Anchoring Off Bitez

bitezanchor-1When I first took Esper out with a couple of skippers on board, my anchoring techniques left a lot to be desired. I was determined to make the effort to try and anchor the next few times I went out for a sail. Anchoring is something that’s pretty important here in Turkey since one is spoilt for choice with the anchoring opportunities.

Deciding the night before that we should go sailing the next day I contacted Mustafa, who was free, and made the effort to get Esper out and head towards Bitez. I wanted to visit Bitez since a few people I know live there yet I’d never been myself. I had visions of anchoring up and taking the dinghy ashore for a quick coffee, but we didn’t set off until after lunch. Despite doing a good 7 knots most the way by the time we got to the bay entrance I decided to make use of an anchorage that was sheltered from the strong southerly meltem.

We successfully dropped anchor on the first try, though Mustafa did make a few comments on my technique. Of course I didn’t take offence since this was the whole point of the practice but I’m learning every time I do it. It was already gone mid afternoon so after a quick cup of tea we turned around and headed back. We had a few minor problems with the in-mast furling gear, which I knew would happen one day, but Mustafa patiently teased the main sail in and out and eventually it ran free.

On our return the wind had picked up and we were surrounded by a few squalls but this didn’t stop us from tacking backwards and forwards for an hour and clocking 8.2 knots on the log – our fastest speed yet!


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