|Who needs a holiday?|
|Enki tied off to the shore at Sarsala, in Skopea Limani|
|The goat-track off our stern (photo taken from Enki in position above)|
|Cloud rolling in from the west|
|No dodging this one|
|The boys had great voices, and the mangal (charcoal barbecue) smelled good too|
Before the storm, we had a few perfect days in the Gocek gulf, which is properly called Skopea Limani. It was all about the turtles, really. I've loved turtles since our first cruising season in Queensland. They make me smile when they pop their little old man's head out of the water and then flip their bottom up in the air and dive for cover. This year has been a vintage turtle year with regular turtle sightings from Enki and the kayak in anchorages around Gocek and Kas. But the best by far was when I swam with a turtle on the last day of the golden weather.
I was swimming along, thinking about how I'd like a better mask (one which doesn't leak and which has magnifying glass), when I belatedly recognised the shape of a turtle's back right below me. A neck and flippers too. He was foraging on a rocky ledge down in the dusty blue, as placid as a cow in a field. I wasn't expecting him there, and he either didn't see me or my looming presence didn't frighten him. He was pushing his nose into the cracks and crevices (what do turtles eat?) and shifting small stones with his back flippers. When he'd done in one watery nook, he pushed on. I followed him at a distance. I'm not sure how deep the water was, but even with my dodgy mask, I could keep him in sight as he mooched along, diving and then surfacing to exhale, and then diving again. I was mesmerized by the motion of his flippers, the front ones like angel's wings, the back ones like clever little legs.
We kept company for a bit, and after a while I got bolder, and possibly contravened good wildlife practice by getting close enough to touch (I didn't) his firm mustard-yellow under-belly which does, I must admit, look as though it would make very good eating (sorry, vegetarians, and no, I do not want to eat a turtle....).
Eventually, he decided it was time to sink - he stopped moving his flippers, and dropped like a stone down down into the deep deep blue until he disappeared. I was too cold to wait for him to come up again, but I'd had enough. My capacity for pleasure with turtles has peaked. For now.
|"Pancakes, bread" - floating stall, mother and son|
|Not again...the man is a glutton for pain|
We will enjoy the autumn air which feels so soft and clean, rinsed out by the deluge, and know that whatever we do is gone before we've counted the moments.
|The sun rises over Fethiye gulf (and below)|