Published: May 11th 2012May 10th 2012
We flew on Atlas Jet from Istanbul to Bodrum and picked up a nice rental car at a very reasonable price. We drove to Turgutreis on the western tip of the Bodrum Peninsula. This is where Jean and John homeport Cadenza, their 43' Brewer sailboat. D Marine is a very modern marina which has all of the amenities one would expect in a 1st class harbor in the U.S. They even have a hotel with a beautiful infinity swimming pool and restaurant. We took one of hotel rooms while Jean and John got their boat shipshape after a long winter’s hibernation. We could walk to the grocery stores and restaurants and hike along the city front promenade. It was still early spring weather, meaning cool and windy for most of our stay there. So we ended up doing several day trips by car to the surrounding points of interest. We had a lovely lunch in the seaside fishing village of Gumusluk. Since our arrival in Turkey we noticed that there are cats everywhere. They all look pretty healthy and probably perform a valuable service of keeping the rodent population in check. I loved having them around, especially the little kittens.
The next day the four of us drove to Bodrum. This is a very popular tourist area especially for Europeans. Fortunately that season doesn't kickoff until May so we didn't have to deal with throngs of souvenir shoppers. We had lunch at a very typical Turkish restaurant where J & J know the owners. On the way back we stopped at West Marine. For boaters, this is like going to Trader Joe's—it is a boaters dream to have one of these close to a marina. I was surprised that West Marine, a Watsonville, CA company, had a store halfway around the world.
We got a really big blow the next day along with some heavy rain. The same storm hit Istanbul and brought the city to a halt with 90mph winds. We saw pictures of the carnage on television. Roofs were torn off, bridges were closed and all of those outdoor merchants had to grab their stuff and run for cover. That night we went to another local restaurant where all the waiters welcomed back Jean and John and we ended up having quite a celebration with some dancing and champagne along with some really tasty Turkish dishes.
TURKISH APPLE TEA
In an Evil Eye glass
Most nights we would have dinner on Cadenza. It was so nice to have some home cooked meals and share good times with good friends. Turgutreis is famous for its beautiful sunsets and we caught a few of them. We visited John and Jean several times when they lived in LaSpezia, Italy. They are great hosts and tour guides wherever we have met up with them. They introduced us to one of our favorite areas in Italy, the Cinque Terra, and now they were giving us the insider’s tour of southeastern Turkey. We saw windmills and cisterns and ruins of ancient settlements and saw what it’s like to live half the year in this sailor-friendly environment.
We had hoped to take a few sailing trips over to Kos, Greece or around the Turkish coast, but the weather didn't cooperate. But we are so glad we got to meet up with our friends and explore this corner of Turkey. We found the Turkish people to be very warm and friendly and the cost of living is still quite reasonable especially when compared to its European neighbors.
After a week we flew back up to Istanbul to spend a
Beautifully designed vessels.
few more days checking out this booming metropolis. The next morning we went up to the hotel's rooftop balcony to watch the Voyager sail into port. What a beautiful sight to see her steaming up to the Bosporus and knowing that we would be cruising on her the next day.
That afternoon we went for a walk along the water to the fish market. We saw the strangest thing. All along the shoreline stands were set up and they were lined with pellet rifles and hand guns. For a few lira one can take target practice shooting at balloons and bottles along the rocky waterfront. It felt weird to see mostly young boys waving around these guns in an area packed with families enjoying a Sunday outing and divers in the water harvesting mussels. There were shards of glass flying everywhere, not to mention the pollution from the slugs and broken glass.
That evening we went aboard the Voyager as guests of our Canadian friends, Hilda and Jarmo. They had been onboard since Auckland and were disembarking the next day. We have taken three world cruises together and really wanted to see them before they flew home. So
A handmade gift in silver
we had a nice dinner and got to see many other familiar cruising pals and staff. We are really looking forward to being back on the Voyager for 10 days sailing along the Dalmation Coast and to one of our favorite cities---Venice.
There are more photos below