• Frank Klaus Jordan

swimming with dolphins - a day between the princes' islands


I believe the sea is curing all bad moods. I believe that the wind and waves wipe away worries. I believe watching dolphins in the open sea brings good luck. I believe swimming in open water is grounding my soul and I believe that we must go on adventures to find out where we belong.


It is still early in the day when we get into the Marina in Kadıköy, Istanbul. A soft breeze from the Marmara Sea slowly clears the sky from all these clouds that had still worried us in the morning. Today we are invited to spend the day between the princes' islands with our good friends. We have been to the islands 'adalar' many times before, but we have never sailed these waters on a yacht. In addition, there is one more thing I have on my agenda for a long time - swim training between the princes' islands. Today is the day, so what are we waiting for "Leinen los - Cast off".


Leaving the marina we are heading for Kınalıada, one of the four big islands. In ancient times this archipelago was called Demonisia, the People’s Islands. During Byzantine times they were called Papadonisia, the Islands of the Monks, because of some monasteries that had been build on them. These monasteries were also used as exiles for served out emperors, empresses and patriarchs. Most of them never returned to Constantinople. Emperor Justin II built himself a palace and monastery on the largest of the islands in 569 A.D. and called it Prinkipo, the Isle of the Prince. Later the entire archipelago was called Princes' Islands.

When we come close to Kınalıada I prepare to get into the water. My friends are curious, "what are you doing?". They still think I am joking when I get my goggles ready. A minute later I jump in. The water is warm and the waves are bearable. Finally, I get to do my open water swim between the islands. Two years ago I swam the Bosphorus race but this here is the kind of adventure I was looking for. Soon I find the right pace for my training, heading for Burgazada, the next big island. My friends are busy keeping the yacht in close distance. There is a lot of ferry traffic between the islands, so we have to be careful. After half an hour there is some action on the boat. They are waving and honking, trying to tell me something. Shouting from the deck they ask: "did you see the two dolphins? They were passing by right next to you!"


Later that day we drop anchor at Kaşık Ada. Now everybody takes a dip, this time without dolphins. There is nothing better than enjoying a cold beer surrounded by such beautiful seascape. We call one of the restaurants on Burgazada and make an order for lunch. Sometime later, a small boat moors to the yacht, delivering fresh fish, sea food, salad and chips. What a day.


I see the skies of blue and clouds of white

and I think to myself,

what a wonderful world

(Louis Armstrong)