I was excited. Just before going to bed I'd checked the wind prediction website 'Windy' and it showed 15 to 20 knots of wind from the east. Perfect for blowing us along the Turkish coast all the way back to Kaş.
The following morning, just before we departed Finike marina, I checked 'Windy' once more and the story was still the same. We got A B Sea ready to sail.
Contrary to some comments that we've received over the years about renaming our YouTube channel to 'Motoring A B Sea' we do actually like getting the sails out and switching off the engine. However the Mediterranean is well known by sailors for either having not enough wind, too much wind and never wind in the direction that you want to go. Would it be like that today or would we get lucky?
Our 6 night stay at Finike marina would have cost 2,238 TL (AU$387), but because we have a 12 month contract with the Setur marinas group, where we're given a bonus of 30 days free stay in each of the other Setur marinas, our stay was 100% discounted.
Exiting the marina as slowly and carefully as we'd entered, we pointed the nose of A B Sea into the wind and brought out the main sail to the first reef. Angling slightly off the wind we then brought out our head sail to the first reef. The engine was shut down and we were sailing and after a few minutes we were reaching a speed of 7 knots which was very acceptable thank you very much.
However the predicted easterly wind was in fact blowing from the SSW. So we had good wind and great speed but we were close hauled and heading south. Not the direction we wanted to go. We used the wind as much as we could but eventually had to turn into the wind to reach our destination. So much for wind prediction websites.
Our plan after leaving Finike was to spend the night at anchor at the very picturesque Smugglers anchorage at the east end of the Kekova area and as we motored around the final corner we were happy to see that there was only one other vessel in the anchorage.
The last time we dropped the anchor of A B Sea was 30th July 2020 at Çiftlik near Marmaris, it was now 1st March 2021 (7 months). However it was like putting on a comfortable pair of slippers and Aannsha and I slipped right back into our tried and tested anchoring routine. Using hand signals and voice instructions we got the anchor in and set first time.
We then sat in the cockpit enjoying the last of the sun’s warming rays before it slipped behind the ridge of the low hills surrounding the anchorage. The instant chill of dusk from the lingering winter ushered us quickly below and we settled in for the night.
After a super calm night in the peaceful anchorage we were up in time to watch the moon set and the sun rise before bringing up the anchor and making our way back to Kaş marina.
Aannsha took the helm for most of the way and I left the decision making up to her as to our route back through the Kekova area and the small islands around Kaş.
This is something that we'll be doing more of this year as Aannsha really needs to become as confident as I am in handling A B Sea, after all she is as equally qualified as I am to do the job.
Arriving back at Kaş marina we decided to top off the fuel tank and I took the helm for that manoeuvre. Looking back at the video it is the slowest approach I have ever made to that fuel dock, I'm sure I saw a raised eyebrow from the fuel guy as he watched us inch slowly closer and closer.
Prevention is better than cure
One of my grandmothers much used sayings was 'prevention is better than cure' and the very mention of cod liver oil still sends shivers down my spine. Yuck. However it is a good mantra to live by when you own a boat.
Before we filled up with diesel I poured 200ml (0.4 pint) of biocide into the tank then topped off with 72 litres (19 gallons) of fuel. The cost was 503 TL (AU$85.50).
Usually we put two additives into our full diesel tank, one is the biocide that prevents the formation of diesel bug and the other is an engine cleaning product which cleans carbon build up in the cylinders and injectors. However since the top-end rebuild of our engine had happened just recently we only needed to add the biocide.
As we reversed off the fuel dock I radioed the marineros for assistance with tying up back at our berth. It's not a big distance from the fuel dock to our pontoon so it's much easier to drive A B Sea backwards from the fuel dock, into the fairway and into our berth.
Due to our Gori folding prop there is no prop walk on A B Sea which makes her very easy to handle and manoeuvre in reverse.
Prop walk is also known as the paddlewheel effect or asymmetric blade thrust. This is the tendency of a fixed propeller to push a boat's stern to one side or the other and is most noticeable in reverse on single-screw vessels. It can make close-quarters manoeuvring, including docking, challenging to the point of being daunting. This is not the case with our Gori folding prop.
Welcomed back home by the marinero, tied up, engine off and pleased about our successful trip, which was essentially a small shakedown cruise after all the work we've done to A B Sea over the past few months, we put her to bed and went below to catch up on editing our next video.
Next week there are more boat jobs to tell you about, including the complete removal of an engine by crane.
To watch the video that accompanies this blog click here.