Marmaris Yacht Marina

January 23, 2009

For several days the marina was abuzz with tracking the coming storm caused by a fast approaching depression in the Med. It was the first time that the marina actually sent out a radio announcement for the liveaboards to prepare for strong winds. Everyone was adjusting their mooring lines and fenders but no one was really prepared for the carnage that the storm brought when it hit the Aegean coastline on Thursday night.

Most boat owners were up from 4 am onward and the marina staff had full manpower walking the docks and checking the boats. The wind escalated, coming in bursts but not reaching full force until the morning.

Gord had got up during the night to check on the 5 boats that he was "sitting" for people who were away. While he was walking the dock, a huge chunk off the bamboo roof from the washrooms blew down and hit him, luckily not seriously. After a few dock line adjustments, it was back to bed. By 7 am though, there was chaos on the docks. We had the weight of all the boats upwind of our beam all piled down on us. Most of those boats are vacant and unattended so not properly set up which put a lot of strain on our lines and squashed our already tired fenders.

As the bursts hit, Ascension would heal over causing the fenders on the windward side to pop out of the water and settle on the deck. It was a full time job just keeping the fenders between the boats. Several fenders floated by as a result of people tying them to lifelines that broke.

Ascension was actually tied to one of the more protected areas of the dock and we did not experience as much turbulence from the seas as many of the other boats moored on the outer docks.

Winds were strong throughout the day, reportedly reaching gusts of 78 knots but, as with most squash zones, the sky was a bright blue. The sound of the wind howling through all the rigging of 1000+ boats was deafening, like standing beside a jet engine.

At 9 am an unfortunate incident took place. At the road in front of Yacht Marina, a huge wave, like a tsunami that sent security guards running, crashed over the breakwall and through the large windows of the restaurant, filling the area with water and debris all the way to the bar! Electronics were destroyed, but worse, a woman working in the restaurant was washed out with the sea. She was taken to the hospital, minor injuries but very traumatized!

Once the boats were secure, people ventured out to check the damage.

The waves crashing over the road past the marina were spectacular, albeit a dangerous spot to be as chunks of wall, the bus stop and other debris were flying thru the air. The huge heavy statue of Ataturk, standing at the Marina entrance was Gone!!!

The marina entrance was entirely covered with boulders, debris, seaweek and gravel under a foot of water all the way to the travel lift. The road in front of the marina was impassable so no Dolmus will be running today.

The boathouse by the runway was blown down. All around, boats perched at precarious angles and lots of broken masts!

Gord has just returned from taking photos and reports that the Power is out so toilets in the washrooms won't flush! It is now starting to rain, with accompanied thunder and lightning. The forecast calls for several days of rain on the heels of the storm.

January 25

The rain has brought with it a downfall of red sand, I suppose blown in from the Sahara Desert. All the boats are covered with fine dirt, totally reminiscent of our time spent in the Red Sea! The hills are cloaked in what looks like dense fog, but is actually dust in the air.

Here are some news clips from the TURKEY PRESS

Turkey's Aegean region was influenced by the storm which reached 120 km/h. Minarets of four mosques collapsed in southwestern province of Burdur. Ten boats sank due to strong wind in Bodrum town of western province of Mugla. Roofs of several houses flew, and many trees fell.

Centennial trees fell over in streets and roads due to strong winds in Bodrum town of western province of Mugla. Giant waves, which reached 7 meters, threw a 32-meter yacht to the land in Kumbahce Bay. The strong winds also damaged the electricity lines which caused Bodrum to stay in dark.

The speed of storm reached 110 kilometers, and hit Aegean and Mediterranean regions of Turkey. Six patients were injured when they were trapped under the roof of the hospital collapsed in western province of Mugla due to strong wind. Schools recessed in Datca town of Mugla.