Panic because I really didn’t know what I was doing in the engine room. The engine won’t start. Right, where do I begin? Haven’t a clue. Get a book out on diesel engines. Can’t find any of the problems identified in the troubleshooting section. Must be the carburettor. No wait, it doesn’t have a carburetor.
This is a family-run affair and chatting to the owner in pigeon-Turglish, which, surprisingly, with a few hand gestures, actually makes for an engaging conversation, I discover that his mother has lived on the island for 40 years. I didn’t ever catch his name but his wife, who looks as young as their daughter, is Yesim (pron Yey-shim). She speaks enough English to be undertood. Your lines, should you tie up to the jetty, will probably be taken by her 9 year old nephew. Don’t worry, he knows what he’s doing!
One of the things you may have read about Fethiye is the fish market, where a centrally placed building allows you to choose your own fish, either fresh or imported. Get them to gut it and then take it to one of the surrounding restaurants. It offers a novel and cheap way of eating fresh fish but I have to say I was disappointed in the way in which the fish is cooked.
There is a place where one takes the tender when going ashore. Normally one ties up and goes about their business with no hassle from the locals. Alas one particular restaurateur got annoyed at the number of yotties tying up to his fence, and then walking through his restaurant without imbibing the obligatory beer. Fair enough, you might comment, but as a reaction to this the manager has now put up signs by the fence, which isn’t his as it turns out, saying ‘Guests only’.
Boyzone Buku, as we like to call it, is the perfect location to use as your base. With holding like glue and endless water supplies from the local spring we found this spot to be a little haven. What makes this place special is the fresh-water spring that has created a near temperate local climate of lush deciduous trees and paths littered with basil and mint plants.
As we get to know Turkey a bit better so we are able to make some judgements on places we have visited as yotties. One thing that really sticks out when comparing this area to anywhere north of here is just how busy it can get. It’s one thing I’m not really able to get my head around as we’re used to anchorages with one or two other boats as neighbours, not entire flotillas of gullets and party boats!
I am still cock-a-hoop about having the whole boat to myself and the total attention of both of my parents all of the time. It’s great. They can be a bit over-protective sometimes though and seem to think that I’ll fall overboard at any second… pur-lease, I am a salty-sea-cat these days and I know what’s what.
Fethiye, named after a WW1 pilot who had the misfortune to crash into the local mountain range, was pretty much destroyed in the same earthquake that flattened Marmaris in 1958. Unlike Marmaris, however, this new-looking town isn’t ruined by the loud bars, gulet-full of lobster Brits-abroad puking up at every street corner, or aggressive stall-holders.
We prevented the main, pushed out the mizzen and unfurled the yankee to have us plodding along at a few knots in the light airs. As we did so I was aware of a charter boat motor sailing behind us, catching us up. When they did they then turned off their engine and got out their sails as if throwing down the gauntlet for a race!
There are a number of factors that go to make this one to remember: the views back out onto Gocek bay, dwarfed by the misty mountains beyond; the great holding; the restaurant ashore, run by the same family for the last fifteen years; and the fact there is a natural well that supplies yotties with a constant stream of mountain water.
Regular readers of FTB will be familiar with the term ‘The Black Hole of Marmaris’, a term invented to describe the fate of the majority of boats who enter the bay and never leave, for one reason or another. Well, we’ve finally done it: Esper has left the building!
On one occasion we approached a quiet little corner in Sarsala Iskelesi, slowed down the engine ready to reverse in, when a **** in a stupid red motor boat overtook us, dropped his anchor and tied up to a tree as Liz and I looked on, aghast, with arms raised. And you wonder why sailors dislike motorboat owners. What a prize a-hole.
I can only assume it was the sudden shock of my body having to do physical exercise, whilst flexing my mental muscle over simple navigational tasks, all for the first time in a number of months. Jees, I’m both physically deformed and mentally retarded.
A dragging boat is not a pretty sight, especially when it’s your own. It’s even worse when your outboard has only half the revs it’s supposed to and, like a scene from a Hitchcock thriller, the more you rev, the faster your boat drags.