Sailing Away!

July 12, 2007


The turquoise water, cool breezes, gorgeous scenery, breath-taking sunsets and ancient sights make Turkey’s mediterranean coast one of the best places for “champagne sailing”. Our friends who are sailors taught us that term and it just means easy sailing near coastal waters as it is one of the nicest ways to sail. We were very excited as we entered the boat for our four days of sailing... a new mode of transportation for us on our world tour!

We were grateful that Mozart got this experience of sailing in such an idyllic area and she was soon acting like a pro. She had never been on a sailboat of this size and there were lots of new things to learn by doing. The captain let her steer the boat a lot and even taught her how to fish from the rail which she just loved. She caught her first few fish quickly (they use bread as bait!) and couldn’t wait to tell Grandma and Auntie BJ about her new skill.

It is hard to say what was more beautiful; opening ones eyes to a sunrise on a mirror-like ideal inlet
near a tiny rocky island, taking in the silence of a multi colored dawn in the middle of nowhere or a bougainvillea wrapped orange sunset over turquoise seas with a sailboat and terra cotta colored Lyceum tombs as backdrop. The stunning stars at night and distant lights must also be in the running and I will never forget the huge, yellow full moon over the beautiful village of Kaz.

Our days were spent lazing around in the shade, feasting our eyes on all the beauty, gliding along at the slow gulet speed and filling our bellies on scrumptious food three times a day on an elegantly set table with endless sea views. Sometimes the sails were up, sometimes we slowly motored, either way we often stopped for refreshing dips into Elysian blue-green waters. A fun treat for Mozart was when a small boat showed up as we anchored for the night in the middle of no where, with ice cream for sale!

We had a great captain who was a very sweet, generous hearted fellow who wanted to make everybody happy. His nickname was “Smilie”and that fitted his amiable personality. There was a seventeen year old boy named Yosef who did a tremendous amount of work making sure everything went smoothly with meals, Turkish tea time and such. Smilie and Yosef both had long hair in pony tails, so we thought they were brothers at first but later met Yosef’s brother and niece who lived on one of the islands. The cook also worked incredibly hard in the small kitchen and I am still amazed at what they managed to come up with and making it appear effortless. They all worked together when it was time to anchor, head out, sail or use the dinghy or boarding ramp to get to a shore or dock.

The captain was the only one who spoke English, but it was also quite limited so we were not always sure exactly what was being said. Luckily after a day or so, we woke up to a new crew member who seemed to appear out of thin air. It was the captain’s New Zealand girlfriend, Natalie who just flew in for the summer from London where she works. She was a delightful person and one of our favorites on the cruise who also helped give us more information about the crew and tour. Mozart was crazy about her and they spent lots of time together hanging out. The captain and a passenger named Duane were her other favorites.

Duane has been a teacher for over thirty years and he played a guessing game with Mozart about Greek Mythology amongst other things. He was amazed at how much she knew about it and said she knew more than he did! I think that is one of the great things about home school. She has not been taught any of it. Everything that she knows, she just read about it herself for the fun of learning as it is an area that she enjoys.

We would run into other gulets and sailboats here and there mostly when we docked, but that just added to the charm as they were few and far between. It was a very slow “high” season, probably due to the tension around the elections, but that worked well for our purposes. We were worried a bit  about coming so late in the season to Turkey due to heat and politics, but it turned out to be the perfect time to come. The gulet was a wonderful place to be in the heat as we did not even notice it.













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Just lovely. There is no end the what you have experienced :-)

Lisa Bergren at The World is Calling

What a lovely adventure! Thanks for inspiring me yet again...May I ask how much it cost? You had the boat all to yourselves, right? And how did you choose this captain/boat?


Your blog reminds me of the globetrotting life I lived as a child. This post, in particular, reminds me of a similar trip I made when I was 12. The boats and the cliff caves ... I was there!

It's been my dream to recreate this and other journeys for my own children someday. Can you tell me (via email, if you prefer), from whom you chartered the boat, or the company you sailed with?

Thank you for blogging, and for being where I could find you! Your daughter even looks very much the way I did. I can tell you from experience that, yes, these years will stay with your daughter and enrich her days for the rest of her life.


Lisa- We did it with a small group, but if I did it again, I would do it privately. Renting sailboats & gulets are cheap & easy to do in Turkey. Even in high season, we did not book ahead. We asked at our hotel & they set it up and we checked out the boat & captain before paying. Tons of choices & the prices vary, but negotiate a good deal.

Britt- Thanks! We are lucky aren't we? Still, so many more things to do though! ;)

Bronwyn- Thanks so much for telling me your story & welcome to our blog! So glad that you found us! Wonderful to know that you still bask in these experiences & want to pass them on to your children!! Love hearing that.

I don't remember the company now, but there are many online if you google "gulet or blue cruise in Turkey" as they are very common there. We just asked at our hotel & they arranged it. (I wrote about the hotel in Fethiye where it began). We did not book ahead because we were told it was best to do in person so one can inspect the boat & negotiate etc.

Good luck!

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