After our lunch at the Carpetium, we bused to the coastal town of Marmaris. The bus let us off in town where we could change money, buy batteries, and snacks, medicines, etc. Owen needed mosquito spray after getting bit at the Kismet Hotel. Others wanted sea sick medicines. After shopping, we walked to the pier for our first glimpse of our oak and teak gulet with the ramp ready for us to board.
When our luggage comes in, we each get our room assignment and meet the crew. Everyone is sort of discombobulated as we get acquainted with the gulet.
Dining is on a covered deck with a wonderful, restful spot aft to enjoy that Gina and Owen explore.
Captain Faisel is sailing for Ekincik Cove as we explore our new quarters.
Mehnehten is the other crew member. He does everything except cook and do the washing.
Ali is our cook and he prepares really good meals in this little kitchen. Usla chooses this boat over others because of Ali’s cooking, he told us.
The weather is quite cool and we think it may rain.
No one chooses the foredeck with its restful red cushions, where everyone will hang out when the sun shines. It is a really beautiful boat.
I envy people who find it easy to relax. The rules of the ship are thus: No paper in the toilets. One shower per day, no dirty shoes on the deck and common area below deck. We learn about safety, where to find life jackets, the quarters are quite small with a porthole for air and light. The generator goes on twice a day. The battery light dims after so many hours, and I was glad to have my little flashlight. When the generator kicks in, there is a plug in station where you can plug in electrical devices like camera batteries or phones. The bar is open and has just about everything you might want in wine, beer and spirits, you know, the important things.
It is happy hour. We strike a toast, I think the word is shed-et-tay in Turkish. As we raise our glasses, I personally think to myself, am I really aboard an old fashioned sailing vessel along the gorgeous Turquoise Coast with some of the nicest people in the world?
The morning of April 25th, we board a river boat, above is the captain, and we motor to the Dalyan River, to a National Park, with stops along the way.
Our gulet lays too in the beautiful, peaceful cove. Usla tells us in full season, the cove would have twenty or more boats.
We motor about, enjoying the scenery.
Picture postcard islands pop up here and there.
As the river Dalyan, empties into the sea, a long strip of land separates the Mediterranean, dotted with umbrellas, from the riverside where we are. The Turkish Riviera is a favorite of Brits, Germans and the Irish. On our return, we saw brave swimmers in the cold waters.
The river is named for these fishing weirs, called dalyans, where locals have supported themselves in the abundant waters for centuries. Usla is hoping to spot a protected loggerhead turtle on the beach.
Usla has arranged for us to meet a fisherman so we can buy blue crabs. Here we spot a loggerhead attempting to get a blue crab off the fisherman’s line. They like to hang around the fishing pier, but we know they are chummed. Even so, we are grateful knowing the turtle will come to no harm.
Looking for another handout, Usla tells us that blue crabs are their main source of food in this estuary.
We can order crabs to go with our lunch and pick them up on our return to the gulet. Owen and I order a bag of four crabs for 9 tl.
The estuary is a shallow beauty with bulrushes and birds as the Dalyan winds through the grassy tufts that form a protective barrier for the land.
Beautiful marsh grasses wave in the breeze.
We disembark to visit the Lycian site of Caunus, an ancient ruins. More tomorrow.