Dick and Irene Craig
Fri 16 May 2008 07:52

We are all now members of various groups. We are in group 4 and the colour of our pennant is green. We also have matching green scarves so that we can be recognized by other members of our group easily. To ensure there is no embarrassment when we meet at functions, we each sport a name tag. This I find to be an essential piece of equipment as I am rarely able to put a name to a face in the early days of a rally such as this. Each group consists of about 14 boats.

As there are now 81 boats participating in the 2008 EMYR, in order to get the boats in and out of the harbour, as easily as possible, each group has an allocated time-slot for departure and arrival.

When we left Finike to sail to Kemer, we had to be on our way by 5am. This was not as awful as it sounds because other boats had to leave earlier and the soft, distant sounds of the engines penetrated the subconscious. When the catamaran, rafted to our port hull, switched on its engines at 4.15am, Caroline was out of bed and on the deck to assist their departure. We had slipped our lines and were on our way at 4.55am, feeling very pleased with ourselves.

There was little wind but we managed to sail for about 5 hours, though for a couple of hours during the early afternoon, we didn’t achieve speeds greater than 2.5knots and for a while, had we not had a tidal tow, we wouldn’t have even managed 1knot.

During the morning, a single dolphin visited our boat and played awhile around the bows. Later, during the period when the boat was sailing very slowly, to me it seemed as though it was in reverse, we spotted 4 dolphins, but they didn’t approach the boat. They had probably had a surfeit of sailing boats, as each of the EMYR boats made passage to Kemer.

On arrival we had to wait for about half an hour while other boats were berthed. For some reason, although we should have had to wait longer, a decision was made for the catamarans to be moored ahead of their order of arrival. This was very pleasing and we were tied up, stern to the quayside, next to a fishing boat.

That evening, at the request of the group organizer, we donned our EMYR polo shirts and attended a cocktail party, held at a restaurant on the quayside, where I had a bit of a falling out with an American who had stacked a pile of delicious cheese rolls on his plate and wouldn’t permit me to take one, even though they were in short supply and he had taken far more than his fair share.

One of the skippers from another EMYR boat, kindly took a photograph of the Tucanon team, which was included in last week’s blog.

Monday morning, Dick and Lucy went on a trip to Tahtali mountain, at 2365 metres, taking a cable car to view the wonderful scenery. They also had the opportunity to visit Phasellis, a ruined Lycian city, magnificently situated on a peninsula, around 3 small bays. I took advantage of a day off  to catch up with the housekeeping, taking a dolmus into town during the afternoon, to buy a few provisions.

Caroline had to arrange to get herself included on Tucanon’s transit log, no easy feat as it includes lots of bureaucracy.

That evening, we 3 women attended the cocktail party and rally dinner, while Dick had to stay on the boat to await the arrival of a techie, who we hoped would fix the problem with the inverters, which didn’t work properly when we were connected to shore power.

As the dinner was formal, we all made an effort to look our best. The setting was lovely, about 30 tables, each set for 10 people. A white cloth ,with a central bowl of flowers, adorned each table. In the centre of the flowers was a white candle which was lit, as we all took our places. White covers with huge bows, covered the chairs, some also sported blue bows, rather than white. The 5 course dinner, with copious amounts of wine or whatever other drink was preferred, was held on decking which went right to the edge of the sea. Beautiful mountains provided the backdrop to the left. A live band played a varied selection of music and the singers sang in many different languages. The dance floor was packed.

On arrival back to the boat, Caroline switched on the kettle to make a cup of tea and blew the fuse. The problem with the inverters, which Dick had thought rectified, was still with us.

Next morning at 9.45, the inter-group competition began and each group participated in various games, such as, wheel barrow race, egg throwing contest, tug of war, etc. The red group won the day, There was a little confusion however. When asked later, who were the winning team, one of the guys officiating said “Don’t ask me, I’m confused”.

Lucy stayed on the boat while the rest of us went into town for a meal. She is on a water only diet for 3 days.

Boats started to leave the marina at 4am, Wednesday morning. We were fortunate that we could have a lie in and didn’t leave the shelter of the harbour until just after 5am. One of the participating boats had engine problems so the other Lagoon 440 catamaran, our twin, went to the rescue and towed them back to safety.

The weather was mixed with wind strength fluctuating between 1knot and at its zenith, 20 knots. We had clouds, sunshine, rain, hail, electrical storms but at no time was the sea more than slight to moderate. Some boats didn’t even raise their sails but we managed to sail for about 15 minutes and motorsail for about 3hours, arriving at Alanya at 5pm, where we dropped an anchor and took stern lines ashore.

Romantically, Mark Anthony gave the city of Alanya to Cleopatra, as a gift and it was here, where the area was rich in timber, that she was able to utilize these resources and build up her navy.

Friday morning, 3 coaches left the marina at 9.30 to visit local places of interest. We visited the Damlatas caves which were just off Cleopatra beach, at sea level, where we admired the stalactites and stalagmites. These caves are closed to the general public for 6 hours each day, so that those people who suffer from respiratory problems, particularly non-allergic asthma, may benefit from the therapeutic climate within the caves.

We passed, en-route to the castle, the Red tower, a defensive tower, 35 metres high, built of red stone, by Aladdin, famous for the lamp. The castle is surrounded by 4.5 kilometers of wall, snaking around the upper reaches of the great rocky promontory, that juts out over the sea, dominating the town.  

After lunch, where we sat at a table floating on the river, we visited another underground cave, at an altitude of about 250 metres. The stalagtites and stalagmites in this series of caves ( about 400 metres in length,) were amazing.

We returned back to the boat at 5.15pm, hurriedly showered, then left to join the coaches at 6.15pm which took us on to the cocktail party and formal dinner.


Floating table at restaurant
Castle wall at Alanya