Ruben reports us from Gokceada
The historical name Imbros comes from ancient Greek and means "Windy Island" Because of this it has also become a suitable place for the sport windsurfing. It is actually possible to spot different kinds of wild animals like wild rabbits, woodcocks, some donkeys and lots of sheep’s who are likely everywhere I even woke up while asleep after some sheeps kept screaming in the middle of the night.
I first heard about this island a while ago. I knew it also because of while checking the forecast on windfinder I could also see that most of the time the winds were stronger than the other spots in Turkey. So visiting this island was something I did plan to do.
Transportation to the Island is over sea. As it could be transported by a ferry from Canakkale seaport, everday It is also possible to reach to the Island from Kabatepe seaport. During the summer season there are two ways of going by two private boats which belongs to the municipality Island is also open for civilian avitition with its 1200 meters lenght pist. The Island is a lovely resort itself with its calm, beautiful and clean nature. It will also be opened for yachting tourism after completing the Marina near the village Kalekoy.
When I finally got there this summer It was pretty quiet, HOT and no wind. I took time to fix up some musical tunes and lyrics while enjoying nature’s beauty. Next to that I got to meet some of the many Bulgarian windsurfers who marked this island as their own perfect local windsurf spot with on the west coast pure flat waters with off shore winds while on the east coast on shore choppy to sometimes wavy conditions. Windsurfing on this island was discovered not so long ago by Bulgarian windsurfers who accidentally got a chance to visit the island after receiving information about its sandy beaches and windy conditions. A short time after its discovery more and more Bulgarian windsurfers visit this windy spot.
Today windsurfing in Gokceada has expanded by the Bulgarians who never had enough winds, neither comfertable windsurf spots at home. So the Travel for around 7 hours by car after a ferry is now their road to perfect and good windsurf conditions. A few stations, a few camping sites some with apartments and one hotel combined with a small Turkish windsurf center where I kept my gear and hung out with some local friends. After a no wind week the island slowly started to get busy with Tourists, mainly Turkish citizens from the cities and windsurfers from Bulgaria. The action was on as the forecast changed and wind started to blow.
I used my 4.7 Loft 360Free, Unifiber boom, harness, extension and the juicy 19cm chop chop fin, still most of the time I got the feeling of using smaller equipments. No chops at all just a pure interesting feeling and the sound of my board gliding on the micro waves. In the late afternoon the winds shifts a bit but conditions get choppy with some nice steep ramps to pulll of some air moves. Windsurfing in Gokceada felt good as there are always smiling faces and small crowds on the water.
I never felt like the only black dude either, there were some people covering them self’s with black mud from the bottom of a dried out lake. I suppose; its to gave them a beautiful skin after they wash it off in the sea, the funny part was that they would always smile or say Merhaba (Hello) when they saw me without a T-shirt. But I got the water proof version I would reply.
During one of the weeks of my stay the EPIRDEN Volleybal summer tour had an event going on right on the beach. I guess it must have been a sort of Turkish organization. Girls from countries such as Bulgaria, Romania, Spain, Belarus, Poland, Turkey and some more Balkan type countries where smashing balls against each other. I must say they had a bit of luck as the wind could have made it a bit funny to watch, however winds in the afternoon are light and the volley chicks had no problems to smack some balls.
Surprisingly I was called to attend a Turkish sport TV interview. The question asked were; what do you think about the island Gokceada and what is a surfer from half around our Globe doing here. After the interview I supply the TV crew with some film clips we shooted days before, hoping he would set up a nice freestyle action for the TV program. I am still have not seen it, but I am sure I get the copy one day soon.
What to do at night?
Hanging out, talking the windsurfing talks and water pipes.
Other than that we often get our selfs together and do a beach BBQ or else every one meets in town to have some homemade dishes followed by some turkish cay and of course I always find the homemade ice creams. The meeting spot afterwards would be the CRAZY ISLAND center where you have to take your shoes off before entering the nice self made wooden launch like spot with soft carpets,nice pillows, nice drinking options and music. you may also lay back and enjoy some of the windsurfing dvd’s from Tina’s collection during the mellow nights under a sky full of shining stars.
Dont be scared to travel to windsurf.
Words and text by Ruben Petrisie
Pictures by Mario Ivano & Ruben Petrisie