Don't rock the boat!

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April 2nd 2018
Published: April 5th 2018
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I know my limits and boats rocking, swaying and turning while anchored up is definitely one of them. I'm not exactly feeling very 'Intrepid’ (my tour company's name) as we set off for our boat trip from the tiny fishing port of Ucagiz, near Kas, one of the most southerly parts of Turkey on the Turquoise Coast. The thought of being stuck on a boat feeling completely nauseous and not able to get off fills me with dread. It doesn't help when lots of kind people in the group try to reassure me 'You’ll be fine, no worries’. Obviously none of you have been stuck on a lobster dory waiting for the fisherman to haul up his pots and sort his catch whilst bobbing about and turning round and round on the anchor. OMG I wanted to die I felt so sick! It was a huge relief to find someone else in the group who was feeling equally anxious and we reassured ourselves in a more practical way than the well meant 'you’ll be fine’ -ing with what we termed our Wimp Out Option i.e. checking that IF our fears were realised we could actually get off the boat and book a hotel instead of being trapped on a vomit factory all night.

Before we get to the boat our bus stops off at a famous beach, famous that is if you have the 12th edition of the Lonely Planet guidebook as Kaputas beach is the photo on its front cover. We don't actually go down onto the beach itself as it's in a little cove down many, many steps. We take a few photos from above instead, the couple sunbathing down on the beach ignoring us!

Further along the coast we see the closest Greek island to Turkey, Meis. If you're a film buff you’ll know that the film Mediterraneo, set during World War II, was filmed on the island. It's about 5 Italian soldiers who wash up on the island after their boat is sunk by the allies. They find the islanders hiding out on the island and make friends with them. They even begin to forget the war and romances develop. Meis Island is also where refugees, mostly from Syria but also Afghanistan, try to cross to Greece and then on to other countries. They are often picked up by the Turkish authorities who regularly carry out patrols. Sadly some don't make it. With too many people attempting the crossing in one boat and without buoyancy aids many tragically drown.

And so to our boat trip. We arrive at Ucagiz and meet our captain and cook, a lovely local couple. We learn that many fishermen in this town have converted their little wooden fishing boats for tourist trips. Our boat has an open upper section and a main deck area, some of which is undercover with comfy seating around the edge. There's also a galley kitchen and a little toilet room.

As we pull out of the harbour area we begin to see the beautiful scenery all around us. It's predominantly volcanic rock jutting up out of the sea and covered with a smattering of small trees and shrubs. The sea is a vivid turquoise blue. We anchor up in a small bay (no swell at all, it's flat calm) and the crazy ones of our group put their swimming stuff on and jump straight off the stern of the boat into the water. It looks so inviting, that is until I dip my toe in and realise there's no way I’m jumping into that. It's FREEZING!

The sun is out and the boat trip is idyllic and neither me nor the other potential wimp out optioner is feeling sea sick at all. Phew.

We anchor up at another little cove and see some more Lysian tombs. The crazies go for another swim and a snorkel to look at some of the underwater ruins and tiny little fish swimming amongst them. We are joined by a couple of other boats. How very dare they - this is our cove and our trip around Kekova island. We again realise how lucky we are to be travelling around Turkey before the main summer holiday hoards come.

Once the swimmers are back on board we go close to the edge of the cliffs where lots of ancient houses were destroyed by an earthquake, the island of Kekova being formed, splitting from the mainland. We can see sunken remains under the water and steps leading into the waters edge. There are also loads of ruined houses on the cliff sides.

Next we moor up at Siemens a small village on a hillside with a castle at the top. It's a steep climb to the top, but worth it to see the views. On the way down we see some ladies sorting a huge pile of oregano, for which the region is famed. I get to make friends with yet more cats and we take a look at a tiny little amphitheatre which supposedly seated 200. We reckon that would be pretty cosy!

Back on board the boat we play a few games of backgammon and cards before being treated to a really scrummy meal made by the lovely cook. And then for the fun and games. We anchor up just outside the harbour we’d started from and then bed making begins - some are laying out under the stars with extra blankets to keep them warm, the rest of us are on the main deck, covered area. It's a bit of a squeeze but we all get sorted, keeping most of our clothes on to keep warm. Fortunately an early snorer was just teasing us and the rest of the night is quiet. I keep rolling as I turn towards one side, as the deck is sloped. I tuck one of the blankets under the edge of my mattress and this seems to stop the rolling.

A cold night on board the boat with not a lot of sleep BUT we didn't have to evoke the 'wimp out option’ as there was no swell at all.

After a breakfast on board we pack up our few belongings and say ‘teşekkür ederim’ (thank you)to our captain and cook for such an enjoyable time on board.

Now it's time to drive to Antalya - the Turkish adventure continues.

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