As the sun started to emerge over the hills, swimmers were gathering excitedly on the deck. Tea coffee and fruit fuelled our first swim of the day, just over 2km along Marmaris Yildiz island back towards the gulet and the promise of a delicious breakfast. Shrieks of excitement notified us of turtle and octopus sightings. Once we were all back on board we enjoyed a relaxed meal. This set us up well for a tough two hours of cruising – juggling time for reading/napping/listening to podcasts/chatting and (disputed) dolphin spotting! Upon arrival in the Bozukkale (Loryma) bay we shared a delicious lunch – including some of us having the first experience of ayran (yoghurt) to immerse into the Turkish experience. Some digestion/snorkeling time followed in order to prepare for our afternoon swim. We headed off across the bay, allowing for an arching 2km swim back around to where our gullet was anchored. More turtle sightings and kayak excursions later we were all back on board enjoying tea time (including tasty homemade cake!). A relaxed evening of good company, wine and barbecued fish finished of our first full day on the boat. What a swim – cruise day!
Day number two began in a similar vein, albeit with the addition of a few early birds enjoying some sunrise stretching and even a pre-swim maths homework session (yes, really). We swam from the other direction into Bozukkale bay which meant starting out from around the corner in the ‘deep blue’ open sea. After the swim, we ate breakfast and headed on an excursion to see the fort (ancient castle) we had swum around in the morning. We took a dinghy to the shore and then had a steep (and sweaty) wander up to enjoy the glorious views and impressive structure. Our afternoon swim was around a gorgeous section of Kizil island along the Bozburun peninsula. The grill came out again this evening for some delicious dinner, followed by Turkish delight and learning new card games. And now we are officially in the Gulf of Hisaronu!
Our third morning saw the completion of a slightly longer swim. Once it was confirmed that the previous evenings call for a swim all the way around the island were, in fact, genuine desires (and not the voice of that extra glass of wine) we set about making a plan to add on to yesterday afternoon’s island section and complete the circumnavigation. Approximately 4km and one or two lionfish sightings later we were all satiated by another fantastic breakfast en route to Bozburun town. Soon we were docked and had two hours or so to marvel at the novelty of dry land and civilisation. In the afternoon we anchored in Kozbuebue bay where we would stay for the night surrounded by imposing cliffs and crystal water. We swam for 2km around two bays back to our boat. Our evening was made when an eagle-eyed swimmer spotted some dolphins jumping out of the water – magical.
The following swim cruise days to be continued in the next post…