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Devout Sceptic
4,726 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My annual trip to Marmaris was 2 months later than usual this year so I was very much ready for it.

It's a family affair. Along with the MD I also have the company of the in-laws. Not as bad as it sounds :)

We have a dog now and this is the first time we have left her to go on holiday. Had her booked in with an outfit called "Creature Comforts". Not cheap but we liked the couple who were going to look after Jess. The in-laws pack their dog, Bruno, off to some friends so he was taken care of.

We flew with Thomas Cook and I'd paid £20 for 10Kg of diving kit. There was no problem with check in at Manchester and the 767 took off just 20 mins late. It was a very cramped aircraft. The FIL is a big bloke and he couldn't get comfortable.

We use a2b Transfers for the Dalaman - Marmaris - Dalaman transfers.
They have always been good and their smaller vehicles means we don't often have to tour the resort dropping off coachloads of gobby chavs.
On arrival there was just one other couple on the Merc Sprinter mini bus. So we got there in good order. The driver still pulled in at "services" making what should have been a 1hr 20min journey into a slightly longer one.

Not all transfer drivers know where to find Amphi Apartments, luckily we've been going there for years so can help them if required.
The Amphi is quite good for the money.
With us (unavoidably) going there during the school holidays we expected the place to be alive with scrikeing brats. It wasn't. Mostly couples, young and old.

I usually have 5 days days' diving with 2 dives per day spread over the fortnight. Although the MD has had a few goes she hasn't taken to diving so other than occasionally joining me on the boat. This year she never came on any of my diving trips.

After spending a day acclimatising to the heat I walked down to the harbour to find my usual diving services provider, Deep Diving School. It's a smallish wooden boat that never gets as crowded as some of the big steel hulled boats.
I was pleased to see that the boat was quite busy although most of the crew had changed.

Much of the diving in Marmaris (and probably Turkey) is processing DSD's. As it happens though on all 5 of my diving days I was in the company of very good buddies.

For 4 of the days I was with Mark from Holland, an old hand at diving in the area but this was his first time using this boat. He's always used one of the big steel hulled boats but as he was staying (as always) in Turunc across the bay from Marmaris he was told the high cost of fuel meant it was no longer financially viable to make the trip to pick him up in the boat so he'd have to get a taxi/dolmus overland.
He decided to shop around and found that Servet the owner of Deep Diving was happy to make the trip. After all there are plenty of diving spots in the area of Turunc so it's no big deal.
So that was how it worked Mark and myself agreed on which days we'd be going diving so as to be sure we'd have a buddy. I'd enjoy the 20 mins walk to the boat in Marmaris each morning and then sun bathe on the top deck along with any other Marmaris based customers whilst we motored across the bay to collect Mark (and some others on most days).

Mark had a similar number dives to me and only dives on holiday. We had exactly the same air consumption and love of peeking into cracks and crevices looking for the squidgy bits. Along with the new guide on the boat we had plenty of 1 hr plus dives in the 30 - 35 mtr max depth range.
Although never bothering to collect any badges above OW he was a particularly tidy diver. An absolute pleasure to dive with.

No point in detailing the dives. It's no secret that the diving there is not the most exciting in the world but for two relatively infrequent, middle aged holiday divers it good enough :)

The water temp was 28 at the surface and 26 at 35mts in general. As is often the case there was a thermocline at different depths in different areas and distinctly different visibility either side of it.

If I had to pick a memorable dive it would be one we did at the Phosphor Cave on Paradise Island.
It's not much of a cave and isn't even a cave below the water line. It's more of a hollow in a cliff face that the day-trip "bays and BBQ" boats visit in their hundreds. It's known as a place to throw a coin and make a wish as the boats pull in as far as they can.

There were 4 of us Mark and myself and a Polish diver who was buddied with the guide.
I did have my reservations about the Polish diver. I had talke to him back on the boat. He had 70 odd dives and was UTD trained to some technical level. All very well until he placed his mask back to front on his head during kitting up :rolleyes:
The dive boat waited for a gap in the boat-trip traffic and we steamed in an dropped off the back of the boat. The next hoard of visitors were fast approaching and their boat was blowing its horn at us. We all agreed on leaving the surface!

We were in about 10mts of water and the boat above positioned it's customers to commence their coin throwing. I never saw any coins fall but the rocks below were littered with them.
I have no interest in "stealing" someone's dream so other than inspecting a few coins I left them where they lay. The Polish diver thought it was a treasure hunt :D
Once it was clear overhead we snaked our way back up through some crevices to find ourselves on the surface at the back of the cave watching yet another boatload of wish makers backing in. I was sat up on rocks so we were in no danger from the boat.
It's quite dark in there so the passengers looking in and throwing coins and taking photos maybe didn't see us sat there smiling at them but we'll be on their pictures when they look back at them :)

We headed out and down into the depths. At 33mts I found a baseball cap. It looked ok so I wore it for the remainder of the dive :) The guide found a towel so he wore that round his waist.
On our way back up through 15mts Mark and myself observed that the UTD guy was breathing off the guides alternate. On the surface it transpired that his "SPG had been leaking" though the leak couldn't be located by the crew.
On the surface it also transpired that my nice new baseball cap was bright pink :)

On my last day of diving Mark wasn't aboard he was flying home next day and had to do family stuff. Luckily I had a new buddy from Turunc. Nico, a mature Belgian 3*Cmas diver with over 500 dives.
We did a couple of very nice dives together guided by the new guide who loves diving, meaning 70min dives :)
Nico was actually on a mission to see if Marmaris or Turkey in general was suitable for his clubs annual trip instead of their usual Red Sea trip. He seemed happy enough so far :)

Before leaving his boat at the end of my diving Servet gave me a couple of his new brochures. It wasn't until I got back home that I noticed I'm in one of the pictures. It's one the MD took a couple of years ago and another one I took of the dive boat out at sea as I passed by on on another boat. Both of which I'd sent him in case they were any use for his website.

So, as well as 5 days out on the dive boat I spent a further 5 days out on day trip boats with the rest of the family. We didn't make any wishes at the Phosphorus Cave though.

The fortnight flew by and we were soon back at Manchester. Whilst waiting for our bags the MIL received a text saying their dog had been a bit unwell and the minders wanted some advice. After a couple calls the panic seemed to be over.

Sadly, after a trip to the emergency vet early this morning Bruno, the daftest dog in the world shuffled out into their back garden, laid down and died. I had the sad duty of helping bury him this morning.
A very, very sad end to what had been a great holiday.

Devout Sceptic
4,726 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I'm presently looking at booking our regular Autumn visit to Tenerife.
Looking at the prices for dives relative to what I've just paid in Turkey has just reminded me that Turkey really is good value for money just now.

Prices in the resort are no higher and in some cases less than they were last year and with the exchange rate peaking at 2.9 Ytl to the £ during our stay (2.4 last year) it's a great place to go on a budget,

Fill your belly for £7 and a pint of Efes costs £1.40 :)

As a return, multiple dive customer I was paying £30 for two boat dives inc. lunch :)
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