Monday, 19 October 2009

Going by gulet


As a keen sporting sailor, the idea of taking to sea in a slow antique fishing vessel was not something that appealed.

I held the belief that it would be for older American travellers looking for something they would call an adventure but most people would just see as snobbish. How wrong I was!

While clunky and ungainly from the outside, the interior of the twin-mast gulet (pronounced gulay) is quite astounding. Space is used ultra-efficiently and everything screams luxury. As someone who spends a lot of his time enduring the cramped conditions of life at sea, this proved a complete shock.

There were communal areas where you could stand up completely unobstructed (even at my 6ft 2in!), cabins with king sized beds, fully-tiled bathrooms and air-conditioning throughout. Add in the fully-stocked bar, handcrafted mahogany detailing and an excellent, helpful crew, it just seemed too good to be true.

On deck, spacious sun-bathing platforms complete with a large dining table provided top-level luxury. And the array of water toys such as kayaks and windsurfs was the veritable icing on what was already an exceedingly good ‘cake’.

Enjoying complete freedom to sail anywhere along the fantastically clear waters of the Turkish coast and Greek Islands, the weather is really the only limiting factor, with the Captain steering to its whims.

When in full sailing mode the boat is quiet and fast and completely clean – very ecological indeed. The odd times when the engine has to be on are rare and generally quiet and unobtrusive.

The Captain loves having people help out or get to grips with the big ship, which is just excellent for big kids like me and for the smaller ones too.

We visited several Greek Islands such as Kos, Symi, Rhodes and Bodrum, Göcek and Marmaris in Turkey. This is a pretty typical route as the sailing times are relatively short with plenty to see at every stop and a whole array of quiet bays to use as lunch spots.

The Archaeology in Rhodes is unbelievable. There are a myriad of fascinating ancient sites but my favourite has to be Lindos with its picturesque village and towering acropolis above.

In Turkey the feeling totally changes, with little village tavernas giving way to more stylish establishments and the gentle sounds of the sea interrupted by the bellowing speakers of local mosques. The food is also completely different with spices replacing simple Greek salads. Arriving in Turkey is an assault to the senses, but definitely a good one.

On the last day of the trip I slowly made my way across the walkway and took a long last look at the gulet. I knew I would eventually come back. It felt like I was leaving not just a boat, but my home on the sea.

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6 comments:

Luray va accommodations said...

This is a very beautiful eco-traveling and all are the very best and serene places which are too best and great ideas for an eco friendly vacations.

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Maldives Holiday said...

Hi Dude,

Gulets are a specific type of two-masted sailing ships, usually about 14 to 36 meters in length. They are known for their smooth passage through the water because of the shape of their hulls and in the warm, placid waters often found around Turkey, cruising in a gulet is the perfect way to see the coast. Thank you...

essay papers said...

I think while sailing groups organize the most active and popular competitive yachting, other boating events are also held world-wide: speed motorboat racing; competitive canoeing, kayaking, and rowing; model yachting

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