It really is a small world, especially when it comes to the yachting community!
We had been anchored in Yalikavak for a couple of days when a beautiful Amel ketch called S/V Dusk came into the anchorage. It turned out that this lovely boat belonged to Tracey and Steve Bell from South Africa. After a quick radio conversation they came over to our boat S/V Sunday in their dinghy.
“We’ve just spoken to our friends on the Aussie boat Sunday,” they said. “We just had to tell them there was a boat here with the same name and they told us they knew you and to come over and say ‘hi’!”
Turns out that Tracey and Steve had spent nine months in Tunisia and Sicily (and various places in between) with the owners of the other yacht called Sunday – a young couple, Britnni and Ryan, who have a popular YouTube channel called “Sailing Sunday”.
Strangely, Brittni and Ryan were the first people we met when we sailed into Turkey in June last year and then we were the first people Tracey and Steve met when they first arrived. Sure is a small world with many coincidences!
From Yalikavak, a popular place for super yachts to stop, we went to Tükü Bükü which is described as being the place “to see and to be seen”.
There were plenty of swanky looking vessels Med moored on the way into the bay but thankfully we didn’t have to join them as we managed to find a good place to anchor.
Although it was very much the end of season, and many shops, bars and restaurants were closing down, there were still some lovely looking restaurants open and a few very exclusive shops!
There was also a fresh food market where we stocked up with a few things.
After a pleasant couple of days we sailed across the bay to Didim marina, our base for the next six months.
We had to wait for quite a while (at least half an hour) at the entrance before the marinaras came to help us into our berth. Not a great start!
When eventually the dinghy came out to greet us there was only one (young and inexperienced) guy to assist us. The whole exercise did not go well! Fortunately, things got a little better the following day. We were visited by two different companies, both very professional, who set to work immediately on the small jobs we needed doing.
The passarelle (electronic gangplank) had stopped working after we had it fixed (at vast expense) in Finike Marina. Hydraulic fluid was now pouring out of the newly installed seals. This time the repair was made in two days – a job that took two months previously – and the price was way less than half the amount we had paid previously.
The second company sent a guy up our mast to check our masthead light and replace the bulb. Other small jobs were completed in record time.
We were delighted to be reunited with Sue and John, our travelling companions and friends from our buddy boat S/V Catabella. They had been in Greece (doing a ten-day cruise rather than undergo hotel quarantine in England) and then spent several weeks with family before returning to Didim a few days before us.
It was great to have them to show us around and we quickly settled in, enjoying the facilities at Didim marina such as the beautiful “Yacht Club” hotel.
The first Saturday we went to the massive and wonderful market in town. Stall after stall of fantastic fresh fruit and vegetables, fat and juicy olives, dried fruit and nuts of every variety, as well as clothes, household goods, tableware, hand carved wooden implements and much more.
A couple of day’s later we experienced something which we hadn’t come across for more than six months – RAIN! Beautiful, torrential, soaking rain!
Although we were absolutely thrilled – Turkey has been coping with a terrible drought this year – we were also concerned about the change in weather as my sister Julia was arriving from England for a week in just a few days time.
Before Julia’s arrival we were amazed to see a strange and rare phenomenon – Mammatus clouds. They looked like fluffy bubbles in the sky and John (a retired airline pilot who knows about such things) explained that they indicate the arrival of harsh weather and alert pilots of potentially dangerous conditions .
The rainy, stormy weather continued for several days but on the day Julia arrived the blue skies were back and we had perfect weather on every day of her stay.
We decided to spend our first day together in and around Didim. We had a good walk to the beachside suburb of Altinkum and back – Julia had a swim in the sea even though the water felt a bit cold for Jonathan and me!
Later that night we had a good meal in one of the restaurants within the marina precincts – a great way to end Julia’s first day aboard!