Before I let you know about our little video footage mishap, let me add my comments to Barry’s account of the day and night Baz decided to test our boat and Mantus anchor in winds blowing steady at 25 to 30 knots and gusting up to 45 knots. Yes it was Barry’s decision to do this, and yes, I totally understand why he wanted to do it. If we’re going to spend a lot of our time at anchor once we start sailing again, we want to know what our anchor can stand, how our yacht A B Sea holds up, and how we deal with strong winds.
But while I knew it was a wise thing to do given we were in a relatively safe environment with the option of Plan B should things get too hairy, uncomfy or unsafe, I honestly didn’t want to be there on the boat experiencing it. Plan B by the way, was calling Mike and the marineros to come and assist us into the marina to tie up to a dock. So why didn’t I just leave Barry to his own devices and take the dinghy to a friend’s boat and sit it out with them?
Well, (1) I am generally up for a challenge and like to test the limits of my own capabilities and inner nerve even if I don’t like the circumstances, and (2) I wasn’t going to let my husband experience this on his own in our floating home that contains all of our worldly possessions. It’s not that I didn’t trust Baz to cope on his own; of course he could and given I only had one usable hand at the time, I wasn’t much assistance anyway. It’s just that I couldn’t in my heart, leave him on his own. It wouldn’t be right. And as much as I really was not comfy with the situation for a lot of the time and I genuinely detested the experience for the last few hours, there was no way I would have left Baz by himself.
The anchorage near Kaş marina is relatively well protected in a pleasant bay and most of the time we’d been there we’d experienced just slight breezes and only gently rippling clear blue water. However, as forecast on Windy and Predict Wind, the wind strength increased steadily throughout the day and we found ourselves sitting in A B Sea as she pirouetted around the anchor like a ballerina on steroids. The reason for this is that the surrounding hills affect the wind flow and the air circulated and buffeted our boat from first one way, then the direct opposite. Working down below on the laptop wasn’t too bad if I didn’t look out of the side hatches at the world spinning.
Because of the constant movement around the Mantus, A B Sea’s anchor came unstuck and dragged until we were too close to the edge of the bay and little boats for comfort. We upped the anchor, moved position and dropped anchor again, where it held firmly. Then we hunkered down to sit it out some more.
The worst of it came in the evening after dark – doesn’t it always?
The 45 knot wind gusts started to come in hard and fast and along with sending A B Sea spinning this way and that, the gusts increased in strength to the point where our yacht was blown at an angle, heeling on her side as she turned. It was obvious to me that this was only going to get worse, or at the very least remain the same for hours – Windy had predicted it. I sat down below gritting my teeth, staring grimly up at Baz who was now standing in the companionway stairs watching and waiting, taking in A B Sea’s reactions to the situation.
I caught myself staring angrily up at him, with my teeth clenched, annoyed that he had to do this test; that I had to be in this situation, all the time wanting it to end. Oh for God’s sake Baz, how much more do we need to experience?!! I thought as I blazed a hole in his knees that were at my eye level. I wasn’t game to say anything though. I knew it wouldn’t make a difference. He’d just stoically stand there, and tell me I was being too anxious or something. I was anxious. I was unhappy. And I was really ready to call the experiment. But my husband is the captain and it wasn’t my call. So I had to sit there and manage my tension. (Mindfulness did help by the way, it stopped me from flailing around the decks screaming for help - but it still didn’t get me to a place of being so much ‘at one’ with my situation that I was okay with it).
My main anxiety didn’t come from thinking the boat would break or that the anchor chain would snap, or that we’d heel over so far we’d overturn.
My main issue was with the snubber
That’s the thing that takes the strain off the windlass. Ours is basically a Y-shaped strong rope that is attached to the anchor chain at the bow, and feeds through the fairleads and attaches to the two forward cleats. Great idea and works well in calm conditions. However we have a couple of issues with ours until we modify it: (1) the hook is a closing snap hook that is extremely difficult to get off the chain, and (2) the snubber only needs to be made from one rope, because having two lines tied around two cleats takes twice as long to untie. Because if the proverbial s#&t hits the fan, it will all go belly up in as long as it takes to say this sentence. That’s not long. And the snubber as it was that night was a major liability in my opinion.
So as I said, in normal weather it hasn’t been a problem. But in this wind, my fear (and I don’t use the “F” word lightly) was that the anchor would drag, we’d end up too close to the rocks very quickly, and we wouldn’t have time to (a) bring up the anchor because of said snubber issues, or (b) we’d have to start the engine and try to move forward with the anchor dragging, but that may snag and we could be in another kind of strife.
So I sat there, fully dressed with shoes on, jacket ready – I wasn’t going to be caught out in the nude like the time we got dashed on rocks – all ready to jump to action once Baz said the magic words.
Eventually, after what seemed like two nights, Barry decided enough was enough and initiated Plan B.
Mike and the marineros were fast and professional and in no time at all - with my barely needed help with mooring lines – we were tied alongside near the fuel dock as it was too choppy at that point to take us into the marina. I think I heard Baz breathe a sigh of relief when he heard he wouldn’t have to go stern to into a small pontoon berth. Because we arrived after midnight, we were allowed to stay that night and the one after as well, which was a lovely surprise.
In summary, I am glad we did that test, despite absolutely not liking one bit of it. It was wise to do the test in a controlled environment, and now we know what A B Sea and our limits are in those conditions. We will be modifying the snubber and we will also be changing our 50 metres of chain plus 50 metres of rope to 100 metres of all 10mm chain, to give us better holding in rough conditions. And as I said, I like to test my inner mettle so being on a yacht and married to my husband, facing Nature at her finest is an ideal environment!
Losing our footage
Last week we discovered the Sony camera had an issue with sound when we plugged the external mic into it. Unfortunately we’d taken more footage well before discovering the sound issue – that may have been caused by sea water getting into the Sony when we got drenched leaving Astypalaia in Greece. So this week’s video was going to be over dubbed with us doing voice overs, as nearly all of the audio was spoiled.
That wasn’t the major problem though. After transferring footage from the hard drive to my laptop so I could work on editing one section, the hard drive seemed to have an internal glitch and basically we lost everything. Barry spent two days trying every trick in his retired IT repair guy book, but to no avail. He’s of the opinion that the hard drive didn’t like transferring from my Windows 10 to his Windows 7. And after months of doing said transferring, it basically ‘spat the dummy’ to coin an apt Australian phrase.
Luckily we had used nearly all of the footage except for this week’s video and next week’s video where we’d filmed Baz having a full Turkish shave and massage. Yes we’ve lost all of our past footage that we were keeping for out takes too, but it’s gone and that’s that. Baz has decided to let his hair and beard grow again and take another trip to the Turkish barber again, so you won’t miss that!
We ended up videoing a short tour of Kaş and despite cloudy weather, it will give you some idea of where we’re staying now and what a gorgeous little town we’re going to spend winter in.
So that’s it my friend. Time to upload this so you can read it in the morning.
Next week, we will probably going to Fethiye and paying a visit to the phone fixing man there who still hasn’t managed to mail me my phone that he supposedly fixed several weeks ago. But there’s a silver lining to that little cloud, because we can film more of Fethiye’s historical places and – dare I say more importantly – buy ourselves a ton of bacon and some pork chops. You see, Turkey isn’t big on pork and while you can get it here in Kaş it is very expensive; but there is a specialist pork butcher a few kilometres from Fethiye’s city centre, so we’ll take a hike up there too. Then, coupled with fluffy white bread (that is only 1TL/AUD25 cents a loaf in Turkey), we’ll be feasting on bacon butties for days!
Oh my mouth’s watering now hehe! See you next week!