This week, the New York Times asks what your vacation says about you. Their world divides into beaches, crowded with extroverts, and mountains, ghosted with introverts. They note that the pleasure of vacation is mostly in the anticipation, the planning (although people derive no pleasure from over-packed travel that just gets stressful).
I dedicate my planning to how to get here-to—there and where-to-stay, avoiding much thought about where to eat or what to see until I am on scene.
And, neither mountain nor beach person, I look for a boat.
Emir-1 is a gulet, a wide wooden sailing boat, twin-masted with a rounded stern, 20 meters in length. The charter makes day- and overnight trips along the Turquoise Coast between Kas, Kalkan, and Fetiya with a small crew, a limited complement of passengers, and massive Turkish flags top and stern. It’s heavy and stable, I wouldn’t think of it as nimble, but the captain jockey’s it around in tight pockets like a Venetian gondola driver.
The captain, a man who clearly enjoys his work and his daughters, great pride in both, has two houses and the working boat: he’s become my model for life-after-the-startup.
The cruise meandered from island to cove, soaring cliffs to cascading rockfalls. At each, we ate, we swam, we dove from the decks and snorkeled among the rocks. It was absolutely wonderful.
It wouldn’t be a sailing voyage without an unexpected problem: this time the anchor chain wrapped around rocks and forced some backing and turning among the other boats to free it. ‘reminds me of how I was forever crossing anchor chains – one too many items to keep track of…
Otherwise, the waters were clear and blue, complementing green olive and fir trees along the steep shore. We briefly had a pod of porpoises arching alongside, dark against the sun-danced surface.
Lunch was a buffet of chicken and meze; snacks were beer and fruits. As always, everything tastes better in the open sea air.
I think I likely spent more time in the water than I have since I was on the swim team. It was warm and clear and full of fish: we had diving competitions from the decks and lazy paddles around the boat and along the rocky shores (very sharp basalts, slick with seaweed).
The time goes too quickly, of course, but lovely to share a boat trip and to coddle the combination of introvert / extrovert that the WSJ notes is at the heart of every expat.