Posted by: mollyscafeistanbul | June 29, 2010

molly’s cafe: annual boat party

actually, i started the boat parties before i started the cafe.  however, now my “public” is wider so i can share the fun with more people.  this year i am renting a different boat which is nicer than the one i have been renting the past few years.  and best of all, this crew buys the groceries and does the cooking, so it is a real holiday for me.  we will go up the bosporus to anadolu kavagi, moor, go swimming, and have lunch.  it will be GREAT!  some friends are visiting, which is why i am doing it on this date.

and what are the details?

sun. july 11  10 am to 6 pm.  we leave from kabatas.  more details will follow as i get them.

the boat we are renting can be seen at this link:  it is the top one, not the yacht.

one of the best boat parties i had was a couple of years ago when my son was here.  it was just a few days before he left and so he went out with a bang.  a couple of dolphins overcame the boat and kept on going, but it was very cool to see them.  many people don’t know that there are dolphins in the bosporus.  at one point there were 9 people lined up on the side of the boat to do a group cannonball.  it was such great fun!

on another boat trip one turkish woman who had grown up in istanbul told me that she had never swum in the bosporus before.  so it was nice to introduce a local to this fun activity.

some people ask if the bosporus is polluted.  i am sure it is, as almost all of the world’s seas and rivers are dirty. however, there are two opposing currents in the bosporus, which tends to keep it fresher.  one current goes down because the marmara sea is lower than the black sea, and the other current goes up because one sea is saltier than the other.  the water is certainly cleaner up near the black sea, where we go.  my son luke is 6 ft 4, and when he was in the water i could see his feet clearly, so that is an indication.

one year the bosporus was closed due to the yearly swim across the strait.  therefore, we had to go to the islands.  we went behind burgazada.  it was ok, but there were lots of jellyfish.  we debated whether or not they would sting, but there was no definitive answer.  i wouldn’t want one to touch me, sting or not.  also, i think they like dirty water, as i see them a lot around where the boats come in.  so although we had a nice time, the swimming was not as nice as it could have been, since we were dodging those yucky clear jellyfish.

another boat party story concerns my friend carter.  for a few years he lived right on the bosporus in kandilli.  one year we stopped by to say hi, though he had just moved and could not come with us.  another year we did actually pick him up, which was pretty cool.

here are some photos from past boat parties.


that year i rented a sort of yacht.  it was quite expensive and we had to go to arnavutkoy to get on it.  however, for one day the luxury was nice.

luxury for the day

no this way! the kaptan let miles and cevdet drive
dropping in on carter

trying to pull up the sunken boat at limankoy

2006 pictures were lost 😦


this is the year that we had to go to the islands instead of up the bosporus.  this is one of the jellyfish we tried to avoid.

waiting for the boat in karakoy:

molly and bayram

stefan and bayram

it was an international group– am american, a turk, and a russian, among others.  stefan is german living in switzerland.

international sunners

carter and molly

celal took the plunge!



still going

still going



this is burgazada from the back.

molly hard at work


this is the year that luke was here.  it was a great time!

boys on the boat. that's luke on the right

isil had never swum in the bosporus before

luke going feet first

people could get high at dinner with this

one of my faves

we were here

picking up carter and friends


this year my friend nancy and her friend marcia were visiting from oregon.  we had a fab time!

cevdet nancy karen

nancy giving deniz dancing lessons

colourful swimmers

even the kaptan was out catching some rays


where are you?!

i hope you can join us this year for another great day in the sun on the sea.



  1. Have a happy boat party! Wish we could be there. Well actually, I’m not one for being six hours on a boat, but the idea is nice. We will toast you tomorrow morning while you are skinny dipping. Bill

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