We flew Turkish Airlines (TK2560) last night to Istanbul’s Ataturk airport, then caught – with our guide, Andrew Wilson – a plane on to Dalaman airport. Once there, we reclaimed our bags and clambered into a minibus with the others on this ACE tour and were driven some 40 minutes to Göcek, where the gulet M/S Sunworld 8 was moored.
Happily, the same vessel we went on the first time we sailed along the Lycian Coast, back in 2011, though with a different crew this time. We had debated whether to take the same trip again, but Elaine recalled that I had found the sailing so relaxing last time that it was now prescribed again to help me recharge after producing and launching g the new book, The Breakthrough Challenge.
Interestingly, of the 12 or so other people in the group, we turned out to have links to several. To begin with, I recognised one tall man with a stooped, aristocratic bearing, who turned out to be Christopher Parish, with whom I had worked years ago when I chaired The Environment Foundation – and we did regular consultations at St George’s House, Windsor Castle.
Elaine also recognised a couple whose daughter was in Gaia’s class at St Paul’s, and it transpired that yet another few-degrees-of-separation participant is Mary Wright, who – with her late husband, Chris – had been active in promoting sustainable living, via Action for Sustainable Living. She has brought along Kati Martin, who is involved in organic fashion for children as a Director of Boys & Girls.
Then this morning we sailed south-east to the Island of Gemiler, a once thriving Byzantine – which may have been dedicated to St Nicholas, as patron saint of seafarers. In what follows, I will draw on the notes provided by Andrew, who also led the 2011 tour – and was a key reason why we came back.
Now in ruins, the island offers extensive evidence of religious activities, including churches, graves and an extraordinary processional way – through which people would process during baptismal rights somewhere between the fourth and seventh centuries AD.
Having welcomed wasps at breakfast this morning, which had turned up in not inconsiderable numbers to share our fruit, honey and other delectations, I was now reminded of just how irritating a wasp sting can be. As several of us waited for the Zodiac to ferry us back to the gulet, I mistakenly pressed a wasp against my forearm – and it did the inevitable.
Tonight, dinner on deck – then sweet dreams at anchor.