Liz has left me. She has gone and now it is just me, the cat and Esper. To pull myself out of my misery I attempted some single handed sailing, proving to myself and the world that I can stand alone, man against the elements, a conqueror, a hero. Impressive was the fact that I have never sailed solo before; even more impressive was that I managed to log two continents. Well, this all sounds good on paper, but the reality was that my first week was a complete screaming disaster. Dragging anchors, smashed solar panels, dysfunctional engines and rolling harbours all contributed to me desperately wanting my Queenie back on board. All this is set against a background of consistent 25-30knot winds that have been plaguing the Greek Islands all month. The usual self-deprecation is illustrated with loads of pics (look out for ‘Moon Goat’) and a couple of video clips too.
Introducing a new series on followtheboat: A Day In The Life. In this new category we take one day and break it down for you, hour by hour, offering a lighthearted view on what it’s like to spend 24 hours aboard Esper. In our first essay we examine an average day at anchor in Turkey, from dragging anchors and evil clerics to woodland creatures and smelly poo.
Oh, and if you’re using Internet Explorer 6, we’ve finally got round to fixing a display errors in the website – of course you should have upgraded or migrated to Firefox by now 😉
In the next few articles we’ll be featuring some photographs, video clips, maps and personal experiences of our current home Fethiye, offering something for all our friends and family to enjoy. This article, however, is very definitely for the serious liveaboard: visit any online sailing forum and there is one subject that will rouse more furious debate than any other subject known to man, beast or Poseidon: anchors. The simple anchor is the one thing on our boat we need to trust more than anything else (except perhaps our vessel’s ability to keep water out) so it is little wonder grown men pull each others’ hair out when arguing which anchor is best.
We had a bit of cash to spend on an anchor last year and, after pulling some hair, we opted for a new generation Rocna. We promised its designer, Peter Smith, to return an unambiguous account of our experience with his design. He said explicitly “be honest”. You know us, Peter, a spade’s a spade…
It does, thank Neptune, and when we reach Gocek, we anchor up some 50 yards from the pontoon and board “Tinker”, a dinghy that has seen better days. Why is it though, that when men get into a dinghy or a canoe, they feel as though they have to paddle like the clappers to reach their destination? Everything on water is a race, I call it the “Columbus Effect”.
We’d heard good things about Kalkan so we anchored in a spot recommended by two friends. The dip in the water was a real treat as somewhere close by there was a cold-water spring in the sea-bed, causing random little spots of cool water in the otherwise bath-temperature seas. Alas a quick dive down to inspect the anchor showed that we were on top of rock.
A dragging boat is not a pretty sight, especially when it’s your own. It’s even worse when your outboard has only half the revs it’s supposed to and, like a scene from a Hitchcock thriller, the more you rev, the faster your boat drags.