Computer Error Sinks Ship

No …Not our Ship…..

We’d tried a few times to organize a berth in Larnaca without luck. Once the word “Catamaran” is mentioned, the “Too Hard” sign goes up and the Answer “No” comes back. However, whilst in Limassol, we did a bit of a reconnoiter by car and saw there was a few potential spots in the oldish marina that we could fit into.


So we hatched up a cunning plan to just roll up and see what happened. We left Limassol earlyish and got to Larnaca about 2pm. After radioing in and getting no reply, we managed to get them on the phone. The marina was government owned and a bit run down, with no laid lines – just pylons that you back in between and tie off to. They directed us to one spot, which looked too tight and as much as we tried to fit, we just couldn’t. That was fun in 20-30kts of wind! We were then redirected to a much better spot amongst the tour boats, which was great, if a little noisy. The marina guy was really helpful (as are all Cypriots) and made sure we were tied up well on the pylons with water and electricity.

The other good news was it was incredibly cheap, being government owned and we found ourselves spending a few more nights than planned in Larnaca because of this.

The bikes quickly made another appearance and off we rode on the good bike paths to find a dive shop. We finally settled on Viking Divers, with Marco 1 and Marco 2 as our Italian dive masters.


Since we hadn’t dived for a while, we decided to do a couple of shore dives before doing the Zenobia Wreck, the day after. The shore dives did the job, the second dive was really cool with some cave swim throughs and an exit through a little blow hole, which you enter through a cave underneath a rock ledge.

The Zenobia capsized and sank in Larnaca Bay in 1980, sitting on the bottom at 42 meters. It sunk due to a software error – bloody computers!!! …, which caused her computerised pumping system to pump excess water into her side ballast tanks. Down went its cargo of 100 or so trucks worth $400 million, which makes for an interesting dive. The Zenobia regularly appears in various world’s top ten dive sites and world’s best wreck dives so we just had to don wetsuits and see what all the fuss was about.

We went out on Viking’s dive boat, only a 10 minute ride to the wreck which is only a mile or so off the town.

They take all certified divers on the wreck, which is a bit unusual given its depth but you can get a couple of good 25m dives on the wreck, including some swim throughs. Advanced certificates allow you to go down to 30m and see a bit more. It was my first nitrox dive, which allowed me to stay down longer without getting bent. Unfortunately it didn’t stop me being a air hog and I ended up having to buddy breath with Marco so I could stay down for the planned duration. Daughter Claire had a good laugh on this one. I also had some ear problems due to a head cold that was just starting up so I had to miss the second dive. But the first one was great and definitely worth doing when in Larnaca. It was pretty good but not sure its in my top 10 dive sites, given all the diving I’ve done elsewhere.

Zenobia Wreck Dive from Steve Tull on Vimeo.

In between diving, we had a nice wander around the town. There’s the obligatory castle right on the waterfront and some nice sandy beaches out the front of the town. Behind the beachfront there is some walking streets with shops, bars and restaurants that come alive at night, which at this time of the year is 4.30pm in the afternoon.

With diving done, it was time to leave Larnaca. We wanted to head to Famagusta on the occupied side of the island. We’d heard you could go from south (unoccupied) to north (occupied) in a boat but not from north to south, as the Republic of Cyprus (the south) will claim you did not enter the country at a legal port of entry and then proceed to impound your boat and deport you (there is a boat on the hard in Larnaca that has been impounded).

So we went and saw the Marine Police and enquired about going to Famagusta. He was not very happy about it and pointed out the fact that we could never come back, which we could live with. However the Customs guy said he couldn’t give us a clearance out of Larnaca if we were going to Famagusta. He also said we could be picked up at sea with some nasty consequences.

A quick conference back at the boat determined that we would tell everyone we were now going to Turkey. Back at the Marine Police and Customs, they were most relieved with my change of plans and gave me the necessary clearances.

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.


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.


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.


Hugh in his best Angela Merkel outfit



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.



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.


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.


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.




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 – 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.


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.


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.

Mykonos – Blow your T#@s off

The sail across to Myconos was very uneventful with no wind and a glassed off sea. It can be a nasty crossing so we couldn’t complain.

We decided against going into the marina, instead choosing Ormos Ornos as our anchorage. It’s a 20 minute walk into Mykonos town so not too bad. We anchored in about 7m over patchy sand (in hindsight not the best).

The place is rather crazy at this time of the year – I enjoyed it better last year in October when the crowds had disappeared. It was wall to wall people in the town and the roads were full of crazy drivers on all sorts of cars and scooters.

Mykonos was where we supercharged the Charlie’s Angels formulae up to a 4 to 1 ratio, when we picked up Kim off the ferry. Sherry left a few days later so things returned to a somewhat more manageable 3-1 ratio.

With the 4 girls in tow, I somehow managed to get them all off the boat at the agreed time and onto a short ferry ride across to Delos, where there is a whole ancient Roman city in ruins, some say second only to Pompeii. I’d have to say it would be a long second if that’s the case. But it was still very impressive wandering around. There were a few yachts there anchored in the channel so it’s a good option to take your boat across rather than catch a ferry as we did.

Back from our ancient history tour, we headed back to the boat as the meltemi was starting to build. For the rest of the day, it steadily built all the way up to 45kts. Mykonos is Greek for “island of wind” and it was living up to its name.

About 10.30pm, the anchor drift alarm went off – we’d started to drag. So off we went trying to re-anchor in the dark of night with the wind whistling around us. We re-anchored briefly for about 10 minutes and then we dragged again. We thought about going somewhere else but decided against it.

We pulled up the anchor ready for another shot to find a second anchor (from an old disused mooring) jammed tight into our own anchor. Oh what fun!!!

So the rest of the night was spent motoring in place swinging on a pair of anchors that were not holding. In between we watched another cat drag a couple of times and our mono neighbor, who was maintaining an anchor watch all night, dragged just before dawn.

Morning could not come soon enough. As soon as it did, we were able to see more clearly what we were up against and managed to drop the other anchor off. Then it was off to find another bay. We motored up and down the south coast checking a few out and then came back to the first one – Platys Gyalos.

Turned out to be a very good choice – sandy bottom with good holding – perfect. We anchored in the eastern part of the bay in 3m of clear wind swept water and said our goodbyes to Sherry, before sitting out the rest of the meltemi. The wind managed to peak at 53 kts but this time we didn’t move an inch.

So what did we learn??? Firstly, we need to pay more attention to the bottom. In Ormos Ornos was light weed over sand and “Rod” mentioned there was poor holding in places. I’d snorkeled over the anchor several times but when push came to shove it, Rod was right.

The second thing we did was to break out the second anchor – a fortress – and start playing around using it. I’d done a lot of reading previously on deploying two anchors and came to the conclusion that the best way is to drop approximately 2-3x scope using the primary anchor and then shackel the fortress with 7m of chain to the main anchor chain and then throw it over, before letting out the full amount of anchor chain (scope >= 5x). We’ve done this a few times since and it seems to work well. We sat out another meltemi in Paros using this arrangement. The fortress is a great second anchor and we’ve watched it hold La Mischief on it own several times.

Towards the end of the meltemi, we were confident enough to leave Karin and Kim on the boat and go for a walk along the coast to check out Paranga Beach, followed by Paradise and then Super (Duper) Paradise. At best it was an eye opener, at worst it was somewhere to be avoided. But I did like the gay guy in speedos with the Gucci bag with two toy dogs hanging out of the top of the bag. Should have been brave enough to ask for a photo.

And so ended Mykonos. A crazy island at that time of the year. Overcrowded everywhere, including the roads, overpriced, artificial and not half as enjoyable as when I visited in low season last year. Luckily we had lots of other more authentic islands to visit.

For photos of Mykonos see


Heading North

After dropping off Ewa, the 4 of us decided to rent a car in Gocek and once again headed for Saklikent Gorge. We recreated the trip Ewa and I did earlier and visited the Canyon, the Trout Farm for lunch, the Tlos roman Ruins and then since we had some daylight left, headed for Kayaköy where Anatolian Greek speaking Christians lived until approximately 1923, when the Greeks in Turkey were repatriated to Greece and vice versa for the Turks in Greece. The ghost town, now preserved as a museum village, consists of hundreds of rundown but still mostly intact Greek-style houses and churches which cover a small mountainside. To top off the day, we also visits Ölüdeniz from the land.

Next day, we left Gocek and headed out of Fethiye Limani, anchoring for a lunchtime swim in Kizikuyruk Koyu, which was really beautiful with crystal clear water. Then we hit some heavy weather and labored our way north. It was an hour or two later we discovered a heap of water in our hull as the hatch above the printer was not shut properly. Bummer! A communication problem between skipper and new crew.

We finally made our way around to Ekincik Limani. We checked out My Manina but it was too expensive so we anchored up in 5m. We had planned to take a river trip up to see the rock tombs, but an inoperable printer/scanner meant we needed to head to Marmaris quick smart to get a replacement. So no Dalyman River tour.

Next morning, we left early and headed towards Marmaris before the wind came up.

It was interesting coming into Marmaris again, a bit strange in some ways as La Mischief had spent 6 months there up on the hard. We didn’t however go around to Yacht Marine, just anchored out the front of Marmaris amongst the multitude of gulets, and dingied it into town.

Marmaris is a big tourist town, with its beaches jammed packed with beach chairs that sit in front of numerous beach bars and restaurants. We found our printer shop and headed back to the boat.

We decided we would try a different anchorage so we motored across to Icmeler, where we managed to get out of the meltimi in 5m of water. It was another holiday spot with kite and wind surfers everywhere.

Then it was off to explore new territory north of Marmaris as we made our way towards Bodrum.

Gale Warning

I thought I’d go out in sympathy for all you guys in Perth by drumming up a bit of similar wind. 45kts to be precise. There was quite a swell coming down the harbour towards La Mischief, whose anchor was well dug in.

Friday is market day in Kas so I left La Mischief to it and went for supplies. The Markets in Kas are some of the best along the coast – fantastic – lots of cheap fruit and veggies, cheese etc. as well as a lot of the stuff you’d find in the bazaars of Istanbul. Stuck will the food side of things and headed back to the boat with everything we needed including decent Potatoes – something quality control had rejected up until Kas.

Back on the boat I tried to do some jobs but it was just too rough and I was feeling queasy with my head down trying in vain to find the short in the shower sump pump that was tripping out. I did however find the Turkish State Meteorological Service website (at, which I think is the best site as far as Turkish weather goes.

In the end I was glad to get off the boat and meet Jo for a drink at the marina bar. Made the call to eat on land as cooking on the boat was not recommended. Mind you, drinking and eating on land was also interesting. The marina bar was being buffered  as we sat and watched things being blown over in all directions. Met an IT Project Manager from Barcelona at the bar and we invited her on board for a few days. Must have been the 6am start that put her off, as she was a no show.

So off the two of us set to Kekova Roads, another of Turkey’s cruising gems.

Snakes Alive

The Venice of Turkey, the turquoise coast, what more can I add to help describe the beauty of the Lycian Coast except simply stunning! It reminds me a bit of the Whitsunday Islands, with massive pine covered hill sides dropping down into clear idealic water. There seems to be a constant backdrop of mountains to complete the picture.

The cruising grounds of Fethiye Korfezi are littered with a plethora of great anchorages. You could get lost in here for months. Its definitely worth a week or two. On the west side of Fethiye Korfezi is Skopea Bay, which is enclosed by a chain of islands that provides great shelter.

We entered through a narrow gap in the islands and chose Ruin Bay as our first stop, and we were just blown away with the sheer beauty of the place, a unique mixture of physical beauty and Turkish exoticism.

Once safely on anchor with a line back to the shore, it was off for a swim – first along the coast then off to a small island. On the way out to the island, we swam above a large turtle about 5m below us. Magical. Jo’s a good long distance swimmer so I set my self a task to keep up and not embarrass myself. Well, not too much anyway!

Back on the boat, it was time to adopt the philosophy of “when in Rome do as the Romans do” so I dove in and cooked my Mediterranean Snapper Bake as per In the process I soon discovered that the 3 large tins of tomato was in fact not quite what they appeared – I had inadvertently bought tomato paste instead of tomato pieces (what are we going to do with it all???). To add to my woes we couldn’t get black olives in the supermarket, so I had to settle for green stuffed ones. But even with these impediments I still managed a tick of approval, which was pretty good given the expertise of the judging panel.

Next morning, after a bit of a lie in, it was up and into the water once again. We decided to swim the other way towards the ruins this time. Along the way we found a swing rope and revisited our childhood by swinging out over the water and letting go. Then we swam into the ruins, which we were able to do as they are half underwater – pretty cool. The water was so clear and it’s temperature was right in the middle of perfect. Heaven. We kept going for a while and ended up returning to the boat 50 minutes later for breakfast. Felt pretty good about that.

After breakfast, we were sitting around drinking tea (after all I had a Pom on board) and a couple of Aussies swam by our boat from a Guluk and we of course invited them on board for a chat, primarily so they could inflict some more Australianisms on Jo. They didn’t disappoint as we had a great laugh (apologies for my crap skill at remembering names). They were on board a tourist gullet – just them and 12 other Germans – not necessary the best time to be reading a historical novel on Adolf Hitler or indeed the Book Thief, and certainly not a good time to be playing some sort of WW2 fighter pilot game on your iPad. We also got some insight into the age of the Rex airlines pilots who flew them to Sydney who look so young that they are evidently “waiting for puberty” with the hosties referring to them as the “flying fetuses”.

Political incorrectness over, it was time to head for Gocek for a look around. Gocek was 7nm down the bay through some of the most magnificent cruising grounds in the Mediterranean – and probably the world. Gocek is a combination of 5 marinas and a town that has grown up around these marinas – nothing real signs of anything else.

Still it was very pleasant and we managed to find some more icetrays, some drink bottles and a nice pair of thongs (Australian vernacular) that were better than my broken Havanas. We’d stopped and had Turkish Tea with the shop keeper and he told us business was very bad, with no many foreigners spending any money.

We decided to eat on shore and had a great lunch – Halloumi Salad and Florentine Crepes, along with a couple of Efes beers, under the shade of some trees on the broadwalk. It had a bit of a feel of Mykonos about it, but without the crowds.

Then it was back to the boat and off back up the bay. Our plan was to stop off at Tomb Bay and see the Tombs (duh!) before heading back to Ruin Bay where we had spotted a restaurant with a jetty we could tie up to, so we could merely stumble back to the boat.

Jo had a phone interview so we timed our arrival into Tomb Bay to fit in with that. But when we got there we found a simply stunning bay with a restaurant, that also came with its own jetty, so we hastily changed our plans, mid anchoring. Back went the shore rope and out came the fenders. Jo had to report in 5 minutes late for her interview citing the somewhat novel excuse of berthing delays, whilst we got ourselves organized and attached to the jetty.

The guy from the restaurant suggested that we time our arrival around the wasps, by arriving at 7.30pm so we could order and eat by 8pm when the sun went down and the wasps disappeared. We sort of followed his timetable and sat down with a bit of charcoal burning on our table to keep them away. Never seen wasps used as a sort of selling point before quite like that.

There’s a certain sort of sameness about Turkish food so thank goodness for the view. Wine is also expensive (60-70TL a bottle), so we settled on drinking their excellent Efes beer. We were both pretty knackered after a long day of swimming, sailing and exploring so we sort of bombed out and hit the sack.

Next morning, we set ourselves the task of walking up to the tombs. There were two sets and after a while we found the second set (which we mistook for the first). They were set high up on the hill side into the side of a cliff and the views from way up there were to die for. We then set off for the second set, but never did find them (because we already had if you get my drift). We came across an ancient olive grove instead and eventually gave up and started to head back. We eventually made our way down to a dry creek bed and decided to follow that back to a beach near to our boat.

And then Jo screamed. She was in front and came across a rather large snake that took fright and headed down the creek – unfortunately the same way that we were heading. It was her first encounter in the wild and my first since the Kimberley’s on Camelot. We decided to skirt round the side of the creek, avoiding the large rock that our new-found friend had taken refuse under. That got the heart rate going and it was a relief to get back to the boat and out of the bush. Breakfast and a quick swim and then it was off to have a look at Fethiye, a 3 hour sail away.

We had parts of a good sail, with some of the islands doing interesting things to the wind. Around 2pm, the wind started to pick up and we opened the sailing instruction book to the chapter entitled “Reefing” and put the 2nd reef in, which was just as well as the wind got up to 29kts. The anchoring in Fethiye was quite good, and we dropped the dingy in and had a lazy afternoon drinking Rose and publishing blogs at one of the waterfront bars. Never did make it into town proper.

Next morning we leave for a 6 hour sail up to Kas so Jo can spent a couple of nights with the skipper from her previous boat. And I can take a breath and get some bits and pieces done.

For my photos of Fethiye Korfezi, please see