Bosphorus Strait

Submitted by jono on 24 Mar 2019.

The return to Turkey was on 15th March and the next day I slipped across the entrance of the Bosphorus to Istanbul Sailing Club. With no wind happening, and a strong current in the Strait to contend with, the next days were spent sightseeing and being very well looked after by all at Tuzla Sailing Club (a few miles to the south).

Although in theory waiting for southerly wind, a northerly eventually showed up on the forecast, so we confirmed the day with the coastguard, and got back to the eating nice Turkish food.

Coastguard and TV showed up, a drone buzzed, I scraped my way down the launch ramp, uphauled without elegance, then fell off within 5 seconds. Once into some wind I perhaps appeared to know how to windsurf.

An hour into the sail, and it was clear I'd underestimated the challenge of the current. The moving carpet of water is of comparable strength to the fastest-flowing Brittany tidal races. Forays away from the edges swept me backwards hundreds of metres. Locally very strong current at the corners obliged crossing the Strait, and I'd lose ground, but then be well placed to benefit from counter-currents. Interesting. Absorbing. And requiring more tacks than the backboards of flat-pack furniture.

Fortunately the wind held, I had some good local advice to get the tactics right, the first bridge surrendered, then the second, and 4.5 hours later we'd made it halfway, to the staging post ready to take on the next bit another day. One more bridge to go now before the Black Sea.

Huge thanks to Edhem Dirvana for the drone footage and making me seem credible to the maritime authorities and therefore making it possible to sail this stretch.

Turkish TV!

There is also a fun clip of a live stream on the day (with a very excited commentator):

Tagged with: Turkey