Following completion of our engine repairs in late July, we sailed across the Aegean in 2 days, bypassing all of the wonderful islands that we had hoped to visit. Still unsure that we had got to the bottom of our engine problems, we left Sea Cloud in Gocek in the hands of the very capable Huseyin Ay of HMS Yacht services while we headed back to Sydney for August to work. Huseyin did a wonderful job, coordinating the cleaning of fuel tanks and lines, replacement of injector nozzles, new filters and leaving Sea Cloud looking sparkling clean. Hopefully this work would mean that we could enjoy September and our planned visitors, rather than constantly worrying that the engine might not start.
We had 2 weeks planned with our good friends David and Jenny Harris and Jen’s brother Tony Brunskill. Unfortunately as David’s mother was very ill he and Jenny headed back to Australia, leaving Tony to cruise the Turkish coast with us. The plan was to sail from Gocek to Phaselis (near Antalya) then back to Kas to meet our next group of friends, Suzy and Paul Tait, then sail back to Gocek to meet my sister, Bron and brother in law, Tim Hand.
Credits to Tony, Paul and Tim for photos included in this blog.
After a few lovely days relaxing with Tony in the bays around Kas we sailed to Kekova and its wonderful ruins.
It was great to catch up again with Vivienne and Paul from Walkabout Too (HR43) on our morning walk and swim at the ruins at Aperlae.
Kastellorizon was a favourite with all guests, such a pretty town with a great walk to the top of the island to visit the monastery. The 400 steps are a bit of a killer, but the view from the top fabulous. All good exercise before a hearty Greek meal.
The early morning visit to the Blue Grotto with Sprios gave us an opportunity to see the spectacular cliffs and caves from the water, all too difficult to do in Sea Cloud.
Kas markets were as good as we had remembered, although the gozleme weren’t nearly as tasty as the ones in Gocek. Kas marina was a safe place to be in the strong winds that came through, and for a change over guests. Such a lovely town.
Back to Kekova and our new favourite, Woodhouse Bay to take refuge during some more windy weather. Snorkelling over the ruins in Aperlae was a highlight for Suzy, who had been so keen to do this after seeing our photos of our previous visit.
Suzy & Paul visited the Simena fort and ruins, while we sat in the blowy (but sheltered) bay of Ucagiz, where our anchor dragged, the first time this had happened in Sea Cloud.
Back to Kastellorizon & those killer stairs!
Cold Water Bay was an ideal place to anchor to visit the ruins of Gemiler island and Kaya and for Suzy and Paul to ‘do the jump’ from the mountain behind Oludeniz. The restaurant at the top was lovely with beautiful views over the bay – a good spot for breakfast before the walk over the hill to Kaya.
After windy, bumpy sail back into Fethiye bay we anchored amongst the stink boats, which are so numerous here. They seem to get bigger and more outrageous by the year.
Ragged Bay (aka Birthday Bay) was a real treat- secluded, with crystal clear water and a delivery of fresh bread each morning.
There are some wonderful walks ashore through the small village on the top of the hill where about 20 families still live a very simple rural life. They are very welcoming, offering tea and sharing their spectacular views. Their closest town is Dalaman, a walk, boat ride then car trip taking about 40 minutes. Makes getting to Scottie look easy.
Suzy and Paul left us in Gocek and we were joined by Bron and Tim for a week pottering around Fethiye Gulf anchoring in some beautiful bays, and of course, fitting in some shopping.
Below are Tim’s impressions of a week aboard Sea Cloud.
Dear readers, you’ll notice a change of literary style as I, bilge boy Tim, pen this from my fogged brain at 4am in a Singapore flight lounge. It was on a sunny but windless morn, my soul companion, Bron and I exchanged our services with that now twice seasoned pair the Taits on the infamous Sea Clod (sic) with its even more infamous regular crew. Destination: 8 days of graft in the gulf of Fethiye. Before casting adrift though, as is custom all crews both past and present undertook the regular cleansing in the local Hamam (the captain’s fondness for anal ablutions being legendary).
Always a blur of sails, sheets, winch whirls and abuse aboard the boat, we set out for our first of many little anchorages, shared amongst the other foreign flags of stink pots and Gullets. We found solace in the first mate Catherine’s always cheerful barbs with capt Cooks constant demands. But with nightfall we were invited to the capts table where the first mate always managed the finest offerings in food and liquor. It was at these occasions the captain was found in good humour and we talked well into the night. With our bellies full and mind addled by the Efes and Samos Nectar, talk easily turned to tales of the exotic – of Ataturk’s deeds, Ottoman conquests, Saracen myths, harems and Turkish delights.
There were days too when due to boredom or misplaced confidence, the capt allowed one to skipper the good ship Sea Clod. One was always in for a flogging or tongue lashing if the vessel wasn’t making good passage, but it made a change from emptying the bilge waters or polishing the upper stays. There were nights we were granted leave to go ashore and enjoy the hospitality of eating houses such as Armhet the dreamer in Seagull bay.
So too we took tea with a local imam and family, finding ourselves sharing discourse on a higher plain than that found in the tea houses back home.
Then there was the chance to go aloft on wings of air off Oludeniz. This heavenly experienced was somewhat tainted by an encounter with the true awfulness of ‘Little Britain’ abroad. Such rank, vile and sorry creatures I had not witnessed anywhere in Christendom. And so dear reader it was with heavy heart we took our final leave from the Cook’s fine company to embark for home shores. Though sullied by the days, vowing to return again beckoned by the call to prayer.