Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Who's idea was this anyway???? ..... May 2009

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11-12 May 2009

***the little inner fishing harbour and castle at Bozcaada***Balvenie tucked up on the wall with Bozcaada castle/fort in the background**

Heading Northwest from Ayvalik in sheltered waters with a 10-15knots Northeaster forecast, what more could you ask for? Well, you could ask why the Northeaster is coming out of the Northwest, exactly where you want to go, and for those of you less familiar with sailing you can not sail in a straight line exactly where you want to go if the wind is blowing from that direction. So you head off at an angle, for as long as necessary, then you 'tack' which means you change direction about 90 degrees, sometimes almost backwards if things go pear-shaped, and go the other way (still nowhere near where you really want to go). After sometime of seemingly going in completely the wrong direction you tack back, and go in the other wrong direction ........ on and on it goes, sooner of later you should reach somewhere in the vicinity of your destination - still during daylight hours if you are lucky. This was not one of our better days, we should have just surrendered to Huey, admitted he had won his little game and put the engine on.

Finally, after way too many hours, we reached Sivrice, a large deep bay with reasonable shelter from the Northeast, shallow enough water in one corner and anchored. Before we had even set the anchor the wind changed to the southwest, only around 15knots but putting us on a leeshore and sending in an annoying little chop. It was 7pm, way too late for a seabreeze but no southerlies were forecast. We decided to wait 30 minutes and see if it settled, then make the call whether to stay or go 7 miles south across the channel to the Northern Coast of Levros, back in Greece. So while I sat in the cockpit, searching for signs of the wind easing, Mark is taking bits and pieces apart below as our batteries are low in voltage but we had motored the last 45 minutes, so something was amiss with the alternator. Slowly the wind eased and swung back around to the Northeast, the offending lose connection onto the batteries was discovered and tightened, we had been punished enough for the day. The bar was opened with the Captain ordering an extra tot for all!!!!

After a decent sleep and feeling slightly more positive we set off north once more. A light Northeaster again but this time we were going north so we had a pleasant sail in sparkling blue calm seas, we were even joined by dolphins who must have heard I needed perking up, a think it is impossible to watch dolphins at play and not smile from ear to ear, they are just magic. After not too many hours, and no tacking, we arrived in the small harbour on the Turkish island of Bozcaada, one of only 2 islands in the Aegean that are Turkish. We stern tied up to the new concrete wall, alongside a Swiss yacht, Moira, and went ashore for a wander round this cute little place. We were then invited aboard Moira by owner Rudy and friend Gunther to sample a bottle of the locally grown wine, and very nice it was too. The 4 of us then went out to a harbourside cafe for an excellent dinner. Rudy keeps his boat in Turkey and tries to spend 4-5 months on it each summer, joined by friends along the way while his wife stays at home to 'look after the furniture'!!!! He loves the Turkish coast of the Black Sea, and says we must for thought as we are so close......but probably not, who knows, watch this space.

Cruising Info:
Anchorages -
Sivrice - 39 28.42N 26 13.75E 11.9m good holding. Reasonable shelter from East to Northwest. Nothing there
Bozcaada - Northern harbour wall, 3.6m drop anchor and stern tie to new wall. Keep well off as occasional surge from wakes. Water and power on dock included in 50Lira nightly fee (we thought too expensive for what was there), transit log checked. Stores and cafes ashore. Accessed unlocked wifi onboard. Dont remember seeing ATM but Lonely Planet says there is one next to PO. Impressive Fort right in harbour.

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