The wind prediction websites showed that we could expect gusts from the south at up to 39 knots and that the blow would last for about 24 hours. They were only half right.
We'd arrived at Akbük Bay, east of Didim, Turkey on Wednesday. It was now Friday and in preparation for the coming wind we decided to re-anchor in shallower water and a little more tucked into the south part of the bay.
Bringing the anchor up confirmed what we suspected, that the bottom was a good mix of sand and mud, just the type of bottom that our Mantus anchor loves.
Our new position had us dropping the hook in 4.5 metres (14.5 feet) of water and letting out almost all of our chain, 49 metres (160 feet) that gave us a scope of 10:1 with a lot of weight on the bottom. We were confident that A B Sea was not going anywhere once the blow started.
Our dinghy had been living on the foredeck all through the winter and it was now time to launch her for the first time this year.
Using the spare halyard and a cockpit winch we quickly had the dinghy over the side and in the water. The next move was to release the outboard from the davits mount and get it attached to the dinghy transom. It all went smoothly and after connecting the fuel tank I had a quick test hooning around part of the bay at warp factor 10. It felt good that we once again had use of the family car.
The big blow
Saturday morning the predicted wind arrived and started to slowly build. Usually these type of things come at night time and it can get quite disconcerting as you try to monitor lights on the shore line to make sure that you're staying in one spot.
This time we had the luxury of the event starting during the day so monitoring marks on the shore line was easily done and that combined with our chart plotter creating a track from our GPS position showed us that our Mantus and chain were doing their job perfectly.
For the majority of the time the wind was a steady 25 knots but every couple of minutes the gusts would come and blow fiercely. The highest gust we recorded was 48.4 knots (90 km/h - 56 mph).
We watched each gust blow off the land and over the sea lifting water off the surface as they headed towards us. A B Sea felt like she was heeling at anchor as each gust hit and she swung around on her anchor chain.
We were highly confident that our ground tackle would hold us in place, but we still had a plan B if we needed to bail out of the anchorage. D-Marin marina at Didim was only an hour away and the wind would be behind us should we need to go there.
Day turned into night and even though the wind and gusts were still howling through the rigging we managed to get some half decent sleep.
Sunday morning the wind speed began to slowly drop off and thick grey skies brought rain. Not the right rain to wash the sea spray salt off of A B Sea, this rain was laden with fine Saharan red dust and every surface was coated.
Gifts from Jim
Our mate Jim on our buddy boat Acheron had weathered the big wind in the same bay and by late morning on Sunday he was able to come over to us in his dinghy for a cuppa. During out chat he asked if we had any need for his portable generator and a 60 amp shore power battery charger. He'd just had an upgrade to lithium batteries and a large generator installed, the two items being offered were just taking up space.
With enthusiastic nods and big grins we gratefully accepted his generous offer and half an hour later we had both items on board and were eager to hook up the generator to recharge our batteries and power our laptops. The combination of grey skies and red dust coating our solar panels meant that we weren't producing enough solar power so the timing couldn't have been more perfect. Thanks Jim.
Change of plan
We also discussed with Jim our sailing options now that extra lock down measures were in place for the month of Ramadan. The general consensus was that the Turkish province of Muğla offered us the most interesting coast line and choices of anchorages. We could easily spend a month exploring around there and still not see all there was to see.
With our new plan hatched we spent the remainder of Sunday editing our next video and got an early night in ready for departure early Monday morning.
To watch the video that accompanies this blog click here.
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