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.

1 comment:

  1. I have always wanted to do this and you have really made me feel I must make it happen! Sounds absolutely perfect. Hope you came home refreshed and have lots more relaxation in your summer.