Tag Archives: Turkey sailing

Do I Smell Burning? Turkey Sail Part 4

21 Aug

Sadly today I’m bringing my rambling observations of my time in Turkey to a close. It’s been a wild ride sitting and remembering all the great times and people. However I know the real reason you all come here, and I’m guessing its not to see screen grabs from 90s movies in place of actual travel photography.

Anyway in keeping with my promise, this was my majestic view as I scribbled the last of my majestic words about this country of majesty: 

And just to break any glamourous illusions you may have of an amateur “travel” blog writer’s working environment, here is my view as I type those majestic words:

No matter how many times I am invited to “socialise with George”, I’m never that tempted.

The rest of our week on Busabout Sail Turkey was spent in much the same way as the first few days. We settled remarkably quickly in to a regular routine of swim, eat, swim, relax, eat, wait 30 minutes, swim, relax, singalong to Eagle Eye Cherry, eat, drink, party, singalong to Uncle Kracker, sleep. It’s an exhausting schedule, really.

Its amazing how quickly you can slip in to such a routine, and its equally as sad how quickly the time passes once you do. We’d all love the time to pass as quickly while we’re having a colonoscopy or watching Big Brother, but sadly it only seems to happen when you’re having fun.

Among the things that do bare mentioning in the last half of the week was getting a Turkish shave. One afternoon we docked at the city of Kalkan and had some time to wander around, get some snacks, and drop a mad Facebook status.

With the afternoon wearing on, I realised I needed to purchase a new singlet, since foolishly I’d brought only one with me. Where before it was a healthy tooth-enamel white, after days of wear it was slowly turning Yarra/Thames brown. Before you ask, yes I did have t-shirts as well. However if you have to ask that, you haven’t been to Turkey in the summer.

Anyway, the point is I had to venture in to town with a mate to buy what turned out to be a sweet turquoise muscle tee. Having already been asked that week if I was a personal trainer, I was confident of pulling off the look (I didn’t).

While we searched we also found a Turkish barber offering shaves for 10 Turkish Lira (about 5 Euros). As someone who only ever uses an electric shaver, I’m not exactly that used to having even a Gillette Mach 12 (or whatever they’re up to) near my throat. But the deft razor work of the barber was not even the most terrifying thing. Imagine daring to breath for the first time in minutes, only to open your eyes to a flaming cotton bud being repeatedly whacked on your face.

I realised later how girlish I was being about the whole thing. In fact, that’s an insult to girls, who would’ve handled the experience with much less suppressed angst. After the complimentary head, shoulder and arm massage though, and also feeling how close the shave was, I can say I would have another one in a heartbeat.

Like I said, the rest of the week passed all too quickly. We did have another night of debauchery at Smuggler’s Inn, many more solo performances from our fantastic melodious “unique” singing talent, and a fun night at a “foam party” which turned out to be just a dangerously wet and soapy floor.

I must say, all jokes aside, that I had one of the greatest weeks since my travels began and I feel very lucky to have met the wonderful group of people I shared it with. I can heartily recommend Busabout Sail Turkey to anyone thinking of doing it. I’m told by sources that if it is a success for Busabout this season, that the prices will likely increase for next year. Even so, with an increase in price I think it will still be well worth it for the experience.

For now I’m back in London and hoping to enjoy the last of the warm weather before it returns to its usual mantle as “Europe’s car wash”, which will also be the last chance I will get to wear my summer writer’s outfit.

 

Safe travels, thanks for reading. J

 

P.S. Cheers Babaveli crew!

 

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The Blunt Edge Of Sailing: Turkey Sail Part 3

15 Aug

Hello again, welcome back to your non-Olympic connection to things that happened last week but which I actually wrote about at the time.

Or at least I though about writing. Here is the latest view of where I was when I was writing, or perhaps thinking about writing.

If you’ve just joined us, I recently completed a Busabout Sail Turkey trip. You should really go back and read from part 1, you missed some pretty good stuff.

The day after paragliding we got our first chance to dock and have a bit of a walk around. This turned out to be a turning point in the trip because it allowed us to make a crucial purchase. As much as I wanted one, no, it wasn’t a pirates hat. It was a guitar.

I’ll admit that most of the time, when a guitar comes out its usually a Jeff Buckley wannabe bashing blindly, driving everyone from the immediate area (I count myself firmly in this category). Luckily however, we had a supremely talented musician and singer on board. While others went on a scuba diving trip (another optional extra, 25 euros), a few of us sat at the back of the boat doing passable Jack Johnson impressions.

Once all returned from their various activities (scuba diving was a value-for-money success, by all accounts), we motored on to our stop for the night.

On arrival another mouth-watering dinner ensued from Mr. T, our chef. Following dinner some drinks, games, games with drinking, and drinking games were enjoyed. The night was to be our first night at what our captain referred to as “disco disco”. This was actually a bar/shack located in a small cove called Smuggler’s Inn. It seemed only to be accessible by boat and to cater mainly for tourist cruises.

Aside from some alarming destructive tendencies (none of which came to fruition) from one on our boat, everyone was in very high spirits. This was no doubt helped by the barrage of singalong hits from the DJ, most notably ‘Land Down Under’ and ‘Walk 500 Miles’. If there is a party that isn’t enhanced by a jumping circle singalong to The Proclaimers, I’ve yet to attend it.

Somehow, everyone made it back to the boat more or less dry. At least, that is to say no one fell in the water. In actual fact, partying through a Turkish summer evening is one of the sweatiest experiences you’re likely to have.

Upon returning, the real entertainment started. There’s nothing quite like winding down from a night with someone (who can actually play) strumming out well-known tunes on a guitar. Now I’m no expert on the subtle art of seduction, but when a guy spends the best part of two hours transcribing the lyrics to James Blunt’s ‘You’re Beautiful’ during the day, you know he’s banking not to spend the night alone.

The rousing solo rendition of Blunt received mixed reviews, and it would be cruel to post the video footage, but that didn’t stop further attempts that week.

The next day predictably started quite slowly, but before long we were at our next destination and it was time for a spot of cliff-jumping.

The Turkish emergency response remained untested, and the lads scored some macho points. If this blogger was less concerned with journalistic integrity, I’d say I had already jumped at that point (that’s me in the water). But I work hard to bring you the truth, so I feel it necessary to say I had already jumped from a higher cliff and done a stylish armstand four and a half in the tuck position.

The real reason we had come to this particular inlet was for sea turtle spotting. We kept a sharp eye and did spot a few paddling about the waters, but such is the quality of this blog that I forgot to even take my camera to Turkey in the first place. In fact the only reason I’ve had any photos to bring you thus far is because of my crap camera phone and the fortunate snap-happiness of other people on the trip. Some would say 700+ photos in one night of drinking/dancing is a little excessive. I say its good documentation.

Anyway I didn’t get any photos of turtles, but you can imagine I’m sure.

That’s another post done for now, I hope you’re all enjoying this because pretty soon I’m going to run out of real travel material again and I’ll be back to doing reviews of my Grande Mocha Latte (pretty good today, a little heavy on the foam).

Safe travels everyone, thanks for reading. J

Now THIS Is Summer: Turkey Part 1 (take note London)

8 Aug

I look up as the gentle to and fro becomes slightly more dramatic. The rolling blue hills pass under the Babaveli and on to their destination, the wild and rocky cliffs of Turkey’s south-west coast. The whimsical rocking threatens to send me in to a peaceful slumber as…

I hope you can’t stand to read another word of that nauseating prose, because I can’t stand to write it.

I thought I’d have a go at writing a real and descriptive feature piece about my fantastic Busabout Sail Turkey experience. But I realise now how foolish that thought was. I will now resume WAU (pronounced ‘wow’) which stands for Words As Usual.

I also thought it would be a nice idea to take a picture from my point of view every time I sit down to write stuff. Here’s where I am as I write this:

As I write in my douchy writing notebook, to my left is the aforementioned rocky coastline, to my right is a vast expanse of water more blue than the Friday movie at 10pm. You know the ones I mean. I’m reclining on a large bed/sofa at the back of the boat and everyone is as close to carefree as you can be while still wearing pants.

My completely unplanned escape from Olympic London began a few days ago. At least I think it did, time has kind of ceased in importance lately. A friend on the boat has a watch that has said 1:50 for the past two days, and such is the level of relaxation, I’m not entirely sure it’s wrong. Anyway, back to the beginning.

Further demonstrating my inability to learn from my mistakes, I again booked the cheapest, and therefore earliest flight from London. Making it even better, I had to get to Stansted airport, which meant getting up at 3am the previous Tuesday to get there on time.

By the look of the airport, quite a few fellow Londoners had foreseen the impending influx of Olympic spirit and goodwill, and decided they wanted no part of it. The flight passed without incident and I soon landed at Dalaman airport and got my transfer to the town of Fethiye (pronounced ‘Fetty-yay!’). The port town is an altogether very pleasant place to be. It’s relatively small and easy to get around, and like most places in Turkey, kebab shops abound.

My Busabout Sail Turkey was to leave the following day, so luckily I met some other lovely people at the hostel doing the sail as well. It’s hard to explain how lucky I was to meet these people, but the week could have turned out a LOT differently.

After a few drinks that night, the next day started fairly slowly and didn’t quicken until a coffee and kebab were located. I say quicken, but I actually sat around the pool at the hostel (V-GO guesthouse is very much recommended) and chatted with the people I’d met.

The afternoon rolled around soon enough and it was time to meet for the tour. The boat our group drew was called the Babaveli. She was promptly nicknamed Bubba so in the event we couldn’t locate her at any point, we could do this:

We settled in to meet everyone as we sailed out of Fethiye. It was then I found out that at 25, I was the oldest person on the boat. Now, it’s only recently that I’ve (occasionally) started to be the oldest person in a group. Sadly, that means you tend to be branded as the mature and responsible one. As worrying as this was for me, sometimes you just have to accept your role, step up, and be the mature responsible one.

I didn’t really know what that meant, and I’m still not that sure. I think the main thing is that I was put in charge of the “off the boat” rule. Basically whenever someone commits a foh pah pho pa faux par does something stupid, anyone can call “off the boat!”. If five people agree by calling or clicking their fingers, that person must promptly jump from the boat. I had the final say in judging to make sure the rule wasn’t abused.

All in all the rule has worked quite well, though my “off the plane” rule has since been less successful.

That brings me to the end of part 1. I realise I’ve jumped around between past and present tense. I am aware of it, but to be honest it’s lucky if I bother to spell check this thing, let alone keep consistent tents. It’s my blog and I’ll be chronologically incorrect if I want to. Stay tuned for the rest. Like a good sunburn, it gets better with age.

Safe travels, thanks for reading. J

Ahoy! Nautical News and the Power of Suggestion

5 May

I have some exciting news for you today. That is, exciting to almost everyone who is me. I have, with almost no assistance, booked the first of my summer travels! “Hooray!” I can hear almost no one screaming. But if you’re interested, I’ve booked a trip to sail the southern coast of Turkey for a week before quickly making my way to Istanbul to fly back to “sunny” London.

One thing travel has taught me though is that a life spent in denial of the real world throws up endless choices. For example, a pressing concern of mine at the moment is whether to purchase this outfit for sailing Turkey:

Too “village people”?

Or this:

Not “village people” enough? Commands more respect though.

And just when I was about to curl up on the floor from the agony of deciding, I found this as well:

“Aaaarrr, I spy a beach party off the starboard bow. Let’s Shanghai us some Bacardi Breezers.”

Never mind, I’ll consult my Ouija board. My next dilemma is also related to an abundance of choice. You see, when you live in Australia you’re kind of isolated. So limited was my knowledge of the world that until recently I thought Ecuador was a really long, thin country that ran around the middle of the Earth.

In any case my eyes are now open to the world and are currently seeing, and planning to see, much of what it has to offer. The problem is that I am in the process of planning my summer and there are too many offerings. It’s not so hard when you’re in Australia. Given that you can be on a plane for four hours and still be in Australia, the choices for shorter holidays are slightly more limited (don’t get me wrong though, Australia is awesome).

If you haven’t already navigated away from this page in disgust thinking “that’s a pretty good problem to have, jerk”, I salute you. I may not have been so patient.

Anyway as problems go, I realise this one probably isn’t high on your “to solve” list. If in fact you even have a “to solve” list. That doesn’t make it any less of a problem for me though. So given that I know plenty of you have been to Europe at some point, I would love you to comment below with your favourite ever thing(s) to do there.

Whether you’re a loyal reader, disloyal reader, or in an “open relationship” with other blogs, I’d love to hear your thoughts. If you do, I promise I will send you hearty “chunk duce” wherever you are in the world.

 

Safe travels and thanks for reading. J