31 July 2015

Blue Cruise - Another Check on My Turkey Bucket List

Blue Cruises are one of the things to do in Turkey in the summer. I don't particularly like the sun or swimming...but I do love boats so I've been curious about doing one of these for a few years. Then as luck would have it, a group of friends decided to arrange a trip and invited E&M and me to join!

Blue cruises are usually from four to seven days long and generally, I think, depart from Fetihye or Bodrum. We did a four day cruise over Fourth of July weekend out of Fetihye so E&M and I got up stupidly early in the morning on the Thursday to catch our flight to Dalaman (the nearest airport to Fetihye). There we joined my other friends and caught a 10TL bus to Fetihye (and then a taxi from the otogar to the liman) where we boarded the ship that would be our home from the next few days: the Seaborn Legend.

We hung out on deck while the crew stocked the ship and got us ready to put out to sea-the Mediterranean to be specific. Apparently while we at the dock something other than supplies was also introduced to the ship. After dinner our first night out we were all relaxing and suddenly a cat, terrified out of it's poor, little mind scampers across the deck, sees us and freezes, then runs and hides as fast as possible. We were all as startled as the cat. We asked the captain if he happened to have a cat on board as a pet (no, he didn't) and then in that case what should we do about it. This is why I love Turkish people. He looked at us a little bit like we were slow in the brain and very matter of factly said "We feed it." I could hear the 'duh' he wanted to tack onto the end.*

Where we hung out during the day and slept at night.

The food was amazing.

Once we were underway it took a little while to get our sea legs! There are no shoes allowed below deck but mostly we didn't think there was a need for shoes period so we ditched them as soon as we got on board. I loved, loved it when the boat was moving. We never "sailed" the sails never went up and we just used the motor the entire time but it's understandable. When you're in motion for less than an hour at a time and dropping anchor twice a day putting up and taking down sails is a lot of extra work. Still, the breeze and the salt water spray were exhilarating sails or no sails.

Tea time on the ship!

In every cove we stopped there was swimming, snorkeling, kayaking, scrambling up rocks to jump off, and more. Cleopatra's Cove even had the ruins of a bath where she was reputed to take her famous milk baths and a rope swing which we rowdily employed.

At one stop there was a chance to go ashore and hike across the island to another cover where the boat would meet us. When we were preparing for this trip that sounded like a fantastic idea to me but when it came time to actually do it...nah. I stayed on the boat with a friend. We sat on the prow and enjoyed the ride to the next cove.

I wondered how you'd store four days of food to feed 12 people on the boat but it seems I needn't have worried because there are market boats! There was a bread boat from which we got possibly the best bread I've ever had in my life. She actually bakes the bread on the boat so it was fresh and warm every morning. There was a full-on market boat with produce, eggs, etc, and an ice cream boat.

Sunrise at Cleopatra's Cove

Sleeping topside was fantastic. Most of us slept up every night. The moon was so bright that we couldn't really see any stars the first few nights but when they came out they were beautiful. I didn't even mind the rising sun waking me up because that was gorgeous too! And of course the sunset was magical. We only got one because it was either hazy or we were in the wrong place to see it the other nights so the night we did get it we were all crowded in the front near the prow snapping away.

To top it all off I got the chance to fulfill my "when I grow up I want to be..." dream. Sort of anyway. I want to be a pirate. I'm still fairly serious about this. A wine connoisseur pirate. Our last night on ship I asked if I could take the wheel a bit-mostly I wanted to get pictures of me and Klockly (the bunny in my hand-that's a whole different story) sailing the boat. So I hammed for the camera a bit and made to turn the wheel back to the actual captain but he told me, no keep going.

So I did! I sailed that boat like a pro. Well...better than I drive car. Although really only because there weren't any other boats around to hit. I'd look at the captain every once in a while to make sure I was ok and he kept giving me thumbs up. Except for the one time he came up beside me, said I was doing well but...then pointed way over to my 10:00 and said that we were actually going over there. Oops.

Arrgg me hearties!!!

* Despite looking for the stowaway cat, which was dubbed Sailor Cat, and feeding throughout the trip we never did find the poor thing. The Seaborn Legend now has a mascot. If you want to sail on her and make friends with Sailor Cat get in touch with Ali at www.mybluecruise.com

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