked. We hadn’t taken account of the climb up and then down into the valley. We climbed steeply up over 200 metres and then down again. The prospect of the return climb meant we were all hoping to find a taxi in the village.
The path also wasn’t that straightforward. We started following the familiar red and yellow markers of the Lycian way but at junctions these were often replaced by alternatives which we weren’t entirely sure we should follow.
Eventually, after many twists and turns down to the level of the lake in the valley we found the pretty village and a welcome shop to buy a cold drink. There was no sign of a taxi and so we had to grit our teeth and return on foot.
We all woke the next day with very aching legs but I was determined we should visit the bay’s eponymous tombs. We started out on what was more scramble and climb than walk along the rocky shore to the beach below the tombs. The prospect of the near vertical climb was just too much for all of us so we made do with looking up at them from afar.
From Tomb Bay we headed north to Göcek home of the super yachts. Anchoring off the beach briefly we found nothing there to make us want to stay so headed back to show Clive our favourite bay in the area, Sarsala.
Another mooring buoy for the night gave us the perfect position to watch the reflections in the still water and the most glorious sunrise over Skopea Bay. We were lucky to have these bays almost entirely to ourselves. We can only imagine how busy they get in the summer.
We finally tore ourselves away from the beautiful isolation of Skopea Bay and headed out into the open sea to make our way towards Marmaris. We had flat calm and no wind. When it started to blow gently, with an extra pair of hands on board, we were brave enough to try our cruising chute again for the first time since arriving in Greece with Martin at Cefalonia. It’s a beautiful sail and we didn’t care that we were going very slowly. We had all day to get to Ekinçik.
We had a night at anchor off the beach at Ekinçik, a small and rather forlorn resort town. Unfinished building projects marred the beachfront but the view around made up for it.
When we were sailing around Marmaris in 2012 Clive and Stefan had dived into the sea at every opportunity
so on our entrance to Marmaris in 2018 we just had to recreate one of their tandem dives. I don’t think Tom Daly and Daniel Goodfellow will have anything to worry about anytime soon!
We had an evening out in Marmaris, something we had not done on our first visit, and watched the sun go down from the busy water front, enjoying some wine decanted into a duck. A pintail perhaps?
And then too quickly, time came for Clive to leave us to start his new job – come back soon though, Clive – and for us to continue our trip down memory lane to revisit Çiftlik and Bozuk Bükü…