After 10 weeks of lockdown we are eventually allowed to sail outside of our immediate area and go off exploring the gorgeous coastline of Turkey.
Just before we left we heard some very sad news – our friend Patrick Childress from Brickhouse who we had sailed extensively with across the Indian Ocean and on into Tanzania had died from COVID19 in Capetown. He was a sailing icon with a hugely successful video blog followed by thousands. We have lovely memories of chasing elephants, sneaking into Sigiria and drinking shots in isolated anchorages with them. Our condolences to Rebecca, and our thoughts are with her as she faces an uncertain future. He will be sorely missed – RIP Patrick.
After all the repairs from the storm and spending a day stocking up on food and diesel, we finally sailed away from Liminasi to spend our last night in the marina at Kas. We had a fabulous last day with Azar and Sami coming on board for lunch, we stuffed ourselves silly on lamb chops and red wine – one of those lunches that goes on the hours! That evening we spent a lovely night with Mal and Brigitte on Eternity arriving back to the boat late, ready to leave early in the morning. Valery was there to wave is off as we left Kas, our home for the COVID19 lockdown. We were sad to leave this lovely place which had been so good to us but there is a world out there……
We arrived in Karacaoren just in time for a sundowner – which we had in their restaurant. All the tiny bays in Turkey have a small family run restaurant at the head of the bay and we always try and patronize them especially as the season will be hard on them this year.
The next day we sailed to Marmaris to catch up with Phil on Paseafique and Mike and Proud on Proud Cat. It was Mike’s 60th birthday, so we all went out to dinner to celebrate – we had all been sailing together since Tanzania over 2 years ago and it was bittersweet because it was to be our last meal together- the Red Sea Gangsters minus Terry on Vamanos, who is back in Tanzania.
Mike and Proud left the next morning and we spent the next few days sourcing parts, eating and drinking with Phil and enjoying being able to be out and about. We said our sad farewell to Phil as we were heading north to get a better sailing angle to head to Greece when the borders do open. We are not sure if we will catch up again as Lesley is still unable to leave Australia due to the border shut down and so they will probably do another season here in Turkey, whereas we will be heading to the Western med. We have sailed longer with Paseafique than any other yacht, over 2 years sailing in Sri Lanka, Chagos, Madagascar, Tanzania, Kenya, Djibouti, Eritrea, Sudan, Egypt and Turkey. It may be a long time before we share another anchorage but I’m sure we will. Au revoir Phil- stay safe xx
We set off for Bozburun, a gorgeous little village to spend a few days with Mike and Proud. It was wonderful to be sleeping on anchor again, swimming in crystal blue water, eating in restaurants and just enjoying the cruising life. We hired a car and went back to Marmaris to pick up some things we had ordered and caught up with some of the Kas cruisers for a drink there.
Again we had another sad farewell as Mike and Proud were heading for Istanbul before sailing off through the Corinth Canal to go to Albania. We are hoping to sail to the Caribbean together next year but for now our paths are going in different directions. Au revoir Mike and Proud – stay safe xx
We stayed on in Bozburun for a few days and were joined by Jim from Acheron who we had sailed to Kekova with. There are so many hundreds of bays to anchor in around Turkey you could literally spend years here but we needed to head for a place we could check out from as we were hearing rumours the borders might open in a couple of weeks. Both boats set off and found ourselves in Datca – a gorgeous old small town with a customs and check out. We were hearing July 1st as the most likely departure date – everyone is just waiting now…. During our week in Datca Azar and Sami came to see us from Kas. We had a great fun couple of days. As they had a car we visited the old town of Datca a few kms away where we had a Turkish tea and wandered around the town. We are very lucky to be seeing these places with no tourists but feel sad for the locals as they are so desperate to get some business.
One morning we had the best breakfast – a Turkish breakfast. Turkish food is fabulous but to date we had not tried the Turkish breakfast – a mixture of different breads, salads, cheeses, eggs, rose jams and honey, cheese and spinach type samosas and a ridiculously sweet pastry with melted cheese inside – I didn’t eat again that day!
Another (3 in as many weeks!!) sad farewell to Sami and Azar with promises of catching up again somewhere after COVID – Au revoir Sami and Azar – stay safe xx
We decided to go and see Bodrum, with an overnight stop in Knidos to catch up with Jim. Bodrum is very old town with a huge bay dominated by a very well preserved castle. We preferred it to Marmaris as it had more character. We hired a car and drove the couple of hours to the ancient city of Ephesus – a major attraction in Turkey. On the way we stopped for lunch in Kusadasi which is now a huge tourist centre. It didn’t have the character of Kas or Datca but was busy and colourful.
We were lucky to have Ephesus virtually devoid of tourists but it was so hot we only stayed for couple of hours. Some of the amphitheatre has been restored well and you can wander down the marble paved streets passing temples, dwellings, statues and carvings. It also has the House of the Virgin Mary where it is believed the Virgin Mary was taken by St John, where she lived until her death at the age of 101. The whole site is very well preserved and worthy of its UNESCO World Heritage listing.
Another lockdown was looming so we set off with Jim to a smaller bay about 7nm away where we could swim and visit each others boats. We had a fabulous sail, hitting 9 knots and arrived in an hour. Games of trivial pursuit on board Acheron, pot luck dinners and a weekend of swimming, reading and catching up on the blog followed while we waited for the lockdown to end and endless discussions of where to next, when can we leave and where do we check out from….our days in Turkey are sadly drawing to a close.