Trip on BORINA 1 starting 2022-10-01 in BSA2Dec22

BodrumMap, Turkey, October 2022 – report bySue Fowle

BORINA 1. A 33m gulet built in the traditional style around 2000.

Chartered from Ventus sailing by Naomi Gillingham, ex BSA member for a family trip. Another friend and I were invited to become honorary family.

Borina has 6 x2 bunk cabins and 2 compact double cabins. All are ensuite with flushing loos, shower, sheets or duvets and some hanging cupboards. Despite this comfort some of us spent several nights sleeping on deck after star gazing.

She is rather like a nautical Orient Express with mahogany woodwork, sparkling brass and a teak deck all being constantly cleaned and polished by the crew who are so proud of her. Some of them will work on her maintenance during the winter.

The crew is a captain, cook and 2 stewards all of whom doubled as sailors. They waited on us hand, foot and finger, always cheerful and smiling, not even allowing us to pour our own coffee. Nothing was too much trouble for them.

We ate 3 delicious freshly cooked meals each day, served at a long table on the stern deck. Soft drinks and water were included and wine could be purchased on board. We could bring our own spirits on the boat if we chose. Needless to say a lot of gin and raki were drunk….

We sailed out of Bitez, a few miles west of Bodrum on the first night to await the late arrival of some people whose flight had been cancelled two days previously due to the French ATC strike. Once they were on board we headed east down the Bodrum Gulf gaining some shelter from the NE winds. A lot of the gulets only use their motors but we sailed every day, tacking across the gulf which is quite wide. There were very few boats around but we passed close to ‘Bodrum’, the local sail training vessel so were able to see how beautiful a gulet under full sail can look. Although not fast Borina glided calmly along so it was a joy to lie back and gaze at the huge foresail. I was happily lulled into a meditative state. There was only a brief squall and choppy water but sitting close to the bowsprit gave us water babies a real treat.

Initially the Bodrum Gulf looked lacking in interest, rather grey and barren but once close in there were tiny villages and beach settlements. President Erdigan has chosen a wooded inlet to build his holiday home, with suitable security! The illuminated fence and floodlights stayed on all night.

The main income for this area is from the olive groves but once close inshore it became obvious there was a lot of fire damage from wildfires last year. Some of the burnt houses are being rebuilt, the olives are slowly regenerating, and the pines have been logged but it was scary to see how close the fire had come to human habitation. Apparently it burnt for more than 3 days reaching high up the hillside.

Each evening we moored up in a quiet bay, dropping our anchor 150 m out and tying 2 stern lines to rocks or trees. Our crew, like cowboys, enjoyed the ritual of driving the dinghy at full speed to do this. Swimming was a regular morning and evening activity along with kayaking and paddle boarding. During the day there were sunbeds on the deck but a shady area in the stern for lounging on cushions.

We had requested ‘quiet moorings’ but being a family party of 13 we soon destroyed any peace and quiet however our captain went to chat to the few small boats around and if necessary offered a bottle as compensation for the rowdy English!

There are few historic sites in the Gulf, mainly Cleopatra’s IslandMap where she built a settlement in a stunning position on the water’s edge and entertained Mark Anthony..? to plan the naval Battle of Actium against Caesar’s ships….? However the Captain usually got us ashore each day to stretch our legs.

Borina was booked for a complete group but on occasions it is possible to book just a cabin. A relaxing way to be on the water with NO responsibility. My contact has been with Rob Jan Oberink of Ventus Sailing based in the Netherlands.

Bodrum  37.0343,27.4241
Cleopatra’s Island  36.9931,28.2061