Travel not only presents us with new challenges (like the one I described in my last blog) but also enables us to experience many new things that make us laugh, surprise us or enrich our lives in some other way.
During our stay in Seagull Bay near Göcek we had some great new experiences and the first of these was a visit to some submerged ruins in a nearby bay.
Despite there being many sites like this in Greece and Turkey – due to seismic activity throughout history – this was the first time either of us had seen one with our own eyes.
These evocative ruins languishing in the turquoise waters of Cleopatra’s Bay were indeed beautiful.
Legend has it that the ruins were of an ancient hammam (bath house) where Cleopatra bathed in the warm spring that bubbles up from the sea bed.
Probably more accurately, they are believed to be ruins of a medieval monastery that sit half submerged in this lovely bay. However, records show that Cleopatra did indeed visit the area – twice – once in 46 BC and again in 32 BC on her honeymoon with Marc Antony.
Another slightly more prosaic first was having our rubbish (garbage) picked up by a boat instead a truck! We happened to arrive at the garbage bins near a restaurant just as the boat arrived. Very good timing. (Note garbage boats smell just as bad as garbage trucks!)
We had a visit from our friend Phil from Paseafique on our second morning at Seagull Bay. He had motored on his dinghy from another bay in the environmental area called Sarsala Koyu and wanted us to join him there so we could meet some other friends of his who were due to leave the following day.
So off we went, towing his dinghy behind Sunday until we reached Sarsala Koyu. It was pretty crowded when we reached Paseafique but there was still room for us and with having a third pair of hands it was going to be much easier- wasn’t it?
Well all was going pretty well until the rock that Phil had tied Sunday’s line to decided to break off, just as we were reversing towards the shore.
In a split second everything went to hell in a hand basket – Phil reversed into his dinghy painter and we managed to get the line that pinged off the rock caught in our portside propeller.
Phil kindly volunteered to dive down and cut the rope which he did and fortunately there appeared to be no permanent harm done.
Soon we were safely tied up on a stronger rock and peace was restored. Later on, Phil’s friends and travelling companions in Africa and through the Red Sea, Ian and Melian who like us, were originally from England but had lived for many years in Australia, moored next to us and we had a very convivial evening aboard their catamaran Indian Summer.
The following day they dropped their lines and were heading off towards Malta as they had been in Turkey during the worldwide Corona Virus lockdown and were by then, running out of days from their visa allowance.
Phil also introduced us to Australians Daryl from S/V Medea and Bridget and Mal from S/V Eternity who had also spent much of lockdown in Turkey and many interesting stories to tell.
So from meeting new people back to new experiences – one extremely novel experience was going supermarket shopping on a boat!
This wasn’t some small craft selling a few vegetables or ice cream – this was a really big boat with a proper supermarket on board!
It was such a strange feeling drawing up to the floating supermarket in our dinghy, being helped up by one of the employees and walking round with a trolley as the supermarket chugged its way across the bay at snail’s pace.
It had everything you could need including a good array of fresh fruit and vegetables, meat, tinned and dried goods – even beer!
After our shopping experience we decided to go for a walk as we hadn’t done much walking for a while (although we had done lots of swimming in the crystal clear turquoise water.)
To my surprise, just round the corner from where we were moored there was a restaurant with a reasonable sized jetty where a number of yachts were tied up. We arrived by dinghy and were dressed for walking rather than dinner out, however, our lines were taken courteously and the young man directed us to the footpath.
After a few false starts we found our way onto the track which ended up being more of a scramble than a walk so after about half an hour we decided a beer at the restaurant was looking like a good idea.
We ended up staying for a meal which we regretted even though the food was very good. We ended up being placed in a corner where we swarmed by wasps as soon as the food was served!
One of those new experiences that we probably would prefer not to have had!