It Just Kept Getting Better and Better!

Oludeniz was a short hop away from St Nick’s Island, so it didn’t take us long to get there. The literal translation of Ölüdeniz is “Dead Sea” due to its calm waters but now days the official translation is “Blue Lagoon”, which is much more marketable. In the old days, you used to be able to take your yacht into the lagoon. These days you have to make do with the absurdly looking peddle powered craft, or as we did two standup paddle boards. The place is jam packed with tourists, being rated as one of the best beaches in the world – something a little bit over the top in my opinion.

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We pulled up outside the lagoon and anchored and tied up to the rocks next to a 100 foot motor yacht. There’s not a great deal of room for lots of yachts and it deepens up quite quick so not the greatest anchoring spot around. With a bit of swell running around the corner it was definitely only a day anchorage. Whilst everyone took their turn on the SUPs, battling a bit of a swell and a bit of wind, we watched the paragliders descend from Mount Babadağ, a pretty impressive 2000m mountain right on the coast. Mount Babadağ is rated one of the world’s best paragliding sites – now that I can understand.

Oludeniz done and dusted, it was time to find an anchorage for the night and the one we had picked out was full so in the end with the wind picking up, we just went back to St Nick’s Island.

We had an early morning start the next day to beat all the gullets to Butterfly Bay. The plan worked to perfection as we found the ideal spot in the SE corner of the bay and tied up to the rocks just off the beach, out of the way of the 20 million gullets that will be pulling up to the beach at 10am or so.

Butterfly Bay was a bit down on both water and butterflies but still a very pleasant hike to the waterfall at the end. Everyone thought it would be a nice idea to get breakfast on shore, but after having a look at what was on offer, everybody thought it wa now a good idea to have something to eat back on board La Mischief.

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We had a very pleasant motor sail down to Kalkan… again not much wind…and found a nice spot on the wall at about 2.30pm before the afternoon rush. The wall at Kalkan is a bit pricey – 160TL for the night –but still cheaper than Marina prices.

According to a 2012 survey 96% of visitors to Kalkan were from the UK. Despite this, Kalkan is still a very nice town to visit, slightly upmarket, very picturesque with its old fishing town feel, its famous white-washed houses, descending to the sea, and its brightly coloured bougainvillea. It was an old Greek town before the Christians were compulsorily sent to Greece in the 1920’s.

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We spent the afternoon lazing round the Indigo Blue waterfront bar, just across the breakwater from La Mischief, before hitting the town in the evening for some shopping, eating, drinking and hooka pipe smoking (me excluded).

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Next day it was off to Kekova Roads. It just kept getting better and better!

For pictures of Butterfly Bay and Oludeniz see https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10201973785259136.1073741925.1620379103&type=1&l=22c5cf7d5a

For pictures of Kalkan please see https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10201962554178366.1073741924.1620379103&type=1&l=2647e8a9ec

The Captain’s Excellent Adventure

5am was a bit of a different time to get up. But the Captain said this was the time his Gulet needed to depart so up we got. Shouldn’t complain because it’s a lovely time of the morning.

We pulled anchor and charged off after him. Straight into the wind so no sailing – just motoring. We got to our first stop of the day – Butterfly Bay – just after 9am and anchored off the beach. There was one gullet on shore so we made sure we were clear of him.

Then it was off to explore. We dingied to the beach and were met by a guy who suggested we put some fenders out. Strange.

The main attraction of the bay is a gorge that runs directly behind it, up to a beautiful waterfall. At the head of the gorge is a really cool place with lots of butterflies. Very pretty and worth calling in, even if Rod knows nothing about it.

The walk takes about 30 mins and costs 5TL and on the way back we began to pass heaps and heaps of people. Where did they come from?

We soon found out as when we got back to the beach we found one end of the beach (the north end) completely covered in wall to wall gulets. Unfortunately we were anchored off this end of the beach as well. Now the fender comment made sense. We quickly dingied back to the boat and got out of there fast. Next time it’s the south end of the beach for anchoring.

Next stop was Olu Deniz, a couple of miles north. We anchored around the corner from the Blue Lagoon stern to and had a nice relaxing time swimming and paddle boarding.

The Blue Lagoon is a no go zone for powered craft since 1983, but okay for the paddleboard so I poked my head in and had a look. We also took the dingy in to the adjoining beach and got charged 10TL for the privilege. The lagoon is packed with wall to wall deck chairs along with the usual touristy peddle powered craft with the water slide off the back. They had successfully managed to transform a beautiful looking lagoon into a crass tourist trap. The captain was right when he suggested we swim round the corner and don’t bother going to the Lagoon.

After a nice afternoon swimming, we headed off to the overnight anchorage at St Nicolas Island, a lovely anchorage between the mainland and the island.

Next morning, we headed onto the island to have a look at the extensive ruins dating back to the 7th century AD. Evidently St Nicolas stayed there (obviously on his way to the North Pole). It was quite a stopping off point for the pilgrims on their way to the holy lands. There were about 7 churches on the island, some connected by long tunnels. And the views from on top of the island were to die for. For 10TL entrance fee, this is a must do island.

Sight seeing over, we headed for Fethiye.

For photos of butterfly bay and blue lagoon see https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10201973785259136.1073741925.1620379103&type=1&l=22c5cf7d5a

For photos of kalkan see https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10201962554178366.1073741924.1620379103&type=1&l=2647e8a9ec

We Are Quite the Social Set

We had another nice sail to Kas – albeit with the wind on the nose. But hey, you get there eventually and we get some bonus miles tacking along.

We decided against going and anchoring off the marina this time. Instead we headed for Bayindir Limani and just took the dingy the one and a half miles across to the old port when we needed to get to town. Bayinder is really beautiful and Kas is really quite accessible from there. Best of both worlds.

But I am getting ahead of myself. We picked out a spot next to a Gulet called Ali Baba 10 and started to drop anchor, only to hear the gullet captain suggest we may not want to park there as they were planning a party that night. Did someone say party?

He then went on to invite us over saying there was a heap of Aussies on board. It was not a hard decision really. Ewa could do with a dose of young people and I wasn’t adverse to the idea (at all).

We had a swim and met Aussie Milo and his friends who were some of the paying passengers. We had dinner and headed over and found we were a little too early so we got treated to another meal sitting with the captain, Mutlu and his two crew. Then we rejoined the passengers when they had finished dinner, had a quick game of Uno, and then the dancing started. And boy could the captain dance. Ewa and the Captain tore up the floor. The cook was fun too in his oversized glasses and funny hat. The third crew was a guy who everyone called Turkish Delight (which he came up with), one cool Turkish Dude. Anyway the Aussies on board decided I should be called Craig so Craig I was.

The captain invited us to follow him back to Kekova for a session at Smugglers Bar, but we declined and spent another night at Bayinder. Instead we said we’d see him at Kalkan and tag along with him to Fethiye.

Next day, we bid farewell to our new found gullet friends and headed into Kas to sort out our Internet access. I decided on a second SIM card for the 3G router so if we ran out of credit on one card we could just switch across to the second.

We also found a postcard for Ewa to send to her Kiwi guy who is built like a brick shithouse (or to quote Men at Work “6 foot four and full of muscle”). If you happen to read this, you need to do some serious wooing of this beautiful young lady. Now that I’ve severely embarrassed Ewa I can move on.

After our morning trip into Kas, it was time to relax. Plus we’d forgotton to take the rubbish into Kas, so we hopped in the dingy again and headed for a nearby restaurant. The turks are amazing, we didn’t even have time to ask before the guy at the bar whipped our rubbish away.

Several EFES beers were consumed whilst Ewa and I built our list of top five bikinis on the beach. She was doing it with her eye for fashion, I was just doing it because I’m shallow and I’m a boy! Still, it was a pleasant way to spent a lazy afternoon.

We eventually got bored with that bar and checked out the next. More bikini spotting! Starting speaking with Husan who was one of the bar staff there. He is Turkish but also has an importation business in Scotland, where he went 8 years ago without a word of English.

Husan said he was going fishing after work so we invited him to bring some fish to La Mischief and we would cook it on the BBQ. He arrived about 9pm with supermarket fish and a mate just as our supermarket fish that we had decided to cook was ready. The four of us had a fun night chatting and drinking beer and raki, the local Turkish firewater.

Next morning, it was off to Kalkan, where we said we would rejoin our Gulet captain and his new guests.

It was another nice sail around to Kalkan, tacking all the way. Kalkan has a very small marina and anchoring outside this was not an option. So we headed over to Yesilkoy Limani, which was a beautiful spot with lots of clear water. We anchored in 5m and just swung on anchor as it was too windy to get a line ashore.

Next morning, we pottered into Kalkan, about a 2nm dingy trip, and had a nice walk around. It’s a picturesque little town, with views down to the small harbor and lots of high end fashion stores. We found a neat little coffee shop for a milkshake, followed by a neat little bar for a beer.

We stayed two nights in Yesilkoy so that we could rendezvous with our captain who duly turned up at 5pm and parked up right next to us. More Australian guests to banter with, this time from Noosa. The crowd were a bit more subdued this time so no dancing L.

Next morning it was up at 5am to follow our captain to some places that Rod didn’t even know about!