A full lockdown began in Turkey on 29 April in an attempt to get Covid cases down before the tourist season begins in earnest. Tonight (Sunday 16 May) we have heard that restrictions will start to be lifted at 5 am tomorrow (Monday).
The aim of the full lockdown was to get cases to around 5,000 a day instead of the almost 62,000 reported on 21 April.
The vaccination program has been going well – on 21 April more than 12.5 million people had received at least their first dose (about 15.4 per cent of the population.)
Now, as we near the end of lockdown, cases have dropped to around 11,400 and over 14.8 million have received at least one dose of the vaccine (18.1 per cent of the population.)
Rather than stay out at anchor during lockdown we decided to go back to Finike Marina as we had various boat jobs to complete and appointments organised.
The lockdown rules said that we could only leave the marina to do food shopping and even then we were, strictly speaking, only allowed to walk to the nearest supermarket. It seemed that even a walk outside of the marina for the purpose of exercise was not allowed.
Fortunately the marina includes four jetties and a reasonably sized area where the offices, shower block and laundry are situated, so we have been able to walk around to get some exercise.
Behind our new mooring spot over near the sea wall the fencing is topped with razor wire so sometimes it feels a bit like we are in a prison exercise yard while we watch people stroll or power walk past to and fro in the mornings and evenings!
The rules around socialising are a bit vague and apply only to residents rather than those on a tourist visa. Basically there is a 24 hour a day curfew but of course, in the marina it appears that there is no expectation that even those with temporary residents cards should stay aboard 24 hours a day. This would be impossible to achieve anyway as we have to use the facilities at the toilet/shower block and visit the office for various reasons, for example to collect mail or parcels.
Some people have refrained from having other people aboard their boats and kept themselves to themselves during this time while others have mixed with others in a reasonably low key way.
It has been the holy month of Ramadan which ended with the beginning of the Eid al-Fitr celebrations on 12th May 2021.
This is a time of great joy and is normally marked with huge get togethers, feasting and the giving of gifts to children. The lockdown has meant that many family celebrations have been cancelled throughout Turkey but yesterday (Saturday) around 30 Turkish marina residents and some friends and family held a low key open-air Eid celebration in the community garden.
The past two weeks have gone by quickly. I have been joining two other ladies for a game of scrabble every afternoon and in the last week we have sometimes played a new (to me) game called Rummikub with friends from another catamaran instead.
Early morning yoga has also begun over the last week. I have to admit, arriving for a 7.30 am start has been a challenge for me but I can honestly say I feel so much better which has been a great incentive to get up in time to attend. Since it is probably against lockdown rules I won’t mention the name of the person who has been leading us but all the participants have really enjoyed the sessions and definitely feel the benefits!
In between the yoga and the games sessions, there have been plenty of other things to occupy our time.
Jonathan has done some maintenance such as greasing the anchor windlass, removing and renewing sealant in various spots and other jobs. We have put all our winter clothes away because the weather is now deliciously warm (but not too hot!)
I have been trying out more new recipes and we have both been studying a language on-line ( Jonathan French and me Turkish).
One of the ladies on the dock we were on previously was writing an article for a Turkish yachting magazine and so one day all the occupants from the boats on her dock gathered for a photograph to be taken.
I have continued to take photos of things I see on my walks round the marina that catch my eye – beautiful flowers, yachts named after birds or animals, etc.
One night we had a wonderful birthday celebration for one of our fellow yachties and another evening we had a pizza and film night.
Last weekend was Mother’s Day (a different day to the UK) and I was was wonderfully surprised to receive to big bouquets of flowers and lovely messages from my two beautiful children.
Lockdown has whizzed by and hopefully we will be out of the marina and back at anchor very soon. Unfortunately we have to wait for an oil seal to be delivered for our electronic gangplank (passarelle), a pressure washer that has got stuck somewhere due to the lockdown to be delivered, a credit card and our residency cards that also should have been delivered and for me to be registered to go in the queue for a Covid vaccination (Jonathan is now registered but there’s been a slight complication with mine.)
Hopefully all these items will be ticked off the list quickly so we can once again drop the lines and start enjoying sailing and dropping the anchor in gorgeous spots on the wonderful coast of Turkey.