Port Forrard: the Lovely Watch.
The overnight anchorage was not where we expected, because of the terrific squalls funnelling down through the col at the head of an otherwise most attractive bay. We headed back west a couple of miles to Dogamla, a quiet cove with a hamlet at its head, a minaret from which the muezzin called the faithful to prayer and a partly demolished coaster moored beside it. Most unusual arrangements. Even in the shelter of the cove the wind was still gusting over 25 knots at times and the anchor watch had three co-ordinates to check at 15-minute intervals instead of the usual two, as well as watching the depth.
The Permanent Crew (bless 'em) and the watch on deck took us out of the anchorage before breakfast and we headed out into the vivid green Sea of Marmara with the wind well astern.
Fwd Port has made its reputation by giving Karen, our lovely Watch Leader, a string of fabricated complaints to raise at the morning briefing. Yesterday, for example, we complained that the chocolate brownies ran out during the night, while today we complained that we had nothing to complain about. But the loyal Karen returns with high-quality goss each morning.
The usual order of things was reversed as we sailed east, with Mate Piers's buoy talk before smoko. To those who were disappointed he has promised girl talk tomorrow. The great buoy revelation is that while we in the UK and Europe mark our navigation channels the right way round, the Americans and Japanese haven't yet got the hang of it and put the port on the starboard and the...you've got it. The audience recited tales of buoys they had hit.
There was a moment of enlightenment this morning after smoko when the real command structure of the JST Tenacious was revealed. Captain Simon ordered forrard watches to muster by the foremast, aft watches by the mainmast. As he put down the microphone, Philippa The Fierce, our lovely Cook's Ass said 'I need you lot to clear away smoko before you go ANYWHERE.' And we did.
Later that day Dr Lucy, the Supernumerary, gave an off-the-cuff talk about the PhD thesis she has just finished on the genetics of seahorses.
Implausibly, she checked their DNA by trimming their manes underwater - hundreds of the little tackers. Cruel or what? It turns out that the densest populations are close to Varna, our next destination.
After a splendid lunch of Greek salad we pulled lots more rope and now have all our square sails drawing as we roll across the green sea towards the Traffic Separation Scheme that leads us into the Bosphorus. There we join up with the rest of the Historical Seas Regatta fleet for our Parade of Sail at Istanbul and the next leg of the race.
Oddly, a lot of livestock has joined us even though we're several miles off the nearest land - bees, flies and a dragonfly. We have also been keeping a careful lookout for marine life in the hope that we shall be able to solve Ken Dodd's great philosophical riddle: 'Do kippers swim flat or folded?'.
Roger and out, the Lovely Watch.
Peter, Fwd Port