Snakes Alive

The Venice of Turkey, the turquoise coast, what more can I add to help describe the beauty of the Lycian Coast except simply stunning! It reminds me a bit of the Whitsunday Islands, with massive pine covered hill sides dropping down into clear idealic water. There seems to be a constant backdrop of mountains to complete the picture.

The cruising grounds of Fethiye Korfezi are littered with a plethora of great anchorages. You could get lost in here for months. Its definitely worth a week or two. On the west side of Fethiye Korfezi is Skopea Bay, which is enclosed by a chain of islands that provides great shelter.

We entered through a narrow gap in the islands and chose Ruin Bay as our first stop, and we were just blown away with the sheer beauty of the place, a unique mixture of physical beauty and Turkish exoticism.

Once safely on anchor with a line back to the shore, it was off for a swim – first along the coast then off to a small island. On the way out to the island, we swam above a large turtle about 5m below us. Magical. Jo’s a good long distance swimmer so I set my self a task to keep up and not embarrass myself. Well, not too much anyway!

Back on the boat, it was time to adopt the philosophy of “when in Rome do as the Romans do” so I dove in and cooked my Mediterranean Snapper Bake as per Allrecipes.com. In the process I soon discovered that the 3 large tins of tomato was in fact not quite what they appeared – I had inadvertently bought tomato paste instead of tomato pieces (what are we going to do with it all???). To add to my woes we couldn’t get black olives in the supermarket, so I had to settle for green stuffed ones. But even with these impediments I still managed a tick of approval, which was pretty good given the expertise of the judging panel.

Next morning, after a bit of a lie in, it was up and into the water once again. We decided to swim the other way towards the ruins this time. Along the way we found a swing rope and revisited our childhood by swinging out over the water and letting go. Then we swam into the ruins, which we were able to do as they are half underwater – pretty cool. The water was so clear and it’s temperature was right in the middle of perfect. Heaven. We kept going for a while and ended up returning to the boat 50 minutes later for breakfast. Felt pretty good about that.

After breakfast, we were sitting around drinking tea (after all I had a Pom on board) and a couple of Aussies swam by our boat from a Guluk and we of course invited them on board for a chat, primarily so they could inflict some more Australianisms on Jo. They didn’t disappoint as we had a great laugh (apologies for my crap skill at remembering names). They were on board a tourist gullet – just them and 12 other Germans – not necessary the best time to be reading a historical novel on Adolf Hitler or indeed the Book Thief, and certainly not a good time to be playing some sort of WW2 fighter pilot game on your iPad. We also got some insight into the age of the Rex airlines pilots who flew them to Sydney who look so young that they are evidently “waiting for puberty” with the hosties referring to them as the “flying fetuses”.

Political incorrectness over, it was time to head for Gocek for a look around. Gocek was 7nm down the bay through some of the most magnificent cruising grounds in the Mediterranean – and probably the world. Gocek is a combination of 5 marinas and a town that has grown up around these marinas – nothing real signs of anything else.

Still it was very pleasant and we managed to find some more icetrays, some drink bottles and a nice pair of thongs (Australian vernacular) that were better than my broken Havanas. We’d stopped and had Turkish Tea with the shop keeper and he told us business was very bad, with no many foreigners spending any money.

We decided to eat on shore and had a great lunch – Halloumi Salad and Florentine Crepes, along with a couple of Efes beers, under the shade of some trees on the broadwalk. It had a bit of a feel of Mykonos about it, but without the crowds.

Then it was back to the boat and off back up the bay. Our plan was to stop off at Tomb Bay and see the Tombs (duh!) before heading back to Ruin Bay where we had spotted a restaurant with a jetty we could tie up to, so we could merely stumble back to the boat.

Jo had a phone interview so we timed our arrival into Tomb Bay to fit in with that. But when we got there we found a simply stunning bay with a restaurant, that also came with its own jetty, so we hastily changed our plans, mid anchoring. Back went the shore rope and out came the fenders. Jo had to report in 5 minutes late for her interview citing the somewhat novel excuse of berthing delays, whilst we got ourselves organized and attached to the jetty.

The guy from the restaurant suggested that we time our arrival around the wasps, by arriving at 7.30pm so we could order and eat by 8pm when the sun went down and the wasps disappeared. We sort of followed his timetable and sat down with a bit of charcoal burning on our table to keep them away. Never seen wasps used as a sort of selling point before quite like that.

There’s a certain sort of sameness about Turkish food so thank goodness for the view. Wine is also expensive (60-70TL a bottle), so we settled on drinking their excellent Efes beer. We were both pretty knackered after a long day of swimming, sailing and exploring so we sort of bombed out and hit the sack.

Next morning, we set ourselves the task of walking up to the tombs. There were two sets and after a while we found the second set (which we mistook for the first). They were set high up on the hill side into the side of a cliff and the views from way up there were to die for. We then set off for the second set, but never did find them (because we already had if you get my drift). We came across an ancient olive grove instead and eventually gave up and started to head back. We eventually made our way down to a dry creek bed and decided to follow that back to a beach near to our boat.

And then Jo screamed. She was in front and came across a rather large snake that took fright and headed down the creek – unfortunately the same way that we were heading. It was her first encounter in the wild and my first since the Kimberley’s on Camelot. We decided to skirt round the side of the creek, avoiding the large rock that our new-found friend had taken refuse under. That got the heart rate going and it was a relief to get back to the boat and out of the bush. Breakfast and a quick swim and then it was off to have a look at Fethiye, a 3 hour sail away.

We had parts of a good sail, with some of the islands doing interesting things to the wind. Around 2pm, the wind started to pick up and we opened the sailing instruction book to the chapter entitled “Reefing” and put the 2nd reef in, which was just as well as the wind got up to 29kts. The anchoring in Fethiye was quite good, and we dropped the dingy in and had a lazy afternoon drinking Rose and publishing blogs at one of the waterfront bars. Never did make it into town proper.

Next morning we leave for a 6 hour sail up to Kas so Jo can spent a couple of nights with the skipper from her previous boat. And I can take a breath and get some bits and pieces done.

For my photos of Fethiye Korfezi, please see https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10201852714352439.1073741919.1620379103&type=1&l=c68df1ae27

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