Why Not Turkey? It's Delightful!
The ancient land by a turquoise sea offers a perfect getaway for the bareboat charterer with an appetite for bigger adventures.
Under Way and In Touch
Fast-forward to July 1 and Göçek, a yachtie village on the southwest coast. The Moorings base and its 36-strong fleet of monohulls and multihulls is situated at Club Marina, a bit removed from a waterfront lined with gulets and charter fleets on one side and markets, tour companies, and cafés and restaurants doing a brisk business on the other.
Manager Deniz Aydin runs a tight ship; in an efficient, formal, yet friendly style, he guided us through a thorough technical briefing of Therapy, a 46-foot cat with four cabins and four heads designed by Morrelli & Melvin and built by a South African company, Robertson and Caine, expressly for The Moorings charter fleet.
Therapy throughout the week proved it could execute its focused mission flawlessly. With a spacious, 24-foot beam, it afforded privacy yet doled out ample areas for congregating. The sails went up smoothly on halyards powered by two-speed winches and quickly filled with wind, the clicker on the stove always ignited a burner flame, and on the few occasions that we succumbed to the air-conditioning, we didn’t freeze to death. Heaven.
No weeklong charter ever translates into seven solid days under way. And given the crew’s appetite for everything from ruin sightseeing, rock climbing, kayaking (we’d ordered a pair of singles), snorkeling, and swimming to vittles themselves, we chose to load the boat up with provisions and forgo dining ashore nightly—hence our hesitation when we arrived in Fethiye, and the lively discussion that ensued—in favor of anchorages that enticed us with clear, cool water, scents of rosemary and thyme, shade from long-needle pines, and majestic ruins nestled among rocky hillsides dotted with oleander and stands of olive trees.
After poring over charts and guides last winter and listening to Deniz describe the features of the region at the briefing, we came up with a general route that allowed us to explore anchorages south of Göçek in Skopea Limani and Fethiye Körfezi, the gulf of Fethiye, before heading beyond, into the eastern Aegean Sea.
Time spent bobbing along the coves and bays of Skopea Limani helped crew and boat get acquainted with each other and with the sailing grounds that were new to all of us. Not all our crewmates had met each other before this trip, and the charter set the stage for new friendships to form easily.
Our traits and desires jelled well together pretty naturally. The kayakers were the ones who usually got up early in the morning and put on the coffee; the chocolate addicts had ample and tasty stashes they shared.
Athletic Sue Areson swam our stern lines ashore (watch the video here); racer Carrie Fletcher excelled at sensible thinking in sailing maneuvers; and though she really needed a break from her round-the-clock master’s-degree pursuits to become a nurse-practitioner, everyone was grateful for Jane Kopacki’s excellent first-aid skills.