Back on board – now you’re talking Turkey!

It was such a great feeling to be sitting at a cafe in the lovely harbour town of Kas in Turkey about to bite into our first tavuk şiş (chicken kebab).

Anticipating that first bite of his tavuk şiş when rudely interrupted for a photo call

We felt so grateful to Turkey for allowing us in and to the Netherlands for letting us go in these difficult times with Covid lockdowns and travel restrictions.

We felt so grateful that Turkey had allowed us in

Apart from a lovely pub lunch in December with Jonathan’s brother and his partner when we were in England briefly for a visa run, this was the first time we had sat down for a meal in a cafe or restaurant for at least six months! Turkey had just changed its guidelines allowing restaurants and cafes to open but at only 50 per cent capacity.

We were staying in a very pleasant apartment while we worked on getting the boat ready to launch after her winter’s rest on the hard standing at Kas marina.

A sunset view from our apartment
A view of the mosque from our balcony
Time for a gin and tonic!

There were lots of jobs to do as we had stripped everything that could be moved off the deck space in order to protect them from the UV, wind and rain.

Jonathan putting the seat on at the steering position
Our deflated dinghy with the main sail in it – stored in the cabin

While we were away we had some covers made for the winches and one for the passarelle (electronic gang plank). We were very pleased with the results.

Our new passarelle cover
The winch covers are new too
Sunday in the boatyard at Kas

The boat looked in good shape and we were very happy to see that she looked very clean (we had paid for the decks to be washed in time for our arrival.)

The decks looked nice and clean

Infuriatingly a couple of days after we arrived the wind and rain swirled round dropping copious amounts of red dust from the Sahara desert. It took days of work to get rid of it!

It took days to get rid of the Sahara dust

Meanwhile we enjoyed the walk to the marina from the apartment every day, meeting the local cats, dogs and chickens on the way and each day noticing something new and surprising to appreciate.

We loved our walks to the marina – always something new to appreciate like lemons ready for picking and…
Theses weird contraptions – what are they?….
Butter churns of course!
Kas is full of Lycian tombs dating back to at least the 5th Century BC. We realised that parts of a sarcophagus tomb was holding up this garden wall!
At the other end of the wall the lid to the tomb was propped up on its side
We liked this cute little house in the trees
Just casually walking past an Hellenistic temple!
Look closely and you’ll see that this house is built on a tomb

One such discovery was the site of the Friday market – a big open space in front of some new apartments. We were delighted with this discovery and when market day came around we of course went to have a look.

The Friday market

It was a fantastic market with heaps of wonderful locally grown fruit and vegetables as well as interesting shiny kitchen implements, colourful Turkish carpets, fragrant spice stalls and stalls selling delicious olives and cheese.

There were scores of stores like this, brimming with freshly picked fruit and vegetables.
Avocados anyone?
The wonderful kitchen implements stall
Colourful rugs, cushion covers and throws
All kinds of local cheese and fantastic olives
Spices, seeds and leaves in abundance
The fragrance was amazing
You can even buy liquorice!

There were also clothes and shoes on sale as well as hardware, tools and various household items. Our favourite was the goat bell stall!

Lots of household goods on sale
Goat bell anyone?

Best of all there were a couple of stalls making gözleme – those yummy stuffed pancake-like dishes -made in the traditional way in a massive hot plate and using a very thin and long rolling pin to ensure the “pancake” cooks in a perfect circle.

Mmm those gözleme – delicious!
Time for snack in the market

Back at the boatyard, the last bits of work were underway on Sunday before we “splashed” her.

Another Lycian tomb – this time in the market place! Seems a good spot to have a lemon stall!

Primer was applied to the bottom of her hull, the propellers were removed and painted with special paint to keep molluscs from camping on them and the sail drives were serviced and had an oil change. A through hull fitting from what had been a skipper’s toilet was sealed and secured. Then the final coat of anti foul was painted on and she was ready to go!

Sunday looking very smart with primer on
Our propellers look in good shape
A through hull fitting was removed and the hole sealed
Anti fouled and ready to go
Sunday before being “splashed “
The Captain doing his final inspection

We had to move apartments during this time for the last two days on land as we needed an extra couple of days and our apartment wasn’t available but we didn’t have far to go – just one flight of stairs up!

Our first balcony
Then we went up in the world
Our view – the island in the centre is the Greek island of Kastellorizo – 20 minutes by boat but to get there we would have to sail all the way to Italy and back to Greece as the Turkish/Greek borders are closed

We named it the Eyrie as it was right at the top of the little block of apartments but despite the stairs we really like it for it’s sloping ceilings and glorious views.

The Eyrie
The mosque from our first apartment
Our mosque view from the Eyrie
There was a cute fireplace

Fortunately, every day when we walked down to the marina we had taken a portion of the 80kg of luggage we had brought from the Netherlands. On the final day we just had a few things and our food to take with us.

On launch day the wind had started to blow up so it was decided to wait until the following day for safety’s sake. We were very glad we had booked the extra days in the apartment.

Preparing Sunday to be lifted

Finally the splash day arrived and the lumbering giant of a travel lift moved her from her resting place and placed her gently in the water.

The straps are fixed underneath
There she goes

The whole process went very well, our engines started first time and nothing leaked! Soon we were being assisted into our berth on dock C at the marina. It was a very smooth process as the two marina workers assisting us were very capable and clear in their instructions.

It’s a bit of a tight squeeze
Happily in the water
Look at the size of those wheels!

Soon we were tied up and settled and back doing some of the “settling tasks “ such as blowing up the dinghy and attaching it to the davits.

Tied up at the marina and the dinghy ready for inflation
The dinghy inflated and being fixed onto the davits
Gangplank down

It felt so good to be in the water again – preparing for further adventures and with the prospect of more “Salty Tales” to be discovered.

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Salty tales from Bali Hai

In 2015, after a break from cruising of almost 30 years, my husband and I sailed off into the sunset - this time to the wonderful Islands of Indonesia and beyond. Three years passed and we swapped sails for wheels driving through Scandinavia and Europe in a motor home. Now we are on the brink of another adventure - buying a Lagoon 420 Catamaran in Athens. This is our story.

6 thoughts on “Back on board – now you’re talking Turkey!”

  1. Wow – how amazing, Dot! It must be almost unbelievable, after this winter like no other, to be back on the Med and able to sail. That Turkish market is so evocative – we’d love to be there with you! Hope you have a great first sail and that the weather is balmy and spring like. We’ll be thinking of you and wishing we were able to join you there! xx

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    1. Yes it is amazing and we feel very fortunate although of course, we don’t know if and when we can get vaccinated but that was the same in the Netherlands! Lovely to chat yesterday and I hope the rest of your birthday was really wonderful xxxx

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  2. Another great post with great pix. And how exciting to be contemplating the next chapter in your adventure. Sydney is again in lockdown, not from COVID-19, (only one local case in 55 days), but from the worst storm in 140 years and we have been asked not to leave home. 800 mls of rain has fallen on the Central Coast and disaster doesn’t begin to cover it. Sail safely in the sunshine of the Med, we’ll watch vicariously from here.

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    1. Thanks Derek, great to be back in contact! Gosh those storms are ferocious we do hope you’re staying safe and not in a flood zone! Jonathan sends his best and says he’s looking forward to sharing a gin and tonic somewhere in this world some time in the future! Take care x

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  3. As usual I have enjoyed your tale, descriptions and wonderful photos. Gerry and I are particularly partial to a good gozleme too.
    Wishing you great sailing.
    Lots of love
    Lenchen

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