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.

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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.

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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.

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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