Tuesday, February 11, 2014


Ender, his wife Buket and Ender's friend from BOGAZICI UNIVERSITY, Tugrul crossed the Atlantic in "15 days and 3 hours", and tied to the Le Marin marina a couple of days before. As soon as they reached land, Buket, who had not  been able to eat anything during the crossing due to her sea-sickness, urged them to find the Turkish kebab house called Nasrettin Hoca in Le Marin. Apparently they had read al the Turkish sailing guides before taking off in June from Marmaris, Turkey, and had been dying to eat a donair lunch. Buket later told me that they had walked all the way into the town and back, but could not find the said place, but came to Elite Kebab across the street from the marina to ask. When Buket saw the chicken donair turning, and Guylaine at the register, she made a derogatory remark in Turkish about her quality expectations, and  wanted to pursue the search; however Levent came out from the back and the rest was history. Buket also said that Levent was mentioned in  the Turkish guides, since both of the writers had been to Martinique, and met Levent, who has been living here for some time.

Ender indicated that the most valuable cargo of their 40 ft steel mono-hull Istanbul was 100 bottles of raki, which he graciously shares with his acquaintances. I think in Le Marin, five or six bottles evaporated, three of them on Ruyam II in a week.

After returning from Graande Anse, we directly went into Le Marin and anchored for a night, to get water and groceries. We went to see Levent of course, and met with the sailors and Tugrul's wife Leyla, who had flew to Martinique for a few days, and was going to return to Turkey with her husband. They were about to take off by the rental car for the airport, so we could only spend a few minutes.

A couple of days later, Levent called us to inform that Istanbul yacht was coming to St Anne to spend a few days. We were on the look out and spotted the Turkish flag a couple of hours later. It was dark green with yellow bands at the deck sides. They came and anchored right behind us. After a short time, I saw Buket pumping the dinghy on the front deck. Then they lowered the dinghy to water, and Ender tried to start the engine. After ten pulls, Al could not stand watching and went over to bring them to Ruyam II. They had not used their dinghy for almost five months, since they had spend time at the marinas in the Mediterrenean and Capo Verde etc.

Ender, who is full of stories, told us that they were thinking of sailing north up to the US east coast, visit their friends living in the Washington area, leave their yacht in Virginia for the summer, fly to Turkey and come back after the hurricane season. Then spend another year in the US / Caribbean or wherever that takes their fancy.

Buket mentioned, that all the guides that they had read never said anything about the hardships involved in making the Atlantic passage. She beleives that they were bending the truth, considering her own experience. I think she is the extreme case of suffering from sea-sickness, but she is brave enough to keep her husband company.

As well, she is a good sailor, having completed all the courses in Turkey. She seems to be able to endure short sails, with the help of the wrist-band, but could not lift her head during the long passage. She did not want to go any further into the Pasific ocean, so Ender changed his plans, and started to think about other solutions for bringing his yacht back to Turkey, like using the boat transport. Since we had thought about the issue for some time, and decided that we would never do the crossing, we had found while visiting Turkey, a company called Seven Stars, who had reasonable rates for transporting a yacht form New York, US to Istanbul or Izmir, Turkey. So we passed along the information to Ender.

Ender decided to get his dinghy outboard to be repaired before starting their voyage north. So we put the engine in our dinghy, and hosted them in Ruyam II for a night, which we spent anchored in Le Marin. On Saturday morning we called Levent to find a contact to do the repairs. Of course he had somebody, so he told us to come to his kebap house (Elite) and meet the mechanic.  In a couple of hours, the small Mercury engine was totally dismantled, cleaned from the particles that clogged the carburator and ready for use. Ender was quite happy with the cost as well, 50 some Euros. As in north America, France is a haven for mechanics, their hourly charges are astronomical.


  1. You are very lucky , it seems Martinique's Turkish Community is enlarging every day .

  2. Yes Ergin, in the last three years we have not met any Turkish sailors in the Caribbean. This season we met three sailors and two "restauranteurs", all at Sainte Anne!