A week after full lockdown in Turkey finished and Covid restrictions had begun to lift, the engineers at Finike marina started to put our hydraulic passerelle (gangplank) back together.
For many weeks it had been propped up with an ingenious steel bar (which we hadn’t asked for but appeared after they had removed the hydraulic system) and then later, a rather large log.
All that had been wrong with it was a slight leak of hydraulic fluid. It needed a seal (or what turned out to be a number of seals) in the hydraulics replaced. Seemed simple enough but the replacements had to be flown in from Istanbul and because of the lockdown, deliveries were severely held up.
It was so good to have it fixed finally and not to have to struggle to get aboard with the passerelle sticking up at a perilously high angle when the tide was low. At last we could walk the plank!
We were rather shocked at the bill – we were verbally quoted a sum for the work and then when it came time to pay, the bill was double the quoted amount. Eventually it was reduced to the original sum but it left an unpleasant taste in our mouths.
Note to self: get written quotes and warn the contractor that unless extras are discussed as they occur and signed off, they will not be paid! Not that there was any extra work done in this instance but still….
Maybe there is an expectation that customers will “bargain” when they receive a bill and thereby a mutually agreeable price reached or perhaps the contractors here in Turkey think we are all fabulously wealthy and can afford to pay elevated prices. Either way, being charged over and above what was agreed doesn’t sit comfortably with us.
Other jobs to be done before we left included a pump-out of the black water (toilet) tanks, a service to our large in-house generator, lots of food shopping and last minute games of Rummikub aboard S/V Eucalyptus!
At last, after almost exactly two months in Finike marina we cast off our lines and left to feel the wind on our faces, swing at anchor and enjoy some more sailing adventures.
We left Finike Marina on Thursday 27 May heading for one of favourite spots – Kekova Roads.
Leaving with us were our buddies Sue and John on Catabella and aboard Sunday was our new neighbour at Finike marina, Nikki from Destination Anywhere.
Nikki had quickly become a good friend since arriving at the marina during lockdown and we invited her to come along for the ride, as she is currently on her own and her very large (and beautiful) Beneteau is hard to sail singlehanded.
There was very little wind so we motored to our first anchorage, and as we slid through the beautiful clear water a mist settled around us which created an eerie atmosphere.
Fortunately the mist lifted as we approached Gökkaya Limamı and we were very happy to see that Catabella was safely anchored in an excellent spot and that there were only a few boats in the anchorage.
Gökkaya Limanı is a beautiful sheltered spot surrounded by a group of small islands which gives the bay a fiord-like appearance.
Aah! It was so good to be at anchor again! After a lovely (cool!) first swim of the season, in the clear blue water, we had a celebratory barbecue aboard Sunday and late in the evening we were treated to the most glorious full moon.
The following day Sue and I taught the others how to play Rummikub (taught to us by Jill and Shelley on S/V Eucalyptus) – a fun game that apparently originated in Israel but is very popular here in Turkey.
We had more swims that afternoon and had a delicious curry night on Catabella.
The following day we took our dinghies to explore the beautiful cave on the south side of the small and uninhabited island of Ashil Adasi.
Inside the cave there are rocks lurking under the water like Captain Cook’s Crocodile while high up in the roof of cave tiny little bats squeak loudly and irritably at being disturbed.
The bats were starting to dart around in the dark – too close to our heads for my liking – so we headed out to explore the promising sounding “Smuggler’s Cove” just a short dinghy ride away.
At the mouth of the cove was a motor yacht anchored but as we made our way along, the cove started to narrow and the water became too shallow for a yacht to anchor in.
Then we saw a building that could possibly have been a pirate’s den, a smuggler’s lair or was it a bar?!
A notice proclaimed that “Pirates Only” were allowed and the guy who greeted us definitely looked a lot like a pirate! He offered us cold beers, coffee and çay but there was no food available (due to lockdown). It was lunchtime so we decided to return back to our yachts for lunch rather than go ashore.
The following day we decided to see if we could walk to the bar along the rough track that the goats take each morning to find new things to eat.
It was a very pleasant walk with lovely views and strenuous enough to make us feel we deserved a cold beer at the Smugglers Inn Pirate Bar before walking back!
Thanks to Nikki and Sue for additional photography!