Fountaine Pajot Orana 44 “Midi” – Midi’s Meanderings Part 12 – more Turkish delights!

Posted: 1st November 2011.

Hang on a minute – huff, puff – just clearing away the defibrillator and the oxygen tanks after the trauma of watching the All Blacks winning the Rugby World Cup. That was too close for comfort but the bottle of Moet we drank to celebrate was damn fine! The French certainly do know how to make fine champagne even if they couldn’t clear the last hurdle!

Any way since we last emailed we have been socialising a tad. We sailed back to Ucagiz (Kekova Rds area, southern Turkey) where we met a lovely American couple, Rick and Barbara, who own the boat “Far Out” the same sort of boat as ours. We had a wonderful few days with them, comparing notes on our two boats, out for dinner and out for lunch with them. Ucagiz is a lovely friendly spot  and we spent many days there and almost became locals. Each time we went ashore, we had to stop and have a cup of tea with some of the local businessmen. We ended up buying two more kilims for the boat as it is getting a bit colder under foot now. Just outside the harbour is a place the locals call the aquarium. We had a day there and snorkelled in the very clear water (not a lot to see though).

We dragged ourselves away and motored to an almost fjord-like place called Karakoz on Kekova Adasi. Here we anchored in a very tight spot and roped ourselves to shore. Awoke the next morning to the sound of a (few) birds singing in the trees, it was a lovely spot but alas no internet signal so we couldn’t stay. Afterall there was some important rugby to be watched coming up so we would have to move on. We thought we were doomed when a big gullet came and anchored not far from us but fortunately the people on board seemed to be of a more senior age group (like us) so there was not a whole lot of loud music.

So back to Ucagiz where we know we have a good internet signal to watch the AB’s v Wallabies showdown in the semifinal online via a link sent to us by our friends Ed and Jean on Tuatara (thanks guys). After the warm up between the French & the Welsh on  Saturday it was on to the main event and what a match it was. A great performance by the AB’s. Also while we had been anchored in the one spot I had in my wisdom decided to run out a 2nd anchor that I could then use to pull Midi’s stern around so she hung stern to the sun, so that our solar panels were charging the batteries. And despite Lesley telling me she thought I had gone to a lot of trouble when all I needed to do was run the motor, it worked well. Well for a day and half anyway. Then the wind came up and we were hanging stern to in quite a strong breeze. No problem I will tie another line onto the stern anchor line and that should allow me to let go at the stern and get it around to the bow and tie off again.

WRONG! I underestimated how strong the wind was and before I even got half way to the bow of the boat we had taken off and were swinging around to our main anchor and I ran out of rope! Bugger, 60 odd mtrs of anchor rope and our spare anchor now lying on the bottom in muddy water. Oh well I guess I will find it tomorrow morning hopefully once the wind has settled down. I hadn’t reckoned on our American friends though who were anchored about 100mtrs behind us deciding late in the day to go for a swim with their mask & snorkels, no flippers, swimming up and asking where I thought the anchor was and then heading in that direction and proceeding to dive for it. While the water was only about 4mtrs deep there was zero visibility but Rick found it by swimming along the bottom and shovelling his hands into the mud. His only worry he said was coming up with a crab hanging off his hand! We were very grateful as Lesley was not looking forward to having to dive for it the next day.

Yeah right!

Next was a visit to the Greek island of Kastellorizo. This island is within spitting distance of Turkey and I cannot understand how it would be a Greek island but it is and what a pretty place it is. It was awarded to Greece after the war as Greece sided with the Allies and Turkey was neutral. It has quite a history and there was a movie made called Mediterraneo which was about the Italians that were occupying the island during the war and did not know the war was over. Italy actually occupied the island from the mid 1920’s when the Turks ceded it to Italy. Most of the residents fled the island around this time and many ended up in Australia but in later times a few have started moving back here. Another place we got stuck at, it was just so picturesque. Beautiful harbour with the lovely houses alongside the tavernas. The cats sitting under each dining table, waiting for their tit bits. We had a coffee or two at one tavern that was run by a Greek chap who had been born and raised in Melbourne but was back there living with his German wife.

He said he was called a wog in Australia and now he is home in Greece, even though he had lived there for over twenty years, he still wasn’t quite a local. A photo of me here with “Gangster” one of their restaurant cats who thought our laps just needed to be sat on. Also me again, “just looking” at real estate – Kastellorizo style.

Next it was Oludeniz, where there is almost lagoon like bay. At this stage we were worrying about getting somewhere to watch the rugby so we didn’t stay long at this stage, knowing we would be back and then it was off to Fethiye, a small city. We knew our friends Jane and Russell off “Ta-B” were there but we hadn’t reckoned on Russell putting the Haka on his stereo system and cranking it up full bore for when we came in to anchor. So it was off to one of the local cafes with Kiwis and Bruce was able to talk rugby stuff with real kiwi blokes instead of me having to nod knowledgeably when he uttered his profound statements on the game.

Russell and Jane had to leave straight after the game to take his sister and brother-in-law, who were on board with them, on to their next adventure but not before doing his own version of the Haka as he left. A bit of a lad is our Russell.

We really enjoyed Fethiye and ended up spending almost a week there. At the marina there was a small Labrador-type dog that the men would throw a stick for. Into the water, the dog would leap, a jump of about six feet. He would grab the stick and swim to the pontoon where the boats were tied and them ‘climb’ up the ladder. Just amazing to watch. Once again we ventured to the big local market to get our fruit and veg. We had lunch there also and some young men came and sat at the table next to us. One of the guys, perhaps in his mid 20’s, who looked a bit like a gypsy, offered me some of his lunch to try. Wouldn’t get that back in NZ, now would you.

We left Fethiye and went back to Oludeniz, just in time for the International Paragliding Festival.

This was just amazing. You would be walking along part of the waterfront, hear a yell and look over your shoulder and a paraglider would come in to land. Of course Bruce had to try it out. Had a great flight on a tandem paraglider. This is one of the top spots in the world for paragliding and they launch off a mountain that is 1967mtrs high and is set almost right on the coast. After a trip in a van that took about 45 minutes to reach the top I was introduced to my pilot, PSYCHO! Yes Psycho! Really filled me with confidence. The take off area is a large paved slope set at 1700 mtrs above sea level, that you run down until you are running in air. Actually very easy and gentle although I did get to witness a couple of people who half way through their launch were urged to STOP as their sail was not quite set right. Gee hope someone is watching over us. But all was fine and it is a very relaxing experience. You just float along on the thermals, getting a great view and landing was a simple affair as well. Nothing like the rush I got when I did a tandem hang glider a few years ago. At most times we could count 20 – 30 paragliders in the air and those were only the ones we could see.

The Turks are very industrious and here we introduce George. George would come up to us in his little boat and ask us if we would like to buy anything.

No thank you – not today, we would say and then he would start chatting and found out that we liked calamari so after selling us an apple pie that we didn’t know we needed (sorry Dr Nigel), he flipped out his line and caught a calamari that he processed right there (couldn’t get fresher than that) and managed to sell us a loaf of fresh warm bread that we certainly did not need. We did not buy anything off the pancake boat, much to their disgust. This was a small open boat where they are cooking the pancakes right there  on board while they are alongside you. The pancake man was not happy that we did not buy and would not let me take a photo! Well he thought I hadn’t anyway.

So now we are back in Fethiye and it was off to the market again to buy all that lovely produce. I don’t know how we will cope, going back to NZ supermarkets. The markets contain everything and yes I had to buy the colander for 1.50 Turkish Lira and the new hand bag but no, I resisted buying the ‘genuine fake’ perfume. After unloading our purchases, it was back to the fish market for lunch.

They have all the fresh fish, including prawns, all out on display for purchase. You buy your fish, or prawns in our case, and the restaurant cooks your purchase, gives you salad and toasted bread with garlic butter, as well as fresh bread, all for the princely  sum of 6 Turkish Lira each (approx. NZ$4.50) plus the 25TL for the prawns.

I wish we had managed to catch, on camera, the man standing behind the counter, having his cigarette! Where is Health and Safety, when you need it.

Well we will be heading back to Marmaris over the next couple of weeks and then we are off on a trip to Cappadocia for six days so our next newsletter will not be until the end of November, just before we are ready to leave for NZ. It is getting cooler here, with  the days still 20- 25 degrees but the nights see us reaching for the blankets and it is harder to get out of bed in the morning.  Daylight saving ended here on Sunday so it really feels like winter is approaching and oh what I would give for a nice long soak in the bath tub! Saying that our water maker decided to pack a sad about a week ago but Bruce managed, with the help of the agents in Spain plus our good friend Nick in NZ talking and emailing instructions, to fix it so we have nice hot showers once more.

Amazing what can be done with some wire on a circuit board! Much better than the original quote of 480 euro for a replacement part that we would need to get from France.

Lots of love from the Turkey Tebbutts.

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