The most remarkable part of our trip from Finike Marina to Kekova Roads – apart from the wonderfully dramatic Turkish coastline – was sighting a Turkish gunboat steaming past us the other way, leaving a massive wake behind it.
Having already witnessed helicopter gunships flying overhead on three separate occasions, the existence of the naval ship reminded us yet again that hostilities between Turkey and Greece over drilling rights were of grave concern.
But we had no time to worry about that! We had our guests from England – my great niece and her boyfriend – on board and we had a lot of fun planned!
Our first stop was a lovely inlet in the stunning Gökkaya Liman (Bay) near the tiny island of Asirli at the Eastern end of Kekova Roads.
After anchoring and a wonderful swim we took the dinghy over to the island to see the famous Blue Cave – so named because of the dazzling hue of its water.
It is also known as the Pirates Cave, as supposedly, once upon a time, it was used by pirates to lay in wait for trade ships that journeyed along the coastline of the Mediterranean Sea.
Near to our anchorage there were some poignant ruins – not the usual Lycian tombs or Roman remains – this time they were from a Byzantine church.
Much of this coastline had been populated by Greeks for hundreds of years but in the 1922 population exchange they were moved out and Turks previously living in Greece were moved in and almost all the Churches were left abandoned to crumble back into the landscape.
During our swim we were surprised how cool the water was but then we learned that a cold water spring flowed into the bay. No wonder!
We decided to head up the creek to see if we could discover the source but weren’t able to locate it but it was fun trying!
We wanted to try and show our guests as many different highlights of this beautiful area so we quickly moved on to the village of Kaleköy – accessible only by sea- where we anchored just for a few hours while Jonathan and our guests walked up to the fort – built in the Middle Ages by the Knights if St John.
I stayed on board to keep watch as the holding at this anchorage isn’t very good and there are nasty looking rocks everywhere you look!
After the climb we reconvened for a light lunch at one of the restaurants at the water’s edge where we could keep an eye on Sunday.
We motored to a great spot just outside Üçağız, the sweet little village we had visited (and loved) previously.
The bay here is completely landlocked with three small entrance channels that lie between low rocky islets – hence the bay’s name – Üçağız which means “three mouths”.
We anchored just east of the village right in front of several sarcophagi and other ruins. Apparently they are thought to be the remains of ancient Teimiussa which used to be the administrative centre for the region.
My great niece and her boyfriend then had a chance to hone their driving skills when they took the dinghy to check out Üçağız. Later we all went again for another delicious meal at Hassan’s restaurant (discovered on a previous visit).
Our next “tourist destination” was to the sunken ruins over the other side of the bay at Kekova Island.
The ruins were once a vibrant ancient town called Dolchiste which was destroyed by an earthquake during the 2nd century AD.
The water there was turquoise and clear as gin and as we drifted slowly by we could see the shapes of walls, stairs and walkways.
We had heard that Karaloz Liman, a completely landlocked cove on the south of Kekova Island, was a beautiful, sheltered anchorage with wonderful clear water water for swimming and snorkelling, so we headed over there to anchor for the night.
What we didn’t realise was the cove was absolutely tiny and it was already quite full when we arrived. We tried to anchor and put a line ashore in one spot but after several unsuccessful attempts to get our anchor to grab before getting dangerously close to the rocky shore (and a neighboring tourist boat) we gave up and found the only other spot suitable for our sized boat – just inside the cove.
All seemed fine until Capt’n Birdseye decided to readjust the long line so we would be more comfortable if a swell came up in the night. Unfortunately while doing this he stepped on a very sharp rock, cut his foot, lost his balance, fell down into “a hole” and lost his glasses.
I saw him on his hands and knees, blood pouring down his face and not moving. Thinking he was concussed my great niece’s boyfriend (egged on by us!) dived in and swam to the rocks to “rescue” him.
Fortunately he was absolutely fine and was just looking for his glasses! The good news is that he found them – the bad news the glass in one of the lens was completely shattered! Fortunately he had a spare set on board – always a necessity for cruisers!