House & Garden | Diary of a Somebody

Tara Bernerd

A blissful boating weekend in Turkey gets underway

Tara Bernerd

May 21 2011
Tara Bernerd

Day: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

Somehow I have accumulated three phones, and let’s be real – this is not cool at all. Perhaps at first glance I look like a Blackberry sales rep; however, even a sales rep would narrow it down. At the moment the Blackberry Torch is at the greatest risk of being tinned: its sensitive touch screen and new keyboard are just not doing it for me. However, it’s odd, I keep persisting with it.

Suffice to say it was a noisy start when all three alarms and Mr M’s all went off at once this morning. Although it did the trick, then it was shower, pack and move it.

The plan for the weekend is to go south to Göcek, so, like all good weekends away, what better way to start it than to include Friday.

With a Starbucks chai tea latte (I am convinced they’re taking over the world) and time to make a few calls, send priority e-mails, before I knew it we were boarding Turkish Airlines to Dalaman. Super new plane, an Airbus, and I have to add that I am continuously impressed with Turkish Airlines; next week I’ll fly with them to New York, trying out their latest first class. I am putting this down to research of course!

It’s an obvious interest, born out of continuous travel, which is simply a part of my life. Thus I admit to becoming somewhat of an interior plane spotter, with Cathay Pacific top of my leader board for their first class, in terms of comfort, space and service.

Back on board TK2556, the flight was short and sweet, the coastline here is beautiful and then a car to our dear friend Nur Taskent and his boat, Orient Star. It’s been some time since I was last on board as we go back a long way, dare I say it more than 20 years, when yachts were yachts and not gigantic floating countries.

The topic or indeed the phenomenon of the super-yacht intrigues me. This is in both design terms, for without doubt there are some magnificent vessels, and at the same time I am fascinated by the sheer bulk and associated costs that these present to this new breed of marine men.

Recently I heard that Paul Allen’s Octopus (that is his boat, as opposed to a weird pet – you never know these days) cost $200m to staff and maintain. Just think if he had saved that for four years he could buy the latest mega-yacht Eclipse off the chairman of Chelsea FC, more than 200 metres length and a bargain price of apparently $800m.

Call me old-school, but what happened to jumping off the front of the boat? I think I’d be terrified of these monsters. However if I won some absurd lottery and had a conscience by-pass I’d buy myself the Palmer Johnson World. An elegant, stealth-like design, it is handsome, strong and if it was possible to appear understated, it has a certain powerful, yet quiet style.

As soon as we arrived, we were wrapped in the warm breeze of summer; we drove 20 minutes around the coast, sunshine poured over us and that intoxicating smell of pine trees led us to Göcek.

There we were greeted by Ella and Nur, our hosts, who took hospitality to another level, giving us their master cabin. We met another charming couple and the rest of this magical blessed day I will leave to your imagination.

I can set the scene: the bay, my first visit; exquisite, mountainous hills, turquoise waters and the gentle lapping of water against the oh-so-chic wooden gulets.

We left the bay to the sounds of Bill Withers, rosé being poured, 20 years of catching up and a whole long weekend ahead to do so while exploring the bays and pockets of this beautiful enchanting part of the world.

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