Gyatso sailed down the Bosphorus today, returning to Istanbul 111 days after setting out on a voyage around the Black Sea. We visited five of the six countries during our 2,118 mile counter-clockwise circumnavigation, including Turkey, Georgia, the Ukraine, Romania and Bulgaria. Russian officials could not give us adequate assurances regarding clearance procedures, so we made a 330 mile offshore passage from Georgia to the Crimean Peninsula in the Ukraine to avoid entering Russian waters. It was a real disappointment not to be able to visit the site of the next winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
We met friendly people and were welcomed with warm hospitality along the way — the only exception was encountering the occasional Soviet-style government officials in Ukraine and in Georgia. Contrary to published guides about the Black Sea, we found it teaming with life. Dolphins and porpoises made regular appearances in our bow wave. We also met with many experts and scientists about the environmental conditions and were encouraged to learn of some signs of improvement to this highly degraded ecosystem. Continue reading Istanbul, Turkey: Black Sea Circumnavigation Completed→
Learning about the three main species of jellyfish in the Black Sea while waiting for a ferry at the edge of the Bosphorus might not be considered a typical item on the itinerary of a traveler’s first day in Istanbul. Our informant, Ahmet Kideys, was not a tour guide either. He’s trained as a marine biologist and serves as the executive director of the Permanent Secretariat for the Commission for the Protection of the Black Sea from Pollution (Black Sea Commission), a group dedicated to environmental cooperation among the six countries surrounding the sea. Continue reading Not a traveler’s typical first day in Istanbul→
Dates: 5/9/2010 – 5/10/2010 Distance: 75.4 nm Sailed from: Port Marmara, Marmara Adasi Lat: 40°52.2’N Long: 29°05.1’E
A long day which included some exciting sailing in 18-22 knots of wind through the large “parking lot” of ships waiting for the northbound traffic to open in the Bosphorus. They weren’t actually anchored but just sort-of “jinking around” like cars waiting for a parking spot at the shopping mall except these were dozens of very large ships concentrated in a 10 square-mile area southeast of Istanbul and the Princess Islands, our destination for the day. We kept a close watch and had to tack a few times but eventually threaded our way through the ship traffic to the Princess Islands. Continue reading Heybeliada, a peaceful cove near Istanbul in the Princess Islands→
We arrived in Istanbul today — a magnificent sight to see after 26 days, 14 passages and 562 miles since setting sail from Marmaris. It was a short hop from the Princess Islands to the Kalamis & Fenerbache Marina this morning where we found Gyatso a berth for the next two weeks. Continue reading Arrival in Istanbul, Turkey→
Adventures while cruising to the Caribbean, Mediterranean, and Black Seas in a Tayana 37 sailboat