We turned south into the Bosphorus just after dawn. There were more AIS targets on the chart plotter than I had seen since the entrance to the Elbe. But across the separation zone things went smoothly and we just followed the GPS track of Jason and the Argonauts.

Since Azov I feel I have been closing doors on this summer, one after the other. I am finding it unsettling. At the Don river mouth we bade farewell to Russia, in the Straits of Kerch we left the Sea of Azov, and in Sinop we finally had the Black Sea crossing behind us. Now, I can’t say I am sorry to be leaving the Black Sea – it a splendid cruising ground which deserves a summer all of its own, but getting west to the Bosphorus has been a bit of a trial.

DSC_5123Istanbul embraces its waterway like few other cities. In Tainui’s logbook New York, Rio, Stockholm and Sydney are also notable examples of  grand city landfalls, of course. Sailing past the Golden Horn this morning we ogled at the skyline while barely dodging all those ferries and then, further south, the wall- to-wall fishing boats.

It is a gorgeous morning and our specially amended cranberry juice mixture is quite apposite. After Rosie’s pancakes Tatiana has produced fresh grilled sardines while Pasha remains attached to the helm as to a Siamese twin. How Maxine would love this.

Meanwhile, I just sit and sip. I am feeling quite overwhelmed by the relentless succession of new experiences which this summer has brought Tainui and me. I look back and wonder whether I will ever be able to see them in the perspective they deserve.

Now Tainui is resting in Atakoey Marina, surrounded by pristine bling boats with covered toerails, fenders in nappies, stainless steel anchors, oblique windows, paunchy blokes with captains caps and leggy young things. Ian’s Eurovision Song Contest boats. They are the first yachts we have seen in ages. Beside them Tainui is scruffy and battered, but very proud indeed. And so are we.


6 thoughts on “Istanbul

  1. Max
    October 3, 2013 at 19:54

    Tainui, scruffy and battered, well yes, what can one expect with the owner she has? The old girl really deserves some high-maintenance pampering this winter. Her promised designer mooring line in pink should complement her new white outfit beautifully.

    1. October 6, 2013 at 03:02

      Maxine, you should not try and seek refuge in your distance from Diksali fishing harbour. Tainui’s reach is worldwide and such insults will come back to haunt you. You may be assured of that. The funny thing is that despite everything you are sorely missed on board. Rosie sends her love and I, reasonably warm regards.

  2. October 1, 2013 at 09:59

    As the previous post has bizarrely disappeared, the above one makes no sense.

    However, one is enjoying your observations and photos of that eerie, dark-skied, beautiful part of the world …

    Phil Jensen.

  3. September 30, 2013 at 19:13

    One small edit for the preceding post Mr Valllentino…

    It seems that it was someone else’s brain damage and not mine (isn’t it always?)
    Turns out the reference was to David Bradley and not Michael Brindley.
    God…some people are getting old, aren’t they?
    Still I must admit, the rumour had some appeal…

    Big George.xx

    1. October 1, 2013 at 16:07

      Don’t know about M Bradley, Chris (or is it Cardinal Pell, or Tony Abbott, or Arch Jensen?). Trouble with websites is you never really know on with whom you are rabbiting.

  4. September 30, 2013 at 09:49

    Dear skipper,

    Have been enjoying your adventures and fine photos of that dark-skied, eerie, beautiful part of the world.
    Are there any overt signs of global warming there? Back in your home town we are apparently bracing for the imminent loss of Bondi Beach.

    A bizarre question for ye:
    Did Michael Brindley ever attend NSBHS?
    One’s brain damage is clearly building from a canter to a gallop …

    (Smelly) Pelly.

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