Our departure from Datca was a good example of that old adage ‘there’s no such thing as a straight line in sailing’. The bit of sea south from Datca to the end of the headland should have taken an hour. However, with the wind starting as a southerly, we were still heading towards Simi (the opposite direction) two hours later! We completed a few tacks and successfully overtook another yacht attempting the same thing (10 points) but, after three or more hours we decided to whack the engine on and just get round that damn corner! Shame, as we were having a lot of fun tacking, something that Liz and I have got licked pretty well now (bear in mind we tack with up to four sails out).
We had decided to get back to Bitez today so we had a fair way to go what with the wind now on the nose. This meant boring motoring until we passed Knidos when, as we turned the corner, we were able to get the sails out. This lasted all of an hour as we hit the lee of Kos, which always means dropping the sails and making way under engine. By this time it was getting dark so it meant sticking the nav lights on. Except they didn’t come on. I’d repaired these in the boat yard a few months previously but they were playing silly buggers, just when we needed them. A swift punch with a screwdriver normally sorts these kind of inconveniences out and we had them working just as we were being chased by huge ferry after huge ferry, for we were motoring through the shipping channel past Kos. We weren’t breaking any boating laws, by the way, as it’s a free for all here.
The only really interesting thing that happened on this journey was seeing a couple of fish-farms being towed at night. Very strange, what with all the lighting configurations. In fact the whole of the Bodrum bay and Kos area looked like something out of a science fiction movie as the sun set over Chatal Ada, brightly lit ferries and tankers eased their way between Greece and Turkey, disappearing into the dull purple sky on the horizon.
We eventually arrived at Bitez and, unlike our now near-perfect anchoring technique, we had to anchor FIVE times before we could get it to set. Even then we found it had dragged slightly the next morning. For some bizarre reason Bitez has suddenly got really weedy and of course at night we couldn’t see the useful sandy patches.
Still, we’d managed to make our way back to Bodrum in time to hoist Esper out the water and catch that all important plane journey back to the UK for Jason and Orla’s wedding. We would return to Bodrum, three weeks later, a little bit older and a little bit wiser.
Before we move onto the next section, just take a look at the pictures on the next page. Liz and I witnessed Icmeler almost go up in flames……