May 18 – 26, 2016 —
Our friend, John, met us in Gocek and we sailed further east to the town on Kas, Turkey. Still along the “turquoise coast”, the barren mountains and pristine water are stunning. John got his first opportunity to take the long lines ashore in our first anchorage and did a great job. Finding a rock that is a good size and shape to hold the lines to the boat is the first challenge. Getting the chain around it and securing it, while balancing on another rock, and not losing the dinghy, is the next.
We revisited our favorite places in Kas that we had discovered last fall. First is Mehmet’s rug store, Kervan Handmade Carpets, where we picked up several small rugs for the boat last November. Mehmet is from Konya, a conservative city in central Turkey. He looks totally hip and has a quiet style. He was open and sharing with us, proud to explain Muslim beliefs and answer our dozens of questions. We all felt better educated from our time with him. We also learned a lot more about rugs. And yes, we bought another rug.
While in Kas, Bob and John spent a day diving. In both Greece and Turkey diving is only allowed with a professional dive group. Too many antiquities have disappeared in both countries via divers.
On our way back to Fethiye, we stopped overnight at the small island of Gemiler Adasi where there were the ruins of a rather large Byzantine community. As we were getting organized to do our long lines ashore drill, along came a local in a small boat offering to assist. Normally we turn down such offers as we are not always sure of their skills. We recognized this man from last fall when we had seen him help other boats at a nearby anchorage. He told us to pull forward into the center of the bay and drop the anchor. The depth instrument showed over 100 feet! We thought he was a nut case. I think we all heard Bob muttering “and this is why we don’t…” Anyway, he insisted and we did as he instructed. After all, what´s the harm in giving it a go? Skeptical, Bob backed the boat as we started to let out chain. To our surprise the anchor caught despite the depth still showing 85 feet of water. From there the boat boy took our long lines and tied them to rocks on shore in the usual manner. He then approached us with his small boat filled not only with fresh fruit and bread, but a freezer full of ice cream. He had arrived at the right boat! We got ice cream for the boys, along with some fruit and bread, and gave him a tip for the anchoring assistance. Everyone was happy! Bob and John then headed to shore for a climb up the hill to explore the ruins while Sara prepped dinner.
Technical note: The anchor caught in 85 feet of water because the slope of the bottom towards the shore was so steep. Normally we need five times the depth for our Delta anchor to have the correct angle to hold on the bottom. In this depth that would have required around 450 feet of chain, 200 feet more than we carry. However, because of the slope of the bottom we achieved the same angle for the anchor with only 150 feet of chain. It really worked! We learned something new that day—from our new friend the boat boy. It was quite odd to see the anchor chain going almost straight down into the water while bar taught.
We had so enjoyed the abandoned town of Kayakoy with Robert the week before that we took John there for his last night. It was an opportunity to explore the ruins again, have dinner in the popular restaurant and see their wine cellar that is housed in the lower level of the 400 year old stone building. The wine cellar boasts 1,700 bottles of wines all produced in Turkey.
The dinner was one of our best dining experiences we have had in Turkey. The food, ambiance and service were all outstanding. For one of the entrees for the table we ordered lamb cooked in a sealed clay pot, called testi kebab. It is a traditional method of cooking in Turkey. The meat is placed in a slender clay pot like an ampule along with various vegetables and seasonings. The pot is then sealed and placed in an open fire. They bring the pot to the table on a bed of hot coals and crack it open with a hammer. The lamb was delicious and moist because it cooked in all the juices. Plus, it was an unforgettable presentation!