Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Bobbing around in the blue of the Mediterranean

Sunday 7th August - Tuesday 9th August : Fethiye and the Mediterranean
I'm sitting on the back deck of the 35 metre boat, the Ros, as it bobs up and down in a small cove not far from the coast of Turkey. I think a lack of interest in more ruins was evident when Erin and I were discussing with Ewan what was next on our schedule! We were helped along by a woman in our hotel in Goreme who had just done one of these boat trips and highly recommended it. It wasn't as expensive as we anticipated, so here we are having booked into the 3 nights/four days island-hopping cruise..
Last Sunday we rose at 5.30am (much to Erin's horror) and drove to Fethiye through a winding mountain pass. Fethiye is a small port famous for the boat trips that commence or end there. After delivering Frankie the Ford Focus back to Avis we wandered around looking for the boat. ( Actually the Ford Focus had become the Focu - as the 's' had mysteriously disappeared- but we noticed that a number of similar cars had become Focu too so there's a mystery!)
The Ros
The Ros is owned by Ros, an Australian from Hobart, in partnership with Amit, who captains the boat and looks as if he never sets foot on dry land. He apparently has been at sea for the last 103 days, as this is the high season for tourists like us. It accomodates 18 people on board including Sunny who is the cook and general roustabaout. We booked into a bunk room with only 2 beds, because Ros assured us that everyone sleeps on deck, which we so hvaing three beds wasn't necessary.
As we pulled away from the port I was disappointed to see that the water was green, but very soon it had become the most amazing deep blue colour, not like Anglesea or Port Phillip Bay. It's also exceptionally clear so despite the fact that it is very deep in places, you can see every stone on the bottom and fish swimming around without even bothering to find a snorkel and mask. Ewan and Erin did lots of snorkeling to check the fish out at close range.
So we are a motley group: quite a few Australians, but a Canadian French family, a French judge , a French med student and boyfriend, an American couple on honeymoon and so on. It's fascinating to talk to people from different places about their lives and their travels.
How have we spent the last few days stuck on the boat I hear you ask????? Well it's been a frenetic pace and far too many challenging decisions to be made. Will I throw myself in the water now or read my book? Does anyone know when dinner is on? Do I need a cold wine or some paech juice now? Would a G and T be better? Should I go snorkelling around the cove? And so on.
The beautiful blue of the Mediterranean
Our first plunge into the Mediterranean was a surprise as the water is warm and very salty so you can float and swim with ease: consequently we seem to spend a lot of time bobbing around in water chatting. You don't have to work hard to stay afloat because of the salt so if you want to actually exercise you have to make yourself do a few strokes to burn up a few calories!
Which brings me to the food which has been fabulous: Amit actually has a recipe book which we will definitely buy as he is a trained chef, as well as a dive master, marriage celebrant, Captain and heaven knows what else. The local rose has been a huge hit too!
We have spent the last few days island-hopping usually changing spots a couple of times a day and ending in a secluded and very sheltered cove so that we can all sleep. We have stopped at Butterfly Valley which was full of day tourists and at Oludeniz, where some of our lot went tandem paragliding strating at the top of a mountain with sheer cliffs next to the beach and floating down to the beach itself. It is apparently the highest paragliding experinece anywhere at 1960 metres! You'll be very surprised to hear that I didn't volunteer! It is quite an experience watching the coloured parachutes drift slowly down, and occaisionally doing spirals, from such a height.
The only downside is that when we hit the open sea between coves it gets pretty rough so a few peple including me have been sea sick. But captain Amit gives out the magic seasickness pills, and although they make you drowsy, after you've had a nap you feel a million dollars. I've had them twice and Erin once, but Ewan hasn't been queasy at all.
It has been a very relaxing enjoyable few days. Ewan and Erin have been snorkelling and spotting all sorts of fish and we've spent hours flaoting around. You don't have to do anything at all if you don't want to so it's just heaven. The islands are full of interesting ruins. The most energetic activity has been a walk to the top of a rock hill, which Ewan did whilst Erin and I went for yet another swim!
We've seen lots of boats that are just travelling around for the summer enjoying the blue water, the sea breeze and the warm weather. It will be hard to disembark tomorrow!
Sleeping on deck: very comfy!
Sunset from one of the coves where we spent the night

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