Barry's Blog #151 - That annoying beeping sound

Updated: Oct 10, 2020

We've always freely admitted that we are travellers before we are sailors and we've copped a lot of online flak for that from purist sailors who'll have full sails out at even the hint of a whisper of breeze and are quite happy moving along at 2 knots per hour. That's not fun for us for several reasons.

Let's say for example that we estimate that getting from 'island X' to 'island Y' will take us 8 hours at 5 knots, that's approximately a 40 nautical mile trip. At 2 knots of speed the same trip would take 20 hours.

So at 5 knots we can get started around 08:00 hours and expect to arrive at 16:00 hours which gives us plenty of daylight to drop anchor in an unknown anchorage or move on to anchorage plan B or C.

There are three ways we can get that 5 knots speed: put the sails out if the wind is favourable, use a combination of sails and engine or just use the engine. Over our time on A B Sea we've used the engine quite a lot and that means the sound of the engine running normally is etched into our unconscious.

Near to the end of July 2020 as Aannsha and I were motoring south and east along the coast of Turkey on our way to Kaş the engine of A B Sea did something out of the ordinary and instantly we both glanced at each other indicating that neither of us had imagined it.

It was just a little misstep, a fleeting moment when the engine revs dropped slightly and then recovered. At the time we thought that maybe something had caught around the propeller, maybe we'd snagged an old fishing line. Either way the engine returned to running at its normal speed and sound. We shrugged it off. In a future blog you'll find out the significance of this seemingly insignificant moment.

Off to Kekova

After arriving at Kaş marina, doing some more maintenance and settling in it was time to slip the lines and head off to Kekova Roads which is 18 nautical miles to the east. Accompanying us on this planned week long trip was Jim on Acheron and Kev on Barbara Ann. The plan was to check out some new anchorages that we didn't manage to see when we last visited in early 2019.

On the way to Kekova we noticed that we seemed to be blowing a bit more light coloured smoke out of our exhaust than was usual. It was a Hmmm moment. We continued our trip.

Just as we got to the entrance to Kekova I heard a quick beep from the engine control panel at the helm. It was gone before I had a chance to glance down to see what it was. Some minutes later it beeped again. This time I was watching and the end red light on the control panel briefly blinked on at the same time that the beep happened. It was the low oil pressure light. That wasn't good.

We continued on to our first planned anchorage with the beeping and the corresponding red light becoming more insistent. As we prepared to drop the anchor and went into engine tick over, the beep and the light were fully on. It's an annoying sound and rightly so because all it made me want to do was to switch the engine off to stop the noise.