We Could Get Used to the Gulet Life

May 11, 2011 at 11:28 pm Leave a comment

Our “Legendary Turkey” trip has taken us to some fine hotels in some great cities—Istanbul, Izmir, and Antalya—but we also enjoyed four nights on a yacht just off Turkey’s southern coast.

The coastline is along the Mediterranean and is sometimes called the Turkish Riviera; it’s also known as the Turquoise Coast, and you can see why in these photos.

So after two nights based in Izmir, which is on the western (Aegean) coast, we drove south to the seaside town of Göcek, where we got on board a handmade wooden yacht called a gulet (pronounced “ghoul-ett”). Actually our Penn State group was split across two gulets, since there were too many of us to fit on one.

The gulets are designed to be replicas of the fishing yachts of days gone by, but with more amenities for tourists: more (and presumably bigger) cabins, a bar, even a charcoal grill on the bow so the captain can grill us fish or chicken for dinner. And, while the crew can raise the sails and cruise on just wind power at times, they mostly do it for the photo ops. Most of the time, we chugged along on engine power.


The captain of one of the yachts grilling dinner for the Penn State travelers.

Over the course of the three days and four nights, we didn’t go far, really—just a little ways off the coast. I’m not even sure we could claim that we were on the Mediterranean (though that won’t stop me from saying I was on a yacht on the Mediterranean). If you look at a map of the area, we spent most of our time in the vicinity of the Gulf of Fethiye. We did go as far as Gemiler Island (called “Gemiler Adası” and located in the southeast corner of the map linked above), where we got off the yachts and visited the ruins of a Byzantine-era monastery.

One way I knew that we weren’t that far from civilization was that I could sometimes get a pretty strong 3G signal on my iPhone, so I could send a few e-mails or upload a photo to Facebook to make my friends jealous.

Don DriesWe’d anchor in various coves for part of a day or for an overnight. During the day the crew would take us to shore in dinghies if we wanted to explore the area, or we could just lounge around on the boat. Don Dries ’68 found a kayak on the yacht and took it out for a ride, and a few hardier souls went swimming in the clear, chilly waters. Our tour director, Gökhan, impressed the heck out of us by swimming butterfly laps along the shoreline.

At night you could sleep out on the deck, on big thick pads that the crew got out for us, and look up at the stars.


Our crew: Muammer, Alim, and Reçep.

The crew, by the way, was great. Our captain was a guy named Alim, and if there is a cuter boat captain in the world, I’d sure like to know about him. His deckhands were Muammer (pronounced mwah-mair) and Reçep (reh-jep); Muammer cooked, Reçep served, and all three did a lot of everything—anchoring and tying up the boat, taking us to shore in dinghies, cleaning our cabins.

After four nights on the gulets, we chugged into the town of Fethiye, said goodbye to the crew, and headed by motorcoach to Antalya, where even more photo opportunities awaited. More about Antalya soon.

Tina Hay, editor

P.S. For more photos from our yachting adventures, visit the photo album on the Alumni Association’s Facebook page.

Entry filed under: Alumni Association. Tags: , , , , , , .

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