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Aannsha’s Blog #179 - Akcali to Akbük

Updated: May 22, 2021

In our travel videos you generally see us lifting the anchor, sailing to a new destination and dropping anchor again, and when it’s just the two of us filming with limited camera positions on A B Sea it is always a creative process finding new edits to bring you fresh ways of seeing these regular manoeuvres.

In this week’s video, we were fortunate enough to have Jim on Acheron film us anchoring when we caught up with him in Akbük bay, which is just east of Didim. Before that however, we still needed to leave Akcali (Murdala) bay and make our seven and a quarter hour passage up the Turkish coast.

Surprising swell

We’d had a fantastic night’s sleep at Akcali. The relatively large open bay was as flat as a pancake, and no roll always makes for an enjoyable slumber. When we left the bay early in the morning we were surprised to see how much of a swell there was once we entered open sea. When Baz looked at it on the chart plotter, he could see that the angle of the wind and swell meant that where we had anchored, we’d been spared the swell. It just glanced off the western side of the bay, while the land mass and little Akcali Islet to the north east gave protection to the anchorage.

We use the * Turkish Waters & Cyprus Pilot guide to help us choose anchorages.

Of course, when the seasonal north wind begins to blow more regularly over the summer months, this may not be the case.

What I get up to in the anchor locker

This week, we bring you a much more hands on view of what I get up to when we are lifting the anchor. This particular day it was so calm that Baz was able to stand behind me while I (1) took off the snubber and (2) brought up the anchor. I’ve learned that when I do this it really pays to flake the chain. (I’ll explain that in a moment if you don’t know what that means). When we were newbie sailors, I just used to press the ‘anchor up button’ and invariably the chain would come up, and bunch directly under the windlass and then get jammed as it got trapped underneath the windlass ledge. (The electric windlass brings up the chain and anchor).

Some anchor lockers are designed so well that when the chain piles up to a certain height, the weight of the chain soon has it spilling downwards, with the effect that it stacks nicely in the locker all by itself. Stainless steel chain will do that too. But A B Sea is an older boat and the locker design just means we have to put in a bit more effort to get the same result.

So, with my right hand on the ‘windlass up button’, one eye to make sure the chain is always positioned straight on the bow roller, I focus the other eye - clever aren’t I? - on my left hand which grabs the incoming chain. I am conscious to have my hand well away from moving part of the windlass. (I know one sailor friend who lost the tip of a finger doing this particular job). Anyway, every metre or so of chain that comes in, I pitch to the front of the locker, so it folds nice and neatly on itself. It will become clearer when you watch this week’s video.

The water that day was a clear turquoise blue and we could see the anchor firmly dug into the sand with only its orange roll bar visible. Baz drove very slowly over the anchor and it freed it up so I could lift the final five metres of chain plus anchor, without straining the windlass.

Gory folding prop – overdrive to full revs

We’ve got a folding prop that’s been so well designed that it can ‘feather’ into several positions, which allows it to go in reverse (without prop walk), forwards in normal drive, and forwards in overdrive. Overdrive allows us to achieve faster speeds using fewer revs.

As Baz reverses to 3,000 revs when we anchor, to ensure the anchor is dug firmly into the sand or mud, when he switches the engine off, the prop blades are still open in the reverse/overdrive position. When he starts up the engine the following day and motors forward, the position of the prop blades means that it is instantly in overdrive mode. To get it into normal drive with full revs (which is actually better for our engine as we have a turbo), Baz has to do a little manoeuvre. Rather than me trying to explain it to you here, I’ll let Baz show you with a Gory video demo, on this week’s video.

Yep, this week’s video is full of really useful stuff if you’re new to sailing and want to learn a bit more!

Changing plans

We were originally heading for Küçükbük but after a conversation with Jim about the forecasted big winds, Baz and I decided we would probably be much better sheltered if we headed up to Akbük bay where Jim was anchored. In order to make this anchorage with plenty of daylight to anchor, we brought out the sails (despite the relatively low wind for sailing) and kept the motor on.

This gave us at least an extra knot of speed and at one point we even hit 8.1 knots which was almost a celebratory event! The rest of the time we average 6.5 to 7.5 knots of speed (with and without sails as the wind speed fluctuated).

Along the way we passed the Greek island of Kos, and on the Turkish side we passed Gümüşlük which we anchored at last time we were in Turkey. In fact we’ve got a short video about anchoring there, in our Anchorage Series – Turkey, if you’re interested. We also passed the D-Marin marina at Turgutreis. We also passed a lone rock which is marked as an isolated danger on the chart.

Drive-by by Jim

As we entered Akbük bay we brought in the main sail and shortly after that Jim did a drive by in his dinghy with his flash new fast outboard motor! He also kindly filmed us anchoring, so you’re able to see A B Sea from a different perspective.

While I was putting the snubber on, the little black plastic ‘locking’ do-dad on the Mantus chain hook snapped. Not surprising given the way it’s designed. I was a bit concerned about that but the way the actual chain hook metal is shaped, there was no way the hook would come off the chain. The only problem we’ve had since this happened has been that sometimes the extra chain hooks itself into the groove of the snubber, and this can make it very fiddly to remove when we’re upping anchor.

I’ve looked at the Mantus Snubber Mark II and it looks in a different league. It’s also out of our price bracket at the moment, given all we’ve spent on the old girl this winter. But Mantus, if you’d like to give us a Mark II snubber, we’d be very happy to review it! You know how much we already rave about our Mantus anchor, lol!

The big wind’s coming!

I did laugh out loud when I put the final clip into this week’s video. It was Baz on deck filming the 48.4 knot wind gusts that had A B Sea heeling and turning on her anchor and chain.

You’ve got to check it out as he almost gets blown off the deck but still manages to ask you to give us a big Thumbs up!

To watch this YouTube episode, just click here.

Next week we batten down the hatches in Akbük for the big winds and get our dinghy off the deck and into the water. Until next week though, I wish you health, wealth and courage, as you take the actions to bring your dreams to life. I'll leave you with one of Barry's favourite quotes:

The plans of sailors are written in the sand at low tide.

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