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Old 04-10-2015, 07:23   #1
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Datca Marina (Turkey) during SE storms (beware)

Some two weeks ago (22/9) we experienced a nice storm in Datca. Sailing in a Sunsail flotilla we were directed to Datca as a safe place during the predicted southerly storm. Well.... the East end of the Marina is safe enough, the West end however is downright dangerous. The harbour master and locals know all about it but ('of course') don't tell you anything.

After the storm has passed (at least 50% of the wooden platforms were floating in the sea or were trashed on the concrete key); locals told me this was a yearly event.

Wind (we had maybe 30 knots, no more) is not the problem but the shape of the key wall amplifies the swell that enters the Marina. This effects the (about) 15) berths at the West end of the Marina only. The 6 ft swell give the (Med style) moored boats a good shake down. More than one boat lost stanchions, railings, bits attached to the mast and fenders; numerous dents and bruises appeared (on boats).

A day after the storm locals returned to that part of the Marina.

Lessons learned: do not stay at the 15 Western berths in Datca during a SE storm. Do not trust the 'nice' harbour master; he is interested in local boats only and doesn't seem to care about visiting yachts.
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Old 06-10-2015, 05:14   #2
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Re: Datca Marina (Turkey) during SE storms (beware)

This is what it was like: https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=1&v=eEVtHjqUbQ4

The screeching sounds are the masts and backstays rubbing together.
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Old 06-10-2015, 13:26   #3
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Re: Datca Marina (Turkey) during SE storms (beware)

Wow! Thanks for posting.

Alain
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Old 06-10-2015, 19:00   #4
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Re: Datca Marina (Turkey) during SE storms (beware)

I have been there last year and it doesn't look like a place with good shelter from South winds. Later I had heard that it was plain dangerous with South winds.

Not very far, at the end of the peninsula you have good shelter from South winds, at anchor or even at a marina that is in a big cove. Been there too but I don't remember the name, this one:

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Old 06-10-2015, 19:05   #5
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Re: Datca Marina (Turkey) during SE storms (beware)

Did not look very restful. Did you consider moving out? Some difficulty I am sure but better than staying for injury.


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Old 06-10-2015, 19:49   #6
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Re: Datca Marina (Turkey) during SE storms (beware)

I think this really illustrates the danger of allowing others to make decisions on your behalf.
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Old 07-10-2015, 00:03   #7
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Re: Datca Marina (Turkey) during SE storms (beware)

I've had my own problems with surge on a quay, but does that video make me happy to have a catamaran!!

As an FYI, I anchored on the otherside of the Datca peninsula this year and it was the first time my Rocna refused to penetrate the substrate. 3 attempts and then I quit and set the watchmate for the night (it was pretty calm). In the morning you could see a shallow drag mark on the hard pan bottom. Pretty village but not ideal for shore visits.
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Old 07-10-2015, 01:34   #8
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Re: Datca Marina (Turkey) during SE storms (beware)

Since we had already sailed some 50 miles that day (some arrived after 19.00) moving further was not a good option. We were told Datca would be safe (most of it is; all local boats took those spaces). Orhaniye would have been safer but was some 20 or even 30 miles further to the East from Datca.

When we started this adventure there was a cat (Lagoon 440) moored three boats down. They were the first to chicken out and leave (wise).

I did agree with their leaving (wanted to do so myself before any damage occurred), most other boats left. Our flotilla leader decided to stay put. If it were my decision I too would have left to anchor or ride out the (mild) storm.

I did accept the flotilla leaders decision to stay put; competence differed on the various boats and there was no real way of knowing how the storm would develop.

As it were the storm was mild and just some dents and broken parts were the result. No person was hurt!

Sunsail fully accepted their responsibility and repaid all deposits in full. Several thousands worth of damages on at least three boats were absorbed by Sunsail without any discussion .

Hindsight: the decision to stay put was not a bad one. It was a decision made in difficult circumstances which kept everyone unhurt.

It anyone is to blame it is the Harbour master; since this is a yearly event people should have been warned. The day after the same happened to a lesser degree when again boats were moored in the clearly unsafe part of the marina (collecting 60 liras each was more important than safety). That is the only reason to post this in public: beware of Datca in S or SE storms.

About Datca: if you can stand the loud music it is worth a visit; we found quieter and more relaxed spots later on.

Aftermath:
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Old 07-10-2015, 04:38   #9
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Re: Datca Marina (Turkey) during SE storms (beware)

I can understand the flotilla leader decision to stay put since he did not know the sailing ability of the skippers of the other boats and my impression is that the average of those that sail in flotilla is not high. That situation is a good motive to avoid flotilla sailing if you, as it seems to be the case, has the ability to do it alone safely.

It is strange however that a flotilla leader does not know that Datça is not safe with South winds. High winds normally are predicted and he should have chosen a safe place. Even more close than the place I had mentioned previously, just at a few miles offshore, you have the Greek Island of Symi that has excellent shelter from South winds.

Regarding the Datça port, the part that is available to visiting yachts does not offer a considerable better shelter than anchoring in front of the beach, that offers good holding and a nice view. Besides for the ones that have deep rudders there is a dangerous concrete lip on the bottom, that in the case of my boat was just about 20cms from the rudder. I took care of the entry papers and I went away, anchoring in front of the beach:

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Old 07-10-2015, 04:44   #10
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Re: Datca Marina (Turkey) during SE storms (beware)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Palarran View Post
...
As an FYI, I anchored on the otherside of the Datca peninsula this year and it was the first time my Rocna refused to penetrate the substrate. 3 attempts and then I quit and set the watchmate for the night (it was pretty calm). In the morning you could see a shallow drag mark on the hard pan bottom. Pretty village but not ideal for shore visits.
On the other side you mean North? We anchored on that side for the night on a nice place that is extensively used by gullets (as we found out later), with good shelter from South winds and not bad in what regards East and West. The bottom was soft sand.

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Old 07-10-2015, 05:07   #11
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Re: Datca Marina (Turkey) during SE storms (beware)

We joined a flotilla to meet other people and the daily briefing (it is really relaxed and you can still do as you please; we sailed (only boat) to Chalki after clearing into Greece). We've also done a lot of bareboat sailing (West Indies mainly) after selling our own boat. Still like to Flotilla for company but understand your point. And yes; there were some less competent sailors amongst us.

Two years ago we sailed between Greece and Turkey without much formality (change the flag); as you will know things have changed over the past year and C&I is now a must. Simply diverting to Symi would have been a no-no.

Just read there was another storm causing damages on the 4th of october last week; I really feel the Harbour Master has an important role in all of this. I'm pretty sure he doesn't care much; he just collects his mooring fee. I did tell him what I thought of it; he didn't seem impressed. I can only hope our little vid goes 'viral' to warn other sailors before someone gets really hurt (or worse).

Don't know if you can really blame the leader; it was his first flotilla in the area and he didn't have any real weather for the past 6 months. He too relies on info from locals.

We were supposed to stop at Oko Buku (Ogun's Place for those who know the area) and were diverted somewhere in the afternoon (we had sailed from Gümüslük with a good initial forecast that changed during the day). There are more safe places (Dirsek, Paradise Bay) but all at least 15-20 miles down the road. Knowing what I know now I would definitely go for those places. It would mean sailing in the dark (normally not permitted on Sunsail boats) but still a heck of a lot less risk than staying put.
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Old 07-10-2015, 07:52   #12
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Re: Datca Marina (Turkey) during SE storms (beware)

From the briefest of views over the chart it would appear that the port is the most vulnerable spot in the inlet to S blow. Whether is harbourmaster, flotilla leader or Sunsail head office most culpable I cannot assess. Lousy position to end up in.


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Old 07-10-2015, 08:32   #13
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Re: Datca Marina (Turkey) during SE storms (beware)

If only is was that simple. At first glance it looks protected by land from the South and by a (too short?) breakwater from the South East. It wasn't the wind that caused problems it was the surge or swell 'amplified' (even considerable with almost absent wind) in the marina from East to West that did it.

Rod Heikel doesn't really mention it in the Pilot but states gullets use the catwalk where we 'parked'. Now I do understand why they were all 'hiding' in the Eastern part of the South Bay. Yep, they all moved back to the catwalk (routinely fixed) after the storm.

We moved some 50-100 meters after the storm (to the West still in the South Bay) and easily handled a far more powerful storm later on the day.

I do feel this was something you can only know if you have seen it or have heard from it. We were about at the 1.5 mark in the South bay:
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Old 07-10-2015, 08:46   #14
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Re: Datca Marina (Turkey) during SE storms (beware)

Assume you did not have a copy of Rod Heikell's Turkish Waters and Cyprus Pilot on board as he states that in southerly gales most berths are untenable. page 210.
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Old 07-10-2015, 09:00   #15
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Re: Datca Marina (Turkey) during SE storms (beware)

How right you are, missed that and looked at the first page only.
My excuse : the pilot was not on board and I studied it when we came back home.

New lesson learned: don't rely solely on flotilla leader but bring own (3 lbs. of) pilot.
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