05-Nov-2002 -- In preparing for my trip this fall to Istanbul and Bulgaria, I had decided to see what Confluence Points were available. The Istanbul point seemed quite interesting, given the location. I decided that I would try to get it myself. Given the earlier description, I decided the best way to try it would be to rent a boat, rather than guessing which ferry might go by the point. Somehow, I talked my sister and my best friend Brandon into going along on this adventure with me.
On November 5th (the day before my 28th birthday), we took the "Tourist Ferry" up the Bosporus, beginning at Eminönü, and hopping out at Sarıyer. I had read that there were numerous places along the way to hire a boat to cross the Bosporus, so I figured I could hire one to take me to the confluence point. I kept my eye open and decided on Bebek, so that's where we hopped out.
Somehow we managed to find someone who spoke some English to help us get to where we needed to go, then continued on to Kadıköy, where we hoped to catch a street market. While he ran off to find someone to bring a boat around, we met a nice guy who spoke enough English that we figured out he was (or maybe had been) a teacher. We sat and drank tea, and he tried to teach us basic Turkish, and Turkish pronunciation.
Eventually our boat showed up - a little ten or twelve foot thingy, and for a mere $ 50 we were on our way. Slowly. Very slowly. We topped out at about 8 km/h - and we were some 8 km away from the confluence point. So we putted on down the Bosporus.
Then it started to rain.
Nonetheless, I was quite amused and happy, and despite starting to get soaking wet, we continued our journey. We passed under the first bridge to link Europe with Asia, crossed the strait and passed between the shore and Leander's tower, and towards the sea wall. I thought I had made it clear that we needed to sail on the sea side of the sea wall, but our captain started to head towards the shore side. I pantomimed that we needed to go along the sea side, and he agreed. But alas, we got about 100m down the sea wall and it started to get too choppy, and our captain decided it was too dangerous for our small boat to continue. We had to turn back about 800 m away from the confluence point.
So, disappointed and wet, we decided to have him drop us off at Sultanahmet rather than taking us to Kadıköy - which he did by bringing us up to the wall, where we climbed out, with the help of a couple nice men, who were selling tea and other drinks. We went and stood under the umbrella, and they brought us tea, and we drank tea and tried to dry off and warm up. They were even nice enough to take us to our hotel when we were unable to get a taxi.
For the next person attempting this point, I suggest a bigger boat. :-)
Luckily, the point 42N 23E in Bulgaria would be a much easier target...