After the Inebolu to Cide leg, by any measure the trip down here to Amasra should have been a doddle. But with continuing fresh headwinds, it was anything but. Motor-sailing into short, steep seas was frustrating and slow, to say the least. Under sail alone my track would have taken me north, back to Ukraine. With more time and boyish enthusiasm I would have done that. In my ocean racing days I wouldn’t have given it a thought. Age does weary, and the years condemn. So motor-sailed we did.
The usual succession of squalls with driving rain and sharp, gusty wind changes became ho hum. Like life. Poor Tainui would pick up her skirts and get moving, then hobby-horse to a complete standstill. My loud curses could be heard on the steep shores, a mile to port.
There were a few highlights however. Waterspouts writhed below cumulus to seaward, fortunately well away from us. At one stage there were 3 of them in line. I was too busy cursing and chasing wind shifts to go below for my camera but I did grab an unremarkable picture of one of them.
Then a pod of bottlenose dolphins popped by to see what all the swearing was about. And, best of all, there was one brief and glorious moment when the wind freshended and backed 40 degrees after a squall. Up went the genoa and a very grateful Tainui just flew. For 10 minutes.
Amasra has an easy entrance and I was pleased to get in. After one of those inelegant moments when you hope nobody is watching I finally moored bow-to. With a fresh beam wind, getting the bow line ashore in the dark and managing two stern lines streamed from the jetty, too tight and difficult to lift to the stern cleats, pushed me to the limits of my dwindling competence. But with help from a bloke on the jetty I managed,
Overnight the wind has freshened. Now it is a gusty 25-30 knots with rain. Tainui is snug and there is no question of going any further for the next 48 hours. I am not complaining. I never do.