Walking the plank and drinking at a “pirates only bar”

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.

Our gangplank having its seals replaced

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.

This log did a good job of holding up our gangplank

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….

Playing Rummikub on S/V Eucalyptus- I think Albert wants to play too……

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.

Or maybe it’s just the box that’s so fascinating

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!

The mobile pump-out set up

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.

Sue and John on Catabella

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.

Nikki checking out the steering position

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.

A naval vessel appears out of the mist

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.

A tourist boat pokes its nose into a cave – we heard a loud graunching noise as it hit submerged rocks!

Gökkaya Limanı is a beautiful sheltered spot surrounded by a group of small islands which gives the bay a fiord-like appearance.

Catabella comfotably anchored in Gökkaya Limanı
Gökkaya Limanı is a beautiful sheltered spot surrounded by a group of small islands
We were anchored roughly where the red circle is. You can also see where the cave is and Smugglers Cove with “restaurant” marked

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 first swim of the season
The bay has a fiord-like appearance
We anchored close to Catabella for easy access!
What a magnificent moon!
It was hard to capture the full beauty of the 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.

The anchorage started to fill up at the weekend

We had more swims that afternoon and had a delicious curry night on Catabella.

A great curry night on Catabella
Nikki enjoying the evening sun
Relaxing with a drink or two

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.

The cave entrance

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.

It was quite dark inside!
Submerged rocks looking like Captain Hook’s crocodile
Definitely looks dangerous crocodile or not!
The black mass is made up of bats, hundreds of them, all squeaking indignantly
Sue, John and Nikki arrive at the cave (Sue has brought an umbrella to fend off the bats!)

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.

Adjusting their eyes to the dark
Photo time! Meanwhile John avoids the crocodiles
Jonathan and I at the cave entrance
Us fleeing the bats!

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?!

Was this a pirate’s den?
Pirates only allowed!

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 owner certainly could be mistaken for a pirate
We decided to forgo a beer for lunch on board
On the way back to the catamarans

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.

The little specks ashore are goats. We love listening to the goat bells tinkling and the goats “maaing” (apparently sheep baa and goats maa)
Making good progress along the path
Sue negotiating a rocky section
Lovely views!

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!

A cute little lizard
Sunday (in foreground) and Catabella at anchor
Jonathan and John (behind bars). Jonathan was hoping for a different kind of bar
And we found one!
Avast me hearties it was a pirate bar!
Waiting to be served
With plenty of “yo ho ho”
Enjoying a beer after our walk
Selfie time!

Thanks to Nikki and Sue for additional photography!

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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.

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