Our Fifth Sea

On a cold, wet and windy morning we set out into the Sea of Marmara. There could be no more stark contrast with the colour, noise, smells and exuberance of Istanbul. This is Tainui’s 5th bit of water this year – the Barents Sea, White Sea, Sea of Azov and Black Sea all lie under her keel. 

Tainui romped south in squally 30 knot winds with a bone in her teeth. Mr Aries served her well, despite steep little quartering seas, and 70 miles just disappeared in our wake. We just hung on.

Rounding the eastern side of Marmara Island we were relieved to find flat water and in the dark we anchored under wooded cliffs on the south side. Bullets swept down from the mountains but we were secure and comfortable. A fine meal (I am getting used to this!) and bed.

A fresh start to the day

A fresh start to the day

Overnight the gusts increased. In the morning a tepid sun blessed our departure for the crossing to the Dardeanelles but 35-40 knots of squally land breeze made for memorable sailing. In flat water we romped east along the shore with double reefed main alone. In anticipation of an uncomfortable day I distributed seasick tablets as harnesses were donned, but when we came out from the lee of the land the sun warmed us, the breeze dropped to a very comfortable 25 knots and the 40 mile trip was both relaxing and fast. Staysail, yankee and a single reef gave perfect balance for Mr Aries.

entering the Dardanelles

entering the Dardanelles

At the northern entrance to the Dardanelles, the wind disappeared entirely as we approached the shallow entrance to Lapseki’s snug little fishing harbour. Rafted to a fishing boat in 3 m of water Tainui’s crew were treated to Rosie’s splendid roast. In welcome, our neighbour passed across to us a large bowl of rich yoghurt. You wouldn’t be dead for quids, I say.

This morning it is cold (7 degrees) and cloudless. Across from us the Gallipoli Peninsula stretches south as we discuss Winston Churchill’s appalling folly. There is a fresh northerly blowing and I hope we will have a fast trip south. Our destination tonight is uncertain but there are myriad potential anchorages.

One thought on “Our Fifth Sea

  1. 2013-10-20T15:32:56+00:000000005631201310 at 3:32 pm

    Your lovely adventure is turning my eyes green ;-)
    First time I’ve been on such a voyage(figuratively) since a too short lifetime adventure in ’84 on the 52′ custom cat Exocet out of Ft. Lauderdale on the bounding main off the coasts of Hispaniola and the Bahamas, almost wrecking on rocks, returning.
    I surfed into your adventure as a link on kp44.org, researching electrical conductivity repairing a solid copper booster cable connection so to start my current landlubber craft, a Chev 3500HD. :-).
    Appreciated your reference to “Churchill’s folly”, having read about it and seen “Gallipoli” (film)
    You enjoyed his same viewpoint. Quelle disastre pour les miserables- les Anzacs. :-(

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