"Cruising the Carian Coast" is our second cruise in Turkey since October 2019, On this occasion, to give an impression of the experience, we are providing a kind of travel diary on our blog, following precedents from Greece, Ireland and Turkey. Rather than describing every day in detail (you can check our itineraries on www.petersommer.com for that), every day we will pick one image we took that day, accompanied by some explanations and thoughts.
Once again, I am writing this as our gulet is tied up next to a beautiful coast, this time at the foot of a steep slope covered in a forest of Turkish Pine (pinus brutia) near the small town of Ekincik.
A long, scenic and very peaceful crossing took us here. We rounded the Loryma Peninsula once more, viewing the fortress from afar, then followed a long and unspoilt coastline of limestone cliffs until we reached the cove of Gebece, a place of fantastically blue water, overlooked by the ruins of a former Greek village, its once-imposing church and wooded slopes all around. This is where our guests swam and/or relaxed and where we enjoyed another great lunch aboard.
As we finished drinking our post-lunch tea, a light northwesterly wind rose, just as we expected and hoped. It gave us a chance to add extra interest to the ongoing crossing. We hoisted the sails!
All the gulets we use are capable of sailing (and - importantly - so are their captains and crews). That said, the common mode of propulsion on Peter Sommer Travels' gulet cruises is the boat's motor: our carefully designed itineraries are based on content, also on opening hours for many of the sites we visit, and thus we have schedules to follow that don't normally permit us to rely on the vagaries of the wind, its speed and direction(s). Additionally, our crews are usually busy with the many tasks that a gulet cruise entails day after day, so the moment is not always right. Still, we try to use the sails when the opportunity arises, ideally at least once per cruise (this is an aspiration, not a promise!). With no site visit planned today, the wind blowing in the right direction and our guests eager to see and hear and feel the gulet under sail, we went for it.
When we get to travel under sail, it is a memorable experience, one that most of our guests enjoy thoroughly. The gulet is gliding along, riding the waves with the wind in our back. Usually, we are quite a bit slower under sail than with the engine, bringing an extra sense of leisure to the trip, a feeling of being closer to the elements, unhurried and at peace, but alert to the ever-changing conditions. With the engine turned off, what we hear is the wind itself, the flapping of the sails, the cracking of the ropes, and the water splashing against the hull, sometimes the captain's orders to his crew - and our own chatter. There is something timeless to this way of travelling: after all, it is how our ancestors travelled in the Mediterranean (and elsewhere) for thousands of years, motorised craft being a fairly recent innovation. We do endeavour to travel in the footsteps of the ancients, and although footsteps evidently don't last in the sea, travelling under sail is one of the occasions when we are closest to how our forebears saw these shores.
Today, we managed to travel this way for the best part of three hours, a little bonus adventure within our week-long cruise.
Now, I'll prepare for tomorrow, when we visit a great archaeological site...