Southern Cross Blue Cruising has wound down the 2014 season with great fun. October brought a high school reunion cruise on board Why Not, followed by the Bodrum Cup, various weddings and military send-off festivities.
On the left, our colleagues Istanbul native Baris and Kos-native Ayser tie the knot in Kos, bringing the bond between Bodrum and Kos even closer. What a wedding!
The annual event has been run and won again. Southern Cross Blue Cruising entered 24-meter Why Not and 18 meter Southern Cross Timer this year in the 16 -28 meter gulet category.
At 18 meters, SX Timer would seem to be a bit outclassed but the handicap system seems to bring things in line although as always causes some controversy with her finishing 3rd in class on the first day.
As usual. wind on each day varied from nothing to light on day 1, through 28 – 35 knots on day 3 during which that day's race was cancelled causing us to sit it out in Kalymnos harbor.
Festivities ranged from bobbing about on a pontoon in Gumbet bay on night 1 to a lavish affair hosted by the swish Palmarina in Yalikavak. Competition was high between our two boats crews with it being 2 races all (over the line) going into the last day with SX Timer triumphing in the last couple of miles to beat Why Not II over the finish line. On handicap the boats finished 10th and 11th in class Why Not just edging out Timer.
All in all a successful Bodrum Cup enjoyed by all as usual. Book a cabin (or a whole boat) for next year.
Arka is a gem of an eatery, tucked away off of Dr. Alim Bey and Ataturk Street in central Bodrum. Partners Huseyin Peker and Huseyin Askin teamed up together, with one Huseyin bringing a Swiss pedigree in Italian cuisine to the venture, and the other Huseyin providing the local logistical day-to-day operations.
What makes Arka different? Well, the pizzas are true, genuine, Italian style pizzas on very thin dough, unlike the horrible recent trend of chain-style, yeast-ridden, plastic sponges drowning under an entire stale pantry's worth of processed toppings. My pizza was simply fresh tomato with garlic, just as ordered.
Another neat feature at Arka is the pasta presentation. Choose your noodle, and pair it up with your sauce. Arka are thinking outside of the box - Want Penne Alfredo? Fettuccine Arrabbiata? No problem.
The warm reception, efficient service, full comprehension of special requests, proper wine menu, cold beer glasses and a daily Turkish lunch menu are also notable. Visit them at www.arkabodrum.com
A beautiful Greek island like Symi is a magnet for summer restaurateurs who serve pricey good food for three months of the year and return to their home countries for the winter.
We were in search of ''Symi Shrimp'', a pink, stir fry of delicious, crisp, crunchy, salty baby crustaceans which has been the local food rage as of late. Trying to avoid the commercial venues along the main harbor, we ventured to a sleepy, lone taverna behind the clock tower and sat next to the lapping Aegean.
Baby-faced waiter: Yes please?
Four middle aged ladies: Rosé house wine, please.
Baby face disappears inside and returns five minutes later: Sorry...
Four middle aged polite women: OK, no problem - white house wine, please.
Baby face: Ok! (eventually brings out a small carafe of warm, cloudy, yellow vinegar)
Sound of females choking
One middle aged witch: Can we please have the fish roe starter?
Baby face: Sorry...
Another middle aged witch: Symi shrimp please ?
Baby face shuffles: Sorry....
Blonde (w)itch: Surely you have some octopus?
Baby face wrings his hands.
Girls get up to go: No offense please - Maybe some other time - thank you.
Baby face chasing us down the dock: But you have to pay!
We then relocated to the chic Manos, initially snubbed because it is very much the ''in'' place in Symi whilst we had been searching for the underdog. True to the reviews and feedback, the Manos staff were excellent with our snacks, including saganaki, tarama salata and a well done pink Symi shrimp, and the rosé was perfectly chilled. We continued with an excellent nightcap at Pantelis with a large, stuffed calamari and squid in black ink washed down with a very lethal honey-ouzu home brew.
With assistance from our good friend Derek Fenwick, author of of the outrageously funny expat memoir Perking the Pansies, we've redesigned and launched an updated version of our Bodrum Yacht Services website. It's cleaner, easier to navigate and now features detailed case studies, brokerage, and testimonials of our boatyard work for the last 7 years.
Welcome to the First Gulet Charter Blog.