Thursday, 17 September 2009

Kargilibuk to Amazon Creek via 7 islands

Thursday 10th September

Loguz Koyu from our breakfast table

Kargilibuk is such a lovely place to wake up. To be honest there are so many idyllic places in this part of Turkey that it's difficult to choose a favourite, but for solitude and friendliness of people this is definitely a high contender.
We heard a gulet leaving at just after 6am and were up at 7, ready to head over to the restaurant as promised. Eleanor was at the end of the jetty when we arrived, fishing for octopus. Ali sleeps in his car and was just getting up as we sat down at our table by the waters edge. While he and Eleanor were making the tea, we played with the dogs and soaked up the atmosphere. After 20 minutes Marco was getting impatient, but it eventually arrived and we were reminded that time doesn't really matter in this kind of place (unless of course you are on a two week yacht charter and need to get the thing back to Bodrum!)....
While we were drinking, a fisherman and his girlfriend arrived for tea as well and we all sat around a table listening to Eleanor's story of how she came to meet Ali and move to Turkey after a bohemian upbringing in London. We then had an entertaining ten minutes watching a gulet untangle it's anchor from ours! We had probably crossed theirs when we entered the bay last night and were glad we were not on board to be potentially shouted at by the gulet owner.
Eventually it was time to leave, but Eleanor and Ali would not hear of payment for the tea. They had just liked our company. We hope that they are still there when we come back on a boat of our own one day.
We upped anchor and motored out towards Tuzla where we intended to have a more foodie breakfast in the peaceful surroundings described by Rod Heikell. Hah! Fat chance! The bay was like gulet city and we were one of only two yachts there. We anchored in the bay in around 5m and swung happily while all the gulets piled in and out around us. I was a lovely setting though - just a pity that the view didn't quite match the aerial shot in the pilot book.
Having checked the anchor, which was wedged nicely behind a rock, we read and drank beer (well it was now too late for breakfast), then started to head over towards Yedialari (or 7 islands). We had read in Rod's Eastern Aegean pilot that a restaurant exists in North Creek which would make an ideal lunch stop. The journey didn't take long at all on the motor and we weaved our way through the islands to our destination. A lone gulet was anchored there so we dropped our anchor nearby and took a line ashore before heading out in the dinghy which we managed to ground several times due to the rocky, shallow shoreline. It quickly became apparant that the restaurant does not exist, at least not where we were looking. A Turkish farmer waved at us as we walked along the waters edge but that was all. Disappointed, we took a dinghy ride around the rest of the bay in case we were looking in the wrong place but never found a thing - a shame as this is a lovely spot. 

We attempted to sail out of the 7 islands area but the wind was almost on the nose, not to mention it being quite shoaly in the area, so we took the genoa back in and motored once more into the wind. It was uncomfortable and boring as we had done absolutely no sailing all day. We passed a reef on the way to Amazon Creek which showed as being marked with a North Cardinal on the chart. we approached we could see that it was actually marked by a West Cardinal...thank heavens Marco spotted it as we had been heading straight for the rocks  As we passed west of the reef, it was an easy run into Bordubet Limani where Amazon Creek was. We motored up with the wind behind us, but the area looked deserted with hardly any yachts and no sign of life. It looked as thought we would be dipping into our tinned emergency rations for the evening. Having checked out the pilot book, we couldn't see the restaurant that was indicated so headed around the corner, joining another yacht that was also heading that way. As we dropped anchor we noticed a wooden sign attached to a rickety jetty. "Restaurant VHF 77".  Once we'd got a line around a tree, Marco called the number on the VHF and, true to reliable Turkish form, got an answer immediately from the friendly restaurant,  
The restaurant sign at Amazon Creek with steps leading up to the path
who promised to collect us from the top of the staircase at 8. After that little adventure we relaxed, had a beer, got ready and hopped into the dinghy for a short ride to the jetty. We climbed the stairs and the car was there waiting for us. Talk about service! We were driven to The Amazon Club, which was a busy open-air restaurant with a lovely ambience. The food was all self-service and was pretty delicious considering we hadn't really built up our hopes of eating out at all that night!  We were pretty stuffed actually and that included a pretty reasonable bottle of pinot grigio and all for about £30.  We drifted back to the jetty with the aid of our torch (pitch black so you really need one) and celebrated our lovely evening with a baileys in the cockpit, listening to the sound of cicadas and silence. Fell asleep studying a pitch black sky, studded with a million stars.

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