Celebrating meals out, anchoring dramas and new discoveries

Arriving at Uçağız, the small fishing village in the heart of the landlocked bay of Kekova Roads felt a little like visiting an old friend.

On our way to Uçağız (photo by Sue on Catabella)

We have anchored close to the village more than half a dozen times and always feel so comfortable and welcome when we go ashore.

The small village of Uçağız where there are more tourist boats than head of population

Covid has really hit this little village very, very, hard. For too long the restaurants have been closed, the tourists haven’t visited to take trips on the beautiful gulets and every shop and business owner has been doing it tough.

On the streets of Uçağız
The restaurants have been empty for so long
Despite the relaxation of Covid regulations there are no tourists
There are always new corners to discover in Uçağız
One of the many Lycian tombs dotted around the village

We tried to do our best to make up for this by spending money where we could – buying some fruit and vegetables at the little greengrocers, eating gözleme one day for lunch etc. (We never tire of watching the gözleme making process!)

The greengrocers
Sue from Catabella stocking up
Getting ready for gözleme creating
From a small ball of dough our gözleme maker has rolled out a perfect circle and is now adding chopped parsley, cheese, and other good things!
She deftly rolls it onto her very long, slim rolling pin and passes it to the cook
On a special large circular gas-heated hot plate, the first delicious gözleme cooks

We also ate twice at our favourite restaurant – Hassan’s – on the waterfront. The second time Sue and I had lobster which was beautifully cooked and tasted absolutely wonderful!

Chef Hassan catches a large lobster
Sue and I slightly regretting our decision
It tasted amazing though

Yachties have been frequenting Hassan’s restaurant for many years and his fame as a fish chef extraordinaire is legendary. It was so special having our first lunch out since lockdown restrictions were reduced, at this legendary spot.

Loved these finely sliced chips
The calamari tasted good too

At our first lunch there we (Jonathan and I and Nikki who had been staying with us and Sue and John from Catabella ) were joined by our friends from Finike Marina Jill and Shelley who live aboard their beautiful Catamaran Eucalyptus (yes, they’re Australian!)

We were were joined by our friends from Finike Marina Jill and Shelley of S/V Eucalyptus
It was a great lunch and catch up

They came by taxi on this particular day as they were in the process of having some work done on their boat.

Hassan after preparing the fish at the water’s edge
Nikki having a chat with Hassan

We had a fabulous lunch and afterwards we walked through the village marvelling at the gorgeous array of flowers on display. This is such a fantastic time of year to visit Turkey!

Such a lovely time of year to be in Turkey
There were flowers out everywhere
More blooms to admire

Eventually we ended up once again at Jonathan’s most favourite shop – The Antique Carpet and Kilim store.

We ended up at Jonathan’s favourite store – The Antique Carpet and Kilim store.

We had already spent considerable time (and some money) the previous day looking at the gorgeous rugs. We had bought a lovely runner which will grace some lucky floor one day.

Jonathan loving getting down amongst the carpets (he was a carpet designer in a previous life!)
Proud owners of a lovely runner. Just need somewhere to put it now!

Once again, the ever patient proprietor and his mentor, pulled out all sorts of beautiful works of art for us to see. Several among us were tempted but wanted to take measurements and decide if a sailing yacht was really the place to have antique rugs.

Carpets, carpets, carpets!
So many gorgeous pieces of art
Outside the shop!

Our visitor Nikki who had sailed with us from Finike and spent almost a week aboard with us, went back with Jill and Shelley in their taxi. It was sad to see her go but she has her own boat that needs her attention.

Bye bye Nikki!

During our stay in Uçağız we had some incredibly windy weather. It was so blowy that we had to postpone our lunch with Jill and Shelley for a day as it was just too rough to dinghy in to the restaurant.

Some of the gulets moved from their berths to anchor out due to the string winds

It was the kind of weather that flummoxes even experienced yachties. Jonathan gallantly went to the aid of former fellow Finike marina residents who unfortunately caught their dinghy painter (rope) in their propellor while trying to anchor.

Jonathan returning the dinghy

The wind was blowing nine bells and the poor skipper had to cut away the dinghy and dive down to free the propeller. What a drama but fortunately Jonathan was able to retrieve the dinghy and bring it back to its owner.

During this window of blowy weather I decided to try my hand at a popular Turkish dish Tepsi kebab (tray bake Antakya). It looked and tasted delicious but we were sadly unable to share it with Sue and John on Catabella as the weather was just too rough for them to launch their dinghy.

Tepsi kebab before baking
Have to make a cake when the weather is bad – it’s a rule!

After a wonderful few days it was time for us to move on to our next destination – Kas.

Catabella on the way to Kas

This lovely spot also feels a bit like home as we have spent quite a bit of time here both this year and in 2020. However we have realised there are always lots of new things to find even if you think you know somewhere pretty well.

The view of Kas from our anchorage

Thanks to Nikki we have discovered the Muhtar supermarket which has lots of goods that are difficult to find in Turkey including cans of coconut milk, green curry base, Marmite and marmalade!

Some of our haul from the Muhtar supermarket

I now have several months worth of coconut milk in my stores!

We also found a delicious pide restaurant, a new wine shop and a restaurant called the Corner store recommended by Nikki where we had a delicious lunch one day.

Muhtar also have a new wine shop

Although we have a contract which allows us to stay at all the Setur Marinas in Turkey we had already exceeded the 28-day limit at the Kas facility which is why we anchored in the sheltered cove near the marina hard standing.

The last gulet on the hard standing gets “splashed” ready for the new season

We usually prefer to anchor anyway as it’s cooler, quieter and normally more relaxing than being in a marina berth.

The peace and quiet of an anchorage as the sun sets

Strangely we had two instances during our stay which definitely weren’t relaxing. Both times it was – despite perfect conditions – due to boats coming into the anchorage that failed to anchor correctly.

But wait – why is this boat cuddling up to us?!

Instead of laying their anchor by reversing slowly once it was dropped, the skippers just slung the anchor over and didn’t even stop to check it had set correctly.

She is slowly inching nearer!

The result was that twice we had other yachts drift so close to us that we could almost step onto them from our boat!

The cheese counter at the new wine shop

One yacht owner quickly realised that he was too close and pulled up some chain and ensured his anchor was set. The other seemed totally unconcerned and didn’t do anything until Jonathan made it quite clear he wasn’t happy with his anchoring and wasn’t wanting to be woken up at 3am with his boat banging into us!

The Corner Store restaurant

Fortunately discretion being the better part of valour, the other skipper decided he wouldn’t want to be banging into our boat at 3am either so he hauled anchor and actually did a decent job second time round.

Looking for cushion covers

Despite these couple of hiccups it was great to be back on anchor in Kas.

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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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