There are no marinas along the Black Sea coast, just lots of fishing harbours. You don’t get many yachts along this coast. There is a saying that there are three safe harbours July, August and the town of Sinop. The next harbour was a small one, Caylioglu, but what a welcome we received. There was traditional dancing and music being played on our arrival.
We were given cay (tea). Ian can’t quite believe that there are people here who can out drink him on the tea front, that takes some beating. We were then loaded into local buses and taken to a nearby town where we visited a church and then onto an arts school. Here they produced fabric similar to linen from picking the plants and then weaving it all by hand on a loom. It is a very long process to create the fabric.
The following morning after a very nice dinner the villagers served us with breakfast. They were also preparing food for us for later which is normally what would be served at a wedding. They certainly knew how to do cater for big numbers with the big metal pots, which we were all given the chance to stir. It was very hot, so you wouldn’t want to be doing that for too long.
As wood is plentiful many of the old houses were built with wood. In fact when sailing, you have to avoid the twigs and branches, some of them quite big which have come down from the rivers and into the sea.
David and Sarah from Wandering Star, were anchored in the bay and they joined us for a few drinks on the quayside where local musicians were entertaining us. David proudly showed us his large bottle of beer he’d found and it was cheaper than the usual stuff. Panic soon ensued when it was pointed out that it might be non alcoholic beer. After some help of Google translate, I don’t know where we would be without that at times, we deciphered that the slogan translates as “alcohol is not your friend”. Some big phews all around.
After two nights we were making our way to Gerze. This sail was my type of sailing, lovely and calm with the sun shining. Now contrary to popular belief I don’t sit in the sun very often now but today I thought I’d lay on the trampoline, read my book and take in some rays. How delusional was I. Ten minutes in, barely time to get myself settled and I’m told the spinnaker is going up, a big sail, which, yes, you’ve guessed it, completely shaded the boat.
Gerze is a tourist town for the Turkish, so it was quite lively in the evening with lots of people wandering along the waterfront, it’s a bit like being in a goldfish bowl. Although one couple decided they’d venture a little bit further than that and plonk themselves on the back our boat and take some photos!!
The following morning we were given a wonderful Turkish breakfast, the best so far. A Turkish breakfast consists of eggs (ours were boiled) jam, honey, olives, tomatoes, cucumber, pastries with cheese in (like spring rolls), bread and lots of cay (tea). There can be other bits too we had some chips.
The first place we went to were some waterfalls. We turned off main road and onto a narrow dirt track where in some places it was just about the width of the minibus and a sheer drop. Didn’t do much for the nerves. We hadn’t appreciated that we would have to trek down to the waterfalls but it was worth it. There were some brave, I’m being kind, I’d call them mad who ventured into the water under the waterfall, which was very cold. You didn’t need to be told it was cold the look on their faces said it all.
Our last stop for the day was an old mansion house called Yakup Aga Mansion built in 1911 by Yakup Ağa’s father, Hacı Zekeriya Efendi, who immigrated from the Caucasus in 1864 and took refuge in Ottoman lands when the Russians forced Muslims to settle outside of Russia.
It was an early start the next day 72 nm to Samsun which may not seem a lot by road but it was a 12 hour day.