Chapter Forty Seven July -
Wow! What a summer!
A Summer to Remember.
In summary, we have
Spent most of our time sitting
still and soaking up the local flavors and colors (we sat still 3 days for every
day we sailed),
Visited 27 different harbors, and
Still managed to cover more than
700 miles so far.
Actually, it has really been
two summers. Early summer was filled with friends and family coming to visit
and the accompanying schedules and deadlines. We hurried here and there to meet
up with our “guests” and then hurried off to make the next meeting on time. But
it was just great! Our long-time dearest friends, Bernard and Judy, came all
the way from Cape Cod to visit us in Mykonos. It has been ages since we had
such unhurried and relaxing time together. We think they enjoyed Mykonos well
enough, but our visit was all about being together. It was a very special
time for us.
We left Mykonos and sailed
back to Turkey to spend a week with our niece and her family. Rachel, Eric and
the children were a joy to be with, as we day-sailed, shopped the bazaar, and
explored a tiny bit of Turkey with them.
When the "visiting" portion
of our summer came to a close, the second half began. Where the first part was
all about friends, family and schedules, the second part was about solitude and
an open calendar. We knew we wanted to “head north” along the Turkish coast but
that was the extent of our plans. We found that the further north we went, the
more “Turkish” the anchorages became, and the fewer day-tripper boats, chartered
yachts and gulets we encountered. Some of our favorite anchorages were so
delightful we stayed far longer than we’d planned. Fabulous!
Of course, we had to dress
ship for the Fourth of July. Later that night we joined new American friends
for “Cheeseburgers in Paradise.” Pretty nice!
In one little bay, we
thought we were all alone once again when along came a young man paddling an
antique “dolphin boat,” such as those they rent to tourists along the beach. He
came out from the village around the bend to offer us fresh bread. And such
bread: still warm from the stone oven. But, alas, we did not have the correct
change for him. “No problem,” he said. He paddled all the way back to the
village, rounded up the needed change (and another loaf of bread!), and happily
paddled back out to us in the near darkness. Now we were alone.
We didn’t really expect
solitude when we came to English Harbor; it is quite popular with cruisers. But
we didn’t really expect such crowds, either. Every day at about noon the
day-tripper tourist boats arrived en mass. We must have anchored in
their favorite spot, because they came very close to us. At one point there
were 5 of these boats anchored within 75 feet of us, all disgorging their guests
for a swim at once. Pandemonium. But by 4:00 they were all gone, and
It was at English Harbor
that we made some new Turkish friends. Their yacht, Yakamoz, anchored
next door for a few days. Yakamoz is brand new and gorgeous. Her owner
invited us aboard for cocktails and a tour. Wow! Two and a half years to
build, but the results are stunning. We have seen her since, and it feels like
seeing an old friend each time she sails by. One of the guests aboard, Aleif,
is a young woman recently graduated from Rhode Island School of Design; Sharon
did some post-graduate work there, too! It’s truly a small world. (Sorry for
Seeking more of the tranquil
life, we looked into Amazon Creek. It’s an interesting place. At the head of
the small bay is the “creek” which leads up to a campground.
In the campground there were no tents or campers, but rather small huts built
high off the ground to resemble gypsy wagons, complete with non-working wheels.
More “interesting” than “charming.” But they did have laundry facilities, so we
dinghied up the creek for an hour or so to have the laundry done. Upon our
return to the anchorage, we at first could not see Seraphim. What?!?!
Our anchor was dragging, and we were perilously close to banging into the rather
expensive-looking yacht next door. Quick action and good teamwork kept us out
of serious trouble, but it was another hour and a half before we had the anchor
solidly dug in for the night.
To celebrate the 16th
anniversary of our first date, we headed for Paradise Bay, where our cruising
guide said we would find serenity and solitude in a romantic setting. But
instead we found a mussel farm, and all its associated machinery.
(We did find our own Paradise Bay a few miles away and spent 4 days there.)
Life on board in these quiet
anchorages has been a mixture of work and leisure, usually work in the quiet and
cool of the morning and leisure later in the day. Sharon has been sewing and
beading while John has been repairing and renovating. With the isolation of
many of our anchorages, mealtime has been aboard; Sharon’s culinary skills have
kept us well-fed and healthy while we have both lost some unwanted weight over
the course of the summer.
We were also quite alone as
we anchored off the ancient Greek city of Ioasos. Various peoples have been
living here for 4,000 years, and the little Turkish village continues the
tradition. Climbing up to explore the ruins we were totally alone, the only
tourists on the site that day. Wandering through buildings and theaters built
400 B.C. and being the sole living person in the city is a special feeling
indeed. The tower and underwater breakwater guarding the harbor were added by
the Genoese much later, of course.
Day after day, bay after
bay, we were enchanted by the beauty of this part of the Turkish coast. The
waters are so clear we would not have to get into the water to dive on the
anchor as we often do. We could stand on the deck and watch as the anchor hit
the bottom and dug into the sand, even when the water was 15-20 feet deep.
We began the summer with
visitors, and we had some visitors later, too. But these visitors were of the
unscheduled variety. Anchored one resort beach, we were visited by a group of
young men several days running. They would swim out to the boat, rest for a
while in our dinghy, and swim back to the beach. Or sometimes John would give
them a lift if they were too tired to make the return swim.
Our other visitors, also
uninvited and unscheduled, were different but still charming in their own way.
Goats, solitude, natural beauty. This is, for us, the wonder of unspoiled
We still have 6-8 weeks left
of our Summer to Remember. The situation will change, the anchorages
will change, the people will change. But the Adventure continues.