Medditeranean Parking….

How Not To Do It….

22nd of June 2016

At last, the day had came, so when Geoff said that we would be leaving at 10 o’clock, it immediately meant we would be laving at quarter to 1…… But guess what, he actually kept to his word, and at 10:00 we were ready. Before we left we checked we had everything, including Vodka who once, was left on the pontoon in Marmaris a few years ago, and even on the road trip in Huelva were mum noticed her at the last minute, just as we were about to leave!
After checking we had everything, we had to fill up with fuel at the fuelling pontoon but thankfully, it didn’t take very long. Soon, we were out venturing across the bay with our sail full of wind. Our plan today was to leave ECE Marina, and head across the Fethiye Gulf to a small and sheltered bay called Kizilkuyruk. The plan was to anchor and stay there for a few days.

Sometimes you just land in a bay, where there is no one. Where, for that empty moment – the cove is yours. The hot, scrubby beach is yours, the twisted, deformed trees are yours, the perfectly lapping turquoise water is yours, the rocks, and the goats on the rocks – are yours……..this is a blissful moment in Paradise.

Rewind……….TIME OUT!!! Watch reality hit!

” the wind is coming from over there” mum pointing from the bow of the boat fighting with the anchor…….(1) ” up there!” Wildly gesticulating now with the windlass (2) remote….waving it randomly about like she’s trying to guide in a plane to landing.
” This is too far downwind….(3).”
The anchor starts its deploy.

Geoff…..trying to reverse straight back as gusts of at least a million Notts blow his bows (4) off..shouts ” Uh” indicating to mum that he can’t hear her because clearly the wind is too strong. ( go figure! )

Well, strike one! After not playing Mediterranean parking games for a year this attempt was, hmmmm, in a word – interesting. Before the end of the first attempt I decided to employ my Sisters old trick at any given Med parking time, and wondered why I hadn’t used this little wrinkle before….” I’m just going to the loo ” I said and disappeared below decks and out of the firing line!

Kizilkuyruk, a tiny sheltered ( but not between 1 and 5 o clock in the afternoon, and why wasn’t this noted in the log!!(5) ) bay on the other side of Fethiye Gulf is a beautiful mooring for one or two nights, gorgeous for exploring on paddle boards or snorkelling around, a couple of larger beaches at the foot of the two adjoined bays and in the bay on the right one or two tiny pebbly beaches where if you take the correct position, you can allocate yourself a private beach. Perfect for sending the dogs ashore for a wee.

Asena often jumps off the back of the boat and will swim ashore if we manage to park close enough in, then come back when she’s had a wee or a wander. Vodka likes to be taken in on a paddle board or in the dinghy, her little diva moment…..We have Sussed out over the years that if we float the pascherell (6) off the bathing platform/ beach(7) Asena can climb out of the water by herself, in the past there had to be somebody on the beach to help to hoik her out of the water, as she would aim for the ladder, manage the first few rungs, then look a bit stuck, resembling a, erm…. Well, resembling a German Shepherd on a ladder, I guess!

Anyway, mum eventually swam back to the boat bringing all the lines she’d previously swum ashore with ( twice ) back to the boat, climbed aboard, retrieved the anchor, looked around to see if anybody had actually observed the great anchoring FAIL, remembered that she was refusing to be bothered actually, anyway, if anybody HAD watched the great anchoring FAIL, and waited whilst Geooff recoiled the shorelines(8), drove back out and circled to make his second approach.

I just need to clarify something about this bay. I personally think we are jinxed here….. ( there, I’ve said it now! ) You see, a few years ago when Summer ( my sister ) was out here sailing with us and she and I were much younger, I can remember sailing into this bay to stop for the night on the way around to MARMARIS. So, Mum and Geoff weren’t as practised then, obviously, as they are now ( and look at the mess they still manage to get into…….) and we had gone into the bay on the left of the two, this time, to try and anchor….. Thinking back, it was afternoon and there was strong crosswinds(9) then too!

Long story short, after the third time trying to get an anchor to hold and get the boat in straight without the bows blowing off, after the three attempts of swimming ashore lines and searching for points in the rocks to tie to and after Summer seemed to have spent an unreasonable amount of time on the toilet ( really? )mum harrumphed for the final time, threw down her swimming fins in disgust and said ” right, that’s it, everybody’s looking at us now, we’re not trying again….” You know, like I’ve mentioned before, an ” I’m not staying here moment” And then the straw that broke the camels back….. ( as far as Geoff is concerned)
” you’re embarrassing me now!!” She stomped!
Actually I can remember going below decks then and joining Summer in the loo!
That day it turns out was when mum decided that she had to stop caring if people were staring at us making a complete bodge of manoeuvres, because upon leaving Kizilkuyruk then in a huff and in haste, Geoff smarting from what Mum had said, we sailed right into a force seven(10) ( whilst approaching a headland so it was bound to get windier and with two young, scared children on board ) with no apparant port of refuge to get out of the storm into, but anyway, that’s another story!

And then there was last year…. Jonny was sailing with us and because he has been out on the boat quite a lot Geoff thought he would instruct him through a parking manoeuvre, in Kizilkuyruk, in the afternoon, in the cross winds.
Mum swam ashore with the lines, the anchor shifted, thus the bows shifted, thus the rock that mum was aiming for became out of reach, thus she swam to another shallower rock, thus she swam across a mass of Black Sea urchins who’s spikes scratched and then broke off in her leg….blood everywhere, nice! As I said, we seem jinxed here!

The routine for parking in a bay, well, the way we do it anyway, goes like this;
we drive into whichever bay we think we will stay at, Geoff will have checked the charts(10) and will have a rough idea of depth at the edges of the bay.
Depending on which way the wind is blowing, he will position the boat and begin reversing to where he hopes his finishing position will be.
Mum, in the meantime is on the pulpit(11) ( making sure her toes are clear of chains and windlass(12)) and will be indicating to the helm(13) which direction the anchor is going down in, this is so the helmsman(14) can correct the position in which the boat is ” parking “.
I observe the depth sensors (14b) and call out the ever decreasing depth so Geoff is aware of how close to shore he can get. ( this is of course THE most important job during parking!)
When the helmsman feels the anchor bite in the ocean bed and can drive against it without feeling the anchor drag, he is satisfied of a good hold and indicates that mum should come back, jump off and take ashore the shorelines ( having pinpointed tyeing stations beforehand using the binoculars ) one to the port side(15) and one to the starboard(16) side.
Which line goes on first is very important and is determined, again, by which way the wind is blowing.
That’s it, simple! Anchor gets tightened a little, stern lines get tightened a little the boat settles, home!

So upon Geoffs next approach today, as I have just described we all swung into action, executed a completely textbook parking manoeuvre, congratulated one another, and went for a swim!

Gorgeous clear turquoise water, so pretty that I didn’t even need to edit the photo.


The reason for choosing this bay was in order to meet up with our friends, they had had a glorious sail across from Marmaris and we were to see them for a bar b que this evening. Trevor and TC were the bearers of lots of loveliness from England, a new camera being one of the ” stocking fillers”. I’m looking forward to figuring that out, and being able to produce some better images for you lot on here.

Their boat is a 57 foot Benetteau, centre cockpit and built when Benneteau made really solid ocean crossing cruisers, it’s a lovely boat, and it was fun on board eating and chatting with them and their crew.

It’s occurred to me that as I’m writing this there are a lot of ” boaty” words and terms that I’ve been using to tell these stories. Interestingly one of my last year seven English topics that I studied was “Socialect” and ” idiolect”, I think I might have mentioned it in a past blog. Socialect is the language involved if you are a member of a certain group, for example; skateboarders will talk about ” ollies” and ” trucks” etc, and Me, as a sailor, can talk about a load of boaty stuff that you ( perhaps not a sailor ) will know nothing about. So to help you out and for your future reference as this trip goes on, I’ll create a glossary which might help you understand what’s happening on board!(17) The numbers in brackets correspond with descriptions below.


1. Anchor- When in a bay where there is no marina, we put an anchor down to stop drifting.
2. Windlass Remote-When lowering or raising the anchor, this remote controls it. On some boats however, it can be controlled from the helm (13)
3. Downwind-sometimes the wind is strong and can push you .
4. Blow the bows off- When the wind is so strong, the bows can be pushed off course
5. Log- When out sailing, you can keep a log to keep track of where you have been, your position, and your speed.
6. Pascherell- When we are at a Marina, the pascherell is like a bridge from the back of the boat to the pontoon.
7. Bathing platform/ beach- When at a bay, this is where we climb out from and enter the water with a small set of ladders.
8. Shorelines-To stop us swinging in a bay, we put long, floating lines ashore.
9. Crosswinds-When the wind is strong blowing across the boat.
10. Charts-This is how we navigate and find out where we go.
11. Pulpit-the bar that is at the front of the yacht and stops us from falling in.
12. Windlass- A winch at the front of the boat that pulls the anchor. Can be controlled by a remote, or by the captain at the helm.
13. Helm-The helm is where the helmsman steers the boat.
14. Helmsman- The helmsman is the person behind the helm. They have control over speed and which direction to go. 14b. Depth sensors- A navigational instrument that measures the depth from the boat.
15. Port side-The left side of the boat.
16. Starboard side-The right side of the boat.
17. On Board- on the boat.

Author: adventurerintrainingblog

I am a 14 year old boy and live and am home schooled by my parents aboard our 45 foot sailing yacht which we sail from Turkey. I have travelled through/ across Europe by road, several times now, and have also driven into the heart of Turkey, visiting Konya, Cappadocia and many other places. You can read about both of these experiences on the blog... However, at the moment you can read about our life aboard our yacht in Turkey during the winter... I hope you can come along for the ride, then sail along with me as I blog my sailing adventures for next year!

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