TUES 8 July    Hot and very breezy

Slipped 10.45 from Port Tomis Marina.

Lumpy sea which became quite rough with deep troughs; boat OK but when we tried to turn into a port to find fuel we had the wind on our beam and it was too uncomfortable in the roll, so we went on.

We came across the Romanian Navy’s 5 Minesweepers and slowly passed them.  We sent them a radio “dip” (it not being safe and seamanlike to dip our ensign as it is on the roof of Eos) to the last ship in convoy and when we passed the lead ship, they dipped their ensign - nice touch!

Came into MANGALIA, a brand new sport boat port, only opened two weeks ago, no water or electricity as yet.  Children turned all the taps on last week so Mayor decreed that the mains should be closed. Also the electricity is 3 phase which doesn’t suit most boats.

The town is trying very hard to come up in the world.  Shopped in an old market and ate on board.

A really cheerful German couple from East Berlin who have sailed all over the world on Regia, came on board to give us info on Turkey and will see us again in Marmaris; also the owner of Kleine Brise.


WED 9     Overcast 06.00    Later warm and sunny. A great thunderstorm, very, very heavy rain, thunder and lightening overhead.

Weather cleared a bit later, but decided not to sail, so a pottering day.

Met Marcus, a Dutchman, owner of Grethe Witting, a 1914 Lowestoft fishing smack which he and friends brought round from Holland. He lived and worked in Mangalia as an IT specialist before embarking on this sailing career taking 4 hr charters.  He had hoped to do longer trips but apparently the Romanians are not natural sailors and are taking time to get used to the sea; he has decided to start from the bottom up and set up sailing schools for children in Optimists.

The authorities are very frustrating, the Mayor has just changed and so has the political party.  The new harbour and pontoons has been built with EU money, now the new Mayor has to pay the contractor!

An American registered Romanian owned boat came in and obviously had had trouble with the anchor chain previously and spent a lot of time and bad language getting sorted.  This owner was not at all amused at the lack of water.

We ate out in town and had a smiley waitress.

Late to bed.

THU 10     Sun and  warm

Slipped 09.15.  Good sea state and a good run to BALCIK, in BULGARIA.

Rather difficult mooring as we were told to go in astern and got blown onto the pontoon!  We have only done 2 stern moorings and will get much better. Mooring fee 39.12 leva at 2.4/£. The town quite attractive, lots of bars, a small supermarket.

Supper on board.

No water or electricity on our pontoon, fuel will come by tanker in the morning.

Met a Scotsman with American accent married to a Bulgarian woman, 2 children who are off for serious sailing next day;

Noisy restaurant music, unluckily the boom, boom, went on nearly all night.


I woke up feeling really tired.  Moved across the harbour to jetty for the fuel tanker, fuelled and watered, finally left about 11.00. Acquired a Temporary Navigation Certificate and a clearance Permit.

Only a short day to VARNA, during which time the autopilot decided to do a 180 turn!  For some reason  I was  suffering from sleeping sickness.

Arr. Varna Yacht Club, everyone very friendly, just room for us alongside the quay.  Lunch at beach cafe about 15 mins walk past the harbour, but I didn’t eat.  Kevin and Ann went to explore the town and I went back to boat to sleep.

Later we went to explore, all the usual shops, Top Shop etc, but nowhere to buy food.

SAT 12    Hot and sunny.

Shopped or tried to.  Had a nice coffee and ice cream close to a Greek Orthodox Church where they were having a funeral.

We sorted out our bus travel arrangements for return on Tue.  Taxi drivers find it hard to understand “bus station” and “Istanbul”. They prefer “Otogar” and “Stamboul”

We are leaving the boat here for the summer, instead of pushing on to Istanbul- the difference in price for the berth was well worth it; as our flights are already booked we have to catch the bus from Varna to Istanbul - 9 hours.

Kevin and I swam in the Black Sea, he had a good long swim, I did about 5 mins; the water quite warm.

Drinks at “The Three Lions”, a bar run by Kicho and brothers, he is a Liverpool FC fanatic with memorabilia everywhere.  He even buys through the Club website.  Kicho has a slightly tatty 26ft. sailing boat ahead of us which he takes out regularly with crew, amongst whom is a very glamorous woman who manages to change out of sailing gear to arrive on deck looking a million dollars - sickening. Depends on your point of view!

Football chat has been the common language since Austria - must bring back more merchandise to hand out.

We hoped the Harbour Master would give us a yes/no answer to our staying,  but he doesn’t work Saturdays, we  want to leave on Monday.

SUN 13   Sun and very hot

Kevin and Ann went off by bus to Nesebar by the sea for a day away; a UNESCO world Heritage site, but apparently not warranted.

Mike and I sorted out boat ready for leaving her.  Pacific Princess registered in Bermuda, an enormous hotel ship, came in and all along the road into town were women selling their wares, mainly tatting, table cloths etc.

Men and women busy working till very late on the new Yacht Club building which has to be ready by the end of the month, in time for a series of sailing races.  The ladies with their besoms worked all day.

Sailing school for children in their Oppies, all having a lovely time, and so good about washing the boats down, furling sails etc.

Opposite us on the quay is an old salvage vessel, now the home of stray cats and kittens.

There is a constant stream of mainly elderly fishermen, don’t know how much they catch but it seems a good meeting place.

An Englishman, Ray, on a bike, came by for a chat, he is married to a Bulgarian film maker.


MON 14     Hot and sunny

Mid morning the Harbour Master came to say we could leave the boat here until September, as long as we make her thief proof!!  Ann and Kevin went back to the bus station to collect our tickets to Istanbul.

Got all washing done, boat cleaned, packing sorted, food eaten, hair washed.

Kicho’s sister Emilia will email us to let us know boat is Ok.

The charter boat owner next door has the key- still don’t know who he was.

Supper at 3 Lions, earlyish night.

TUES 15    hot and sunny

Up early for final clear.  The first taxi driver Kevin found said he wouldn’t take an English person!

2nd managed to get all the luggage in and took us to the bus station.

10.20 the comfortable air conditioned bus left, 553km to Istanbul.

The inland countryside is full of the most enormous oak forests and the villages look quite French.

We went down to the coast at Burgas and Nesebar, huge numbers of awful self contained apartment developments, some miles from the beach, remind me not to come here for a holiday.  A sign of the times, some neglected unfinished developments, also.

Back inland 1.5 hour delay at Bulgarian/Turkish border, that’s quite good.

Road re-building either side of border, EU money again.  We were delayed whilst a tree was felled and dragged away in front of coach.

We were supplied with coffee, water and small cakes by the efficient hostess, the coach drivers changed every two hours and were good.

Passengers were dropped off at various halts.

The drive through the suburbs was quite extraordinary and taking over an hour through massive housing developments, each one quite different from the next and each one type of design only, all facing the same way; Hollywood meets Asia via new England, reminds me a bit of Euro Disney hotel complexes.

Eventually arrived at the bus station in, it is vast, on two floors, Victoria coach station is tiny by comparison.  The drivers drive as though driving dodgem cars.  The noise of people selling their wares is indescribable; we managed to avoid the touts and found a pleasant taxi driver, about 20 mins to our hotel just below the Blue Mosque, though Kevin and Ann had a bad view from their room over the back yard.

We were starving and quite tired so supper just up the road, very good, but no alcohol.  A whirling dervish for entertainment.

Back to hotel for drink on the terrace overlooking the Sea of Marmora, the white wine which Ann and I had we decided was sherry and I poured mine into the pot plants.

Slept like logs and didn’t hear the Mullahs.

WED 16    Cloudy and thunder and torrential rain later

Good breakfast, lovely yoghurt but no fresh figs.

View from our bedroom window of a lovely fruit/veg market being set up, the arrangements made with such care.  I bought apricots.

Sightseeing, Hagia Sophia first, breathtaking especially the view from the enormous galleries  , the nave filled with scaffold for roof mending.

There are two gigantic marble urns either side of the main entrance, just beautiful.

Next through the touts, to the Blue Mosque, again lovely, though to my mind spoilt slightly by the quite intrusive low level lighting.  Most women visitors wearing a head scarf, but not all, and people sitting on the steps outside where there are large notices forbidding this as they are holy.

Next a walk up a steep hill passed some interesting shops and some new and some old clapboard houses, I wasn’t expecting this type of architecture.

We thought we would find a restaurant along the main road but think we were a bit too early.

Next to the bazaar area, but were rained off big time, so into a cafe where a small boy was enticing us in.  Found the beer twice the price of that in our hotel.  Met a Canadian couple who work near Maastricht.  They had camped in Romania thirty years ago and her father came from Liverpool.

Got absolutely drenched on the way back to hotel, I did have an umbrella and managed to roll up my trousers, the gutters of rushing water 3 - 4 inches deep and 3ft wide in places.  Mike had to change all his clothes and wring out his sweater.

Our driver to the airport for some reason wouldn’t keep the windscreen wipers going, nor the air con; with four damp bodies in the car and the torrential rain, visibility was almost nil and it took 1.25 hours.

Flight back to Luton was uneventful.  Fond goodbyes to Kevin and Ann who took the London train, thence to Petersfield.  We took Virgin shuttle bus to Milton Keynes, bought supper at Simply M & S, train to Liverpool, taxi home, cold!!  Emma and Graeme fast asleep.



Brilliant trip, enormously interesting; we were very fortunate with the weather, reading other people’s logs, they all seem to have had more wind and rain, bad visibility, rough water etc.  

Food shopping was a problem as we rarely stopped in the centre of towns, and I/we spent a lot of time traipsing back to the boat with heavy bags, we did take taxis where there were any.  The small shops hardly had anything one might want to buy and the meat was unrecognisable to our eyes especially the frozen which looked very old and stringy.  Good fruit and veg. Not much fish in spite of all the fishing.

I imagine the rural people grow their own fruit and veg, probably shoot for meat, and perhaps bring supplies to their town relatives.

We have been welcomed everywhere, sometimes rapturously!!




Pouring rain in England, cold and windy.  Warm in Varna

Emma took us and Alexandra to Lime Street, for 07.39 train, Wolverhampton/Gatwick. BA flight 15.03 to Varna in Bulgaria, late!  Good sandwiches at Gatwick, airport very busy.  Good food on plane also.

Ray, the man with the bike, came to meet us, very kind considering he and his wife Sasha were driving to Greece the next day.  We dropped our bags at the boat and went to 3 Lions for beers, Ray was very dismissive of it and didn’t think we should go to such establishments.  Horrid greasy chips and cheese, but nice burgers.

Slept like logs. Boat was in very good order and didn’t smell. Alexandra very excited as her first visit.


SUN 7  Hot

Off to supermarket Piccadilly and taxi back to get boat ready for next day departure.

Collected our boat key from charter yachtsman who had moved his boat to the other side of harbour.

The Yacht Club is finished and looks very good and new pontoons laid further up the harbour. Everyone around us is putting their boats to bed whilst we are getting ready for off.

After lunch we went to explore, up to the Cathedral which was closed, stopped for beer nearby at a very pleasant bar.  Newish theatre, opera house looks closed but bill boards outside indicate it is still operating.

The NATO fleet is “in” close by; German, Spanish, Polish, American and Bulgarian.

Didn’t see Kicho but left his “Anfield Road” street sign at the pub.

It will be sad to leave the fishermen, cats, and perambulating citizens of Varna, we have enjoyed the place.


MON 8   Hot   Sea state 1 but quite large rollers, wind 2 viz 10 miles

We had to delay our departure until NATO had left and the Americans were late, only the Germans looked really smart.

We had a long day to SOZOPOL which is a very flash large new marina, all boats, some very large, are GRP ? drug/black market money.

We felt a bit uncomfortable amongst all this plastic though harbour officials very welcoming, even coming on board to guide us to our berth.

There is across the bay a fishing port, Police authority boats, day trip boats etc.

Supper on board, too late to go out.

Very loud disco until 05.00, neither Alexandra nor I slept well.


TUE 09      Hot, some clouds. Sea state 1. Wind 1 viz 8

Mike had to inspect the oil filters etc. as port engine oil pressure down a bit.

Alexandra and I explored Sozopol, some grotty new and some lovely new buildings as well as nice old areas. Tourist stalls etc. some good bars, market, annual arts festival.

Slipped 12.45, short trip to TZAREVO. A busy fishing village/port.  Some quite large sailing boats.

Had to do a stern mooring, didn’t get our anchor out far enough on first attempt, but with the help of the border police and friendly advice from neighbouring yacht it became quite easy as long as there is no wind.

We are within the Police compound “EU & Nationalities/crew”.

Another Eos, local, came in, owner Georges, who with 2nd wife has six daughters and 1 son.  1 daughter is a pianist and played at the Leeds Piano Festival.

We went to the nice bar at nearest hotel.

We stopped by the Maritime Police Boat to report in.


WED 10     Dull and warm, hot later

Rough passage. Had to wait till police came to let us go.

The weather bad until 12.00, but not as rough as the Port Tomis/Mangalia day.  Still not very pleasant to start with, the wind lessening later in journey.  Once we had been cleared by the Police/customs, we had to leave, so don’t know what would have happened if there had been a storm, they obviously don’t care, leave us to the coast guard service I suppose. Nice form to get stamped, which I did twice on one sheet!

Now in TURKEY and IGNEADA, solely a fishing port.  We stopped first at the Rescue Station, met by 2 Marines who didn’t know what to do with us, but definitely we weren’t allowed ashore.  We should have just gone alongside the pier and that would have been that. Now we know better. Eventually after several telephone calls, we were told to anchor in the centre of the harbour.  Igneada is not a port of entry unless prior permission is given.

We spent a lovely evening basking in late sunshine, watching the fishing boats coming and going.

The Mullahs are competing with each other here and so are the dogs.


THURS 11     Sun, warm, no wind

Luckily we intended an early start, as the first fishing trawler sped passed us at exactly 07.00, the others following in a long procession, they dislodged our anchor and we started drifting, we obviously hadn’t had an adequate hold last night!  We sorted ourselves out and followed.  It is surprising that they don’t go very far and keep close together.

A lovely day, but the infamous Black Sea swell prevented us doing any deck work, like washing down.

We didn’t see a single ship/boat until nearly at KARABURUN, the harbour entrance not as tricky as the pilot book indicated, we think the entrance must have been dredged as quite large fishing boats in.  Very friendly crew on Enginler I allowed us alongside and gave us instructions to Istanbul.  The chef insisted on cooking us a fish dish, beautifully served.  They are going out tonight but as a common language doesn’t exist, we don’t seem to understand each other re the time!  Eventually they decided not to go out as the fishing is not good enough.  So now we have to clamber over two boats to get ashore.

We went out to a restaurant up the hill, quite good but waiter spilt tea over Mike’s new polo shirt and I can’t get rid of the stain.

Came back to find the kitchen bin knocked over, how did this happen? Just as Alexandra got into her bunk a long thin paw  scratched at the window, she nearly died of shock; it was the cat again who must have knocked the bin.  From now on we had trouble with wild cats.

Didn’t sleep very well, too many fishing boat movements.


FRI 12     Hot, hazy, calm sea

Slipped 08.30 with the exciting prospect of the Bosphorus ahead.

Just out of Rumelifereni (the last harbour before the Bosphorus) the local trawlers came out in great numbers and were more of a nuisance than all the merchant shipping we were about to encounter.

We had to call up the Istanbul harbour authorities to ascertain when we could go through, luckily as we are under 50ft. there is no restriction.  Nowadays shipping is very controlled and all have pilots on board and one-way pilotage, we were fortunate to be going towards shipping therefore no worries about huge ships trying to pass us on tight bends.

At each end of the Bosporus there are large numbers of ships at anchor either awaiting a pilot or waiting for a call for work, this last reason is increasing the numbers each week.

Each hill carries a very tall flagpole carrying an enormous Turkish flag, the flag is very important to the Turks.

On the European side are the most lovely houses or Yali, mainly Italianate, some with private moorings, only for the very rich I think.

We had an easy passage with Alexandra driving; even in central Istanbul the ferries were not a difficulty though luckily we did not have to go up the Golden Horn where there are hundreds of them.

We felt very privileged driving our own boat down this famous waterway past the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia etc.

Our stop for a few days is Atakoy Marina and although the boat men were very efficient, the shore staff were hopeless and quite uncaring; considering how expensive the marina is we think they are a disgrace. We were given a scruffy map of Istanbul and some very sparse instructions on signing into the country, this entailed an immediate visit to the Medical Centre at Karakoy ferry terminal by taxi.  As it was too late for more formalities we bought our fish supper from the open air market on the bridge.  Also huge walnuts which were cracked open for us.  Couldn’t find the no. 81 bus so taxi back.  Supper late, slept like logs.

SAT 13

hot sun Lazy start, tried to do more paper work at Passport Office at port, they hadn’t got an English visa stamp for Alexandra and wanted payment in dollars.  Eventually a stamp was found and we paid in Turkish lira.  Too late for any more work as all stop at 12.00, so into Istanbul for good sightseeing, Blue Mosque etc.  Alexandra and I found the Museum of Mosaics, brilliant ancient floors, which have been excavated from various sites and like jigsaws, put back together again.

Lunch then the Egyptian Spice Market and old Bazaar Quarter, bought T. delight and other sweets and T saffron.  Lots of glorious things to buy if you are in the right mood and not too hassled.

Stopped for cups of chai, though A and I ended up with bright green and orange tea which was disgusting.  Fascinating watching the groups of men playing backgammon - you wouldn’t find this in the UK.

For supper we went up to the Beyoglue/Galatasarey area, just wonderful, the whole world strolling, drinking, eating, lots of roof terrace eating areas, but we decided street level was more interesting.  The waiter decided Alexandra was worth 3.5 camels, she not amused, thought 10 better.  Food quite good, ambiance good.  I found a very busy bakery where huge wheels of bread were made in a huge oven; as it is Ramadan you can only buy bread in the evenings.   Unfortunately the crooked taxi driver accused us in the street of not paying when actually we had, he had swapped a 10tl note for a 1, still only crook so far.

Found the 81 bus back to boat.


SUN 14    Hot

Ferry to Uskudar on Asian side.  Good food shopping, Mike bought himself a honeycomb from specialist honey shop. Turkish coffee which I am still not sure about.  Calamari for lunch, back on ferry for A to pack and taxi to airport, sad to see her leave, a good hand and good fun.

Roger and Diana Cozens from Surrey next door in the latest  Dutch sea going motor boat, Gemini Duo, all very shiny.  They too had come down the Danube, had had much worse weather in the Black Sea and their Bosporus trip not nearly as good as ours.

Trying to re-jig our itinerary as Emma’s airline has gone bust and we are behind schedule, also trying to fit in Peter - not easy.  

MON 15     Hot and hazy, more wind.

Mike went off to try and finalise our entry into Turkey! He eventually returned about 13.00, too late to leave today so had to pay a further marina fee - ouch.  Washed the boat, shopped at good supermarket.  Gemini Duo for drinks, late supper.  

I keep forgetting to mention the elderly, mainly women, who sit for hours on the kerb with a weighing scale, waiting for people to be weighed, I have never seen anyone do this.  Also old men selling small packets of tissues.

TUE 16    Hot, hazy sun, sea state 1

Slipped 08.30 for fuel jetty, 300 and 200 litres P/S tank.  09.30 left for south coast of the Sea of Marmara across the separation lanes - no problem.  Might have seen porpoise/dolphin/shark.  At one point the sea is 1217 m. deep!!

Stopped for night in KATIRLI/ESENKOY, alongside in nice square harbour, water and electricity.  

Market day, forced to buy half kilo of green chillies, the Turks don’t seem to have intermediate weights on their scales.

The school boys wear blue smocks and wide white collars, the girls in tartan skirts, white shirts, ties, white socks and black shoes, all looking very smart and clean.

The mosque is very close.  Bought shrimps for supper from boat in the harbour.

Only men in cafes drinking tea and reading the paper all day, or playing backgammon or mahjong.  Still Ramadan.

Brilliant trampoline, large rectangle with six separated slightly sunken mats, all within very high safety nets, and at 21.30 still being used by the youth of the town, what an easy way to take the tickle out of their toes.

The chillies turned out not to be hot, more like very thin green peppers.

Mike wired up our new NAVTEX.

WED 17     Hot, sun hazy, s/s 1 later  

No bread, nothing open at 08.00.  Slipped 08.35 onto mill pond sea but small swell.

Decided not to stay at CAKILKOY as if weather turned bad there would be more shelter at KARSIYAKA.

How wrong we were.  This almost deserted fishing port is in a terrible state of disrepair, looks like earthquake damage.We were troubled by hordes of boys and teenagers who wanted money which we didn’t give them.  Eventually the fishermen told them to be off.

We had a massive thunderstorm and lightening, we still have leaks in parts of the boat.

So many fishermen and boats arriving to find us taking up their quay space!  All 4 abreast.  They have probably come in as there will be live target practice at sea tomorrow.ow wrong we were, H

THUR 18     Sun/cloud/wind

Slept till 08.00.  Internet cafe out of order and no electricity in village.  We made a tour of the village which confirmed the earthquake damage.  Although very decrepit there is no smell!  The fishermen behind us said a force 5 was about to arrive, by lunch it hadn’t so set off 2 miles up the coast to CAKILKOY, another earthquake damaged village but a bit more put together.

We were the only non-fishing boat in harbour so made quite a mark.  After school we were surrounded by the very smartly dressed schoolgirls who bought their English school books to show us, also a jar of olives.  In return we gave them Liverpool FC postcards, which they were pleased about.  Mike went off to explore and ended up like the Pied Piper of Hamelin.

Lots of old ladies on donkeys, mothers and daughters also, 3 wheel motor bike type machine for pulling carts of manure.  This appears a very male dominated society.

FRI 19   Cloudy and wind

Decided we couldn’t stay here, first the boys were a nuisance and secondly we were definitely in the way of fishing boats; our attempt to round the corner going west was thwarted by the rather too big seas so turned around and went up the gulf to BANDIRMA.  Realised that Bandirma is where the RORO ferry had capsized last week at the mouth of the harbour, we had been given this info by NAVTEX.  Passed the floats, oil slick preventers etc. and on shore a massive rescue operation with divers, police etc. so we would be very safe on their jetty for a few days whilst waiting for the wind to die down.

Found a man to mend the sewage pump motor- not well though.  Bought lovely sweetmeats.

No beer available in bars as still Ramadan.  Long queues at restaurants at sunset when eating is allowed.

It is dark by 20.00 which is a bit disconcerting.  Slept very well.

SAT 20    Wind, no sun

Continued painting the decks grey/blue; it will be a slow job as paint very thick in spite of using thinners.

Shopped for fish and octopus, the supermarket not very useful. Mike has the nasty job of sorting out pump and grey tank.  More painting but got too cold.

Wind getting up

There is a very long breakwater with a continuous stream of people walking to the end - I don’t know whether just to walk or to pay respects to those who died in the ferry accident.

Sorted out travel bumph collected since July 06.

Our fish were too much so only ate one, don’t know which type.

VERY windy at night, force 6/7 and hoped the boat to which we are attached is itself well attached to the shore.

SUN 21    Wind, cloud, rain later  

Wind abated somewhat but not nearly enough for us to venture out as next port of call is some distance. Too windy/wet for deck painting also, so tidied and cleaned inside - boring.

Mike changed oil in both engines and sorted out grey tank pump again.  Lunch out, but because we wanted a beer and were eating before sunset, we were taken upstairs out of view.  Salad, lamb cutlets and halva, all nice but not special.  

Did more sorting out of magazines etc.

Early to bed.

MON 22    no wind early, brightening up. Sun later and high cumulus

Slipped 09.45 after Mike had been back to the pump man.  Sea still with a swell but not unfriendly.

Passed by KARSILYAKA and CAKILKOY again.  Good day, past Marmara Island, famous for its marble.  Only saw one ship and 3 fishing boats.  Came into AKSAZ a tiny fishing harbour where we were welcomed by the whole male population, originally alongside but realised they didn’t want us there so came stern too at the end of the jetty.  I didn’t sleep a wink as thunder and lightning all around and at first I was convinced our anchor was dragging.

Several fishing boats came in late, lots of comings and goings but no fish, think there is a scam, grants for new gear etc but no check on catches.

TUES 23     Fine and clear, mill pond, strong rain later

Slipped 07.30, bit of a lop.  No probs with the shipping lanes through the Dardanelles, just as we were crossing the lanes again to get into CANAKKALE the heavens opened and viz not good.  Cleared soon and we made it into the harbour where we are moored stern to with only a bit of trouble!!

Caught ferry to ECEBAT (nearest port for the Dardanelle battle fields and memorials) on the north side only to find we had missed the last dolmus bus and no way of getting to the memorials except by paying too much to rather bolshy taxi drivers, so decided it was not a place to be hurried or harried and that we would come back another time.

Supper along the quayside.  Just as we were leaving for supper “Mary Hay” from Dartmouth came alongside, a North Shore 40ft. looking very nice.  They are the first CA people we have met so put up our burgee, but they were not keen on talking, we are a motor boat and obviously not worth talking to in spite of flying a blue ensign.

We had seen the occasional black flipper, not sure if porpoises or dolphins; also seagulls, cormorants and flocks of what look like black backed terns but not able to identify exactly.

Dirty and worn winkle pickers and pale coloured socks are favoured by men here, the shoes turned up at toes and heels bent down, presumably to speed up taking shoes on and off when visiting the mosque.

The large private yacht, Caribbean registered in Atakoy Marine, Istanbul is moored in the middle of the harbour.

Slept very well, good thing too after the last two sleepless nights!

Did 2 washes but filled the grey tank, so must keep to one wash at a time.

WED 24    Sun, no wind, viz good

Slipped 08.30, didn’t disturb Mary Hay.  Passed through the remainder of Dardanelles, Turkish and British memorials, the ANZAC memorials are the other side of promontory.

Turned south down Aeolian coast in brilliant sunshine and calm blue sea.

Think Hellespont, Hero and Leander and Byron who swam the straights in 1810.

Decided to make the extra trip to ASSOS.  Part of the harbour wall is 2000 years old.  

A delightful setting, several hotels, bars etc, baskets of flowers and an air of wanting to please the customer.  One hotel the KERVANSARAY looks particularly inviting.  Met a Canadian women on tour with Imaginative Travel, a British firm specialising in small groups, intellectual and economical.

The mooring bollards are the old original ones as is the light tower at entrance.

The adjacent fisherman found room for us and very kindly lent us his stern anchor which saved us getting ours out.  Difficult to thank him, he obviously wouldn’t want a drink, we offered him tea, in the end we left a boat pc saying thank you in Turkish.

Went for drink after supper, at the first hotel the barman deliberately didn’t serve us, better luck at the 2nd.  Had ice-cream in on the spot made cone.

On the way round the coast we had seen one or two architect designed houses, the first decent houses seen.  The new housing is quite extraordinary, usually built on a steep hill, the road going straight up with speed bumps often and the houses all the same.  In the next area, same layout but different design, mostly unfinished and apparently over 90% have no planning permission, don’t comply with earthquake regs and are not occupied - another scam??


THURS 25     Dull, wind later

Slipped 09.15, sea OK to start but wind got up so did the waves, great joy to be accompanied by dolphins again - Mike did sterling work at the helm, but once in the lea of Alibey Adasi all was calm;

We decided not to go on but to anchor in the south end of GUMUS KOYU, just as well as Mike suddenly suffered from an upset stomach - hasn’t filled the black tank yet!

I painted the decks whilst an elderly fisherman rowed around the boat singing songs to me, well I think they were songs, rather dirge like!

FRI 26    Dull, then brighter, no wind. Warm sun later

Very windy later Decided strong winds wouldn’t be with us for the morning so slipped 09.30 ish and had a good run to DIKILI; we could probably have gone on further but Mike still not 100%.

A busy fishing harbour, we tied up alongside an out of work trawler and just as I had gone shopping and Mike asleep, we had to move to allow a fishing boat to come alongside inside us.  V friendly and gave us calamari.

Dikili is a good shopping place.  Mike slept and I read my book as fishermen still on board and I didn’t want to paint decks whilst they were around.

A very busy evening with trawler men coming and going; By golly they know how to handle their boats, with great gusto like the coach drivers in Istanbul.

The big gullet anchored outside the harbour had to move to Bademli.

SAT 27     Sun, wind dying down  Force 6-7

Hassled by trawler men, decided to leave as we are obviously in their way.  Five miles up the coat to BADEMLI LIMANI, a lovely inlet with olive groves on one side, a castle and a village at head of inlet and depending where you are, hot springs, but we had to work - more deck painting!!  The gulet had a rough night too.

Suddenly the wind went round and we had to up anchor and move as we were swinging too close to shore.  Unfortunately a German catamaran, Wahoo from Koblenz (I think we saw her on the Danube somewhere) came to anchor a bit too close to us, which necessitated us being on anchor watch all night.

SUN 28     Sun, a bit less wind, cloud later

Tired! not going anywhere.  Moved to other side of the bay where we were more sheltered.  

As we were fiddling around with anchor and spring, a local Turkish fisherman came by, inviting us to move into the inner “harbour” near the village.  He was insistent that we follow him exactly as the entrance was VERY narrow between shallow water and rocks.

After two attempts to find a holding, we spent a peaceful day painting and electric works.

The village looks attractive, a hotel and a public park along the waterfront and huge stone oil jars placed decoratively here and there.

Some really attractive houses, two of which have the most delightful permanent gazebos on waterfront.

The island guarding the bay has apartments/houses built to look like ancient fortifications.

We dragged our mooring a bit so had to start again, only a large clump of weed was holding us.

Not many cormorants but more guillemots.

MON 29     Bright and warm

08.30 slipped. When we pulled up the anchor we had been caught by someone’s mooring weight, gravel in a plastic woven sack; luckily the wind had died down.  Decided not to stop at another anchorage and continued to CESME, all the time watching the weather but we managed to keep ahead of the wind and rain.

The harbour is large with plenty of space between pontoons, practically deserted as the whole marina is being reorganised having been bought recently by Camper & Nicholson.  I suspect they will make more space for smaller craft as at present there is too much space given to the 50 footers and above.  Efficient and affable harbour master.

Quick shop and a beer outside.  Ramadan finishes tonight.

Wind got up and harbour master decided to move us away from the end wall where we were being thrown around.

A house overlooking the harbour has huge picture windows and reminds me of Alexandra’s dolls house.

A strange man looks English standing outside his (?) hardware store in a John Cleese pose; wears black socks and sandals with hands folded across his chest - “don’t you dare come to buy”!!

SUN 30    Sun and no wind

This is a really nice place, lovely Genoese castle and good houses.

A national holiday so the rather good chandlery is closed, luckily food shops open.

The Muezzin sound more cheerful.

Mike is making chocks for the dinghy to rest on, out of the old TV table teak so very smart.  I painted the remainder of decks, much nicer in blue/grey than the original sand colour.

Late supper.

WED 1 OCTOBER     Sun, light breeze.  s/s 1/2

Lovely sail/motor all the way to Vathi on Samos, only saw 2 merchant ships, 5 fishing boats and a dead turtle, poor thing.

Samos town delightful.  We are alongside the town quay, quite a surge when the enormous ferries arr/dep.  The customs officer is Greek but was born in Australia and we had no difficulty with our papers.  The customs department are having a real problem with illegal immigrants, here we saw Somali or Ethiopians, about 100 coming from their detention camp on way to ferry to be taken somewhere? their worldly possessions in green plastic bags, lots of women in this group. Other problem groups come from Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran etc. by land until the Samos straights which are only 1km wide; those from Africa come up the Red Sea, thence by land from Eastern Med countries.

Supper out, good fish.

We are in Saga  holiday land again and the world of the badly dressed.  Also met Californian Americans on a gap year.

Our next stop was to be round the corner in Pithagorion to pick up Emma, Graeme and the three boys.

2008 Log- Constanta to Samos

Crew: Mike, Gillie

Constanta to Varna: Kevin and Anne Kinsella

Varna to Istanbul: Alexandra Tomkinson