Orhaniye in Bee Season

View in the Orhaniye valley
View in the Orhaniye valley

We are still anchored in Keçi Bükü, a bay at the head of the Gulf of Hisaronu. As it is early in the season, we are still the only cruising sailboat anchored in the bay. One other boat, a large motoryacht, is anchored a few hundred meters away from us. There are lots of sailboats tied up to the small quays on the southern side of the bay, but most are still being stored there for the winter and are unoccupied.

A few days ago, the wind finally eased and we took our dinghy to shore to check out what the area has to offer. There are small hotels and restaurants on the southern shore but none have opened for the season except for one restaurant. On the northwest side of the bay, near its mouth, is the upscale Marti Marina and Hotel. Two kilometers in from the southern shore is the little agricultural village of Orhaniye. It is set in the middle of a valley cut by two streams and surrounded by steep rock cliffs on three sides, and Keçi Bükü bay on the other side. As one climbs up the four kilometer long valley it narrows so that it is just a hundred meters wide at its narrowest, and only one kilometer wide where it comes down to the water. The air is filled with pollen from the flowers of orange, lemon and other fruit trees, and from fields thick with wild flowers and honeysuckle, and groves of pine trees below the cliffs.

Blossoms
Blossoms
Flowers
Flowers
Flowers
Flowers

The bloom of flowers makes the air intensely sweet everywhere in the valley. The pollen is so thick that it even covers the boat with a substantial layer of fine pollen powder even though we are well out in the bay. Every day we wash off an accumulation of pollen from our solar panels in order to get the most energy from the sun. Last night it rained and in the morning the whole boat was streaked with red-orange pollen. It is not surprising that the main agricultural pursuit of the season is beekeeping. Every orange tree hums with the hundreds of bees gathering pollen from its flowers. Shake the tree even lightly and the hum turns into an angry drone. A walk in the wildflowers brings up little clouds of bees. These are domesticated bees, not wild bees, so the risk of bee bite is low. There are blue wooden boxes with bee hives everywhere. Not all of the bees make it back to the hive every night. When we take the dinghy back to our boat just before sunset in the evening chill (less than 60 degrees F), the bay is marred by bees doing a death dance on the water’s surface. Some of them fall onto the boat – twirling on the deck and unable to fly.

The valley consists of a series of small farms. Women in traditional loose fitting clothes and scarves work planting vegetable gardens and caring for already mature onions, lettuce, rocket and other early spring crops. Men pick oranges and lemons, work the hives, watch over goats and sheep, or till. Most of the homes are rough stone, all with electricity, and most with a motor scooter or car. There are a handful of very nice multistory polished stone homes overlooking the valley, some with a swimming pool, that are the country homes of urban families from Izmir and other cities. During one afternoon walk we met a young Turkish woman and her mother. The young woman is an electrical engineer and very hip, with a tattoo of Ataturk on her shoulder that proclaims her secularism, and spoke excellent English. She and her family are from Izmir and are building a country home in the valley. When we mentioned that we would love to buy some oranges, she said that she didn’t think there was any place to buy them at retail, but she would be happy to ask a farmer if we could buy some. As we passed a beautiful orchard, she said that its owner had the best oranges in the valley and she would ask him if we could get some. The owner was very friendly and immediately took out a ladder and climbed one of his trees to gather some fresh oranges for us… as many as we wanted. Since we had to carry them back to the boat we limited ourselves to about 5 kilos of oranges and several huge lemons. He charged us 5 lira (about two dollars). One other day, a different farmer sold us juice oranges and his wife took us into their extensive garden and cut three heads of leaf lettuce and a bag of rocket for us to buy. On another walk, a man invited us in for coffee where we met his two children and talked about the Orhaniye valley. He told us that he and his uncle had just gathered 20 kilograms of the “best” honey from their hives, and how many kilos would we want to buy…five? He was surprised that one kilo was all we wished to buy. Not only do Turks soak baklava and other dessert dishes in honey, some take a tablespoon of honey morning and night to aid digestion. He pulled some lettuce and a large onion from his garden as a parting gift. Today, at the only little store in the valley, we sat outside and drank cherry juice with the proprietor. Two days before his wife sold us a large chicken just off the rotisserie, and we ordered another for tomorrow – plus some organic farm eggs.

Wildflowers fill a field
Wildflowers fill a field
Bee hives stacked in front of a farm house
Bee hives stacked in front of a farm house
A farmer picks some oranges for us
A farmer picks some oranges for us

Tomorrow the wind switches to the southeast again so it is time to head north. We will head for Mersincik and anchor for the night, and the next day continue north again. We have enjoyed our stay in the anchorage at Keçi Bükü, our walks through the valley of Orhaniye, and the new friends that we have made. This is certainly among our favorite places in the Med.

M.

Goat munches on wildflowers
Goat munches on wildflowers
Shearing sheep
Shearing sheep
Mulberry tree
Mulberry tree
Farmer picks lettuce for us
Farmer picks lettuce for us
Farmer washes rocket for us
Farmer washes rocket for us
Orhaniye valley
Orhaniye valley
Tilling a field (witth a cow!)
Tilling a field (with a cow!)
Lemons
Lemons
Valley girls
Valley girls
Priimary school children celebrate Ataturk's birthday
Primary school children celebrate Ataturk’s birthday
View towards Sabbatical III from Byzantine fort on an island in the bay
View towards Sabbatical III from Byzantine fort on an island in the bay
View from the fort
View from the fort
Poppies
Poppies

 

Keçi Bükü

Ruins of fort at Keçi Bükü
Ruins of fort at Keçi Bükü

We left at Sunday morning for a sail to Keçi Bükü, a bay at the head of the Gulf of Hisaronu. Two kilometers inland from here is the small village of Orhaniye. The forecast called for southeasterly winds lasting only 18 hours or so, and we were determined to make use of them for heading to the northwest up the Turkish coast.
We left the marina on Saturday afternoon and anchored out in the adjacent bay. There, we set both downwind poles, installed jacklines, and made other preparations for a nighttime sail. After a couple of hours of sleep, we left at 1 am for our passage. We motored for 4 hours or so in light northwesterlies until the southeasterlies came in. When they did, we set our big (150 %) genoa on a pole and our mizzen on a preventer and had a great sail. Our route took us right in front of the harbor or Rhodes. Unbeknowst to us, a wooden sail boat carrying Syrian migrants crashed onto the rocks of Rhodes sometime that day, with the tragic loss of three lives.
The Rhodes harbor used to have one of the “Seven Wonders of the World” ,the Colossus of Rhodes, a 35 meter tall statue, as a landmark for ships. It was toppled by an earthquake in 227 BC. What a sight it must have been for sailors of the time. Now there are a couple of poles with flashing lights to mark the harbor entrance. Not quite the same effect esthetically, but still effective from a navigational point of view.
We were doing over 9 knots in strong winds when Laura was at the helm. We did only 7.5 to 8 knots when I was at the helm. Something about Laura brings out the wind and gets the boat going. When we started to bring in sail to turn up into the Gulf of Hisaronu, the turning block on the fore guy that holds the downwind pole in place completely blew apart, flinging bearings into the sea. We did not need the pole anymore to head up into the gulf and we have a spare onboard, but it was a beefy bit of boat hardware that was bent and destroyed by the force of the wind.
We are anchored behind a small island topped by a medieval fort but have not left the boat in the three days since we arrived. It is blowing so hard (from the northwest) that we are just hunkered down until it blows itself out a bit. Fortunately, we have plenty of food and reading material aboard, so we are happy. But we would like to stretch our legs and search for fresh fruit.
M.

Gombe and Patara

Sow covered mountains behind the mosque at Gombe
Snow covered mountains behind the mosque at Gombe

We took a day away from boat chores yesterday and rented a car and explored nearby sites with Melinda and Dave of Sassoon.  A nice Fiat 4-door sedan is only 25 euros this time of year.  Our trip took us west along the D400 coast highway past Kalkan to the beach and ancient Lycian city of Patara.  The Lycian civilization goes back more than 3000 years. On the way we stopped for a look at Kaputas Beach in between Kaş and Kalkan.  From Patara we took the road up into the mountains to the small town of Gombe, locally famous for its cherries, apples, and other orchard fruit.  At Patara Beach it was 72 F and sunny, the warmest day this year, but 90 minutes away in Gombe the mountains were covered in snow and we were wearing coats over our fleeces, with warm hats.  The road down to Kaş from Gombe was particularly beautiful — covered in pines, views of snow capped peaks, and the occasional herd of goats crossing the road.  We left the marina at 10 am and were back at 7 pm the same day.

Kaputas Beach on the Kaş - Kalkan road
Kaputas Beach on the Kaş – Kalkan road
Laura at the ancient Lycian temple at Patara
Laura at the ancient Lycian temple at Patara
Temple coliseum at Patara
Temple coliseum at Patara
Some friendly your Americans who just finished hiking the Lycian Trail (Patara)
Some friendly young Americans who just finished hiking the Lycian Trail (Patara)
On the road above Kalkan
On the road above Kalkan
View from the barrage (dam) at Gombe
View from the barrage (dam) at Gombe
The trail above Gombe
The trail above Gombe
The trail above Gombe
Dave, Melinda, and Laura on the trail above Gombe  We saw no one else on the trail that afternoon.

 

The boat is almost ready to put to sea.  Easterly winds are predicted for Sunday and Monday and we will use that opportunity to sail to Goekova Limani, the long, narrow bay on which the city of Datca is located.  We will leave at 1 am Sunday or Monday morning so we can still arrive in daylight at our destiination.

 

M.

Istanbul

 

Fisherman on the Galata Bridge with the Sultan Ahmed Mosque (Blue Mosque) in the background
Fisherman on the Galata Bridge with the Sultan Ahmed Mosque (Blue Mosque) in the background

We spent 8 days touring Istanbul in cold and rainy weather.  We rented a small house in the Beyoğlu district of Istanbul.  Here are some highlights:

Sultan Ahmed Mosque at dusk
Sultan Ahmed Mosque at dusk
View of mosque from the hop-on-hop-off ferry
View of mosque from the hop-on-hop-off ferry
View from the Bosphorus
View from the Bosphorus
Lunch on the Bosphorus
Lunch on the Bosphorus
Ceiling of mosque
Ceiling of mosque
Sultan Ahmed Mosque (Blue Mosque)
Sultan Ahmed Mosque (Blue Mosque)
Pistachio Kadayif at Karaköy Güllüoğlu
Pistachio Kadayif at Karaköy Güllüoğlu
Laura locks the door to our three-story house before we leave for the day
Laura locks the door to our three-story house before we leave for the day
For sale in the fish market
For sale in the fish market
For sale in the fish market (gills turned out)
For sale in the fish market (gills turned out)
Galata Bridge in cold weather
Galata Bridge in cold weather

 

Vienna

Laura at intermision of the Marriage of Figaro at the Vienna Staatsoper
Laura at intermision of the Marriage of Figaro at the Vienna Staatsoper

It was a comfortable 5 hour train trip from Prague to Vienna.  We easily found our way on public transportation to our AirBnB on Plenergassestrasse. It is less than a mile from the flat of our Austrian sailing friends from “Risho Maru”.  We then walked to Risho Maru’s flat and got a wonderful warm greeting and a lovely dinner.

The next morning we all went for a walk to Turkenschantz park for the first day of the holiday Christmas Market (Weihnachtsmarkt). We had spiked punch, roasted chestuts and a delicious gingerbread cake. Later that day, on the way to the see the Marriage of Figaro at the Staatsoper, Mark and I stopped at a really big Christmas market at Rathausplatz.

We had terrific seats at the opera –first row box seats in the first balcony, but not together.  The opera was just wonderful and we both enjoyed every minute. After the opera, we had dinner at Cafe Landtmann (one of Freud’s old favorites).  The next morning we flew to Istanbul, where we are now.

L.

 

Christmas Market at Rathausplatz, Vienna
Christmas Market at Rathausplatz, Vienna
Christmas Market at Rathausplatz, Vienna
Christmas Market at Rathausplatz, Vienna
Chocolate fondue at Christmas Market
Chocolate fondue at Christmas Market

Prague

 

View of Prague
View of Prague

We traveled by train to Prague from Berlin on November 11 (Tuesday).  We stayed in a cute flat in a classic building in the Vinohrady district, one block from the tram and the metro.  We had tickets for the Czech State Opera a couple of hours after we arrived from Berlin, and we barely got organized in time to get there. We ended up walking to the theatre which really was not too far… maybe a 20 minute fast walk from the apartment. We had great seats (10th row center) for a very good price, and enjoyed a very well done Barber of Seville.

We spent the next couple of days just walking around the town, taking trams and the metro and enjoying the beautiful architecture. The restaurants in our neighborhood were all cute, trendy and reasonably priced. The best find of all was a restaurant called Parlament, closer to the center of town, that served real Czech food.

On Friday night we went to another opera, Rigoletto. This time we were in the third row center and enjoyed it even more.  Saturday morning we left for Vienna.

L.

Mark at the Parlament Restaurant
Mark at the Parlament Restaurant
On the famous bridge over the Charles River
Hebrew words on crucifix on the famous bridge over the Charles River
Old Jewish Cemetary.  Oldest tombstone dates to 1439.
Old Jewish Cemetery. Oldest tombstone dates to 1439.
Old Jewish Cemetery.  Oldest tombstone dates to 1439.
Old Jewish Cemetery. Oldest tombstone dates to 1439.
Food van on the street in Jewish Quarter
Food van on the street in Jewish Quarter

Last days of the season

View of Kasterlorizo from the cliff trail
View of Kasterlorizo from the cliff trail

We cancelled a planned sail north when the weather turned cold and rainy and returned to Kaş to get the boat ready to be hauled and stored on the hard.  There has still been plenty of time to socialize.  We attended Republic Day celebrations on the town square with our Turkish friends Eren and Bensu and our Canadian friends Michael and Gloria from “Paikea Mist” with delicious food by Ratatouille.  The period of rain has passed and we now have clear skies and pleasantly cool temperatures.

M.

David and Melinda ("Sassoon"), Michael ("Pakia Mist"), Laura, and Gloria ("Pakia Mist") sharing sundowners at the top of the ancient Lycian Coliseum, Kaş
David and Melinda (“Sassoon”), Michael (“Paikea Mist”), Laura, and Gloria (“Paikea Mist”) sharing sundowners at the top of the ancient Lycian Coliseum, Kaş
Eren and Bensu visit Sabbatical III for coffee
Eren and Bensu visit Sabbatical III for coffee

 

Fresh pomegranate and orange juice at the Kaş town square
Fresh pomegranate and orange juice at the Kaş town square

 

Naomi and Bob visit Sabbatical III

 

Naomi and Bob pose at the bow
Naomi and Bob pose at the bow

My sister Naomi and her friend Bob flew out from Chicago to Turkey and spent almost one week with us on Sabbatical III.  We spent one day in Kas visiting the Friday market, eating at our favorite restaurant, Eniste’nin Yeri, sampling dondurma (Turkish ice cream) on the town commons, and provisioning the boat.  We then sailed to Kastellorizo (Megisti Island), arriving at our anchorage just before a big squall that featured a waterspout less than one-half mile away.  The next day we had a great Greek meal and hiked around the charming town.  We then sailed to Aperlae in Kekova where it proceeded to rain on and off for much of the day.  All this rain made us feel bad about claiming that it rarely rains in this part of Turkey.  The skies did clear, and we star gazed from the deck at night, hiked up to Kaleköy for the views, and ate a couple of great meals at Ibrihim’s in Üçağız.  It was great to have them with us on the boat.

M.

Naomi checks out the anchorage
Naomi checks out the anchorage
Fishing boat in Kastellorizo
Fishing boat in Kastellorizo
Kastellorizo quay
Kastellorizo quay
Brother and sister
Brother and sister
Kastellorizo
Kastellorizo
View from Kaleköy (Kekova)
View from Kaleköy (Kekova)
Kekova
Kekova
View from Kaleköy (Kekova)
View from Kaleköy (Kekova)
Naomi at Kaleköy overlooking Sabbatical III in the background
Naomi at Kaleköy overlooking Sabbatical III in the background
Mark and Naomi at Kaleköy
Mark and Naomi at Kaleköy

 

Danny and Jamie visit Sabbatical III

Danny and Jamie on the bow of Sabbatical III at anchor at  Limanağzı
Danny and Jamie on the bow of Sabbatical III at anchor at Limanağzı

We had our friends Danny Rose and Jamie visit us for two days at the end of September. We showed them a bit of Kaş and had a great sail in the waters off of the Greek island of Megisti. We anchored at Limanağzı where the swimming was great and Danny scaled the cliffs to visit the cliff tombs and get a view from the top. After dinner on the boat, we sat on the deck looking for shooting stars.

Lunch at Kaş Marina
Lunch at Kaş Marina
Jamie and Danny relaxing
Jamie and Danny relaxing
Swimming off the boat at Limanağzı
Swimming off the boat at Limanağzı
Danny scales the cliffs at Swimming off the boat at Limanağzı
Danny scales the cliffs at Limanağzı

 

Snows in Turkey

 

Wileen and Steve on Sabbatical III
Wileen and Steve on Sabbatical III

We had visitors with us last week… our friends Steve and Wileen Snow from Rhode Island flew to Turkey to sail with us. We took them to our favorite spots in Kaş and then sailed with them to Kekova. We had a great time with them, doing lots of swimming, reading, talking and, of course, eating and drinking. Our favorite restaurant in Kekova (Aperlai Restaurant) outdid themselves with an incredible Turkish meal. We sat out on the lovely table set up on the dock and enjoyed the beautiful evening light while devouring multiple mezzes and salads and fish and lamb. The weather was almost perfect and the anchorages uncrowded. We also had some incredible views of the full (or almost full) moon rising over the sea and mountains around Kekova, went to Gokkaya, Kale Koy, and finally dropped Wileen and Steve off in Ucagiz. It was a wonderful week.
L.

At Kale Koy, Kekova
At Kale Koy, Kekova
Sarcophagi at Kale Koy, Kekova
Sarcophagi at Kale Koy, Kekova
Kekova
Kekova
Laura and Wileen go for a swim
Laura and Wileen go for a swim
Dinner at the Aperlai Restaurant, Kekova
Dinner at the Aperlai Restaurant, Kekova

 

 

Escaping the heat in Vienna and Switzerland

Laura envoys coffe with Apfelstrudel mit shlag (heavy cream) at Cafe Landtmann, Vienna
Laura envoys coffee with Apfelstrudel mit schlag (heavy cream) at Cafe Landtmann, Vienna

August 5th – September 2, 2014

We left the boat in our marina in Kaş, Turkey on the 5th of August and flew to Vienna. It’s super hot in Turkey in July and August and after shvitzing for the month of July we were happy to pack a couple of back-packs and fly to cooler parts of the world for a few weeks. Fortunately for us we have sailing friends who live in Vienna who were kind enough to let us live in their beautiful apartment while they went off for their summer sail. Our friends Alex and Peter and their 14 year old son Finn, are good friends of ours whom we first met in 2007 in the Galapagos. After sailing with them throughout French Polynesia, Samoa, Tonga and New Zealand for much of our first year at sea, they continued on with their circumnavigation and eventually returned home to work in Vienna.

Peter and Alex in their kitchen
Peter and Alex in their kitchen
Finn poses with Lego toy that we bought for him in 2008 and kept on the boat until now which is the next time that we saw him
Finn poses with Lego toy that we bought for him in 2008 and kept on the boat until now which is the next time that we saw him

We were excited to see them again and we had a great time together for a few days as they prepared to drive to Italy (where they now keep their boat). Then we moved into their apartment and had a wonderful 2 weeks enjoying both the apartment and the many beautiful parts of Vienna and getting to know and love Viennese food and desserts. We had great weather… hot for a few days and then cool with a nice mix of sunshine and clouds and an occasional rainy day. There is so much to do in Vienna and the public transport is terrific and cheap. We were lucky enough to spend an evening with Nathaniel Lepp (one of Ben’s good friends), who was in Vienna with Steph (his wife) to attend a friend’s wedding.

With Nathaniel Lepp in Vienna
With Nathaniel Lepp in Vienna

Some of the things we enjoyed during the time we were there include:

• Türkenschanzpark … our favorite park just a block away from the apartment;
• Figlmüller Restaurant … known for its schnitzel;
• Café Prückel … the most delightful place to spend a rainy afternoon and drink coffee;
• Stadtpark…. Interesting statues, especially when you have your iPad with you so you can find out who all these famous people are;
• Italian restaurant (I Tricolori) … near the movie theater we frequented… delicious pizza ;
• Kunst Historisches Museum …. a million artifacts from the time of the Habsburgs;
• Landtmann Café… one of our favorites for apple strudel (with whipped cream!) and previously a hangout for famous Viennese such as Freud;
• Würstelstände…. Yummy Viennese sausages sold in many places throughout the city ;
• Meyerei Café … in Türkenschanzpark Park. Great ribs, amazing desserts, nice waiters;
• Schoenbrunn Palace…of the ruling Hapsburgs ;
• Jewish Museum…. Two separate museums, one with a special exhibit dedicated to Amy Winehouse….. not exactly what we were expecting, but actually very interesting ;
• Salmannsdorf… great walk in the vineyards;
• Rathausplatz… free movies on a giant screen every night and dozens of food vendors and thousands of attendees. We saw a spectacular concert there (on screen) with Gloria Estefan, also some opera and operetta on other nights;
• Pötzleinsdorf Park …. So beautiful;
• Plachutta Restaurant where we had the Tafelspitz (boiled beef) speciality

 

Amy Winehouse stares out of the Jewish Museum, Vienna
Amy Winehouse stares out of the Jewish Museum, Vienna
Schubert and Laura with both here
Schubert and Laura with both here
We walked among the vineyards above Vienna, sampling the grapes
We walked among the vineyards above Vienna, sampling the grapes
We walked among the vineyards above Vienna, sampling the grapes
We walked among the vineyards above Vienna, sampling the grapes
View of Vienna from the vineyards
View of Vienna from the vineyards
Street in Vienna
Street in Vienna

On August 21st we left Vienna and rode the train to Davos, Switzerland. What a beautiful ride. It took about 9 hours and we enjoyed every minute of it. We even took a 1st class compartment as they had a special deal for “seniors” which we couldn’t pass up. In Davos we rented a lovely 2 bedroom apartment, also owned by sailing friends of ours. Our friends share this house with their family and often ski there in the winter. It is not used much in the summer so it was available for us to rent. Davos was great, but a bit cold and rainy. Temperatures were often in the 50’s and we had some rain most every day. Still, it was nice enough to go for a couple hour hike almost every day and there are so many paths there that you could hike for a whole summer just in the immediate vicinity. There is also a beautiful lake in town. It was easy to hop on a bus or a train and go to some of the surrounding towns to hike… one of our favorite hikes was in the valley of Dischma Tal and a small village called Teufi. There were a couple of very convenient stores just a few minutes walk from our apartment so we stocked up on food and ate at home most nights. Restaurant prices were outrageous. One day we took a very scenic train-ride to St. Moritz… really spectacular ride.

Dischma Valley above Davos, Switzerland
Dischma Valley above Davos, Switzerland
Dischma Valley above Davos, Switzerland
Dischma Valley above Davos, Switzerland
Goats at Dischma Valley above Davos, Switzerland
Goats at Dischma Valley above Davos, Switzerland
Dischma Valley above Davos, Switzerland
Dischma Valley above Davos, Switzerland
Dischma Valley above Davos, Switzerland
Dischma Valley above Davos, Switzerland
Dischma Valley above Davos, Switzerland
Dischma Valley above Davos, Switzerland
Dischma Valley above Davos, Switzerland
Dischma Valley above Davos, Switzerland
Looking down towards Davos from the Dischma Valley
Looking down towards Davos from the Dischma Valley
Keeping the gate closed,  Dischma Valley
Keeping the gate closed, Dischma Valley
Dischma Valley
Dischma Valley

On September 1st we took the train to Zurich and Hannah’s good Swiss friend Adina met us and brought us to her parent’s house. We got to meet her parents, Sammy and Katia and had a wonderful dinner at their home and then spent the night there. Really wonderful people.
September 2nd we flew back to Turkey. We had to spend the night in Antalya as we did not arrive there until mid-night and it is a 3.5 hour drive back to Kaş from there. We stayed at the Laguna Suites Hotel, a 2 star hotel, that is pretty comfortable and clean and fine for a one night stay.

L.

We pose with Sammy and Katia Rom at their flat in Zurich
Laura poses with Adina and her parents  Sammy and Katia Rom at their flat in Zurich

Kaş and Göcek

 

Laura and her birthday cake at Amigos Restuarant, Twenty-two Fathoms Cove, Göcek
Laura and her birthday cake at Amigos Restuarant, Twenty-two Fathoms Cove, Göcek

We spent one week at the Sarsala Koyu anchorage in Göcek where we celebrated Laura’s birthday and had a short visit with Dick and Lynn of “Wind Pony” and their granddaughter Annie and her parents.  We started off at the only mooring at the northeast corner of the bay.  It promised the best views of the mountains in the distance and a good breeze but it had one drawback that chased us away after a couple of nights — bees.  The bees came out about 6 pm and did not leave until almost 9 pm.  We had to stay below to escape them one night and the next evening they came in even greater number with seemingly aggressive intent.  I got bit on the arm and it really stung.  We jumped in the dinghy and zoomed away to escape them until dark. The next morning we found a mooring on the opposite shore where bees were not a problem.  Strong winds came up and our 60 meters of polypropylene webbing that we use to tie Sabbatical III to a bollard ashore snapped in a 38 knot gust on the beam.  That was an expensive piece of webbing that came on a beautiful stainless steel reel but it is clearly insufficient for a boat our size in gusty conditions.

The plan on Laura’s birthday was to have our friend Gürol pick us up with his skiff and take us to dinner at his family’s restaurant (Amigos), where Dick and Lynn would be waiting.  But he had engine trouble and we sat on our boat waiting for him as the sun set.  The full moon was so bright and the winds were so calm that we decided that making the 1.5 nautical mile trip in our dinghy was sufficiently safe, so we went off in the dark.  It was a great meal that ended with a small birthday cake for Laura.

Back in Kaş we have been exploring areas around town and swimming at the marina “beach.”  Here are some photos of the Kaş area so we do not forget the lay of the land some years down the line.

 

M.

View from the Seven Capes on the passage from Laura and her birthday cake at Amigos Restuarant, Twenty-two Fathoms Cove, Göcek
View from the Seven Capes on the passage from Göcek
The location of Kaş in the Eastern Mediterranean
The location of Kaş in the Eastern Mediterranean
Kaş and environs
Kaş and environs
Looking southwest over  Kaş town and the town dock
Looking southeast over Kaş town and the town dock
Looking west over Bucak Deniz (the fjord-like bay) and the marina
Looking west over Bucak Deniz (the fjord-like bay) and the marina
07-DSCN1210
One of many “sticky” plants
Looking towards the Çukurbağ Peninsula and Kastellorizo (Greece)
Looking towards the Çukurbağ Peninsula and Kastellorizo (Greece)

 

Restored amphitheatre aş
Restored amphitheatre Kaş
Amphitheatre
Amphitheatre

Laura at amphitheatre

Laura at amphitheatre

M.

 

 

 

 

 

Hannah and Adina visit Sabbatical III

Arriving on the boat at Kaş Marina
Arriving on the boat at Kaş Marina

Our daughter Hannah and her lovely Swiss friend, Adina, just spent a week with us. They arrived in Kaş on the 18th of June, just in time to celebrate our 36th wedding anniversary. The girls arrived in Istanbul on the 16th, having spent the previous week in Switzerland with Adina’s parents and after a quick preview of Istanbul, they flew to Antalya and then took the 4 hour bus ride to meet us at our boat in Kaş. We had the most wonderful week together, hiking, swimming, star-watching and sailing together. We spent the first 3 days of their trip at the marina in Kaş, partly because we love the town and wanted them to see it, and partly because the weather was not conducive to sailing for their first few days here. It was just too windy to take them out, particularly since Adina has not sailed before and we didn’t want her to be sea-sick. Fortunately, both of them love hiking, and Kaş is right on the Lycian Way, an ancient and now popular rock and olive tree strewn hiking trail that extends for some 509 kilometers along the coast of Turkey. After a morning swim in the ocean together everyday, we had amazing breakfasts onboard, with a huge assortment of delicious Turkish foods…. salty cheese, olives, tomatoes and cucumbers followed by delicious yogurt, honey, nuts, chocolate and good coffee. Our breakfasts were really extraordinary thanks to the easy availability of great markets in Kaş, and to Adina and Hannah’s enthusiasm for putting together plates with every delicious combination of ingredients that they could think of.

Celebration supper at Ratatouille Restaurant, Kaş
Celebration supper at Ratatouille Restaurant, Kaş

For our anniversary, and to celebrate the girl’s graduation from Harvard we all went out to “Ratatouille” an upscale restaurant considered by many people here to be the best in Kaş. While we had a beautiful meal, we ate the next night at the informal restaurant that Mark and I have been going to in Kaş for weeks, Enişte’nin Yeri, (we call it Einstein’s) and we all decided it was way better, much more fun, and with a much nicer setting (not to mention that it is also 1/3 the price). The girls liked it so much that they insisted on going again the next night. So much for fancy restaurants!

Kaş Marina swimming pool
Kaş Marina swimming pool

We had gale force winds on Friday, the day before we were scheduled to go sailing with them. The girls did the beautiful 2 hour hike from Kaş to the nearby bay of Liman Ağzı and got to experience the winds and waves from the safety of shore, while Mark and I stayed on the boat and listened to the wind howling and watch the docks sway back and forth. Maybe it is just that we have a new wind indicator on the boat that is actually working right for the first time, but the wind speeds of over 50 knots were about the highest we have ever seen on our boat. Luckily no boats at the marina were damaged.

Adina helps with breakfast
Adina helps with breakfast

We decided to sail over to Kekova the next day (Saturday) because the winds were much reduced and we wanted the girls to be able to experience sailing and anchoring out, rather than just staying at the marina for their whole trip. We probably should have waited one more day, because despite the much calmer winds, the seas were pretty rolly, and poor Adina was quite sea-sick for an hour or more. It is only a 3 hour sail from Kaş to Kekova, though, and after the first two hours things quieted down and she felt better and we actually had a marvelous sail. I think we may be passing out sea-sick pills to future guests before we set out.

Hannah at the weekly (Friday) market, Kaş
Hannah at the weekly (Friday) market, Kaş

We spent the next 2 days in the western-most anchorage of Kekova. It is called Polemos Buku and it is really lovely. There were only a few other sailboats there. It’s quiet and clean and very beautiful. It is also on the Lycian Way so we all were able to hike as well as swim while we were there. Mark and I would turn back after an hour or two of hiking while the girls continued hiking much farther. The best part of that anchorage is the little restaurant there… the Aperlai Restaurant. We had been there a few weeks before and couldn’t wait to show it to the girls. It is a very simple family run place with a very basic menu and you have to tell the owner what you want early in the day so he can take his motorboat into the nearby town to buy the ingredients. There are just a couple of tables, but the prime spot is just a single table set out over the water under a little canopy. They set it up with very nice table-ware and then bring out lots of delicious mezzes before the main course… way more than you think you can eat. It’s really an incredibly beautiful setting with delicious food and the owner and his wife and son and daughter are extremely nice. We love it.

View from the Lycian Trail
View from the Lycian Trail, Kekova

On Monday the girls did a long hike from our anchorage to the main (and only) town of Kekova, called Üçağız. While they were hiking, Mark and I sailed the boat over to the town and re-anchored. Then we dinghied over to town and met them for dinner. Mehmet, a friendly waiter at Ibrahim’s restaurant in town was really thrilled to have two beautiful young women at his restaurant and couldn’t have been more attentive. He gave the girls the name of a nice hotel in Capadoccia (their next destination in Turkey), that he works at in the winter and was helpful in getting them a reservation there, along with making arrangements for a taxi to come pick them up the next day to get them to the main road where they will pick up a bus to get them back to Antalya and onward to Capadoccia.

View from the Lycian Trail (Kaş(
View from the Lycian Trail (Kaş)

Tuesday was our last day together and we had one more lavish breakfast before doing a hike up to the medieval castle that sits above our anchorage at Kale Koy. Then one last swim and it was time for them to leave. Mehmet’s taxi driver came right on time, and the girls made it to Antalya on time to catch their overnight bus to Capadoccia.
We are already feeling lonely…
L.

Sarcophogus, Aperlae (Kekova(
Sarcophogus, Aperlae (Kekova)

 

Hannah and Adina at Aperlae Restaurant, Polemos Buku (Kekova)
Hannah and Adina at Aperlae Restaurant, Polemos Buku (Kekova)
Aperlae Restaurant, Polemos Buku (Kekova)
Aperlae Restaurant, Polemos Buku (Kekova)
After dinner at the Aperlae Restaurant, Polemos Buku (Kekova)
After dinner at the Aperlae Restaurant, Polemos Buku (Kekova)
Adina and scarf maker pose after purchase, Üçağız (Kekova)
Adina and scarf maker pose after purchase, Üçağız (Kekova)
At the top of Kaleköy (Kekova)
At the top of Kaleköy (Kekova)
Helpful waiter at Ibrihim's Restaurant, Üçağız (Kekova)
Helpful waiter at Ibrihim’s Restaurant, Üçağız (Kekova)
At the top of Kaleköy (Kekova)
At the top of Kaleköy (Kekova)
Lycian Trail, Kekova
Lycian Trail, Kekova

 

 

Göcek

View of Skopea Limani (Bay) from the trail to Ruin Bay (Göcek)
View of Skopea Limani (Bay) from the trail to Ruin Bay (Göcek)

We have returned from 8 days in Göcek (June 8 to June 16).  It was a good sail over in a moderate easterly.  After anchoring out in Göcek harbor the first night, we entered the Skopea Marina in order to get some work done on the boat by the crew at Emek Marine.  The biggest issue was a broken wind vane at the mast head that was stubbornly stuck in place. After a day of repairs, we sailed to Yassica Adalari Island for one night and the next day continued on to Sarsala Koyu bay in the Skopea Limani marine reserve where we were lucky enough to find a mooring.  The charter sailing season is in full swing and there are lots of boats around. Our friends Lynn and Dick from “Wind Pony” out of St. Paul, Minnesota (who we first met in Vanuatu 4 or 5 years ago) joined us and we had a good time hiking, swimming, and eating.  Very strong westerlies blew us back to Kaş.

M.

Goats get dropped off at the dock, Sarsala Koyu (Göcek)
Goats get dropped off at the dock, Sarsala Koyu (Göcek)

Kekova

Gökkaya Limani (Kekova)
Gökkaya Limani (Kekova)

We spent 10 days (May 20 – 30) in Kekova along with our friends Melinda and Dave of “Sassoon.”  Kekova Roads is the area between Kekova Island and the mainland in the eastern Aegean about 20 miles from Kaş,  The anchorages are protected and the water is clear, and there are no towns of size. We swam and hiked, ate meals together on our boats and at some small restaurants.  We sailed there on a westerly and returned on an easterly.  All in all a great trip.

Aperlai Restaurant, Polemos Bükü, Kekova
View from Aperlai Restaurant, Polemos Bükü, Kekova
Posing with the proprietor, Smugglers restaurant, Gökkaya (Kekova)
Posing with the proprietors, Smugglers restaurant, Gökkaya (Kekova)
Sarcophagus line the trail on the way up to the castle at Kaleköy, Kekova
Sarcophagus line the trail on the way up to the castle at Kaleköy, Kekova
View from the castle at Kaleköy, Kekova
View from the castle at Kaleköy, Kekova

M.

 

 

 

Turkish travels without the boat

Cappadocia
Cappadocia

We arrived back in Turkey on April 4th, flying from West Palm, Florida to Atlanta, and then on to Paris and Istanbul.  After a night at the airport hotel in Istanbul we took the morning flight to Antalya and then were picked up by a driver for the 3.5 hour trip to Kaş Marina.   We spent the first night in a small hotel in Kaş (Hotel Kekova), but then immediately moved onto the boat even though it was on the hard.  It was kind of noisy in the hotel with lots of dogs barking and the room smelled like cigarettes, so we decided that it was preferable to sleep on the boat even if it meant climbing up a ladder to get onboard and having no water or toilet facilities for the few days before we got put back into the water.   Our friends Melinda and Dave on the boat Sassoon and Jill and John on the boat Petronella were also in the boatyard as well, having arrived a month before us with a full list of boat projects to do.  

 We were very efficient at getting the boat in proper order in just a few days and on the 9th of April we were put back in the water and we tied up at our spot on the dock.   It was a bit crazy as we had to leave on the 10th and retrace our steps back to Istanbul in order to catch a flight to Tel Aviv. (It took 12 hours portal to portal, even though it is just 2 hours away by air if we could only fly there directly from Kaş) We spent a week with my sister Diane and her family in Jerusalem along with my mom and sister Cathy who had both flown in for an extended visit.  We had a wonderful visit and enjoyed a very special holiday with our family.

 We returned to the boat on the 18th of April and then worked on the boat for the next 5 days before heading out once again for a big land based tour to Capadoccia.  It was a 6 day tour, organized by Gwen, a woman sailor in Marmaris who has been arranging tours for sailors for the past 10 years or maybe more.  We took a local bus to Fethiye the night before the tour began, as the tour bus could not come down to Kaş to pick us up.  In Fethiye we stayed at a darling little hotel “Villa Daffodil” and then met up with some very good friends that we had not seen since last year… Rick and Robin from “Endangered Species”, Lynn and Dick from “Wind Pony” and Frank and Barbara from “Destiny”.  Lynn and Dick just arrived from Thailand and are awaiting their boat that is coming on the Sevenstar freighter, and the other boats arrived here last year on freighters just as we did  (after sailing from the U.S. to Thailand like we did).   

 Our tour to Capadoccia was led by an experienced guide named Tas (Burhan Tas) and a young, but very competent driver named Emrah .  Our group had 6 couples, including 2 sets of Dutch, 2 sets of Brits and 2 sets of Americans.  It was a really great group of people… all very low key and friendly and fun.   The highlight of the trip was the time spend in Capadoccia viewing the incredible caves and towers and incredible rock structures.  We did a pre-dawn hot air balloon trip (along with hundreds of other tourists on the 100 hot air balloons that are currently licensed there). It was incredibly beautiful and well worth it.  The pictures show how beautiful it was.

 The trip involved a lot of driving (more than 2,200 km over the 6 days) in our little tour-bus, but it was well planned out with lots of interesting stops both coming and going to Capadoccia.    The only part of the whole tour that we did not like was the night out at a venue promoted as “Turkish Night”.  We were herded into a room along with hundreds of other tourists, fed very mediocre food, all the bad liquor we could drink, and then had to watch an extremely unprofessional group of dancers. The advertised “whirling dervishes” just walked around in a circle in the dark for 5 minutes, nodding to each other (and grimacing) and then they whirled half-heartedly for about 1 minute.   After that they did an assortment of other dances, but it was a bit like watching a bad high school talent show.  A group of women danced, and eventually some belly dancing was done.  Our group actually walked out before the night had ended, which I think may have embarrassed our tour guide, but we were all in agreement that it was just too painful to sit there any more than the 2.5 hours we had already been there; particularly since we had all been up since 4 a.m. for the balloon ride.

Sagalassos (ancient city)
Sagalassos (ancient city)
Sagalassos (ancient city)
Sagalassos (ancient city)
Cappadocia
Cappadocia
Laura and Chris at Cappadocia
Laura and Chris at Cappadocia
Lunch with the group
Lunch with the group
Carpet coop in Cappadocia
Carpet coop in Cappadocia
Carpets for sale
Carpets for sale
Balloon is inflated (Cappadocia)
Balloon is inflated (Cappadocia)
Balloons waiting to be inflated
Balloons waiting to be inflated
Aloft
Aloft
Aloft
Aloft
Our balloon
Our balloon
Balloons over Cappadocia
Balloons over Cappadocia as the sun rises

 

Balloons over Cappadocia
Balloons over Cappadocia
Balloons over Cappadocia
Balloons over Cappadocia
Balloons over Cappadocia
Balloons over Cappadocia

17-DSCN0607

Balloons over Cappadocia 20-DSCN0629

22-DSCN0692

Cappadocia
Cappadocia
Cappadocia
Cappadocia

24-DSCN0597 25-DSCN0723 26-DSCN0746

Tas and Emrah
Tas and Emrah
Dolls for sale (everywhere)
Dolls for sale (everywhere)

Other things we did on the trip are listed below just as a record for ourselves:  

 Our fellow travelers included: 

Ian & Glenda on Lucy Alice (British)

Piet and Viets on Tringus (Dutch)

Keith and Clair on Panulirus (British)

Johannes and Eli on Boemerang  (Dutch)

Dan and Chris on Interlude (American)

 Day 1 :  Picked up at Hotel Villa Daffodil in Fethiye at 9:30.  Everyone else already on board. Most everyone boarded in Marmaris, except Chris and Dan who got picked up in Göcek.

 Lunchstop near Sagalassos in the neighborhood of Isparta, where we looked at the old theatre and library. Had a bit of a hike to view the ruins

Stayed in a hotel at Egirdir on an island in a lake. Mediocre hotel, but beautiful view of the water.

 Day 2: 9.00  beautiful drive  around the lake in the direction of Konya (240 km). Visit to a 900 year old wooden mosque and tour of the mosque with the imam.

Just before Konya the bus had a flat tire. The guys all pitched in to help change it.

Lunch in little private room in a restaurant with seating on the floor or on low couches. Delicious lamb, lentil soup, salads and dessert. Visited the Mevlana museum,the home of the original mystical whirling dervishes.

16.00 250 km to Nevsehir (Cappadocia)

19.45 Avrasya hotel in Avanos. Big rooms, good food and we stayed there for 3 nights.

 Day 3: New tires arrive from Izmir for the bus.

9.00 Soganli Valley, canyon with fairy chimneys and rock churches. Visit to Dirinkuyu, an underground city, 11 floors down built into the rocks.

Stops at several beautiful viewing places.

Visit to a carpet weaving cooperative.

 Day 4: Very early balloon flight! Amazingly beautiful.  Our balloon operator was very professional and clearly very experienced.  He estimated that he had over 1,000 flights.

Went to Goreme open air museum with rock churches. (a bit too full of tourists)

Lunch at Uranos restaurant (underground).

Avanos Pottery demonstration. Terrific demonstration by a professional potter.  I get chosen to try the wheel.

Trip to Imagination Valley, another beautiful view.

 16.00 back at the hotel. In the evening a Turkish night with food and dancers.

 Day 5: Day of travelling. Goreme to Konya. Lunch stop in the woods. (Taurus Mountains)

Long cave walk that lead to a very deep cavern with water.

18.30  Suite Hotel Laguna in Antalya in the center of the town. Nice dinner buffet.

 Day 6: a walk through the old city of Antalya.

Visit to Duden Waterfall and trout lunch.

We leave the group and take the public bus to Kaş. Fun bus ride with wifi,  a steward serving cake and Coke, and movie screens in front of each seat.  Beautiful views most of the ride home.

 L.