Travels with S/Y Thetis

Thetis only

1997: From Antalya to Kastellorizo

This web page describes the fifth leg of the third 1997 sailing trip with S/Y Thetis in the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean. It covers the sail from Antalya, Turkey to Kaş (Çeneviz Liman, Gökkaya, Karaloz Liman), car trips near Kaş (Yazir, Arykanda, Limyra, Elmali), and a stay in the Greek island of Kastellorizo. The web page is illustrated with photographs, also included are historical and geographical descriptions of the places visited as well as several links to other related web sites.

Route from Antalya to Kastellorizo
Route from Antalya to Kastellorizo

Friday September 5, 1997 Day 29

We woke up early and started the preparations for departure. Alice continued with the laundry while I washed the boat. As soon as the marina office opened we settled our bill. I bought at the store a pelican cleat, a better quality electrical plug for shore AC, and a hose adapter. By 9:10 we were leaving the marina to warm farewells to and from our friends of the S/Y Akyar. The marina attendants once again helped with the lines and the mooring.

There was very little wind. We motored for a while and then we motor-sailed with the genoa and the tent. We were in Çeneviz [36° 22.2' N 30° 30' E] by 2:30 (29 M). We anchored and took a 100 m line ashore, the whole maneuver executed very smoothly: first anchor, then I go ashore with the zodiac and the line, tie one end, return towards Thetis, tie a fender at the end of the line and drop it in the water, get back on Thetis, backup toward the fender being careful not to foul the line on the propeller, fish the fender with the boat hook, winch the boat until both the line and the anchor rode are taut.

I later modified the main sheet using the pelican cleat so that it can be detached, just like the S/Y Zephyros. The only problem was the flies and the noise from the gulets which were playing loud music, the inevitable “Macarena,” and during the night dancing with strobe lights until the early hours.

We took the zodiac to a lovely little beach slightly north of the anchorage and had a nice swim. For dinner we had a mushroom omelet together with the rice we did not eat the previous night.

Saturday September 6, 1997 Day 30

We watched the sunrise and then left at 7:55. There was no wind but as we were motoring towards Cape Geledonia (Alice was terrified of that cape) there was heavy swell. The wind picked up from the SE to 5-8 knots and as we came near the cape it veered from the NE. Later it changed direction again coming form the NW. I wanted to raise the main sail but Alice would not let me until we rounded the cape. As we had not seen a gulet this morning, Alice formulated a gulet theory: there are two sets of gulets, one goes to the East as far as Finike while the other set operates from Antalya and goes no further west than Çeneviz. The theory fell apart since at the cape we crossed paths of no less than 14 gulets all of them going east. After rounding the cape the wind died out completely and so did the swell. It was good we had not bothered raising the main. Several miles after the cape there came a light wind 5-10 knots from the SW and we were able to sail with the genoa. We reached the Gökkaya [36° 12.4' N 29° 54' E] cove of the Kekova island by 14:25 after 36.2 M.

Photograph of Gokaya

We anchored at 10 m depth releasing all 50 m of chain plus 20 m of rope, and then secured 2 lines to the rocks ashore. Everything was idyllic under the tent and the beautiful scenery until a gulet came and anchored right next to us although there was plenty of space further away. Fortunately they were quiet and did not play the “Macarena.”

Photograph of Aliki
Aliki in Thetis

Dinner was pasta with tomato sauce with mushrooms and accompanied with beer. The refrigerator seemed to be working very well, and with manageable current consumption, at the +10° C setting, no need to turn it off at all. As we were getting low on fuel with all the motoring, we transferred one jerry can to the fuel tank. Not one drop spilled!

Sunday September 7, 1997 Day 31

It has been now a full month since we left Samos, this is a new record for Alice. We had a lazy morning swimming etc. While snorkeling I saw a very large ροφός (grouper).

We left the anchorage at 11:30 and motored for 3.4 M to Karaloz Liman [36° 11' N 29° 53.4' E] (12:05). Karaloz Liman is on the South side of Kekova island and it is completely land locked and very beautiful. We anchored and took out 2 shore lines. Alice did very well holding the boat in place under reverse power while I tied the first line and brought it back to Thetis. The inlet is so narrow that the wind, if it were to increase and change direction, could move us to the rocks of the opposite side from which we are anchored. Again we did not do very much. We swam and watched other boats mooring. There were only two gulets and the cove was very quiet.

We had a pasta dinner with a tomato and basil sauce that I had bought last year in Cagliari, Sardenia. For the past two days the Navtex has been giving gale warnings for Cavo Doro, and tonight it included the Karpathos sea. For our location, Taurus, the forecast was 3-4 Bft and calm seas. Alice, nevertheless was scared.

Photograph of Thetis in Karaloz
Thetis in Karaloz Liman

Monday September 8, 1997 Day 32

We left at 8:30. No wind again so we motored. The sea was dead calm and the view so nice that we did not want to obstruct it with the tent, despite the heat. As we approached Kaş there was some swell. We entered the Kaş [36° 11.8' N, 29° 38.6' E] harbor at 11:30 crossing 17.7 M. As soon as the boat slowed down we felt the merciless heat. We docked without any problem. Alice was getting very good at anchoring in tight harbors.

After installing the passarella, we connected the boat with the electricity and water. Our friend the harbor master came and greeted us and asked about Nikos and the Faneromeni. We went ashore to the market place and had a light lunch of gözleme in a shady spot which was followed by çay (tea) at the park. Time was standing still in the heat. Back on-board we kept sprinkling the tent with water just to keep the heat bearable. We filled the tank and the empty jerry can with diesel fuel from the truck. In the evening we went to the Phellos car rental and made arrangements for a car.

We had a nice dinner at a restaurant but clouds of mosquitoes kept attacking our legs and feet. At night the boat was cool but the discos at the other side of the harbor were competing with each other as to which one can play the loudest music.

Tuesday September 9, 1997 Day 33

True to their word, the Phellos people brought the car at 8:30. After waiting for most of the gulets that may have fouled our anchor to leave, and after some light shopping, we too left. By 10:30 we were out of the town driving towards Elmali with the father of Alice’s grocer, who picked us up at the gas station, as a passenger. We dropped him at a hamlet before the Elmali fork and at Kasaba instead of proceeding to Gömbe we took the road to Yazir.

Photograph of Byzantine Church
Byzantine Church

First we went looking for the ruins of a large Byzantine church which, according to the guide book, was 3 km off the road. We drove on the dirt road for several kilometers into a gorge that was very beautiful but we could not find the ruins. We asked some people and they urged us on. Finally the road came to an abrupt end on a river bed where the car became stuck on the pebbles. It was a tense moment because we were in the middle of nowhere. With some effort we managed to extricate ourselves and head back. As soon as we turned we saw the ruins some distance by the river to our right. Our road for sure did not lead to them. After finding another dirt road we drove again until it became impassable after which we trekked the rest of the way to the ruins. They were most impressive in size. No one knows much about what such a large church (Cathedral?) was doing there because no large town has been found.

Photograph of Byzantine Church
Closeup of the Byzantine Church

Alice noticed that there were a number of small wooden structures near farm houses. The structures seem to have the shape of a Lycian house-tomb but we could not figure out what they were used for.

Photograph of Lycian tomb like structure

Lycian tomb-like structure

Photograph of Large Tree

A Large Tree

We then got back on the paved road and drove some distance through the pine trees and up the mountains. Once again we got off the main road, this time looking for Arnae. We drove and drove through the forest. No luck. We stopped for a snack and then drove some more. We came by a very large plane tree. At last we did see an ancient looking wall, maybe that was Arnae maybe not.

Photograph of Arycanda
The ruins of Arycanda

Back on the road heading towards Finike to visit Arykanda. We stopped the car under a plane tree across from a truck stop. While Alice was reading the guide books on Arykanda we were surrounded by a heard of young boys peddling aromatic weeds. One of them pushed, through the open window, a weed up my nostril. We got out of the car and started walking towards the site, followed by the boys. We had a hard time persuading them to leave us alone. We walked for over 1 km. The site was very impressive, perched on the slope of a steep mountain. It reminds one of Delphi. It has a nice rectangular agora, a theater, and a stadium, all with spectacular views to the surrounding valleys. A most enjoyable visit despite the heat.

Photograph of Arycanda Photograph of Arycanda
Photograph of Limyra

We then got back on the highway to Finike. Near Finike we drove off to visit Limyra. The theater is on the left and the ruins of the bishopric palace and the dying place of Gaius, adopted son of Augustus, are to the right in a marshy area, surrounded by green. Again a herd of teenage boys descented on us. The largest and the most obnoxious of them kept following us and we could not get rid of him. He ruined our enjoyment of the site and when we got back to the car, cutting the visit short, he had the gall to ask for a tip.

When we returned to Kaş after the 200 km drive it was dark. Next to Thetis was a large gulet which had re-arranged our line. After showers (we were very dusty) we had a dinner of pide and köfte in a clay pot. It was very good and very reasonable. We then each had a large baklava at Noel Baba, the in pastry shop at Kaş and retired totally exhausted. Alas, peace was not to be had as all during the night in our gulet neighbor the “music” was playing.

Wednesday September 10, 1997 Day 34

Photograph of Akdag (White Mountain)
Akdag (White Mountain)

The large noisy gulet which was next to us left during the early hours but she was very soon replaced by another one. The noise and the hassle of this harbor was getting to me. We drove off at 9:30 heading again towards Elmali. This time we went through the mountains via Gömbe. Like last time, a couple of weeks ago, we were amazed by the sheer beauty of these mountains. Pine forests, followed by chestnut trees, juniper trees, and cedars. The White Mountains with elevation of over 3,000 m looming in the background, our highest pass being a mere 1560 m.

Photograph of Wooden House
Α wooden house in Elmali

We did not stop at Gömbe but proceeded to Elmali. Before reaching Elmali in a small town we photographed an old wooden house.We went past Elmali north, straight to Bayndir where the tumulus burials, the artifacts of which we had seen at the Antalya museum, were found. Bayndir is an attractive village in a stark brambly landscape (πουρνάρια). No one there seemed to know anything about nearby excavations etc. We stopped near by for a picnic lunch.

Photograph of Bayindir

We then went in pursuit of Karatas where the pythoi burials (again we had seen the artifacts in the Antalya museum) were found. We went to Gölova and took a very rough dirt road to Gökpinar but again we were not able to identify the excavation site.

Photograph of Karatas

We left the dirt road and drove back to Gömbe where we sat at a cafe and had a strange sherbet and tea. We then took the mountain road via Kalkan this time back to Kaş. At the village of Sütlegen we looked for Nisa but to no avail. We gave a brief lift to a head covered older lady and a young girl who afterwards wanted to invite us for tea. Again the view from the road was breathtaking. We saw the beginning of the Kaputas Gorge and then, after we passed Kalkan, its other end.

Photograph of Sutlegen


Photograph of Kaputas


Back in Kaş after 250 km, we found poor Thetis surrounded by noisy gulets. We tried to eat at the Bahçe restaurant but all tables were reserved. At the harbor there was a wedding celebration going on raising the already considerable noise level. We had an indifferent meal at the most popular harbor restaurant. After diner, we went to a very pleasant bar with Turkish music from a duo playing baglama and guitar, but even here the soft music was almost drowned by the cacophony of the discos.

Thursday September 11, 1997 Day 35

I woke up not feeling well. After washing the boat and filling it with water we went to the authorities to clear out of Turkey. Harbor master, passport police, customs, and customs police. Unlike last time out of Turkey, this time no one asked for the 5 million TL “special exit fee”. It was hot! We bought some food supplies, a gift etc. with the remaining TL. We untied our lines, raised our anchor and pulled out of the Kaş harbor at 11:30. We were in Kastellorizo by 12:05 and anchored off-shore at Mandraki [36° 09' N 29° 35.9' E] after motoring 3.9 M. The wind was weak from the South.

We had a snack and a swim and then we both fell asleep under the tent. Leaving Kaş, I had forgotten to unplug the drain plugs from the zodiac which we were towing for the short distance, as a result it was filled with water. As I lifted it to drain the water out, I managed to dislodge the white lens cap of the rear navigational light. Despite repeated dives I could not find the lens, so I replaced it from the lens of the spare unit.

Later we went ashore to Kastellorizo and we called everyone in Greece. Nikos was in Patmos waiting out the passing gale. Telemachos was in Athens where Maritsa had an operation.

We had dinner on board: rice and eggs with tomatoes. My tummy had not yet settled. During the night the wind came from the North and Thetis drifted too close to the rocks for comfort. We set the second anchor to prevent farther drift.

Friday September 12, 1997 Day 36

This was a very slow day as we were both tired from too active tourism. We went to the town in the late morning and walked around and then we sat down at the cafe under the white umbrella and had a fresh orange juice while watching what seemed the whole island’s population go by. The population now was much less than a few weeks ago as most Greek vacationers, including our friends, had left.

Back on Thetis we swam, had lunch, and took a nap. In the evening we went to town and called Yiannousakis, our lawyer. There was bad news: the Iliades family from whom we were buying Uncle Costa’s property in Kalami owe back inheritance taxes of over 2 million GRD and so the transaction cannot proceed until the taxes are paid. I tried to call my cousin Chris in the US but he was not in. We had dinner in town.

Saturday September 13, 1997 Day 37

Photograph of Cyclopean Walls
Cyclopean Walls in Kastellorizo

We left the boat by 8:00 to walk to the top of the “Old Castle.” We found what we were told by a soldier was the right path and we climbed but instead of the “Old Castle” we reached Vigla (Βίγλα) past the cyclopean walls. We met there a young German who had been to the “Old Castle,” and he advised us not to go cross country but to start afresh from the bottom of the hill. He was now lost himself and he followed us back down the path that we had come from. We stopped at the monastery of Agia Triada (Holy Trinity) which was run by a crazy old lady who offered us coffee and filled us in with all the island gossip. It seems that the islanders were divided into three mutually exclusive camps: the 200 permanent inhabitants, the islanders who live in Sydney but come here for the summer, and outsiders who have bought and renovated houses.

We went back onboard Thetis for swimming and lunch. In the afternoon while we were resting the lovely old wooden British schooner Albola, which was anchored near us the past few days and had left in the morning, was returning. As we were admiring her lines she ran aground on the reefs. I went over with the zodiac to offer assistance. She was making the most horrible scraping sounds. The owners, a French couple, were in a daze. I helped them by taking their anchor and dropping it some distance up-wind. With a combination of kedging and running their propeller in reverse she came off the reef, with minimum damage.

Later we went back into the town and I tried in vain to call Chris. He was not in but I left a message. As we were strolling along the waterfront we saw the S/Y Genghus with my friend Tony from Italy. I had met Tony last year in Cagliari and earlier this year in Kos. There was a death in the family and his wife had to leave him for a while. He and some friends were heading for Antalya, Alanya, Cyprus, and the Red Sea.

We had dinner of pasta with pesto sauce on-board.

Sunday September 14, 1997 Day 38

Photograph of Old Castle
Old Castle in Kastellorizo

This is Alice’s last full day with Thetis. We woke up early and watched the sunrise while having our coffee in the cockpit. By 8:00 we were ready for another attempt at the “Old Castle.” This time we did find the right path and we made it. The view from the castle was indeed wonderful. We could see Yesilkoy, Kalkan, the peninsula of the Kaputas Gorge, the horrible aqua park before Kaş, the island of Ro, the Kastellorizo airport, and the Kastellorizo town. At least one of the castle towers is Hellenistic. Again the day was very hot and our legs were stiff from the steep climb.

After we descended back to the town we sat for a refreshing orange juice and then retired back to our boat for a cool swim, lunch, and an afternoon nap. About 4:00 we noticed a submarine approaching the island very slowly. After observing her with the binoculars we saw that she had a Greek flag and her name was Ωκεανός (Ocean). Later she was joined by a destroyer and both ships anchored a good distance off-shore.

We raised both anchors and motored to the main harbor where again we anchored off-shore. We did this maneuver so that tomorrow when Alice leaves we will be near the bus and move her luggage with ease. The narrow harbor was dominated by the ferry boat Ιάλισσος (Ialissos) and it was bustling with sailors on leave from the submarine and the destroyer.

We had a very pleasant dinner of grilled meat at the Sydney restaurant. We then stayed more or less awake until 1:30 AM just until the ferry boat left, to make sure that there was no problem as Thetis was uncomfortably near. Fortunately there was no problem.

Total distance Samos-Antalya-Kastellorizo: 478.1 M, 89:40 sailing hrs.