See Bodrum Map Section "u"
Using sea transport for short distances is not a common in Bodrum. In fact, I will only talk about Bardakci boats since they are the only regular public option when it comes to sea.
Hackly coastline makes it difficult to carry passengers over the sea in short distances. It increases the distances, thus, trip durations and costs.
On the other hand, there is a quite effective minibus network which creates a hard-to-break competition over sea transport. It would take 5 to 6 hours get to Turgutreis by a small boat but you can get there in half an hour by a minibus. Not to mention how much would it costs.
Bardakci is a small bay and approximately 3 kilometres away from the town centre, on the half-way between Bodrum and Gumbet. You could get in a minibus or walk but none of them would be as fun as a boat trip.
When the season is on, roughly from May to October, small boats carry passengers between the castle harbour - old harbour - and Bardakci Bay. They make round trips and it takes 15 to 20 minutes in one direction. You can find one from the early in the morning until 9 or 10 PM depending on the demand.
There are not more than some nice and popular boutique hotels in Bardakci. Even if some of them are open all year, Bardakci boats aren’t available in winters due to the unpredictable weather conditions and low demand.
I enjoy having a ride with these boats which were used for fishing once until their owners, former fishermen, decided to use them in public transport.
During one of my rides, I met one of the owners; Aydin. He is a retired fisherman whose life was all about chasing fishes over blue waters for more than 25 years.
I asked him his reason to stop fishing and start carrying tourists. Honestly I was expecting the classical “money” answer. I had forgotten that I was talking to a Mediterranean.
He told me how happy he is with his current slow paced life. He was enjoying to make new friends from all over the world. Making money was just a bonus. He was so natural, friendly and talkative that our conversation went on even after completing the round trip.
Aydin is a Bodrumian like almost all other boat owners. He is from Bitez, another beautiful town to the west. “My friends are still earning their living by fishing in Bitez”, he said, “and I am helping them when winter comes”.
He works on his boat in summers and helping his friends in winters. Yet, he still asserts that he is retired and done with working. That’s exactly what a local seaman typically does: working hard and keeping the sea in his life as much as possible. Sea is an addiction and they can’t stay away.