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November 2007 - Turkey

November 30, 2007

Hi all Al and I've been busy with boat jobs. We sanded the eyebrow and decks and will let the sun work on the teak over the winter. We're planning on letting the decks go gray but will refinish the eyebrow. Al's been busy sewing new tabs on the hatch covers. The sun tends to rot things quickly. We had fun in Antalya at the opera "Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves" on Wednesday night. The voices were very good, the staging rather hokey, but a ticket was only 6 Turkish lira. (about $5) Tonight is St. Andrews night at the Navigator. We prepared for the occasion with Scottish dance lessons and singing this afternoon. So now we're ready for the festivities to begin. The Navigator is serving lamb casserole or pizza tonight. Then we'll sing and dance until our feet wear out. We got pretty hot dancing this afternoon in our clubroom So I don't expect it'll be much better in the bar :-> Happy weekend.

Love Sally and Al

Turkey | Kemer |Kemer Marina | The Navigator Restaurant| Kemer Quartet

November 26, 2007

Hi Alll

We had a busy fun weekend with Justin and Chris. They left early this morning to fly back to Chicago. Saturday we rented a car again and drove the coast road to Demre the birthplace of Santa Claus and the church of St. Nicholas. The church has excellent frescoes. Nearby Myra ruins has some of the best rock tombs and amphitheater we've seen. We stopped in Finike and went to the large Saturday market. The Kemer Quartet (also play for the Antalya Symphony) put on a delightful concert at The Navigator which was followed by a special dinner. They play cello, viola, oboe, and flute.

November 25, 2007

Sunday 68 people from Kemer Marina took buses to Chimera where escaping natural gas is permanently alight. During ancient times the fire was guided upwards to light a beacon to warn ships of impending danger. We stopped here for snacks while some people roasted hot dogs over the flames. Then part of the group headed back down the mountain while the rest of us continued on for another two hours. We climbed over a mountain, down into a gorge, forded a stream and climbed again finally reaching a road of sorts. Following this road we met up with the rest of the people from the marina for a trout lunch. The restaurant raises farm trout and serves an excellent lunch for just 6 Turkish lira (about $5) We got back to the marina about 2:30 so Justin and I decided to go for a swim. The water temp is still over 70's. Justin and Chris took us for a nice dinner at the Surfside another restaurant close to the marina. Today we will begin boat projects. We have lots to do before we come home in a couple of weeks.

Love Sally and Al

November 23, 2007

Hi all We hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving and are enjoying leftovers today. I expect many went out Christmas shopping :-> Our turkeys were paraded around the dining room with lit sparklers before they were carved and served. We had wonderful food and a great time celebrating with Justin, Chris and our new friends at Kemer. Today we rented a car and drove into the mountains north of Antalya to Gulluk Dag National Park. Al saw a wolf or possibly a lynx (last refuge for them here)as we drove up the heavily wooded mountain road. It was much colder in the mountains than Kemer. We found frost on the ground when we reached the car park for the ruins of the ancient city of Termessos. The main buildings are a magnificent theatre, the defensive walls, the gymnasium, cisterns and baths, temples to Hadrian, Zeus and Artemis, rock tombs, and many sarcophagi. We hiked the mountainside and ruins for over 3 hours. We then drove to nearby Karain to visit a large cave that is believed to be continuously inhabited for over 25,000 years. Bone fragments of Neanderthal man were found here. We have a car rent again for tomorrow so we plan to head to the birth place of Santa Claus in Demre (Myra) near Finike.

Love Sally and Al

November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving! Justin, Chris, Al and I went to Antalya for the day to do some sight seeing. Chris and Justin even went for a swim when we returned to Kemer. The Kemer Cruisers had a wonderful celebration organized by the Americans and catered by the Navigator staff. The restaurant was decorated by the cruisers. The staff had a Turkey Parade complete with sparklers of our Turkey's before they were carved. After dinner we had dancing too.

November 20, 2007

Hi all We are back in Kemer after 5 days in Istanbul. We had a great time but it's hard work being a tourist. It's nice to be back home aboard Artemis. Justin and Chris M. arrived safely from Chicago Friday afternoon. We've been so busy sightseeing we haven't allowed them to catch up on their jet lag. The weather in Istanbul was rainy and much colder than Kemer but we were prepared. Istanbul is an awesome city. We had a heck of a good time. The hotel was conviently located to the tram. We started each day with a nice breakfast in the hotel. Saturday we visited the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Basilica Cistern, The Grand Bazaar, and Suleymaniye Mosque. Chris and Justin went for a Turkish Bath after dinner. On Sunday we took a two hour boat ride on the Bosphorus Straits (connects Mediterranean Sea to the Black Sea)It was raining so we rode the tram until a kindly local took pity on us and suggested we get off on Kalabatas and take the funicular to Taxim. Taxim is where the meyhane (taverns) the locals go to in Beyoulu. Whoa this was were the real crowds were even in the rain. We just moved with the crowd. We had our first taste of Turkish pudding. It's not ice cream but a good substitute. We found our first Catholic Church in Turkey St. Anthony's and went to mass. We wandered down the Flower Passage, found a nice fish and were lead inside so they could prepare it for us. It arrived in a large covered copper chafing dish shaped like a fish. The waiter quite entertainingly removed the bones and served us tasty bowls of steamed fish. Yum everything was excellent. Monday we went the Topkapi Palace and a carpet buying lesson. No we did not buy a 3000 dollar rug even if it was half price. The Turks are quite the salesmen until some of what they say just doesn't add up any more. We went to the Spice Bazaar another fun experience. We had a nice dinner in the Sultanahmet district and then went to Sah Pub and Bar (Nargileh joint)for beer, raki, and a hooka (waterpipe). Today we flew back to Antalya and took a taxi to Kemer. We went to the market then Chris and I went to my Turkish lesson.

Love Sally and Al

November 14, 2007

Hi all We are quickly getting back into the routine of marina life. There is certainly plenty of things to keep you as busy as you want to be. We have Turkish and English lessons, Keep'n Fit, tennis, Stich/crafts, Electric/Mechanical Seminars, hikes, music groups, trips to Antalya for Symphony, opera, movies, shopping... People stop into the Club Room especially on rainy days to play board games (not Al's cup of tea) or borrow books from quite a large lending library built up by the cruisers. We'll miss the flu shots and "Garage Sale" this weekend as we are flying to Istanbul Friday to meet our son Justin and girlfriend Chris. We'll be there for four nights and come back here on Nov. 20. We've had two Thanksgiving meetings already. Today we were making decorations and name tags. The Navigator restaurant will make and serve the meal using our recipes and supervised by the committee chairs. It's quite chilly here when it rains but then the next day you are back in shorts again. We understand Istanbul is much colder so we've unpacked our winter sweaters and slacks to take up there.

Love Sally and Al

November 12, 2007

Hi all We had arrived back at Kemer Marina today. We had a fantastic week sailing with our friends from Knoxville, Tennessee Pam and Steve on "Eirene". We took a four hour bus ride to Fethiye to meet them. It was a cold rainy day but the bus ride through the mountains and the fertile valleys was fabulous. We were amazed by the rich farmland we passed through. Pam and Steve have a Hylas 46 with a fully enclosed center cockpit. So we sailed every day rain or shine and we were warm and dry. The winds were always from the west 20-30 kts so we flew right along. Pam is a great cook so we had wonderful meal. I've picked up quite a few cooking tips.

The first day we visited another anchorage in Fethiye Bay for lunch and another for the evening. Wed. we sailed to a bay near Kalkan that we had visited with Artemis on our way to Kemer. We had a quiet beautiful night unlike the previous time we had visited. That time we motored for 7 hours back and forth across the bay until morning :-( Thursday we stopped at Kas (old port) for lunch and provisions.

Then we moved on to Kekova Roads. This area is behind a four mile island and has many all weather anchorages. The first night we went into a long fiord type harbor. The mountains rose high around the anchorage. The next day we went to Kale Koy for a few hours. We were met at our dinghy by five Turkish women with their baskets or scarves to sell. They led us up the trail to visit the fort and tomb. Each one became an individual guide to us. Always calling us by name and keeping us close to them away from the others in our group. We were given wild oregano, basil, mint, peppermint, carob (chocolate), fossils, It was quite a production as we walked along and we all knew that in the end we would be buying their scarves. The fort was neat and the views were awesome. But the most fun was haggling over the price of the scarves. We moved on to Gokkaya Limani for our night anchorage. This spot had lots of fun channels and a great cave to explore. The stars were fantastic.

We knew there was a storm moving in so on Saturday we went to Finike Harbor. Market day! Amazing...It was four times the size of Kemer's market. It had not only fruits, vegetables, and spices but clothing, fabrics, rugs... The venders are quick to give you a sample so that you'll buy from them. It was a lively fun experience. The storm hit Saturday evening about 5PM. The worst lasted about 3 hours when we were clocking constant above 40 kts of wind with gusts as high as 58. We were glad to be tied up in the harbor. It continued to howl until 3 AM. Not much rest that night and of course we worried about Artemis in Kemer without us aboard. Sunday we had 25 kts for a lively 30 mile sail.

We anchored about 15 miles from Kemer in a hidden cove with high cliffs surrounding Cinevis Limani. We anchored and tied our stern to a fisherman's dock to hold the boat into the light swell entering the anchorage. Al and Steve were summoned by the fisherman and they ended up buy 2 kilo's of fish (no idea what kind)Dinner was all ready so we have yet to cook them. We had another great night of star gazing. I definitely need to get a star chart when I come home. We arrived in Kemer after another lovely day of sailing about 1:30. Artemis was safe and sound. We had tour of the facilities at the Marina hotel tonight and a birthday party so we were able to catch up with the happenings while we were gone. It's fun to travel around with others but "There's no place like home"

Love Sally and Al

November 10, 2007

Hi all We are having a fun sailing with our friends on Eirene Steve and Pam. We expect to be back in Kemer on Tuesday and I will catch up on the log then.

Love Sally and Al

November 4, 2007

Hi all We had a fun Halloween Party complete with costumes and pumpkin carving. Kemer has a lively social group and there is no way Al and I try to keep up. We pick and choose our events. I did create a cat costume and we had a fun time and dinner. Friday we had a new boat come in alongside us from Sweden Lars and Corin. We went up to the Friday night newcomers cocktail hour and then had a nice dinner with them and two other couples. Later we continued our lively conversation aboard their boat with a nightcap. Everyone we meet is so interesting. It's fun to hear their experiences and to learn more about their cultures. Sometimes Al and I look at each other and say, "We'd no idea what this adventure was really going to be." It just unfolds each day.

Yesterday I spent a lot of time on the internet making travel plans. We will fly to Chicago Dec. 13 and then to Minneapolis Dec. 18. On Jan. 18-24 we will fly to Syracuse to visit my Dad and brother Tom's family. Then back to Minneapolis until Jan. 30. We will spend the remaining time in US in Chicago. We fly back to Kemer on Feb. 12.

Today we went on a three hour hike with 25 others into the forest and mountainside. The group split half way through. The more rigorous chose to climb up a mountain and skirt around a landslide on a two foot ledge. Our group chose to climb to the lighthouse and have a picnic before returning to Kemer. Tomorrow we leave Artemis for 5-6 days to meet our friends Pam and Steve on Eirene in Fethiye. We will travel with them on their boat back to Kemer stopping at some of the places we've been and hopefully a few new ones. We'll still be able to check emails but not as often. We expect to be back in Kemer by next Sunday.

Love Sally and Al

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