12th August 2020
Our morning started with a few calls. I called my mum and wished her happy birthday. Luca called a friend in New Zealand and then the kids had their weekly catch up call with the other online students from their correspondence school. It was a rather quiet day just pottering around, writing, drawing, playing, swimming.
We went to town in Selimiye Koyu for ice creams and for Lucy to have a walk and swim. It was decided that we tag along with the other boats we had met – Imagine, Adventurous and Lostura to Palamut Buku the next day to explore the marina there for overwintering. We left Selimiye at 9 am and decided just at 3 pm to pull in in Datcha for the night, as otherwise it would have been a really long trip.
As soon as we where anchored in Datcha we spotted a sea turtle around our boat and Tim, Nina and Luca jumped in and followed it around. They come up to breathe every now and then, so you can their little heads poking out of the sea if you pay attention. It was a really fast turtle and they struggled to keep up with it, but could follow it around for some time.
Nina is trialing for 1 month to do her own main lessons for school. The first project she choose was Mandalas. And she has been very enthusiastic to figure out how they are drawn and what the history is. In the evening she showed me how to do one and we each made our own mandala. Its so special to have these times together and for the kids to have the possibility to explore subjects that really interest them.
Next morning we left at 8.30 am and sailed to Palamut Buku. We anchored out for the first night and decided not to go into the little harbor. When we snorkeled to check on the anchor David from Adventurous pointed out that there where lots of flounders and that they where really easy to catch. Luca was straight away enthusiastic. He is the best diver in the family and got the spear gun out. He just dived down and poked the first flounder straight on the spear and 3 more followed without even shooting the speargun. He was rather thrilled with himself. David showed him how to fillet them and Luca did the rest and fried them up in butter. We all got a little taste and I was so proud of him, being able to catch himself a fish, fillet it and fry it.
We had a coffee with the crew from Adventurous and where all invited over to Lostura for drinks in the afternoon. It was lots of fun to meet everyone and get to know them and their stories. It ended up being a long evening. Nina and Luca where gifted a tube of Vegimite by Jaynee, which to them is like creamy black gold. They where so happy. The american crew from Imagine didn’t approve of Vegimite and I don’t really like it either. All the Kiwis and Aussies where pro vegimite. If you don’t know what vegimite is – its a black salty spread made of yeast extract. Vegimite is from Australia and Marmite is from New Zealand.
There where little crafts stalls all along the little port and Nina, Luca and I went for a wander. We all got a little keepsake. Later that evening we all went out for Burgers and had a rather horrible rolly night with draws flying open and dishes and things sliding around. So the next morning we decided to pull into the port as well and stock up on power and water.
It ended up being a busy day. Tim washed the boat, I did heaps of wash loads to get a few clothes back into our cupboards and get sheets and towels clean again. David and Paul came over to have another look at our solar system, as nothing much seemed to have changed after the fuse was exchanged. I found a little vegi and fruit shop and stocked up on fresh food. This evening we where all meeting on Imagine. Laurie and Paul where going to make pizza, the Lostura crew nibbles, Adventurous Salad and I provided German apple cake from the Polly crew. It was again a fun night and it almost feels a bit like cruising academy being with more experienced boat crews we learn so much.
The kids really enjoy all the socialising immensely and all the adults have really embraced them. Nina especially warmed up to Jaynee. Nina taught Jaynee how to make a Mandala and they drew together for a few hours. Nina also made an essential oil blend for all the ladies as a gift. Luca enjoys all the sailing stories and jokes from the men. And Tim and I feel wrapped up warm in the company of other like minded people, who are so freely willing to help and share their knowledge.
The kids are checking out all the stray animals each place we go and Lucy’s food bag is getting raided each time they see a skinny cat. Luca even went out in the dinghy to recover some small fish the fishermen had discarded in the sea to chop them up for the cats. But the cats weren’t really interested in the fish. Nina made friends with a little kitten she named ginger. We all decided to go to Knidos the next day to go and see the ancient city / old merchant harbor there. We had heard so many good things about it. The crew from Adventurous whisked the kids away on a shopping trip first though to see a big parrot in one of the shops. Once they came back we left for Knidos.
It was a short and uneventful sail. Once we arrived and where anchored up we again saw a sea turtle and all jumped in, Tim this time manned with his gopro to film it. This turtle was not as fast as the other one and we all could observe it beautifully from the surface. We took Lucy for a walk at the beach and went to check out the opening times for ancient city and what the entrance fee is. There was a stall where 3 young people where cracking almonds. Its harvest time here and they told us it will be over next week. We had seen many people sorting almonds in the little roadside stalls. They gave us some fresh almonds to try and they where really delicious. We where told that they are really good if you put them on ice and we had seen another stall in Semilije who sold frozen almonds.
In the evening Nina, Tim and I played scrabble before settling in for the night. Luca raised the alarm that we looked awfully close to another boat, so we got up again to reset the anchor in the middle of the night, which thankfully worked well.
The next morning we went to the ancient city of Knidos first thing in the morning to avoid the heat. This site felt similar in importance to the acropolis. It was one of the busiest harbors in ancient times in the med. However compared to all the ancient sites we have been in Greece this one seemed very underfunded for what it was. Its a huge area and there was a group of workers chipping away on one site. The theater is beautifully restored, but the rest seem just bits and pieces that they are trying to put back together still. However the pieces that are there are so beautiful. Huge marble pieces, intricate stone work, beautiful old stone walls and stone and marble stairs that made you wonder how many people walked them over the hundreds of years.
I actually took my shoes off to walk on the ground and stones with my bare feet. Each time I am in one of those ancient places I wished I could be a ghost for just 1 day time travelling back to see and feel how life would have been back then. The whole place is just stunning with 2 bays divided by a bit of land, a lighthouse on a big rock, water so clear blue and turquoise with the sun sparkling on the water. The dry hills with the shrubs, grasses and olive trees, the heat, the sun – its all so Mediterranean, so beautiful, so mind blowing. When I try to take photos of what we see, none of it really makes it justice.
We could even walk into the theater. In the acropolis, most of the things where fenced off, here we could stand right at the bottom and experience the acoustics, have a peak into the the little cave like rooms behind the stage, where we assume the actors would have come from.
Unfortunately our visit was cut short by a phone call from the worried crews of Lostura and Adventurous who thought we might be dragging anchor. Tim got restless and we went back keeping an eye on Polly. It was decided we weren’t dragging after all and we stopped for a quick Turkish tea in the restaurant by the entrance. I bought a couple of boxes of fresh figs from an old lady who has a stall by the jetty under a big tree. Lots of the roadside stalls also sell home preserves, carob beans and herbs. The old lady pointed out her carob molasses. Freddie and Birgul had introduced us to is and was delicious, so we bought a jar and its so yummy.
When we came back we got through some school work with the kids. And in the evening we invited the other boats to come to ours for a potluck dinner, which was lots of fun again.The next morning started with a swim and schooling. I baked a cheesy bread for lunch. Tim and I went for a walk with Lucy up the other side of the bay. We where told that this was where the shops where in ancient times. We could see the walls from the boat. The whole hillside was scattered with old terracotta pottery and we could see outlines for what would have been a busy settlement.
There were indications of walls everywhere, but everything is overgrown and not very well kept. We literally walked over artifacts everywhere, little handles of pots and pottery chards everywhere. While we where walking I got a waft of wild thyme again. We had already found and harvested some on Kythnos in Greece and its so delicious in cooking and baking. The smell is so intense and beautiful. I got a few more branches to use in our boat kitchen as the hills where generously lined with wild thyme everywhere.
Finding eatable food / herbs just makes me happy. It made me think that back in the times those herbs would have been treasured. I can still see here that they are still treasured here, as both in Greece and Turkey there are lots of roadside stalls selling a variety of them. Its sad how in many first world countries we are so detached from the healing properties of what nature provides us with so generously and grab a chemical, man made pill instead.
After our walk we where so sweaty and hot that we went straight for another swim to cool off.