After I skipped my annual sailing trip on the 2007 season, this year i felt it is too damn missing to me and I have to do it. My family was feeling that too. Well, at least my wife and my elder daughter that have sailed with me few times before. My younger son did not have the chance to experience it yet.
We have arranged a family crew based on us 4 plus my sister's family and one of my (many) nephews that came over to assist with the ship handling.
After a sleepless night we managed to arrive to Gocek pretty early in the morning and the boat was not yet ready for us.
To Mariners: this year the only boat that was available in Top Yacht Gocek for these 4 days was their Sun Odyssey 49 DS 'Able Tasman'. The boat is very roomy and very comfortable and we could hardly tell we are 8 people there. one of the best features of this boat is the bow thruster that made it very easy to handle and maneuver in and out anchorages. To those of you who don't know Top Yacht standards of boat maintenance, they are super high. although this boat is fairly new (2 years) you cannot tell it is a charter boat. Top yacht are also maintaining a relatively high minimum inventory and equipment on the boat. However, I found Able Tasman a bit below the standard of the other Top Yacht fleet. these are small things like electric winches, chart plotter in the cockpit, windlass control from the cockpit and a performance rig that are missing to me. Bottom line, the boat is big but nice and quick and very easy to handle.
We got organized and left Gocek at about 15:00 towards Kapi Creek. on our few last legs we managed to catch a nice sailing condition to try the sails handling. it was great fun to see this big boat on 8 knots. the kids felt wonderful and we all enjoyed the quite sailing and the views of the southers Skopea Limani.
To Mariners: The Skopea Limani (bay) is about 7 miles long and about 2 miles width. all rounded by islands with narrow passages and high hills. the prevailing winds are hiting it's southern part and sliding from the mountains to the bay. although there are many wind direction changes, the conditions for sailing are brilliant there.
We arrived into Kapi Creek at about 5:30pm and made a little swim with the kids before it will get dark. Kapi Creek is like the season gauge, if it's not too crowded with boats then the season is fairly low. I guess it was the Euro 2008 soccer cup that left many people at home. This made a nice room for us to find ourself a good berth for the night. We had a nice dinner on the water front but we retired to sleep very early due to the lack of sleep from the night before.
A lovely sunny morning welcomed us and after easy wake-up we left Kapi Creek towards Fethiya.
Fethiya is a nice town with a big sheltered harbor. and a big Marina inside. we decided to save our money and not spend the night there just to get there for a visit and buy some fresh provisions to the rest of the trip. It was about 2 hours of motoring that got us there. I decided not to take a marina spot but to drop an anchor next to the marina and so we did. We had the traditional Late breakfast which is usually fairly good and then we dropped the dinghy boat to the water and drove the people a shore to the town dock. I stayed on the yacht to clean the breakfast and arrange the boat. but most of all to do an anchor shift to see the boat does not move.
To Mariners: Fethiya is a very sheltered from waves but it can get very windy there, so if you plan to anchor there, better use all your anchoring skills and stay away from other boats. If you don't ave anchoring skills... better not to sail in Turkey.
After 2 hours, my crew came back and we headed towards Gemiler Island. usually the leg from Fethiya south to Gemiler is a bit bumpy due to waves hitting the rocks, so I decided to take leg into the bay by sailing and then back south. it was a good decision as things were smooth and calm and we even had a chance to see a 3 foot sword fish jumping out of the water right next to our boat. We reached Gemiler and dropped the anchor for a short swim and of course a debate with the Turkish boats that are coming near you and insist that you will buy ice cream from them.
After a short swim in the refreshing water and a cold watermelon we lifted the anchor and moved just around the corner to Freshwater bay. This is one of my favorite spots. it is a very sheltered little bay with room for maybe 20 boats around it. The water there are extremely cold due to an underwater spring that is flowing into this small cove, so it's tricky to think about swimming there. However, while Alona was preparing us dinner we took the dinghy to shore and climbed the path up the hill to the scenery restaurant there. Not to eat but to watch the view.
After a nice Friday night dinner the kids went to sleep and we continued with some wine to enjoy the Sabat evening under the nice moon above.
To Mariners: At about 4am I started hearing the spinaker halyard clapping on the mast and understood a high wind is blowing. I went outside and so was that. I first took the halyard away from the must to stop the noise and then started to check the anchoring and the lines ashore. There was no risk to the boat but I decided to continue the night in the cockpit for just in case. There was nothing critical but on 5:30, since the wind did not drop we lifted the anchor and left Freshwater bay.
A quite Sailing, while the rest of the crew is sleeping took us to the anchorage next to Hillside resort. This is another traditional anchorage we have which is perfect for breakfast and swimming. Since I had a rough night I took a nap of an hour or so till the breakfast was ready.
At about noon time we left there heading back to the Skopea Limani using sails only and a nice speed on them. until we moored in Tomb Bay. It was very nice there although on our short visit My son managed to step on a sea urchin. A cold watermelon made him, and us forget about it and we went straight back to Gocek.
We ended the evening on the superb Can restaurant that amazingly remember me year after year. and not surprisingly I remember them and their sea food and pepper stake...
It was well worth it. Not sure I will be able to survive a year before the next sailing.
A more pictures slid show... on my next post.