Limassol

The sail up from Paphos was quite relaxing with a nice beam reach along the coast. We kept off the coast outside the yellow marker boys as we passed the British base.

In Limassol there are a couple of choices when it comes to Marinas. You have the convenient right next to the old town but very expensive (130 euros a night after a 50% discount) Limassol Marina or the way out of town but reasonably priced (56 euros a night) San Raphael Marina, which we opted for.

In Cyprus, you need to check in at every port with the Port Police. They give you a landing card and take your passports. When you leave they give you your passports back. Paros was the exception as they gave us our passports back there – which allowed us to cross the demilitarised zone into the occupied territories. No such opportunity at any of your other stops. Interestingly you don’t need a passport to hire a car here – just an Australian Drivers license.

When we were in Paphos, we drove through Limassol and checked out the old castle and the old town, both of which were pretty good and worth a look.

DSC_0137

DSC_0143

Dee got really excited when we spotted “A” off the beach. A huge funky looking $300M super yacht owned by, you guessed it, a Russian billionaire. We also saw it later in Paphos.

DSC_0123

Superyacht-A-01-big

San Raphael was a good 8km ride from town along some great bike paths so it was out with the bikes to do some further exploring and lunching on the very nice beach front. We ended up riding all the way to the mall, which was right up the other end of town – a good 15km away.

The bikes were playing up so we decided they needed a good service. We found a good bike shop and dropped them off. They came back with a long list of salt-water induced problems. Time to stop storing the fenders in the same locker as the bikes! They needed a couple of days to service so we ended up hiring another car for a couple of days and driving to the East end of the island. There are some great beaches and resort towns up there but at this time of the year they were all winding down.

 

After 5 days in Limassol, we fuelled up at the very reasonable price of 1.08 euro a litre and headed off towards Larnaca.

For photos of Southern Cyprus click here.

Paphos – The Jewel of Cyprus

After successfully checking into Cyprus, it was off to explore. We started with checking out the Kato Paphos Archaeological Park, which is right next to the harbour. In particular, the House of Dionysus (the Greek God of Wine) is one of the largest and the most impressive ruins in the park, with some of the best mosaics that we have came across. Rightly so as it is said to have the most impressive mosaics in the Mediterranean.

DSC_0009

After our quite extensive walk around the ruins, it was off to a great restaurant that Dimitri (from the Port Police) not only recommended to us but dropped us off at. We soon became impressed with both the Cyprus food, as well as with the local Cyprus wine, which turned out to be both very good and very cheap.

We then spent the rest of the afternoon checking out the cute seaside town with its nice beaches, great bars and restaurants and enough shopping to keep Dee interested.

DSC_0999
The Castle right next to our spot

Next morning we took a 40 minute walk along the coast on a great boardwalk up to the Tomb of Kings. Quite a bizarre place with all these tombs carved into the solid rock, most of which are underground. Many date back to the 4th century BC, and are thought to have been the burial sites of aristocrats and high officials (but interestingly – no Kings) up to the third century AD. Some of the tombs are quite elaborate, featuring Doric columns and frescoed walls.

DSC_0039
Hugh in his best Angela Merkel outfit

DSC_0040

 

We walked back into town and found the Mall, supposedly the biggest in Cyprus. The fact that Cyprus was British up until the 1950’s, together with the large number of Poms living here, made us feel like we had suddenly been transported into Little Britain.

Our dose of modern “culture” over, it was time to head back again into ancient times. We headed off in search of St Paul’s Pillar where he was (allegedly) beaten when he first arrived in Paphos, the then Roman capital of Cyprus, before managing to convert the Roman head honcho of the Island. We found the pillar amongst a lovely ancient church grounds, along with interestingly enough the grave of Erik Evegod, the King of Denmark who was on his way to the Holy Lands when he suddenly dropped dead.

DSC_0072

DSC_0073
Paul’s Pillar

The weather in November was still holding up well so we got in a few ocean swims. We found a nice spot right in the town centre where all the locals conjugated for a swim and a chat, with nice showers and lockers. Beautiful clear water and interesting coastline to snorkel over.

DSC_0027
6 Door Mercedes Taxi – couldn’t resist a ride

We quickly fell in love with Pafos, with its lovely bars (one of which we visited to watch the All Blacks beat us in the final), restaurants, shops and friendly super people. Cyprus is actually one place in Europe where they give way to pedestrians. Everything is convenient, and with the large English population, you can get just about anything you want. We stocked up at Lidl’s as well as the local grog shop, as wine and spirits are dirt cheap here. We got out our bikes and found ourselves cycling around Pafos and its surrounds.

IMG_1565
A Couple of the Locals

Since we had a cheap berth, we also took the opportunity to rent a car. We quickly found out that the shortest amount of time you can rent a car in Cyprus is 3 days – something to do with the insurance. So three days it was. At 240km long and 100km wide, Cypus is the 3rd largest island in the Med, there is plenty to see.

The first day we headed into the Troodos mountains, the largest mountain range in Cyprus. The highest peak is Mount Olympus at 1,952 meters, which hosts four ski slopes. There are lots of mountain resorts, Byzantine monasteries and churches on mountain peaks, with some pretty little villages clinging to terraced hill slopes.

DSC_0082

DSC_0080

DSC_0077

After checking out a few of these villages and very old churches, famous for their painted interiors (ten of these churches have been granted World Cultural Heritage status by UNESCO), we headed off to Nicosia, otherwise known as Lefkosa. A lot of the cities in Cyprus have two names – a Turkish name and a Greek name. Nicosia/Lefkosa is also a divided city with the southern half being the capital of the Republic of Cyprus and the northern sector being the capital of either the Occupied Territories, or the Turkish Republic of Cyprus, depending on your point of view. In between there is a UN Controlled de-militarized zone that runs across the whole island.

We had our passports so we did a short trip across the demilitarized zone to the Turkish sector to briefly check it out.

Cyprus_districts_named.png
Cyprus – North and South

It was here that we dropped Hugh off so he could continue his adventures through Egypt, Jordan and Israel.

Next day, we continued our own exploration of Cyprus with a trip to Latchi, where we were planning to take La Mischief next, only to find out that there was no room at this publicly run marina. Good thing we checked. No big deal as we just extended our time at Paphos. The berth cost us 54 euros for the 7 or 8 days we were there.

Aphrodite is pretty big around these parts and we checked out a couple of her key sites. Outside Latchi is a spring that is attributed to her, and we also checked out the rock of Aphrodite, which emerges from the sea, and according to legend, its where Aphrodite was born in the sea foam and rose from the waves.

There are quite a few other great Roman, Greek and Medieval ruins dotted around the island. We bought a day ticket that covered entry to those we wanted to see on the road to Limmasol and we did a bit of ruin hopping. Top of the list was Kourion, which was full of beautiful mosaics, a very scenic Amphitheatre and palatial ruined villas all built on a cliff top overlooking Kourion beach. We also visited Kolossi Castle and the Sanctuary of Apollo and of course the Sanctuary of Aphrodite, where the cult of Aphrodite was officially established on Cyprus in 1500 BC.

DSC_0115DSC_0104

It was a very pleasant week and a bit when we pulled anchor and left for Limmasol, 50nm up the coast.

 

For photos of Pafos, click here.

 

Off to Cyprus

The weather window looked great for the sail across to Cyprus – or should I say the motor sail as the winds were light and right behind us. You need to do an overnighter to Cyprus so that you arrive in daylight. Rod was hedging his bets about being able to check in at Paphos so we wanted to make sure we had enough daylight to push onto Limmersol as we needed to. As it turned out Paphos (Pafos) was fine as was Latsi further to the West as we later found out.

It was a very pleasant afternoon as we motored across at 6knots. We managed to get about an hours sail with our motors off before having to switch one back on as the wind died off.

As night fell, the lightening show started way off our port bow. Luckily it stayed off our port bow and didn’t get any closer. We were heading around the western side (the backside) of Cyprus on our way to Paphos. The three of us did 2 hour watches and that worked out really well as we each got two blocks of 4 hours sleep. It was great having Hugh on board helping out.

DSC_0998

He was doing really well right up to the point where we decided to put our yellow immigration flag and the new Cyprus flag up just before we got there. He got the old Turkish flag off okay and then proceeded to hold only one end of the flag halyard. Looking up he saw the other end. Oops! So out with the bosun’s chair and up I went to recover the other end. There wasn’t much breeze but it was still reasonably rocky and rolly up there.

With flags in place we pulled into Paphos harbour at about 8.30am. The marine police told us to go stern to just next to their patrol boat, which was pretty much the only space available in this small harbour. We had one go at anchoring and the anchor just pulled through the sludge on the bottom without holding. The second attempt was much better, felt like we’d hooked something down there – who knows – but it held well.

Then it was off to see the marine police, customs, immigration, the health authorities(!) and the harbour master. Customs took about an hour to drive over from Limmersol and whilst I waited I was treated to two brilliant cups of tea and honey from Dimitri, the police captain. I went back to the boat to wait for Customs and Dimitri brought back the passports, unstamped but with a boarding pass. Bit strange but all good to go. We asked Dimitri where a good lunch spot was and he later drove us there. Really nice of him.

Then it was off to explore Paphos, where the whole town is ENESCO Word Heritage listed.

DSC_0999

For photos of Paphos, click here.

Last Stop in Turkey

The motor up to Alanya was pretty easy. Both the swell and wind had died down to nothing much at all. It was a good opportunity to get Hugh acquainted with La Mischief before our sea crossing to Cyprus. Hugh picked it up quite quickly, putting his past sailing experience to good use.

DSC_0963

We hugged the coast and made it to Alanya about 2pm. We decided to bypass the Marina, which is 3km out of town and head for the town harbour as that seemed much more accessible.

The approach to Alanya was spectacular, with a couple of castles and some extensive walls perched high above on the cliff’s edge. Further around we passed the Ottoman Shipyards and the Red Tower as we motored into the old harbour.DSC_0937

The harbour itself was quite big but quite full. We motored around looking for a spot and found a couple of harbour master staff who told us to go stern to near a work boat.

Safely berthed, we asked about getting an agent to help check us out of Turkey. A phonecall was made and all of a sudden it appeared we had a problem. It seemed his boss didn’t want us to stay in the old harbour and we should have gone to the marina as the harbour was only for commercial boats. Not to worry, if we paid him some cash, we could stay until 7am the next morning (ie. Before his boss got in!). The amount in cash started off at 50 euro and ended up at 30TL. I gave him 40TL so he saw it as a bit of a win – besides it was cheaper than the taxi ride from the marina to town, and off we went to explore Alanya.DSC_0979

We started at the very impressive Ottoman boatyards, which were right around the corner from the harbour, and then climbed up the cliffs to see the two castles, and the magnificent views down to Cleopatra Beach to the marina in the distance. Unfortunately by the time we got back down to the Red Fort it was closed. We could have done with more than an afternoon to check out Alanya but we needed to get going to Cyprus.

DSC_0929The good news was that the Rugby semi-final was about to start between Australia and Argentina. We wandered around the town and eventually found a bar where it was playing – in Dutch on some Euro sports channel. We’d watched the previous semi in Side with German commentary so we’d gotten used to it.

Next morning, fresh from Australia’s big win, we pulled anchor and headed off to the marina, where we needed to go to check out of Turkey. Bad news was that we needed to pay for a whole day even though we only stayed a couple of hours. And we had to drive back into town with the agent to the authorities who were – you guessed it – located at the old port. Oh well.

With our paperwork done and the necessary euros handed over; it was noon as we set off towards Paphos in Southern Cyprus, 110nm away.

For photos of Alanya, click here

The Wind Arrives… Followed By Hugh

Hindsight’s a wonderful thing. It would have been great if we had been able to make Alanya that day so we could bunker down in a nice marina, whilst the very bad storm that was forecast passed by.

However, we didn’t quite make it.

We left Kemer in overcast conditions and pointed our nose across the bay to where Alanya lay 60nm away. The first part of the day was okay as we had a 20kt wind coming in at a 30-40 degree angle off our nose. We were making good mileage at 7kts with one engine on, lamenting the fact that we had to bypass Antalya, where we would have been able to get into the old port (conditions willing), but agreeing that we needed to get to our final Turkish destination before the weather set in.

But what’s the saying about the best laid plans? About one-third away across the wind had picked up to 40kts and was straight on our nose. We were lucky to make 4kts as the swell began to rise.

We were suddenly looking at a 1am arrival in Alanya, which meant 12 more hours of bashing into a crap sea.

We veered 40 degrees off the wind and headed towards land thinking the fetch would be less, and we may be able to creep along the coast, which should keep the fetch and the swell down. Interestingly, our course took us straight towards Side, 30nm from Alanya.

DSC_0898

Now we’d been to Side on our road trip and spied the small harbour there. We’d read a blog of a yacht that had been caught there in bad weather and it was not that encouraging. However there appeared to be a good anchorage outside the harbour that had protection from the Easterlies that were building.

DSC_0897

We got there about 3pm in the afternoon and poked our nose inside the small harbour to have a look. There was one other yacht in there, together with 5 or so gulets. We started to anchor next to the other yacht when Mustafa appeared and told us to both anchor and pick up a mooring in another spot, which we did. Mustafa turned out to be a fantastic guy and a godsend as he got us settled for the storm that was coming the next day.

DSC_0895

It was about this time that the second yacht up’ed anchor and moved along the coast to the river at Manavgat, something we should have considered as well. Rod suggests that Side is not the greatest place in a southerly blow.

That night it rained cats and dogs and quite a few other animals. The wind got up a bit as the thunderstorm hit – it swung round to you guessed it – the south. Wasn’t very pleasant but the mooring and the anchor held. Next day Mustafa came and helped us attach a second mooring and we also attached long lines to the shore from our front and middle cleats to help take the strain off our back cleats. We also moved away from the quay and used the dingy to pull us between the boat and the wall. We were all set for another few days of bad weather, inside the harbor. Luckily for us the wind blew fairly consistently from the East for the rest of our stay in Side, getting up to 48kts at times as the swell bent round into the harbour and caused La Mischief to surge back and forwards on its port mooring lines. The narrow harbor entrance was unprotected by a breakwater and with the swell rolling in there was no way we were going anywhere else even if we wanted to.

DSC_0900

Mustafa came round for drinks a couple of times and once brought fresh fish (besides being the harbor master, he also had a fishing boat and a tour boat). He came for lunch and cleaned, gutted and cooked his fish on the BBQ. Yum. He loved that his name was the same as Attaturk’s and had named his son Atta in his honor.

A few days into the storm, Hugh joined us. We’d met Hugh in Fethiye at the Rugby and he’d agreed to join us for the trip across to Cyprus. Hugh finished Uni a few years ago and is now a tour guide with Topdeck, having also spent time in South America. Not sure, what Hugh thought when he rolled up to find La Mischief riding out a pretty bad storm, but Hugh turned out to be calm and considered and took it all in his stride.

DSC_0910

With some time to kill, the three of us went off exploring Side. It turned out to be a great place to be stranded for a few days as its great ruins are some of the most notable in Asia Minor. They cover a large promontory where a wall and a moat separate it from the mainland. There are colossal ruins of a theatre complex, the largest in this part of the woods, built much like a Roman amphitheatre that relies on arches to support the sheer verticals. The Roman style was adopted because Side lacked a convenient hillside that could be hollowed out in the usual Greek fashion. The theatre is big, seating 15,000 – 20,000 people. The temple of Apollo, right on the waterfront, with its wonderful Greek columns was being blasted by the sea spray. There’s also a good museum and some other Greek ruins that impressed us. The town too was good to wander through, with numerous walking streets on the small peninsula. There were some great beaches to the West with a nice promenade along them that we looked at but didn’t swim in. It was here that Hugh found his Putin on a Bear and Angela Merkel in a revealing top T-Shirts. Both absolute classics.

DSC_0875

The second last morning we were there, a nasty thunderstorm came through and broke our port mooring. Luckily that was the last hoo-rar, and the wind quickly settled down after that. Not so for the swell as this took an extra day to abate.

Next day, we paid 200TL for a diver to repair the broken mooring, whilst Hugh took a dip to untangle the dingy painter from the prop, as it had somehow managed to get caught up in the last storm. The swell had settled enough for us to depart through the narrow entrance so then it was off to Alanya.

For photos of Side, click here.

Time to Head East

With our new batteries installed, we headed out for a couple of days to test them out. We spent a day on anchor in Twelve Islands once again and got in a bit of bottom cleaning in the clear water.

Then we headed over to Fethiye to get in one last meal at Pasha Kebab, do some shopping and of course catch some Rugby.

Australia were playing Scotland in the quarters and we managed to find a good sports bar to watch it on. Whilst there we ran across Hugh, who later agreed to come sailing with us. There was also a group of sailors who regularly winter in Fethiye and we hooked up with them for dinner after the Rugby. One of them happened to be Chay Blyth, who amongst many other feats was the first person to sail around the world the “wrong” way – west to east. My first taste of Yachting royalty. It was a great dinner with lots of frivolity as they kept getting into Chay citing the only reason he sailed around the world was because he couldn’t moor. After dinner, most of them went off for more bar hopping, whilst we walked back to the marina with Chay for a cleansing ale at the marina bar. At this stage I was picking Chay’s brain for all it was worth until he finally got a bit sick of all my questions. During the course of our conversation, it also came up that he tried to buy some land in Stroud in NSW, where Dad was born. Small world.

Back at the boat I filled in Dee on who Chay was via the help of Wikipedia and next morning we headed back to Gocek to allow Sanli to check out the battery installation one last time. We also needed to fix a leaky gauge on our water maker.

At the bottom of Turkey, the coast stops going south and veers to the East. So that was the direction we headed as we made our way towards Alanya, where we would check out of Turkey. We ended up getting away from Gocek quite late and headed off to Kalkan 35nm away. We made it at 1am after a beautiful night sail along the coast.

DSC_0858Next day the weather was still good so we put in 70nm to a small bay called Cavus Limani, which turned out to be a pretty good choice. We had tried to get all the way around to Port Genovese but ran out of daylight, so we did a sail past in the morning.

DSC_0847Next morning we headed over to Phaselis to check out the very impressive Roman ruins there. We anchored in 3m of water and dingied ashore to look over the impressive ruins with tall aquaducts, a nice promenade and a small theatre. Getting back to La Mischief, we had a short swim before the wind quite suddenly swung around into the bay and strengthened. We got the anchor up as the swell started to roll into the bay, making things quite uncomfortable. The weather we had been expecting was starting to roll up. The sail around to Kemer was quite short, but by the time we got there it was blowing 40kts. We were glad we had put in some long days whilst the weather was good.DSC_0852The marina guys at Kemer were once again really helpful and jumped on board to help us tie up stern to. Then it was time to check out Kemer. The first stop was the marina bar, which was quite lively last year in June when I was there. Not this time – in late October – it was closed and the marina, although quite full was dead. Bummer! I was looking forward to the social life at Kemer.

We then hit the town and ended up going winter coat shopping. They were into their last week or two of a very bad season and the shop keepers were willing to take just about anything to get some cash in the door. By the end of the night Dee and I each had a new winter coat ready for when we come back for a European winter.

Next morning, it was up early to check the weather and see where we would head. Our original plan saw us going to Antalya and then onto Alanya, but there was some pretty bad weather coming our way the next day so we decided to make a run for it straight to Alanya, whilst the weather was still okayish.

New Batteries At Last

La Mischief came with four 120AH Gel Batteries that were failing fast. It was disappointing to see that they lasted less than 3 years, but the first winter in Yacht Marine caused some issues. And 480AH in total was a bit undersized as La Mischief is somewhat hungry on the electricity front, often chewing through 25A of juice at times. I had increased the solar panels to 1000W to try and compensate but I was fighting a losing battle.

After much research, I decided it was time for some Lithium batteries, LiFePO4 to be exact. I settled on four 90AH Victron LiFePO4 batteries, which we calculated to be just enough as Lithiums can be run down to 20% quite comfortably. Having now installed them, I’m still not entirely convinced  this is enough as I’m finding I still have to run the genset in the morning for 30 minutes.  its is however going into winter so the solars don’t get as much of a run as they used to. Time will tell.

DSC_0845

Fitting Lithium batteries is not just a simple matter of swapping out the old Gels with the new Lithiums. Sanli and his helpers spent three days completing the job, 15 hours in total. Luckily, we managed to find a spot at the publicly owned Town Marina, rather than having to pull into Skopea Marina, which is the least expensive of the very expensive private marinas in town. They weren’t keen on Cats at the Town Marina, but Dee managed to sweet talk them into letting us have a berth.

Slide1
The somewhat complex charging architecture.

The Lithiums need their own Battery Management System (BMS), that controls the batteries as well as the Victron chargers and some relays to stop over charging and over loading. This BMS is a single point of failure so at some stage, I will need to pick up a spare.

DSC_0842
The various relays

The Victron Quattro Inverter/Charger needed a firmware upgrade to work with the BMS as the BMS now controls it’s charging behaviour, as well as shutting the Invertor down if the batteries get low.

The Victron Bluesolar 70/150 Charger also needed a firmware upgrade but to do this we needed a very expensive VE.Direct to USB interface cable (part number ASS030530000 for my future reference) that Sanli didn’t have. I will need to pick up in Oz. With the right firmware in place, the BMS controls the Bluesolar charger, but for the Victron rep in Turkey recommended that we stick a BMS controlled relay in to control the charging.

Battery monitoring is also an issue. I now have a Victron BMV700 battery monitor and associated shunt, together with a new Victron Colour Control GX Monitor. This Colour Control gets its information from the Battery Monitor and the Quattro. With the firmware update on the Blue Solar unit, I will be able to get the solar panel input on this unit as well.

However, I’m still not comfortable with my monitoring setup. The State of Charge can be showing 100% and I still have 150A going into the batteries. In the old days, I could use the Voltage of the batteries as a fairly good indication of their SOC but not with the Lithiums. They keep their charge high right up to when they start to go flat. I’ve been through the BMV700 manual and played around with the Peukert exponent and the Charging Efficiency factor as per the manual but still no luck getting the SOC to make sense.

DSC_0846
BMS and Mains Disconnect

The other outstanding item I need to get going is the wireless interface to Victron’s VRM Portal. From here, I can get email alerts and monitor the whole setup from my phone using Victron’s android app. I bought a Wifi dongle in Fethiye, but the CCGX didn’t recognize it so I need to get the Victron dongle. I will wait to I get back to Perth to pick this up.

DSC_0840

The good news was I didn’t need to change the existing (non-Victron) charging components from Christec and Mastervolt. All I needed to do was to place some BMS controlled relays between them and the new batteries, and the BMS took care of regulating the voltages.

Because of the complexities of the new system, I took Allan’s wise words of advice and left a couple of my old batteries in place, together with a battery switch so that in the event of a failure, I can simply switch across to the old batteries until I can sort out what the problem is, rather than having alarms going off everywhere in the middle of a night passage with no power. A very sensible idea. Allan’s been a great help as he has installed Lithiums on Camelot and I’ve been lucky to pick his considerable brain power in this area as he’s very much in love with his battery set-up.

After a few weeks cruising I’m starting to get my head around the new system. One thing I’m not sure about is the Load Disconnect function of the BMS. My understanding is that the BMS will automatically disconnect the Victron Cyrix Li-Load  Relay when a cell’s voltage drops below 2.8V. At one stage, I saw the voltage of the batteries drop to 11.9V, which worries me as I would have thought the Li-Load relay would have permanently tripped by then. The BMS should also shut down the inverter at the same time, but this was still running. Further investigation is required. In the meantime, I’ve set a low voltage alarm at 12.5V on the BMV700 battery monitor, so I can start the genie if I need to. Victron and Allan – expect a phonecall.

Waiting, Waiting, Waiting

Our cunning plan to get back from our road trip and get the batteries installed hit a few snags. Firstly we hadn’t banked on Kurban Bayrami – the “Feast of Sacrifice”. Our batteries had arrived in Turkey but were going nowhere until they got through Customs. This proved to be an issue as public servants got an extra two days holiday on top of the four that the rest of the population got to celebrate this great festival of Islam. So off we went cruising whilst we waited. This plan turned out to be also problematic as all the bays were filled with Turkish holiday makers on their boats. Never the less we managed to find some space to anchor as we checked out the wonderful cruising grounds the Gulet cruises call “Twelve Islands”.

DSC_0781

We then made our way up to Marmaris and spent a few days there checking out all the beautiful bays we hadn’t anchored in last time as well as the town. Then we made our way out of the bay and around the corner to Turunc, where we were delighted to see Paul and Tess on Paradise. We first met in Atlantic Spain and caught up with each other a few times before we went our separate ways in the Balearics two years ago. It was nice to catch up and enjoy some meals and drinks together again.

DSC_0798

On the way back to Gocek, we stopped in Ekincik Bay and went around to the entrance of Dalyan River to check out the nice beach there. We had thought about spending the night there but it was quite exposed and when it started to get a bit rolly so we thought better of it and headed back to Ekincik.

DSC_0788

We then headed back to Gocek to find that the batteries had arrived but Victron hadn’t provided Sanli with the necessary drawings they had promised. Everyone was getting hung up on the Mastervolt Alpha Pro chargers I had on the alternators. So Sanli, bless his heart, hopped on a plane to the Istanbul Boat Show to get things sorted. I also took the opportunity to pick Allan’s brain and took his advice to add a selector switch to a couple of the old batteries as an emergency fall back.

Whilst all this was being sorted out we headed into town to watch the AFL Grand Final with Ross, Ros, John and Leonie from Gone With the Wind 2, a Lagoon 620 with a Fremantle registration. It’s impossible to find the AFL on TV in a Turkish bar so we reverted to my subscription of WatchAFL.com on my laptop over breakfast. At least the breakfast was good as we watched the Hawthorn machine ruthlessly win yet another AFL premiership.

At least the rugby was on at a sportsbar, which also happened to double up as a bowling alley of all things. It was run by a nice Scottish lady who was right into her rugby, so we managed to watch a few great games of world cup with the guys from Gone With The Wind.

To fill in more time, we organised  a paragliding adventure at Oludeniz. It turned out to be so much fun.   Paragliding from the top of Mt Bagadag down to the coast at Oludeniz is said to be the best coastal paragliding spot in the world – who am I to disagree.

DCIM100GOPRO
Paragliding from the top of Mt Bagadag down to the coast at Oludeniz

DSC_0807

The drive up the mountain on a narrow road was quite scary. In fact, it turned out to be much more scary than jumping off the top of the mountain attached to my pilot. The view from way up there was spectacular, looking straight down on the Blue Lagoon and out to St Nicolas Island. I got a turn at flying as we cruised around with about 20-30 other paragliders. We landed next to the beach on a walk-way amongst all the tourists walking in front of the Oludeniz shops and restaurants.

After the excitement of the paragliding, we hopped back in our Hire Car and drove over to Kalakoy, which gained a certain amount of fame from a great book called “Birds Without Wings”. Kalakoy is a deserted town, dating back to 1923 when all the Christians were sent across to Greece, in exchange for all the Muslims in Greece, just after the Turks had won their war against the invading Greek Army. It was great to wander this deserted town, after just having read the book.

DSC_0825
Bird Whistle straight out of Birds Without Wings
DSC_0820
The Ghost Town of Kalakoy

Playing over, it was time to head back to Gocek for our new batteries.

For photos of Marmaris click here

For photos of paragliding, click here