Turkish coastline has innumerable lovely deserted, sheltered bays, making it an ideal sailing area. However it is not
simply a matter of “dropping the hook” as most of these bays have 40
metres or more of depth and are only 100 metres wide, so that even if you
do have an exceptionally long anchor chain, you just can’t anchor there.
solution is to do it the “gullet way”, dropping the anchor in the
middle of the bay and backing up to the shore and securing the stern with
lines to a couple of trees. Fortunately the Turkish coastline has many
trees growing right down to the water’s edge and it is relatively easy
to find some conveniently placed tree or even a rock to tie up to. There
is also a growing tendency for the locals to install steel rings in the
rocks for boaters to use, rather than ring-barking the trees from too
frequent use, or abuse, of the tree trunks.
Or is it really? Well, if you have a good crew on board, one for the
anchor, one to dive into the water and drag a line ashore, another to feed
the line and secure it and another to scan the rising sea floor for rocks
while you are at the helm coordinating everything, it is quite easy.
when you have only a not-too-practical wife for crew, or when you are
completely alone, it is not so simple, but it is possible. You just have
to be prepared. The secret lies in having the right warps (ropes), and
plenty of them. It is essential that they be floating ones and better if
stored on a rotating drum on the stern, so that the swimmer makes no
effort in unrolling it as he swims ashore. A floating line will not sink
and snarl on the bottom or worse still, foul in the prop.
will be necessary to place several lines ashore and better with two very
long lines either side from the bow of the boat, so that a side wind will
not push the boat ashore if the anchor does not hold firm. Ideally you
should always moor with the stern pointing towards the dominant wind
direction, but this is not always possible.
choosing the mooring site, take note of any trees with cut ropes hanging
from them, as this is an indication of rushed departures during sudden
storms. Personally, I confess having tied up to such trees, having dragged
the anchor and having almost been blown ashore by a sudden side wind. The
mess was further complicated for me by fouling the anchor trip line on the
prop, so the anchor was suspended in the water and the crippled boat was
being blown towards the shore. Quickly cut the trip line with a knife, I
anchored in deep water to free the prop and go ashore to collect my warp
(and other bits and pieces lost in the rush).
to avoid a coming storm and get back in time to catch a plane, I had to
leave a tree mooring in the dead of night, swim ashore and stumble around
in the dark to free the lines... all part of the adventure. On another
occasion I nikked the tip of the rudder backing into a mooring, so I speak
from direct experience.
single-handed sailor friend says he makes sure the anchor is securely
holding and leaves the engine in reverse while he goes ashore with the
mooring line, preferably in the dinghy.
will also mention a new gadget, which I found very useful on the boat, the
laser range finder, which measures up to the centimetre the distance from
the shore. It helps you get down the maximum chain, without running out
before you get to the pier. It also helps determine whether the anchor is
dragging during the night, by simply measuring the distance of the rocks,
either fore or aft of the boat.
when choosing your next anchorage, check carefully the marked depths to
see if you can swing at anchor, otherwise get ready for a stern-to mooring.
There are also many fish restaurants with rudimentary piers and now many
proper marinas, so you will always find a safe, idyllic haven in your
navigation around Turkish waters.