Stormy Sinop


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Middle East » Turkey
October 5th 2013
Published: October 1st 2017
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Geo: 42.0268, 35.1625

We woke as we passed along the coast of Turkey. It was rainy and windy, but at least the waves were more calm. We rose slowly, as the ship seemed to be behind time, and went upstairs for brekkies. Shortly after breakfast, the captain announced that, with the winds, and the poor shape of the fenders on the pier, we would not come alongside but would anchor and tender. Given that there were several tour groups, and that we have no "status", and that there isn't a ton to see on shore, we opted to wait and let the early tenders fill up before we went to get our tender tickets. Once we were ready, we went to the showroom at sea, were given tender tickets, then waited for about five minutes until they announced that everyone could head to the tender. Good timing! The tender ride was easy and brief and not too claustrophobic, bouncy, deisely, or crowded..

Sinop sits along an isthmus, with two hills on either side. The sheltered side, where we anchored, has small fishing vessels and some tour boats. Along the wharf are small cafes with places to sit when it's sunny. It wasn't sunny today, so all of the cafes were closed. They might also be closed because the season is over. Sinop must have some internal tourism, although we could only see one hotel on the waterfront. Perhaps there are others. Research is needed.

It was raining slightly when we ashore. We carried one umbrella between the two of us, which was mostly fine. (When it didn't work, nothing would have worked … foreshadowing!) We began by getting a few Turkish lira, then walked up the road. Our first stop was the mosque, which was quite plain but pleasant. We particularly liked the lamps near the niche. (I also liked that the times for prayer were on a digital sign.)

Our next stop was the museum. It seemed like there would always be a set of cruise ship passengers at the museum, so we walked in the middle of a group, bought our tickets, then wandered through the few small rooms of the museum. It's not a bad museum, with displays in both Turkish and English. The walls are a nice terracotta color, which makes the exhibits pop. They have a few Roman era statues, some amphora, coins, and icons. It was not a long visit, but it was pleasant. And dry. The gardens have a lot of tombstones (mostly Muslim) small archaeological dig, some cannons, and model homes about one meter high. Very little signage in the garden are in English, so we just walked through. Plus, it was starting to rain again.

From the museum, we walked through town towards the old walls. There's a beautiful view of the weather side of the isthmus from one place in the walls. From that vantage point, the town appeared kind of Scandinavian, and not just because of the black clouds on the horizon. We walked on, and saw the statue of Diogenes and the road crossing. Looking to see, we could see a storm closing in on us. We were exposed, on a ridge, with nowhere to run. Then the squall hit. We opened our umbrella, but the rain was coming horizontally, and we got sopping wet. No matter, we found our road back towards the port. The plan had been to stop at a place selling Turkish coffee, but nothing “spoke” to us, so we boarded the tender (along with a bus tour, so we didn't have long to wait), and returned to the ship.

Dry clothes first, then lunch, then a nap. We went up for happy hour, at the time the ship was meant to depart. It was 5:30pm (90 minutes) late before the ship actually departed. Apparently, the ship had dislodged from its anchor in one squall (probably the one that his us so hard), so it put out two anchors. And then the chain links did not fall properly when they pulled the port anchor in, so they had to reset and recapture the anchor. In the meantime, we enjoyed watched the weather alternate between rain and sun, rain and sun.

The sail was smooth this evening, so much more pleasant than last night. We hung out reading in our cabin, then went to dinner around 7:45pm, then upstairs for a Neal Diamond piano night (which was entertaining, if not good), then to bed, especially since we have a time change before tomorrow.

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Tot: 1.265s; Tpl: 0.039s; cc: 9; qc: 29; dbt: 0.0174s; 1; m:saturn w:www (104.131.125.221); sld: 2; ; mem: 1.3mb