Distance: 32 nm
Sailed from: Dirsek, Turkey
We anchored in Büyük Limani harbor at Knidos on the western tip of the Datca Peninsula by late afternoon on our second day out from Marmaris. We rowed ashore to visit the ruins of ancient Knidos which are scattered around the surrounding hillsides. It must have been quite a place in its heyday, but now there is not even a modern-day town on the site which was famous for having been home to the first nude statue of a female figure: a marble statue of Aphrodite by Praxiteles. From our guidebooks, we also learned that this was the home of Eudoxos, one of the founders of Greek geometry.
We climbed to the top of the amphitheatre and admired Gyatso at anchor in the beautiful setting of this small harbor. While hiking around, Lisa caught sight of a small owl perched atop the amphitheatre. She was surprised to see an owl during the day.
When back onboard, she consulted our field guide of birds and was able to identify it as a Little Owl which is known to be active during the day. She also learned that it likes to eat insects and small rodents, so it must have had quite a feast on all of the spiders, beetles and grasshoppers we saw in the meadows around the ruins. However, the land tortoise we found in the area of the Temple of Apollo seemed to be munching on a purely vegetarian diet.
A friendly family runs the small restaurant ashore which caters to visitors to the historic site during the day and the crews of visiting yachts for dinner. At this time of year, both are few and far between. After hiking around the ruins, we stopped in for a beer and made a reservation for dinner. Just after sunset, we rowed back to shore for fried calamari while the extended family went about life around us. The men were cooking in the kitchen, the mother and children worked on homework together, and the younger men watched football (soccer) on TV.
Just as we were leaving the restaurant, we could see the running lights of another yacht entering the anchorage. They must have been here before because the Turkish Waters Pilot advises against a night entry. We returned to Gyatso in time to watch a tiny sliver of the moon set behind Cape Krio — it sure is great to be underway again.