This weekend is an opportunity for 2 new friends to try sailing such a boat
Once again Yasasin is waiting for us
The crew is quite not the same as we normally sail with, but never the less, the training is taking place and the scheduled weekend looking promising.
As usual, we almost all meet in the plane in Istanbul flying to Milas (Bodrum).
Sitting next to Izzet, we chat all the way or almost. A little sleep came across. No wonder, we take off at 6.15am.
Ardic, Gunnur, Izzet and Sanol from the basic team.
Is joining Arif, an ex Finn Olympic sailor (Pusan 1988, Barcelona 1992) and recently involved in several different projects around.
Later on, a surprise is waiting for us on the parking at Didim harbor. Ela, very good girlfriend of Gunnur, University reacher, who will be sailing with us. Her first time on a sailing boat.
On board already, Sanol is there, waiting for us on a top clean boat, already prepared with basic sheets and gear we need.
But still some few things have to be done
Leaving the dock is very simple now (the wind is straight in our back), so we almost don’t need help.
On our way out, we pass by a huge ketch of over 150ft where the crew (6 or 7 people) is fascinated to watch Yasasin passing by.
Quickly we set the solent and staysail ready while the “girls” go in town for grocery.
The wind was supposed to be light but one reef is used to start.
The solent is deployed but an incident occurs which lucky Izzet, did not become an accident.
Pulling in the solent sheet, the port winch goes crazy and the handle hit Izzet’s right arm/hand.
Right away, we rolled the solent again while Gunnur and Ela rush to help with medical care.
Ela is shocked for a while, and affected the whole weekend after this episode occurring within her first 30minutes sailing ever.
In the meantime we fix the winch, dismounting it all for a quick cleaning/oiling all the parts or almost.
After a reasonable short time, we roll out the solent again after checking that injured Izzet is in shape again and does not need further assistance like heading to shore to hospital. A strong man indeed, ready to hold his crew position as if nothing happened.
The wind, WNW 15 to 18knots, perfect for some interesting speed test upwind, before deciding to sail around Lipsi (GR), 25 miles on our West. (A course of approximately 95 miles covered in 7 hours)
Nice upwind until it picks up to 25knots+ and oncemore the cover of the port-solent-sheet breaks. We roll the solent to use the staysail instead. Our top speed will reach 27 to 28 knots, which, considering the weather conditions is fine indeed. Soon after the wind drops a little and we reopen the solent on port tack while fixing the damaged sheet.
Arif enjoys steering as well as playing with B&G possibilities, realizing that not all fonctions are accurate and reliable. Few tacks and lots of jybes inside those beautiful islands where we discover some fantastic spots to anchor so close to our home-port.
Of course pictures are taken, the gopros are ON also for some videos.
Ardic is also enjoying the jibes at the helm, learning to hit the right angle to accelerate faster and faster, remembering some of what Hugues explained two weeks ago. For the rest of the crew, it seems to be easier and easier. The mainsail traveler is handled like on a dinghy now, eventhough it starts a little early in the maneuver. Some adjustments to make !!! For the staysail, it is rather simple and only the proper trim needs a little more focus.
Gunnur is doing her job but she feels sick, being very very cold in this mild weather where only a waterbraker is needed. But the rotation of the mast is made (her assignment) perfectly well. Good job to her!
On our way back from this island, the wind drops slowly and we can set up the full mainsail as well as the solent.
After a serie of jibes, we decide to call it a day, as we are closing up the harbor (Didim).
Still slightly windy, I take the helm this time again for Ardic to feel one more time the docking process.
Everytime a little impressive maneuver for such a big and wide boat, shore spectators are attracted and watching.
After few minutes clearing the boat, we drive to “our” fish restaurant for a wonderful meal. Great Vinkara wine on the table, excellent food and perfect service will help us go home, but not yet to go to sleep but to empty few bottles at Gunnur’s house (10meters from the hotel). Such a nice evening outside of course.
09.00ish: expected time from breakfast where 10.00 is the meeting time on board.
We arrive at the boat much later after a long and great time spent over the water, eating, talking and waiting for the sind to pick up.
Not a long sailing day is possible as Sanol has to go rather early in the evening, and we want to leave the boat in top shape for the next 2 weeks before coming back.
The mainsail is hoisted to the top, the solent unrolled and off we go, having decided to sail upwind around Farmakonisi (GR) on port and sail down to Yalikavak. But the wind is right in the nose and our speed too slow to make it all.
So we resume the course to rounding the island before setting the heavy genaker and play some jibes heading home.
Nice weather, though rather light wind conditions, but we still top 13 to 15 knots downwind.
Gunnur is in top shape again and enjoys every minute.
Ardic is all over the boat, trying all different positions on board as to practice for improving her knowledge.
At 17.00 we enter Didim again, Ardic feels like docking and succeeds perfectly well. Great performance indeed !!
All together, we pack the boat, hoist all halyards for sun-protecting purposes, remove all sheets and cover all we can for the 2 weeks coming.
Next time will be the last sailing weekend and we for sure intend to sail as much as possible to end up this fantastic 2014 season Yasasin has offered.