Turkish Delights Page 3 - Sail Magazine

Turkish Delights Page 3

We had already concluded, after only a few days in Istanbul, that we’d never figure out the Turkish language. Then we saw our Sunsail charter boat. The stern carried a French flag and the boat’s name: UAGIZ. My wife, Kathy, and I have dealt with a lot of foreign languages, but this one truly had us scratching our heads. And asking a dockhand didn’t help much. I heard “Oo-gosh,” and
Author:
Publish date:
Social count:
0
Turkey8.int

Scenery and History

For the rest of our trip, we enjoyed perfect winds sailing over a deep blue sea in a place once traveled by the likes of Odysseus and Saint Paul. Kathy is on a first-name basis with all the Greek gods, which made her a portable shipboard reference. My lifetime interest in history made ancient place names and Bible references pop back to mind at unpredictable intervals. The week became a series of “Aha!” moments.

I am Odysseus,” Kathy’s journal reads. “It is not too late to seek other worlds.”

Turkish history is colorful, thanks mostly to its being the bridge between Europe and Asia. Armies have marched across her land, navies have struggled to control her waters, and silk and spices from the Orient have been lugged across her mountains. In a massive relocation launched by the country’s first president, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, in the 1920s, the entire Turkish Christian population was swapped for Greece’s Muslim population. Dozens of towns were evacuated and still lie abandoned today.

If you want ruins, they’re here, still relatively undisturbed. The seagoing Lycian civilization flourished right where we were sailing for more than two thousand years, leaving the surrounding islands covered with the remains of towns and the world’s first step toward democracy, the Lycian League. We dropped anchor off Gemiler Adasi (“Ship Island”), tied a stern line to an ancient stone warehouse and climbed among some of these buildings, imagining the lives of those who had lived and worked there long before either Christianity or Islam appeared.

And so it went: from Sarsala to Karacaren to Kapi Creek to the tourist town of Gcek, we sailed, motored and motorsailed through winds ranging from zero to 15 knots and temperatures going from hot to very chilly. We even had a bit of rain. Not knowing what to expect, we'd packed for all kinds of weather and wore everything we had.

The Sunsail pilot book recommends several anchorages for snorkeling, but for us the water was simply too cold. A couple of the hardier Brits did go swimming, but only once and briefly at that. Winter, which is cold here, was not quite over, and the hot summer sun had not yet had time to warm the Mediterranean. Here, sailing during the summer calls for all the standard protective gear: shorts, sunscreen and a good bimini over the cockpit. We wondered if the cabin fans would move enough air to cool the interior in July, and decided spring and autumn are probably the ideal times to cruise here.

Thanks to the good weather, Kathy got in plenty of time at the helm. Unlike our sessions on the narrow Severn River back home in Maryland, where big wind shifts are the norm, she had plenty of time to visualize what was happening to the boat in the steady breezes. She ended the week a much better sailor.

The last day of the cruise was to be a race back to Fethiye, but this was cancelled by both a lack of wind and the Turkish Coast Guard. As we drifted across the starting line, tacking to cover the British racing skipper in a very slight breeze, a patrol boat appeared and chased us away. It turned out that there was an officially sanctioned race in the same area, and we would be in the way of those boats. It’s the first time I’ve ever been declared an obstruction to navigation.

At a group dinner back at base in Fethiye, we felt relaxed, physically tired and enthusiastic about all we had just seen and done. Not only had we made some friends, absorbed a lot of history and consumed thousands of delicious calories (this is not a place to diet), we’d discovered that it was possible for us to charter successfully as a couple. By any measure, it was a fine vacation that served as a true testament to the benefits of flotilla cruising.

Related

Stearns Photo

Racing the Solo Mac for a Cause

There are plenty of reasons to do a Chicago-Mac race, and Rich Stearns, who has done literally dozen of ‘em should know. This year, though, he’s doing the Solo-Mac for an especially important reason: to help those with prostate cancer.“Two years ago, I was diagnosed with prostate ...read more

TOTW_PromoSite

SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell.Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.comRafting dangerOne unseen danger when sailing yachts lie alongside one another for a convivial night is that if they happen roll to a wash or begin to move in an unexpected sea, the spreaders can clash ...read more

180615-01 Lead

A Dramatic Comeback in the Volvo

After winning three of the last four legs in the Volvo Ocean Race (and coming in second in the fourth), Dutch-flagged Brunel is now tied for first overall with Spanish-flagged Mapfre and Chinese-flagged Dongfeng following the completion of Leg 10 from Cardiff, Wales, to ...read more

MFS-5-2018-Propan-SP02

Tohatsu LPG-powered 5hp Propane Motor

Gassing it UpTired of ethanol-induced fuel issues? Say goodbye to gasoline. Japanese outboard maker Tohatsu has introduced an LPG-powered 5hp kicker that hooks up to a propane tank for hours of stress-free running. Available in short-, long- or ultra-long-shaft versions, the ...read more

180612-01 Landing lead

Painful Sailing in Volvo Leg 10

It’s looking to be a case of feast or famine for the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean fleet as it continues the epic struggle that has been Leg 10, with it having been all famine thus far. Painful is the only word to describe the light-air start in Cardiff, Wales, on June 10, as the 11-boat ...read more

01-13_07_180304_JRE_03695_4605

Tips From the Boatyard

Within the Volvo Ocean Race Boatyard sits a communal sail loft which provides service and repairs for all seven teams sailing in the 2017-18 edition of the race. The sail loft employs only five sailmakers who look after 56 sails in each stopover. If you’re thinking, “wow, these ...read more

sailCarwBasicsJuly18

Sail Care for Cruisers

Taking care of your canvas doesn’t just save you money, it’s central to good seamanship  Knowing how to take care of your sails and how to repair them while at sea is an important part of overall seamanship. The last thing any sailor needs is to get caught on a lee shore with ...read more

Ship-container-2048

The Danger of a Collision Offshore

This almost happened to me once. I was sailing singlehanded between Bermuda and St. Martin one fall, and one night happened to be on deck looking around at just the right time. The moon was out, the sky was clear and visibility was good. Still, when I thought I saw a large ...read more