Off Sailing

Our first afternoon on the water was quite casual. We motored round the island and found a good place to anchor amongst the gulets. We dropped in about 20m of water quite close to shore and settled in for the night. We went for a swim to test out our masks and snorkel but we were both a bit knackered so it was a short swim. The wind dropped away to nothing and we sat outside eating Jo’s beautiful seafood curry and drinking a celebratory Rose (or 2 or 3 or …), our poison of choice in this hot weather. Then we talked and talked and talked before retiring to our respective bedrooms.

Next morning it was up around 7.30am for another Jo speciality, a menamen, which turned out to be just the repair job that my somewhat fragile body required. You can see I was being spoiled rotten.


After consulting the weather once again, we decided we would make some miles and get to the Lycian Coast proper and the cruising grounds around Gocek (pronounced Go Check – the subject of some dubious Jo humour, which matches my own lame version).

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But as always, the wind persistently sat right on our nose so motoring was the order of the start of the day. Eventually we got lucky and got enough angle to go sailing in 10-15 knots of wind. We cracked 6kts of boat speed, even with about a 1kt of current against us – I was back in heaven. Rounding Kurdoglu Burnu, we were struck by a gorgeous large bay with sailing yacht darting back and forth. We headed into the bay and dropped the sails before heading through a narrow gap of 200m into an inner bay and onto Ruin Bay, which Mr. Heikell describes as “The setting in this tiny cove is exquisite, with thick pine covering the slopes right down to the water’s edge, engulfing everything except the ruins.” He really needs to do better as it was much more stunning than this!!!

We dropped anchor in about 20m of water ad tied up to some bollards that they had installed on the rocks, which was really nice of them. Our first stern to of the season.

Returning to My Girl!

It was a great drive through the mountains back to Marmaris. We got to the marina just before lunch and drove straight up to “her”. She was looking resplendid, with full make up on, positively gleaming with her new wax job.

We checked out her new bits, the BBQ moved and a new proper gas bottle holder, 4 new solar panels, an anchor chain counter, some stainless steel work at the front to stop the anchor chipping her gelcoat and a proper gas alarm/cutoff valve. She looked in amazing good shape for a boat that had been left for 6 months.

DSC_0303 DSC_0333Then we started the process of unpacking everything, trying to remember where everything was and where everything went. We wanted to get her bottom wet a day early but they had parked another catamaran right in front of her, and a couple of small  birds had taken a look at her poor state and decided the inside of their boom was a great place to build a nest. The marina eventually gave up trying to find the owner and moved it anyway, allowing us to get back in the water on the Friday, instead of the Saturday.

Our timing was perfect as the locals say it never rains after 15th June. And true to their word, the sun’s been out ever since.

Once back in the water, we got the sails back on and got her ready to go sailing. We said goodbye to Anthony and Denise, who left us to travel around the Greek Islands and Jo and I left the marina at about 3pm after paying our 160TL to register our crew list – now there’s a trick for young players – every time there’s a crew change I need to fill out a new form and pay 160TL for the privilege.

But we were off and that was exciting!!!

The Face That Launched 1000 Quasqui

Having had a fun night struggling with the effects of jetlag, we all hopped into our Nissan Quasqoi and headed off to reenact Troy, where Helen launched a thousand ships, or in our case a single Quasqoi (ok, so 999 short but good enough for a blog title).

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Troy had got a bit of a bad wrap but we find it fascinating, once we’d got past the Monty Python moment at the entrance with the very 21st century wooden horse. We resisted the temptation to have our photo taken in period costume but did note its suitability for an end of cruising season party.

There turns out to be 9 Troys, all built on top of one another. It was good to wander around the ruins and read all about.

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Troy done, we set off for a bit of a drive South, which took pretty much to the end of the day. Our stop was the night was Kusadasi and the Palm Hotel. The Palm Hotel required some tricky maneuvering through narrow streets and then once where the GPS said it should be a sixth sense to actually find it. Senses 1 through 5 were performing well but number 6 was on the blink hence why we checked into the Hotel Stella.


Kusadasi was very much a tourist town with a line of cruise boats tied up at the wharf, but it was still a nice little spot and the fish restaurant was reasonable, given its location right on the small boat harbour, next to the cutesy line of small colourful fishing boats.

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Next morning, it was off the Ephesus, one of the remarkable Roman Ruin sites of the ancient world. Bloody amazing – what these romans got up to. Another Monty Python moment – the aquaducts and the sewage system, as well as libraries and splendid roads and not one, but two Amphitheatres, one of which held 26,000 Freo Dockers fans. Anthony was prepared, having done Macbeth last year, struck up a great rendition of the Ancient Mariner. Managed to get this one on video from the top of the Amphitheatre, complete with a round of applause from the rest of the tourist population.

The place must have been pretty specie in its day, marble streets leading from the port and raised walkways for the nobility. We started at the bottom and walked the 2kms to the top of the city, noting its rules and a long sermon that I’m sure Joe Hockey pinched on the need to collect taxes.

Ruined out, it was time to hit the road again and head for the thermal lakes at Pamukkale, a town we were secretly drawn to by the copious amounts of reasonable rose we were beginning to consume. The more none-secret reason was the fabulous thermal lakes that provided a stunning backdrop to the town. Some say they resemble the cliffs of Dover stuck in the middle of Turkey, but hey, I’m no plagiarist so I will leave that description for Jo to claim.

After a 200km drive into the hills and mountains of inland Turkey we arrived about 4pm and paid our admission fees and headed up the strange bluish hillocks that were covered by a thin film of running water, intermittently punctuated by thermal pools filled with Japanese tourists. In between the occasional slip, our feet got a treat wading through the therapeutic mud that lined the bottom of the shallow pools. We eventually made it to the top and looked around for the money shot. It was so stunningly different, a landscape pinched from somewhere I’d never come across before. From our viewpoint at the top we could see the storm clouds rolling in and tossed up between sheltering at the top amongst the tourist shops or making a run for it in the rain. Luckily for us we made a run for it and although drenched, we got down before the rain really set in.

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There was a nice old guy at the bottom waiting for us who had a family run hotel that had started at 70TL when we got there and by the end of the day had progressed down to 40TL (about $20) a night per person.

Our purchasing department had got a lot more sophisticated vis-a-vis hotel rooms as it progressively matured its selection criteria . Hot water for showers was quickly added to a list that contained luggage lifts, top sheets for beds, and carpet that was more or less attached to the floor, whilst the “good mojitos” item had been left off for another day.

The hotel turned out to be a real find. The hot water for the showers was a real winner, even though the power in the whole town went off and the vital shower was had in semi-darkness. The power eventually came back on and we had the most wonderful experience with the extended family eating home-made cooking (from a somewhat reduced menu) on the top floor menu.

Next day it was off to La Mischief in Marmaris. Now that was exciting!!!