The week the ‘Whiteley’ juniors came.
The ‘Whiteley’ juniors (Bruce & Jo) joined us in Fethiye marina, they too came bearing gifts - you are so so welcome on board. The going rate for a week on Stella Maris is a couple of packs of bacon and some cheddar cheese! Rum & Gin gets you an automatic upgrade (hard to believe you had an upgrade isn’t it). 

Our new crew were keen to get started, so we decided to leave the next day and head back to Seagull Bay as it really is a lovely spot. The wind was being generous so we managed to have a good sail there. On route Bruce set up a nice little ‘sandwich de fromage’ production line in the cockpit, hmmmm cheese and salad cream sarnies delish!! Cheese sarni badge earned there shipmate.
On arrival in the bay we were once again greeted by the man, the cute cat gang and a dog. He remembered us from our visit with shipmate Marcus and came over for a chat. None of us really understood what he was saying (despite fact he was talking in English). We decided to go for a wander around the bay our new friend seemed particularly interested in the ‘Hello’ magazines we’d been looking at. So we leant him one on the proviso that he give it back because the captain hadn’t finished looking at it!!

After our walk we went and ate in the restaurant of the little friendly man. Towards the end of our meal he pulled up a chair and sat down with us for a chat. The thing is he didn’t go, we were having problems understanding what he was saying and he just went on and on (bit like me really). I nearly fell off my chair when I heard him tell the only other customers in the restaurant that he was on his own running the restaurant because his family were at his sisters wedding in Dalaman (This was the same porky, I mean story he told us last time we visited). Now either this man has a lot of sisters or a Turkish wedding goes on for weeks!! We were trying to talk to the only other people in the restaurant about foot & mouth (see it’s not all sailor talk). Turned out one of them was a vet and he was saying that there was no need for uninfected animals to be culled they could be vaccinated. We were trying to ask him why this didn’t happen but our little Turkish man who had got the wrong end of the stick kept interrupting. So troops your mission should you choose to accept - letters to the powers that be - why are we killing these animals when it would appear there is another way? Sorry that’s the rant over. The only way we could escape the Turkish terror was to leave the restaurant and go back to the boat. 

Next morning we had planned to leave at 6.00am to do a 50 miler down to Kas. Thing was it was quite a windy night and at six in the morning it was still blowing. Our main concern was actually being able to get off of the pontoon, as soon as the lazy line was dropped we’d be blown over to the boat next to us. We decided to do what all good sailors do when faced with a situation like this - go back to bed!! 
By 7.00am the wind had dropped a bit it was now just intermittent gusts of 20kts. We picked our moment slipped the lines and off we went. As usual as soon as we got out of the bay, the wind dropped. We had to motor more or less all the way on a rather roly sea. Perfect conditions for some bacon butties!! As we approached Kas mini Whiteley (Jo) took the helm, me thinks she fancies herself as a bit of a Captain Jack Sparrow. Her plan for entering the harbour was to drop the sails, hand-brake hoof it round and then reverse in hard. A little bit radical for the crew of Stella Maris (I haven’t even earned that badge yet). So, before she was able to put her cunning plan into action we prised her off the helm. 

Mr Smiley (giver of bread) was there to say hello as we tied up on the town quay. We decided to stay a couple of days in Kas as the mini whiteley’s fancied doing a bit of diving and we heard that the following day there would be big celebrations in the town to celebrate ‘Republic day’. Now no visit to Turkey is complete without a bit of haggling with the locals and where better to haggle than the local carpet shops. After dinner one night we all set off to a carpet shop as the mini Whiteley’s wanted to buy a rug. The Captain, Shipmate Bruce and myself took our seats in the shop and then Jo stepped up to get the ball rolling - let the carpet selling begin. I don’t know if you’ve seen her in action but the girls a pro. Needless to say we emerged a couple of hours later with a very reasonably priced rug. 

Whilst in Kas we had a rather nasty ladder related incident. For those of you who are not familiar with our ‘ladder of death’ as we affectionately call it. It can be a bit tricky to negotiate and does have a habit of doing the unexpected. Jo took on the ladder of death and lost, well she didn’t really take it on she just tried to use it to board the boat. Unfortunately her foot got caught and her mini leg slipped through some of the slats (gives me the eebie jeebies thinking about it). Cor you should have seen her leg it was a humdinger!! Luckily we had some ice and rum at the ready. We went for a holistic approach in our medical care. Ice externally and rum internally. Doesn’t so much as cure, more sort of a numbing of the pain. The medical attention administered seemed to do the trick because that night we went out to see the Turks celebrating their ‘Republic Day’ a lot of flag waving, singing, music, fireworks and people generally having a jolly good time!

The mini Whiteley’s didn’t make their dive boat the next day think they were a bit still a bit anaesthetised. Strange really as only one of them had a leg injury! We left that day into a bit of a chop, so it was probably a good job they hadn’t gone diving. Next stop Kekova roads, remember Seadogs chums Hasan Deniz and his family. Despite the initial chop as we came out of the harbour things soon calmed down  We arrived in Kalkoy (Kekova Roads) to see friends Moli tied up on the restaurant pontoon. We joined them for a few aperitifs (well its rude not to) then it was off to Hasan Deniz’s restaurant for some Turkish fayre. (Hasan and his wife were pleased to meet Bruce other son of Dennis & Jo wife of son of Dennis. Think they were a little disappointed that we didn’t have the ole Seadog down below). Then it was back to Moli for a few night-caps!!

It was a subdued crew that surfaced on Stella Maris the next morning. The mini Whiteley’s went on a trek up to the castle (a must do) the captain went for a snorkel and I well I just kept an eye on things (yes I was looking at the ‘Hello’ magazine). We left around lunchtime for our last and final destination. Finike, where we and Moli would be spending the Winter and the Whiteley juniors would be jumping ship. There was no wind, so it was a slow motor there. We arrived late afternoon into the marina that will be our home for the next 6 months. After tying up next to Moli we celebrated our first night by having a few aperitifs on Stella Maris then going for a meal in a local restaurant.

The next morning the mini whiteley’s packed up their kit bags. We hired a car and set off for Dalaman to take them to the airport. Stopping at Myra on the way to see some tombs (well you’ve got to do the cultural bit). When we arrived in Dalaman we were all feeling a bit jaded (this sailing the dream has a habit of catching up with you). We were all starving as we hadn’t had any lunch. There isn’t much going on in downtown Dalaman (or if there was we didn’t find it). But we managed to find a small restaurant, the Captain was looking forward to a well earned beer, your not going to believe this but they didn’t serve alcohol, thought he might faint but he managed to hold it together. Despite the lack of alcohol we had a jolly good feed for about 12 of your English pounds, talk about a bargain!!

We’d booked to stay the night in a hotel and drive back to Stella the following morning. The Whiteley juniors flight was in the wee hours. Eventually the time came to say our Good-byes well it hadn’t really but we had a hotel room with a bed and bath waiting for us!!

We really hope that Bruce & Jo enjoyed their week with us. Stella says you are welcome anytime shipmates. Maybe next time Bruce will sample the delights of the Stella Maris showering facilities. You clocked up 103.1nm in your week with us shipmates that earns you the Stella Maris bronze badge award, you lucky things.

Love & bacon butties

The Captain & the one who does everything XX
Thursday, 8 November 2007