Thursday, November 10, 2005

Log 42 - Rest of October, 2005 - SW Coast of Turkey; Greece's Island of Simi & Rhodes

"There are no foreign lands. It is the traveler only who is foreign." - Robert Louis Stevenson

Map of our October and November travels
After a wonderful week in Istanbul, we return to TIOGA for a week of work while she is still on the hard just outside of Bodrum, Turkey.  Once she is relaunched we enjoy some of the nicest cruising of the season.  The weather is still great, the water refreshing and no more crowds....what more could we ask for. 

Saturday, October 15th - Visitors from Holland

Sebastiaan, Joel, Marjol, Sheila and Gerrit being silly!!

A few days before TIOGA goes back into the water, Sheila's cousin Marjol from Holland and her 12 year old son Sebastiaan arrive.  We are very excited that they have taken a couple of weeks out of their busy schedules back home to spend some time with us.    An afternoon of shopping finds us in this Bodrum tourist shop where the owner is only too happy to dress us all up in wacky clothes and then take our photo.  Too funny! 

...Checking investment portfolios back home!

Stock brockers in training.
What is it with kids and phones??  It seems no matter where we go, there is something about a phone that attracts kids.  Perhaps it is because we haven't had one for so many years, or maybe they've received a hot tip on the TSX (Toronto Stock Exchange)!! Good thing there are three of them! 


Monday, October 17th - Afloat again -Bay of Mersincik, Turkey  

Experiencing the freedom of wind on your face :)

Well, after a successful two weeks of TIOGA on the hard, she is relaunched with a sleek new bottom and numerous other jobs on the list completed.  We enjoy a great little sail from Bodrum, across to the Datcha peninsula of  Turkey and tuck into a beautiful bay.  

Chris has an audience as he gets the fire going.  
After supper we head to shore with musical instruments and the fixings for smores (chocolate, marshmallows and graham crackers wrapped in foil to melt in a fire).

The band is back together.
Once the fire is roaring, we proceed to sing out every song we know.  We even capture the attention of the French boat anchored beside us, as we notice them all moving into their cockpit to listen to us.  Laughter and applause echo through the darkness as we conclude our final number of the evening.... 'Frere Jacques, Frere Jacques...' (even in harmony)!

Wednesday, October 19th - Marjol enjoys the sun in the Bay of Parmak Buku, Turkey

Marjol enjoying the blue skies.

The next few days are spent hopping about some anchorages on the Datcha peninsula.  The weather could not be better for us to give our guests a tiny taste of our lives. 

Sebastiaan ready to fly!

Yesterday, we quickly switched our courtesy (country) flag back to a Greek flag as we sailed into their waters and dropped our anchor in the stunning bay at Pethi Harbour.  Though the water temperature is down a degree, it is still lovely and we all enjoy the azure waters.  Our guys are excited to show Sebastian one of their favorite past times.  Chris hoists up our spinnaker pole, perpendicular to the mast and ties a rope on the end.  This arrangement is the best darn rope swing going!  Our guys are anxious to show off the little tricks they have perfected with it. 

Joel in mid flight.

Friday, October 21st - Scooter rental on the Greek island of Simi

Scooter team with Pethi Bay in the background.

Simi Island also proves to be a great choice for yet another scooter rental.   These small islands allow us to explore them from end to end with limited local traffic to deal with.  The roads climb up and down some fairly high rugged passes with great views.  Once at the top of the high passes, we would turn the scooter engines off and coast for miles in silence down the narrow, windy roads.  Really cool!

Colorful bay. 

Lovely harbour along the scooter route. 

Saturday, October 22nd - Backgammon on the bow!

Backgammon on the bow.

Since buying our beautiful backgammon board in Istanbul, it has become the number one game on board TIOGA.  Today, it serves as a popular way to pass time while we are underway, motoring on this flat calm day, slipping back into Turkish waters.   (Quick....where's the Turkish courtesy flag??)


Sunday, October 23rd - The Bay at Keci Buku, Turkey

Keci doesn't get much nicer!

As we dropped our anchor in this beautiful bay late yesterday afternoon, we knew we had stumbled onto a gem of a place.  This morning begins with a hike up to the old Byzantine fort on the top of the island in the center of the bay.    From this vantage point, the pine clad mountains reflecting off the azure water is really beautiful.  

Kids launching rocks over the cliff.

The boys enjoy launching rocks over the edge and watching them tumble to the bottom, while the adults just enjoy the sun!

Is it really Halloween??

Melon carving.

Halloween is not popular in Holland, so we decide to move Halloween up a week earlier in order to introduce Sebastian to the fun.  The fun actually began days ago as the boys mix and match all the gear on board to come up with the perfect costume for today.  Then, since there are no pumpkins to carve here in Turkey, we decide our sweet melon will have to fill in this important role.  This scary guy actually has a face carved on both sides.   The boys randomly carved an eye, mouth or nose in a designated spot, while keeping all the other spots completely hidden so no one could see the others work.  Then after all the carving was completed, we had the unveiling ceremony of our Jack-O-Lantern....poor guy. 

Ahoy ya blighters....give us everything you've got!

Later, all dressed for trick or treating, the boys hop in the dinghy and Joel motors them back and forth between our boat and our friends on m/v Balder whom we are happy to find anchored in the same bay.  It is too funny to listen to the giggling and chatter going on between 3 young boys in the complete darkness.  The evening ends with loud spooky music and eating of all the candy, while also enjoying the last star filled night Marjol and Sebastian have on board our home. 
Waiting for the taxi to take Marjol and Seb away.


We will miss you....see you in Holland next year!

Monday, October 24th - Cliff jumping

Family cliff jump

While hiking the other day, Chris spied the perfect spot for cliff jumping....a very steep wall with no protrusions extending deep into the water.  Yesterday, all the guys had a blast feeling the adrenaline rush accompanying the free fall to the water below.  Their excitement rubs off and they actually convince their 'scared of heights' mother that she can do it!!  Well, before we leave this magnificent spot, we successfully complete a family jump, caught on film by our friends nearby.  Notice how much lower the terrified mom managed the jump from!!! 

Saturday, October 29th - Medieval Walled City - Rhodes, Greece

Medeival walled city at Rhodes

We do one last switch of courtesy flags for this cruising season to visit the walled city in the famous Greek city of Rhodes.  Rhodes historically was part of both the Roman and Byzantine empires, before being conquered by the Knights of St. John.   These Knights, a Christian military order following the 1st Crusades and charged with the care and defense of pilgrims to the Holy Land, occupied Rhodes from 1306-1522, and their medieval walled city still dominates Rhodes town today.  The huge fortifications withstood siege after siege, until 1522 when Suleiman the Magnificent, the great Ottoman sultan assembled a force reckoned to number over 100,000 men against 650 Knights and 1200 supporters.  The amazing thing is that the Knights held out for 5 months before defeat was eminent when they finally capitulated on honourable terms. 

Panorama of Rhodes - click to enlarge.

Sunday, October 30th - Street of the Knights, Rhodes

Street of the Knights

One of the old town's most famous sights, the medieval Street of the Knights, is lined by the Inns of the Tongues, or nationalities, of the Order of St. John.  The order was divided into eight tongues: France, Italy, England, Germany, Provence, Castille, Aragon, and Auvergne and each tongue protected an area of city wall known as a Curtain.  The Inns on this street were used as meeting places for the Knights. 

Rhodes is the number one tourist destination in all of Greece, but as you can see by the photo, the place is quite deserted this time of year.  All the better for us to explore the largest and best preserved castle/walled city we have ever seen!    

Tuesday, November 1st - Rhodes Harbour

Mandraki Harbor and castle walls

Unfortunately our visit to Rhodes has been scarred by some rather nasty weather.  In the week that we have been here, we have had to move TIOGA six times due to strong wind shifts to the NE making the harbours dangerous!  There have been sleepless nights with howling winds launching TIOGA in the surge. After two very narrow escapes from serious damage, we decide enough is enough.  Today's forecast shows a great sail east to the Bay of Fethiye, Turkey. 

Join us in Log 43 where we head back to Turkey for one final month of cruising before packing it in for the winter.