I must admit to feeling a tad nervous when Baz had to go up the mast to install new cups on the wind indicator. Yes, I know he had a bosun’s chair and a harness and each one was secured to two separate lines (spare spinnaker halyard and topping lift). Mike Jones our long-time friend and sailor with experience as vast as the ocean lent us his bosun’s chair and the muscle to actually winch Baz up the mast. What a workout that was! But my anxiety wasn’t just about losing my best friend; it was also partly empathic as I knew Baz gets edgy at heights.
My mind goes back to standing on the concrete steps winding around the outside of the highest slide in Water World on the Gold Coast, Australia when Luke was young. Baz did a good job of hiding it, but I could tell he was uneasy as he found the part of the step that was furthest away from the giant drop over the rails … Anyway I digress …
It’s not that he can’t tie knots
Mike hoisted Baz all the way to the top. Think lots of heavy winding of the winch handle and litres of sweat. Baz had to negotiate the spreaders and radar. Almost at the top, Baz had to take the spinnaker halyard out of the metal loop that keeps it from the top of the mast. That meant untying the bowline and re-position the halyard and then retie the bowline. That was my main cause of anxiety. While Baz is an awesome captain (leaving me for dust in that department), his main weakness is knot-tying. It’s not that he can’t tie knots, he can. But his bowline usually takes a few attempts while he tries to get his head around which way the first little loop goes. And he always used to be resistant to my gentle suggestions that he practice in his spare time. “That’s what you’re for,” he’d reply.
Well, I wasn’t up the mast with him that day and all I could do was watch. My heart was in my mouth at that point, forcing my mind to stop playing worst case scenarios of Baz suddenly splatting on the deck from a great height.
Instead, I steadied the Sony camera that I was holding and focused on getting clear video footage. And do you know what? Baz tied that bowline perfectly in a few seconds. Boy does he work well under pressure! I have noticed since though, that when we’re sailing with the autopilot doing its thing, he’s got a practice rope out and had a few goes at making bowlines.
Wind cups attached, Baz shouted for Mike to let him down, which took a lot less time than going up! I asked Baz if he was at all scared going up and to my surprise he said he was less worried about that than the descent, because he couldn’t control how fast he was lowered. At any rate, Mike earned himself a few beers that day and Baz realised that the harness that he’d bought, while uncomfy, is a good safety feature to wear along with using a bosun’s chair - which we have now purchased (in Marmaris).
Making our yacht more homely
There’s a fabulous Turkish shop at the marina called Yörük and owned by Alpaslan (who also owns the Passarella Restaurant). Entering his shop is like visiting Aladdin’s cave and is filled with Turkish and Persian carpets and rugs, silver jewellery, hand embroidered silks, cushions, and ornaments for house and home. It was here that I found four small vintage rugs that fit A B Sea. They’re stylish and warm underfoot. Three are Turkish and one is Persian. And I absolutely love them.
Hand woven cushions
While I was chatting to Alpaslan, my eye caught some indigo dyed material tucked away on a lower shelf. Those of you who know me, know I used to hand dye and eco-print material with leaves from our garden in Australia. So when I spied this material, I had to take a closer look. It turns out it is also shibori dyed (an ancient Japanese style of tie-dyeing) and the material itself is hand woven. There were three oblong pieces and I immediately knew they’d make three beautiful cushion covers that would match A B Sea’s existing blue and white/cream décor.
I also spied five cabochons of Persian turquoise that I could picture set in some delicate sterling silver wire-wrapping. To do them justice I’m going to have to learn a new wire-wrapping technique but I am rather excited at the prospect of setting these in some fine bezels. I’ll write more on that when I’ve made them.
After choosing all of these treasures, I knew I’d better pay and put away my credit card. It is all too easy to spend in Yörük, everything is so exotically attractive. Fortunately for me, Alpaslan offered to drive me back to the boat, so I felt very fortunate when I navigated our dodgy passerelle to excitedly show Baz our new furnishings.
The cushions came together nicely. I simply sewed the edges together turning down a lip, that when turned right side out, makes a pillow style closure. I found some groovy cream/silver buttons in town and added these, filled the covers with stuffing from some old cushions that we don’t use any more and stitched down the lip to secure it all. Now we have three fine-looking cushions that I value as much for the process of the indigo material’s creation as I do their beauty.
The stars must have been in my favour that week, because I was asked to make three silver wire-wrapped shell pendants. I’ve discovered a netting style of weaving that makes the shells look as if they’re decorated with silver fishing nets – very oceanic. I added some blue abalone beads to the design and was very happy with the finished pendants. What do you think?
Fond Farewell to Kaş
In tomorrow’s video, along with showing you Baz up the mast and my home décor and jewellery, Baz and I also share our thoughts and feelings about Kaş, which as I write this, we have already left on our journey up Turkey’s coast before heading to the Greek islands. I can honestly say that I see Kaş as my Turkish home and in the five months or so that we lived there, we came to love its natural beauty, its openhearted people and its natural surroundings. Set on the ancient Lycian way, nestled between the Taurus Mountains and the azure Mediterranean Sea, Kaş is a most picturesque town and well worth visiting if you are ever in that part of the world. We made so many good friends there, were looked after by the gulet captains, welcomed by the shopkeepers and pretty much adopted by Smiley and his wife Serpel (at their restaurant by the harbour).
So it is with a poignant blend of sadness as we leave Kaş and excitement as continue our journey to Greece. But we take with us many fond memories and a promise that we’ll return to Turkey one day. Thank you for coming along on our journey with us, and we look forward to bringing you many more interesting and exciting experiences in our next adventures.
Link to Aannsha’s next blog