A spirited sail from Greece brought us to the coast of Turkey. It was new sights as a traditional designed Turkish sailing boat called Gulet sailed in front of us. These are used mostly as charter boats. On the horizon was the tall Minarets and the dome of the Mosque. A new sound was the calling of prayer from the Minarets 5 times a day.
Although it is not possible to understand, it is enchanting to listen to as it is done through singing.
After getting settled in our slip in the city of Turgutreis, Roland departed to the marina office where they immediately sent him to customs and immigrations. We had been warned that this could take many hours. I remained on the boat with our yellow Q-flag hoisted. After 2 hours Roland called me to say our agent was coming to the marina in a grey car to bring me to the customs control. They wanted to see my face. Upon arriving at the terminal the customs police said to me “what is the problem”?? I replied no problem with a smile. I knew he was joking and that was about all the english he spoke. He stepped into his booth, just like at any airport, looked at me and stamped by passport.
Roland was still involved with the Port Police Captain for the boat papers. As I sat in a waiting area I was listening to the authorities, who at that time, had nothing to do before the next ferry arrived. Although I did not understand a word, I quickly understood that they like to joke and have a sense of humor. When they completed the paperwork and Roland and I were leaving, the customs officer said “bye bye, customs, NO problems”. Everyone laughed. Our kind agent then drove us to the nearest Turkcell office to get our internet SIM card. Next was a short walk to the nearest bank to exchange money. This took 55 minutes waiting for our number to be called. Then back to the marina office with our customs papers stamped, the marina was able to complete their paperwork. This was all done in 4 hours. Not so bad! We rewarded our self with a Turkish coffee.
I mention our first dinner in Turkey because the experience was incredibly friendly. The waiters were very helpful in recommending and choosing our food for us. They talked and joked with us during the evening when they had a moment and it was the longest we have spent in a restaurant on our entire trip. A memorable experience. Yes, the food was very good!
We now have 5 days before we need to be at our destination to receive our first guest. It is a beautiful area. Our third evening at anchor we experienced the “Invasion of the Wasps” just as the sun fell behind the mountain. Within a minute we had 100s of them around the boat until dark. Same thing the next morning at daybreak. I attempted to exercise but that lasted 5 minutes. Now there was even more. We had to close all the ports, hatches and put the bug screen in the companionway. We were help captive in our boat until the sun rose enough to drive most of them away. After a rollie night at anchor our mood was not so inviting for the curious invaders.
Our next anchorage was near a camp ground. Growing up my family always took yearly camping trips. Walking through the area I had to chuckle because there were no major differences between Turkey and Washington State; trailer or tent, the covers and enclosures for the picnic table all looked very similar. As I write this Roland is being a mountain goat to get photos of the bay and Bella Luna, of course. Sea Water temperature is 27.8c / 82F degrees.