We made it all the way to January 7th 2019 and then the weather gods decided to turn the temperature dial all the way down to 0C (32F). That was the moment that two things happened.
Firstly Aannsha and I immediately went out shopping for warm doonas (duvets) for our beds, because no matter how many layers of clothing we wore, the chill night time air still managed to creep through to settle on our skin and begin searching for ways to reach down to our very bones.
We walked around the harbour to Smiley's restaurant and Serpil gave us directions to the best shop in Kaş to buy them. Thirty minutes later and 440 Lira (AU$114) lighter, we were back on board A B Sea spreading our two newly acquired winter warmers over our beds. That night we couldn't wait to snuggle into bed and see how good our purchases were. We were not disappointed and both of us slept snug as a bug in a rug.
The second thing that happened gave us flashbacks to Gibraltar where we'd made rookie mistake #1, which I first mentioned in Barry's Blog # 17 - There are no ropes on a yacht and that was lots of condensation inside the boat.
With the night time outside temperature at 0C (32F) and the inside temperature around 8C (46F) the very moisture from us breathing begins to condense onto the fibreglass of the hull and more so onto the aluminium frames of the windows and hatches. If we cook food or boil a kettle that just adds more condensation to the problem.
Eventually the condensation reaches saturation point and gravity kicks in causing drops of water to begin plop plopping down onto various surfaces and in my man cave some of those surfaces happen to be my pillow and face. There's no escaping it and every morning I diligently go around the inside of the whole boat with a cloth and wipe down as much as I can and despite the outside cold I crack open a couple of hatches to help reduced the moisture levels.
As I sit here writing this blog at 8.00am, with a bowl of hot porridge next to me and my fingers feeling like they're about to fall off, I keep reminding myself that winter can't last forever, spring is just a couple of months away and soon this will all be a distant memory. It's all part of the adventure and as our journey continues we'll no doubt experience other weather extremes and they too shall pass.
Big Pebble Beach
A short 2.5 kilometre (1.5 mile) walk to the east of Kaş town there are two beaches that attract many visitors in the summer months. Big Pebble Beach and Little Pebble Beach. We decided to go and take a look at Big Pebble Beach one lazy Sunday afternoon.
I may be opening myself up for scrutiny of my level of idiocy here, but when I first heard the names of the two beaches I imagined that one had big pebbles and the other had little pebbles. So when we arrived at Big Pebble Beach and I looked at the size of the pebbles I found it hard to fathom how small the pebbles were on Little Pebble Beach because in my mind the pebbles weren't overly big on Big Pebble Beach. Surprisingly Aannsha didn't make any comment when I voiced my observation of pebbles sizes. It was only 2 days later when I was looking on Google Earth that I realised my misconception. The beaches are not named for the size of their pebbles (which are the same size at both locations) but they are named for the actual square metreage of the beach area. Please don't judge my stupidity too harshly.
As we approached Big Pebble Beach a sign post at the roadside showed a picture of the beach in full on summer mode and two big arrows that indicated we were only 500 metres (0.3 mile) from our destination. It was a very easy and pleasant walk with some great views across the bay to the islands dotted offshore.
We were visiting in mid-December and the beach bore no resemblance to the picture we'd seen on the road sign. There still are some tourists in Kaş in the winter, but none brave enough to want to strip down to swimmers and frolic on the beach. All of the sun beds and umbrellas were packed away and only two of the half a dozen bars/restaurants showed any signs of life. After walking along the water's edge and being befriended by a local cat we strolled over to one of the bars and asked if they were open to sell a couple of beers. Happily they were and we sat at a table outside, enjoying the winter sun, mild temperature and our cold beers.
Cats, dogs and chickens, slinked, romped and strutted across our view and once again I was reminded of the lyrics from the 1986 Chris De Burgh song 'Fatal Hesitation';
The cafes are all deserted, the streets are wet again. There's nothing quite like an out of season holiday town in the rain. When the tourists go and the cold winds blow, and my girl is on a plane, home.
You can see how lovely Big Pebble Beach is in this Saturday's Sailing A B Sea YouTube video and judge for yourself about the size of the pebbles.
More big winds forecast
Checking the weather forecast, especially wind speed and direction, is a daily ritual done before anything else every morning on board A B Sea. The main reason we're so interested in wind speed and direction is because that gives us a good indication as to how comfortable (or not) we are going to be in the harbour (or at anchor) and in the case of extreme winds an indication that we need to seek shelter in a protected bay.
Just recently we had to leave Kaş harbour and spend 3 nights in Kaş marina because the wind and waves could've seriously damaged our home. When the coast guard relocates their vessel to the marina it's probably wise to follow suit. You can see how smashed up Kaş harbour area got during the previous storm here. Storm smashes Kaş harbour
So when big winds were forecast to blow from the east we had mixed feelings. Kaş harbour entrance/exit faces to the south east and the distance out of the harbour to the coastline is quite short which means that there's not a lot of open water for the east wind to create big waves. That's good, it wasn't going to get too rocky and rolly.
The wind was forecast to blow from Wednesday afternoon, all through Thursday and into Friday morning with gusts up to 50km/h (31 mph) or 27 knots. Certainly not deadly wind speeds but enough to keep us awake at night listening for any noises that were out of the ordinary.
We spent some time prepping A B Sea with our sturdier storm lines and generally making sure that everything was battened down. As it turned out Kaş got off fairly lightly and we only had to go through 2 nights of very interrupted sleep and a bit of rock and roll at our berth. The biggest thing that kept us awake were the two big gulets either side of us getting blown onto us and the fenders of both vessels squeaking and creaking against our hull all night.
Sadly things in Antalya, just 125 kilometres (78 miles) as the crow flies to the north east of Kaş, were not so benign and the weather there was ferocious. On Thursday a couple of cyclones ripped through and resulted in the deaths of 2 people, left 1 missing and 11 injured.
That's not Fog
Saturday morning upon sticking my head out of the companion way hatch I was greeted by what I first took to be fog. My first thought was 'That's strange, it's not that cold.' My second thought was 'The air is not damp.' Looking at the white decks of A B Sea I noticed very fine red dust powdering the surface. What I was seeing was the remnants of a dust storm. A couple of checks around the Interwebs did indeed confirm that the dust had blown 715 kilometres (445 miles) across the Mediterranean Sea from a storm in North Africa.
Lessons learned this week include; never underestimate the power of the wind and never argue with the sea or ocean, they will always win.