Last week I told you how Barry has been suffering from nightly lack of sleep due to sleep apnea. This was mainly due to the inability to power his CPAP machine when we’re at anchor.
This week, it all got a bit much for him when we arrived at our home marina at Kaş. No CPAP machine, loud boat music at 2am, plus rolly nights and mosquitoes in both Ekincik and Gemiler anchorages on the way back to Kaş from Marmaris all took their toll on Baz. So when we had a series of unfortunate events as we were trying to enter our ‘home berth’ on B Pontoon, Baz just spat the dummy (an Australian saying which surely paints a vivid picture)!
The two earlier trips – from Marmaris to Ekincik, and from Ekincik to Gemiler bay were fairly uneventful and pleasant – including a spectacular sunrise.
You can see these two journeys at the beginning of this week’s video.
However, as you’ll see, once we began to enter our berth at Kaş, things started to go wrong and just compounded on each other. I’ll tell you what happened from my perspective as I was at the bow for most of the manoeuvres.
A series of unfortunate events
1. The marinero who turned up was new. So new in fact, that he couldn’t even control the marina rib properly – oversteering and over-throttling. I didn’t show this in the video when I was editing it, as I didn’t want to embarrass him. It was a bad enough learning curve for the young man as it was, and after the whole event, Baz and I decided that he should really have been accompanied from the beginning by another more experienced marinero.
2. When the marinero reversed back, with the lead line of the slime (lazy) line before attaching it to our bow cleat, he went too fast and the lead line snapped. Fortunately he had hold of the actual slime line, although it was only later we realised that this was going to be too short to tie off onto our bow cleat.
3. He tried to attach this short line to the bow cleat, but could barely get it through the fair lead. As a side note, when we’d left the pontoon several weeks earlier, we’d left our thick black line attached to the lazy line as this was the line the marineros actually fed through the fairlead and onto the cleat. Either it had detached with the snapped lead line, or it had been ‘borrowed’ by someone who had stayed in ‘our’ berth while we were away. Regardless, it wasn’t there and all we had to work with was a thick stumpy line.
4. The marinero was probably already out of his depth with no experience to help at this point. He left me with the slime line (possibly hoping I’d be able to attach it) and headed to the pontoon to take the stern lines. But there were already two friends on the pontoon helping Baz secure the stern.
I was left at the pointy end of the boat, holding onto the fat stump of line with both hands, basically attempting to keep A B Sea in position without dropping the ‘rope’.
If I did that, it would disappear into the water and at 20 metres in depth would need a scuba diver to recover it. I didn’t want that to happen. After three long days of sailing I wanted to just get secured onto our pontoon.
5. Baz asked me if I was secure. I learned later that the wind was pushing the bow around and he was having to control it with the bow thruster, as both boats in the berths either side of us were out sailing. I shouted back that I didn’t have enough length. Baz told the marinero I didn’t have enough length. The guy came to assist me and asked if I had another line. I couldn’t let go, so I asked Baz if he had another line. I know, it was a stupid question, but my main concern was not letting go of the slime line. Baz of course said he couldn’t help as he was at the helm.
6. The young guy found a thick line in his tender and tied it with a bowline to the slime line and then looped one end around the cleat. I didn’t like that, as I didn’t trust the loop to hold us if there was a storm. Normally the lazy line is oxo-ed around the cleat, giving it maximum holding strength. I also didn’t like that there was a bowline holding the other end of the line to the lazy line. With a bit of slack (unlikely, but possible), the bowline could come undone. I told Baz I wasn’t happy.
7. Baz decided to abort. So he told the marinero who was now back on the pontoon. He told me to drop the line. I couldn’t hear him over the bow thruster motor noise. Baz had to shout “Abort, drop the line” to me several times! He must have been getting really anxious as the boat was weirdly held at the stern but the bow was moving all over the place with the wind. And when the boat is stationary (as in not moving forwards or backwards), you basically have no control over it at all.
8. Of course, then I couldn’t get the loop off the cleat! Which just added to frustration all round!
9. Baz got the two guys to drop the stern lines and motored forward. He then told me again to drop the lazy line. Now what no-one knows in all of this is that I’m arguing with myself in my head because I learned fairly early on in our travels that if the captain (and at this point we have roles other than husband and wife) tells me to do something, it is best to comply because he has the bigger picture in mind. But I was thinking about the difficulty of retrieving the slime line and I said, “No, let him come and get it.” It would only have taken the guy 30 seconds to jump into his tender and take the rope from me.
10. But Baz didn’t like that at all and loudly asserted his authority as captain, basically spitting the dummy and shouting “I am the captain drop the line and come back and take the stern lines!” You can see on the video I didn’t agree with his decision. But at that point, I decided I needed to do what he wanted. I flicked the line back into the water and stomped aft to bring in the floating stern lines.
11. Baz pulled out to the bemused look of the marinero and the two guys on the pontoon. I felt a bit embarrassed as well as frustrated and sort of shrugged at them with an apologetic half smile.
Then I got on with bringing in the stern line. You can see me letting out a huge breath, trying to get rid of my annoyance at being over-ridden because Baz wasn’t patient enough to wait for half a minute.
12. As we reversed and backed out of the fairway, I reiterated that the lazy line would now be impossible to retrieve without a scuba diver. Baz said it wasn’t his problem. I let it go and got the stern lines ready for when we were escorted to another berth.
13. Within a few minutes the young marinero arrived in the tender with an experienced marinero who guided the young guy on what to do, while he himself hopped on board and secured our lazy line. Within two minutes we were safely and securely tied to Pontoon C. We asked them to have the lazy line ready on Pontoon B so we could return there for our last few days and they promised two days.
However, as a side note, where we were at the end of Pontoon C had a lot less noise from the bar and we decided to stay put. We still managed to catch up with friends to say goodbye, although I wished we’d had more time to say goodbye to our Turkish friends on Pontoon B.
Baz and I debriefed and as you can hear from his explanation on the video, we determined the steps that had led to our little boat-related ‘domestic’. We both realised there were several contributing factors, that the marinero was not at fault at all, and that with Baz’s tiredness, the stress of trying to keep the boat in position, it all just mounted into something bigger than it was.
We’ve always promised to keep it real when we tell our story
And this is one of those times. If you’re considering this lifestyle, there will be times when you disagree. But as you can see in the video, even though Baz and I had had a disagreement, we still both worked together to get out of the compromised berth, so that we could keep A B Sea safe.
Because, you’ll learn like we have, that your boat and safety always take precedence over personal issues. And, if you get yourselves and your yacht to safety first, you’ll have all the time you need to talk through the other stuff.
If you’d like to see what I’ve just written about, then check out this week’s video here.
Until I see you next week, I wish you health, wealth, courage and a healthy dose of wisdom, as you take the actions to bring your dreams to life.
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