August 2nd. Constanta. A rough crossing, a smooth mooring.

Written by Jack van Ommen on August 2nd, 2011

I left Sulina in the early afternoon and I had calculated that the 82 miles should get me into Constanza in the early morning hours. The forecast was for moderate Westerlies turning into mild North Westerlies. But it turned out to be a strong south westerly. Right on the nose. I just stayed on the closest to the wind tack that I could hold, which was about dead south expecting that N.W. to bring me into Constanta. But it never happened. In the early Monday morning hours I was abreast of Constanta but 55 miles to the East of it. And then it turned even more westerly, again tacking. I tried to motor sail, which allows me run much closer to the wind and still get some push from the main sail and give me more stability than just running the motor, when the about 15/20 knots calmed down some but the chop in the Black Sea is a little like the old Zuiderzee. Waves close together and the bouncing would practically bring the boat to a stop. I was tempted to bag Constanta and keep heading south. But that
meant another night without sleep. Anyway the last 15 miles the wind went South and I had a terrific close reach and made it into the Tomis Marina at 9 p.m., the sun had just set. I am now using the Open CPN electronic chart software. It is free. And I bought a bunch of inexpensive Vector charts, for this area, on a CD from an individual near Green Cove Springs, Florida. It is not as easy to use as my Nobeltec but the Nobeltec charts are very expensive.  The vector charts do not appear to be compatible to the Nobeltec software. Raster charts and all the NOA free charts
work on Nobeltec. Anyway between the two systems I managed to find the entrance to the Tomis Marina in the dusk.

Constanta’s history goes back to about ten centuries before Christ. The Greeks made the Black Sea area part of their back yard 4 or 5 centuries before Christ. Then the Romans came in the first centuries. The Turks were here from the 14th century till 1877. The local Museum of Archeology is worth a visit and I learned much about the early times. The Greeks called this city Tomis.

Jason is supposed to have landed here, according to the Greek mythology, with his Argonauts looking for the Golden Fleece.

Next week there is a commemoration here of the 70th anniversary of the 1941 bombing and capture of Constanta by the Germans in World War II.

The Black Sea has a very low salinity. You can hardly taste any salt in the water. And there is practically zero tide. For all the trash that came down the Danube, I saw little of it floating on my way yesterday. The skipper, Constantine and three of the crew members of the “Marina 1” research vessel that had left yesterday as well from Sulina for her home port came by the boat here. Last night I  parked on the seawall and just a while ago I moored, Med style with an anchor from the bow and stern tied to a float, in the marina. This should give me a chance to put a coat of finish on the new rub rail.  There are a couple more chores to do. I have to try and sweet talk someone to crank me up the mast to correct the lens on
the Tricolor. The moorage costs about $ 15 per day.

Yesterday I ran the engine a little higher, when I had a chance to motor sail, than I had done on the River. And I suspect that I am due for a new drive shaft. The rudder just shakes from the prop wash and even the Monitor wind vane rattles more than I had ever noticed. When the shaft was slightly shortened in Zimnicea, to accommodate the flex coupling, it was done on the old lathe. And about 3 feet, with the folding prop on the end, extended beyond the lathe. And I noticed that when the machinist turned the shaft, with a cutting knife, the end was sort of sweeping a wide swath. Like when you use a bent drill.  I do not expect to use the motor much from now on and then I’ll try to have it checked on a haul out in Turkey.
The stuffing box is still staying at a comfortable temperature, even when I ran the engine at nearly 2000 rpm.

The pictures below show the Mosque here, right above the marina.  I climbed the minaret this afternoon. The minaret is lit up with blue lights at night and around ten o’clock, last night, the muse sang his call to prayers from the minaret. “Allah, Akbar”. God is Great.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             I have reached the threshold of Europe and Asia.

 

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