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Aannsha’s Blog #212 – Smuggler’s Inn & New Home Finike

Updated: Jan 15, 2022

In our last video we left you as we returned to A B Sea to get some money. We’d had fun looking at the sea cave and decided it was high time to check out Smuggler’s Inn. We’ve been to Gökkaya (Smuggler’s Bay) several times and haven’t been. It was a hot sunny day and this visit might be our last for a while as we were heading to Finike for winter. If we needed a good excuse to visit a bar, this was it.

We zoomed to A B Sea and Baz picked up his wallet. Then we headed in Dee our dinghy over to the inlet on the east of Gökkaya which is where Smugglers Inn is tucked away. (Just like you’d expect a proper pirate hangout to be). We weren’t disappointed. There were ‘Pirate only’ signs as we entered the inlet and as we approached the bar’s jetty, we caught a glimpse of the eclectic looking wooden bar. You’ll see in this week’s video just how cool it is.

After a very refreshing cold beer we returned to A B Sea. But instead of heading directly home, Baz turned into the little inlet situated just behind our yacht. There was evidence of a Lycian building and also a newer, but still completely run down stone home. I commented that it would make a nice renovation task. Baz laughed long and sarcastically at the thought of taking on a project like that.

All that space and they anchor on top of us!

We did laugh as we headed back to A B Sea. Even with all of the free anchorage space in the bay, someone had still managed to anchor right next to us. We also had a hunch they were over our anchor. That would make our exit from the bay tomorrow interesting.

I was still hot when we got back to the boat, so I swam over to the jetty where some of the tourist gulets drop off day trippers to explore. There was evidence of a building that had been there, but all that was left was pretty much floor tiles.

As I was showering on the back deck a few minutes later Baz and I discussed all of the positive points of visiting Gökkaya and Kekova in general.

Heading for our new home

The following morning we did have to ask the people in the boat in front of us to kindly move forward. Baz handled the manoeuvre really well. Once we’d got to 10 metres of chain left and he drove over the anchor to free it from the mud. Then I pulled the last 10 metres up as fast as I could and he slowly inched forwards, until I shouted that the anchor was up. Then he reversed slowly and we were shortly on our way out of the bay, heading east towards Finike.

Our journey was uneventful, especially in terms of wind that was blowing a poor 2 knots virtually on the nose. Until we arrived at Finike and it increased to 11 knots. Of course.

The marinero, Cem (pronounced Jem) was very helpful. He assisted us pump out our black water tank and helped us berth in a fabulous spot on B pontoon. It’s close to the toilet/shower block and also the marina office. And we’ve discovered the Wi-Fi signal where we are is pretty strong.

Finike Setur Marina - benefits

We have chosen to stay in Turkey for another year. For many reasons, Turkey is the best place for us to spend the next few months overwintering in Finike. Taking out a 12 month contract with the Setur group will allow us to travel up and down the Turkish coast between Antalya and Istanbul and take advantage of 30 days free in each of the other Setur marinas along the way. We also chose Finike this year rather than Kaş, which we love, for two reasons.

The first being cost. Finike is a seriously better price and includes unlimited water and electricity. This is important to us because our budget has dwindled very quickly (because we had more costly boat work last year than anticipated, and we also lost valuable income sources as a result of covid). So the financial savings in Finike is a massive advantage.

If you remember our stay in Greece in the winter of 2019/20, you will also remember how badly affected by cold Barry is. Cold is his kryptonite. Last winter in Kaş was relatively mild, but there were times when we would have loved to have put the heater on to take the chill out of the air. However it all mounts up and we often wore extra layers of clothes instead of heating the boat. In Finike we don’t have to worry about that at all. It’s wonderful.

The second reason was because we had heard that there is a great community in Finike marina. It is now January 2022 as I type this blog and we’ve been in Finike for three months already (wow where did that time go?). And we very much feel part of a thriving liveaboard community. There are so many free events that all can attend: a barbecue every Sunday in the Porthole which is well attended. There’s also a bridge class, a craft afternoon, a Bring’N’Buy coffee and (awesome homemade) cake morning with proceeds going to the animal shelter, a Turkish class and an exercise class. I also do dance fitness a few days a week and am always joined by between two and six other ladies!

These are just the things I can think of as I write, but there are other events that happen such as the carol singing on Christmas Eve, sea shanties one evening, a well-attended Christmas lunch at the local hotel and occasionally people organise visits to local archaeological sites of interest. And that’s without the dinners on board with small groups of friends!

It’s wonderful. The community is small enough to know most people by sight and large enough to have many diverse friendships. It also helps that Finike has an area specifically set up for many of our gatherings. The Porthole consists of a reasonably sized building that has a kitchen area, tables and chairs, dart board and a little library. The second area is a covered space outside, which encompasses more tables along with a couple of barbecues. There are also picnic tables on the adjacent lawn.

We did spy a swim hole on the outer wall of the marina which has a swim platform, two ladders and a shower. I swam there once, but the water was a tad too cool for me given the time of year. Next Spring I’ll swim.

If you’d like to see what I’ve just written about, then check out this week’s video here.

Until then, I wish you health, wealth, courage and a healthy dose of wisdom, as you take the actions to bring your dreams to life.

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