Piratehood, Kas, and Sailing the High Seas

Trip Start Apr 12, 2006
Trip End Ongoing

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Tuesday, June 6, 2006

I reckon I could get very used to the pirates life. Not so much the pillaging, destroying, cannonballing, cutlassing, keel-hauling side of the gig, but definitely the 'sitting on the dundeck of a boat all day and taking in the glorious sun' aspect. That i could do. That, and the merry boozing and singing of many a sea shanty. And Although i may have been bereft of an eyepatch, a wooden leg, a jive talkin' parrot and a shiny metal hook for a hand, i was feeling substantially pirately this morning, hellbent of sailing the high seas of the Mediterranean and hanging out on the sundeck of our wooden gulet.

In order to get ahead of the wild winds coming up ahead, our skipper kicked the churning motor in at the mindblowing hour of 5am, but thankfully all we had to do was keep sleeping cosily on the deck in our sleeping bags, being rocked left and right as the ship drove full pelt into choppy morning waves. Ate breakfast on the long wooden table on the main deck upon arrival at our docking spot, and got down to the business of wasting the day away lounging under the sun, between occasional bursts of spontaneous meditterranean swimming. The water this morning was absolutely demoralising for my privates, but it certainly got you moving.

It struck me today just how awesome a bunch of people our group was, that we'd struck great luck in the random collection of all of us, despite significant disparity in age, background, personality and interests. We all got along like a wooden boat on fire, regularly finding ourselves in deep, thought provoking group conversations, and many a laugh, as the hours and the days went by. My perception of travelling Americans was altered dramatically as i got to know Ryan and Katie, two intelligent yanks who defied the frequently usual template of 'loud obnoxious septic'. Got chatting to these two about the state of their country, the problems it faces, the fact that most people are blind to them and dont care, and the frustration that they deal with, particularly as travellers. It turns out that these two were pretty much stalking me for the coming weeks as well, booked also for the 4 in the morning Easyjet flight from Istanbul to Basel-Mulhouse, where they will also be joining me in Munich for World Cup action. The party with these two has only just begun.
Chatted also with Berrin and Michael, a mid-30s couple from Adelaide, who spoke of their unease at ASIO's persistent phone tapping and overt surveillance of Michael's movements once he left his top ranking position with the Australian Army. There was Alistair and Pat, an older couple from England, mad travellers in their twilight years, who suffered nasty cases of the bends and a bite from a death adder respectively on their last trip to Australia. There was Li and Lars, the subdued Swedes, Lauren and Di from Sunshine, Dave the Alaskan who copped near death from a brown grizzly, and whose main councelling client committed suicide some three weeks ago. With the three Aussies and Kelly the Korean, the group was so diverse, so interesting, amicably friendly, and a joy to be a part of.

Sometimes the gulet moved on from coast to coast, sometimes it stayed put, but regardless of where we were, we lavished in this remarkable experience and took in the value of each other immensely. Docking in the port of 'Kas' in the early arvo, we threw down some cheap Kebaps and checked out the nearby ruins of an old amphitheatre (These suckers seem to pop up everywhere), watching as three old Turkish women in headscarves beaded necklaces and sewed scarves, as the sun slowly came down behind us all. Another reverberating call to prayer bellowed out from the Kas mosque as we strolled back towards to docked gulet, eventually gathering at the table for another fine meal, good eating, drinking, and merriment, before the sundeck beckoned and slumber ensued.

Yo ho ho. The pirates life for me.
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