Thursday, 17 September 2009

Bodrum to Knidos

1st September 2009
Knidos the dog surveys our mooring skills
I had the most fantastic sleep that i think i've ever had on a boat. It must be a relaxing lifestyle after all! I got up, put on the kettle, wandered off to use the marina showers and was back on the boat, making morning coffee before Marco had even woken up! It was a beautiful day and we sat in the cockpit admiring the view and listening to the clink of halyards against masts.  Once Marco was ready, we popped to the bakery for some fresh bread and, on the way back, called in at the Yildiz Yachting office to ask for some decent sized glasses. The ones on Balina were an insult to the liver of decent mariners like ourselves...would hardly hold a nat's wotsit of gin, and with our ongoing 'learning processes', I felt sure that it was a sure bet that we would be hammering the gin bottle most nights after mooring, to celebrate a decent day's sailing you understand...
Once  back on board, we had breakfast and came to the conclusion that we were probably the only bareboaters that week. There were lots of Dutch people around and the Yildiz flotilla leader happened to be Dutch too. He came round to say hi, but lost interest somewhat when he realised we were not going to be joining his team for the week. Marco asked him cheerily which direction he thought the flotilla would be heading. When the Dutch flotilla leader said "Into the Gulf of Gekova", Marco shot back "In that case we'll head into the Gulf of Hisaronu!" The flotilla leader gave us a withering look and stalked off up the pontoon.

 Well we can't help it if we don't like flotillas!

When we were ready to leave, we called the marina and they sent a pilot boat to let us out. Due to the fact that all yachts are on lazy lines in the marina, it is somewhat difficult to manoeuvre. Therefore, the pilots come along to nudge your yacht around. I handed the mooring to the pilot and dropped the lazy line. Once we had left, he tied the line back to the pontoon. Couldn't be simpler eh? We motored out of Bodrum. The castle looked spectacular behind us as we left and we could see in the daylight just how far we had walked last night.
We headed south towards Knidos, intending to arrive there for lunch, then going on to Palamut for dinner. The wind was easy on us at first, coming from the North West, keeping us nicely at 6knots on a broad reach but it soon picked up (dastardly meltemi) and suddenly we had 20knots with all sail out and the yacht started to heel quite dramatically. At first it was exciting but then the wind shifted round to the west and waves were starting to hit us sideways on. Hmmm...this wasn't so much fun and when i went down below to fetch something, I ended up feeling very sick very quickly. I recovered ok once I was back in the cockpit and Marco reefed the main so we were steady again.
We carried on across the gulf, with Kos on our starboard side but were still being knocked about more than we felt comfortable with for a first day and decided to turn towards Nsiros (a Greek Island south of Kos), then gybe around past the headland towards Knidos. The trouble with this strategy was that we were then on a dead run (wind directly behind) and, as we have no idea yet how to goosewing our sails, we decided to motor into Knidos.
Once we were on the approach to Knidos, it was hard to see where the breakwater was as from a distance it looked to be attached to the land. But when we got nearer we could easily spot the entrance and motored in. Our first attempt to anchor on the starboard side of the bay was a dismal failure, although we had read in Rod Heikel's book that it was bad holding. Then as luck would have it, a large catamaran left the jetty, leaving a large space so we quickly motored round and threw our lines to the waiting pontoon owner there. Having secured ourselves to the pontoon we quickly came to the conclusion that Knidos was a place we would like to see more of and decided to stay overnight. We had a swim in the rather refreshing water (read COLD) and Marco had a look under the boat to see that our keel was resting in the sea grass there. Yikes!

Having had our compulsory first-day swim, we got out and relaxed in the cockpit, reading/sleeping. When I woke up I got the feeling I was being watched and sat up to take a look round. Right by the boat staring /straight in at us was a lovely brown dog with floppy ears (see picture) who we called Knidos for, quite frankly obvious reasons. Knidos obviously loved new people and lay right by our boat for about half an hour until a new yacht arrived when he changed allegiance and went to sit by that one instead. Turncoat! 

We got ready for dinner and chatted to our neighbours on Su-Su, then paid TYL25 for our pontoon mooring which included electricity and water. We hardly needed it, having only just left Bodrum but decided to get our money's worth by having extra long showers.The restaurant at Knidos was very busy considering the amount of yachts in but we got a nice table and, like in Spartakhori on the previous holiday, we had to choose our own dinner from a selection in the kitchen. A really nice thing to do.  We both chose sea bream and salad and had meze for starter - peppers, aubergine and watercress salad and stuffed courgette flowers.
 All were fantastic. And the entire meal, with a good bottle of wine came to less than £70. The views of the bay were amazing. Back on the boat there was quite a commotion caused by a yacht coming in late and getting itself caught up on another boat's lines whist trying to squeeze into a gap between two boats already nicely moored up. Chaos ensued and everyone was watching and offering to help collect lines etc, but in the end, the arriving yacht hobbled off (probably embarrassed at causing such a fuss) to the end of the jetty and we returned to Balina to toast a great day with a large Baileys nightcap.

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