Speaking of restored ruins, I offer the two items below as evidence of the powerful restorative effects of greatly diminished responsibility and generous doses of sunshine and saltwater...and other pleasures. Scrabble, for instance!
More games in store. I bought a backgammon board, made from olive wood, at the market in Kas. My new friend Suzanne offered to teach me how to play, but then, as boating people are wont to do, she and her husband Brian took their Nordhaven 57 down to Kekova and I'm on my own with Turkey's favourite board game. Alex promises to play.
Gocek is probably Turkey's classiest yachting destination, Turkey's St Tropez, if you like. It sits at the head of a wide gulf which is protected by a rim of blue misty mountains, some of them very high. A chain of islands running north-south down the gulf offers enough interesting anchorages to string out over a week's cruising, without too many miles to cover between breakfast and cocktails. The perfect charter destination, in other words. Plus (and here's the clincher) Gocek is only a half hour's drive from Dalaman airport, compared to Marmaris's hour and a half, which is mightily attractive to those who have more money than time.
|The approach to the gulf of Gocek (and Fethiye) from the south|
|Some people need more room than others|
So we're sitting pretty amongst the big boys' toys, kicking up our heels in the clear water for which these anchorages are renowned (they're also very deep, which makes anchoring a bit hairy). We've scraped the barnacles from Enki's waterline, and done the washing. Read the New Yorker. Restful things. Those billowing clouds you can see in the pictures above are a regular feature of the sky now. We keep a close eye on them.
We got caught out the night we left Kas by a thunderstorm we didn't see coming - though we ought to have. Unfortunately, we weren't in a good position to ride it out. The anchorage around from Kalkan became very crowded after we'd arrived, and we found ourselves boxed in by a gulet on one side, and a small charter yacht on the other. Alex took the photo below at about 11 pm, before the storm broke. He had politely (yes, Alex can be polite) suggested to the charter boat skipper that he move his boat, since there was electrical activity around and it was anyone's guess where the squalls would come from. The skipper declined to move his boat then, and declined yet again as the wind became wilder.
We didn't sleep that night. The sea built up quickly, and we stood watch anxiously as Enki and the charter boat and the gulet moved around their anchors and between our/their lines attached to rocks onshore. The charter boat bounced up and down like a toy in the angry sea, its bow about a metre from our stern at closest, and at one point its anchor chain dropping down right under our boat. Finally, a big squall on the beam flipped our anchor out of the weed and sandy (not good holding) and we dragged onto the gulet - oh, you don't want to know.
By 3.30 am, we had re-anchored much further out in the bay, in 24 metres of water, thankful for a full moon and our powerful new windlass. But we were not happy with that skipper who had given us no way out except to up-anchor. Very rude. He ended the night rafted up to the gulet. Shameful. He couldn't get his anchor up.
|The Turkish navy's firing zone included the seven capes|
In today's BBC world news I read that the Turkish army began shelling Syrian targets yesterday, Wednesday, after Syrian fire killed five people in a Turkish border town. Today the Turkish parliament has authorised cross-border action against Syria. Target practice suddenly looks not so frivolous.