Another dead calm day meant we had perfect conditions to practice boat handling techniques under motor. Sounds straightforward, doesn’t it? Unfortunately Jon and I learnt that Esper doesn’t really like reversing. At all. We must have spent a good hour just going round in circles, backwards and forwards, working out exactly which way the prop-walk affected the boat. What I did discover was that Esper loves veering to port when put into reverse, which makes reversing to the left a doddle. Reversing to the right, however, proved almost impossible. Future mooring incidents in Bodrum marina would be a constant reminder of this.
After trying, and failing, to reverse in a straight line backwards into an imaginary mooring space (Jon failed too!) we hoisted sail and started to catch the early afternoon wind, changing course as we passed the obscure rock at the headland above Yalikavak (the fossilised submarine, as Jon calls it). The winds picked up and soon enough we were in open water, cruising at a comfortable 7knts on a beam reach.
As we approached the entrance to Kazıklı the fish farms welcomed us into a most beautiful scene not too different in appearance to the Italian Lakes. I was surprised by how lush and alive the hills either side of the inlet looked. I always imagined the Turkish countryside to be sparse, barren and brown. Nestled away in amongst the pine were a couple of very expensive looking holiday resorts, but they were so tastefully designed they looked like they belonged there. The inlet ran in a couple of miles.
Jon directed us to our anchorage, which was excellent holding in mud. The dog-leg in the inlet really made us feel as though we were sitting on a calm lake, for we couldn’t see the sea. Unfortunately one of the flotilla boats lost its prop shortly after dropping anchor, so the rest of the afternoon was spent snorkelling around in zero visibility looking for a small piece of metal sitting 30ft beneath us. After 20 minutes I gave up. Either my lungs are shot to pieces from too much abuse or continually diving through 30ft of murky water was taking its toll on my ageing body. I was pleased when Teddy, the young and athletic skipper on one of Jon’s other boats, shortly gave up afterwards. Jon wasn’t far behind, complaining of ear ache. (When I bumped in to Jon a couple of weeks later it turned out he had suffered from a burst ear drum, something he worked out for himself when he woke up one morning with blood oozing from his ear! There’s a lesson to be learnt here though: no missing part from a boat is worth salvaging from the sea bed if it’s going to put your safety or health in jeopardy).
Later I beat Jon at Scrabble. That’s always worth adding to the log.