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Rent your own boat, head out into the Bosporus!
1.       tunci
7149 posts
 24 Apr 2011 Sun 01:18 pm

Kendi teknenizi kiralayıp ve Boğaz´a çıkın !

Rent your own boat, head out into the Bosporus!

24 April 2011, Sunday / ESRA KESKİN, İSTANBUL

For one thing, the cost is not at all prohibitive; a 6-and-a-half-meter boat that you can take out onto the waters of the Bosporus can be rented for just TL 50.

This past week has been quite rainy, with dark clouds seemingly unwilling to abandon İstanbul’s skies.

Even social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter have been filled with complaints about the “disobedience” of the weather in its failure to comply with the calendar’s dates. There can be little doubt, though, that even though for now the sun appears to have surrendered to the clouds, when it does return it will be glorious. And when the weather does get warmer, there will, of course, be many wanting to find the best way to shrug off the gloom of winter.

We wanted to offer some alternatives, and in researching options, we headed for the shores of the Golden Horn, where we found ourselves standing before rows of wooden boats. These are perhaps the best option for those who wish to breathe in the essence of the Bosporus in these first days of spring weather before us.

Most of you have taken those long tours of the Bosporus -- the ones that leave on boats that carry around 300 people on a regular basis from both Eminönü and Ortaköy. But nothing can take the place of a Bosporus tour that you can take alone with your family or friends. Now, when we say “boat,” don’t be unsettled; we are not talking about anything that will push your budget over the limit. These are boats between six and 10 meters long that carry five people, ideal for touring the Bosporus or the Golden Horn. Prices range between TL 25 an hour for a Golden Horn tour and TL 50 for a Bosporus tour. You can also rent a larger, 16-person boat for TL 120 an hour if you wish. It takes two hours or so to make a round trip between the Golden Horn and the second bridge.

Or, if you have a more limited schedule, you can also just take them as far as Çırağan Palace, and then return to the Golden Horn from Üsküdar. Of course, there are also rowboat trips as another option, for those that love pulling those oars. But, of course, due to the risk of capsizing in the waves created by large ships that pass through the Bosporus, you can’t head out too far in these waters. Still, rowing from the waters of the Golden Horn towards Galata Tower is always a great option, just so you know -- and for only TL 15 an hour.

Renting boats on the Golden Horn cheaper

Many of the owners of the boats that line the shores of the Golden Horn are older, most over the age of 60. And their names are always written on the front of their boats -- Ahmet Kaptan, Emin Kaptan, Naci Kaptan. Of these “captains,” the youngest is 28-year-old Erdoğan Kaptan. We take some time to chat with the others in his boat. All of them explain that most people seem to think that renting a boat is more expensive than it really is, and they all also assert that their boats are much cheaper than those seen in other locations.

In any case, there are no places along the Bosporus shoreline where you will find this many boats at one time. Yes, there are boats along the shorelines of spots like Üsküdar, Beykoz, Kanlıca, Arnavutköy and Bebek, but these are mostly very large, 500-person boats that are rented out for special occasions such as weddings, or boats that work specifically for certain restaurants.

A wedding proposal in the middle of the Bosporus

“I have been doing this work for as long as I can remember,” we are told by Naci Kaptan, who laments that people in İstanbul still seem devoid of a seafaring culture. As he sees it, you are really not living life without the smell of the sea around you, which is why his home is only 100 meters from the shores of the Golden Horn, where he waits for customers until late at night and then returns early in the morning for work. Since his boat is a five-person one, his customers are mostly either tourists or young people. Some days he doesn’t even head out but still is happy with his life, since his greatest pleasure comes from simply being out on the water.

In one sense, all these men really share the same story. For many of them, these boats are not just their source of income, but also their homes. Take Erdoğan Kaptan, for example, he and his brother live together on their boat, going back to their home on land just once a week. Their boat is a bit larger than the others, as it can hold 16 people. It boasts a cabin, a small kitchen and a bathroom, which is why some people rent it for birthday celebrations, wedding proposals and anniversary celebrations.

Erdoğan Kaptan says: “Last year we broke our own record for wedding proposals. And now it’s the month of April, so they’ll start up again.” As this captain describes it, young men apparently have some very creative ideas when it comes to wedding proposals. He notes that a typical evening that includes a wedding proposal might go like this: The young couple watches the Bosporus from above, and Erdoğan Kaptan communicates by telephone with the young man’s friends on land. Later, as the boat approaches shore near Ortaköy or Galata, the friends, who are laying in wait, unfurl a banner or a poster declaring the wedding proposal. As the future bride gets over her surprise at what she is seeing, the young man takes out the ring he has hidden in his jacket and presents it to his young lady, along with his proposal for marriage.

There are lots and lots more life stories connected with these boats, no doubt. But let’s just say for now that these boats are really an ideal option for any spring occasion you may wish to celebrate, even if it’s only the arrival of warmer weather. There is also a food service option for those who wish -- bring your own barbeque ingredients and they will cook them and serve them up to you for only TL 50. Or, if you prefer to cook the food yourself, there is no charge.

Note : İyi fikir  !

        Good idea !


Edited (4/24/2011) by tunci

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