From 10 to 35 in 5 seconds and arriving at Elves country
25 October 2014 | Sarsalis, Gocek Bay, Turkey
Francis and Chris
Saturday 25 October 2014: from 10 to 35 in 5 seconds and From 10 to 35 in 5 seconds and arriving at Elves country
With some trepidation about whether the engine would stall on us again, we left Kalkan at midday today. Depending on wind and weather the target was to go direction Fethiye/Gocek. The morning had been filled with drizzly and less drizzly rain, but it started to clear around the afternoon. There was no point in transferring more lira to the Kalkan harbourmaster, so we headed out. Relieved to have cleared the rocky headlands and islands around the entrance of Kalkan bay, we headed out to sea, full sails up and a bit of assistance of the engine as the winds were very light indeed, 4-6 kts.
We puttered on for about 2 hours when a rain squall started to drift in from the sea. It looked like it would clear towards land in front of us, but we did point the bow seawards just in case. What the skipper did not do was reducing sail, as should have been done. The edge of the squall hit is side on and winds increased from about 10 to 35 kts, knocking Clio over to a 45 degree position, gang boards well underwater. We needed to reduce headsail (at least), and whilst Tony had a valiant attempt hauling in the genoa, while holding on for dear life (luckily with life vest). A second attempt with me lending a helping hand we managed to get about 50% reduction in head sail area. By then the squall (lasting only a minute or two) had pretty much gone and Tony had regained his normal colour. We were back at 10 kts wind and the squall disappeared over the mountain range.
Apart from some already loose stitches on the genoa's UV strip getting worse and small two tears, there was no other damage to the sails. The whole episode was a lesson again in being proactive with squalls (don't know how often I need that lesson before I learn). It was Tony's first real heeling boat experience, and he took it very well , a born sailor (he had to lie down a bit later on).
We proceeded with the main and the reefed genoa for a while on choppy and swelly seas until we reached Fethiye bay and moved from there into Gocek Bay, which is completely shielded from W-winds and was flat calm.
After 6 hours in the washing machine, sailing into a completely flat bay was already eerie. But the sunset (see photo) conjured up visions of elves and Lord of the Rings scenes, the reward of all that is needed to sail the Turkish coast.