I boarded the Selin 3 and surveyed the deck. This little deck will be our home for 15 people for the next 2 days. I started to get slightly claustrophobic as we pulled away from the Kas harbor. I sat on one of the blue cushions on the front deck and surveyed my surroundings. My mind started to dream up concerns as the little coastal city of Kas disappeared from my site. In addition to trying to adjust to a very small space for 15 people, I wondered how Osman, the captain of Selin 3, would feed us all from that little tiny kitchen below deck. I also wondered where we would all sleep, would I get bored, and how would the bathroom facilities hold up for all of these people?
I quickly realized that all of my concerns were not very valid and it didn’t take me long to fall into a complete mode of relaxation on the boat – so much so that I didn’t really ever want it to end!
My concern about being claustrophobic and not having enough space disappeared after I realized that we had the whole Mediterranean to roam in. Feel like you need more space – then just jump in to the turquoise water. We motored from island to island dropping anchor in one beautiful cove after another. As soon as the anchor hit bottom and the engine was turned off – the swimming began. The boat had some snorkel gear, but a float in the water was all I was really after – a refreshing way to spend the hot afternoon. If you weren’t swimming then there was still plenty of place to lounge around the front of back deck – never once did I feel like I was crowded.
One day we even went on a short hike up to the Byzantine castle of Kaleköy (literally “Castle’s village” in Turkish; ancient Lycian: Simena) and were able to stretch our legs and even try homemade ice cream in the little village coffee shop. At the castle we were treated to gorgeous panoramic views of the Turkish Mediterranean.
The smallest most unassuming kitchens can produce the most amazing food. The variety of food was the most surprising – every meal we had was different from the last and I wondered where they were storing all of the ingredients. For breakfast and lunch Osman and the crew would lay out multiple plates of mezes that were delicious and most definitely filling. And on the last night we even had a big grilled dinner of fresh fish and kofte (meatballs).
I was enthralled as I watched Osman pull into a nearby harbor, drop anchor, swim out to a little motor boat, exchange money for a bag of fresh fish and bread, and swim back to the Selin 3 while keeping all of the food dry! Soon those fish turned up on our grill and we had a feast of epic proportions that night. Clearly being on a boat didn’t hinder our ability to eat amazing Turkish food.
Sleeping and Facilities
There were bunks that would fit everyone below deck, but there was no way I was going to sleep below deck when you have perfect weather to sleep outside. The front and back of the boat turned into our beds in the evening. Blue cushions on the front deck allowed us to sleep under the stars. Blankets and pillows were provided and after all of the swimming it was easy to fall asleep with the gentle rocking of the boat. We were even treated to a full moon on the nights we were on the boat!
The boat facilities handled all of us just fine. There were two toilets on the boat and rudimentary showers. However after swimming you could easily hose off with fresh water above deck and feel refreshed.
What to do
My last concern about getting bored was completely silly. I spent time reading, swimming, napping, and just enjoying the time with others. Osman always had a big smile and was eager to make sure all of us had fun. He had grown up in Kas and his father had been a man who worked on the water so it seemed fitting that Osman had started a charter business.
Osman showed me old photos of the Kas harbor and the town. It was hard to believe how much it had changed since he was a kid – yet it was still far from a tourist meca like Bodrum is on the west coast of Turkey. In fact – I’m convinced that if you want to experience the Turkish Mediterranean then Kas and the surrounding islands are the best place in Turkey to do it. Intrepid Travel had obviously figured this out and held true to their goal of showing travelers local experiences and getting off the beaten track by skipping towns like Bodrum on the Best of Turkey itinerary.
Life was simplified for 2 glorious days on board the Selin 3. We ate, we drank, we swam, we read books, we cruised around for new swimming spots, and we napped. Now this was a vacation. I lived in my swimming suit, ate amazing mezes and actually finished a book – I couldn’t ask for a more relaxing and enjoyable 2 days!
More info on the Selin 3 Boat Charter:
Website: The Ottoman Sailor
See all photos from my 2 days on the Selin 3 near Kas Turkey:
Disclosure: I was a guest of Intrepid Travel for this experience, however the opinions expressed are all mine.