Saturday, 23 July 2011

Marmaris, Fethiye, Kas (Turkey); Meis (Greek Island)

Sunday, 03 Jul 2011
Hard to believe but it has been a month since we had our last guest onboard! This July we have 2 lovely ladies visiting from the Gold coast, Australia. Bev and Margaret (Marg), that John and Derek met awhile ago while cruising (on a cruise ship). 

They arrived on 01 July and we planned to show them the sights of Marmaris and set sail on 04 July. Unfortunately there was a problem with the forestay which meant our departure was delayed while waiting for it to be repaired. On Sunday night we held a cocktail party on Awatea to welcome the ladies and 13 of our fellow yachties joined us for a great evening. Thanks to Derek and Desmond for preparing wonderful snacks and keeping the drinks flowing, while the skipper John and our ladies Bev and Marg were busy socializing.  

As always it was heaps of fun with much laughter and tall stories, and a very appropriate gathering for the ladies to enjoy the social scene here in Netsel Marina

Monday, 04 Jul 2011
It was another beautiful morning and after giving Awatea a wash down and spruce up after our enjoyable evening the night before, we headed ashore for  the day.  We had arranged a rental car and picked the ladies up from the Royal Maris Hotel and headed over the Marmaris hill towards Cinar.  John had learnt that there were some great restaurants there, and after turning off the main highway we soon found ourselves in a rural paradise, with beautiful vegetation lining the narrow roads. We took a scenic tour for about an hour and then followed signs to end up at this wonderful restaurant.  There were stunning gardens and our table overlooked a big pond alive with fish and turtles.

Being off the “tourist route” there was no English on the menu and none spoken by the waiter – a refreshing change to Marmaris. With our little knowledge of Turkish we were trying to order when a local Turkish guy, George came to our rescue.  He worked at a restaurant in Marmaris and as with all our experiences here in Turkey was friendly and very helpful.

George explained he was at this restaurant because the food was very good, and the various dishes we ordered were soon served. They were beautifully presented and very tasty! With the company of the creatures swimming in the pond, relaxing classical music playing in the background and the sumptuous foods, we all agreed this was a little piece of paradise!

The restaurant was pretty empty during our visit, but then who would want a busy restaurant when you can enjoy such wonderful surroundings and pleasurable dining with just your good friends around!

Tuesday, 05 Jul 2011
Another day onboard waiting for the forestay to be fixed. Gill (our friend from “It’s a Doddle”), Derek, Bev and Marg took the car to Ohyania for lunch and a swim in tranquil surroundings at this great restaurant that  Gill & Will had introduced us to previously,  while John and Woei Haw stayed on board waiting for the forestay to arrive.  The salt water pool was so refreshing and was surrounded by tropical plants. 

Elsie (from Ichi Feet) came onboard to teach Woei Haw how to do whipping and splicing, which was very good for the rope maintenance. Thanks to Elsie and John who gave us ample assistance during our stay in Netsel Marina as well as their strong friendship.

In the evening, we had our usual Tuesday happy hour at Pineapple restaurant before heading off to discover the excitement of the “lovely” George’s restaurant. It did not take us long to get there and we were seated at a table next to the pool which provided lots of eye candy. There was also a very entertaining Michael Jackson floorshow followed by George leading a troupe of disco dancers. Wow that was hot! George had a busy night selling his specialty drink served in a fish bowl with sparklers and a bottle of Vodka tipped in

Wednesday, 06 Jul 2011

The weather in Marmaris is getting hotter day after day. We finally got the rigging guys to dismantle the forestay in the morning. It took 5 guys onboard for the project and everyone was so happy to see their arrival, especially the Skipper who was very relieved. 

The rigging job took till late evening.  We were invited to Itchy Feet who cordially gave us a private farewell,  so we left the boat to Mustafa and his team to complete their repairs. We have found the Turks very trustworthy and reliable, and we seldom locked the companionway during the time in the Marina.

The party on Itchy Feet was rather enjoyable. We talked and laughed endlessly. Carol and Gus (from Indigo) were on board too and Carol gave everyone a small Devil Eyes Pin. John our host on Ichi Feet was busy being the wonderful barman while Elsie laid out a stunning array of mouth-watering foods.

Time flies – our 6 months contract with Netsel Marina in Marmaris is soon to come to an end.  Thanks to all the fellow yachties who have rendered us ample assistance and shared with us the wonderful moments we had spent together. We are unsure when we will return to this part of Turkey, but we are sure that we all will be meeting each other again on our travels.

Thursday, 07 Jul 2011

Everyone woke early and soon after the ladies were on board we set sail to Fethiye. Our leaving was blessed by some of our fellow yachties who came to see us off.  It was a sad moment leaving our friends and Marmaris behind. 

There was a light wind in Marmaris Bay, however once we were outside the heads a good breeze of about 15 knots took us all the way down to Fethiye. 

It was good sailing and at one stage we actually hit 10.2 knots! Yippee!  Much to the relief of most of the team, Awatea did not heel too much. We traveled 46 Nautical Miles, and arrived just before sunset as Skipper John had planned.

We began another wonderful experience at the Yacht Classic Hotel & Marina.  It was so convenient - the ladies staying in this beautiful hotel while the guys stayed onboard.   The facilities are fantastic and many an hour was spent in and around the large swimming pool. We had fun watching lots of charter yachts coming and going while having pre dinner drinks onboard Awatea before heading to the restaurant for dinner.  All agreed this would be one of our special happy memories of sailing. 

Friday, 08 Jul 2011
We organized a rental car for Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, and had a lazy day around the hotel. After another lovely meal, Woei Haw tried his luck at fishing and caught a big Sea Bream abd obviously the word got out as the whole marina suddenly started to try to catch fish over the next couple of days. Thanks to Robert who provided the fishing gear and Paul who gave the fishing tips! 

Satursday, 09 Jul 2011
It was a unanimous decision that it would be fresh fish on the menu for lunch so Woei Haw and John headed to the fish market in Fethyie to get shrimps and Calamari to go with “The fish”. The fish was so big that we had to cut off the tail and head in order for it to fit into our frying pan.  With a nice fresh salad the ladies and us had the most delicious lunch – what a treat!

Sunday, 10 Jul 2011
In the morning we took off on our adventures . The first day we had the car we went to explore Tlos and Saklikent Gorge.  It was so hot on Tlos that we all struggled down looking like ruins ourselves. 

Discovered the future Prime Minister of Turkey who told John his English was far better than John’s Turkish (how true). Delightful young boy with the most amazing eyes, working with his family at a stall at the entrance to the carpark.

On the way to Saklikent we stopped for a cheap lunch on the side of the road under and had Gosleme (large pancakes with various fillings), which were cooked on an open fire in front of us.  

It was 40 degrees at Saklikent Gorge. Fortunately there were torrents of cold water gushing out of the sides of the Canyon, which we paddled in to cool down. We sat in this most stunning area in the cool of the Canyon for half hour before returning back to the hotel for a swim. 

In the evening, we walked along to the sister hotel – Yacht Boutique Hotel which was just a few doors down from Yacht Classic and had a great Indian meal. The setting was inspiring, sitting out on the roof top terrace with the full moon rising over the hills. Great curries too!

Monday, 11 Jul 2011
No breakfast this morning because we were going to the Yacin farm house to meet Sue for breakfast.  John, Desmond and Derek had been to the restaurant before but we still had a little trouble finding it, but knew it was worth the search. The owner is very hospitable and has his whole  family working for him. All the food provided was grown on the his farm in the area. The fresh fruit juice made of Cherries, Watermelon, Orange, Apples, Apricot, Mulberries, Raspberries, Blackberries and Pomegranates was absolutely delicious. They served dishes of olives, cheeses, tomatoes, omelets etc, and it just kept coming. The most incredible breakfast experience you could ever wish for!

The farm also had a museum attached to it with an amazing array of farming and household equipment from butter churns to sewing machines and wooden pitch forks etc. 

On the wall were hundreds of photos of the early history of the area and many photos of the owner with political leaders.   There were also a lot of donkeys at the farm including the most beautiful baby which we all wanted to take home – so adorable.

After we finished with the museum, he took us to a secluded waterfall just 10 mins away, but well off the beaten track. The boys rode on the back of his ute with his son and one of the young farm workers, while the girls drove with Sue in her car.  There was a large pond with the water cascading into it, and Sue couldn’t wait to lead us all into the very refreshing cold water.  We stood under the waterfall which was just gorgeous and then swam in the pool.  We all fell in love with the setting, and felt very spoilt to have had the opportunity to experience it.

On the way home we called in at Gocek and had coffee and retail therapy. Returned to the marina to have a swim and Sue stayed overnight onboard Awatea.

Tuesday, 12 Jul 2011
The main sail had a tear in it and we had it repaired with Captain Eddie, and John arranged for him to make sunshades for the cockpit and a new sail cover with the Awatea logo printed on it.

Sue, Marg, Bev and Derek took the car to Kayakoy and then on to the Blue Lagoon.  Kayakoy was abandoned by the Greeks in 1923 when by agreement with the Turkish government it was returned to Turkish control and they had to return to Greece.  

Rather than repeat the heat exhausting experience of Tlos, the 4 intrepid explorers decided to take photos from the side of the road and instead have a cool drink under the vine leaves of the adjacent bar and restaurant which just happened to be called Muzza’s. Naturally we all thought of our time with Muzza – wish you could have been with us! 

Then they drove on to Blue Lagoon and to a beach front restaurant for a swim and meal. Beautiful location but unfortunately full of English tourists (mostly overweight and roasting themselves in the midday sun – say no more!)

Then, John and Woei Haw took the car to Gocek to get a fishing rod they had seen the previous day for fish trolling! All inspired!

Wednesday, 13th Jul 2011
Our good friend Blake was scheduled to join us on Awatea however was dropped off at Gocek instead of Fethiye much to his annoyance – not a happy chap!  He finally arrived in time for a nice swim before dinner.  Having not seen Blake for some time there was loads to catch up on including several funny stories causing the girls to blush – only slightly!  
Didn’t take Marg long before she related a few of her repertoire of jokes (causing the boys to blush – NOT!)

Thursday, 14th Jul 2011
We left Fethiye around 1000 am but unfortunately no wind to sail, so sad. Motored all the way to Kas and arrived around 6.00pm. The marina is huge and being brand new mostly empty. The facilities are excellent but felt sorry for the shop owners as there was nobody there.

Bev and Marg were staying in a hotel in the town about 15 mins away , so they went and checked in before coming back to Awatea for drinks and nibbles – beautiful pate and the best salami from a place out of Fetyhie which Sue knew about and cheeses from Australia (thanks Marg), along with other little treats.  We all enjoyed the food so much it proved to be our dinner.  Blake and Derek escorted the girls back into town for a nightcap and were all pleasantly surprised at how busy the waterfront and plaza were – wow!

Friday, 15th Jul 2011
We explored the town of Kas and fell in love with it. Wonderful little winding streets, lot of olives trees, bougainvilleas, oleanders and wonderful restaurants and a better class of tourists.  
Derek's culinary skills were put to work in cooking dinner for us all.  The last leg of lamb courtesy of Robert was roasted to perfection and served with roast potatoes, green beans, carrots, mint sauce and Blake's special gravy. Yum – a real treat that would win Master Chef of the year!!!

Satursday, 16th Jul 2011
Hired a car and ventured in land to Aryandas, (“Another Fxxking ruin” slipped from Mag’s mouth!!). 

 On good advice from our car rental agent we found this delightful restaurant beside a rushing stream and rapids named Altintas.  Being a typical rural Turkish restaurant there was no menu and next to no English spoken - just "Fish, Chicken or Lamb". Not sure what to expect they started the meal by serving the best bread we have had so far in Turkey.  Then dishes of dips, potatoes, salad and the main courses which were wonderful . All in all a delightful dining experience and we spent several hours savouring  the meal. Driving back to Kas were miles and miles of hot houses. Tomatoes, tomatoes and tomatoes!

The view was spectacular from the hillside overlooking the marina and the blue sea of the Med and Kas itself. Another early night by all. 

Sunday, 17th Jul 2011
John and Woei Haw had to do a quick trip to Kastellorizo (Meis as referred to by the Turks), 

A Greek island which is a half hour ferry ride from Kas to renew John’s visa or incur a big fine. They were lucky to see short movies on the history of the island, very interesting, arriving back in Kas at 4pm.

The others did a car trip to Kalkan in morning, another wonderful find with great shopping, cold beers and good food.  Bev bought her 5th or 6th pair of shoes since arriving in Turkey, and Blake’s big purchase of the day was a beautiful wall plate made in Turkey, and in the most amazing presentation box.  Derek was impressed with the food on offer in the restaurants including duck and other dishes we have not seen to date – so different to other towns.  They all dined on fish cakes made from swordfish with a dill, butter and cream sauce for lunch, which was just divine.

Pre dinner drinkies on the boat again and then another evening of exploring this beautiful town with their never ending streets of little bars and restaurants.

Monday, 18th Jul 2011
Bev, Marg, Derek and Blake went to the island of Meis, so they could skite about visiting a Greek island. Back in time to prepare for Blake's 60th birthday bash at a local restaurant looking over the marina, where a good night was had by all. Flashing headwear in shape of bows (worn like tiaras) was the theme.  We sampled a NZD127.00 bottle of Shiraz that Blake brought especially from NZ for this auspicious occasion - not bad, in fact very good! Soon as the flashing bows were turned on, we got immediate attention from all around the restaurant and people walking in the street! People waved, smiled and took photos of us enjoying our happy birthday bash. 

Tuesday, 19th Jul 2011
Heat getting to all of us, too hot to move. Days spent at pool or on the beds. Cheap and cheerful meals in the village square. 
Wednesday, 20th Jul 2011
Nearly time for Bev and Marg to leave, so we are having a farewell dinner tonight at a little French restaurant, called Chez Evy - best steak in town! The food was just superb and we all agreed it was one of the best restaurants we have eaten at so far in Turkey!

Bev and Marg will be leaving tomorrow morning.  Cannot believe that the time has passed so fast and 3 weeks have come to an end so soon. We have been so pleased to have had them on board sharing the time with us, with so many wonderful moments, so many laughs with Marg’s jokes (we all agree she is the best teller of jokes we know), and sharing the best parts of Bev’s travelling experiences. 

Friday, 15 July 2011

Serce Lamani, Bozukkale, Bozburun, Datcha, Knidos of Turkey

Friday 20th May

It was another fine and sunny day in paradise. Paul had joined us for a stay on Awatea, arriving with another big top-up of fresh Australian meat.  

After a wonderful fish dinner at La Fortune a night ago (whole fish baked in a salt crust – yum!),

Robert introduced our new guest to a Turkish shave, which has become a bi-weekly event of the boys. TL15.00 for the best shave, a great massage and a cappuccino thrown in - a real treat!!

We left the marina at 1300 hrs and headed towards the western side of the Marmaris Peninsular. 

The winds were light in the bay but picked up nicely outside. We enjoyed a good sail doing between 6-10 knots, but it was hard on all the way to Serce Lamani where we arrived at 1800 hrs. 

The bay is unique, like a chef’s hat, and once we had sailed through the narrow entrance, we found a cozy sheltered bay. We tied up to a buoy and took a stern line ashore, then enjoyed a few pre dinner drinks. Later in the evening we were fetched by the staff of Capitan Nemo Restaurant and they took us to their restaurant located at the end of the bay. 


It was quite small serving local quality food including the best BBQ’d prawns, which we ate while being watched by the goats and donkeys that were roaming around.  The night was quite cold with a strong breeze blowing, but all in all an enjoyable evening.

Saturday 21st May
Another beautiful day, which we began with fresh bread being delivered straight from the wood fired oven by the restaurant at 08.00hrs!

Without wasting much time, we soon set sail for our next destination- Bozukkale (meaning ruined castle in Turkish), which was only about 5 miles along the coast. Weather conditions meant we motored most of the way.

We reached the beautiful natural harbour and had difficulty anchoring as the seabed was full of weed. Reluctantly we decided to go to a small restaurant with a make shift jetty. We were able to tie up there stern in.  

It was the most delightful setting right under the ruins of an old citadel. After we had berthed we ventured up the headland and explored the ruins which was built some 300 yrs before Christ but is still in quite good condition. 

Suleiman the Magnificent was here in the 1500’s where he assembled his navy to attack the Knights of Rhodes. Today only the goats and donkeys live in these Hellenistic ruins.

That evening we had another simple Turkish meal at Ali Baba restaurant situated right under the ruins of the castle.

Sunday 22nd May
Another fine and sunny day, with the temp still below average at around 22 deg. We set off after breakfast at 08.30 hrs, and as there was no wind we motored all the way to the Gulf of Bozburun. 

We stooged around the gulf sailing between islands and into stunning inlets before finally arrived at the village of Bozburun. We needed some supplies ashore (mainly ice for the liquid refreshments!!!), so except for John all the crew went ashore and took the opportunity to have shaves etc. 

When everyone was back onboard we cruised down the gulf to a tiny bay where we anchored and Desmond took a stern line ashore. We were in about 30 feet of the clearest water you will ever see. Just magic! A boned out leg lamb was on the menu which we cooked outside on our electric BBQ (no gas or wood BBQ’s allowed along the coast of Turkey). The chef covered the lamb in tin foil and it was cooking superbly - thanks again to Paul for the meat!

While waiting for the lamb to cook, Robert noticed a flame coming from the tray underneath. We all just thought it was a bit of excess fat which had caught alight, but in the next second the flames were getting bigger and all of a sudden we realised that we had a problem. John rushed for the extinguisher and luckily we were able to douse the flames but had to throw the flaming electric BBQ overboard, nearly tossing it into the dinghy!! The good news was that we saved the lamb, and it was absolutely delicious! However the BBQ is resting on the bottom of “Smokey Bay”!!!

Monday 23 May 
Awoke to another day of blue skies and sunshine.  Woei Haw and John did a cook up of bacon and eggs and we then we set off for Datca. We had to motor all the way again due to lack of wind and when we arrived at this beautiful town dropped anchor in South Bay next to our friends boat Ta’B. We did the usual – headed ashore to explore the town, have shaves, get a few supplies and returned to Awatea for a swim.

The Coast Guard came along side and wanted to see our papers.  Everything was OK, except the crew list which didn’t show Robert and Paul, so we had to get an agent to add the new names to our Transit Log and get it stamped by the Harbourmaster. We duly paid the fee however the next day John checked the log and found the names had not been entered!!! Couldn't believe it!!


Jane and Russell from Ta’B came onboard for drinks as it was John’s birthday. We then went ashore for a what proved to be a very ordinary meal! But again, a special occasion with a group of good friends that made the night extraordinary.

Tuesday 24th May
We departed Datca at 10.00 hrs and headed out towards Knidos. This ancient city was situated at the end of Datca Peninsular and used to be a very important city for thousands of year. Now all that remains are the ruins and another restaurant.

We had a great sail, but once again the wind was on the nose. We put Woei Haw and Robert in the rib so they could take some pictures of Awatea under sail, which all turned out really good. Later in the day we sailed close to Ta’B and they also got some great shots of Awatea beating to windward.

We had left the stern door down as there was little breeze and put the rib in without deflating it. However, the breeze soon got up and the skipper realised that we had to deflate the rubber dingy and close the door as we were taking in water, all of which was done with the boat underway! Another hard mission accomplished!

The Knidos bay was rather smaller than we had imagined, and many boats had anchored before us. We had trouble getting the pick to hold, but after 3 attempts we finally were successful in securing Awatea. That evening we had roast beef for dinner and were joined by Jane & Russel from Ta’b.

It was a very rough, and windy night – just as well we had spent the time getting a good hold with the anchor.

Wednesday 25th May
It was a windy overcast morning with patches of rain. We got away at 10.30hrs and were flying again at 9 knots. Unfortunately it only lasted about 20mins and the wind died away once again. We ended up motoring all the way back into Bozburun and arrived at 17.00 hrs.

The highlight of the journey was the narrow gap we navigated between Bozburun and Dat├ža, so shallow that we only had a meter to spare when we passed through. A local fisherman had kindly directed us through the channel the other day, so this time we followed the tracks shown on the GPS and had no problem getting through.  Most boats elect to go a long way around into the bay and avoid this shallow gap, but yet again Awatea made another incredible passage.

Thursday 26th
We motored out of Bozburun at 10.30 hrs. No wind. At 11.00hrs a zephyr breeze arrived so we put up the sails, and struggled to sail for around an hour. Then a great breeze set in and we started to have a great sail. We sailed among a small private regatta of boats and Awatea out sailed them all. The skipper was very pleased with himself and his yacht!

We anchored back in Bazokkale and ended up at another small restaurant jetty. We told them that we would not be eating there as we had cottage pie in the oven. 

So instead we went ashore and had a few drinks at sundown and then again after dinner. The guy sold everyything there. Paul & Derek ended up buying a couple of small carpets, and we all brought some polo shirts.