As you know, we haven’t got a lot of sailing experience – despite travelling about 1900 nautical miles across the Mediterranean from Spain to Turkey. Because we had to be in Turkey by a certain date for one of our travelling companions, we often didn’t wait for good sailing wind and actually motored a good portion of the journey.
So when our friend Jim Furness invited us onto his yacht for a day sail the other day, Baz and I jumped at the chance. Windy predicted a good breeze, and we arrived onto his yacht like eager puppies all full of excitement! We were also armed with cameras as we’d promised to give a boat tour of Jim’s new Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 44DS, called Acheron.
Jim’s other guests were a couple of young overlanders from Holland – Giel and Kim. They had stopped over in Kaş on their way to Georgia and Armenia in their beautiful old 1971 Mercedes bus/home. We’d met them earlier through other overlander friends of ours – Oliver and Dagmar – and we were very much looking forward to spending the day with them as well as Jim.
Jim’s yacht is drop dead gorgeous, like some of the amazing nude models he photographs (very tastefully) in natural settings and we were soon casting off the lines and dropping the lazy line, gracefully leaving his marina berth to motor a short way to the fuel dock where we filled up with diesel and pumped out the holding tank.
A great day out
Then, with the sun at our left shoulders and a light breeze blowing, we headed out of the sheltered finger of water and out into the sea. With perfect conditions, we set sail (which was so easy with electric winches) and soon were travelling at a decent speed towards Bayindir, a pretty bay close to Limanağzı about an hour’s sail from Kaş.
After dropping the anchor, we had a tasty lunch – I’d taken tuna salad and vegetarian fillings for wraps, and Kim had made the most delicious vegan chocolate tart I’ve tasted! Jim and the guys provided the alcohol and we thoroughly enjoyed our time at anchor. After lunch Kim and Giel (crazy Dutch people) braved the 19o Celcius water temperature and plunged in! Not for me, no thank you very much, I like the water closer to bath temperature before I’ll get in.
Jim decided the weather was calm enough to fly his drone from the yacht for the first time and he managed that with aplomb. Giel caught the drone on its return and pretended the wind was carrying it up and off the boat “Uh-oh, ooh-ooh!” he shouted as he lifted the drone upwards in his arms. We think Jim panicked a bit because he called back, “Hold on to it!” before he realized Giel’s joke! We had a little giggle at that. I was quite pleased that there was someone else on board who got caught out in a joke – normally it’s me haha!
We left to return home in plenty of time before the sun went down and caught a good wind to sail home. Jim showed us how easy it was to tack single-handed which was very impressive and we had a great sail home.
After mooring, Jim took us all out to Smiley’s Restaurant as a thank you for being competent crew. We had the biggest grouper expertly cooked (Smiley’s is a fish restaurant so be sure to visit there if you go to Kaş), Kim had a vegetarian meal and Baz persuaded the chef to cook him a full English breakfast, which was just what he fancied. I was too busy enjoying the grouper to be jealous that Baz was eating bacon. It’s a rarity for us at the moment as bacon is hugely expensive in Turkey, because pork is generally not for sale and when it is, they charge like a wounded bull for it.
My takeaways from the day
I realised that while I think I don’t remember anything about sailing, I am at least a competent crew member and can competently do what the skipper asks of me. Deploying fenders, knot-tying, raising and lowering the anchor, assisting out-hauling and in-hauling the mainsail and headsail, and sailing to a point of wind are tasks I can accomplish, and I know that it’s only a matter of practise before I become more confident.
I’ve more recently learned splicing and whipping and have spliced in metal eyes into our anchor snubber and also the two stern lines to prevent the lines chafing. That took a while to learn, but I’ve had them checked by a seasoned sailor and he said they would hold very well and I’d done a great job. I must admit I enjoyed working with the ropes and will look at other things I can turn that new skill to.
As the weather changes from winter to spring, I can feel my own inner sails wanting to unfurl as the sun climbs higher in the sky and I know it is only a matter of a few weeks now before Baz and I will be sailing our own girl A B Sea to distant shores ourselves. The more I go out for day sails the more confident I get that we’ll have a great time once we do set sail.
Tour of Jim’s boat
We made a video of our day sail with Jim and it comes out this Saturday. In the video, you’ll also see the walkthrough that we did of Jim’s boat, which is a beautiful yacht with lovely lines and is a fantastic vessel for sailing and a good size to live aboard. If you’re interested in what a Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 44DS looks like (they’re the ones with the bigger windows), you can have a good tour through Jim’s yacht, Acheron. He’s got the best saloon table that goes up and down at the push of a switch and has been coined “James Bond’s table” by Jeanneau!
I’ll leave you with a few photos of Acheron to enjoy.
Until next time!
Link to Aannsha’s next blog