Adem from Pamukkale, suggested to us that we do a 4 day cruise from Fedihiye to Olympos. Because we had no plans made. Por que no? Why not? The deal sounded great – 130 Euros for three nights, 4 full days, all in – all meals, everything. The weather was getting hotter and hotter – some days had already started hitting the high 30's, so we figured four days on a sailboat in the Mediterranean would be perfect. Again, our cynical nature wondered about the quality of the boat and the tour ….. Both Jan and I had been on similar tours (different years) in Halong Bay, Vietnam - a country that has a lot of similarities to what we were finding in Turkey. Both Turkey and Vietnam had shown us a disproportionate number of scammers and out and out liars. The difference this time was we trusted Adem and really, we were hot.
Fedihye was just a short 4 hours from Pamukkale, we left early in the morning and were at the dock in Fedihye at 11. We saw many many 'Gulets’ – handmade wooden Turkish sailboats, some really nice, some, not so nice. Lucky for us, our boat was one of the very beautiful. In fact, it was a higher class boat than usually does the 4 day cruise. The captain told us he usually just does a 7 day cruise – targeted just at Dutch travellers. On board already were six young 20 something’s from Columbia, South America, and a Turkish mom and her 15 year old son and his friend. Looked great….then we were told we were waiting for a couple and a BABY!!!!. The Columbian kids and Jan and I discussed our bad luck to have a baby on board for 4 days…..ahhhh. A few minutes later, a French couple and their 18 month old son arrived. We were worried. The boat was big for a sailboat but…come on…a baby on a cruise????
We set sail out into the deep blue Med – the color of the water here is so unique: it is an amazing deep deep blue. This part of Turkey is just a few miles from the some of the Greek islands, and I was last here in 2003. My memories of the color were still fresh in my mind and it was delightful to hang over the side of the sailboat as she sailed away from the coast. It was my first time sailing on a big sailboat and that in itself was exciting. Over lunch we learned that the French couple spoke very little English, the Turkish mom spoke none at all, her son, very little, his friend spoke English quite well and the kids from Columbia all spoke perfect English. The crew spoke no English except for the Captain. It was going to be quite the adventure.
Over the next few days we ate, drank, swam and were merry. Then we did it over again each day. It really was that great. It turned out the Columbian kids were fantastic people – two couples and two friends. Half of the group were medical students – nearly finished Med school and having to decide their specialties. The other three were an industrial designer, an economics student and a psychology student. We really really enjoyed their company and all of us even came to enjoy little Raphael – the baby. His mom and dad had very unique, but effective, child rearing techniques and the little family had been travelling for a number of months in a camper van so Raphael was used to small spaces.
The boat was hand carved wood – it was refurbished a couple of years ago and looked like new. I love love love being on a boat – the rougher the seas the better for me as it is the rock and rolling that I like the best. I am afraid the rest of my sea mates did not share my emotion for the motion…….Jan included. Even though the seas were remarkably calm, they were sick. Not, can’t do anything sick, but sick for the first couple of days. Our day consisted of sailing from bay to bay, swimming and snorkelling 4 or 5 times a day off the boat, visiting ports along the way, eating nice food and sleeping under the stars if you wanted. Because Jan knew she would be sick – she has chronic motion sickness issues, she bagged a spot on the top deck for the first night and I stayed under to enjoy more of the motion – we were sailing late into the night. The next couple of nights I too slept up on the top and it was beautiful to wake to a new bay – get up before the rest of the boat woke up, hop overboard and swim around in the clear clear water. Really fantastic and I highly recommend travelling this way – it is economical and the beaches in this area of the Med are rocky. Smooth rocky, but rocky nonetheless and I personally hate them. My feet are so tender I can’t walk on stones – smooth or not, so I prefer to swim from a boat anytime. We had incredible weather – in the mid 40’s when we went onshore making us eager to get back onboard and back into the water. Four perfect fun days…….we were so lucky to get the shipmates we did and the time to get to know them well.
So - lots of pics instead of lots of words.....and lots of pics of sailboats for you sailboat lovers.