Monthly Archives: September 2022

The Dardanelles and out into the Aegean Sea

We left Avsa Adasi and headed off. We anchored in a small harbour, Lapseki,  just before the 1915 Canakkale bridge as we didn’t fancy mooring up in Canakkale with such strong winds.  Yes, the wind was still with us, this Meltemi (very strong wind) was lasting for longer than usual.  We had two reefs in the mast and a reefed gib this time.  Our fastest speed on this trip surfing down waves was was 15.4knots.  Ian and John thought it was great, not me so much!

We arrived in Canakkale the next day in calmer weather.  John and Ian did a guided tour of Gallipoli, visiting the war graves.  As we’d already been before I decided to stay on the boat, put my feet up and enjoy the peace and quiet, I wish!!  The boat had so much salt on it from our time in Avsa and the inside needed cleaning so that’s was my day, cleaning inside and out.  Yes, I just sat down as the boys arrived back. 

We’d been to Cannakkale a couple of times before but we’d not been to the Naval Museum before.  We only chanced upon it so decided to pay a visit. 

Part of the wreckage of a German submarine, UB46, is displayed here.  She sank four ships during her six months career.  In early December 1916, in the Black Sea near to the entrance of the Bosphorus she hit a mine and sank.  The wreckage was found on the shores of Akpinar Village during open cast coal mining in September 1993. 

These are net anchors used to prevent submarines passing through the straits

A replica of the Ottoman navy ship, The Nusret, is moored here.  She was a minelayer during the Gallipoli campaign.  The Nusret laid 26 mines in an unexpected position in February 1915 and sank HMS Irresistible, HMS Ocean and the French battleship Bouvet, and left the British battle cruiser HMS Inflexible badly damaged. 

Within the museum is Çimenlik Castle.  The castle is located on the narrowest part of the Dardanelles and was built by Mehmet the Conqueror in 1462 to protect the Dardanelles.

Ian always says that the cheapest beer in Turkey is in Canakkale.  The bar is basic inside but sitting outside with a table it’s no different to any of the other bars along the promenade.  So for 32tl (£1.50) we stopped for one, well perhaps a couple. The Turkish guys behind us gave it the thumbs up 😁

Whilst here we heard the news of the passing of Queen Elizabeth.  It was headline news even here in Turkey.  We paid our respects by dropping our flag to half mast. 

We wanted to go to the harbour at Assos, but the wind has to be fairly light as it’s very narrow and shallow so not the easiest place to get into but we managed it, mooring up bow to.  To get off the boat you have to step onto the wall next to the tables for the hotel restaurant.  The moon here was amazing unfortunately the photo doesn’t do it justice. 

Men at Work

We arrived at Ayvalik and managed to get a spot in the marina here.  The only available place for us meant walking through a building site, literally, while they were digging up the concrete, in the boat yard.  This is where Johnny would be leaving us after his trip starting at Sile in the Black Sea, down the Bosperous, to Istanbul, Cannakale for Gallipoli and to final stop Ayvalik.  He’d covered a good few miles with us. 

Here we met up with Serafina and we had dinner aboard Cuffysark.  Colin played a few tunes on his guitar.  We had a great night on Johnny’s penultimate night. 

The island of Cunda is connected to Ayvalik via the Ayvalık Strait Bridge, we’d not been before so we decided to make a visit.  The town is a very quaint.

The Taksiyarhis Church houses another of the Rahmi Koç Museums.  The Church was in a very dilapidated state but it was restored over 22 months and opened as a Rahmi Koç museum in 2014.  The restoration of the church is fabulous There are three Rahmi Koç museums in Turkey, one in Ankara, one in Istanbul and the other in Cunda.  We have now visited all three.  The museums feature mechanical and industrial objects.  The one in Cunda included a wide range of toys. 

September 2022

The final leg and back south we go

Fish from the fisherman

We were now getting near to the end of our Black Sea trip.  We left Amasra and headed to a fishing harbour at Kilimli.  The locals rushed to help us with our lines.  A little later a guy arrived with a bag of fish, freshly caught and he insisted we take it.  I had two on the bbq and made fish cakes with the remaining four.  We discovered that they were Palamut (Bonito) which is a mackerel type fish. 

We next arrived at Akçakoca which has a mosque that looks quite impressive from the sea.  It was different to the usual mosques you see, it was a white modern building with a roof that is inspired by the Seljuk Bristle Tent rather than the usual single roof system.  Construction started in 1989 and it was opened in 2004. 

The town was named after a 14th century, Akçakoca Bey, a Turkish chieftain who captured the area for the Ottoman Empire during the establishment of the Ottoman Empire. 

Along the seafront was a long row of head busts which there is no information about.  However, with some research on one of the busts we believe the head busts relate to people who founded Turkish states, not necessarily within Turkey and for how long that state existed. 

We next went to one of the two anchorages in the Black Sea, Kefken Island, which is in fact a safe refuge for boats.  We stayed here for a couple of nights taking in the tranquillity before we headed off to Sile where our good friend John was meeting us so he could take the journey down the Bosporus with us.

We were visiting Istanbul for the third time this year.  Everywhere was, very very busy lots of queues, not like when we visited in 2020 where we walked straight into places.  Much better for the local economy but not so good for visiting.  We did venture into the Blue Mosque but it was still being renovated although the roof has now been completed.  It was difficult to see as there is so much scaffolding in the building. 

We took John to the only bar in Istanbul we could find previously that sold a beer.  This is where you need to keep your hands in as the tram is touching distance. We also had a cay in the Grand Bazaar.

We’re headed back to another place we’d already been to, West Istanbul Marina, this was so that Ian could replace the fixed prop for a new folding prop replacing the one we, that’s the Royal we, managed to loose.  So up Cuffysark goes again but this time stayed in the slings for a changeover and then dropped back down again.  We saw some ducks have a meeting on the quay. 

There were some strong winds forecast and so we headed to our safe haven on Avasi Island.  The wind was between 18 and 25 knots, thankfully down wind and we were surfing on waves getting up to a maximum speed of 13.4 knots.  You can see how much of the sails are reefed, so those who know Ian, will realise it must have been very windy for him to reef this much! We saw a big group of dolphins.  One of the things we noticed in the Black sea was it was rare not to see dolphins on any trip.

The following morning the wind was so strong we were being pushed on the wall more than we liked so there was nothing for it but to move the boat to the other side of the harbour, which was no mean feat.  With the help of some locals we manged to tie up Cuffysark on the other side which was much calmer. 

The sun hadn’t been out much so Ian decided he would put the generator on which hadn’t been used in nearly two years so as a result he had to do a bit of maintenance.  I was cleaning the side of the boat as the other side of the harbour had lovely new black tyres which leave a big black mark on the boat.  I suddenly heard those immortal words “ oh f**k”.  Next things Ian’s stripping off and jumped into the water to retrieve the cover of the generator.  Panic over!  You’ll be pleased to know he got the generator working. 

We took a taxi into Avasi town and had a nice lunch along the sea front.  Still very windy but hot.  One of the local dogs dug himself a hole in the sand under a table to keep cool and out of the sun. 

September 2022