Today is arrival day. Our predicted landfall is 1600 and I’m writing this as we motor across flat calm water towards Port Said, so we’ll see if my ETA is correct. Although we can’t see land the depth is only 20 metres, and we’ve passed a couple of oil rigs and been overtaken by a huge cargo ship. With the hazy sun the entire experience reminds me of the east coast of the UK. On a good day. Instead of familiar Turkish banter the VHF is now choca with angry-sounding Arabic fishermen.
This of course puts us into emergency mode and the wind soon catches Esper and as the motors off without even so much as an apologetic glance back over his shoulder, we are left trying to steady our boat. We soon find ourselves sideways onto the pontoon, engine on with no wheel to steer ourselves away.
We decided to head next door to Hassan’s, where we were looking forward to meeting the owner. Oh boy, did we meet the owner. I’m not sure if he had got out of bed the wrong side, if he’d just had some terrible news, or if he’d taken an instant dislike to us but he was the most unpleasant man we have met in Turkey. The exchange went something like this…
Other people are just a-holes though, like this tw@t of a French ar$e who screamed and shouted at us whilst hopping about from one foot to the other. After safely anchoring well away from him I spent the next hour raising my arms at him in a “so what’s your problem?” kind of way.
We’ve been chilling out in some beautiful places though, taking in Kas, Kastelorizon, Kalkan and other places beginning with ‘K’, with plenty of pics to accompany stories of ancient Lycian tombs and angry French cons.
Actually, when I say busy I mean really busy. For an anchorage in the middle of nowhere there are rather a lot of vessels churning up this otherwise idyllic anchorage. Nothing bad, mind, apart from the twat on a jet-ski who needed a smack round the face…
My last weekend, however, was marred somewhat by a couple of idiots I met in the bar on Friday. New boat owners hailing from Essex and London they had nothing good to say about the sailing community. Or Turks for that matter. I sat and listened as they slagged off Turkish workers for being lazy, and yotties who help each other only for personal gain. Eh?
Not only do the Maltese siesta for most of the day, Malta completely shuts down on a Sunday so they can spend seventeen hours in church worshipping some bird in a blue dress. This was the perfect opportunity to drive into Valletta and wander the ancient streets, though it was made a little frustrating what with every tourist site being closed for the day!
As we approached the Essex coast we ran out of fuel. Well, we didn’t run out of fuel, the second tank wasn’t feeding fuel to the engine for some reason. With this in mind the skipper wasn’t happy sailing all the way back to Burnham with no diesel so we made a detour up the Orwell with the aim of pulling in to Levington to refuel. It was closer and the wind was in our favour. Or so we thought. Are you ready for this?
A rather amusing incident occurred today. Due to an administrative cock up with the marina the English power-boat users next to us had been directed to someone else’s berth. That someone else was a rather snotty-nosed Belgian couple in a very expensive yacht who decided to turn up later that morning.
And that was it. The three remaining crew members packed their bags and we hailed a passing boat and got off Voyager. I shook Paul’s hand and wished him luck, vaguely guilty that we had had a good working relationship, but I knew I had done the right thing.
When we got on board Jason helped himself to a beer, which Paul took from him and put back in the fridge. “Where’s my beer gone?” Jason asked. “I’ve put it back in the fridge”, Paul replied. Well, I think you can guess where this one’s going. Before we knew it a huge argument ensued and the skipper was once again screaming at the top of his voice and speaking to Jason as if he were five.
We headed into town and found a Wetherspoons, which was being frequented that night by the locals, dressed as porn stars. This was a visual treat and like a group of school kids we sat there ogling girls wearing nothing but stockings, suspenders, knickers and bra (see what happens when the only female leaves the group?).
Sunday was chill out day, our first day off since we started work aboard Voyager last week. This was spoilt, however, by the news that Esther would be leaving us due to some issues between her and the skipper. Not wanting to embarrass Esther I won’t go into the details but the term “a kid in a sweet shop with no money” was used by the skipper with regards to the situation.
Shock! Horror! Following Lorraine’s confirmation that she is jumping ship I have decided to follow suit. Prompted by an incident yesterday I have decided to do myself a favour and take a break, heading inland towards the capital, Lisbon.
“We want to refuel, why can’t you move the boat, get it out the way” and so on, now with some added comments regarding the English thrown in Now they’re starting to p!ss me off. “Look, it’s what the English call queuing”, I pipe up. “We had to wait, now you can wait. We’ll only be a few minutes, so what’s the rush?” After all, this is sailing, not the F1 pit-stop. Now they’re cursing obscenities at me, whilst some English sailors on the pontoon join in. “Aha”, I smile, “some support from some fellow English chaps”. Turns out they’re starting to have a go at me as well.