The wind is howling through the marina in Marmaris, Turkey and even in the shelter of the harbour walls the yacht is tugging at her mooring lines restlessly. She seems keen to get out and face the elements again. I know it will a more settled day tomorrow with a fair wind to sail along the coast to a beautiful anchorage at the end of the peninsula. The bay is sheltered and has several restaurants with the prospect of good food, a few drinks and a peaceful night gently bobbing round the anchor. This idyllic spot also provides a respite from city traffic as no cars and indeed no roads spoil the tranquillity.
But there is a problem, I have no crew. I could go by myself but the voyage would be more difficult single handed and what fun would it be to visit this beautiful spot without someone to share it with?
Now, here’s a thought, why don’t you join me? You don’t know anything about sailing? Doesn’t matter, everyone that sails had to start somewhere and it might just whet your appetite for it.
You’re up for it? Good! I think you will enjoy it. See you in the morning about nine thirty and we’ll set off about ten. Sleep well, remember to bring some warm clothes it can be cool in the wind on the open sea.
Morning, come onboard. I’ve set everything up ready to go. I’ll talk you through a few things over coffee.
You can swim, can’t you? Excellent! Otherwise you would have to wear a lifejacket. If the weather gets rough I may ask you to put one on anyway as a precaution. Don’t worry, the weather forecast is fine for sailing today but the Aegean Sea can be surprising sometimes.
I have no intention of leaving you on your own on the yacht but accidents can happen so there are a few things you need to know. This is the radio and it will be on all the time until we anchor and this switch turns on the navigation lights. The instructions are here on how to put out a distress call. Should I fall over overboard, stop the boat and I’ll show you how to do that when we move off.
If I can’t get back onboard or you can’t see me, put out a distress call and turn on the lights. There are lots of vessels around that can come to our assistance. Don’t look so worried, these are all just precautions better than trying to find out on your own. As they say on airlines ‘In the unlikely event…’.
Now, try on this life jacket and adjust it to fit. Comfortable? Okay, we’ll stow it away again.
I’ll just start the engine to let it warm up and we’ll tidy away any loose gear that can roll around when we are moving.
Any questions so far? No? Remember there is no such thing as a stupid question there is only a stupid answer.
You’re going to let off the lines at the dock end and I will do the same at the other end. We’ll take this one off now and coil it up. It goes in this locker here. And when I wave to you from the cockpit you do the same with the other. Bring the line onboard and make sure no ends are trailing over the side as they might get caught on the propeller and then the boat will be without power in the confined space of the marina!
When we get moving I would like you to watch out for any boats we come close to and push us off with the boat hook. Please don’t use your legs to fend off the boats as there is a good chance you will get trapped. Anyway I’ll do my best not to get too close to anything.
Ready to go? Okay, let the other line go your end and then sit down on the cabin top so I can see.
My end is now free so I will drive backwards and then turn towards the harbour mouth.
So we managed to get out without hitting anything. Come back into the cockpit and relax. We can now see Marmaris bay open up in front of us.
To be continued with Part 2 – The open sea.