Sailing in the Hisarönü Gulf:
Here you read some excerpts from a „vacation logbook“ of our crew members:
Day 1, Saturday:
After only three hours of flying time we touch down in Dalaman and are being expected by the transfer driver outside the airport terminal. The drive to Orhaniye takes 1,5 hours, and we get a first impression about our holiday destination.
In Orhaniye we may use the facilities of the Hotel Palmiye and we relax at the Hotel’s swimming pool.
Here we also meet some of the other sailing companions who, ahead of the trip, had prepended one week of „shore leave“ at the cosy Hotel Palmiye. They tell us about their impressions, and we get a completely different picture about Turkey.
Around 5.00 p.m. the technical survey and the preparation of the yacht are finished, and we can go aboard, our new home for the next week. Later on, taking our first supper at the Palmiye Restaurant together, we contemplate what we might experience during the days ahead
Day 2, Sunday:
After our first Turkish breakfast we discuss the course of the trip and shop for our stocks at the Marina Shop. Here the shoppinglist prepared on board is very helpful. Before departure the safety briefings are held, and for „landlubbers“ some nautical terms are explained. Then it’s „cast off“ and we slowly glide out of the bay of Orhaniye into the Gulf of Hisarönu. Sails are quickly set. Sailing is not half bad. Just a few manoeuvres, and we get accustomed to many seamanly terms. All of a sudden there is great excitement on board! We have got visitors.
Two dolphins have detected us and play with the boat.
Again and again they jump out of the water, left and right of the bow.They seem to watch us. Dolphins on the first sailing day! Our destination is a small secluded bay without road infrastructure and electricity. We sail into the bay and see a small restaurant with green tables and chairs.
A world like Playmobile. Chickens, some goats and the garden behind the restaurant. Among sailors, this bay is called „Sailors‘ Paradise“. This seems to be the fitting name. We swim in the clear warm water, and on board we sit together for a long time under a starry sky like in Thousand and One Nights
Day 3, Monday:
Hayit Buku / Palamut
Already before breakfast the first „water rats“ swim in the crystal clear water of the bay. Then it’s taking a shower, having breakfast, and we cast of in the direction of Symi, a Greek island. We cross a narrow channel between an upstream island and the main island of Symi.
It is a thrilling experience: the passage route between the islands is narrow, the depth of the water only marginal, and we cannot anticipate the gusts that await us after the passage. We sail along numerous small rocky islands and capes, and along many small bays inviting for a swimming break.
A few miles ahead of Palamut we drop anchor in a small bay and swim again in crystal clear water.
Then we sail on and find the last free berth in the small inner harbour of Palamut. We enjoy a fantastic supper in the Liman Restaurant. Later, back on board again, we study our guidebooks in order to prepare for our visit to antique Knidos.
Day 4, Tuesday:
At the Western tip of the Datca Peninsula lies Knidos, an ancient world trading centre, at that time housing more than 50.000 inhabitants.
The archaeological excavation is an antique open-air museum.
We scramble across the ruins, go – or better grope about – our own ways. From the guidebook we learn what life was like many centuries ago. The theater, the temple. We marvel at the derelict buildings of a culture almost forgotten. We see the naval port – today shoaled – and on the other side of the small peninsula the antique commercial harbour, where „our“ yacht is berthed together with a number of other yachts. It seems as if from every pillar, from every cobblestone the past is speaking to us.
Our supper we take at the restaurant close to the „Commercial Harbour“, and later on board we talk about the ancient world and our life today.
Day 5, Wednesday:
Sunrise before the ruins of Knidos. After breakfast we cast off and sail for some miles towards southwest. Ahead of us is the Greek island Nisiros, a volcano island and certainly a very interesting place to visit on a future charter trip. With free wind we sail in the Aegean Sea. And again we encounter another sea animal.
A large seaturtle swims alongside the yacht.
Its carapace looks like an old potato sack, brown and slightly overgrown. – We must go shopping. Datca, the principal town of the peninsula of same denominator, is on our way, thus we quickly drop anchor in the harbour. Spontaneously we decide to stay here today. The harbour water is so clean that we can swim in there, and directly at the stern of the boat the Sunrise Bar awaits us. Behind our stern the harbour promenade starts, and a little further we find the local bathing beach. The Skipper tells us that the water were still „cold“ – approx. 23°C, but directly at the beach there is also a tiny sweetwater lake with sulphate water, and there is „bathtub water“ with temperatures of more than 30°C.
We go sightseeing in Eski Datca, the original principal town of the peninsula with numerous old stone houses and romantic little alleyways off the beaten track.
Just a few kilometers further up, hikers get their money’s worth: the mountains in the Datca area reach up to 1.000 m. Within a short distance the ancient archaeological excavation of a doric settlement of more than 2000 years is located. The day really spins away, and soon we find ourselves at the Emek Restaurant above the harbour with a view to the island of Symi.
Day 6, Thursday:
The Muezzin’s call reaches us at an early hour, and after a brief shore leave and breakfast with fresh white bread the anchor is hoisted. Two crew members, friends of the skipper who had been in the area on an earlier trip, tell us about Selimiye and the Aurora Restaurant run by Susann and Huseyin. There is the consideration whether we should sail into one of the quiet bays along the Gulf of Yesilova or towards Selimiye. The decision is made easy when the skipper proposes to combine Selimiye with a quiet, unique bay. The Bencik (Bay) really is unique. Like a fjord it cuts deeply into the land of the Datca Peninsula. Towards the end the bay becomes narrower, and the depth of the water decreases. In ancient times there had been a plan to build a channel towards the Gökova Gulf. In the last of the small bays we drop anchor and swim in the turquoise warm water. The co-skipper lures us abord with coffee and cookies, and slowly the yacht glides out of the bay. Selimiye is located on the other side of the Hisarönu Gulf, and under full canvas we enter the bay to berth at the jetty of the Aurora.
Selimiye is a very beautiful small town.
Lots of attractive shops, jewellery that is crafted only here, and nice cafés that invite the guests to stay. Of course, as all over the Aegean Sea, we find the ruin of an antique lighthouse and the remains of a Byzantine Fortress. Our co-sailors regret that, unlike us, they have not booked an additional week of vacation at the Hotel Palmiye after the trip. There is so much to see, and our list with places of excursions that we want to explore intensively next week grows longer and longer. Supper we take again at the Aurora. The skipper always told us: „It is not a diet trip“. And true enough – what we experience at the Aurora tonight is really amazing. Susann and Huseyin are famous for their excellent cuisine throughout the region. We dine at the jetty immediately behind the yacht, and we watch the boats, the sea and the Harbour Promenade of Selimiye.
Day 7, Friday:
The evening at the Aurora was wonderful In the morning, Huseyin gives us a pita bread as a present. One sailing week along the Hisarönu Gulf slowly draws to a close. We glide out of the large bay under a light breeze, and in parting we tack between the islands. On one island before Selimiye we see the ruins of a Byzantine monastery, and spontaneously decide to debark.
Slowly, the skipper rides up almost to the shore, we jump down to explore the uninhabitated island.
In the afternoon, for the last miles we are accompanied by some white crestwaves as we swiftly sail out into the Gulf. With free wind we arrive at the Bay of Orhaniye. At the jetty of the Hotel Palmiye we are welcomed by Göckmen and Dogan the hotelier, taking care oft he ropes. While some of us have to pack their duffel bags, we can still swim before the boat. Here we find a long sand bar just a few centimeters under the water surface area. From afar it looks like we could walk on the water of the bay. Vis-à-vis we view a small island – as always with the ruins of a Byzantine fortress. Sailing trip in Turkey – an amazing experience!
But there is still a surprise excursion waiting for us. We have the chance to visit the Mosque in the small village of Turgut with a German-speaking guide. Thereafter we enjoy the waterfalls and visit a small museum. Again – a totally different Turkey than we had imagined: green deciduous forests, mighty trees, and a waterfall that we would not have anticipated in this area.
At supper-time in the cosy Hotel Palmiye all of us are enthusiastic. A wonderful sailing week comes to an end. On our part, we have booked an additional week at the Hotel Palmiye. And then we plan to visit the destinations of our sailing trip with the hotel’s rental car and to discover further „new worlds“
Day 8, Saturday:
At 9:00 a.m. we leave the yacht and enjoy a last shared breakfast with the skipper couple at the Hotel Palmiye. On board the „Magellan“ the technical survey is followed by the final cleaning by the charter company. The skippers are on their way to Marmaris to comply with all formalities for the following trip, and we meet the new guests at the hotel pool. We now are (almost) expert sailors and can give a full report about our sailing trip. Some guests are going to the airport of Dalaman by transfer bus. But not us!
We stay here, and we are certain that before too long we will be back on board to sail along with „our“ skipper! -
With some changes, the Gulf trip can start/finish at Orhaniye/Marmaris. A combination with other routes is possible. The sequence of the trip and the routes are predominantly governed by the wind conditions. Touching at the Greek Islands, for clearing inward and outward higher costs for the board cashbox may arise.
Wind and weather conditions as well as technically required changes are reserved, as usual.