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Barry's Blog #156 - A first time for everything

Updated: Nov 14, 2020

Necessity is the mother of invention and when it comes to inventions we call on Aydin the local engineer who can create almost anything in his workshop in Kaş town. We were talking to our mate Kev about our anchor chain having an uncontrolled desire to jump off the gypsy at random, which is annoying and could be potentially dangerous. Kev raised an eyebrow and said "Come and take a look at this."

Opening the anchor chain locker at the pointy end of his boat we saw attached to the front end of his windlass a sturdy bit of stainless steel with a Teflon pulley wheel. Closer inspection revealed that the pulley wheel was fitted slightly lower than the top of the windlass gypsy which put pressure on the anchor chain and kept it running over the gypsy for just the length of a single link of chain. Kev demonstrated how it worked and we were super impressed at how such a small change made a big difference. The anchor chain stayed on the gypsy and ran smoothly. In the spring when it comes time to service our windlass we'll be calling on Aydin to make one for A B Sea and our jumping anchor chain will be a thing of the past.

Trying new things

Our guest Michel had hoped to get some decent sailing in whilst he was staying with us, but unfortunately the wind gods had other ideas. On the morning of Michel's fourth day on board we decided to test out a couple of things we'd never before done.

The first was to freefall the anchor and chain over the bow roller by releasing the gypsy brake with the manual handle. When we'd arrived in Kaş marina our mate Mike had freed up the gypsy brake and we'd had Aydin make us a very sturdy 316 stainless steel brake handle. This morning was the perfect time to test them both out. Aannsha gave it a go and although it worked as it should she said that she'd like to do some more testing next time we're in Kekova so that she can get used to the speed and get a better feel for control.

The other thing that needed testing was deploying our anchor marking buoy. In certain parts of the Mediterranean, especially in the summer season, anchorages get very full and boats arriving at an anchorage have no idea where any of the anchored boats anchors actually are.

Copying a simple idea that our mate Jim had come up with we had a 10 metre (33 foot) length of line run through a small pulley wheel suspended under a medium sized orange float. On one end of the line is a snap hook to attach to the anchor and on the other end is a weighty piece of metal. We generally try not to anchor any deeper than 10 metres so the marker buoy can be used most places we anchor.

let's assume we're anchoring in 5 metres. The anchor goes over the bow and drops to the bottom. The marker buoy line is attached to the anchor so we'd have 5 metres of line running from the anchor up to the pulley wheel dangling under the marker buoy and then the other 5 metres of line drops to the bottom because of the weighty piece of metal and the buoy simply floats directly over where our anchor is sitting.

Our first try at deploying went reasonably well with just a bit of the line getting snagged on the bow roller. But it works, it's easy to attach, deploy and retrieve. We'll definitely be using that from now on.

Slow downwind sailing

After we'd finished mucking around at the pointy end of the boat we stopped for lunch and felt the wind begin to pick up and an hour later we had a steady 10 knots of wind blowing in the right direction for where we wanted to go. We upped anchor and headed out of the channel at Üçağız and turned to the east. With the wind behind us we fully unfurled the head sail and with it shaped to act like a kite rather than a wing we actually did some sailing. We weren't going to be breaking any world records as our speed ranged between 2.7 and 3.5 knots. Luckily our next anchorage was only a short distance away so we sat back and enjoyed the peaceful and relaxing surroundings as A B Sea slid quietly and gently through the blue water.

The next anchorage was Gökkaya Limanı and the last time we'd visited there it was so full we couldn't find room to drop anchor. However two weeks on from that date we were happy to see only a quarter of the amount of boats there and found a nice spot in 5 metres (16.5 feet) and dropped our anchor into great holding on a muddy bottom. It was interesting sitting in the cockpit and watching how A B Sea seemed to circle slowly around her anchor marking buoy.

Another fantastic evening of wide ranging conversation with Michel was enjoyed with food and wine and we made plans for our departure the following day.

Michel was to helm, take us through the narrow gaps between submerged rocks, out of the Kekova area and onwards to Kaş marina. There were two reasons why we were heading back to Kaş on Thursday. Firstly there was a decent amount of wind predicted and it would be right on our nose and because the sea gets a bit lumpy around Kaş when the wind blows like that we didn't want to get entangled with that. Secondly Michel needed to take a Covid test before he could get back on the plane on Saturday to fly back to Germany and the turnaround time for the results was 36 hours.

We got back to the marina just as the predicted wind arrived and after pumping out our black water tank and filling up the diesel tank we put A B Sea to bed. With a borrowed pressure washer from Kev, Michel pressure washed the mud and dirt off the topsides while Aannsha and I went down below to write our blogs for that week.

A final dinner with the three of us and that was it, we were suddenly at the end of our time with Michel. Overall we were super happy with Michel being our first Patreon guest on board and we look forward to seeing him and his wife next time they're in Kaş.

If you'd like to spend a week with us on board A B Sea check out our Patreon page and sign up to a tier. We can then send you all the info about coming on board. Click here for Patreon.

To watch the video that accompanies this blog click here.


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