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Barry's Blog #163 - It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Updated: Jan 30, 2021

Even though we're not sailing at the moment we still check the weather every morning. Unfortunately weather prediction around the area of Kaş can be unreliable, in particular wind speed prediction and right now we're starting to see the first of the big winter winds coming through.

When we come stern to into our berth at the marina we use two blue, light weight, floating throw lines just to get initially tied off. They have no chafe protection and if we left them on through the winter they'd eventually chafe through and break. That's not good.

The first big wind of the winter began in the middle of December around 03:00 hours and brought some rain with it. Around 09:00 hours there was a break in the rain and that's when Aannsha and I took the opportunity to swap out the light weight floating throw lines for our purpose-specific chafe protected storm lines.

There are four of them, two black lines with short lengths of 8mm (0.31 inch) galvanised anchor chain attached where they go over the pontoon cleat and big metal compression springs inline.

There are also two very long blue lines, again with spliced loops protected from chaffing on the pontoon cleat by thick plastic hose around the loop.

After about 20 minutes we had all four storm lines on and A B Sea was ready for riding out the winds.

Another indicator that we were in for some big winds was spotting the powerful intercept vessel of the Kaş coast guard tied up at the marina just in front of the fuel pontoon. The vessel is usually stationed at the entrance to Kaş harbour. If they were at the marina it was a sure sign that we were in for some heavy weather.

The forecast was for the wind to build over the next 24 hours and peak at 43 knots (80kph - 50mph). We got lucky and the reality was not as bad as the prediction. But we did get lots of rain with small hailstones thrown in for good measure. The following day was bright and beautiful as the black clouds and wind disappeared to the west.

Baz gets pampered again

I usually have my haircut by Aannsha, which involves finding a nice secluded grassy spot where I can sit on a chair dressed only in a pair of shorts, a towel around my shoulders and a head of dripping wet hair. It was now winter and I wasn't brave enough to endure the cold.

Aannsha suggested that I walk into town and visit our friendly barber Oktay. He was the guy that gave me the full on Turkish pampering session last time were overwintered in Kaş. You can watch that whole process in episode #046.

That sounded like a good suggestion to me and I made the most of the sunny weather and walked into Kaş town. Oktay recognised me (or maybe the camera in my hand jogged his memory) and gestured for me to sit in the comfy barber's chair.

I hadn't slept much the previous night due to keeping one ear open on the boat noises during the wind and rain and I was feeling pretty grotty. However a full shave and a haircut later from the skilled and gentle hands of Oktay and I felt a thousand times better, I also looked a thousand times better too. The whole thing cost 60 Turkish Lira, which converts to AU$10.60. Bargain.

Christmas gifts

Back at the boat we'd had a package delivered from Switzerland and Aannsha was eager to open it because she knew what was in it.

Heinz and Heidi, who sent us the Brillean cleaning products to try out, had once again sent us some Swiss treats for Christmas. We love Swiss chocolate and this year they'd also included a bag of Swiss biscuits. They were very tasty, flavoured with orange, star anise and cinnamon.

Both Aannsha and I agreed that all of the goodies were unlikely to last until Christmas day. Thanks Heinz and Heidi.

Christmas Eve

It's a bit of a tradition amongst the ex pat liveaboards in Kaş marina that on Christmas Eve we leave the pontoon (weather permitting) and sail/motor around to the Limanagzi Bay just 45 minutes away.

Once there the first yacht anchors and up to two other yachts come alongside and raft up. Then food and drinks are shared around and merriment ensues.

This year because A B Sea was non-functional (more about that in a future video and blog) we were invited onto Kev's boat and he was happy to have two experienced crew on board as he is a solo sailor.

We cast off the lines and because the winds were light Kev decided to motor around the peninsula. When we arrived he also decided to tie off to one of the day tripper boats' mooring balls rather than anchor and it was great for me to be at the bow, with boat hook in hand ready to snag the line from the mooring ball. Kev got us perfectly on the mark and I hooked the line and placed it over the bow cleat. So easy. Time for a beer.

As we were settling into our first drinks Jim and his guests on Acheron came around the corner and we radioed him to come alongside on our starboard side where we already had lines waiting for him to tie off. A great afternoon was had and Jim and Aussie Dave actually went in for a swim.

There's also a very funny bit in this week's video where I film Jim attempting to climb over from Acheron to Barbara Ann with glasses of gin and tonic in each hand. Let us know in YouTube's comments if you think he passed the test or not.

Christmas Day

Mike and Elaine on Spicy Lady introduced us to their friend Claire who then invited us to her apartment in Kaş for a proper Christmas Day lunch. We signed up immediately and we're glad we did.

The apartment is tucked up in the hills behind Kaş town and thankfully we got a lift up there on the back of Mike's and Jim's scooters. Being so high up the hill does mean a steep walk back from town but it also means stunning views from the balcony across Kaş and across the bay towards the Greek island of Kastellorizo. The sunset was amazing.

There were 8 of us for lunch and the food did not disappoint. Homemade pumpkin soup to start, turkey with all the trimmings including stuffing, pigs in blankets and roast potatoes and a choice of chocolate cherry gateau or cheesecake for desert. I had both desserts.

We shared a taxi home with Mike and Elaine and collapsed into bed with full bellies, happy hearts and great memories. What a wonderful Christmas.

Stay safe wherever you are and whatever you're doing and I'll bring you more tales from Sailing A B Sea next week.

To watch the video that accompanies this blog click here.


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