We stumbled round the rocky path and into an open plain, decorated with scrub, fig trees, old engines and goats, until we were presented with an oasis of vegetables within the confines of an ancient wall. In this compound stood a tiny brick shack and to get to it one had to walk across a wooden plank that spanned a huge, deep well. We were introduced to a grandmother and her daughter, both of whom lived in the shack and maintained the garden, and the daughters and son of the local goat herder.
Since the wind was up our bum I thought I’d expose mine and stripped off. I’d heard a lot of good things about naked sailing and I was keen to give it a go. It was all fine for about 2 minutes until I realised that the tanker behind us was not the one that had passed us 10 minutes ago going the other way, but another one following us behind pretty fast!
The anchor is well dug in and my transit line still hasn’t changed, but now it’s dark I can’t see it and the anchor chain is making funny noises every now and then. The wind is blowing hard enough that the boat is tipping over and I have to lean over the laptop to readjust myself to an upright position. I can hear the water slopping all around poor Esper. I’m not sure how well I’m going to sleep tonight and I’m exhausted after the six hours of sailing we’ve done today.
We anchored in the lee of the hill and tied to a rock, cracked open a beer and had a snack. All very innocent and quite pleasant. Notice how I make all that sound easy? This was Liz’s first line ashore and she executed this task perfectly. For those not aware, in Turkey it is quite common to take a line ashore and tie to a rock or tree to stop the boat swinging around on its anchor.
Right now we are anchored in over 20 knots of wind and Esper is yawing about the bay and I really don’t know what the next entry will be – we’ll either have successfully hooned it down towards the Greek island of Simi, or we’ll report back on how we had to get Esper dragged off the reef, which is about 20m from us as I type!
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.