Thursday, 7 June 2012

A Sense of Wonder on 'His' a Turkish Gulet

I have woken this morning to the sound of soft rain and  there are images of a beautiful country and my thoughts about it swimming in my head. My bed is still and I am missing the gentle rocking of the Turkish Gulet that I stayed on for a timeless week.   This time last week I would have been woken by the warmth of the sun radiating  from the Taurus Mountains and reflecting from the sea of the Gulf of Fethiye or in Turkish - Fethiya Korfezi.

The 'His' moored at Olive Island or  Zetin Adasi

The water would lap at my little tiny window and beckon   me to come for a swim and that I would do while all was sleepy and quite on the boat.
Once I was in the warm sea I could have stayed in it forever and swimming was as easy as walking on land as the water was so buoyant with salt. There is an abundance of life, sound and colour swimming with me and the feeling of peace is visceral and stills my busy thoughts. My eyes search for a foot fall to sit and let these thoughts swim around in my head and I find they are not about all the usual everyday worries and planning of the the day ahead just little pleasant bubbles of ideas and wondering about the place I am sitting in.

  I meet many curious bugs and animals and every now and then a filigree of delicate colour from wild flowers interrupts the baked volcanic rock and soil.  The smell of wild herbs is strong and potent.

Being under water is a calm feeling and it is not quiet as  the water
 is full of sound   especially a strange fizzy noise like tiny breaking glass
 like a something is nibbling away at the rocks beneath me                                                                 
  Its a lovely feeling of weightlessness to float with my arms and legs starfish shaped in the water like lying in a feather bed so soft I cant feel it wrapped in a cosy blanket.

Some creatures were familiar and some wonderfully weird

The Gulet is called the 'His' which means feeling, chord or sense in Turkish....and feel I did too and every sense seemed to be filled. The food prepared  by the Turkish Captain and Skipper sourced from the landscape around us tasted heavenly and the language they spoke and the the Turkish music coming from the galley added to the sense of being in a beautifully exotic faraway place.
I knew most of our party of 10 people and we all got on with ease and had lots of time to chat about nothing and everything. There was lots of laughs and time for singing, dancing, playing and story telling and of course every cocktail we could think of.

The days were spent balming in the sun, sailing along the blue green sea, exploring the ancient ruins of Lycean tombs we scrambled  to up precipitous rocky hills. Of course shopping in the Bazaar of Fethiye was a feast for us girls.

Cleopatra Bay and the bathing Byzantine Temple she was said to have visited

My most special moment was being woken at dawn to the sound of the beautiful Muslim  'Call to Prayer' floating over the mountains while sleeping on the deck of the 'His' and watching the sun paintball the landscape with a pallet of colour. It reminded me of these words from 'The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam'

Awake! for the Morning in the Bowl of Night 
Has flung the Stone that puts the Stars to Flight:
and Lo! the Hunter of the East has caught The Sultan's Turret in the Noose of Light

Dreaming when Dawn's Left Hand was in the Sky
I heard a Voice within the Tavern cry,
Awake, my little ones, and fill the Cup 
Before Life's Liquor in it's Cup be dry

And, as the Cock crew, those who stood before
The  Tavern shouted-'Open then the door!
You know how little while we have to stay
And once departed, may return no more'

I rose, swam to a faraway rock and thought and felt the following words from the same poem and the air was full of stories I had yet to hear.

A flask of wine, a book of verse and Thou beside me singing in the Wilderness- and The Wilderness is Paradise enow.

Monday, 7 May 2012

Ethereal Estuaries

Briney Pickled Ancient Wood
I sat down for a cuppatea this morning after a bike ride and my daughter was watching ' Swallows and Amazons' on the tele. It reminded me of the lost wonderful hours I spent as a kid messing around in the Fertha Estuary mud flats and tide discovering hidden beaches and islands, looking for crabs and eels in rockpools and rowing around in our little wooden boat 'The Kestrel'
trip down memory river

 Myself and brothers or sisters would disappear through the wood, under the barbed wire , through Kelly's meadow and climb down the cliff to the Diving Rock and time would become meaningless as we were absorbed in swimming, fishing, and finding all sorts of treasure in the mud..and we were always caked in it.

Twilight Zone

The sun always seemed to shine, the water was always warm and the feeling of jumping into the seaweed smelly blackwater from the Diving Rock or The Kestrel was always ..'just one more time..'
We knew the time of the full and low tide as it ruled the the summer hols we knew the time by the length of the shadow and the height of the sun over Cnoc na Dtobar Mountain. The call of the Curlews is a call that comes to mind when I think of that place where the membrane between sea and land, real and dream, past and present is little more than a whisper.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Back to Bardesy March 2012

 I've been to Bardsey again this weekend with paddling pals and we left (after having a cappuccino and cake at beach cafe) from Porth Oer on the west side of the Lleyn Penninsula, Wales.
Porth Oer is known for it's Whistling Sands as when you walk on the dry sand it squeaks under your feet
My Steed - ready and waiting

 The sea was really lively on the way out to the island as it was a spring tide..if I was brave enough I could have put photos here of the huge tripod waves I rode but I'm afraid all you get to see is the calm water once we reached the island as my grip was firmly on my paddle.

We bobbed about a bit before landing to see if the seals felt like coming over to say hello but they were a bit shy today.

Sea Dog

We landed back on Aberdaron beach on the east coast of the Lleyn Penninsula after a whacky ferry glide across a 6 knot tide that battled to take us to Pembroke so we had to aim for the west side of the headland to ensure we landed at destination. The Gwylan Islands are in the backround. 

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Kerry on my mind

I'm off to Kerry to see family in just over a week so am pondering on my favourite places......................

Rosbeigh sand spit looking out to  Dingle bay with Cromán Creek behind

Waterville Beach

The White Strand looking out to Lough Kay and Beginnish

Puffin Island and Puffin Sound looking to The Skelligs

When I'm there I can almost feel my feet trying to take root with every footfall on Kerry soil .This poem by Sigerson Clifford says it all.............

I am Kerry

I am Kerry like my mother before me,
And my mother's mother and her man.
Now I sit on an office stool remembering,
And the memory of them like a fan
Soothes the embers into flame.
I am Kerry and proud of my name.

My heart is looped around the rutted hills,
That shoulder the stars out of the sky,
And about the wasp-yellow fields,
And the strands where kelp-streamers lie;
Where, soft as lovers' Gaelic, the rain falls,
Sweeping into silver the lacy mountain walls.

My grandfather tended the turf fire,
And, leaning backward into legend,spoke,
Of doings old before quills inked history.
I saw dark heroes fighting in the smoke,
Diarmuid dead inside his Iveragh cave,
And Deirdrie caoining[keening] upon Naoise's grave.

I see the wise face now with its hundred wrinkles,
And every wrinkle held a thousand tales,
Of Finn and Oscar and Conawn Maol,
And sea-proud Niall whose conquering sails,
Raiding France for slaves and wine,
Brought Patrick to mind Milchu's swine.

I should have put a noose about the throat of time,
And choked the passing of the hob-nailed years,
And stayed young always, shouting in the hills,
Where life held only fairy fears,
When I was young my feet were bare,
But I drove cattle to the fair.

'Twas thus I lived, skin to skin with the earth,
Elbowed by the hills, drenched by the billows,
Watching the wild geese making black wedges,
By Skelligs far west and Annascaul of the willows.
Their voices came on every little wind,
Whispering across the half-door of the mind,
For always I am Kerry...

Sigerson Clifford

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Trapped in a Tree

I wonder what this fella did to deserve being trapped in a tree?

Thursday, 17 November 2011


I've taken to my winter routine of running round Caerwys in the dark after  I give Pippin a toy chase on the Marion and it's a great way to see an alternative side to the stony cottage  village and how the amber street lights make the swirly windy trees look so beautiful. I do miss my daily dose of the woods though but its too dark and scary to go down in the evenings.
I hate the thought of going as it is so cold but love it once I start and get some music in my ears.
I love running to Muse- Knights of Cydonia and Problem of the Mathematic, any G+R stuff, Boston's More than a Feeling, KOL and Foo Fighters
....and I feel quite happy about sofa surfing and eating a crunchie after : )

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Tom Crean- Antartic Explorer

I have just finished reading 'An Unsung Hero- Antartic Survivior' by Michael Smith and am amazed at how a boy of 15  years of age who left his remote village in Dingle could succeed in  becoming   a trail blazing explorer in Antartica only to return to Anascaul, Dingle, Co Kerry, Ireland and settle down to  humble, unsung quite life once again.
He accompanied Scott twice and Shackleton once. As a  member of the crew of the Discovery, Terra Nova, Endurance and the James Caird he demonstrated an ability to ensure his survival and that of those around him. He was a giant of a man in body, mind and spirit. In the midst of adversity and ice bound wilderness he was known to keep his companions spirits up by joking and bursting into random irish tunes in the midst of sub zero temperatures.
He saved many lives and he lived his own to the full.
Well worth the read...but you'll feel as if your right there with him in the freezing cold so wrap up in cosy jumpers and a wooley hat by a fire.