A glimpse at underwater archeology in Bodrum, Turkey

Photo: Bodrum Harbor, Turkey. Credit: Lisa Borre.
The view of Bodrum Harbor from the Castle of St. Peter which houses the excellent Underwater Archeology Museum. Photo by Lisa Borre.

Logbook Entry

Date: 4/17/10
Distance: 24 nm
Sailed from: Knidos
Lat: 37°02’N
Long: 27°25.4E

Despite warnings from other cruising sailors who did not like the marina in Bodrum (mainly because it caters to charter yacht fleets and is therefore expensive), we decided to put in at the marina for a night anyways for the convenient access to shore. We arrived around noon after motoring from Knidos since there was no wind for sailing.

The strait between the island of Kos in Greece and the mainland of Turkey had a steady stream of freighters headed south and then east. We saw five during our passage north today. We also passed a few sailboats motoring south, probably headed to Marmaris. In the open water of Gökova Körfezi, the gulf between the Datca and Bodrum Peninsulas, Lisa spotted a flock of black-winged stilts in flight with their unmistakable pointed black wings, their contrasting white heads and underbodies, and their very long, pinkish-orange legs trailing behind.

It seems that there is an important ancient city everywhere we go in Turkey, and Bodrum is no exception. The modern city is built atop the ancient site of Halicarnassus, and given all of the tourist development in this area, it means that there is not much to see. We did make a point of visiting the Castle of St. Peter and the interesting Underwater Archeology Museum located within the castle walls. Stones from the tomb of Mausolos, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world which was also located here, were used to build the castle. Like yesterday, today’s port-of-call lays claim to a famous son — it was the birthplace of Herodutus, the father of written history, around 490 BC.

The call to prayer echoes through the harbor five times a day. Gulets, the traditional charter boats in Turkey, line the town quay. Luckily for us, the numerous nightclubs and bars were quiet at this time of year. We are still trying to catch up on rest after the big push to get underway and then two nights of getting used to being at anchor again. We took advantage of the clean showers on shore, made a simple dinner of lamb patties and basmati rice onboard, and turned in early.