A Celebration of Life, Love, and Family
Cruising Kekova with the Rolland Family
Suzanne, Claude, Laurent, Eric, Genevieve, Chanel, and Julio
Suzanne's plans for this epic family reunion have been in the works for quite a while. We're delighted to host her celebration of life and love with far-flung family.
Day 1 - Julio's Day
- We left Göcek harbour as soon as Genevieve arrived at the boat. (Everyone else in the group flew in last night.)
- Captain Oktay took us to Summer Harbour Bay at Tersane Island for lunch and a quick swim about 30 minutes outside of the harbour.
- At lunch, Suzanne honoured her parents before the group enjoyed their first meal together on the boat.
- From there, we headed across the Gulf of Fethiye to the day's final destination, Gemiler Island. Suzanne surprised her family with a drive up Mount Babadağ, the 1700 meter mountain overlooking Ölüdeniz that is particularly popular with paragliders. After enjoying the magnificent sunset, the group returned to Arkadaslik for a lovely dinner of barbequed sea bream.
Day 2 - Chanel's Day
- Happy Canada Day!!!
- The crew woke early for the first leg of today's journey. We lifted anchor around 5AM and made the 5 hour trip to Kalkan, where we stopped for breakfast and a swim.
- After the breakfast table was cleared, we made our way to the Greek island of Meis, slowing down to examine an underwater mountain with peaks just a few metres below the surface of the sea.
- As we approached Meis, Sailor Selim changed the boat's flag from Turkish to Greek as a sign of respect for entering the foreign water.
- The group enjoyed a lovely seafood lunch overlooking the Meis harbour and iced coffee before heading back to the boat.
- Continuing eastward for another 2 hours, we slowly cruised past the Sunken City of Kekova before heading to the Gökkaya region, our final anchorage of the day. Chanel and Julio were thrilled to finally use the stand-up paddle boards, and everybody enjoyed fun time in the water.
- Everyone is exhausted this evening as we completed nearly 10 hours of cruising, covering 150km. What a wonderful day!
Day 3 - Genevieve's Day
- The day started out with a bit of excitement when Chanel, Julio, Genevieve and Eric enjoyed a ringo ride around the Gökkaya region. Sailor Selim rode in the tow boat and took fabulous photos.
- After leaving our overnight anchorage, Captain Oktay took us to a pirate cave, big enough that the front of the boat fit inside! After visiting the cave, we headed to beautiful Furunoz Bay on the south side of Kekova island for a while, where Julio and Chanel climbed the rocky cliffs surrounding the cove and "almost" made it to the mouth of another pirate cave.
- After lunch, we cruised past the Simena castle and stopped at the tiny village of Uçağiz for a while to fill the fresh water tanks. It was very windy, so Captain Oktay took us to a protected cove for dinner and overnight. The cove is beautiful, overlooked by a small castle-like building, and an ancient settlement lies just beyond the coastline. We nicknamed it "San Lorenzo Bay".
- Once dinner was finished and the crew completed their evening chores, Sailor Selim and Chef Ozan brought out their fishing gear. Chef Ozan caught a calamari!
Day 4 - Laurent's Day
- Waking up in "San Lorenzo Bay" was pretty special. Goats dropped by for a visit, and we got the drone out to take some pictures of the area.
- After breakfast, we lifted anchor and headed to the foot of the Simena castle for some time to explore the castle village.
- Castle explorations complete, Captain Oktay piloted Arkadaslik through some windy weather for a few hours while we cruised to Binder Bay outside of Kaş.
- We hopped on a water taxi for a quick trip into Kaş for sightseeing, Turkish ice cream, and drinks before heading back to the boat for the evening.
- Another seafood feast for dinner - including calamari caught by Ozan earlier in the week. Très magnifique!
Day 5 - Eric's Day
- This was a slower paced day, starting with a relaxed breakfast at Binder Bay just outside Kaş, then a 2-hour cruise to a bay outside of Kalkan.
- Sea conditions were perfect for capturing video of our passage through newly-named "Suzanne Strait".
- Rather than head into Kalkan town, the group elected to spend the afternoon in a nearby bay, swimming, paddle-boarding, kayaking, and relaxing.
- Eric hosted a "Dîner en Blanc" - everyone wore white (including crew!) - and shared stories of love, life, and laughter well into the night.
Day 6 - Claude's Day
- Day 6 was another early morning start, as Captain Oktay started the boat at 5AM for the long and bumpy ride to Ölüdeniz. (Unfortunately, sea conditions prevented a stop at Butterfly Valley.)
- After breakfast and some time for enjoying the water near the Blue Lagoon, we lifted anchor again for the short (30 minute) hop to Gemiler Island.
- Lunch and dinghy-driving lessons for Chanel and Julio in the channel between Gemiler Island and the mainland.
- Late in the afternoon, we lifted anchor for the final stretch of the day - 2 hours to Tarzan Bay (named because of the ropes hanging from the trees over the water).
- Steak dinner followed by a chance to hang memory strips on the Arkadaslik "Congratulations" banner.
- After breakfast and a swim, we made the trip into Fethiye to drop the group off at their harbour-side hotel.
- There were many hugs and a few tears as the Rolland family disembarked for the second week of their family adventure in Turkey.
It was an absolute pleasure hosting Suzanne's special family holiday. We'll remember you every time we pass "San Lorenzo Bay" in the Kekova region, or pass through "Suzanne Strait" just outside of Kalkan. Thank you for including us in your family celebration. Safe travels for the rest of your holiday.
Love, Sue, Captain Oktay, Sailor Selim, and Chef Ozan