Ereğli

41:16.9N 31:24.5E
 
Saturday 13th June 2009
 
When we slipped the moorings at 0730, the plan was to go to Zonguldak, some 40 miles along the coast.  However, the skies were dark and threatening and thunder rolled as we left the harbour.  The first lot of rain soon hit,and with it some strong winds, but it didn't last long.  We could see, however, in the distance, another lot on its way.  We put on the radar to look at the weather, and sure enough it was tracking its way towards us.  We had a headland to go around,and the bad weather got to the headland and just sat there, almost waiting for us!
 
We went out wide, but still caught the edge of it and in big seas with 20+knots of wind on the nose we were getting nowhere fast,and stillhad the headland to round. We decided that this was no fun and so we changed course and headed for Ereğli, an industrial town with a huge harbour.  We immediately made good way, and were doing 6 knots under a reefed yankee.
 
By lunchtime we were safely alongside in the inner harbour, where we found two old acquaintances from previous stops - Eirene a US flagged yacht and Thomasvaer, a dutch.  It was raining hard, and we reflected that we might easily have been in England!
 
We looked at the weather forecasts for the next few days and decided that rather than sail on to Amasra, we would hire a car and drive there.  The boat was on a public quay, but if locked up would be safe enough.  Being alongside made it difficult not to speak to the locals and we had a busy time answering questions!
 
We managed to hire a car and did 400 kilometres visiting Amasra along the coast and Safronbolu which is a village inland where there are still Ottoman houses from 200 years ago  They reminded us of medieval houses in England.
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We had not planned to sail beyond Amasra, as we have to be in Skiathos by 6th July for Kerrie and Lee's visit, so now seemed a good time to start the journey back towards the Bosphorous.