Aannsha’s Blog #206 – When stress affects performance

Updated: 6 days ago

Baz is one of the most conservative and safety conscious people I know. Now for those of you who know him as the wild party animal 80s DJ, that may come as a bit of a surprise.

But I kid you not. He captains A B Sea cautiously and carefully when we are motoring, sailing and anchoring.

When we’re out on our journeys on A B Sea, he is constantly watching the weather and watching boats anchored around us to stave off any scenarios that might endanger our precious boat-home. Add into the mix that his mind never stops taking into account additional issues as part of the thought process. These include fuel consumption, where we should anchor so we can access land for provisioning, as well as wind direction so we aren’t on a lee shore. His mind never stops.

Worst of all for Baz I think, is the fact that he has sleep apnoea. This is a condition where his airway closes regularly during sleep and every few minutes, his body wakes up with a sudden adrenalin surge in an attempt to get oxygen to his brain. Now, when we’re at a marina, he can use his CPAP machine which constantly delivers air into his nose so he breathes continuously, as he should.

Recently, our friend Jim donated his old generator to us so that Baz could use this to drive the CPAP machine at night. And during the off-season period when we were the only boat in an anchorage, Baz was able to do that. However, the generator is very loud and has to be on deck because of the exhaust fumes. If he used that at night in a busy anchorage, he’d keep a lot of people awake and he won’t do that.

This of course means that this summer season, Barry has been suffering from a lack of sleep nightly. And if you’ve spent even one night with little sleep you know how that can affect mental functioning.

Crikey that was close!

Fast forward several months into the summer season, all of these combined began to show on Barry’s performance. And the last couple of videos show him making some rookie mistakes when entering and leaving marina berths.

The most serious near-miss was when he reversed into a berth at Marmaris marina during a very busy charter boat changeover day. We’d already had to circle around for an hour with several other boats in a small space waiting for our turn at the fuel dock. Coupled with realising how stressed the marineros were, when he reversed into the berth, although he knew he’d turned too sharply, he kept going. He didn’t want to delay the marineros. He would normally abort, go out and reposition A B Sea correctly. But this time he didn’t. As a result, we nearly lost a station when it got caught up on the anchor of the boat in the next berth.

With some fast action from the marineros, Baz (and myself), we disentangled A B Sea and were soon safely docked at the pontoon. No-one got hurt. And no boats were damaged in any way. But it was definitely disconcerting. And I could see that Baz berated himself very harshly all that afternoon and for the rest of the evening.

Poor fellow. Nothing I said made a difference. I had to watch him suffer.

That night he was able to use the CPAP machine.

Marmaris Fort, at last!

We decided to stay at Marmaris for five nights to regroup and recharge. (So Baz enjoyed five nights of decent sleep). We also wanted to check out the fort at Marmaris which had been shut the last time we’d visited. This was something we promised you, and this time we were able to deliver on that promise.

For a small fort this museum is packed with interesting displays, many from underwater archaeological finds along the local Turkish coast. Some were from the ancient port of Knidos and as we’ve been there a few times, we found the presentations very interesting. Of particular interest to me were necklaces made with shell, glass and pottery beads.

I loved these because I make jewellery with similar materials and this invoked a sense of closeness to the people in those ancient days who wore and made them.

A cool drink with a cooler view

After spending an enjoyable hour around the little castle in near 40 degree C / 104 degree F heat, we decided to treat ourselves to a cool drink somewhere. We saw a sign for the Panorama which promised spectacular views and was also recommended by the Lonely Planet guide.