Sunday, 6 September 2009


Hi from Clare, Saturday 5th September 2009

AS GOOD AS IT GETS We have had a great week enjoying flat calm conditions, sunny days, warm nights, 29.6 degrees water, picturesque anchorages, good food, fine wine, peace and quite, no mosquitos - sounds too good to be true? well I forgot to mention that the flies bite. Nasty little black flies that inflict a 'drive you out of the cockpit' type bite. I settled down to have a relaxing read and instead had a full on game of tennis in the cockpit with the fly swat. Oh well, I guess we haven't arrived in heaven after all.

FABULOUS SAILING We had a good sail from Marmaris to Gocek. We were close reaching and Andrew was feeling a bit competitive so the boat was well trimmed. We passed a fifty footer much to our delight and the other skipper's surprise - he turned his engine on. We changed course around the headland and put the spinnaker up sailing at a comfortable 7 knots in a 10-12 knot breeze. The first time we did this trip a few years ago with our Australian friends Colin and Denise the wind got to 20 knots, it developed into a wild ride as we had trouble getting the spinnaker to furl up. Thankfully we had experienced people with us and since then Andrew has made some modifications to improve the furling. This year's trip around the same corner with the spinnaker up was very pleasant.

THE PEOPLE YOU MEET We have met up with our Swedish friends Ulf and Irma who we first met in Crete last year. Recently we have been in contact with them via email and so we rendezvoued in a bay south of Gocek. They moored up against us and we shared the evening catching up. They have family with them for the next two weeks so we have committed to met on 13th to celebrate Irma's birthday together. The family leave on 14th so we we are looking forward to spending some time with Ulf and Irma after that date.

We also met an Aussie couple, Les and Fran, who own the Dive Centre in Terrigal NSW. Although working full time, they have an yacht in Turkey and come here for holidays whenever possible. We came into their anchorage to buy bread and they invited us over for a morning coffee and a chat. It's always nice to met Aussies and to hear the chant Aussie Aussie Aussie is music to the ear. They are at an exciting time with their dive business. The Navy has decided to sink an old warship right outside their shop and they can't wait 'till the artificial reef proliferates.

Recently we were anchored next to a charter boat and they asked if we had one or two onions they needed for dinner. No problems, so the onions were handed across and in return they offered six bottles of beer. I was embarrassed by their generosity and said it wasn't necessary, but it was their last night on the boat and the beers would be left in the fridge, so we accepted them gratefully - and enjoyed them.

STOP PRESS While I'm typing this Andrew (who is rewiring the fridge to reduce the voltage drop) is poised with the fly swat trying to kill the little biting demon that just caused him to kicked over his tool box and utter a few expletives.

HA HA, VERY FUNNY We are having a wonderful relaxing time in a small and private anchorage near Gocek. At night we presently have a full moon and the water is so clear that we can see the bottom in the moonlight. It is like having our own floodlit heated pool at our doorstep. We have our last swim and shower just before going to bed and sleep peacefully. It is so lovely I could stay forever. A man selling fresh (still warm) village bread arrives each morning around 7.30am. The bread is baked in temporary stone ovens by Turkish peasants who camp here in tents for the holiday season and cash in on the tourist trade. They are doing a roaring trade with the yachts and good luck to them, the bread is delicious.

This is a ideal bay for me to practice driving the dinghy. I can start the outboard, reverse, drive around the bay and come back to the boat without crashing into the side. This is a big improvement on a few years back when in the Bahamas, I just about drove the dinghy onto the wharf because I went faster instead of slowing down. I now feel confident I could take myself into town and back. I haven't done it yet, but I will soon. When I'm leaving the boat, Andrew (living dangerously) makes comments like "Do you want to take your fins incase you have to swim back?" Ha ha very funny, his confidence is overwhelming.

WHAT HAPPENED TO PEACE Oh no! our bay is filling up with other boats. There is a yacht, a power boat and a day tripper boat from Gocek. There are children everywhere and guess what, crying sounds the same in Turkish.

Oh well that's life. love CANDY

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