Dalyan Expats Celebrating the End of Lock-Down
Social Distancing in the Göcek Islands
Allan called us on behalf of a group of Dalyan expats in desperate need of a relaxing getaway after enduring 12 weeks of quarantine. The itinerary we've created is a good blend of rest and relaxation, with a thrilling open water crossing thrown in for good measure. We especially look fowa to hosting this group - our first cruise of the 2020 season!
Dodge & Denise, Graham & Sue, John & Margaret, Kevin & Jean
Captain Oktay, Sailor Ozan, Chef Hüseyin, Sanitizer Sue
Day 1 - Göcek - Kille Bükü - Ağa Limanı
The group arrived in Göcek around 11:15AM and, after socially distant greetings and temperature assessments, shuttled to the boat via dinghy in rough water. Everyone made it aboard safe, sound,... and mostly dry. We immediately lifted anchor and headed out of the harbour.
First stop of the cruise was the picturesque Kille Bükü for swimming and lunch. Oktay and John got the fishing rods out and managed to hook two tiny fish, which we're returned to the water to grow up.
Day 2 - Ağa Limanı - Ölüdeniz - Gemiler Island
We woke in an overcast Ağa Limanı, but the clouds cleared quickly. After breakfast, part of the group made the trek to the plateau high above the bay. (Note to self: Good walking / hiking shoes are essential for this trek!) After checking out the church ruins, cistern, and local farm, the group made the downhill hike and spotted a gigantic sea turtle swimming in the bay.
Captain Oktay lifted the anchor and headed towards Ölüdeniz after the hikers returned to the boat. The 2-hour journey was a bit rough, so lunch was delayed until we were close to our destination.
The coast guard was patrolling nearby - paying particular attention to a luxury yacht anchored nearby - so we spent a good part of the afternoon making up stories about what could be going on. The police helicopter circled overhead too, but we never learned the true situation. In addition to providing a perfect spot to watch the superyacht schenanigans, it provided a great spot from which to watch pirate ships returning their passengers to the beach.
After Sailor Ozan and Chef Hüseyin returned from grocery shopping in Ölüdeniz, we cheered on a group of high-diving daredevils then made our way to Gemiler Island, about 40 minutes away.
We spent the rest of the day at Gemiler Island (aka St. Nicholas Island / Santa Claus Island) and will explore it in the morning.
Day 3 - Gemiler Island - Merdivenli Bay - Hamam Bay - Martılı Bay
Our day started with a hike around Gemiler Island. The early morning start allowed for cooler temperatures and we had the island to ourselves. "Bob the Cat" accompanied us from start to finish.
After the hike, we returned to the boat for breakfast then raised the anchor and headed back across the Gulf of Fethiye to the Göcek Islands region, where we stopped at Merdivenli Bay. The group took a short hike in the canyon and swim, but jelly fish prevented the group from enjoying the water as much as hoped.
We ate lunch at Merdivenli and then headed to Hamam Bay for a few hours of swimming fun. Sailor Ozan and Chef Hüseyin amazed us all with their high dives from the trees overlooking the bay.
As evening started to fall, it became obvious that our neighbours were on a "party boat" so Captain Oktay recommended we move one last time - to nearby Martılı Bay - for our overnight spot. Everyone agreed - the quiet bay was the perfect spot to spend the night, and the fish were plentiful. John managed to catch 4 within minutes of casting his hook!
Day 4 - Martılı Bay - Aquarium Bay - Summer Bay at Tersane Island - Osmanli Bay - Şeytanli Island
We enjoyed a leisurely start to the day with breakfast and swimming at Martılı Bay with goats nearby.
We then lifted anchor and cruised to Summer Bay at Tersane Island, via Aquarium Bay. (Aquarium Bay is home to a submerged lighthouse foundation!) The paddleboards and kayaks provided great entertainment in the pretty turouoise water. Once everyone returned to the boat, we lifted anchor again and headed off in search of the Migros boat.
Ironically, we spotted it as it was approaching Tersane Island from the opposite direction, so we turned around and returned to the mouth of the bay. The Migros dinghy came and collected Sailor Ozan, Denise and Jean for a little shopping. Once they'd made their purchases and returned to Arkadaslik, we made our way to Osmanlı Bay where we joined the queue to fill the fresh water tanks.
Tanks full, we made our way to Şeytanli Island for the final night on board - celebrated with a lovely steak dinner and champagne.
Day 5 - Şeytanli Island - Göcek
Our trip came to an end shortly after breakfast at Şeytanli Island. Captain Oktay told the Göcek marina office a bit of a fib, claiming we needed diesel so we could anchor on the deck. It certainly made for easier disembarkation!
We said our goodbyes at the bottom of the gangplank, and certainly hope to see this fabulously fun group again. Thanks for a great time!
Dodge versus the Paddleboard
Hüseyin's Plunge (Slow Motion)
Ozan's Dive (Slow Motion)
And Here's What They Had to Say...
John's Review on Trip Advisor - ★★★★★ - Wonderful
Dodge's Reveiw on Trip Advisor - ★★★★★ - Dalyan Expat Cruise
Thanks for a fabulous first cruise of the season, guys. We look forward to seeing you again! #staysafe