Çaylıoğlu, Turkey: A remote village where donkeys greet you at the quay

Photo: Black Sea coast near Çaylıoğlu, Turkey. Credit: Lisa Borre.
We outran afternoon thunderstorms, the first of which hit just after we tied up in Çaylıoğlu. Photo by Lisa Borre.

Black Sea Logbook Entry

Date: 6/13/2010
Distance: 38.9 nm
Sailed from: İnebolu
Lat: 41° 58.0’N
Long: 34° 30.1’E

We made a relatively long passage today under hazy skies and little wind, stopping to see several harbors along the way. Shortly before rounding the small cape of Usta Burnu, it seemed as if the mountains ashore decided to release the thunder clouds which had been building throughout the afternoon. We arrived at the excellent harbor in the remote village of Çaylıoğlu and tied to the dock just as the wind picked up and it began to pour rain. The town seemed nearly deserted — you know you’re off the beaten path when a small herd of donkeys is there to greet you on the quay.

Within minutes, dark clouds descended and lightning cracked all around. We retreated to the cabin feeling relieved to have made it into the harbor before it hit. It wasn’t until the storm passed that a few fisherman came to the harbor to fish from the quay, but they retreated again with the passage of additional rain showers later in the evening.

We awoke the next morning to clearer skies to find one of the scruffiest little dogs we have ever seen staring back at us from the quay. A quick wag of his tale indicated that he meant no harm but still not a human in sight. The dog joined Lisa for a walk to the end of the breakwater to photograph the beautiful cliffs behind the harbor and then along the dirt path into the village where an old woman with a head scarf waved from her second story porch. Having seen some sign of human life, she returned to Gyatso for breakfast onboard.

Like Doğanyurt the other day, this village is not easily reached by road. It lacks the visible prosperity we have seen in many other towns along the coast but gives us a glimpse at what a coastal village must have been like in days gone by.

Just to the east we could see the much larger town of Ayancık situated at the mouth of a river. We had information from a man we met in Kefken that there was a small fishing harbor there that had room for one yacht and that his cousin would be happy to meet us there. It was another example where we couldn’t find a single mention of this harbor in any of the three guidebooks we have onboard, so we set-off to the east with plans to stop-off briefly in Ayancık before rounding Inceburun, the northernmost cape on Turkey’s Black Sea coast.