When we decided to document our journey from complete sailing novices to full time liveaboards, one of our intentions was to honestly portray everything we could about the process to give others who may be considering doing the same thing, some sort of an idea of what they'd be getting themselves into.
Neither of us had ever set foot on a yacht and our only peek into the lifestyle had been from watching YouTube sailing channels. Now, nearly four years on, we can honestly say that none of the videos we watched really prepared us for the reality.
Here are just a few things that you might find insightful. Sailing is the least thing we do. Anchoring is mostly what we do. Maintaining, repairing and replacing stuff is an ongoing, never ending thing that will keep you busy.
I hope that helps if you are considering taking the plunge.
When we came into Datça, the south bay was almost empty and we were able to pick a good spot to drop our anchor. When choosing a spot, one of the considerations in my mind is whether I can get close enough to something that will prevent another boat from anchoring over our anchor and chain.
I thought I'd done a good job. I was wrong. There's always someone with a shallower draft or someone who's prepared to anchor with a minimal amount of chain out.
When we woke on a Tuesday morning in late June we saw that the once empty bay had become a lot busier and boats were anchored everywhere. One boat in particular was of interest because I reckoned he was sat right over our anchor. I was right.
Boaties are usually quite friendly and helpful and although I clearly woke this guy from his sleep, he was quite understanding when I explained that we wanted to leave but he'd need to move his boat so that we could get our anchor up. It was actually the first time this had happened in any of the places we'd ever anchored.
He slowly brought up his anchor chain, but left his anchor dug in and we did the same behind him. Our Mantus digs in so well that the only way to get it out is to drive forward over it so that the chain pulls the shank in the opposite direction which forces the tip of the anchor to release from the sand.
As you'll see in this week's video it all went quite smoothly considering it was our first time and the anchorage was quite crowded.
Once out of the anchorage we set our course for Bodrum. It was a 6 hour hop and because most of it was due north we were thankful that we had a break from the strong northern Meltemi wind.
Half way there we had some unexpected wind from the west which allowed us to get the headsail out and gain an extra knot of speed.
The big bay at Bodrum is always busy and finding a spot to anchor is made even more challenging because some of the boats in there are attached to mooring balls, which means that they don't swing and move the same way that anchored boats do when the wind blows or changes direction.
Eventually we found a spot and dropped our anchor. Overall it was quite a good spot apart from the one smallish sailing boat on a mooring ball. But luckily we had just the right amount of chain out that even though we got close to him when the wind changed direction we never got close enough to touch.
Anchoring is a merry dance and we see so many people who come in and anchor correctly for the wind that's blowing, but they don't take into consideration what will happen when the wind direction changes or drops completely.
After anchoring and making A B Sea ready for a few days in Bodrum, I was sitting in the cockpit enjoying a cold beer and watching the merry dance of the yachts as the wind shifted from one direction to another. Out of the corner of my eye I noticed a sleek power cruiser just behind us was bringing up their anchor.
"Hey Barry! Is that you?" Startled from my contemplation of the dance I turned my head to see the power cruiser gliding past our starboard side. "It's me, Franco. You didn't tell me you'd arrived."
The penny dropped. Franco and I had been having a long email exchange for almost 6 months. Essentially he and his girlfriend Anna had sold their yacht in Asia and had wanted to buy something else in the Mediterranean. He'd been asking me all sorts of questions about Turkey.
As he glided past he shouted. "We'll re-anchor and then come over to see you with those promised cold beers." I grinned and gave a thumbs up as he disappeared out of hearing range.
We needed a few provisions so we lowered our dinghy and went ashore and arrived back to A B Sea just in time to welcome Franco and Anna on board where we shared many stories over some very cold beers.
A day later we received an invite from Franco to dinner on board his boat. Of course we accepted and were also promised a full tour of their floating home. I won't go into detail here as you can see it all in the video that accompanies this blog. All I will say is that I have engine room envy and Anna cooks up a super delicious Asian hotpot. Dinner will be on board A B Sea next time we meet. Cheers You Two.
Aannsha likes to swim off the back of the boat whenever she can and one afternoon as she climbed back on board she said "I think you need to look at where the painter is attached to the dinghy."
Inspection showed that the steel shackle was wearing away the painter attachment point at the bow. The once round hole was not definitely not round anymore. Most people simply tie the painter through the hole and leave it at that. However over time the painter will fray and usually at an inopportune moment it will break and the dinghy will float away.
To prevent this from happening we decided to add some chaff protection to the bit of the painter that goes through the hole by adding a small length of garden hose pipe. The pipe had been on board when we bought A B Sea and had sat in a locker the whole time just waiting for its day of glory in becoming useful. Never throw anything away.
Another issue that happens from time to time is a clunking at the port helm position. I know what it is and what causes it, but every time I fix it the issue comes back after a month or so.
The cause is a rusty link in the steering chain. The link does not bend like the others do and as it rides over the sprocket it clunks. It's not dangerous, it's just annoying. The temporary fix is easy to do as you'll see in this week's video.
Permatex Fast Break Super Penetrant spray. https://amzn.to/3l0F9MA
Like I said at the beginning of this blog "Maintaining, repairing and replacing stuff is an ongoing, never ending thing that will keep you busy".
Until next week, stay safe and healthy.
Follow the link to watch the video that accompanies this blog click here.
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