Sam and crew left Israel and headed northwest around the Mediterranean Sea, past Istanbul, and into the Black Sea. Sam has taken the Porpoise to the northern coast of Turkey to the port city of Trabzon. This is an important and ancient port filled with much Byzantine architecture. Sam is taking the crew on a "field trip" with with a team of archaeologists. They are traveling about 300 miles to none other than Mt. Ararat to study some manuscripts found at a church there. Yes, this is THE Mt. Ararat, the very mountain where Noah's Ark landed after the flood. Turkey is most Muslim. Few foreigners are allowed to Ararat. Only this special science team is allowed to the mountain, only to do their research. But the team will be able go to the base of Ararat and the see region around it to do their work. Then they will have to leave and go back to Trabzon and sail to their next port.
Mt. Ararat was one of the stops on Marco Polo's journey east to China. What an exciting stop on his epic trip!