A 75th Birthday Sailing on Yacht Vila from Kyrenia

Today we did one of my favourite things of all to do here: a trip along the coast on a traditional Turkish wooden yacht or gulet. We always now choose a yacht called Vela which sails from just below Kyrenia Castle. There are many boats to choose from, small and huge, party or quiet but we love Vela because it’s very big, but he only takes a few people so the boat feels very very private. The captain, Sirhat, speaks great English is very personable and his old mum is the most amazing cook. She puts on a lunch that would rival the finest restaurant. She creates a wonderful selection of meze dishes and then Sirhat bbqs either chicken, lamb or fish as a main course.

Anyway, we parked up behind the castle and walked down to the yacht. It boards at 1030. We had booked a non-private day which cost £47 each. We were 7 people and there were 6 others. The boat felt like ours….. We lazed out on steamer chairs and massive stuffed mattresses and cushions…. I just really can’t recommend this boat enough. It’s licensed for 26 but never more than about 14.

We sailed out westwards along the coast and anchored up just outside Escape Beach for a few hours. We sunbathed all the way and then jumped in the water right away and wallowed. It was bliss… so warm and clear….. About 130 lunch was served and it was as amazing as usual. Just delicious. I had the fish, and everyone else had chicken. Yum. After lunch Daisy and I fell asleep on our beach mattresses.

When we woke up the yacht was underway again, en route to anchor off Lord’s Palace on the other side of Kyrenia. We had another long swimming session there and then the Captain tipped me the wink that things were ready on the aft deck.

Today was Dave’s 75th birthday and we surprised him with a very fabulous birthday cake and everyone sang to him. The cake was really gorgeous – chocolate but very light and fluffy. Yum.

Got back to the harbour at about 5 and then had a longish car ride home in traffic. Tonight we sat out on the terrace under the full moon and put the world to rights. It was really a lovely day. Happy birthday again to Dave!

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