Ex­cEl­lEncE to last thE agEs

Tur­key’s Gulf of Fethiye has been won­der­ful for cen­turies.

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WWe have cruised the Caribbean and loved the Vir­gin Is­lands. The beauty of the Mal­dives, the Florida Keys and the Ba­hamas has swept us away. Yet time and time again, we re­turn to the Gulf of Fethiye in Tur­key. It’s safe, pic­turesque and, when it comes to yacht­ing, par­adise per­son­i­fied.

The Gulf of Fethiye is bounded by the com­mu­ni­ties of Mar­maris to the north and Kas to the south. It is a roughly T-shaped gulf with the ports of Göcek and Fethiye at each head of the cross­piece. Göcek is a fish­ing vil­lage that has grown to em­brace fleets of bare­boats and crewed gulets. A cou­ple of the town’s four mari­nas host Sun­sail and lo­cal fleets.

We cruised aboard a Nu­ma­rine 78 Hard­top. She is a Turk­ish-built mo­to­ry­acht whose ag­gres­sive styling makes her a stand­out in most har­bors, and whose Ex­plor­ing Turk­ish mar­kets is a vi­brant and fas­ci­nat­ing ex­pe­ri­ence. Au­then­tic spices make for a prac­ti­cal, lo­cally pro­duced sou­venir. de­sign makes her sur­pris­ingly spa­cious for a whole fam­ily dur­ing a week aboard.

The is­lands here rise steeply from the se­abed, with pine and ole­an­der trees cov­er­ing the cliffs. High winds and heavy seas are rarely a prob­lem, and the choices of an­chor­ages and moor­ings in­clude more than 30 creeks and bays, many with restau­rants that serve lo­cal fare.

Some bays are close to sites of an­tiq­uity, let­ting boaters clam­ber over ru­ins from the Ro­man oc­cu­pa­tion and ear­lier. At Ruin Bay, we dropped an­chor off the ru­ins of a par­tially sub­merged struc­ture be­lieved to be a Turk­ish ham­mam that Cleopa­tra vis­ited. We ex­plored with snorkels and masks, and then cruised to the ru­ins of wharves from the Ot­toman Em­pire in Sasala. Tomb Bay has crypts

When it comes to eat­ing in Tur­key, tra­di­tion and fla­vor are es­sen­tial in­gre­di­ents; Sim­ple sour­dough loaves of bread made freshly ev­ery day are the foun­da­tion of Turk­ish eat­ing habits. They are typ­i­cally made with strong white flour, to which a lit­tle whole­meal flour is some­times added; Don’t want to cook on board? Let the cook come to you, and en­joy a per­fect

In Ruin Bay, the relics of a bath­house said to have been used by Queen Cleopa­tra, who came here with Mark Antony, make a pic­ture-per­fect back­drop.

culi­nary de­lights. Crys­tal-clear wa­ter and the chance of an an­chor­age all to your­self are some of the many charms that char­ter­ing here has to of­fer; The wide ex­panse of fore­deck on the Nu­ma­rine 78 per­mits the whole fam­ily to take in the panoramic Turk­ish land­scape; Fresh fish is among Tur­key’s indige­nous

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