Smiley – The Happiest Guy in Turkey

DSC_0754The motor sail back from Kekova to Kas was into the wind so more motor than sail. We did a few tacks and ended up going quite close to Kasterlorizo so Randy and Toma got a bonus look at Greece.

We decided to pull into the town harbour at Kas, as this was quite reasonably priced (280TL for 3 days).DSC_0470 The harbour is really busy in summer with a steady stream of gullets coming and going, along with a splattering of yachts. This was where we first met Smiley. Smiley owns Smiley’s Restaurant (which after all is quite reasonable) and he’s a permanent fixture on the wall as each new yacht pulls in. He helps you find a spot, yells out anchoring tips and helps every yacht tie up. Then he proceeds to make you feel right at home. A local Kas icon and all round good guy.

Of course we ate at his restaurant that night! Its right by the harbor as you walk out so its impossible to miss. It even comes with a bonus set of catacombs under the restaurant. Not quite as impressive as the ones in Istanbul but quite interesting none the less.

Smiley’s also came with a really nice waiter called Junith…. who went head to head with Dee drinking Raki. He came and had some beers on La Mischief during one of his short breaks…he only gets a couple of hours off on each of the seven days a week he works. They all work long and hard during the tourist season.

Our other favourite hang out was Multu’s bar – Mumi’s, which is round the corner from Smiley’s, built out over the crystal clear turquoise sea. The sea is really refreshing as there are a lot of cool freshwater springs that flow directly into it…same ones as you find in all the catacombs underneath various restaurants on the water front.

We really love Kas and Randy and Toma loved it too. The streets light up at night and the window shopping is great. There’s Lycian tombs directly behind the town and one slap bang in the middle.DSC_0425 the highlight of our stay was a Turkish shave and massage in the local barber’s shop of which there are many. Randy had never had a shave from a straightedge before so it was a real experience for him. And me too.

Then it was time for Randy and Toma to hop in a taxi and head for Dalyman Airport – 90 minutes away. It seemed like they had hardly got here where they had to leave. It was good to hang out with some of Dee’s friends and we had a blast.


Back to Turkey

After a short sail from Kasterlorizo, we checked into Kas Marina and got them to organize our entry through their local agent. This was new territory for Dee and it was good to show her one of my favourite towns. Kas comes alive at night and it’s a great place to window shop.kas

After dinner, we headed to the town harbour and who should we bump into but Ali Baba 10, the gullet we attached ourself to last year, when Ewa was onboard. Mutlu, the owner was in expansion mode, having just bought another gullet and a bar. His previous first mate was now captain and after showing Dee around the insides of a gullet, we took off to find Mutlu at his new bar, Mumi’s.

Mutlu was his same generous self as he shouted us drinks and we had a great chat, promising to return.

Next day it was time to head West towards Gocek where we were picking up Toma and Randy. We did the usual stop in Kalkan and St Nicholas Island before calling into Fethiye to get our solar panel fixed and some new sunshades made up. We found someone in the marina selling the exact same solar panel and decided to put a couple more on at the same time. My batteries were on their last legs and I figured they could do with any help they could get. That turned out to be a mistake as the guy had no idea what he was doing. On the plus side, we found a really good canvas guy and we now have a lovely set of new shades for both front and back. Well needed as August was very hot.

Next stop was Gocek and we found a really good guy called Sanli from ModaYacht to fix our panels. He came recommended and the recommendation was spot on. He became my go to guy to get any work done. Given the upcoming events, this proved to be very fortunous.

Gocek was where we picked up Randy and Toma and after we had got them settled on the boat, it was time to get back into cruising and exploring mode.

For pictures of Kas see

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!

The First Dolphins of the Season

It was good to leave the brilliant cruising grounds of Fethiye Korfezi knowing that we would be back when we pick up Michael and Elaine from there (Fethiye) and can stick around for a while if the hot weather doesn’t force us further north.

We got up and left reasonably early (for us) and headed out into a light breeze. We motored for the first few hours with the light wind right up our bum. The 360 rotations on the AWA gauge amused Jo no end.

The wind gradually picked up and we were able to sail. I procrastinated with idea of trying out the geneker but was glad I didn’t as the wind gradually built past 25 kts. It was still up our bum so this kept the Apparent Wind Speed down and we jybed our way along the coast. We were borderline needing a reef but just managed to avoid it.

The entrance into Kas marina seems to take forever – not one of its strong points. But as we got closer I looked over the side and saw a dolphin splash. We raced up the front (and then back again to get the camera) before being entertained for 10 minutes as the 2 dolphins rode our bow. They were a lot bigger than those we had previously seen in the Med – more like the size of WA dolphins.

We were zipping along touching 8kts and were just thinking of dropping the sails, when the wind suddenly picked up to 45kts. We quickly jibed and then headed up into the wind and dropped the sails as quick as we could. There was no training Jo whilst all that went on.

Heart racing, we motored into the harbour and anchored off the marina at the far end. Just picked a spot in the middle with plenty of swinging room and down went 65m of chain. Which will do me right for a couple of days.

I dropped Jo off on one of the marina pontoons and was promptly told off by the marina staff for bringing the dingy into the marina. Jo thought they wanted me to shift La Mischief so I went back to the boat and radioed in. No, it was just the dingy that needed shifting.

That’s going to make going to the bar difficult!

So back in the dingy and off to the rocks where the marina staff suggested I tie up. It was a bit of a scramble up the rocks and through the bushes to the road, but do-able when sober and in daylight.

It was a 10 minute walk around to the bars at the marina and once there found that Australia was playing Holland at the World Cup. Unlike the 6-1 victory the Hockey guys had at their world cup, the soccer guys had an admirable defeat.

By this stage it was getting dark and sober was under threat as well, so I decided to trek back to the dingy and bring it around to the marina. It was 9.30 at this stage – surely the Marina guys had gone home. Surely was wrong again and there he was, Marina Guy was waiting for me. But this time I had charm on my side, courtesy of the 3 or so Efes beers that were enhancing my charm factor immeasurably (well, I thought so anyway).

Both Charm and I lucked onto the fact that the bar I had nominated belonged to the marina guy’s friends from Istanbul – so it looked like I was in. Marina guy was taking no chances though, he drove me in the 90m along the broad walk in his golf buggy to just outside his mates bar. It turned out to be a good night. We started with the price of Alcohol in Turkey (highly taxed but still cheaper than Oz) and moved onto why foreigners are avoiding Turkey because of the trouble further south in Syria as well as rioting in Turkey. Interesting to get a locals perspective.

Then I had a chat to a couple of Pommy guys who where heading back home for the summer as it was just too hot for them. I got to admit it is pretty hot – its 36 degrees in here as I write this – which is after all pretty hot for a cold weather Pom. Evidently the thing to do is to leave now and come back in August/September for another shot.

Next day, it was in to town to check out Kas. First stop was Turkcell, where I found out that the Government stops all SIM cards from working if they are not installed in a phone sold in Turkey – hence why mine had suddenly decided it didn’t have a valid SIM. To avoid this you have to register them with the Government for 160TL ($80). I decided to go back to what I did in other countries and buy a prepaid WIFI router. They’s a trick for young players.

And that’s what I’m using to write this blog.

For photos of Kas, see