Christer Klingwall of ‘Lady Jessie’: A Tribute

It is with great sadness that we announce the tragic death of Christer Klingwall, owner and skipper of ‘Lady Jessie’, who took his own life last Monday, 20th April.

We would like to pay our respects to our sailing buddy by posting up some pictures and thoughts on followtheboat, which featured Christer in our last video clip. Mayke, Christer’s ex-wife with whom he remained close, said ‘Christer would love the idea of a tribute’. This article, then, will be a continually updated and amended page dedicated to a great sailor. If you would like to add your own comment, thought or photograph then please either use the comments form at the end of the article or email us.

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So When Are We Going To Go Somewhere?

We bought Esper at the end of 2004 and now it’s February 2009. In that time all we’ve done is sailed from Bodrum to Fethiye. Big deal. Weren’t we supposed to be going round the world? Anyone else out there get similar remarks from armchair sailors and landlubbers? I heard that a lot on my last visit home to the UK and I bet Jamie’s hearing it right now. Funny how it’s only people without a boat who make these remarks… What non boat dwellers don’t understand is how long everything takes. Well, for those people who wonder what we ‘do all day’ and why we haven’t got very far, here are a few things to think about:

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Big Celebrations And Lots Of Visitors!

Within the first month of launching Esper we’ve managed to clock up 350nm, just cruising around the Bodrum peninsular. We’ve had a lot of good sailing lately. There are some uncharacteristic southerlies in the area, but consistent and strong, so Liz and I have been putting Esper through her paces, which she enjoys very much. More importantly, however, is that Liz is growing in confidence every sail we do.

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A Few Lessons Learned

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!

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Happy Birthday To You!

Liz’s 50th began with a trip to the hamam with the girls, whilst I busied myself around the boat. When they returned we had just enough time to put together some snacks and chill the wine before we were boarded by 15 guests for pre-dinner drinks. We’ve never had so many people on board Esper!

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Camel Wrestling

Being virgin camel wrestling audience participators we didn’t come prepared, for in the venue were hundreds of Turks with their own picnic tables, BBQs, packed lunches and crates of drink. It turns out Camel Wrestling is taken very seriously here and a whole day is made of it. Apparently there is serious betting involved too.

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The Best Sail All Summer!

Whilst at the top of one of the hills, looking out north towards Bodrum, we could see the sea state was looking a little messy. I knew we were going to be in for a bit of a rough ride, sailing close-hauled back to the marina, but I had to get these boys back in time for their flight.

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Classic Turkish Wooden Boat Race

Despite owning a boat I’d never been in a boat race until now. I hadn’t even joined a flotilla or taken part in any sailing event other than drinking the bar dry after fighting with the helm for a day or more. Well, fighting with the helm was what happened in the Classic Wooden Boat Race in Bodrum, Turkey. Sails ripped, waves got splashy and the wind got stronger and stronger. And one boat, the oldest Turkish wooden boat in the race, a boat who’s crew included me, didn’t even finish…

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Crew: Orkan

A patient and competent skipper Roger kept his head, and his boat, when all around him were losing hope on that windy day! Roger was accompanied by Brian, his tennis partner from the UK, who was holidaying with his wife.

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Catch That Wind Before We Lose It

We were aiming to have a day off in Bodrum before heading off on the Monday, but the weather forecast was suggesting very little wind and no sun for the next five days. The only wind we’d have was today so I made the decision to get the **** out of Dodge to make the most of the little wind. Chris and Ethan, therefore, beat Tim’s record of setting off sailing in less than 12 hours of landing!

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Menu Please. Er, Menu? Please?

Before going back the Marina, the Skipper decided to moor on the other side of Bodrum Castle. From here we could see all of the Bodrum beach bars and the world’s loudest club (I didn’t hear it though).

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Having A Storming Time Here!

We walked to the tourist part of Bodrum (avoiding last night’s restaurant), and checked out all the tacky shops. Clothes shops were more expensive than London so I didn’t get anything, Rachel got an Evil Eye to ward off evil spirits and we both bought Jamie some sausage cushions for Esper to thank him for the accommodation.

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Winching Is For Whimps!

We compensated for our hard work when anchored up, or in the marina-plenty of good Turkish food and drink to sustain us all even in some of the remotest spots on the littoral. I am sure I put on weight despite all the swimming and snorkelling as well as a deal of trekking and I even did some rowing!

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Never Getting Bored Of Board Games

Dad was feeling a bit peaky from the night before, so no sail today, but it gave the rest of us a great opportunity to explore Bodrum Castle. The views from the top were spectacular and as I looked out to sea, I yearned to ride the waves.

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Chavs – They’re Everywhere, Even In Bodrum!

I fell in love with Esper instantly, especially the wooden decking, the decorative pictures onboard and most importantly the sound system pumping out everything from Blues to Deep House. I now understand why Jamie said good bye to his boat as we went out for a drink in the evening.

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Batten Down The Hatches, We’re Heading Home

Batten down the hatches, climb the rigging and let the cabin boy out of the toilet as we set sail for the last time. FMFF steered, LJF put the sails up and RPL tried his hand at fishing off the back of Esper, two hours later all he had caught on his hook was his finger.

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Thrash The Skipper At Scrabble? Double Pah!

Awoke fresh and lively after being gently rocked to sleep all night in the cosy cabin (thanks Jamie for giving up your bed for us!) waves lapping at the side. We swam before breakfast and even ventured on to land to explore the hobbit hole – the pirate flag was no longer flying so we felt safe.

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Thrashing The Skipper At Backgammon? Pah!

First maritime lesson don’t drink raki the night before your initial voyage. After collecting the belongings we had left around various venues in Bodrum, a bag in the Marine club, a cardigan on the boat and jogging our memories of the night before with all the random photos we had taken. Did I really get wheeled home in a trolley? and were they really three Russian prostitutes?

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Team Work

We had some good strong winds which took us on a great beam reach back. On the way we tried anchoring off catal ada but the anchor dragged and it was not particularly sheltered so we went on our way. We wanted to take advantage of the terrific winds, anyway, so it didn’t matter that we headed back

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Gearing Up For Our Next Sail

We had planned to leave Bodrum asap, but plans have a funny way of changing on a boat. There had been a few occasions when it was impossible to get the boat in gear, but somehow each time this happened we eventually did manage to find the gear (thus avoiding one or two near misses with other boats and objects).

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