Category Archives: 2019/2020 – Turkey

We’re off for the season – Turkey

Finally we had been given the green light to travel and so on 14th May us and Copycat waved goodbye to Kas until later in the year. 

There was absolutely zero wind and it was hot!  We had planned to make our way to Fethiye, well we were in for a little surprise.  Four hours in and we were called up on the radio by the coastguard telling us that we need to turn around and head back south.  At that moment we heard a loud bang, which confirmed that yes there was firing practice going on.  So backwards we went, two and a half hours to Kalkan, which is about 16 miles from Kas.  It was a lovely bay and we ended up spending four nights here as the firing practice was going on for this long.  It gave Ian plenty of time to clean the bottom of the boat. 

We next headed to a little bay called Akvaryum Koyu, which is just three miles from the well known tourist resort of Olu Deniz and only reachable by sea.  There is just one restaurant here.

We anchored just outside the Blue Lagoon at Olu Deniz, as boats aren’t allowed in there.  There were a number of other boats there, and a couple of Aussie guys helped tie our ropes to the rocks, this was after Karen on Copycat had already jumped in the water to tie their ropes off.  We went ashore here and at this time beaches were closed and we had to try and get the Jandarma (police) to understand that we weren’t planning on sunbathing but that we had just come off the boat so it was our only way to get ashore across the beach.  IOlu Deniz is normally packed but it was eerily quiet, like a ghost town.  We got some strange looks from the few people about as to how we had got there.

My cousin Sue and her husband Rick joined us for a day.  Ian picked them up from the beach and they had to make the same explanation to the Jandarma. 

We dropped Sue off at the end of the day and then headed round to Fethiye where we anchored in the bay.  The following day we spent a lovely day at Sue’s and got to go swimming in the pool. 

There were some strong winds, the bain of a sailor’s life, coming through plus there was a four day curfew coming up so we headed to one off the islands by Gocek, us and umpteen others had had the same idea.  There were a number of pontoons here belonging to a restaurant which we tied up along side.  We were having a heatwave too, temperatures were in the mid 30’s, which is unusual for this time of year so Ian decided that he would cook a beef wellington, just what you need.  He’d seen some nice fillet in the butchers at a reasonable price and decided that it had to be beef wellington.  It was very nice.

We went for a walk and there was quite a bit of rubbish so Ian collected some of it, it was Trash Tuesday after all.

Our next port of call was Marmaris, which is a big yachtie place.  There are several streets of shops selling everything you could want for a boat.  Ian was and Ronnie, as you can imagine, like kids in a toy shop.  It’s normally the guys that stand outside shops waiting, well this time it was Karen and I.  This is another place that in normal times would be rammed.  We walked up to the castle but that was also shut.  We had a day of rain here, yes we do get it, the countryside is green, so it has to rain some time.  We need shopping so we went off in our pac-a-mac’s and our face masks which were mandatory in public places in the region of Mugla. 

We were due to leave Marmaris at about 8 o’clock.  Ian is in the wide awake club at 7, so that’s that, he springs out of bed and we’re off.  He, unbelievably I know, has a habit of doing this.  We had more strong winds coming through so we headed off to Bodrum to hide for a couple of days which we did in two hops as it was too far a trip in one day.  We left our Mahe Mates behind.  We wanted to get moving on as far north as possible sooner rather than later as Ian wanted to get into the Black Sea, to visit Bulgaria and Romania, alas at time of writing this, it’s not meant to be.  There are quarantine restrictions by them and Turkey which has just been extended.  Also the prevailing winds along the coast of Turkey are northerly which normally start mid-end of June, so it’s worth getting as far north as we can so that when they do start we are heading south with the wind behind us.  As Ian would say “Gentleman don’t go to windward”, I have to remind him of that on occasions when we are going to windward.  We anchored in the bay next to Bodrum, which wasn’t quite what we expected.  There were rows and rows of concrete blocks of apartments.  I expect in normal times, will things ever be normal again, this is a busy resort with loud music, jet skis and speed boats whizzing people about.  None of this on this visit. 

We were planning on going to Kusadasi and staying there for about a week as we wanted to see some of the sights there, Ephuses.  We thought we’d do it on the way up rather than on the way down as with no international tourists or cruise ships which dock here regularly it would be much quieter.  More on that next time.  We hopped along the coast over the next couple of days before arriving in Kusadasi. 

May- June 2020

Kas

Cuffysark arrived in Kas (pronounced Kash) on 25th October 2019 to settle down for the winter.  We purposely arrived now as we wanted to be in Turkey for Republic Day which was 29th October and is in celebration of Turkey’s independence and as you can imagine is a big event.  There are processions and bands.  The square of Kas was filled with tables for people to eat.  We managed to book a table at a restaurant just off the side of the square

We also arrived in time for the Six Nations rugby so we gathered together to watch the games.  Something we took for granted pre CV!

I was due to fly back to the UK again on 4th November unfortunately I had to dash home before that as my Dad, who was terminally ill, had taken a turn for the worse and so I flew home on 31st October and didn’t return again until the end of February.  The world once being a small one, it was easy to jump on a plane and be home within 24 hours of booking a flight, not necessarily the case in these strange times of the Corona Virus.  Sadly my Dad passed away on 16th December, but I was able to be there and look after him at home and spend the last weeks of his life with him.

Ian and I arrived back to Kas on 27th February, it was strange to be back home on the boat after four months.  I was looking forward to discovering Kas and some of the surrounding area before the start of the sailing season.  “All best laid plans  ….”! Well it wasn’t meant to be as on 16th March the lockdown began in Turkey.  Only supermarkets and such like would be open.  They later announced a total curfew for people under 20 and over 65, they weren’t allowed out even for exercise.  We did get a chance just ahead of the lockdown, to catch up with my cousin Sue and her husband Rick who lives just up the coast which was really nice and got to have our last meal out as the following day they closed the bars and restaurants.

We could have been in worse places for the lockdown so we are definitely not complaining.  During lockdown we could go out for shopping and exercise but we also had regular curfews where you weren’t allowed out at all, these normally co-incided with the weekend, when the authorities anticipated more people would be out and about.  It also become compulsory to wear masks in public places and in supermarkets.  In late April we were given permission to go out to an anchorage so we left for Kekova which is about 20 miles from Kas.  We went out for just the one night as another curfew was due and we had to be back in the marina for this.  Before we left the Marina, they checked that we were in fact 65 and under, cheek do we really look 65, yes I know they were just doing their job.  On arrival at Kekova the coastguard came alongside and again checked we weren’t 65 or over as this age group was still on permanent curfew. 

At Kekova is the sunken city of Simena which was destroyed by an earthquake in the 2nd century.  On the opposite hillside is the Castle of Simena.  Normally it would be possible to look around it but the Coronavirus put a stop to that.

In preparation of the hope that we would be able to travel within Turkey in the next few coming weeks we started going through our final list of jobs that we needed to do before we could leave.  Washing, polishing and putting all the equipment back on the boat which Ian strips off at the end of the season. 

It was announced early May that we could travel AND barbers and hairdressers were going to be allowed to open on the 11th May.  So myself and Karen from Copycat, were fortunate to have our hair cut on 12th.  Two days later on 14th May we set off and left Kas behind until later in the year where Cuffysark would spend its second winter.  Hopefully we will get to see more of Kas in the winter. 

October 2019 – May 2020