The tables turned a little, however, when the back-end of the front we were avoiding stirred up the waters and caused a little chop. Stanley’s classic ‘wow, big waves’ comment won’t be forgotten in a hurry. He was commenting on 1m swells, bless him. It was fun for a while.
We spent the first hour listening to the VHF, which was a real education. Having done most of my night-sailing around the UK and then across empty oceans, it was a new thing to learn about Philipino Monkeys. For those who don’t k now, all vessels should have their VHF radio on stand-by on the international channel 16. It’s used as a hailing channel and for emergencies but it can be open to abuse.
I’ve just completed my first watch. Me. I’ve just helmed a 50m motor yacht from Marmaris, Turkey, into international waters. I’m now officially one of the big boys. I wonder what nautical tattoo I’ve earned? Image of a gin and tonic on my forearm?
Having spent much of the winter aboard Rama producing The Porthole, and spending Christmas Day around the dinner table with 18 friends, it was only fitting that Liz and I were invited to help deliver Rama to Malta, along with Gordon, the chief engineer who we had befriended over the winter period. The deal was that we could come along for the ride providing we helped out with a bit of cooking and watching…
The next day was another early start and after a big Turkish breakfast served in the garden under fruit trees we set off for Didyma. We found our way there quite quickly and once again arrived before the official opening time and before anyone else. What can I say about Didyma? The site dates back to 8th century BC, but the ruined temple seen now is of 4th century BC origin.
The stadium, which seats 30,000 people, left us both speechless. The two agoras, temples, palaces, colonnaded palaestra, odeum, bath houses and other structures kept us absorbed, but again, it was the theatre that charmed us. It has been built in one of the two bronze age mounds found on the site and is in great condition, with carved names on some of the seats and an impressive throne-style chair in the middle of the front row.