Journey Aboard Interlude

14 May 2014
02 May 2014
20 April 2014
09 June 2013 | Kekova Roads
25 May 2013 | Ece Saray Marina, Fethiye
18 May 2013 | Kas
17 May 2013 | Kalkan Harbor
13 May 2013 | Tomb Bay, Skopea Limani
05 May 2013 | Ekincik Koyu
29 April 2013 | Marti Marina, Gulf of Hisaronu
25 April 2013 | Kuraca Bucu
23 April 2013
19 April 2013 | Bodrum, Turkey
08 November 2012 | Paris, France
27 October 2012 | Turgutreis Marina
24 October 2012 | Gumusluk
13 October 2012
11 October 2012
10 October 2012 | Amazon Creek (Kuçuk Gunluk Koyu)

Turkish Delight!

09 October 2012 | English Harbor
Dan 32 degrees C, 1008mb, mostly sunny 8kts SW
We arrived at Turgutreis Marina in Turkey last Friday afternoon after a bit of a delay in clearing out of Greece. We were told that the Passport Control office in Kos opened at 9am, so we arrived shortly before then. However, there were already 100+ tourists in line waiting to catch one of the ferries over to Turkey. When I got to the head of the line 30 minutes later, I was told that the ferry passengers had priority over private yachts and that I should come back at noon. Grrrr... We briefly considered making the most of it and just staying another day on Kos, but in the end we opted to stick with our original plan. I returned at noon and by 1:30pm we were officially cleared out of Greece and on our way.

It's less than five miles from Kos over to D-Marin Marina in Tugutreis, Turkey. When we arrived, Fuat and Melike from PanPan Yachting were waiting on the dock to meet us. I've been corresponding with Fuat after receiving a glowing reference about him from fellow American cruisers Iain and Ruth who we met back on Mykonos. Within minutes Fuat had our outboard loaded and on the way to the local Honda dealer. The next morning a loaner outboard was delivered right to our boat by 8:30 sharp. Such unexpected efficiency! Something tells me we're not in Kansas anymore, Toto!

Fuat also helped expedite the process of checking into Turkey. The entire process took just 30 minutes but would have been considerably longer without his help because the Passport Control, Customs and Port Police offices were all deserted. (These are all housed together in a single building at D-Marin, in contrast to Greece and Croatia where this process can be a bit like being on a scavenger hunt blindfolded.) But Fuat made a few phone calls and the personnel appeared within minutes to collect our money and stamp our papers. Interlude now has a five year Turkish Transit Log (renewable annually) and each of us has a 90-day multiple entry visa stamp in our passports. No fuss, no muss.

We've only been in Turkey four days and I want to be cautious about making definitive conclusions from such a small sample size. But the initial impressions have nearly all been positive and we've been struck by how different Turkey is from nearby Greece. With just a few short miles of geographic separation, and after four centuries when the Greeks were part of the Ottoman Empire, I expected a more subtle contrast between the two countries (at least in this region). But the differences have been stark. Here's a brief list of our observations so far:

The economy here is clearly much more diverse and vibrant. The retail and service sectors seem substantially better developed than in Greece and it'll be much easier (and hopefully cheaper!) to find pesky parts and supplies here. The 18km road from Turgutreis to Bodrum was lined with stores of every kind and it felt a bit like the Twin Cities suburban ring. We even found a large West Marine on the outskirts of Bodrum. Hooray!

Turkey is clean. The streets, sidewalks, stores and restaurants have all been nicely kept up. The marinas that we've seen have been professionally managed and maintained to a high standard. Waste and recycling bins were easy to find in Turgutreis. Blackwater tanks must be pumped out here and not emptied offshore.

The topography and foliage are also dramatically different. This part of Turkey is green and lush where much of Greece is brown and barren. We've been sailing between the South coast of the Bodrum Penninsula and the North coast of the Datça Penninsula and both of the tall, mountainous shorelines are thickly covered with mature pines, olives and other species that I don't recognize. But the overall effect is almost like being on the North Shore of Lake Superior. It's really quite remarkable and completely unexpected.

The religious differences are in evidence as well. Mosques and minarets have replaced the blue-domed tops of Greek Orthodox churches and cathedrals. And the call of the muezzin to prayer, broadcast five times daily via loudspeaker, serves as a frequent reminder that we're now in a very different place.

Gulets (large wooden sailing vessels filled with tourists) are everywhere. The small multi-colored caiques that were ubiquitous in Greece have all but disappeared.

Cats...also ubiquitous in Greece are far less evident here in Turkey. But bees are everywhere.

We left Turgutreis on Sunday and are spending the next week cruising between the Bodrum Penninsula and the Datça Penninsula. We've already met some interesting people and the anchorages we've found have been spectacularly beautiful. I'll post some pictures and share additional thoughts in the days ahead....
Vessel Name: Interlude
Vessel Make/Model: Discovery 55
Hailing Port: Annapolis, MD
Crew: Dan, Christine & Tyler Rice
After 11 years of sailing primarily in the Apostle Islands of Lake Superior, our family is about to begin a much anticipated sailing adventure in the Mediterranean Sea and beyond! Dan has been preparing for and dreaming of this voyage for years; Tyler has deferred his admission to St. [...]
Hope the way is long. May there be many summer mornings when, with what pleasure, with what joy, you shall enter first-seen harbors... Keep Ithaca always in your mind. Arriving there is what has been ordained for you. But do not hurry the journey at all. Better if it lasts many [...]
Interlude's Photos - Main
This album contains selected best pics from our time in Greece this year.
38 Photos
Created 13 August 2012
19 Photos
Created 16 June 2012
10 Photos
Created 7 April 2012