Kurukulla at Englishman's Bay, Tobago

Sunday, 17 July 2011

On to Istanbul

Canakkale marina and the Turkish commemoration
Clock Tower, Canakkale

Batteries for Camilla in Canakkale there were not but Mike Kear and Melvin Parkinson joined Kurukulla, as planned, on the morning of Tuesday the 12th; thus it was that we finally left Canakkale in the early hours of Wednesday morning, 0400 to be precise, in order to take advantage of the lighter early morning winds. Sailing against wind and current was out of the question and so we motored upstream, staying in the shallows to avoid the worst of the current. By 0830 we were anchored in the harbour at Lapseki and passed a lazy day resting and sunning.
Sunset parade at Lapseki
Camilla arrived an hour and a half later just as the winds started to bite, they were somewhat less keen on the early start!
Happy skipper, beer in hand.
Next morning was a similar routine only this time we opted for a 0600 start, again leaving Camilla to catch up later. Our objective was Karabiga, inside the Sea of Marmara, some 40 miles away but again upwind. We motored for the first hour and a half and then, once clear of the Dardanelles, we set a full main and the No 2 genoa, it having been rigged whilst we were in Canakkale. After four hours we were overtaken by Camilla motoring at full power into wind and at 1700 we joined them alongside in Karabiga to be regaled with their stories of having hit a rock at 6 knots whilst trying to find a suitable anchorage for lunch! A quick inspection of her keel-bolts and a later dive on the outside revealed that no movement or serious damage was visible; lucky! That evening, after supper in Kurukulla, we decided that the send in the harbour was making it too uncomfortable for the two boats to remain alongside each other and so we took Kurukulla out into the bay, in the shelter of the headland, and anchored for what proved to be a very comfortable night.
Swimming or diving in the Sea of Marmara is severely curtailed by the number of jelly fish, there are literally millions, and we have yet to find an anchorage which is not swarming with them. The locals seem very prepared to take their chances and swim amongst them but I have to say I am not so sure!
Our next destination was a bay on the south side of the island of Pasalimani Adasi, near Balikli.
Camilla close to leeward
This time Camilla lost patience with light wind sailing and motored on ahead whilst we sailed the distance. Their first attempt to anchor in our chosen bay was rebutted by a group of ladies in burqas who invited them to leave, presumably a women only beach! We joined them at an adjacent beach a couple of hours later. This time it was supper in Camilla followed by a film, “Mrs Dalloway”, in Kurukulla.
The following day we sailed off the anchor and headed across the Marmara Bogasi (the strait separating Marmara Adasi from the mainland) to Topagac on the SE coast of Marmara Adasi. On the way we had some close tacking practice and a fun sail on the wind.
The port at Topagac, Marmara Adasi
The anchorage in the bay was somewhat open but given the benign conditions seemed suitable for the night, and so it proved.
Ocaklar on Kapidag peninsula
Next morning Camilla set off in the early hours for an earlier appointment in Istanbul and Kurukulla sailed back to the Kapidag Peninsula for lunch anchored in the bay at Ocaklar (the Brighton of this part of Turkey, but sandy); en route we had another encounter with a group of playful dolphins. From here it is onwards to Erdek for the night and supper ashore in a restaurant.

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