An Exclusive Gulet Getaway for Two
Luc and Carine's Cruise Holiday around Fethiye and the Göcek Islands of Turkey
Captain Oktay, Chef Mihrican, Sailor Burak / Sailors Can and Mustafa, Sue
Day 1: Fethiye - Gemiler Beach
Sue met Luc and Carine at their hotel and escorted them to Arkadaslik, making quick stops at the pharmacy and market so they could pick up some last minute supplies.
Once on the boat, they were quick to get settled and we pulled out of the harbour shortly thereafter. The sea was calm, there was a light breeze, and we made the three hour trip to Gemiler Beach.
The sea in this area is typically quite deep, but the small beach at Gemiler provided a great opportunity for Carine to wade in and get comfortable in the water before her first swim.
Dinner was a seafood feast, including barbecued sea bream, garlic shrimp, fried calamari, roka salad, aubergine salad, steamed broccoli, grilled mushrooms, hummus, and zucchini tarator.
Day 2: Gemiler Beach - Ölüdeniz - Gemiler Island
We lifted anchor quite early as needed to be at Ölüdeniz in time for paragliding at noon and made our way to a small bay near Ölüdeniz's famed Blue Lagoon. After breakfast, Sailor Burak dinghy-ed Luc and Carine into Ölüdeniz for their flight from the top of Mount Babadağ (1700 metres).
They landed safely and returned to the boat for lunch and a swim before we lifted anchor and made the short, but not particularly smooth, 40 minute trip to historic Gemiler Island where we'll spend the night nestled between a fancy motor yacht and a tiny sailboat.
Luc and Carine enjoyed a nap before dinner, which featured beef tenderloin on the barbeque, Turkish meatballs, and all the fixings.
The wind picked up over the dinner hour and continued into the night, making it impossible to sleep outside. The crew took extra precautions securing the boat before bed, but it was an early night for everyone.
Day 3: Gemiler Island - Ağa Limanı
The wind died down after midnight and had calmed completely by day break. We had a leisurely breakfast and Luc enjoyed a swim in the sea while the breakfast table was cleaned up.
The 2-hour journey to Ağa Limanı was pleasant - a gentle swell and nice breeze, perfect conditions to be on the sea. We anchored amidst sailboats, gulets and motor yachts in the blue and turquoise bay and will spend the rest of the day here. There is a small beach, which allows Carine to comfortably access the water - she'll probably be an Olympic swimmer by the end of this trip!
Late in the day, there was a crew change. Sailor Burak left and was replaced by Sailor Can.
Tonight's dinner was a simple but hearty meal of barbecued chicken and mezes, including more of Chef Mihrican's home made hummus, lentil meatballs, semizotu kavurması, brocolli and steamed cauliflower, and cheesy zucchini tarator.
Day 4: Ağa Limanı - Sarsala Bay - Binlik Bay - Osmanlı Bay - Hamam Bay
Fall weather arrived overnight. The sun was shining brightly, but there's a bit of a bite in the air.
We had a leisurely breakfast at Ağa Limanı then lifted anchor and headed towards Sarsala Bay to collect a second young sailor (Sailor Mustafa). We then continued on to Binlik Bay, anchoring near a small, protected beach to avoid the chilly wind.
(Sailors Can and Mustafa, although young and experienced, are eager to learn and are tasked with keeping the boat clean and shiny. Captain Oktay has taken to calling them his Ninja Turtles.)
Our stop at Binlik Bay was cut short when guys on the next boat started shooting a gun into the water. Captain Oktay called the Coast Guard to investigate as we made our way to a small inlet just outside Osmanli Bay. Nestled amongst the pine trees, it was the perfect spot for an afternoon nap - sunny and wind-free.
Our last stop of the day was Hamam Bay, where there are ruins of an ancient bath house reputed to have been built for Cleopatra and Marc Antony. According to Luc, there was a certain romantic vibe in the air, so we're convinced that the legend is true. Chef Mihrican outdid herself again, producing a lovely steak in mushroom sauce with all the fixings.
Day 5: Hamam Bay - Bedri Rahmi Bay - Tersane Island
The autumn sun was slow to warm Hamam Bay this morning so we took our time with breakfast. When the sun was up, Luc and Carine kayaked over to inspect the ruins and Captain Oktay tried his best to catch a fish. Although we saw a variety of different sizes and species, they all evaded the hook.
Once the kitchen was cleaned and secured, we lifted anchor and made our way to Bedri Rahmi Bay, anchoring on a small cement jetty to fill the fresh water tanks. Carine napped while Sue and Luc examined the rock painting of a fish by the famous Turkish poet Bedri Rahmi for whom the bay is named. The water tanks filled quickly and we were soon on our way again - this time to Summer Harbour Bay at Tersane Island.
Tersane Island is one of our favourite anchorages. It's perfectly situated for watching sunsets and the absence of pine trees mean there are very few bees and other flying insects. We'll be here overnight, then head into Göcek harbour in the morning to say our farewells before Carine and Luc head back to İstanbul.