Happy Hour

wpid-wp-1404739797594.jpegAs we drew closer to Kemer, we marveled (is that the word) at the touristy aspects that were everywhere. The pretend pirate ships intermixed with the paragliders pulled along by the ugliest speed boa
ts you are ever likely to see. Then hotel after beach front hotel with take a number deck chairs lining the beach front.

We’d heard various reports about Kemer, a Russian tourist mecca, and so we were fully prepared for ultra tacky. As always, its wasn’t like that and we were pleasantly surprised.

But what was really good was the marina crowd. Albeit they were all packing up and going home but Mike and Corrine from Switzerland made us feel really welcome and invited us to Happy Hour, where we met the rest of the United Nations of Cruising – South Africa, UK, Germany, Wales, Belgium and a Turkish Dentist – they all kept me entertained during my 3 day visit.

It was here I said goodbye to Jo, who was off to the UK and then onto the Tour de France. We’d had a great time together, seen some sights and made some miles, so it was sad to see her go. I suppose that’s the nature of cruising – you meet great people, you become friends in no time at all and then you say your goodbyes. Then one day, you see them again on the water and you are best friends again.

My first chore was to get the mainsail batten cars fixed and so off I wandered to the Technical Department. A guy came and had a look and then his boss came back with a quote for 323 Euro, for what mounted to 2-3 hours work. I said I’d pay for 2 hours – he said he’s not a factory and he’s providing a “service” which will take a day. We agreed to disagree and so no mainsail until Fineke. I’d heard rumours about getting things done in Kemer and Mike pretty well confirmed it. So great marina if you want to have a fun time, but not so good if you want anything fixed.

I had a couple of days on my own in the marina before my next crew, Ewa flew in from Poland, via Berlin. Allan and I had met Ewa in Spain last year and we put her up for a night on La Mischief so she knew the boat already.

One good thing about marinas is that you can leave the aircon on 24/7 and I think Ewa appreciated this as it was pretty hot out in the sun. But there wasn’t much time to enjoy the aircon as we went in search of the weekly markets, which are on the Monday in Kemmer and are pretty damn good.

Stocked up with fresh food, we headed back to the boat and on our way for our overnight stop at Phaselis as we backtracked first south…then west….then north.

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Roman Ruin Time Again

We were quite excited to have a look at Finike as lots of cruisers had said good things about the place. The marina turned out to be really nice but the town was a major disappointment. They had tried to do it up, but all they managed to do was make it more tacky.
It did however have some good tradesmen at reasonable prices and we got the shower sump pump, dingy winch and one of the bilge pump sensors diagnosed and parts ordered from Istanbul (to be picked up on way back). More boat bucks.
We managed to get away about 3.30pm . We headed across the bay and around the corner to a nice beach.
We were right on track for beer o’clock when bummer, the mainsail got stuck, 3/4 of the way down. Luckily there was no wind so going up the mast was a lot easier than last time. We got the sail down with a bit of silicon spray and some gentle persuasion and decided it must be a lubrication issue. So on went more silicon spray.
Mainsail in lazy bag, we finally anchored and Beer o’clock was just reward for climbing the mast.
Next morning we had a great swim around the bay and headed off for ancient Olympos. We motor sailed along the coast against a 0.5-1 kt current and got there at lunchtime. We anchored outside the roped off swim area and i donned the water proof back bag and paddled in with Jo swimming to shore.
The beach was beautiful, albeit stoney,  with a freshwater stream running into the sea. Olympos is just behind the beach and we wandered up to it only to find a ticket booth wanting 5th entry fee. So it was back to the boat on the paddle board to get some more money plus a few other things we forgot.
Then it was back along the deep shaded valley that runs up from the sea. Olympos was founded by Rhodes in about the 2nd century BC and had another upturn in property market values when the Romans moved into the neighbourhood. The last bit of ancient stuff happened when the Genovese build a castle high on the hill. The place is very pretty and it took us longer than expected to wander through the ruins.
By this stage we were getting hungry so we stopped at the hippy inspired restaurant amongst the shady trees and gobbled down some Turkish pancakes.  Nothing to write home about (wait a minute – I just did!) but can now say I’ve tasted them.
Back on the boat we back tracked a couple of miles to Port Genovese and found an anchorage amongst the gulets with sufficient swing room to feel comfortable. Jo was busying herself for another phone interview so I went for a swim and checked the anchor. Back on the boat I saw another gulet come in and drop his anchor way out as they do and then back into shore really close to our anchor. I was a bit peeved that he may have laid his anchor chain over ours and swam out again to check (in fact he had laid it over Sun Dancers who were further out that us.
Then it was off to check out the bay on the paddle board – a productive exercise as I came across Sami (Davis Jnr) and friends and sat down and drank Turkish Tea. Sami was a professional captain who had come out on his day off and we had a great yarn.
Back at La Mischief with Jo’s interview over, we had Trevor and Yvonne from Sun Dancer over for sun downers – a lovely English couple who were good for a ribbing about cricket and the world cup.
Just as we’d gone to bed, the wind changed and we had to get up again as we swung dangerously close to our errant gullet. I was kicking myself that I was more concerned about crossed anchors than swing room. So Jo got her first night sail!!! as we shifted into the middle of the bay – well out of range of any gullet mayhem.
Next morning we set off motoring to Phaselis, another ancient Roman town. Rod told us to use a trip line because of our the rubble from the ancient Roman breakwaters, but looking down we could see there was no real need.
Phaselis is set on a beautiful peninsular, between two equally beautiful bays. It too was founded by colonists from Rhodes in the 7th Century BC but the ruins were largely Roman  and Byzantine. Hadrian’s gate at the entrance of the street that runs from the North Bay to the South Bay was a highlight. It was once again a very pretty place with extensive ruins set amongst the pine trees. Unfortunately the Turks had put a car park right up against some very impressive aqueduct ruins. Whenever you see an aqueduct ruin you feel compelled to utter the now famous “What Have the Romans Ever Done for Us?” line from Life of Brian.
Ruined out once more, we pulled anchor and headed for Kemmer.