Going back on memory lane, I remembered one of the nicest sailing trips I had with Funsailing : in 2014 we went to Dodecanese area and Turkey coast.
Why was it one of the best? Firstly, because we flew over there, and did not have to drive there forever and ever. Secondly, because the weather was amazing : really hot, just sunny, and the water was perfect. And thirdly, but most important, we had amazing company.
Friday, 12 Sept 2014
“Ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon. Welcome on board flight XXX to Istanbul…”, and that’s when the holiday mood kicked in, and awaken the party-animals in us :). The event had in total 5 boats, so around 45 people, out of which around 30 flew together with Pegasus Airlines (you can imagine what atmosphere other innocent people had on the planes). The ticket, Bucharest-Istanbul-Bodrum and back, was around 150 euro, we booked it with 3 months in advance. From Bodrum a van took us near Marti Marina(where the boats were waiting), and we slept at Evcan Apart , a nice villa with very friendly owners, who spoke 0 English, and we spoke 100% Turkish via sign language (very tiring). The villa wasn’t big enough for all of us, so some of us ended up sleeping in a van, or in a hammock on a balcony; the owner and his family slept on tables in the kitchen… But nobody cared, in a few hours we would be on a boat 🙂
Saturday, 13 Sept 2014
We wake up early, highjack the owner’s kitchen and coffee maker, and our Romanian van becomes a taxi to transport all of us at Marti Marina. The skippers did the check in, the crew did the shopping, sets everything up in the boat, and we are ready to leave (you can feel most of the crew has been sailing before, they move quickly and effectively). Well, almost… surprisingly my boat finished shopping late, and everyone had to wait for us to be ready (with the exception of Wulkie, who, as always, left the port like Speedy Gonzales). But, that small delay proved to be a blessing the entire week, our official cook (Ionela) treated us like kings, by serving us amazing food, starting with beef and Gorgonzola sauce, to potato soup and guacamole 🙂 Sometimes it’s worth waiting! Also, our crazy men took advantage of that time and put a nice show in place: acrobatic diving 🙂
We eventually leave Marti Marina for our first night in the wild, in a secluded golf in Selimiye, amazingly quiet and calm with just us. We have a yummy dinner at candle light, afterwards nobody can resist the calm and warm sea around us, so we end up having a nice party jumping in the sea and drinking beer on the howsers until 3-4 AM.
Sunday, 14 Sept 2014
Some of us slept on the deck, as it was really warm and nice outside. Waking up was an easy task to do, who needs coffee when you can just jump in the water and refresh yourself swimming. The sea was so calm and nice, that most of us preferred to have breakfast from there 🙂 .But… we need to leave for our next destination, Dirsek Buku. There’s plenty of wind outside the golf, so all skippers are in heaven: finally a full day of nice sailing. We arrive in the evening in Dirsek golf, have a nice dinner, a night swim, and go for a well-deserved sleep.
Monday, 15 Sept 2014
Monday is “surprise the skipper” morning: after a good coffee-swim, and a nice breakfast, Popix and Luci reveal a very nice surprise: all Funsailing skippers get their own personalized pavilion. After a photo-shoot, the pavilions are tied in place on the 5 boats, and we leave for the next destination, but not before a couple of minutes of struggle to free our anchors: it seems our skippers decided to start a new career: crocheting with anchors. Sailing, stop for a swim and lunch, more sailing, and we reach Datca, a busy marina, where we’ll be spending the night.
The old town of Datca is worth visiting, so our skippers organize a bus to take us up to the old town, for an evening walk and souvenirs shopping. Great place! We have dinner all together at one of the terraces in the port, and afterwards a “silent disco” on the boats: “supica” and storytelling, a perfect way to end a perfect day.
Tuesday, 16 Sept 2014
Morning comes, and with it another destination: Greece, Symi. We arrive there quite early, check in, as it is another country, rent scooters/cars, and off we go exploring the island, in search for nice beaches and good Greek food. You could really feel we left Turkey, besides the great secluded beaches, gyros and octopus and Greek salad made our day.
Evening comes and our skippers talked with a bar owner in the port to have a party there (they’ve been there 4 years before and they remembered them). We ended up taking over the bar for the night , Perju and Andu ( aka Pagal) kept us awake till early morning with great music, and everyone contributed for some “supici” which made us happy-happy and dancing on tables, bars and window frames ( don’t ask!). Our craziness could be heard by the entire port, but surprisingly nobody came to complain.
Wednesday, 17 Sep 2014
Blurry day, wonder why? 🙂 We come back to Turkey, heading to Coban Ali in Bozukkale golf, an old friend of the guys , whom they visited 4 years before, and couldn’t start praising him and his golf. Before that, we stopped in St George beach, an amazingly clear-calm-water golf, where we burned our skin, swam like crazy and filled our cameras with dreamy pictures.
Unfortunately we were a bit unlucky this time at Coban Ali, as there was a crazy wind all night, so our plans to do a camp fire party and sleep on the beach was ruined. But we still had a great dinner and a camp fire, nobody managed to sleep on the deck, preferring the non-windy interior of the boat.
Thursday, 18 Sept 2014
We wake up with the wind still blowing, so we quickly do the group photos and leave (not before some sentimental goodbyes between the skippers and Ali, love resists time and distance it seems). We sail to Sogut Koyu marina, an empty and pretty deserted one. After the Tuesday crazy party, and Wednesday wind beating one, we still find the energy and dance on the deck till morning on Andu’s music ( probably my secret ingredient helped as well : a bottle of tequila brought from home for emergency energy J ) .
Friday, 19 Sept 2014
We left Sogut straight to Marti Marina, as we had to get the boats back by Friday night. We “luckily” had great wind, and sailed straight to the marina. Some of the skippers decided to “clean up and organize” a bit the boat interiors on such a wind, so they ended up with broken jars and the kitchen utensils in the middle of the living room bed. Emergency cleaning crew had to be activated to put everything back in place before Saturday morning 🙂
We get to Marti Marina, sad moment, because we know it will be the last night spent on the boat for this year. Everyone tries to stay brave, get accustomed again with clothes, shoes and land, and already planning the next sailing trip.
Saturday, 20 Sept 2014
Checkout is done. We leave the boats, and split in 2 groups: the ones driving back home, and the ones heading to Marmaris, as we fly back home Sunday. We managed to find a nice hotel to stay all together in Marmaris: Angel’s Suites. We spend all day visiting Marmaris city center, marina and old town, and have dinner in the Marmaris Castle, on a small and quiet street. Great way to finish our trip and get ready for our flight next morning.
Turkey is my second favorite country to go sailing ( after Greece) : it has a great weather from may to October , nice marinas, deserted golfs, amazing warm and clear water, and people are nice and welcoming. I will definitely do this again soon.