13-Aug-2009 -- This was the first visit of 41N 40E. The Confluence lies about 3 kilometres north of Yeşilyalı in the Black Sea. We arrived at Trabzon in the morning. After checking the ferry schedule to Sochi we took a minibus which drove along the coast. On the way to Yeşilyalı we saw hundreds of big tarpaulins where fresh plucked hazelnuts were laid out to dry. In 2005 the Turkish hazelnut production of more than 500.000 t accounts about 70 % of the worldwide production (cf. USDA Foreign Agricultural Service).
We hopped off somewhere between Yeşilyalı and Araklı hoping to find a boat which would take us out. We were a little disappointed to spot only one little boat beside the outlet of a small river. We asked some guys standing nearby if it was their boat. We were able to get across that we were searching for a vessel we could hire but the language barrier prevented us from explaining the reasons why. In turns we pointed at the map and to the Black Sea - it didn’t help. After a few minutes they called a friend who spoke English. He was called Mustafa. It turned out that he was a geology student at the local university who stayed with his parents in Yeşilyalı during the holidays. At first he was very suspicious and even asked if we had permission from the Army to visit the Confluence. We showed him the Degree Confluence Project website on one of his friends' iPhone which sufficiently assured him that we were not up to something illegal.
He offered to come with us and took us to a pier where he thought we could find a boat. Mustafa tried to convince a fisherman to bring us to the Confluence. The fisherman was a little bit concerned, because it was a day with comparatively rough sea but after some negotiation he agreed taking us out. It was a nice trip - the small boat was dancing on the waves and Katharina was quite pale. Reaching the CP took us 45 minutes. On our way back we figured out that the slopes along the shore are mainly planted with hazelnuts.
After we got back, Mustafa invited us into his house and introduced us to his family. We had a very pleasant afternoon with his family, sitting in the garden, drinking tea and snacking tasty vegetables from his Mum's garden.
Continued at 41N 38E.