שייט בפלוטילה בין גוצ'ק לפיטייה - טורקיה
מאת הווארד קליימן
Log of the Gocek Flotilla
Nancy (First Mate) and Howard Clayman (Captain)
We joined Sunsail’s Gocek flotilla in late September for a one week sail within the Gocek and Fetiye area of Turkey. Our yacht was the Sunsail Jeanneau 322 “La Vigie” hailing from Nice and flying a French flag.
From Day 1 of the arrangements made through "Tashoot" in Herzliya, they ensured the whole vacation went superbly. Tashoot’s excellent recommendations on which was the best flotilla for us and all the information on what to expect all helped to make the vacation perfect. This was very important considering our varied sailing experience and matching it to the type of conditions and anchorages that we would be seeing there.
Upon arrival at the Sunsail base in Gocek the reception is excellent and we got a warm greeting.
The facilities are top notch with well-equipped bathrooms and showers right next to the docks. We arrived around noon and were able to board our boat only later in the afternoon. We were advised to go into the town and relax and shop for provisions for the week.
The small town of Gocek is a 5 minute walk from the Marina, and offers a good variety of restaurants at every price level, limited shopping and 4-5 medium size, well stocked supermarkets to provision your boat. All the markets offer free delivery right to your boat which was a big plus. We stocked up on food for the week, had a leisurely lunch at a seaside restaurant, took a tour of the small town and returned to the boat.
The initial check-in on the boat is done by one of the members of the Sunsail team who will be escorting us on the flotilla. We reviewed the checklist to make sure everything was aboard and in working order and got some instruction on how the onboard systems work- head, galley, etc.
I was impressed with the amount of equipment onboard and no corners were cut here, everything from a well-equipped galley to a hand bearing compass, etc.
The next morning there’s a group breakfast where we met our flotilla leaders and other crews. Following the complete introduction and review of the first day’s sailing instructions we shoved off for the nearby Sarasala Bay. A three hour sail brought us to Sarasala Bay where we docked with the help of the local restaurant dock team. A leisurely afternoon of swimming, reading and ending with an excellent group dinner in the Sarasala restaurant.
The next morning we were off across the bay to Karacaoren. Since this course takes you out into the Med itself and it was a pretty windy day, the sea can get rough and challenging with a short handed crew. It was worth it as the Karacaoren anchorage is very sheltered and a beautiful place to end up. Spent the afternoon swimming and snorkeling off the boat and having fun rowing with the dinghy. Dinner was in the local restaurant with our group and many other groups that were anchored in the bay. Rowing back to the boat in the dark with a good swell was fun but a little wet.
To avoid the chance of a rough passage again in the Med part of the course, we left early to avoid rough seas again, rounded the “sleeping crocodile” point, and motored up to Fetiye Bay in very light winds. We tied up at Sunsail’s Fetiye base at the beautiful Yacht Classic Marina and Hotel. The First Mate was very pleased with this port of call and intended to take advantage of all the facilities: swimming pool, pool bar, Jacuzzi, hamam, spa, etc. It’s a short walk into town from the marina and we had some time for shopping and sightseeing, and relaxed by the pool in the afternoon. Dinner was on the quay of the Yacht Classic Hotel overlooking the marina, with our Italian and German fellow flotilla members.
The next day was a free day to stay in Fetiye or spend the day sailing anywhere in the area and return to Fetiye for the night. The First Mate stayed in Fetiye with her fellow First Mates Claudia and Kirsten while the Captains, Howard, Mimmo and Berndt set sail for Tomb Creek in the SkopeaLimano area. Tomb Bay is a small bay notable by some tombs carved in the rocks surrounding the bay. The place looks sort of like a summer camp I used to attend back in the US. The barber shop next to the docks was a funny addition to the scenery. After a leisurely lunch and swimming at Tomb Bay we returned to Fetiye to meet up with the mates who had had a great time at the spa, shopping and not sailing.
Following our flotilla meeting and sailing instructions, we enjoyed another great dinner at the Yacht Classic restaurant.
The next day was a 4 hour sail across the bay to Kapi Creek at the tip of SkopeaLimano. The winds picked up as we sailed south and were blowing right from where we were heading. We motored the last hour into head winds of 25 knots with only a small choppy sea. Kapi Creek was really paradise and we would really like to return there someday. It’s a beautiful small bay surrounded by wooded hills and crystal clear waters. The last evening our flotilla leaders organized a cocktail making contest before dinner. Dinner was right on the dock overlooking the anchorage, with great food and sharing stories with the other crews. It was a very windy night but the bay is quite well sheltered and the boats were securely moored.
The next morning we sailed north to Gocek back to our base. Waiting at the gas dock was a hassle with no organized line, but we motored around for a half hour in the “line” and eventually squeezed in to empty the holding tanks and fill up the diesel. The ever helpful Sunsail dock crew helped us to tie up with a strong side wind that made it rather challenging. Back to Gocek and the end of the sailing part of the trip. That night we had a farewell group dinner in Gocek along with a prize ceremony for winners of the trivia quiz, etc. and said goodbyes to friends we had made during the week.
All in all it was a great sailing trip and we brought back many memories of the beautiful places we sailed to and the new friends we made.