One week ago I boarded a plane in Auckland and now find myself heading down the Bosporus with a long voyage ahead. This time I have no heated bathroom floor – a hardship I will have to live with.
A 30 hour trip from Auckland brought me to Galati in Romania where a new build ferry was waiting to depart the shipyard. The ferry is headed for Newfoundland, a distance of 4,000 plus miles through the Mediterranean Sea and North Atlantic Ocean. My crew of seven is a mixture of Dutch, Belgium and Indonesian nationals.
I enjoy ship delivery, it’s always interesting, varied and at times challenging. The ability to solve problems, improvise and good seamanship are helpful attributes. It doesn’t matter what type of ship, big or small, new or old, they all provide opportunities to learn new tricks.
Anyway, today we are lucky and have a Bosporus transit in beautiful weather and daylight. The first time I made this passage many years ago there were no bridges, now there are three magnificent structures connecting the European continent to Asia. Istanbul is now a massive sprawling city with many high-rise buildings. The waterfront is very pretty with cafes and restaurants overlooking the strait. I didn’t feel any desire to get ashore for a visit.
Our Bosporus pilot turned out to be a surly, bad tempered, miserable individual and it was good to be rid of him before we headed out into the Sea of Marmara towards the Dardanelles.