…we received an unexpected call from the officer in charge, who invited Jamie to meet the skipper of the barge that rammed us. So he went back with Alica, leaving Liz and Millie-the-cat to guard Esper. After five cups of coffee Wat the translator arrived…
This of course puts us into emergency mode and the wind soon catches Esper and as the motors off without even so much as an apologetic glance back over his shoulder, we are left trying to steady our boat. We soon find ourselves sideways onto the pontoon, engine on with no wheel to steer ourselves away.
Banu and Batu’s progress has not been without its problems, however. Despite running their family business now for over 20 years they have had some run-ins with the local marina next door, who have only been here for five years. When Banu told me of the bribes Ece Marina have been offering her in order to close her down, I was disgusted.
Since the wind was up our bum I thought I’d expose mine and stripped off. I’d heard a lot of good things about naked sailing and I was keen to give it a go. It was all fine for about 2 minutes until I realised that the tanker behind us was not the one that had passed us 10 minutes ago going the other way, but another one following us behind pretty fast!
Batten down the hatches, climb the rigging and let the cabin boy out of the toilet as we set sail for the last time. FMFF steered, LJF put the sails up and RPL tried his hand at fishing off the back of Esper, two hours later all he had caught on his hook was his finger.
There was at least 35 knots of wind and the few other boats out and about obviously had the same plan – to get back safely asap. We discussed down to the smallest detail exactly how we would park the boat without hitting any other boats (or our own) against the pontoon.