Those Rocks Are Getting Closer!

mountain2Today was an excellent sail to Mersincik, leaving Chris at the helm whilst I learnt a little more about sail trim (boat gets pulled into the wind = too much sail aft of the boat, which normally means letting out the main sail).

Today was also the worst case of anchoring on record in my sailing career! Mersincik plays host to a beautiful little bay that is protected from the prevailing northerlies and with only one other gullet anchored in there it was an ideal opportunity to grab a great spot of our second night at anchor. One of the problems with this little bay is the holding – it’s weedy in places so it can be difficult to get the anchor to stick properly. Well, that’s what the pilot guide says. What it doesn’t say is it’s no good putting out a paltry 20 meters and expect that to keep you there all night! Our first attempt looked quite professional and we even tied up to a rock using the new 60m webbing on a reel I’d bought yesterday morning. For the next hour, however, Chris and I watched as the boat slowly but steadily made its way backwards towards the rocks.

A second attempt made no difference and by the fourth time patience was running low, which was only compounded by another boat coming in and successfully anchoring where we had failed.

Dusk on Esper

Dusk on Esper

Chris, ever the pragmatist, had been watching the other gullets as they anchored round the corner in the main bay and suggested that perhaps not only should we be putting down more chain, but also pulling the chain back up after tying up to the shore. Sounded sensible, so we motored to the bay and dropped 60m for good measure! I kept the boat stern to the shore as Chris jumped in the dinghy, proceeded to row ashore, only to spend the next 15 minutes bobbing around as he untangled a spare line that had got completely twisted. Eventually he tied us up and I took up on some of the chain. Finally, we had done it! We were sitting parallel to all the other gullets looking like consummate pros!

Unfortunately what we hadn’t considered was that not only should the anchor be taken up but so too should the line to the shore, so as the sun disappeared behind the mountain Esper slowly edged her way over to the gullet on our starboard side, and then back over to our neighbour on port. Chris suggested that we winch in on the stern line but I was a little hesitant. I really didn’t want to pull ourselves out of our position because the idea of re-anchoring in the dark petrified me, but Chris was absolutely correct with his theory. We winched in. In fact we winched in for the next two hours, nervously putting in half a turn here or there when we should have just winched in until both the anchor chain and line to shore were tight.

Anchoring done properly

Anchoring done properly

This all sounds simple and obvious now, but no one had shown me how to anchor properly so the learning curve was steep.

Note to take some kind of sailing course that shows me how to anchor properly!

Esper at anchor, Mersincik

Esper at anchor, Mersincik

Video Clip

Mersincik is an anchorage that we’ve visited a few times now and it never ceases to impress. The dramatic sheer cliff faces mount a bright rising moon whilst the red setting sun casts eerie shadows across the bay. Just off the beach is this little cove and if you’re lucky you get it for yourself for the night.

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