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For the yachting professional on the Mediterranean

BEAUTIFUL BODRUM

Article by Chris Clifford

FOR AN AUTHENTIC EXPERIENCE IN THE CRYSTAL BLUE WATERS OF BODRUM, THERE IS REALLY ONLY ONE OPTION, CHARTER A GULET FROM SOUTHERN CROSS BLUE CRUISING

Picture the most crystal clear turquoise sea you’ve ever swum in, uninhabited islands emerging at intervals, historic sites from a dynasty dating back before Christ and at night, a myriad of stars overhead putting life in perspective.

Add a warm hospitable population, delicious local food and a relaxed attitude and you’ve found the ideal destination, sailing the southern Turkish islands along the Turkish Riviera or Turquoise Coast, near Bodrum.

Southern Cross Blue Cruising

We spent a week onboard Trippin, (trippincharters. com) being shown the hidden delights of the region and can highly recommend both the experience and the destination for an Aegean Blue Cruise adventure.

As we boarded Trippin, we were warmly greeted by Dave and Dina of Southern Cross Blue Cruising who had made our adventure possible. Our family group was excited to sail the Aegean and celebrate a couple of milestone birthdays, complete with homemade birthday cake and we weren’t to be disappointed. It was a celebration indeed as we cast off and spent our first night at sea.

Trippin is a beautiful Turkish tirhandil, also known as an Aegean double ender, the original design of the gulet. With four guest cabins and three crew, it’s an ideal vessel for an intimate group. Sleeping up to eight adults with cabins all equipped with ensuites, it’s a comfortable yacht to spend a week on.

Southern Cross Blue Cruising
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With Captain Ali, a professional jazz musician, proficient sailor and cordon bleu chef, we were in extremely capable, charming and courteous hands. We started to relax immediately.

The itinerary was flexible and we started with a taste of culture as we visited Knidos near Yazıköy on the Muğla Province, an ancient city with a remarkably well-preserved amphitheatre The city dates back to before the 4th Century, BC and it was our first taste of Turkish history as we wandered mesmerized through the ruins.

In the increasing heat of the day, we were soon happy to return to the boat where we plunged into the salty aqua water and ate a delicious locally-sourced and very healthy breakfast onboard whilst around us other cruising gulets came and went.

Our next few days followed a pattern of increasing relaxation. Captain Ali and his very capable crew pandered to our every need with refreshments and meals appearing at regular intervals whilst we swam, lay, floated and sunned ourselves in the dry Turkish heat. We all did an impressive job of doing very little!

Southern Cross Blue Cruising offer a large number of charter options around the region with a variety of gulets available to suit parties of all sizes. The company specialises in local Turkish knowledge so you are guaranteed an authentic experience.

The highlight of our week was a visit to Sedir Island (also known as Cleopatra’s Island). Here, local knowledge really came into play. We disembarked at 8am (at our Captain’s insistence), we discovered paradise and, had it all to ourselves.

From goats in the ancient amphitheatre of Kedrai and carefully planned rustic walkways to the piéce de resistance, possibly one of the most beautiful bodies of pristine water any of us had ever experienced (and we’re all pretty well-travelled).

The beach on Sedir Island contains a particular type of fine sand with each grain being a perfectly round sphere which is only found in two places, the other being Crete. The rumour was that Marc Anthony had imported the sand for Cleopatra but apparently that was just that, a rumour as the pristine sand and crystal-clear water are naturally occurring.

Of course, such a beautiful destination appeals to everyone and before long other boats and day trippers arrived to spend their day in paradise. Not begrudging anyone the chance to enjoy our beach, we took our memories of perfection and moved on to a popular village to replenish supplies as the excellent local wines and beers were going down rather too well.

It seemed each anchorage was better than the last as we would anchor, swim, float and repeat. The sea is benign and offers the perfect setting for a variety of activities including stand up paddle boarding, kakaying or simply floating on an inflatable. Water ski on the flat water, snorkel looking for sea urchins, swim and dive off your own personal yacht. It’s an ideal setting.

After seven days of absolute relaxation where every whim was catered for, we returned slowly to civilisation having barely left the yacht. The Trippin crew and Dave waved farewell as we slowly walked to our transfer.

If you have time, spend a couple of days around Bodrum exploring the plethora of shops with designer goods at bargain prices and enjoy some more delicious food. We enjoyed a superb Turkish breakfast at a great place called Babe. Definitely worth a visit.

Cruising the southern Turkish islands had been everything we’d hoped it would be. If you’re looking for a great destination, a chilled out paradise with crystal clear waters, look no further.

Contact Dave or Dina
Tel: +90 252 316 2434
or visit www.southerncrossbluecruising.com