National Geographic : 1969 Dec
On his private island near Fethiye, Egyptian Prince Abd El Moneim shares a few hours of exile with Yankee's voyagers. The prince, second from right, served as regent of Egypt be tween King Farouk's abdication in 1952 and the founding the next year of a republic that banished the royal family. His father drained the isle's malaria-ridden swamps and trans formed them into prosperous farmlands. Aviaries and sea encrusted amphorae add to the charm of seaside living. Fresh-water spray mingles with salt air as Captain Johnson daringly pilots Yankee past falls where the Diiden River leaps 200 feet into the churning Mediterranean near Antalya. KODACHROMES BY BARTMCDOWELL (BELOW)ANDJOSEPHJ. SCHERSCHEL ) N.G.S. Two days out, we encountered an unseasonal east wind-the sun rose clear with "a soldier's wind," as Irving called it, "since even a sol dier could sail with that." It was my trick at the wheel and, as the wind rose, I saw Irving studying the sky. "She must be blowing 40 to 50 knots," he said. "But it's those gusts I don't like." We were both conscious of the williwaws, those on-again-off-again winds blocked and funneled by the mountains and valleys. We remembered Greek islands where we had suddenly found 40 percent more wind on the leeward side than on the windward. These Taurus Mountains create the same freak gusts. As Irving put it, "You can get your hair 818 blown off." Then he said, "Think I'll take a reef in the mainsail." Only twice before had we ever reefed the main on the ketch Yankee. "Careful steering," Irving ordered. "Put her off. Dead before it." Yankee turned, releasing the wind pressure on the sail. Now Irving slacked the halyard and rolled the sail down a few inches; he then repeated the operation. It was a pleasure to watch the smooth Dacron furl neatly around the boom. The wind grew no worse, but still shot Yankee westward like a racer. Two days later we saw what the same wind had done to an other ship. Joe was the first to notice it.