Ucagiz, Turkey



 Map 1 - Overview  Map 2 Turkey
Map 1: Overview of voyage area Map 2: Turkey – showing relative locations of Istanbul, Antalya and Finiki


About Finiki

Formerly known in ancient times as Phoenicus was a trading port for the city of Limra, the capital city of Lycia. It’s believed to have been founded by the Phoenicians in 5th century BC, although the area has been inhabited much longer than that since 3000 BC. Known history dates back to 1250 BC when the Lycians were allied to the Hittites.  The Romans took over about 190 BC and there are many Lycian and Roman ruins still remaining all throughout the region.

Much of this coastline through antiquity was riddled with pirates and this area – known as the Lycian Coast was no exception. One of the most notable efforts to rid the Mediterranean of  pirates was by Pompey of Rome in 69 BC.

Today the local economy depends upon agriculture, particularly oranges and citrus fruits, and tourists during the summer time – although it’s not a particularly strong tourist region despite it’s historical attractions. It’s much more laid back and you’re more likely to see people still wearing traditional clothing in some areas.

Sat 31 Oct 09

0700: Everyone out of bed. Roger has already been up at 0330 and gone for a walk. It’s still dark as I now wake up. Have an urgent need to pee but too lazy to get out of bed so doze until daybreak. Have a cuppa tea. Everyone opens their computers to do various bits and pieces including looking up the Vasco da Gama rally website for anything new. There’s been a change in the timetable. We now have an extra three days before we have to be at Port Said in Egypt to join the yacht rally, so we need to decide what we are going to do.

0830hrs: Start up town with our packs to do some shopping. Go first to the Saturday markets. Street after street lined with stalls and canvas overhead cover. Stalls filled with beautiful vegetables, nuts, sweets and fruits of all kinds. See grapes that are probably the biggest I’ve ever seen. There are also shoes and clothing stalls and various other stuff including rat traps, cooking implements, knives and so on.

 030 markets 031 stalls
Above and Top Right:Finiki Saturday markets and covered stalls. The products and produce is so diverse that you can buy/haggle for just about anything you want or need here. 

fruit stall seller. Huge grapes in foreground. The fruit and veges in this market is fresh and amongst the best quality I’ve seen anywhere.

 032 stall seller

Next is a butcher shop for some meat where we get some mince before going to the local small supermarket. Buy groceries including cleaning gear, food items and the like. The shopkeeper arranges to drive us back to the marina.

Afternoon. On return to the boat we learn that the guy Andy wants to see apparently won’t be back until Monday. Pack all the food and groceries away. Spend the afternoon doing journal work while Andy and Roger work on the bimini cover to drop its height by about 75mm. It involves cutting the ends off the stainless steel tubing frames. Rain comes over again, just enough the wet everything. Continues to spit for the rest of the day eventually turning into a heavy shower.

Evening: Go to a local restaurant for dinner. Order mixed grills and some sort of spiced mince dish. Hard to know what you are ordering at times, just a basic idea that it would be mince, beef, lamb, chicken and so on. It’s nice though.

Back onboard Andy has a chat with his wife Jennie on Skype. For the rest of the evening we sit around chatting while I work on Roger’s computer. It’s loaded with unwanted programs and adware using around 258 Mb of RAM whilst sitting at idle. Terribly slow. With Roger beside me I clean out excess programs and obvious adware, clean the registry and defragment the hard drive. It’s now using around 125 Mb of RAM at idle and running significantly faster. Still need to do more work on the laptop at a later date. Go to bed fairly late.

Sun 1 Nov 09

0700 hrs: All rise. Cuppas. Leisurely breakfast of bread, butter, jams, vegemite etc.

Approx 0900hrs: A Kiwi lady from Orca Joss comes on board. She and her husband have recently been through the Red Sea and Suez Canal. They provide valuable information about dealings with officials and what is available at various places.

Approx 1000hrs: Roger and I go back uptown to buy some more meat while Andy stays behind to fix the outboard motor which has seized. We buy steak, plus steak chunks for stews and stir-frys, chicken breasts and a couple of salami and beef luncheon meats. Look for a hardware shop to try and get some super-glue to fix my sleep apnoea mask and some Penetrene (penetrating oil) for the outboard motor. About half the shops are shut including the hardware stores. We hadn’t thought Muslim countries observed Sundays as a day off but apparently they do. Andy mounts the furling headsail and other essential jobs around the boat while we’re away.

 033 shops and park  034 finiki main street
a local shopping centre with flagstone walkways, good benches and statues Finiki CBD on a quiet Sunday
 035 mixed goods  036 shop owner
an electrical store also sells plumbing friendly shopkeeper

Pass by a small rug and jewellery trinket shop called Pension Villa Harmonie in one of the back streets. Owner introduces himself as Muammer. He’s of about early forties age and approaches us speaking quite good English, which is pretty unusual in itself. Invites us in for tea – chi, sits us down and places a bowl of berries on the table which Roger later said reminded him of chicken-shit after Muammer related how he collecting them off the ground under trees. “They are very expensive to buy”, he says and indicates that they are very beneficial for … pancreas? appendix? grabbing the fatty part of the stomach just above his hip.

Right: Our congenial host sits us down for tea037 congenial host

The tea is presented and he sits down to tell us he has relatives in Sydney and Melbourne who’d gone out there many years ago. Seems their adult children have grown up as Australians though he’s never talked to them. He’s a great host but eventually of course, the talk turns to buying some of his special goods. His jewellery, he says, is made from special stones called hermatite (?) which he alleges is good for the bones. I gather he’s referring to arthritis by his gestures. I end up offering to buy a bracelet. Bad mistake.

Now I learn that bargaining is very much an accepted, even expected practice in this part of Turkey at least. Get him down to just over half the first price. Poor Roger. Muammer’s full attention turns to him. Roger makes the mistake of expressing an interest in a different bracelet but has no cash on him. No problem. Take the bracelet and come in later to pay me, I trust you. Can your friend here pay for it and you pay him? Time to leave.

Step outside. Raining lightly now and the tiled footpaths are slippery and to walk on the streets is dangerous, given the speed the locals drive around the narrow lanes behind the main street.

Approx 1200 hrs: Return to boat. Andy hasn’t had any success in getting the outboard motor working and he now sets about vacuum packing the meat into dinner sized packs using a special vacuum pump and bag sealing machine.

Afternoon: The rain has set in alternating between light spitting and showers. There isn’t much any of us can do. Quite chilly with the rain so we potter around and chat idly in the boat throughout the rest of the day. Notice that yachts are coming and going all the time into the marina.

Evening: Just after dark we sit around the table and talk about photography. Show Andy and Roger a slide show collection of some of my travelling photos on my computer. During a gap in the rain we go uptown and return to the same pizza shop we had visited before and place orders for a different set of pizzas. Once again they are very nice. Different staff on tonight. Very friendly young lass serves us but not too good on the English so some of our interaction has to be by pantomime.

Not much to report for the rest of the evening.

Mon 2 Nov 09

0700hrs: All rise. Cuppas. Weather looking a little better with patches of blue sky, but no bets on how long it will last. Quite cool. Jumpers out. Winter is obviously coming quickly to Finike and it seems we’re getting out just in time.

0830hrs: All of us have been on our computers doing one thing or another.

Morning: Roger and I do some measurements of the hull from gunnel, around underneat the hull to the opposite gunnel. We take measurements just in front of the keel, mid keel and just behind the keel. While we do the measuring Andy is liaising with the local officials. He returns later with a new Bruce anchor and a courtesy flag for Sudan. He then sets about fitting the new anchor. Roger and I go back up town for a final shopping trip. Go to various chemists looking for a new sleep apnoea mask because mine has now broken and can’t be fixed. The chemist owner is puzzled about it but extremely obliging and makes several telephone calls trying to locate one for me. He eventually tracks one down but it’s at a depot and will take three hours before it can be delivered. We can’t wait that long.

We spend considerable time looking from hardware shops to motorbike repair shops for some penetrating oil with which to fix the outboard motor. Once again much pantomiming. Finally find the exact can of penetrating oil spray we want. Get some more milk, bread and water and a hot chicken for lunch then return to boat.

 040 bridge 039 canal
quaint bridge spans over a stream running through the township beautifully lined with stones and paved walkways and the water is clean
 038 stone tomb  041 back street
a stone sarcophagus tomb commonly seen through the region in the back streets looking for a motor mechanics shop

Lunch: Make a lunch of hot chicken and salad with bread.

Approx 1300hrs: Andy calls us down to the Passport Office where we spend the next hour or so sitting on plastic chairs whilst they process our papers. Finally we’re free to go. Return to the boat and finish cleaning up and doing little jobs. Too late now to leave for Egypt. Collect two filled gas bottles from Ozturk, the local marina chandler. We’ll be heading out tomorrow. Rain seems to be clearing a little reluctantly now. Quite cool. Jumpers on.

During the afternoon it begins raining in earnest then spitting fitfully. Dark thunder clouds scud across the sky but it does seem to be clearing reluctantly.

Approx 1700hrs: Release lines and motor across to the fuelling dock. Takes about an hour or so including waiting for the tanker to arrive. Diesel fuel is expensive at 2.79 Turkish lira per litre. Australian exchange rate is 95 cents per lira. Return to our marina berth and tie up again.

Evening: Have about 60 lira in the kitty left so go uptown back to our pizza place for dinner. Take a walk through the back streets of town by night. Dark and quiet back there. Only a few people moving about. Starts spitting rain again. Back at the boat Andy sets about trying to get some weather information. Seems he can’t get the grib files off the SailMail frequency on the HF radio this close to the Turkish coast at least in this area. He can only access them offshore.

042 marina by night  043 jenzminc saloon
entrance to Finiki marina at night
with fuel dock at left
the saloon downstairs inside Jenzminc

The Vasco da Gama website reports Force 6-7 winds (pretty high) and 8-10 metre seas in the Mediterranean. The rally is currently in Cyprus. They’ll be making a decision to make the jump across to Egypt on Thurs 5 Nov 09.

Approx 2200hrs: Go to bed.

Tues 3 Nov 09

 Map 3 - Finiki to Ucagiz
Map 3: Finiki to Ucagiz

Andy is up and about a little earlier this morning. Rain has cleared. Clear sky overhead but some lumpy clouds gathered around the horizon. Roger reports hearing some rustling noises inside the boat during the night. We’d been visited by cats and he’d managed to whack one with a pillow. Rubbish bin had been knocked over.

Approx 0730 hrs: Gather the lines in. Secure the dinghy to the stern by lashing it sideways. Fenders in. Take some cushions out to the cockpit. Motor out of Finike Marina.

044 leaving finikiLeft: Leaving Finiki behind. Masts inside marina can be seen just to centre left of photo.

0800hrs: Heading westerly along coast at 7 kts at 2500 rpm. Depth 51m just a few hundred yards offshore. White rock on shore line and coastal areas very common, almost like chalk but isn’t. Sky still fairly clear – some clouding. Cool but not enough to need a jumper.

0830hrs: Trucks and cars moving along the highway that’s been cut into the side of the mountain along the coast. Would be a lovely drive. Barometer 1014 so that’s promising. Heading 240 deg. Breeze 7 kts off starboard bow. Motoring.

1000hrs: Distance covered 14.7 miles. Enter Kekova Roads which is about 4 miles long between the coast and the rugged rocky island of Adasi. Depth around 70m. Blue water. Very rocky all along the foreshore as well. Tidal range only about 15 cm or so no real current to speak of.

 045 old fort  046 kekova roads
lonely ruins of an old fort still guards this coast Kekova Roads with ruins of an old crusader castle called Kale Koy in the istance just off to the right


 Map 4  Kekova Roads
Map 4: Kekova Roads and Ucagiz

Approx 1030 hrs: Pass the ancient ruins of Kale Koy castle guarding the rocky entrance to a small town called Ucagiz Limani. Small rocky islets to the south of the castle mark the site of sunken ruins of an ancient city which may have been called Simena. On the NE side of the rocks, stairs have been cut to lead down to into the water. Pass through the narrow entrance into the bay beyond and along the front of Ucagiz.

 047 kale koy  048 stone tombs
A holiday resort with “pensions” accommodation lay at the foot of the old Kale Koy castle (top right). The sunken city of Simena is located in this area near the rocks. It sank due to an earthquake in the second century AD. A necropolis of stone tombs along the coastline. The ancient Lycians preferred to bury their dead among the living rather than in cemeteries outside of town. The just built their houses around them.

Several gulets – Turkish tourist cruising and tourist vessels of various sizes are anchored nearby. Amongst the rocks on the foreshore to the east of the town are several ancient stone tombs cut out of the bare rock. After doing a circuit of the area head back out into Kekova Roads and start heading westerly. Wind has sprung up again to around 13 kts as we motor directly into it.

 049 ucagiz 050 gulets
The little township of Ucagiz. Tourist gulets anchored up outside the town.


Polemos Buku

1115hrs: Anchor at the western end of a 1.5 mile inlet at a place called Polemos Buku. Nothing much here. The boys aren’t saying much about why we’ve come here to this desolate looking place. There’s a ramshackle restaurant at the end of a rough timber jetty lined with old rubber tyres painted white. Doesn’t appear to be any roads so the only access must be by boat. Mud bottom with good holding. Slopes on the foreshores covered in maquis and wild olive trees.

Right: the landing at Aperlai with a jetty for dinghies
and a restaurant for tourists.051 aperlai at polemos buku

On arrival a U.S. registered yacht Alchemy from Larchmont NY is lifting it’s anchor to start heading out. No greetings exchanged.

1215 hrs: Three fishermen arrive in a small diesel powered timber boat and begin line fishing around us. Cheery types. Give us a wave.

1230hrs: Lunch of salami, bread and salad.

053 fishermenLeft: fishermen passing by in a wooden dinghy.

Approx 1330hrs: Go ashore in the dinghy. Start walking inland with the guys across a rocky track and stony country. Lots of evidence of wild pigs which have caused quite a bit of damage with their foraging at night. Wild olive trees everywhere. Walk over black olives strewn across the paths fallen from wild olive trees. Evidence of an ancient civilisation everywhere with old rock fences and raised flat areas. Red volcanic soil similar to that found around Toowoomba and the Darling Downs. It’s easy to see why they would have settled here. Access to the sea for trade, a fair bit of flat land with good rich soil for crops, plenty of rocks and timber to work with. See several old wells and according to the chart there are several mineral springs here.

Eventually arrive at a trekker’s resort called The Purple House. A man in his early thirties named Rizacuce (risercoosh) and his pregnant young wife Pida (peeda) greet us. Andy and Roger had met this chap before on a previous trip. Speaks very good English but Pida doesn’t not speak any. Definitely no roads lead into here. Access only by sea but he apparently gets a couple thousand visitors per year to visit nearby ruins.

Map 5 Aperlai
Map 5 – The area of Aperlai and ancient ruins

Start out following the marked paths. Apparently there had been a civilisation here 2000-3000 years BC called Aperlai. The ruins of a stone fort sits higher up on a ridge overlooking the whole area. Can see where paths had been laid using rocks although over the millennia, rain and erosion has washed off the topsoil leaving rocky paths.

 054 cottage 055 well
tourist cottage old well
 056 tombs  057 old ruins
more stone tombs and old fort top right ruins of old city
 058 ancient incription  059 old ruins
ancient writing on an old sarcophagus view from the old fort looking down over the old settlement

Back at the Purple House, Rizacuce serves us strong Turkish coffee in small dainty cups with small decorated metal saucers. Being a prefect host offers us something to eat and takes the time to sit with us even through there is work underway nearby making a rainwater dam. He warns us the forecast is bad weather for the next three days and that we shouldn’t leave for Egypt.

Right: Moonrise over Kale Koy ruins in the distance065 moonrise

1600hrs: Back on board. Chicken stir-fry for dinner. Beautiful full orange moon rising over Kale Koy ruins in the distance leaving an orange trail on the water leading to the boat. Starts clouding over as the night progresses.

Weds 4 Nov 09

Wake to strong winds gusting up to 38 kts through the anchorage. Water very chopped up. Boat swinging wildly to her anchor. Have a sore throat, hope I’m not getting a bug. Quite chilly. Put on jeans but only to split the bum on them. Good rip too. Change to shorts.  Andy thinks we might go to Ucagiz later. Breakfast of toast. Spend the morning chatting.

0945hrs: Andy alerts us the dinghy has come adrift and is now belting down Kekova Roads. Quick dashing about to get underway goes smoothly. We’re all experienced sailors and can see what needs to be done. Take off after the absconding dinghy and catch it several hundred metres away just before it reaches Kekova Roads proper and before it hits any of the many rocks around us. Surprised at how warm the water is. Tie the dinghy to the stern and keep on going to Ucagiz.


060 ucagiz jettyLeft: Ucagiz jetty and mosque greets visitors from the sea

Ucagiz is dominated by a mosque and from writing carved into the many stone sarcophagi tombs, it came into existence around 4th century BC. It seems to depend on tourism from the ruins of Kale Koy with its amphitheatre, the sunken city, the many stone tombs and tourism charter vessels. The women in the town generally still wear the traditional pantaloon trousers, shirts, shawls and scarves.

1130hrs: Anchor up and settle out the front of Ucagiz. Probably slightly less sheltered here. Sit down for a coffee with some bikkies. Notice the yacht Alchemy is has also anchored here.

1230hrs: Still chatting when the anchor springer snaps with a loud bang. A springer is a rope which holds the anchor chain to the bow to soften shocks from the boat pulling directly on the anchor chain. Wind still gusting at around 30 kts. Quite bumpy in the bay. Whitehorses everywhere. Overcast and spitting rain.

Approx 1530hrs: Wind has gone and skies seem to be clearing. Some rain cloud still about but sun trying to peep through gaps in cloud.

Power nap. Later we jump into the dinghy and go ashore. We’re met at a rough timber jetty lined again with white painted rubber tyres, by a man who introduces himself at Ibrahim from Ibrahim’s Restaurant located at the end of the jetty. He gives us the password to access the local Wi-Fi internet network so we’re able to get some emails out and a weather forecast. Ibrahim takes our orders for Nescafe coffees all round but later tells us it’s on the house … and perhaps we’d be coming back for dinner?

Takes a walk around the little village. Local ladies are indeed wearing traditional clothes, even a young lass about 13yr old or so. Quaint little houses made from shaped rocks, stones and raw timber poles. Starts raining again so beat a hasty retreat back to boat. Get slightly wet. Easy afternoon on board while it continues to rain.

061 ucagiz 1  062 ucagiz 2
street scene street scene
 063 ucagiz 3  064 ucagiz 4
women still wear traditional pantaloon trousers and scarves street scene

1830hrs: Full moon rising over the low mountains close by lighting up the bay. Clear sky – cloudless – stars are out. Chilly bit in the breeze. Andy cooking tea.

Quiet evening. Early to bed. Tomorrow we leave for Egypt.



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