14 June 2006

Turkey Observations

Rather than a “what I did over summer vacation” post, I’ll just list some random observations from my trip.
  • The Turkish people we met are genuinely friendly and helpful; everywhere we went we were greeted by “Yes, please” (well, OK, they were always trying to sell us something.) Mike remarked that in Greece everyone seems to run away when you need to berth your boat, but in Turkey, they run to help you. Not just marina staff either—we had restaurant staff, ice cream vendors, and even a nearby gullet crew help us tie up our boat.
  • Technology is ubiquitous. Even in seemingly remote areas, we always had cell phone coverage; and in the marinas, I always managed to find WiFi access.
  • This part of Turkey is full of big, expensive boats; marinas were packed and every little cove seemed to have a boat or two anchored.
  • Tourists to Turkey’s southern coastal towns & resorts are almost entirely composed of Germans and Brits. American never seem to come here—everyone guessed us to be either British, Australian, or even South African.
  • Sailing is a wonderful way to spend your vacation—and a good value for a group of 5-10 people. It’s not luxurious, but it’s so much fun, and you get to see places you couldn’t otherwise (even on an organized boat trip.)
  • Sailing is actually easy; of the myriad of lines, winches, and cleats on a boats deck, you really only use 3 while underway: the main sheet, and the 2 jib sheets. Blinky (that’s what we called the autopilot) will do the steering for you, and navigation is a cinch thanks to GPS chart plotters.
  • I really don’t like SCUBA. Yes, it’s cool to explore a world under the waves, but I do it just to keep current (ironically, so I can keep diving!)
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