Kurucaşile, Turkey: A boat-building town

Photo: Kurucaşile is a boat-building town on the Black Sea coast. Credit: Lisa Borre.
Kurucaşile is a boat-building town on the Black Sea coast. Photo by Lisa Borre.

Black Sea Logbook Entry

Date: 6/8/2010
Distance: 18.5 nm
Sailed from: Amasra
Lat: 41° 50.8’N
Long: 32° 43.3’E

We made a short hop of 18 nm today from Amasra to Kurucaşile and were joined for 15 minutes or so by a school of a dozen playful bottlenose dolphins. Lisa perched on the bowsprit to watch the show and to shoot some video footage. She was amazed to hear them making their squeaky calls to each other while they dove in and out of the bow wake.

Kurucaşile, a town known for its boat-building, appeared as a sleepy little town when we arrived at four in the afternoon. The main quays were completely empty except for one motor yacht. We deployed the usual assortment of fenders and prepared our dock lines for going alongside the cement wall. Approaching the quay, we were pleasantly surprised when a half-dozen men suddenly appeared from behind the boat-building sheds to help us tie-up with the usual chorus of “welcome” and “no problem” (meaning that it was no problem for us to moor Gyatso alongside what is labeled as a commercial quay in the guidebooks).

The boat-builders signaled their approval of Robert Perry’s Colin Archer-inspired yacht design and asked about our trip from America to the Black Sea. Soon they returned to their boat-building work, and we stopped in to admire the motor yachts in various stages of completion. We found another boat builder in town making lovely traditional wooden fishing boats like the one pictured above.

We hiked out to the lighthouse marking the small cape near the entrance of the harbor and took in the spectacular views along the Black Sea coast. A group of young girls were anxious to practice their English with Lisa. The local police were particularly friendly and asked about our journey when we saw them in town.  Later in the evening, they stopped by Gyatso on one of their patrols of the harbor area and chatted with us some more.

Other townspeople walked by in the afternoon and evening. Many greeted us pleasantly or welcomed us to their town. We made dinner onboard — Turkish market salad with the fresh ingredients we purchased at the women’s market in Amasra — and quietly celebrated Lisa’s birthday with a beautifully decorated and delicious cake from a bakery in Amasra.