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Thursday, 06 November 2008

Turkish Blue Cruises - Page 2

Written by Aaron Highfill
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Many have lamented the loss of the Windjammer Barefoot Cruises. Catering to a much younger crowd than the big ships, their small wooden vessels would ply the azure waters of the Caribbean with only 60-100 passengers. Famed for their onboard parties and themed nights, they were responsible for many lifelong friendships and more than a few romances. While they have sadly not operated since 2007, those seeking to mellow out aboard a small yacht with the young and the young at heart should know they still could. Not in the Caribbean, but in the Mediterranean with a Turkish Blue Cruise.


The Kubra, like most Blue Cruise Vessels is designed to hold about twenty people. It has ensuite cabins below deck, with showers in the bathrooms. There is a large common area towards the stern, where the dining table sits. The deck is shaded by an awning and covered with mattresses because apparently, few people ever sleep in the cabins, when it is so nice to sleep out on the deck.


Adrienne Walker, Turkish Blue Cruises, Mediterranean cruises, Turkish Cruise, Olympos, Turkey, Turkey’s southern coast, Turquoise Coast, Marmaris, Izmir, Fethiye, Olympos, Kas, AntalyaLunch was served as we motored away from Fethiye to our first stop at Oludeniz. Not just a stunning beach, Oludeniz is also one of the worlds top paragliding spots. Looking skyward, I viewed over a dozen rectangular sails in orange and blue and yellow as they spun and dove and climbed. I felt I had to join them. Only two of us from the boat chose the $140 US tandem paraglide on offer. Riding up the 2000 meter mountain in an old truck, Adrianne, the London half of the London/Houston couple, admitted to a fear of heights. Forty-five minutes later she was cured. The flight was amazing. Looking down on the lagoon, the stratified shades of blue in the ocean, the crescent of sand and realizing it was the most peaceful place I've ever been, made it well worth the price.


We took a launch back to the Kubra at dusk to find we had been joined by three late arriving passengers: two sisters from Australia, and a college lecturer from Manchester who teaches in the UK Prison System. We ate a dinner of eggplant, salad, and rice. Simple, hearty Turkish food cooked, like all our meals, by the Captain’s wife. For dessert, a small motor launch pulled alongside, offering Gozleme (turkish crepes) with chocolate and bananas for sale. A moonlight swim in the warm sea followed, then sitting around the table, sipping wine and getting to know each other. We anchored for the night off St. Nicholas island, home to numerous Byzantine ruins. Another Blue Cruise vessel was anchored nearby. That ship had a presumably younger and definitely wilder group of passengers aboard. We could hear their music and revelry echo across the water, but it wasn’t loud enough to prevent our drifting off to sleep on deck.

The Captain started the engines before dawn the next morning, briefly waking at least this passenger. Breakfast was around eight, a spread of green and black olives, tomatoes, cucumbers, feta cheese, eggs and bread. The crew obviously had an evil streak, as there was also a thick chocolate spread we all swore we would have "Just a little bit" of. Right. Strong tea and instant coffee were also available. I'll never understand why a country capable of making amazing coffee tolerates, much less embraces instant. But all over Turkey they do – Nescafe is huge.

Breakfast was followed by a swim, mainly to wash the chocolate off our faces. The ship had a bucket of swim fins, masks and snorkels available to use. The snorkeling was ok, but unexciting, it isn't the Caribbean. The water is warm and clear, but the bottom is gray rock rather than coral and the fish are all silver. Every so often there are clearly man made objects: a piece of an ancient wall, a large urn, or a wine bottle tossed there in the 1990s.


(Page 2 of 4)
Last modified on Sunday, 16 December 2012

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