May 22, 2008
[ JOURNALENTRY BY MOLLY ]
Hello friends! We started our official honeymoon (after Grand Isle, Fest Internat’l and Jazzfest, and Grand Isle again) 14 days ago, arriving in London to greet the dawn. Trained down to Portsmouth for a few scenic (idyllic countryside) and fun hours and ret’d to Gatwick to meet fellow crew member Stacy White. From the airplane we watched the sun set on the shortest Thursday on record. We arrived Antalya, Turkey at 10pm local time – we’re now seven hours ahead of U.S. Central time.
Got to Antalya in pitch dark, took taxi to "Old City" thanks to Stacy’s vague bit of local knowledge, and were dropped off at ancient Hadrian’s Gate. Lucked out – young Turk saw helpless tourists in the dark alley and took us to charming Pensione Ninova. Awoke to a gorgeous, cool day in a beautiful town with the prettiest harbor – ancient and delightful. All flowers and tiny alleys, filled with vendor’s stands. Breakfast in the pensione garden was tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, cheeses and delicious simit rolls. This would be repeated many times in Turkey – love this "salad" breakfast.
Hired taxi for wild ride down the coast highway to Kemer and made it to the Marina. The coast of Turkey is stunning and the view from the marina of the mountains spilling down into the azure sea is breathtaking. I knew nothing of this country and can tell you it is either way underrated or completely overlooked by most Americans. There are very few of us here (yay) and English is NOT the second (or third or fourth) most-used language. The people are lovely and the food is good once you figure out what you’re ordering! And we like the Efes beer – for those of you in the know, it, too, is a blue beer.
Since White Rabbit is up on a hard stand, we stayed for the first week at a hilarious Russian-owned all-inclusive hotel. The Turkish staff is great and the characters around here are not to be believed – it’s like a BBC sitcom with Boris, the KGB guy, Natasha with her spiky mullet, continous cigarette and her ear glued to the phone, the young English-speaking Turk bartender, our new Iranian friend, and the Russian hussies. Quite the cast here at the Hotel Brittania. We work during the day on the boat and spend the evenings here.
Finally, after a week of the hotel, the boat was splashed and we began to stay onboard in the slip. And after another week here, I’m getting used to it. The disco music from a nearby resort (3am and still going) keeps me up – they really love their disco here. It blares from every hotel, restaurant and bar and Wheat’s going mad. Worst of all is having to get up and go to the bathroom: dressing and climbing above deck, across the boat, climbing over the pulpit, crossing the passerella onto the dock and then strolling alongside the office building to the ladies room/showers is REALLY getting old. It’s like camping but no screens for the mosquitoes and the pee-tree is really far away. Of course no one told me about this part of the deal! C’est la vie. I’m sucking it up. (Unfortunately this gets even worse later. Joke’s on me. )
Since we’ve been here 2 weeks, we know Kemer well. It’s really a modern town suited to the Russians and Europeans on holiday with a brick and marble pedestrian boulevard lined with proper shops. It doesn’t really have any history or “city” side, just this town created to serve the holiday-goers and subsequent tourist boulevard. We have managed to limit the souveniers and have enjoyed the view, climbing over the nearest mountain (seriously!), Moonlight Beach and the subsequent bar without disco, a few exciting lifer birds and great shish kebap food. Umm. The prices are high, though, and this unexpected layover for repairs has dug into our budget. And doing nothing but work on the boat and endure the tension caused thereof is getting very old. Time to move on!
We expect to actually depart tomorrow and sail to Kos, Turkey. This town is not on our original waypoint list but bad weather is expected the next day on Thurs the 22nd so we’ll stay overnight there tomorrow. Hmmm, maybe a hotel and sleeping late in the rain? Crossing my fingers…
Unfortunately the wind was not with us (The Med was the Dead Sea today) so we motored toward Kos. But by afternoon the head wiind picked up and we would not have been able to make Kos before dark, necessary for that tricky marina entrance – we turned around and headed for Finike. More later… xoxox Molly and Wheat