My concerns that the 3 week nationwide Turkish lock down during Ramadan 2021, would be extended, thankfully never came to pass.
We spent those weeks doing not much really. Life on board A B Sea carried on as usual. Daily trip to the marina supermarket for whatever we fancied (except alcohol). Editing videos, writing blogs and managing our social media. Ticking little cosmetic boat jobs off the list and making her ready to go the minute the curfew was lifted.
The national curfew lifted on time. There were still travel restrictions at the weekends and as temporary Turkish residents those restrictions applied to us. It was a little frustrating to see charter yachts with tourists on board freely coming and going as they wished and the logic behind that rule still baffles me.
However our planned leaving day, after the lock down, was put back a whole week as the wind gods laughed and said "We're in charge here and we'll tell you when you can go." They brought some very boisterous winds from the north and even in the sheltered marina we still felt their force.
As it turned out our delayed departure was a blessing in disguise. Our friends Michel and Canan had flown into Turkey for a week and they invited us to come and stay overnight at their beautiful apartment overlooking Kaş town harbour and the marina.
Michel had been our first guest patron on board for a week in August 2020 and during that short week we became firm friends, so this was an invitation that we didn't want to miss.
Michel picked us up from the marina and drove us to their apartment where we raised a toast to friends with cold beers and wine. We ate delicious foods. We talked about everything under the sun, but especially about boats and aeroplanes. We swam in the pool and drank some more. We saw our first wild boar family, complete with several piglets, come out of the surrounding bushland at sunset. We watched day turn to night, drank some more, talked a lot more and generally had a brilliant time. Thank you so much Michel and Canan for being such warm, welcoming and generous hosts. Can we reserve a room for next time you're in Kaş?
Wrangle with a mangle
Some boat jobs seem so easy when you think about them. But in reality the simplest jobs can take forever. For example installing a mount for the clothes mangle on the stern rail. Here's a time line for that.
December 2019 - Mangle arrives by courier to the boat yard in Greece.
February 2020 - Attempt to mount mangle to bare stern rail stainless steel - Fail.
September 2020 - Have two pieces of wood cut and shaped by wood working guy in Kaş.
October 2020 - Take wood back to guy for reshaping.
January 2021 - Finally get the wood to fit perfectly on the stern rail. Almost.
March 2021 - Ask around marina if someone has a tool to make round gouged holes in wood bigger.
May 2021 - Find tool, make gouged holes bigger, buy different sized stainless steel screws, fit mount to stern rail, fit mangle to wooden mount. Success.
Luckily Aannsha is a patient woman.
Departure day 2021 V2.0
Monday 24th of May was departure day from Kaş marina, to continue our exploration of Turkey's coast as far north as we could get given the prevailing northern winds.
We'd done as much as possible the previous day to prep A B Sea and all we had to do was slip the lines, top off the diesel tank and raise the dinghy up onto the davits.
On the short distance from our berth to Kaş marina fuel dock I explained to Aannsha the scenario that I envisioned with regards to tying off the bow and stern lines at the dock. Unfortunately my vision included the presence of the fuel guy to take at least one of the lines.
We motored over and slowly approached the fuel dock. The fuel guy was nowhere to be seen. We improvised our line handling with Aannsha stepping off at the side gate, securing the bow line first while I put A B Sea gently into reverse so that she'd hug the dock and Aannsha could come and secure the stern line. It went like clockwork. Who needs a fuel guy anyway. Lol.
We waited a few minutes and nobody showed up so we decided to make use of the time by bringing our dinghy around from the port side and get her raised up onto the davits. The whole process takes us about 12 minutes on average. That job was finished and still no fuel guy.
I radioed the marina who assured me that the guy would be there very soon. About 10 minutes later I radioed the marina again, they assured me that he was definitely on his way. A few minutes later he arrived and we began the process of topping off our diesel tank and filling up our petrol containers.
Jobs done, we could now get underway and begin heading in a generally northern direction.
Selfish, ignorant, prick
Those 3 words describe the man at the helm (I won't dignify him with the terms skipper or captain) of a yacht that was heading south east along Patara Beach as we were headed north west.
The beach is a very long straight 8.2nm stretch with no underwater obstructions, no shallow bits or jutting headlands. When I spotted him he had both sails out, he was well off the beach and about 0.5nm off our starboard side. The wind was off his starboard quarter.
We both continued on our respective courses and I had no reason to think of him as any kind of danger to us, we would certainly pass with half a nautical mile of water between us.
Then just as we got closer he decides he's going to turn to starboard and cut across our bow. The wind hadn't changed so I still can't figure out why he did it. He had right of way so I changed my course to pass by his stern.
As we passed Aannsha and I looked at each other with a 'why did he do that' expression. Then something yellow and filament like caught my eye stretching away from our head sail. At first neither of us could figure out what it was. Then I realised that it was fishing line that he was trailing from a rod mounted high up on his davits. I had visions of it either getting caught in our prop, we were motor sailing at that time, or the hook getting pulled up out of the water and ripping our head sail.
A sharp 180 degree turn to starboard began getting us out of those scenarios and we watched as the fishing line continued to come back across our shrouds, over our solar panels and finally get caught up on our AIS antenna. Aannsha made a grab for the cockpit knife to cut the line but luckily our antenna twisted backwards enough to allow the line to slip freely away.
You can see our reactions to that little incident in this week's episode on YouTube.
Plan A, B & C
Our plan A anchorage for this hop was a place called Butterfly Valley, 6 hours from Kaş. We'd heard that it was nice and wanted to check out somewhere different.
There were many unknowns about how suitable it would be to stop there so we thought that we'd just stick our nose in and see if it was workable for us. Turns out that it wasn't, mainly because of the swell which would have made for a very sleepless and rolly night. Time for plan B. As we were exiting Butterfly Valley we had a glitch with our GPS. All of a sudden our chart showed A B Sea a couple of miles inland and off to the north. My eyes told me we were definitely still floating on water. A quick shut down and reboot of the onboard systems and everything came good as we headed 45 minutes further across the bay to spend the night once again moored at Karacaören.
Slowly motoring into the familiar mooring field we were met by Can (John), the restaurant owner, patiently waiting in his tender at a vacant mooring ball. Within a minute A B Sea was secured and Can said with a wink and a smile just whistle when you want me to come and collect you for dinner.
We smiled and thanked him and went casually about putting A B Sea to bed. Sometimes it's good to go to places that you've been before.
To watch the video that accompanies this blog click here.
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