Serce Limani

Serce Liman is a natural harbor situated two nautical miles NE of Bozukkale. The rocks at the entrance give the impression of a gate. There are two bays in the harbor, the N one narrows as it goes inland whereas the S one is a bit wider. The N bay extends into a wetlands, whereas the edge of the S bay ends at a sandy, rocky shore. Behind the rocky shore and high mountains on the W side is a deep canyon. If you are sailing into Serce Limani from the W, you can head N by going around both Çatal Islands, or else by manuevering between them. However do not attempt to navigate through the channel between the mainland and the N Çatal Adasi. You probably won’t notice the entrance to Serçe Limani from the W until you are practically sailing on top of it. However, if you are navigating in from the E. you’ll spot the entrance two nautical miles in the distance. The entrance is 10 m. wide with a draft of 45 m. There is a small reef at the edge of the S cape. Once in the bay, it is possible to approach up to 1 5 m. on every side as there is a draft of at least a five m. in these parts.

Nonetheless, you can anchor anywhere in the bay as long as you don’t approach too closely to the marshy shore at the N end. For instance, you can anchor over a muddy bottom depth of 5-6 m. in the N, and a mooring line to the NW, or in the 5, by dropping anchor to a depth of 5-6 m. on a bed of algae and sand, 80 m. from the shore. Ancient mariners knew that Serçe Limani was a sheltered harbor that they often took refuge during stormy weather. Here there are a total of six shipwrecks found in the vicinity; four inside the bay and two outside the bay. One of these occurred in the year 1025. The captain piloting a Fatimid-flagged cargo vessel that had set out on its fateful journey from the Syrian coast bound for Constantinople. In addition to other cargo, its manifest indicated she was loaded with up to three tons of processed and raw glass that was to be processed in a small workshop located on the shores of the Bosphorus.
Weeks had gone by since the vessel had departed Syrian waters, and it sailed all the way to Bozukkale without any difficulty. After porting here for a while, she set sail, but it wasn’t long before she was caught in a terrible storm. To escape the maelstrom, the ships captain tried to duck into Serçe Limani, but unfortunately his vessel struck the rocks and was
damaged. He did manage to navigate her into the harbor, but she began taking on water and it wasn’t long before the vessel sank to the bottom of the sea with its precious load. It was almost a full millennium before this 16 m. vessel was brought back to the surface, when Prof. George Bass, along with a team of Turkish and American underwater archaeologists, accomplished this task in 1979. Today, the ship along with all its contents is on display at the Bodrum Museum of Underwater Archaeology.

The ancient town of Kasara is located above Serce Limani, which most likely was the harbor of this ancient town. Kasara means “the Big Village of the Mother Goddess.” Other than a few wall remnants, nothing else remains of this ancient town.