Highlights of The Cruise
Day 1: Göcek Harbour – Martili Bay – Ağa Limanı
- Before boarding the boat, Ceili bought a bathing suit and Georgia bought a dress at the boutique shops in Göcek.
- We left the harbour and headed to Martili Bay in the Göcek Islands region to see if we could spot Baby DeeDee, a donkey that was born a few weeks ago. There was no sign of her, so we continued on our way to Ağa Limanı for an afternoon of swimming and paddle-board fun.
- At Ağa Limaı, we almost lost Auntie Carole Ann when she drifted out to sea on a paddle board without a paddle.
- Shawn screwed up his courage and ate fish and shrimp for dinner, and Georgia ate some shrimp, which she proclaimed tasted just like chicken. Everyone agreed, dinner was tasty!
- Jetlag took its toll and everyone headed to bed early.
Day 2: Ağa Limanı – Marmaris
- We had an early start, and the sea was a bit rocky at the beginning of our 5 hour trip to Marmaris. We stopped at a small bay filled with daily boat trips and scuba diving boats for a short swim before heading into the harbour.
- In Marmaris, everyone visited the castle, enjoyed milkshakes, and Uncle Jim bought some new sandals for wearing on deck. Then we cleared customs, Oktay bought lots of Rakı and cigarettes at Duty Free, and Georgia bought M&Ms.
- While we were sightseeing, a motor boat caught fire in the bay we had recently visited and we could see the smoke from the harbour. (We saw the clean-up operations and investigation as we left Marmaris.)
- Shawn asked the sailor for a "Jack and Coke" and Hakan proudly presented him with a glass of each! Much laughter, teasing, and a short tutorial about preparing mixed drinks ensued.
- We spent the night in Kadırga Limanı.
Day 3: Marmaris – Rhodes
- The early morning journey to Rhodes was rolling, but relatively uneventful. (One guy on a passing sailboat mooned us, but otherwise, nothing much to report.)
- Arrival processes at the Greek port have changed since our last visit, and we all had to present in person at passport control. Muradiye collected us from the boat after breakfast and drove us to the passport control office for processing, then returned us to the marina so we could prepare for a day of exploration around Old Town.
- Suitably attired in walking shoes, cool clothes, and armed with our water bottles, we headed out for a few hours of wandering, shopping, and ice-cream eating in Old Rhodes Town.
- On the walk back to the marina, Georgia took photos of pigeons and other "odd birds" on the beach.
- We rested up for a while, showered and changed, and got ourselves ready for an evening out at Mama Sofia's near the old clock tower in Rhodes. (Sue and Oktay wore their matching "home is where the anchor drops" t-shirts, a gift from Auntie Carole Ann.) Stavros and his family put on a fantastic spread and the food kept coming all night long. What a feast we had!
- Shawn and Uncle Jim gifted Captain Oktay some new flip flops.
Day 4: Rhodes – Lindos
- After breakfast in the harbour, we made a quick visit to Pappou Market to pick up a few more groceries before heading out of the marina and turning right towards Lindos.
- The girls did homework, Ceili saw a dolphin and Oktay caught a tuna during our 3 hour trip south. Plumber Shawn spent part of the trip tightening the faucets on the sinks in the guest cabins.
- After some time for swimming and enjoying the water in the bay at Lindos, we headed into town for sigh-seeing, shopping (new "evil eye" earrings for Georgia), beer ("3 beers please"), and ice-cream. (The ice-cream shop served cannabis ice-cream, but none of us partook.) We even had the chance to scope out St. George's Bay for a possible visit with the boat. (Pretty crowded, small and shallow, too much risk with our boat.)
- Georgia christened the underwater camera.
Day 5: Lindos – Rhodes
- It was an extremely windy day, but we caught more tuna on the return trip to Rhodes, and managed to wash several loads of laundry.
- We arrived in the Rhodes Marina in time to complete export formalities for tomorrow's departure from Greece.
- Afterwards, Shawn, Wendy, Georgia, and Uncle Jim headed back to Old Town where Wendy got some more new shoes and a lovely gold ring, Georgia got matching shoes. Sue, Ceili, and Auntie Carole Ann went shopping at Public for reading lights (successful) and coloured pens (unsuccessful). The trio then headed to Pappou for champagne requested by future guests.
- Back at the boat, the boys ogled a lady with "enhanced bossoms" who was washing her boat in a slightly too small bikini. For whatever reason, Georgia was also fascinated by the spectacle and took dozens of pictures.
- Exhausted from jet lag and suffering from higher than normal temperatures, Wendy had a "straw that broke the camel's back" moment and temporarily lost her cool.
Day 6: Rhodes – Marmaris – Ekincik
- After breakfast, we headed into the rolling seas for the trip back to Marmaris. Unphased by the rolling conditions, the girls did homework for most of the journey.
- Captain Oktay anchored the boat for a short swim break at Kadırga Limanı and we spotted a huge sea turtle (Caretta caretta) near the boat. There were entirely too many Day Boats so we left quickly to get away from the chaos.
- Once we cleared passport control and customs (gin and more cigarettes), we made our way to the main Marmaris harbour. Highlights of our stop included: Grocery shopping at Migros, shopping at LC Waikiki and the US Polo Association, ice-cream for everyone, coloured pens for Sue and Georgia, new hairstyle AND new bathing suit for Shawn. We also got the boat filled with diesel for the next leg of the journey.
- Ozan arrived on the boat.
- Captain Oktay shaved, resulting in him looking 10 years younger! Sue went with 2 French braids today – a new look!
- More laundry!
- Shawn thought he saw the Loch Ness Monster, but it proved to be a goat standing on some rocks.
- We witnessed "alpine-glow" as the sun set on the rugged coastline as we made our way to Ekincik for the night.
- We noticed that the weather is getting slightly cooler, especially as the sun starts going down.
Day 7>: Ekincik – Gökgemile – Gemiler Island
- Woke up at 5AM – it was really dark! Lifted anchor at 5:30AM, just as the sun was starting to rise. Sue went back to bed, but everyone else stayed up to keep Captain Oktay company on the rough and bumpy journey to Gökgemile.
- We stopped for lunch, fun in the water, and a quick drone flight in Gökgemile before continuing for another 3 hours across the Gulf of Fethiye to spend the night at Gemiler Island.
- Sue and Auntie Carole Ann won CRIBBAGE CHAMPION OF THE UNIVERSE awards. Shawn won a participant ribbon.
- Georgia caught an orange, googly-eyed fish.
- We could see the lights from Babadağ 1700 restaurant while anchored at Gemiler Island.
- Auntie Carole Ann spotted several big fish while snorkelling.
- Georgia jumped off the bow of the boat. (We still haven't seen a real dive from her.)
- This night was voted best night for sleeping and star-gazing during the cruise!
Day 8: Gemiler Island – Kalkan
- Another early morning start, but everyone was up on deck. It was a lovely trip from Gemiler Island to Kalkan!
- Big wind in the afternoon while we were anchored at Fırnaz Bay near Kalkan. Lots of boats had difficulty with their anchors, but Big Boy held strong.
- Auntie Carole Ann knit 4 inches on Teddy's hat!
- We have run out of books, so everyone is sharing. Some books are being read by more than one person at a time!
- Georgia had great success fishing, and Oktay caught a HUGE tuna!
- Ceili slept in and had two naps!
- Today marks the mid-way point on our two-week adventure, so Sue and Wendy changed the beds and put out fresh towels as needed.
- Sue and Shawn played Backgammon. Sue won 2 tournaments. Shawn lost 2 tournaments.
- Overall, a nice relaxing day with a gorgeous view of Kalkan.
Day 9: Kalkan – Kaş – Kekova Region
- This will go down in our collective memories as the day all the big fish got away. Not just one, not just two, but three massive fish slipped their hooks today – much to the disappointment of everyone onboard.
- We left Kalkan and headed to the collection of rocky outcropping called "the seven islands" (which is odd because there are 8 islands) near Kaş before finally anchoring at a place we called Canyon Bay for lunch. Although the bay was empty when we arrived, it quickly filled with day boats, so we made a hasty retreat as soon as lunch was finished.
- As the afternoon progressed, we made our way eastwards towards the Kekova region and anchored at Konschuk Kanyon for the night.
Day 10: Exploring the Kekova Region
- Sue flew the drone and captured photos of Konschuk Kanyon and surrounding area.
- After breakfast, we left the charming little anchorage and cruised past the Sunken City of Kekova.
- The channel was busy, so we continued the journey, looking for another perfect spot to stop and enjoy the water. Fortunately, Federico Bay near the pirate cave was available for our exclusive use, and we spent the afternoon and evening looking out towards the open sea.
Day 11: Demre Day!
- The journey from Federico Bay to Demre was quick and we found ourselves dropping anchor in the tiny harbour just after breakfast. A water taxi arrived to take us from the boat to the dock, with a mini tour of the harbour to watch the resident sea turtles.
- Our driver took us to Myra (fascinating, but hot), the St. Nicholas Church (fascinating, but crowded), the local market (expensive), and the new interpretive center at Andriake (fascinating, and well worth another visit when we have more time).
- While we were touring, Captain Oktay and the boys cleaned the boat and refilled the water tanks.
- Returning to the boat, we quickly left the harbour and headed to Furunoz Bay for the night.
Day 12: Kekova Region - Kaş
- Leaving Furunoz Bay after breakfast, we headed to Simena castle for a visit – and the promise of the best home-made ice-cream in the universe. The bay was packed! Oktay wasn't able to secure his normal mooring spot, so made do with just dropping the anchor while everyone went ashore to explore (and enjoy ice-cream).
- The coastguard made a visit and requested that we replace our slightly raggedy Turkish flag. We complied immediately. (The edge of the flag frayed during the windy crossing from Rhodes to Marmaris earlier in the trip.)
- We then left the Kekova region and started our journey towards home.
- We anchored in front of Kaş harbour and took the dinghy into town for a bit of exploring – and an ice-cream (or two!). Sue, Shawn & Ceili joined Hakan on a grocery shopping expedition, then hit up LC Waikiki and bought Captain Oktay a closetful of new shorts and t-shirts. (Shawn got a matching t-shirt, and Ceili bought a lovely peach coloured top.)
- We spent the evening in Bayındır Bay, just outside town.
Day 13: Kaş - Kalkan
Day 14: Kalkan – Butterfly Valley – Ölüdeniz – Gemiler Island – Domuz Island in the Göcek Islands Region
- A long day at sea! Started with a rolling, early morning trip from Kalkan harbour, past Butterfly Valley (too wavy to stop) and Ölüdeniz to Gemiler Island where we stopped for a couple of hours. Amazingly, Plumber Shawn recaulked all the showers during the journey. Then we continued across the Gulf of Fethiye.
- Mid-way across the Gulf of Fethiye, a mini-windstorm hit. There was lightning in the surrounding hills and howling wind, but (almost) everyone fared well on the trip back to the Göcek Islands region.
- We anchored for the night at an unnamed bay at Domuz Island, and many other boats joined us because it was protected from the howling winds.
Day 15: Domuz Island – Kitle Bükü – Göcek Harbour
- Waking after a relatively uneventful night anchored at Domuz Island, we made our way past the famous painting and rock tombs at Bedri Rahmi Koyu and anchored at Kitle Bükü for breakfast and a final swim opportunity before heading into Göcek harbour.
- Not surprisingly, there were tears and ice-cream as we said our goodbyes.