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Barry's Blog # 54 - W's, A's, O's and S's

When you document your life for YouTube videos everything takes three times as long to do!

Let's just take the simple task of sticking 13 self adhesive black letters along the length of our boom, which was one of the tasks ticked off the list this week. Actually as of writing this blog it's still a work in progress because the sticky letters pack that I ordered from the UK didn't include enough A's or S's so we only had enough to do one side of the boom. But I'll get back to that later.

Here's roughly how the whole process began. Most YouTube sailing channels have their website or YouTube address located somewhere on their boat's boom, it's the perfect real estate for advertising and it had been a long time plan of ours to do the same to A B Sea. So quite a few months ago I measured the boom to make sure I ordered the right height letters and had them sent to a friend's house in the UK whom we were meeting in Kefalonia in Greece in mid September. All went well and we collected the letters from Pete when we met him and his wife in Greece.

Moving forward to mid November and on a windless day while we were at anchor with nothing else planned for that day we decided to crack on with the job. Whoa there speedy, not so fast. First you need to decide exactly what's getting advertised on the boom. Should it be our YouTube channel? What about our website? Face book might be a good idea? Maybe our Twitter or Instagram feeds?

Each address looks like this;

That's a lot of W's, A's, O's & S's and there certainly wasn't enough of those in the pack.

"OK, which one is the one we really want to promote the most?"

"YouTube of course because it's the only one that's bringing in any revenue."

"OK YouTube it is."

"But we still don't have enough W's!"

"How about we leave the W's out of it, everyone knows that everything starts with WWW, there's no need to remind them."

"OK that's a good idea. Let's count how many letters we need for times two and cut them out." (The boom has two sides)

10 minutes later...

"Have you got any more A's?"

"Nope, have you got any more S's?"


"Bugger! How about we just do the one side for now and sort the other side later."

"OK that sounds like a plan."

Clutching enough letters for one side of the boom, some sticky tape and some masking tape for making a straight line we stood at the boom ready to get sticking.

"Wait a sec. I've just had a thought. What happens if you type @SAILINGABSEA into Google?"

"Dunno, let's give it a go."

Type @sailingabsea into Google and see what you get

This was a light bulb moment. As you can see from the picture above, every place we post our content to comes up at the top of a Google search. Go ahead give it I try. I'll wait...

... You see how good that is and the bonus is it's only 13 characters long which leaves us plenty of spare real estate on the boom for anything else we may want to promote in the future.

With a unanimous agreement, from captain and first officer, for @SAILINGABSEA on the boom, it then took a further 15 minutes to decide which way we should angle the boom for best natural lighting and where each camera was going to be positioned, then another 45 minutes to stick those 13 characters on without making them look wonky, but the job is now done. Well it's half done, we'll do the other side once we source a couple more A's and S's from a local printer.

How long will we stay in Turkey?

In my last blog I was explaining that we were unsure whether we'd extend our Turkish visas beyond the standard 90 days we'd been issued when we arrived. As it currently stands Aannsha and I have to exit Turkey by January 8th 2019 and that's the middle of winter in the northern hemisphere and the middle of winter in the Mediterranean Sea can be very stormy.

So we've decided to apply for a 12 month Turkish residency even if we don't stay in Turkey for the whole 12 months. There are several thought processes that led us to this decision and I'll go through them in no particular order.

Extending our stay in Turkey will get us through the worst of the winter months. During winter cold Arctic air from the north travels south to meet up with the relatively warm air of the Med which can, in quite a short time frame, whip up violent storms that extend across the sea from the southern European to the northern African coasts. These winter storms can create very rough seas, 5 metre high waves, gale force winds and thunder and rain that lasts for days on end. Those are not the sort of conditions we want to expose ourselves to unnecessarily, especially with the wind-chill which, when you’re wet, becomes potentially fatal. Admittedly the odds are that where we are in the eastern Med the weather will be much milder than in the west, but we don't want to take any chances.

We've also secured a very good deal which allows us to berth A B Sea inside Kaş town harbour for the months of December, January, February and maybe part of March. This will ensure that we have a 'safe harbour' to call home should the weather turn nasty and it also allows us to take advantage of good weather so that we can still go out sailing up and down the Turkish coast for as long as we like. That means we can get in more sailing experience and satisfy our sense of adventure as we discover places to drop anchor and go ashore to explore.

As I've also said Turkey is a fascinating country with welcoming friendly people and we want to learn more about it and the culture and history. As far as we know there's no other YouTube sailing channel that's creating videos about Turkey so we want to be the ones to show how good it is.

It's a long way from Kas to Thessaloniki

We also have a friend who lives in the northern part of the Greek mainland and we'd both like to visit him. The best way to get that far north in a sailing yacht is to hug the Turkish coast as far north as possible and then when a weather window opens up, island hop west across the Aegean Sea to Thessaloniki. That then allows us the spring and summer months to head south with the wind generally behind us as we zig zag through the Greek islands.

Then after that... who knows. You can't plan too far ahead when you live on a yacht, but I promise that you'll be the first to know right after we do.

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