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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

August 2 – Sept 13, 2013 – Happy 65th to Frank and exploring Gocek to Fethiye

Wall Bay is the perfect setting for relaxing in the crystal clear, cool water. This is exactly what Frank did for his 65th birthday, floating on his inflatable lounge chair with cigar and beer in hand tethered to the stern. The weather is glorious! 

In the afternoon we sailed – yes! We actually sailed into Fethiye, berthed at the Yacht Classic Marina, and gathered Bebe, Scallywag and our friend Riza together to celebrate Frank’s birthday dinner in YC’s rather famous dockside restaurant. Bill and Judy prepared a doozie of a gift pack for Frank. They presented him with “Entitlement wine”, an official certificate of entitlement (welcome to the Old Fart’s club!), a disc of their favorite movies and a gourmet birthday cake. I wish I had a photo of the certificate but took it home to Texas, so I can’t show it here. I brought some tacky noisemakers, a sparkly hat for Frank to wear, and treated everyone to dinner. We had a grand old time roasting the Captain. Bill and Judy’s granddaughter Elizabeth was with us, probably wondering what she did to deserve the company of this wacky, childish bunch of adults.

Bill Rouse reading Frank's certificate to Riza

Elizabeth and Judy

Paul and Glor (catamaran Scallywag)

We took Bill and Judy’s advice to book Yacht Classic marina for our winter berth. The price is great and we really like Fethiye. Their market is by far my favorite of anywhere we’ve been and the town has everything we need. Although larger than Marmaris, it feels homey and much less touristy. 
A few days later we took off to explore the coastal anchorages of this gorgeous area, and to do some recon because guests would be arriving soon.  We sailed down to Kas, visited with Laura and Mark Pitt (s/v Sabbatical III). It is just beautiful with a lovely town and nice marina but too far from any airports for us to have considered wintering there. We spent the majority of our time in the Gocek/Skopea Limani  and Fethiye areas because the anchorages around there are just perfect for hiking, swimming and eating. Nearly every bay provides homemade fresh “village bread” and olive oil or honey for sale. In many anchorages a small boat will putter up beside you to cook made-to-order golzeme (sweet or savory). There is even a market boat that makes daily trips out of Gocek, selling a little bit of everything from fresh fruits and veggies to alcoholic beverages. Speedboats in the area offer parasailing, kayaking, skiing; you name it! It is Utopia.

Fethiye waterfront

Lunch on our boat
Love all the fresh fruits and veggies here! 

Destiny with her tent up and Scallywag at Gemlier Island

market boat in Ruin Bay


Just to the NW of Gocek  is “My Marina” at Ekincik. Great swimming area; med moor to the wharf, which is free if you eat in the very pricey restaurant.
Gemlier Bay on the way to Kas from Fethiye, with the island full of ruins of churches and a monastery that is said to be the home of St. Nicholas. There is nothing there but good hiking through the dilapidated monastery and the tombs. We med-moored to shore, backing up over sunken homes. Around the corner are several good restaurants.
The downside – great hiking but the trails are basically goat trails with sharp rocks in many places. I blew out my good New Zealand trekking sandals.

Med mooring is very stressful because the wind invariably catches you abeam making it nearly impossible to back up with our full keel. Watch for sea urchins when mooring to shore or coming into shallows.  

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