Sailing Turkey's Turquoise Coast - Sail Magazine

Sailing Turkey's Turquoise Coast

Blue Voyages along the Aegean and Mediterranean coasts of Turkey were the brainchild of either Cevat Sakir Kabaagacli, a writer, or Bedri Rahmi Eybo?glu, a painter and poet; Bedri Rahmi has a bay named for him, so perhaps he’s the one. Both found themselves in the area for one reason or another and encouraged their friends to visit. The friends publicized the beauties of the coast and the lives
Author:
Publish date:
turquoise_swimming
memo

Blue Voyages along the Aegean and Mediterranean coasts of Turkey were the brainchild of either Cevat Sakir Kabaagacli, a writer, or Bedri Rahmi Eybo?glu, a painter and poet; Bedri Rahmi has a bay named for him, so perhaps he’s the one. Both found themselves in the area for one reason or another and encouraged their friends to visit. The friends publicized the beauties of the coast and the lives of the local fishermen, and more people came. They still do.

The boats used for these voyages are gulets, built of wood in Bodrum on the Aegean coast, or in Marmaris, in the style of the traditional Bodrum fishing ketch. I’ve heard the name pronounced “goo-let” and “gull-et” (which seems to be favored). They’re generally referred to as motorsailers, and their sailable wind range is quite narrow.

My first gulet experience featured, among other things, lessons in traditional Turkish dancing around the decks under a full moon. I had my second gulet experience last year in late September as part of a press group, and it had all the essential ingredients of the first: a fun group of people, a great crew, a beautifully maintained boat, and an excellent cook. Memo, at 95 feet, can carry 14 guests in seven cabins, and there were only six of us—plus, by the luck of the draw, I ended up in the aft master suite, which could have held all of us. With the mild winds and blissfully warm water of fall—to say nothing of the departure of the summer crowds—it’s a great time to sail Turkey’s Mediterranean coast (the Aegean coast ends and the Med begins at Marmaris).

Turkey’s southwest coast is hardly untrodden; it’s been trodden on for centuries. For example, ancient Caunos, in the Dalyan River delta, is a Carian site dated to the 9th century B.C. with 2nd century B.C. Roman baths and plenty of visitors off charterboats.

We boarded Memo in Marmaris, which was a sleepy little town when I first saw it 20 years ago; its considerable growth has encouraged many of the bareboat charter companies in the area to move their operations to Gcek, in the northwest corner of the Gulf of Fethiye, which remains a small and attractive village. Fethiye, too, is a charming town, with an area of shops too small to be called a bazaar and rugs for sale that will challenge your ability to resist. A visit to the large weekly farmer’s market in Gcek or Fethiye is the best way to discover why your meals have all been so delicious.

If you’re interested in doing some low-performance sailing in a beautiful and interesting area with a large group of family and/or friends, I can’t think of a better way than to book a whole gulet. Bareboating is, of course, another option in this popular charter/cruising area, but have you ever chartered a bareboat whose cook prepares what your doting Turkish mother might have served?

Contacts: Memo is part of the Yesil Marmaris fleet. You can book directly or work with a broker; two brokers I know of who attend the annual Marmaris boat show and check out the gulets are Ed Hamilton and Mary Crowley.

Charter Advertiser Info

Caribbean

Conch Charters, 800-521-8939

CYOA Yacht Charters, 800-944-CYOA

Horizon Yacht Charters, 877-494-8787

Fair Wind Charters, 866-380-7245

Moorings, 888-703-3177

Sunsail, 800-797-5306

The Catamaran Company, 800-262-0308

TMM Yacht Charters, 800-633-0155

Other

Star Clippers, 800-442-0551

Le Boat, 800-734-5491

Related

shutterstock_295810247

Cruising: Nova Scotia’s Bras d’Or Lake

I have rarely had a cruise that wasn’t different from my expectations, and my Nova Scotia travels have borne that out. For my friend and shipmate, Steve White, and me, our 2017 trip to Cape Breton Island and the Bras d’Or Lake on One Timer, my Sabre 362, was a much anticipated ...read more

ElanGT5-a

Boat Review: Elan GT5

Aboard many modern yachts, it can be hard to remember exactly what boat you’re on until your eye happens to light upon a logo. However, this is most definitely not the case with the Elan GT5, a performance cruiser with a look all its own and style to burn.Design & ...read more

01-Lead-P1060210

Handheld VHF Radios

For many sailors, cell phones have become their primary means of both ship-to-shore and ship-to-ship communication. Even the Coast Guard will often ask for a cell number after it receives a distress call. None of this, however, makes a VHF radio any less important—and this goes ...read more

Seascape24

Boat Review: Seascape 24

Since its inception in 2008, Slovenian builder Seascape, founded by a pair of Mini Transat sailors, has focused solely on creating boats that are both simple and loads of fun to sail. With their 18-footer and then a 27-footer they succeeded in putting out a pair of trailerable ...read more

01-Trash-Tiki_in-partnership-with-Subtch-Sports_starting

The Adventurers Aboard Trash-Tiki

If you were in Gotland, a popular island vacation destination off the coast of Sweden, on the morning of July 3, your holiday might have been interrupted by a startling sight: a tiny island of trash approaching shore with people aboard. It was, in fact, a sailboat made from ...read more

atlantic-cup-trailer

2018 Atlantic Cup Video Mini-Series

Atlantic Cup 2018: TrailerThis past spring, SAIL magazine was on-hand to document the 2018 Atlantic Cup, a two-week-long Class 40 regatta spanning the U.S. East Coast and one of the toughest events in all of North America. The preview above will give you a taste of the four-video ...read more

hardangerfjord

Cruising: Holland to Norway

In 2015, we cruised to Norway’s Lofoten Islands on our Nordic 40, Juanona, which we’d sailed transatlantic from Maine to England. Our 2016 plan was to cruise through the Netherlands to the Kiel Canal, sail into the Baltic as far as Stockholm, then cruise the western coast of ...read more

TOTW_PromoSite

SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell.Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.comThe Watch-keeper’s Nightmare The commercial watchkeeper’s most awkward decisions come with a vessel converging from abaft the starboard beam showing a red light. If he’s more than 2 points, or around 22 ...read more