Turkey

(an excerpt from my log)

By Robby Gray (JN)

 

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            Today we went on a short two to three hour passage to Ravine Cove in Skopea Limani (bay). We anchored in the typical Med. Moor fashion. This method of anchoring consists of dropping the hook in middle of the bay then backing the boat towards the shore, whether the wind is from the bow, stern, or beam. Once the stern is about 50 feet from shore, someone has to go to shore, either in a dingy or swimming, to find a rock or tree to tie the stern off to. Because the bays in this part of the Med. only get shallow right next to the shore, and there are too many boats to fit in them, this method of anchoring has to be adopted even though it is a bad way of anchoring. Two big problems with this style of anchoring are firstly, if the winds are anything but light, it can be very hard with the wind on the stern or beam to spin the boat around and back into shore and, secondly, someone has to bring the line to shore, another has to feed out the line (and pull it taut and cleat it), another has to drop the anchor, and yet another has to drive. This can be tricky with only one, two, or even three people. While bringing our line to tie to an olive tree on shore, I could see the bottom in about 35 feet of water as if the water wasn’t there and some unseen force was stretching and then compressing the submerged boulders into surreal shapes but, when I looked out across the water, the bottom would disappear and the surface of the water would turn into the face of a Sri Lankan blue sapphire. It was a beautiful day and, after we had gotten settled, we decided to go explore a bit on shore.

            We pulled the dinghy up the beach made up of smooth rocks about the size of lemons. The “beach” was actually the mouth of a riverbed that was dry at this time of the year. The riverbed was edged by rock cliffs about 30 feet high and the walls where we were pulling up the dinghy were about 100 feet apart.

            While the rest of the family walked up the dry riverbed inland, I did a bit of exploring. I took a steep, obscure trail that led off to the left and eventually found myself looking down 30 ft of steep cliff onto a narrower part of the riverbed. The stone and the trees above made it pleasantly cool but I thought I better catch up to the rest of my family so I climbed back down and I started up the dry riverbed as well. As I walked, the cliffs got closer and closer until, after walking a couple hundred feet, the walls were about 8 feet across. The path climbed slowly up, the cliffs on either side getting lower and lower, and it wasn’t very long before the cliffs became easily traversed inclines and a path appeared going off to the left.

            I saw a few footprints that headed up the path so I thought that that was probably the way that the rest of my family had gone. After taking a few steps down the path, I suddenly became aware of what seemed to be thousands of bugs screeching in one monotonous, unrelenting note. Added to this sound was the gentle sound of wind whistling through the pines that made up the surrounding forest. I walked down the narrow dirt path for about five minutes when I reached the end of the pine forest and saw my dad waving at me about 200 feet away from what looked like a small house. I walked up a gently sloping, terraced hill surrounded by olive trees. Once I had made it to the house I was introduced to a Turkish woman and her probably eight year old son and was ushered immediately into a raised and covered ten by twenty sitting area. The shade was welcome as the sun was burning hot.

            The Turkish woman bustled off to get us the required Turkish tea and I looked around taking in the surroundings. The raised sitting area was built right next to the house, one side sharing a wall with the house and the other three open to the air. The house, made of nicely whitewashed concrete with a shiny corrugated metal roof, was a basic four sided rectangular structure, its long side roughly double the short side. The sitting area was located on the side of the house that was 45 degrees to and closest to the terraced path that had brought me to the house. About 25 feet farther along, towards the other shore, set perpendicular to the house that I was leaning on at the time, was another building. It was the same as the first building in all respects except that it was about ˝ the size.

            It turns out that the Turkish woman wove custom carpets for boats. We had no time to have one made but, after our tea, we followed our host into the smaller building where I was surprised to find the floor covered in bright red carpets. There stood, in the corner, a large loom with a half made carpet on it. We had a seat on the floor and leaned back onto the carpet covered cushions that lined the wall. Our host, who, incidentally, spoke no English, left. Earlier, through sign language, we had learned that in about 20 minutes her husband and sons would be back who spoke English so we sat and waited. In probably the prescribed 20 minutes the Turkish woman’s husband, Mr. Kul, came in and we all shook hands and introduced ourselves. The boys were not there yet but we would see them later. We learned that he was the Muslim Imam (priest) for the village and also were able to watch the Turkish woman work on her carpet.

            The loom was just a rectangular wooden frame leaned against the wall with balls of wool yarn hanging from the top and sat on the bottom. Tied parallel in the middle of the loom, from top to bottom, were thin white lines about one centimeter apart. In one motion, the Turkish woman would pull down some yarn, tie it in a knot that looks to me to be a clove hitch around two of the white lines, cut the wool short with an extremely sharp knife, that she held with the palm of her right hand so as to leave her fingers free to tie, then do the same process all over again. Through all this, she was also making each knot the right color so to create the desired design. After making about an inch or two of stitches, the rug is trimmed with a pair of scissors bent into a banana shape. We got to see this done as about two inches of the rug was untrimmed when we got there. It was scary to watch her cut in such an easy way as one slip could ruin months of tedious work. We ended up buying three rugs--two boat bathroom sized and one boat saloon size.

  Meeting different people and getting a glimpse of what their life is really like is one of the greatest rewards of cruising. This Turkish family did not see us as a dollar sign but as friends. Later Michael and I were to join the two older teenage boys on their daily tour of the surrounding anchorages to sell herbs, olives, olive oil, and bread to raise money for their school tuition. My mom (Lona) was also able to teach the youngest boy how to play backammon and, the next day we were to take the boys wakeboarding and to be invited to their house to eat a truly Turkish lunch but those stories are for another time.

 

THE END

 

Link to Turkey pictures

 

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