Next day we sailed down the coast to a large deep bay called Fethiye Körfezi. Our first anchorage was a idyllic spot with two beaches and trees down to the water. We set the anchor and I was prepared to get in the water to take stern lines to shore when a crew member from a Gulet jumped in his dingy and offered to take them ashore. Karolina and I swam to the beach were sitting at the water’s edge when the same crew member came with a baby squid he found while snorkeling. We held him in our hands and as soon as we handed the squid back, he squirted ink everywhere. The captain of the Gulet came to join us and we talked for quite sometime and then he invited us on board for some afternoon Turkish tea. His charter guests were 5 retired Canadian Women from Calgary who were all former school teachers. We had a wonderful afternoon chatting with them and it was special to be on board a big Gulet. There were 4 crew and the captain and all so friendly. They offered to cook our steaks on their charcoal grill that evening. What hospitality!
We crossed the bay to the city of Fethiye. We had such a wonderful lunch of very traditional food at a small turkish restaurant that was not part of the touristy crowds. We shopped in the bazaar for different items and then went to the fruit stand and struggled back to the boat. That evening we went to the fish market for dinner. It is a big courtyard with several different companies selling fish in the center. You buy your fish then decide on one of the many restaurants you would like to dine and they deliver the fish to that restaurant for them to prepare. It is a very lively and fun atmosphere! We enjoyed Fethiye and will return in a week or so.
12 nm took us to Karacaören Buku which is a bit remote. We picked up a buoy provided by the restaurant. It was here Roland visited almost 26 years ago. A man rowed out to his boat and had a beer on board and was happy to have a friend to talk to. He then invited Roland to have dinner in his restaurant but Roland could not see anything until that evening when he started the generator and lights came in a small shack. Today it is a large waterfront restaurant run by the family.
His daughter talked to Roland and reported that her father was still alive. The rustic ambiance and high mountains make this a very special place. We had plans to sail back in the direction we came from but after exploring the area more we found another beautiful anchorage and decided to stay that night. We “shared” the anchorage with swarms of yellow jackets that arrive just before sunset and flew off at dark and return at sunrise for a couple hours. It was here that a man selling ice cream motored up when we were going to take the stern lines ashore. He offered to do so and we knew we would be eating ice cream bars. I dare say the MOST expensive ice cream we have eaten but all part of the experience. He tried to talk Karolina into coming with him for a hour to help him sell ice cream, this after 3 kisses on the cheek.
Next stop was Ruin bay/Wall bay. We went into the restaurant’s pier and 4 hours later we were totally locked in as so many boats had arrived. They rafted together which blocked our departure. We knew we would have a lazy and late start in the morning and about 11:00 we finally got out. First we took a hike around the bay over to the ruins that is reportedly was Cleopatra’s bathing house and Roland was first to jump in the water to swim where Cleopatra had once swam.
The Wall Bay Restaurant impressed the three of us that evening. They had over 90 people to serve in this remote area. The food was very good, the meat was cooked to perfection and they were very attentive and friendly. The next morning they were all on the pier to wave good bye and help with lines.
A short distance took us next to Tomb Bay. Above the bay on steep cliffs are the tombs which house the remains of the inhabitants of Crya, an ancient provincial town which was on the summit of the cliffs. That was a bit of a steep climb on a marginal path. Not only to see the impressive tombs but the views.
The small town (population 4000) of Göcek is a major port for charter boats. Roland was here 26 years ago when it was only a fishing pier and a very small village. Today there are 5 marinas, a boat yard, multiple restaurants, shops and marine stores, including a large West Marine store. The next morning we waved goodbye to Karolina as the taxi arrived at 0600.