To make today even more active we climbed a mountain! (Well it was more like a hill – But it felt like a mountain) At the top it was just the five of us peering down at Gümüslük in the hazy afternoon sun, we could see Rabbit Island, Esper and more importantly the place where we were going to eat tonight.
After a claustrophobic night in the bow Cabin, I woke up tired and grumpy, but glad to see we were already sailing onto our next destination. Perfect sailing weather, the sun beamed and the wind blew as the waves grew. We moored up at Catal Ada for lunch, a beautiful idyllic spot where everyone had a dip in the sea.
By late afternoon we moored up to a buoy in Ortakent and I tried snorkelling for the first time; it was amazing seeing the seabed thirty foot below and little fishes swimming underneath me. I then knew what to have for my evening meal!
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.
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.
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.
After lunch at a little restaurant by the shore we headed up to the hill on the other side of the bay, where we sat at the top and admired the beautiful views around the bay and across to Kos. We could see Esper anchored up with the other boats looking splendid. It was here that we each developed our “I like it up here” song with accompanying dance.
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.
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?
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
We sailed into heavy wind and seas and as we rounded the headland spotted a turtle swimming along our starboard side. It was about 2ft and seemed to be happily swimming along next to us for a while. It put a smile on my face to see one of these gorgeous creatures in its natural habitat.
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).
There was at least 35 knots of wind and the few other boats out and about obviously had the same plan – to get back safely asap. We discussed down to the smallest detail exactly how we would park the boat without hitting any other boats (or our own) against the pontoon.
We took the dinghy to the end of the bay and up the creek. It might have been easier if we had figured out how the mediaeval sign system worked – it may have prevented us from going aground a few times! Anyway, we got ourselves to the end of the creek and carefully avoided feeding the crocodiles…
We picked up more wind as Jamie poled out the genoa and we ran goosewing. Wow, it was great! The sense of speed was tremendous. We seldom dropped below 7 knots and I was at the helm when we clocked our first 10 knots! With the wind behind us practically the whole way we gave chase and over took quite a few other yachts. Esper seemed to love it as much as us.