Salih and Bilge
If you have been keeping up with us you’ll have already met some of the crew. Salih and Bilge are now regular crew members and as long as Bilge continues to knock up some of her delightful dishes she is always welcome! Salih has found his position on the boat operating the windlass. He spent years working the gullets in Bodrum and so knows where and when to drop the anchor!
Liz’s brother, born with a spanner in his hand, may not have ever sailed before but he quickly applied his logical and pragmatic approach to our early anchoring techniques! Jamie and Chris spent three days on board, with one successful anchorage and one rather fraught experience, but a lot was learnt and this was due in part to Chris. Owning a home with his Turkish wife in Bodrum Chris is also looking to buy a boat but he’s explicitly explained it will have no sails and powered by engine only! “I can see the attraction of sailing but I don’t think it’s for me” he said at the end of the three day excursion.
You’ve met Jon before too, but this time he was on board Esper under very different circumstances. With his company Centurion Yachting Jon offers ‘learn to sail’ courses, which Jamie took up by doing his Day Skipper. This should have been done on board Jon’s own boat but it was being repaired so we came up with the great solution of joining his flotilla with Jamie and Jon sailing Esper. Jon’s extremely experienced and makes for a great tutor.
Peter and Gilly
Part of Jamie’s Day Skipper course involved taking an English couple over to an uninhabited island to see whether it would be suitable for a wedding reception! It turns out that Peter and Gilly, who are friends with Jon, are building their own super yacht and are looking to use it as their form of transport for their wedding in September! Chance would be a fine thing. It turns out that typically the boat is behind schedule. It’s being built by a Turkish boat yard who want to turn Peter’s yacht into a gullet. Interestingly Gilly runs a comedy club in London and Sussex and we toyed with the idea of opening a comedy night in Bodrum for the ex-pats. Could work!
Fred is a treasure hunter by trade. Oh, you don’t believe me? Well his last place of employment was at the Castle in Bodrum, working as a conservator but he left to take up a place with a bunch of pirates in Jamaica digging for gold. Fortunately for Fred the operation never came to fruition so he’s been travelling around the globe instead and this summer he found himself back in his old stomping ground. Fred’s reputation as a great drinker is well deserved, but then he is Belgian and we wouldn’t expect anything less.
Never one to turn down a day sail with a bunch of girls in swim wear Jamie took his friends and onboard chefs Nilgun and Bilge, along with Bilge’s mum and a 6ft tall blonde Swiss girl in a skimpy bikini, Sylvia. Sylvia was placed in Bodrum for the summer, working with Bilge on site. Nilgun excelled herself in the galley, whilst Bilge’s mum, who doesn’t speak a word of English, just sat back and enjoyed the freedom of it all.
Long time no see! Jamie’s original sailing partner took a week out of his busy work schedule in London to join Jamie for seven days of hardcore sailing and drinking. Tim has actually spent many a sailing holiday in Turkey with his family in the past so he had no problems in jumping on a cheap flight to Bodrum to make the most of the strong meltem (winds). For once Jamie could relax and enjoy the sailing rather than stressing over telling people what to do onboard Esper, since Tim’s sailing skills are second to none. Tim has a natural affinity with both sea and sail.
A chance meeting at Istanbul airport lead Taç to hook up with Jamie on her summer holiday in the Bodrum peninsular. Her parents own a holiday home in Gumbet (fortunately it’s up in the hills away from the Brits Abroad scum) so a couple of weeks was spent hanging out in her favourite spots of Bodrum and Gümüslük. Taç works for the British government so not only is her spoken English excellent she also knows how to handle a couple of bottles of red wine too! Taç had never been sailing before but her untypically Turkish habit of trekking solo in Nepal or throwing herself down mountains on a bike meant she had no problems with her first sail, a close-hauled affair in a force 6!
Rus and Fiona
These old friends of Jamie had never been sailing before. The last time Rus went to sea, aboard an old fishing boat off the coast of Cornwall, UK, he described it as “the worst day of my life”. So, cramming plenty of Stugeron (sea sickness tablets) down their throats Fiona and Rus hit the Aegean with some trepidation. Their fears were unfounded, however, as they both coped marvelously.Rus became a competant scraper-of-barnacles-off-some-bloke’s-prop, whilst Fiona put on a free raki-induced floor show at the yacht club. Oh yes, we do have photographic evidence.
Marcus and Rachel
Coming round full circle Jamie is joined by his youngest brother, Marcus, who accompanied him and their father on their very first sailing trip together. Marcus’s partner, Rachel, joined us and get this: Rachel works for the Yacht Report and yet she has a phobia of deep water! Well, that’s what she claims but we heard no complaints when we hit force 5s whilst beating into the wind. No problem! This was their first trip to Turkey but they took to it immediately and will be coming back as soon as they can.
Mike and Lesley
Jamie’s parents are the reason why this website exists in the first place. As you’ll see from the Knight Vision crew profile Mike was bought the Competent Crew course as a retirement present but he insisted Marcus and Jamie join him. That was when Jamie caught the sailing bug and the rest is history, so it was great to see Mum and Dad join us aboard Esper. Mike had already spent a week working on board when Esper was up on sticks in the boat yard so he was familiar with the lay out. Lesley’s last experience of sailing was over thirty years ago but she was completely unphased by it all. Quote of the week: “I don’t normally let my son tell me what to do but whilst sailing under his instruction I’ll make an exception!”
Ethan and Chris
Chris holds the record for flying the furthest to come and sail on Esper – it takes over 12 hours to get from Philadelphia to Bodrum! Ethan, also an American, has been living in the UK for a number of years now and both were keen to check out Turkey and, more specifically, what it was like to sail Esper! The great thing for Jamie about Ethan and Chris’s visit was that they were off sailing within 12 hours of landing, and their entire visit was spent at sea, discovering new places including the incredible Knidos and making the most of some winds gusting at near gale speeds!
Since Mustafa knows the local waters AND is experienced in anchoring it seemed silly not to ask him to come along on these short trips to practice a bit of anchoring and kill some time. Despite limited communication between us Mustafa knows enough English to teach me when and where I should consider anchoring.
I should consider myself lucky that I have Mustafa on hand to come sailing with me. The decision is normally made the night before and it’s usually during the week, when everyone else is as work. Despite being employed full time as a skipper it seems his boss is never around so Mustafa is pretty much a free agent. One thing I will say about him though, he is a tidy and conscientious person and always respects the fact he is on someone else’s boat. I quite often tell him off for bothering to do the washing up or arranging the cushions neatly, as his cleanliness puts me to shame!