Black Sea Rally – we’re rocking!

Having arrived in Sile (Sheelay) on Friday 1st July, we were due to be here for just two nights.  Well, the wind had different ideas to that and so we were port bound at the second hurdle and stayed four nights instead.

Our first full day in Sile was a tour of the town and our first stop was a textile centre where they made Sile Beze.  The yarn for the cloth is put in a flour like paste and boiled.  It is then woven into fabric on looms then washed in the sea and left to dry on the sand.  The fabric is similar to cheesecloth.  There are four centres in the area and they were set up to provide employment for women.  There are currently 500 women employed and no one is turned away who wants work. 

Our next port of call was the Life boat centre.  It was originally set up by the British and French in 1869 for the Crimean war. 

Sile has a castle and a lighthouse.  The castle is 12th century overlooking the harbour and was restored in 2015.  The lighthouse, which has the longest range in Turkey, was constructed in 1859 to guide the ships from the Black Sea into the Bosporus during the Crimean war. 

Sakligol, a hidden lake, is a manmade lake a few miles out of town. It is a beautiful setting and many people go there to propose or to renew their wedding vows.  So, as we’d not been on a boat for about five hours, we took a boat ride along the lake. 

We were having dinner with the Mayor of Sile.  So, after visiting the lake, we naturally assumed we’d go back to the boat and have a quick freshen up beforehand as we’d been out since 10.30.  Lesson learned, never assume. 

As we had longer in Sile than originally anticipated Sunday was a free day which meant catching up with chores, particularly as we have a packed itinerary.  Ian was very pleased it was a free day as it was the British Grand Prix so he watched it with some of the other guys, followed by Mexican dominoes on Cuffysark, if you’ve never heard of this game look it up, great fun.  We had a long day the following day so sensibly, of course not, well you knew it wouldn’t last, this time we didn’t have an early night! 

The next day so as not to miss the sights we were due to see at the next port we had a coach take us there.  It was a rocking day and I don’t mean in the musical sense.  We first visited a site where they created charcoal.  Next we took, yes another boat trip, down the Goksu river.  A novel way to cross the river in a carriage on wire. 

The landscape along the coast is quite spectacular, with some unusual rock formations and we visited a few sites.  The coach took us down some dirt track roads and then off road up and down the fire break in the hillside, who’d have thought we’d be doing that in a coach. 

We visited the small village of Kerpe, where youngsters were jumping off the side of the rock formations.  Can you spot a pair of legs in the air?  The young lad jumped from the large rock on the right hand side. 

We also visited Pembe Kayalar, Pink Rock, which is an ancient quarry.  Stone from here is believed to have been used in the construction of the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul. 

We had lunch on the edge of a river where the fish were fighting over the bread.  Quite a funny thing to see with the bread going round and round where the fish were chasing it.

The weather was more in our favour and so after four nights in Sile we set sail for Kefken Adasi, a small island with a sheltered harbour, to anchor for the night.  Before we could make our way we had to show our appreciation to Sile for its hospitality and we did the circle of love, which means going round in a circle a few times before heading off. The coastguard was in the middle doing is own circle.

We managed to sail to the anchorage rather than motor but sadly we had a particularly big gust of wind and Ian’s beloved code zero, a sail to you landlubbers, was no more.  He’s had his eye on a new sail for a while, hmmm. 

July 2022

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