When we sailed back to Turkey from Greece in late 2020 and made it to Kaş by August 1st, we envisioned sitting out the worst of the winter winds and storms in the protection of the marina and whenever there was a weather window, getting out for a bit and spending some time at anchor as we explored more of the Turkish coast.
However when you live full time on a boat you learn that expectations and reality generally sit at opposite ends of the spectrum.
First we had major engine issues with the blown turbo, then bypassing the turbo, then installing a new turbo, then stripping down and reconditioning the top end of the engine, then the starter motor and solenoid burn out. All of that took quite a few months to sort out and with our boat's engine out of commission A B Sea was going nowhere regardless of any weather windows.
Also playing a part in keeping us in the marina, even after the engine was once again functional, was the winter weather and the Turkish lockdown restrictions, particularly the weekend lock downs. So it wasn't until near to the end of February 2021 that the stars finally aligned and we were able to get out of the marina and go somewhere. We decided to head east to Finike.
It's definitely not a tourist town. It is a Turkish working town and the major focus is growing oranges.
Our original plan was to spend Tuesday and Wednesday nights at Finike marina and Thursday night anchored at Smugglers Cove at Kekova before heading back to Kaş in time for the weekend lockdown. However we got such a warm welcome from everyone we met at Finike and figured out there was more to see than could be done in 36 hours that we decided to extend our stay for 6 nights.
Steve and Michele whose catamaran Boomerang is on the same pontoon that we were directed to, caught our stern lines as we berthed A B Sea. On our first evening we enjoyed sundowners with Canadian friends Krista and Mark on their catamaran, Nanuk. They had spent the end of summer and the winter at Finike and it was great to get first hand info on how protected the marina was from winter storms.
We also shared stories of anchorages, boat repairs and maintenance, summer sailing plans and general cruising information about how we'd handled the winter curfews as well as interactions with the Turkish coast guard.
The following day we met a family from New Zealand who also have a YouTube sailing channel, it's called Freedom Sailing and you can check them out by clicking here.
Tim, Silke, Luca and Nina welcomed us to the marina and as always happens when YouTubers meet we began talking about cameras, microphones, drones and boat stuff.
That evening they invited us to share delicious homemade Chinese dumplings with a zesty dipping sauce and we were so impressed by it, that it's now a recipe that we will be sharing with our friends back in Kaş marina.
After a relatively early night we woke the following day to more gorgeous winter weather which was so good I ended up wearing shorts and a t-shirt to go out and walk around Finike town.
Because it's not a tourist town there's no discernible zones for shopping or eating out. Everything has to be discovered by simply wandering around the back streets off the main coast road and being surprised by what you discover as you turn different corners.
The following days we did some more walking, exploring and filming. Basically just getting a feel for the vibe of the town because, for various reasons, we are considering spending next winter at Finike marina, but we'll talk more about that closer to the time.
Our 6 night stay at Finike Setur marina would have cost us 2,238 TL (AU$387) and that included unlimited water and electricity. But because we have a 12 month contract with Setur the fee was 100% discounted as part of the bonus which allows us to stay 30 days for free at each of the marinas in the Setur group.
Exploring ancient Tlos
Also in this week's video we explore ancient Tlos. In 2,000 BC the first Lycian settlers began living at the site that was then known as 'Tlawa' in Lycian inscriptions. These days it is called Tlos, it is one of the oldest and largest settlements of Lycia and was subsequently inhabited by Romans, Byzantines and eventually Ottoman Turks, making it one of few Lycian cities to be continually inhabited right up until the 19th century.
The tombs carved into the rock face are certainly the most eye catching points of interest as you drive up to the site, however once on foot there's plenty more to see.
The cost of entry to the site is 20 TL (AU$3.40) per person or free if you've bought yourself a 12 month Turkish museum card. It's a surprisingly big site that takes a couple of hours to wander around and each of the main structures have information signs which give plenty of details of what it is that you're looking at and roughly what date is was built and by whom.
Set a little way back from the main site is the Roman era amphitheatre which is sadly looking the worse for wear. This site and many other ancient sites have been subject to earthquake damage over the years. Two of the biggest quakes to date were noted in 141 AD and 240 AD.
Because of quake damage and conquest damage as the various rulers of the region occupied the site, there has been much reconstruction and it can be difficult to know which parts of the structures are the oldest parts. With that being said the history is still very fascinating.
After a picnic lunch at the highest point on the remains of an acropolis and a Lycian fortress overlooking the vast valley plains, we got back into our rental car and drove back to A B Sea.
Next week I'll tell you about our sail back to Kaş from Finike via Kekova, where we actually get some decent wind and get both sails out for a while.
To watch the video that accompanies this blog click here.