Saturday, July 11, 2015

Sailing the Turkish Seas

Kyle and I had an amazing opportunity for an adventure somewhat outside of our usual realm.  I came across a company that does sailing trips off the coast of Turkey in the Aegean Sea.  One of their trips just happened to line up with Kyle's days off, and as an added bonus, it was also during our eighth wedding anniversary!  We decided to go for it!

The company we sailed with is a Dutch company called Flaka Cruising, and we had such a great experience with them!  Our week long sailing trip began in Bodrum, Turkey.  We flew into Bodrum the evening before we set sail.  Bodrum is a beautiful little town that definitely had a Greek Isle feel to it.  We stayed at the Su Hotel, a very charming little place that we wished we could have enjoyed for longer!  We spent that evening and the next morning checking out the pretty little harbor town.  

The Su Hotel

These talismans are seen everywhere, thought to protect against the evil eye.

We were welcomed on our ship, the Musandira II, with a great spread of snacks.  We were greeted and briefed by the owners before taking off.  There were seven passengers on board, including the two of us.  There were also three crew members that took great care of us, treating us like we were something special.  The other passengers were all Dutch (which makes sense since Flaka is a Dutch company).  They were all extremely friendly, and a lot of fun to be with! 

Welcome aboard!

Our ship was absolutely beautiful and very well maintained.  The cabin was very small, but every single nook and cranny was used wisely.  Each cabin even had it's own bathroom.  There was hot water when the generator was running, and also when the engine was running.  We all learned quickly how to time our showers!  

One thing we didn't expect was such amazing food!  The kitchen is so tiny, it's unbelievable that they can feed so many people three full meals a day!  Every morning we had a full spread for breakfast; yogurt, fruit, tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, cold cuts, bread, jams, cheese and eggs.  We would have a lighter lunch and a full and fabulous dinner, and both were different every single day.

A lovely breakfast

Lunch; I loved the fresh dill in the salad!

Happy hour!


This is how you grill on a sailboat!

We would spend our days relaxing on sunbeds on the front of the ship, reading, talking, playing games (Uno was our favorite!) and enjoying the gorgeous scenery.  When the ship was anchored we could go for a swim in the gorgeous blue waters.  Believe it or not, I only swam once.  In May, the water is still really cold!!  Our Dutch friends also taught us some funny words and sayings from their language.  Kyle and I still use a couple of sayings they taught us!

Captain Mustafa and his ship

One evening we were anchored by some random ruins...pretty amazing!

After breakfast one morning, we went to shore to go for a little hike.  After being on a boat for a few days, it feels really weird to be back on land!  We also visited a bazaar, or market, in a little town just off of the coast.  Other bazaars we've seen in Turkey were in Istanbul and rather touristy, so it was really neat to see a real market where real people do their real shopping.  Unfortunately, we can't seem to locate the real pictures from the bazaar, but there are a couple of iPhone pics.

We walked by a little farm, definitely in the middle of nowhere!

We had a little bit of bad weather while we were out.  Luckily, none of our days were complete washouts.  It was really neat to see a couple of storms from the water, and none of them were close enough to be really scary.  The one evening with the most rain happened to be May 12th, our anniversary!  The crew surprised us with a really delicious cake.  It was so nice!

Our daily itinerary was not set in stone, it was dictated by the wind and weather.  It's hard to imagine crossing the ocean hundreds of years ago by sail boat, with very few tools to help with navigation. We had a couple of afternoons with really strong winds, and the ship was really listing to one side. No one on the ship got sea sick, but Kyle's swim trunks (which were hanging out to dry) flew off into the sea!

Here are a couple of videos taken when the waters were a little bit rough, followed by a few more of Kyle's beautiful pictures.

We spent our last evening ported back in Bodrum.  We went out with the owners of the sailing company to a really nice tapas bar and enjoyed their stories of sailing through dangerous waters in the middle east and southeast Asia.

Once we were back on land, it took a couple of days to get rid of our sea legs.  We would randomly feel like were rocking back and forth for quite a while once we got home.  We really enjoyed our sailing experience, and would highly recommend it to those who enjoy relaxing in the sun and being on the water.  We were very lucky to have had such nice, fun people as our shipmates.  It made our time on the ship very memorable.  We would love to do another sailing trip, maybe around the Greek Islands? 

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