We left Kefken Avasi and sailed 55nm to Eregli (pronounced Erelee) which took us a little over nine hours. The local mayor was hosting a dinner and we had just over an hour before we had to leave. At this precise time the water pump decided to stop working which is not great when you want a shower. Ian spent half an hour clambering around in the engine room and managed to get it working again. He can be pretty useful at times!
We were taken by coach to a locally run municipal restaurant. We picked up a couple of strays too, David and Sarah on Wandering Star.
Our starter was a plate of various dips and other bits. Talking to someone on the rally, they said you would normally expect Raki to accompany this plate but there was only water on the table and as it was a municipal event they weren’t expecting any. Raki is a big favourite in Turkey, similar to Pernod. Well, we just all needed to have a bit of patience as next out came the Raki glasses and the Raki. There was also music and dancing. It was a great evening.
Eregli is home to Hell’s Mouth Caves. Jason and the Argonauts, from Greek Mythology, visited the caves whilst searching for the Golden Fleece. The Golden Fleece is the fleece of the ram that kidnapped the sacrificial children of Athamas, the king of Boetya, from Georgia.
The first cave is known as Church Cave and according to records it was named this as it was used by Christians to worship in secret, as they feared the paganists.
Heraclius Cave is down some very narrow steps. Mythology says this is one of the entrances to the home of the underground God Hades and was where the battle of Heracles and the monster dog, Kerberus took place.
The third cave is Ayazma, which means holy water.
We next visited the City Museum which is situated in a 19th century Ottoman house over four floors. Interestingly it had signs to tell you where to take “selfies”. We also visited the “Alemdar” a ship used in the Turkish War of Independence.
We had another long trip of 55nm. Our rally commodore told us we should leave at 6am. Our schedule showed we were to do the circle of love. It takes a while to get everyone off the jetties so we thought we won’t rush. Ian’s thought was we’d get up at 6.30am, me on the more cautious side set the alarm for 6am which brought me out of a very deep sleep. I popped my head up into the saloon to discover just three boats left on the jetty one of which was already manoeuvring off. So, Ian not known for wanting to get up in the morning, leapt out of bed and by 6.06am we’d released the lines and we were off only to discover there was no circle of love after all and we could have had the extra half an hour! A nice sailing day with Ian’s pink spinnaker up. We arrived in Asmara and tied up and this is the view of our time there. The pontoon was for ferries and as a result was so steep we didn’t get off the boat. The Passarelle would have been vertical. The youngsters from the local sailing club made bay leaf wreaths for us all.
Thankfully the next port, Kurucasile, was just 16nm away. So, as we got a lie in, we did a circle of love for the locals. They must wonder what is going on when there are 20 odd boats going round and round in circles. The pontoon wall at Kurucasile wasn’t quite as high this time but it was a case of sliding down on your backside to get back down the passarelle.
Wooden boats are made here. There are lots of trees here so resources are readily available. It was a struggle to get Ian away from here, as it’s his favourite subject, Boats!!!
Inebolu was our next stop, another early start, 5.55am, as we had places to see when we got there and was only there for the one night. No, we aren’t hanging about, we have a lot of miles to cover in two months. We were told that on this trip there is a maritime ritual when we pass Cape Kerempe that we must throw bread into the sea so as not to anger Poseidon, the God of the Sea in Greek Mythology.
The sea was strange here, there were two quite distinctive colours which we believe is where a river runs into the sea. There are lots of logs, twigs to try to avoid too.
During the Turkish War of Independence, arms and ammunition arrived in Inebolu from Istanbul. The goods were then transferred by a dirt road to Ankara. This route is known as the Independence Trail, Istiklal Yolu. Inebolu was the only town in Turkey to be awarded the Independence medal for its efforts in the fight for independence.
In 1925 Ataturk visited Inebolu and he made a speech launching his campaign to reform how the Turks dressed in a more western style. It is known as the Hat and Dress Revolution. As a result of this a law passed in late 1925 that made it mandatory for all men to wear Western style hats in public places, although it wasn’t compulsory to wear a hat. There were stiff penalties for those who did not comply.