Well, Departure Day duly arrived and we were on our way towards Alanya by 0715 hrs. The weather forecast was benign and under a clear sky we motorsailed into a wind of Force 2-3. As usual, Akrotiri Peninsula proved to be our bête noire and the wind increased steadily to 20 knots, right on the nose. We put up with this until we reached Pissouri Bay, where, being exhausted with the constant pounding and shipping water over the bow, we put into the shelter for the night. Unfortunately the wind direction off the land and the incoming wave direction would not co-operate with each other and, because the mooring bridle onto the chain proved ineffective, we spent the night rolling from side to side - sleep did not come easily!
Tuesday 2nd March.
Getting up early was not a great chore this morning as we had both slept fitfully because of the rolling of the boat. We were away by 0645 hrs, motorsailing with 2 reefs in the main sail - we were playing it safe today. The wind was on-the-nose, about Force 3 and decreasing. We made good time as the wind died away - only to find it building again from behind us. By the time we had passed Lara Point, it was up to Force 6 and we decided to drop the mainsail and proceed under engine alone - from past experience we knew that the wind would increase quite a bit as we approached the end of the Akamas peninsula, and it would probably back by as much as 90 degrees. Our caution paid off and we cleared the tip of Cyprus at about 1600 hrs with no problems - the engine keeping us going at just the right speed in the waves. The wind backed slowly and increased so that we had about 20 knots across the deck and 5-6 knots boat speed - and everything seemed to be under control. As we finally cleared a distant Northern Cyprus and were clear out into the Antalya Basin, the wind came round to the East and slowly moderated, allowing the sea to die as well. The night passed uneventfully, but cold - Peter kept watch in the cockpit all night in layers of fleeces, hat, gloves and oilies.
Wednesday 3rd March.
Some 4 hours from Turkey we began to see the Alanya lighthouse and other lights from the Turkish coast. As dawn broke we were within sight of the town and could make out where the marina was. On the off-chance that there might be staff about, we called the marina on Channel 73 when we were about a mile away. We received an answer welcoming us and, as we entered, two marina seamen were standing on the quayside ready to take our lines; it is little touches like this which make Turkey such a great place to keep a boat and liveaboard. 0700 hrs and we were moored alongside - journey over.