Barry's Blog # 63 - Storm smashes Kaş harbour

Out of the corner of my eye I watched as the harbour master zipped along the quayside on his scooter and upon noticing Aannsha and I standing in our cockpit he quickly jammed on his brakes and deftly wheeled around to come to a squeaking halt at back end of A B Sea.

"It's not going to be safe to be here." He said with a concerned look on his face.

We'd known for 2 days that there was a large weather front coming east across the Mediterranean and we were in the cockpit doing our last minute preparations of checking our mooring lines and battening down the hatches and anything else that could come loose.

"Three large gulets have already been relocated to Kaş marina by their captains and the coast guard are moving their vessel there this afternoon too." He quickly added.

Thanking him for the warning, we hurried down below to check the latest weather forecasts. It didn't look good and if the coast guard were bugging out we reckoned that we should too.

To walk from Kaş harbour to Kaş marina takes just 15 minutes. If the sea is dead calm and there's no wind against you it takes just over an hour, at 6 knots of speed, to get there by boat.

It was 1.40pm Monday afternoon and the forecasts were predicting the wind to start building by 8.00am Tuesday morning. Here is where several thought processes converged.

If we left the harbour at 7.00am on Tuesday (first light) we'd 'hopefully' get safely to the marina by 8.00am. However if the wind gods decided to deliver their cargo earlier than predicted it would be a hell of a trip because we'd be beating into the wind and waves and it could take us two or three hours to complete the relatively short journey. But if we untied the lines and left on Monday afternoon we'd have a very pleasant 1 hour trip to the marina and be all safe and secure by the time the weather front arrived on Tuesday morning.

If you regularly follow our blogs or YouTube videos you'll know that we generally stay out of marinas because they are so expensive. The question therefore was; do we play it safe and pay for an extra night in the marina or do we take a chance and reduce our marina bill by 1 night. We decided that the cost of repairing any damage to A B Sea would far outweigh the cost of an extra night at the marina and so the decision was made to ready A B Sea for the short trip to the marina. We untied the lines and exited Kaş harbour at 2.30pm on Monday 14th January.

The 1 hour trip to Kaş marina was very pleasant, dead calm seas, sunny skies and A B Sea doing 6 knots at 1,400 rpm with her Gori folding prop in overdrive mode. As we approached the marina pontoons we radioed the marineros who came out in their rib to pick up a line from us so that they could attach it to the lazy line at our designated slip on pontoon B. Surprising myself at how well I managed to reverse in between the two yachts either side of us on the pontoon, we had A B Sea safely put to bed by 4.00pm and celebrated with a cold beer.

The rain came first, the wind followed later

Tuesday morning at 3.00am I was rudely awakened as a deluge of huge raindrops battered the decks above me. As I lay in bed snuggling deeper under the covers I was quietly thankful that we'd left the harbour when we had. Cold and wet is not my idea of fun. As dawn broke the winds began to arrive and both the wind and the rain continued to build with fluctuating ferocity all through Tuesday and well into the night.

We went to bed at 9.45pm and as I always do whenever there's a big weather front passing through I slept with one ear and one eye open. At 11.30 pm there was an unusual thud at the back of the boat that brought me fully awake. You get used to the creaks and groans of the docking lines and the somewhat rhythmic motion of the boat as she's moved gently around by the wind and water. This thud didn't fit the pattern. I got up and put my foul weather jacket on, climbed out into the cockpit and saw that the strong wind had stretched the lazy line at the bow to the point where the stern of A B Sea was hard up against the pontoon. That's not good.

Aannsha was also out of bed at this point and I asked her to pass me the handheld VHF radio so that I could call the marineros to come and assist in tightening the lazy line at the bow to pull us forward and away from the pontoon. There was no response to two radio calls, so I decided to walk to the marineros office which is located at the end of pontoon H. Aannsha thought it best to switch on the engine and gently power us forward against the stern lines to keep us off