Getting Our Anchor Chain Fouled

Another morning bright and clear, with the sun soon quite hot. After breakfast Jamie decided to see how Millyu coped with the orange wobbly thing (dinghy). Not sure what she thought of it, but at least she did not dive in!

Source: M&L Furlong
Source: M&L Furlong

After that little interlude the Skipper suggested it would be a good idea to spend some more time putting Esper through her paces. The First Mate got all togged up with gloves & stout shoes for the anchor chain. The windlass clanked away, driving Millyu nuts. The chain became as taught as a piano wire-with Esper spinning around but nothing happened. After several attempts to slacken & re-tighten the windlass, the skipper decided to snorkel down to see what was the problem.

Paul and Kev.  Source: M&L Furlong
Paul and Kev. Source: M&L Furlong

It was only about 10m to the sea bed but with more than 30ms of chain out obviously something was wrong. The Skipper donned his gear and dived in-he eventually came up spluttering (too many fags) and proclaimed that “something” was wrapped around the anchor chain. He clambered aboard and after some discussion with the First Mate he said “Divers”. We all got excited as it meant calling up help on the VHF. We could actually see the Yacht Marina only about ½ mile away but we were well & truly stuck. Jamie put out a call and within minutes we had a response from fellow yachties (several actually), but the first proved to be the nearest and also have all the right equipment. We gulped a cup of coffee and waited patiently for “International Rescue”. More exchanges on the VHF followed and after about an hour a rib driven by a salty sea dog came hurtling towards us with two divers all togged up with tanks, flippers and wet suits to sort us out.

Ten minutes of intense activity, lots of rather obscene hand signs, and the two guys declared the job done. They made their way back to the rib and the beers came out. Prognosis-abandoned mooring point on chain with plastic float, some 5m below the surface had wrapped itself round Esper’s anchor chain. The mooring point had a concrete block holding it down. Another beer was opened and payment discussed-seemed inconclusive but everyone happy and the divers departed with smiles & waves. We all agreed that we might as well return to the marina as it was after lunchtime. We found we were directed to a totally different pontoon, which proved somewhat disconcerting. Indeed after her shower, Jamie found his mother wandering in completely the opposite direction to where we were moored. We were looking forward to an evening of star gazing with 130 other people on a Turkish boat hired for the purpose by Hugh of “Eagle Ray”.

Just before 19:30 hours many people were observed heading for Alfa pontoon where a large commercial Turkish boat was tied up. Health & Safety rules went by the board as to how we actually got on the vessel, but Hugh who directed us upstairs greeted us warmly. We grabbed our sun loungers in strategic places on the upper deck. As we settled ourselves down to our first drink, the boat proceeded at an extremely leisurely pace out into the bay behind the island of Sedin Adazi. This was planned to ensure the light pollution from Marmaris & also the Yacht Marina was minimised. After a simple Turkish meal, (all included-but how DO they get the chicken so flat) we lay back on our sun loungers gazing at the night sky wondering where all those stars had come from. We listened intently to Hugh, an amateur astronomer as well as his brother who turned out to be a professional, describing the constellations. We now know Pegasus from Pisces and Cepheus from Cygnus. We were also reminded of the positioning of the Pole Star (not just with the Plough). Useful when we next get lost on our night hikes! Important to sailors though.

We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves –really fascinating and educational. Pity those that had only come along for the ride (and drinks) didn’t keep their inane comments to themselves!

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