Tirebolu, Turkey: Celebrating Turkey’s annual harbor festival

Photo: A dance troop at Tirebolu, Turkey harbor festival. Credit: Lisa Borre.
A dance troop performs as part of the Tirebolu harbor festival. Photo by Lisa Borre.

Black Sea Logbook Entry

Date: 7/01/2010
Distance: 28 nm
Sailed from: Giresun
Lat: 41° 00.6’N
Long: 38° 49.0’E

In contrast to our wonderful visit to Giresun, we faced a day of overcoming obstacles on the Black Sea today. It started when we went to retrieve our anchor and found it snagged on a line attached to the bottom. We launched the dinghy and managed to get it untangled after about an hour of effort. And then a large piece of plastic debris got wrapped around the propellor — it had been hiding out just below the surface, so we didn’t even see it — bringing Gyatso to a halt while were were on passage to Tirebolu. Luckily, the dinghy was still in the water, and once again, it was Rinky to the rescue. We managed to get the plastic sheeting untangled and continue on our way.

Photo: Tirebolu, Black Sea, Turkey. Credit: Lisa Borre.
We arrived just as the Tirebolu harbor festival was getting underway. Photo by Lisa Borre.

Imagine our surprise when we arrived in Tirebolu and found that July 1st is harbor festival day throughout Turkey. We were greeted by a pilot boat upon entering the harbor and told we were welcome to tie-up wherever we liked. He pointed out the gathering crowd at one end of the quay, so we opted for the other end — a good thing. An hour later, harbor festivities were in full swing with hundreds of people gathered to watch the dance troops, swim races, greased pole competition, paddleboat races, fishing boat races and even a competition to catch a duck in the water. One clever guy dove underwater and caught the innocent white duck by surprise to win the grand prize.

Here’s a link to the local news story on the festive event: http://www.yenitirebolu.net/tirebolu/7863-kobataj-bayramiluda-coskuyla-kutlandi.html.

The following day, we made a courtesy call to the harbormaster’s office. He was in great spirits after presiding over a successful event the day before. We chatted with him for awhile, and he showed us videos and photos from the festival. He visited our website while we were in the office and immediately became Lisa’s Facebook friend.

It was market day in town. Vendors were spread-out along the road adjacent to the harbor. We dove right into the flow of people moving from stall to stall and emerged an hour later with homemade butter, cheese and bread and fresh mushrooms, lettuce, herbs, cherries and peaches. Our struggles of the day before melted away with the festive and friendly atmosphere in Tirebolu, and we were underway again at 12:40 p.m.