Blue Voyage Notes – OpEd


Blue Voyage is a wonderful choice to explore the unique beauty of the sea and have a peaceful holiday experience. However, there are some rules and precautions to consider during this journey. Here are the rules to keep in mind during the Blue Voyage:

1. Cleanliness and Water Usage: Use shower water sparingly and preferably take outdoor showers when coming out of the sea.

2. Waste Management: After consuming drinking water, crush and reduce empty plastic bottles before disposing of them in the trash bin.

3. Toilet Usage: We use sea water for toilet flushing. Flush generously but do not dispose of toilet paper in the toilet as it may cause blockages.

4. Electricity Usage: There are no power outlets in the cabins. You can use external charging points for your cell phones.

5. Energy Conservation: Eight Solar panels on the rear deck of the boat generate electricity. Therefore, minimize electricity consumption at night. Turkish coffee will not be served at night.

6. Meal Times: Breakfast will be served at 09:00, lunch at 13:00, and dinner at 19:30.

7. Travel Itinerary: After the first night at Kite Bay, we will depart at 06:30 on the second day and spend the entire day at the Seven Islands.

8. Changing Swimsuits: Don’t forget to take an outdoor shower immediately after coming out of the sea and change your swimsuit after drying. Do not sit on cushion seats with wet swimsuits.

9. Kitchen Usage: Access to the kitchen section is restricted, and the kitchen belongs to the boat’s owner and crew.

10. Menu: On the first evening, we will serve oven-baked chicken, and there will be an open buffet breakfast every morning.

11. Accommodation Recommendation: It is advised to sleep outdoors on the open deck at night. The cabins can be hot, and ventilation is limited.

12. Payment: The fees, which are determined in Euros, will be paid in Turkish Lira in cash on the first evening.

13. Captain’s Role: The captain, with his experience in sailing, is a trustworthy person who will operate our boat in the best possible way. Each morning, he will guide us to another safe location.

Adhering to these rules during the Blue Voyage will help ensure a pleasant experience for both you and other passengers. Remember, while enjoying the sea, respecting nature is always essential.


Our Blue Voyage Boat: Technical Specifications and Prices

There are various boats to choose from for the Blue Voyage experience, and our boat is one of these options. This 22-meter-long boat comes with a price tag of 500,000 Euros when bought new. However, if you are considering purchasing a second-hand similar boat, this price can drop to as low as 300,000 Euros.

Our boat was constructed in 1994 and is equipped with a 250 HP Dutch-made engine. One of the boat’s features is that it is equipped with eight solar panels on the rear deck. These panels collect solar energy throughout the day, providing all batteries with the necessary charge and supporting the use of electronic devices.

Although the boat has sails, they are generally not used on short routes. The preferred route for the Blue Voyage experience is typically the Gökova route, but the Selimiye, Bozburun, and Hisarönü alternative routes can also be chosen. Another detail to consider for those who prefer different routes is that depending on the route, the diesel used may create an additional expense. Especially for longer routes, at least 100 liters of diesel cost should be added to the price.

Our boat can be a good choice for your Blue Voyage experience and stands out with its technical specifications. However, careful evaluation regarding pricing and routes is important.


4th Day Report

On October 3, 2023, Tuesday, we greeted the fourth day of our Blue Voyage, and the group of eight guests chose to spend the night on the upper deck. There was a full moon, and the weather was clear. The previous evening, our captain considered Ballısu Bay to be risky due to weather conditions and decided to head to Otluk Bay, which was approximately an hour away. Otluk Bay was a place where twelve different-sized boats anchored. After dinner, we gathered together, sang impromptu songs, and had a great time. Some of us drew watercolor paintings, dedicating some time to our artistic creativity.

However, in the early hours of the morning, a boat nearby decided to move, disturbing our tranquil bay atmosphere. Fortunately, the canvas awning on the upper deck protected us from the morning rain, but we experienced high temperatures and stuffiness in the cabins. Therefore, we had to enter the cabins only for routine toilet visits and changing clothes. Alinda Bay is a beautiful bay with natural protection, and it has interesting places in its vicinity like English Bay and Presidential Summer Palace. Some areas of these regions have coast guards stationed. We will depart from this beautiful bay early tomorrow morning.

6th Day Report – October 5, 2023

We woke up early this morning and left the bay where we stayed the previous night behind. Now we have about a 2-3 hour journey to Çökertme Bay and to the opposite shore. The sea is slightly wavy today, and sea spray occasionally splashes onto the front deck. We sleep on the deck every night because the cabins were very cramped, narrow, stuffy, and hot. Therefore, we spend time on the deck during the night. Sleeping on the upper deck, with both men and women, sometimes creates funny moments; jokes are flying, and late at night, the snoring starts. Going back and forth between the cabins and the deck to relieve oneself during the night is quite challenging. Dew falls during the night, and everything gets wet, but everything dries quickly when the sun rises. The bay where we stayed overnight was very clean and clear, and as morning came, the owners of other boats began to leave. We have no chance to reach these areas by land, so we come here on a boat equipped with all kinds of comforts, swim in the sea all day, and have our meals served to us. The alcohol stock is plentiful, and alcoholic drinks are consumed at grocery store prices. We, three men and a captain, don’t get too involved in the events. Artist friends with the ability to paint take out their paintboxes in the evenings and work, and the conversations continue until midnight. Then, we wrap ourselves in thick blankets and begin to sleep on the deck.


Day 7 Report – October 6, 2023

Today morning at 06:00, we weighed anchor and set sail from the northern side of the Datça Peninsula in the Gulf of Gökova towards the southern side of the Bodrum Peninsula. On the way, we passed by the Kemerköy Thermal Power Plant. The black ash smoke and white steam rising from the single common chimney of this power plant caught our attention. This situation likely means that the chimney gas sulfur capture and ash capture systems were probably turned off or disabled because a thin smoke was spreading towards Akyaka. Along the western coast of Kemerköy Power Plant, there were holiday resorts.

Next, we arrived in Çökertme Village. The hills were bare; there had been a big fire here in the recent past. The village was a quiet and peaceful holiday town. Here, four of our friends landed on the beach to do some shopping. Then, we immediately weighed anchor and headed towards the next tranquil bay.

We sailed for an hour on our boat and arrived at Adalı bay. We anchored, and I swam among the nearby boats. There was a 20-meter fiberglass catamaran boat with a wealthy couple and a crew on board. I talked with a man my age. They had bought this 20-meter fiberglass boat from France for 1 million Euros. This summer, they cruised at sea for only two weeks, then they would anchor the boat in Turgut Reis Marina, and he would continue his business in Ankara.

The other boat is a gulet used as a tour boat in Bodrum. It has 6 cabins and is 22 meters long. There are 12 Russian guests on board, all enjoying the sea. The coast guard boat also came and went. In this area, there is a monument erected in memory of Sadun Boro, who sailed around the world.

Last night’s main course was grilled sea bream, served with red mullet, green beans, broccoli, salad, helva, and melon. Everyone had their choice of drinks, including raki, wine, and beer.

This morning started with coffee, and breakfast included cheese, olives, butter, jam, honey, toast, and tea. We are on the rear deck. We are heading to a new bay. The weather is clear.

Day 8 Report – October 7, 2023, Saturday

Today, our Blue Voyage adventure comes to an end. Yesterday, we had lunch at Orak Island. Then in the late afternoon, we arrived at Kargıcak Pier and moored the boat. In the late afternoon, we opened a bottle of Glenfiddich malt whiskey and drank together. We had dinner on the boat, and we spent the night here. After breakfast at 07:30 in the morning, we left the boat at 08:00.

For the first time, we experienced the Blue Voyage for 7 days and nights on a boat. It was a beautiful journey, and we were with wonderful people. We had delicious meals, and in the evenings, we enjoyed drinks, impromptu songs, and Turkish pop music. Despite the challenges, it was a great holiday. I’m very happy to have gained new friendships. Everything was new for me. We laughed a lot. We shivered a lot. We got wet a lot. But everything was very, very beautiful.

Our GÖKOVA Blue Cruise BOAT itinerary

– Departure from Kargıcak Pier at 16:00
– Overnight stay in Kisse Bay
– Gökova Seven Islands Bekar Bay
– Ballısu Bay
– Otluk (English Harbor Inlet – Windmill Bay) – Alinda Bay
– Tuzla Bay
– We saw the Kemerköy thermal power plant. 3×210 Mwe, with 150m high stack
– Çökertme and Mazı Bay
– Adalı Yalı (Sadun Boro – Sun Greeting Monument)
– Dengır Bay – Breakfast
– Orak Island (Aquarium Bay – lunch)
– Kargıcak at night, morning breakfast, and departure

Haluk Direskeneli

Haluk Direskeneli, is a graduate of METU Mechanical Engineering department (1973). He worked in public, private enterprises, USA Turkish JV companies (B&W, CSWI, AEP, Entergy), in fabrication, basic and detail design, marketing, sales and project management of thermal power plants. He is currently working as freelance consultant/ energy analyst with thermal power plants basic/ detail design software expertise for private engineering companies, investors, universities and research institutions. He is a member of Chamber of Turkish Mechanical Engineers Energy Working Group.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *