As I alluded to in the previous page, we were up at the crack of sparrow dawn’s fart and off, motoring up the coast, as we began our first ever rally, the Kuzey Kibris. This was the second year in the rally’s history and much later we learned that ‘Dragon Song’ and ‘Esper’ were the first non-local boats to join it. We were really stoked to learn this. There’s more about all this and Ilkin, the manager of Delta Marina who organises the rally, in our Through The Porthole interview a few pages on.
Not much to report really other than lots of motoring, no catching of fish and the occasional update on the VHF to the group leader, Dave of ‘Mishona’, a legend in his own right. Tra la la, a few litres of diesel later and there we were at our first destination, Yeni Erenkoy.
Yeni Erenkoy is actually the town down the road but we were pulling in to a small harbour that normally houses local fishing boats. For one evening only they were booted out and we took their place. It was all a bit of a tight squeeze, with Esper’s depth gauge showing 0m beneath her keel as she entered the harbour, though the muddy bottom was forgiving. Turning Esper on a sixpence was interesting but providing there’s no wind I’ve got this kind of move licked. You don’t want to see me at the helm when there is a wind, mind, unless you want a good laugh.
The heat was stifling but we entertained ourselves first with a swim in the bay and then by applying eye-shadow. The eye-shadow I’ll come onto in a moment but I do have to mention the beach because it was made up of SAND! Yes, that goldeny yellow stuff that feels great squidged between the toes and soft to walk on in shallow waters. Sand! You see, having spent the last three years in Turkey, which has had a sand embargo forced upon it since the world was invented, we’d forgotten what a sandy beach looked like. We’d have lots more sand to play with over the next couple of weeks.
The first night of the rally was pirate-themed, hence the eye-shadow. Somewhere in my tiny brain I thought perhaps I bore a vague resemblance to Johnny Depp in ‘Pirates…’, but then I do have to keep reminding myself that he’s not a fat ****, so I just ended up looking like a gay English lout. The reception was attended by a lot more people than were on the rally, including government ministers who made speeches about the importance of sailing to the Cyprus tourism trade. We were awarded our first sailing trophy (was it for my manoeuvring technique in that tiny harbour?) and, whilst this may have been a tiny, insignificant rally to the rest of the world, for us and for Northern Cyprus it was a very important evening. Below is a pic of the sailors receiving their trophies (the motor boat skippers received theirs separately). Included in the picture is a person who did actually look like Johny Depp from ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’. That’s the look I was going for but I didn’t have the clothes. Or the bone-structure.