Posted 28 May 2011 from Turkey – The Mediterranean.
Well it has been a fun-packed fortnight since we last wrote. Whilst we still had John and Erin on board we visited Sogut and went for a walk ashore amongst houses with beautiful rose gardens and then out of town, there were poppies everywhere. This is Sogut in the Gokova Korkez (Gulf of Gokova,) not to be confused with the previous village of Sogut that we visited a week earlier near Bozburun. John and Erin decided to take us out to dinner at a little local tavern where Mama cooked us a lovely chicken dish on the fire next to our table. Magic. After there we went to English Harbour where the Special Boat Squadron (fore runner of the SAS) had their base in the Second World War. We caught up with fellow Kiwis, Alastair and Vivian off Largo Star for drinkies. The anchorage there was so calm Bruce decided to go up the mast to check our wind gear. John said to take his camera and photograph what he saw, which he promptly did and managed to get all the way back down the mast and then dropped the camera on the deck and smashed the display on it! Then we went for a walk ashore and saw a great photo opportunity and hey presto – Bruce dropped our camera and cracked the screen (but it still takes great photos). Anybody would think I was a clumsy oaf!!
Next stop was the party town of Bodrum. “We headed off in convoy with Largo Star and no wind. Largo Star is an Island Packet 39 (monohull cutter rigged) and when the wind started to fill in we pulled up sails and sailed (as you do). Largo Star motor sailed on past us until a mile or so ahead before settling in to a saling contest. Well Alistair was not impressed that we not only sailed past him but we di to windward and pointing higher than him! Another battle won by the multis. Once in Bodrum we caught up with Tuatara again and we went out to dinner with Ed and Jean off Tuatara (friends from Hamilton), Brian and Marion (Ed’s brother and sister-in-law) and the beaten Kiwi yachties Alistair and Vivian off Largo Star. What a great night that was, topped off with an interesting dessert that I couldn’t quite come to grips with, with the explanation of how it was made on a barbeque and took two hours as it was an icecream, semolina and pistachio creation. (Icecream – barbeque – two hours! – I don’t think so!). Plus these creations had a disturbing resemblance to young nubile Turkish breasts, admittedly with very long nipples but I guess you get the picture.
Some lovely shops in Bodrum and yes I know Bruce, I will get better bargains at the end of the season at a not-so-touristy place but oh they are soooooooooo beautiful and they are calling out to me.
We left John and Erin to go on the ferry to Kos and we moved to another anchorage, Camel Beach (yes there were 2 camels there that you could take a ride on and no we didn’t – but watched others) about five miles away to get away from the night time disco beat. A lovely bay we found and up in the morning to go ashore to get our daily bread. Yes I know I can bake bread on the boat or use crackers but where is the adventure (or the exercise) in that. Huff, puff, whinge, moan I go up the hot hill (I can feel Dr Nigel behind me with a cattle prodder aimed at my glutinous maximus, just waiting to urge me on as I slow down – damn, wish I had chosen crackers). Wow, we reach the top of the hill and oh! That glorious view of Midi, bobbing about on the clear water down below, framed by the white buildings of the resort. Quick – where’s the camera – oh there it is on the shelf of Midi, bobbing about on the clear water below. We are always doing that!
Back to Bodrum to collect John and Erin off the ferry from Kos, loaded down with our supplies of pork, bacon, rum and gin and one last night with them before we saw them off on the bus to Selcuk, where they would continue their inland journey. Off to the market, where, amongst the beautiful fruit and veg, we saw some beautiful little chickens, ducklings and quails we could have bought for Midi.
We had a lovely sail then to Didim where we caught up with other Kiwis, Laurie and Diane off Envoy, who, bless their little cotton socks, had us over for dinner as soon as we had anchored. “This was after a 50nm windward beat in 20kbnots in which we romped along at 8-9 knots and when we left had not decided where we were headed to. Glorious sailing conditions but alas still no fish! Next morning saw us all ashore for a bit of exercise and as we puffed around a dirt road, we were frightened by ferocious barking and out of the bushes came six dogs. We thought our numbers were up. (Oh, so cute). Well pups not dogs and no we can’t take one with us!
NEWS FLASH: We are about 11nm from Kusadasi and have just seen our first sign that there maybe fish to catch afterall. A small swordfish was jumping about 50mtrs from the boat! So John there is hope yet!
Our next anchorage shall remain nameless, because we were not officially there and if I named it, you would have to eat the evidence. We spent two days on that island that we were not really at and it was nice to be back to a place in a country that we have been to before but are now not at. We then headed off to Kusadasi, about 15nm north east of the anchorage we were not at and motored, sailed, motored, sailed and motored over about 5 hours but did make water, to where we spent one night in a bit of a joggly anchorage outside the marina and then went into the marina (92 euros a night!!!!). After one day cleaning the boat inside and out, including the bbq., we then took a 1 day bus tour to Ephesus, one of the greatest ruined cities in the western world. This with the intention of returning late in the day and leaving the marina before we had to pay for a 2nd day. This city was built entirely of marble and was wonderful when you got inside away from all the tourist rubbish (check out the advertising hoarding over the shop). Wow – google it if you can. 250,000 people lived here in 1000 BC. (Actually it felt like they were all there on the day we were there). They have excavated only 10% of it so far and what we saw was huge. We saw latrines made of marble where they had fresh running water under them to take away the effluent. The rich people took their slaves there to sit on the cold marble first to warm up the seats! The library was a wonderful building and opposite the library was the brothel. The guide said that there was a tunnel under the library to the brothel so the men could say ‘Honey, just off to the library to read a scroll or two’ and they could go through the tunnel without being seen. It was the third largest library in the world at that time with over 200,000 scrolls stored there. On a street wall there is evidence of the first ever advertisement known to man and it was – no, not MacDonalds or Coca Cola, but an advert for Flo, Sara or Fatima – if you want a beautiful woman – go to the brothel, opposite the library! World’s oldest profession, I guess it would have the world’s oldest advert.
Next on the tour (they did not tell us about this) was a diamond and gold factory. Somehow they must have seen the glint in my eye and I was forced to try on a beautiful diamond tennis bracelet at US$9500 and a diamond solitaire pendant, discounted from 16,000 Euros to 5,750 Euros. Unfortunately we were not allowed to take photos so I have not got documented evidence of the only time I would be wearing such items! Somehow we got out of there without me having to get out my wallet! These Turks though, man you ask out of interest what the prices are and they are convinced you are about to make a purchase. They have a thing or to learn about Kiwis.
Next on the tour was the house where the Virgin Mary was purported to have seen out her last days. Christians and Muslims make a pilgrimage to this site. It was such a peaceful place and we drank the water the came out of the hills as it would have done back then.
Next on the historic tour was the leather factory shop (just like the diamond shop – not on our list of things to do or see) where they had a fashion show of their beautiful jackets and guess who got to be a fashion model. Bruce – strutting his stuff down the catwalk, wearing glasses that must have been stolen off Elton John. Oh man, what a photo opportunity – show his good mates at home how he could shake his toushy like the best of them and where was the camera? After I stopped laughing enough to go looking for it – where was it – in Bruce’s pocket, wobbling around the catwalk. It was worth it though just to get to hold the hand of the lovely young Turkish woman who accompanied me. She didn’t offer to take me home though.
We are now motoring across a slightly undulating mirrored sea with about 3knots of wind. We are heading for an anchorage called Alicati where our friends on Envoy are. It still about 35nm away so not sure if we will get there today but as there is no real wind in the forecast for the next few days we probably should keep going. As it turned out the wind did fill in, 20+ knots but of course on the nose so chose an anchorage about 10nm SE of Alicati where have anchored 4mtrs of clear water at the head of a deep fiord like bay. Very calm & peaceful where can even hear the birds singing on shore.
Well it is now the 29th and after a beautiful night at anchor we are underway again. Hope everyone is well at home and yes, WE DO LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU.
The Midi Crew