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.
We have anchored close to the village more than half a dozen times and always feel so comfortable and welcome when we go ashore.
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.
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!)
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!
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.
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!)
They came by taxi on this particular day as they were in the process of having some work done on their boat.
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!
Eventually we ended up once again at Jonathan’s most favourite shop – 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
After a wonderful few days it was time for us to move on to our next destination – 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.
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!
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.
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.
We usually prefer to anchor anyway as it’s cooler, quieter and normally more relaxing than being in a marina berth.
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.
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.
The result was that twice we had other yachts drift so close to us that we could almost step onto them from our boat!
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!
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.
Despite these couple of hiccups it was great to be back on anchor in Kas.