Well I said I’d sh!t Jay up and I think I managed it, albeit for just a second. We left Cokertme in dead flat seas, unaware that there was a fierce storm brewing behind us. As the winds picked up we hoisted the sails and were doing 7 knots no problem. Because we were running downwind we weren’t really aware of how strong the winds were (completely my fault as skipper not keeping an eye on the instruments). They continued to pick up and eventually we were doing 8 knots and, at one point, we hit 9 knots. This speed was attained by an error at the helm, pushing the boat round so the wind was on the beam and tipping Esper up on her side! Apparently down below Orla was reading a book and drinking a cup of tea. As the boat tipped over and Liz ran around the galley trying to catch cups and plates, Orla nonchalantly picked up her cup as it slid down the table and readjusted herself in her seat, never tearing her eyes away from her book. Meanwhile up on deck I’m shouting at Jay to let out the mainsheet, which was a problem since I hadn’t explained to him what a mainsheet was!
With other boats around us all battling to gain control, and being just two miles from Bodrum, I decided to pack it in and just motor, making it more comfortable for everyone, including Liz who was completely unaware that we had even got the sails out in the first place! A few lessons learned today methinks.
We eventually arrived in Bodrum marina just as the storm really started to kick in. What was really eerie, however, was the cloud that hung over Bodrum. I can’t really explain it other than the fact it was a dirty yellow colour. Everyone, including the locals, had not seen anything like it and people were in the streets craning their necks to look up at this phenomenon. Some even claimed it was due to the fact that today was Ataturk Day, and that this was a sign!
Later it turned out that the cloud contained an unfeasible amount of Saharan sand which it later dumped on Bodrum, fouling every single boat in the marina with nasty, mucky dirt.