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.
The other option was Mersincik, but this was a further few miles round the corner and two things bothered me: if the winds stayed as they were and the sheltered anchorage was occupied, we’d have to anchor in open water, and if that was too dangerous then we would have to return to Knidos at night, and we were all feeling a little tired.
Just as I had planned we approached Datcha as the sun was coming up and dropped anchor just outside the town. We celebrated with a beer and a cigar, and then spent the next 20 minutes taking about five thousand photographs of the rising sun, because it was absolutely incredible! Check the gallery out for the new pictures!
The great thing about Knidos is the lack of tourists. Because there is only one road leading to the headland very little road traffic bother to make the journey. Therefore the majority of tourists come by boat, and since the site Knidos sits on is so remote, nestled between a mountain and a hill at the end of the headland, there are very few people walking round the site.
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…
Time for Ethan to get wet! Considering this was the first time Ethan and Chris had executed a manoeuvre like this they did really, really well. The great thing about these two was that they didn’t arse about. They listened and did as they were told until the boat was safe and secure. Proof that the best crew are not always the most qualified. In fact we executed our anchorage so well that another guy in a French-flagged boat who was having problems anchoring decided to copy us!
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.
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!
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).
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.
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!
No-one told me that I would be experiencing a force 5-6 wind and Esper would be on a 30-450 heel, so close to the waves!
No-one told me that there were so many hard obstacles on a boat.
No-one told me that one has to be fit and agile.