Past Sailing Experiences:
Our first and second boats:
In the early 80's we used to spend our summer vacations at the summer house of Nilgun's family situated at Saroz bay, northern Aegean coast, close to Greek border. We have bought a small wooden dinghy with a mast, Nilgun stitched a sail, and we have started sailing. After a few summers, we have decided that we deserve a larger boat. We have found a second hand 5.5 meter YELTES boat with a 6 hp outboard that came out of the water whenever Nilgun walked to the bow to hoist the genoa! Ali had his first single handed offshore experience with this boat. He started from Istanbul , sailed across the Marmara, through the Dardanelles , and came to Saros, Northern Aegean Coast . This is when he decided to cross the ocean.
Our third boat:
In 1990 we have bought a 9 meter YELTES boat with a 9hp engine. Imbat 3 gave us full pleasure of sailing for five years. The three of us have sailed across the Marmara and Aegean Seas , and have sold the boat full of happy memories back to her creator, the owner of YELTES. They are still using the boat. I think boats, like people are born with a certain destiny. Some sit sadly in marinas, unoccupied, immobile, while some flourish with glamour.
Our final boat:
In 1995 we have found our fourth boat, our dream boat WILD VENTURE, later named VAGABOND. She is a 42 feet ketch built in Taiwan in 1982. With her we have sailed to the Western and Southern Coast of Turkey, joined EMYR 1989 (Eastern Mediterranean Yacht Rally) up to Suez Channel, Egypt , back to Istanbul , joined KAYRA 1989 (Black Sea Yacht Rally), and sailed through Bulgaria , Ukraine , and the Turkish coast of the Black Sea . The total mileage covered in 1989 was approximately 5,000 nautical miles. In the year 2000 the boat went through a thorough revision.
Atlantic passage on board s/y MAT:
In April 2003, we have left our boat in Ataköy Marina to join our dear friend and Commodor Teoman Arsay on his Turkish made beauty s/y MAT as crew in St. Maarten, the Caribbean Islands . We have cruised north to the British Virgin Islands, then made our longest passage of 2200 nautical miles to the Azor Islands . The passage took 14,5 days, 10 of which in perfect sailing weather. The final 4,5 days in the Azores high we were deserted by the wind, and we had to start the engine. After discovering Horta, Pico, Terceira , and St Miguel,We made our second long passage to the Gibraltar , which took 10 rough days. From Gibraltar on, we decided to make some blue voyage, and made stops in Porto Banus, Cartagena, Alicante , the Spanish Costa del Sol, and we ran out of time, and had to desert Mat at Majorca, Balear Islands .
Back to VAGABOND:
We had to rush to Istanbul to get ready for Mayra, Marmara Yacht Rally, where Ali is the Commodor.In June 2004, we have joined KAYRA 2004, The Black Sea Yacht Rally, the second time around. This time the voyage lasted two full months with 2000 nautical miles, and covered the entire Black Sea Turkish Coast , Georgia , Russia , Ukraine , up the Bug River, Romania, up the Danube river, Bulgaria and back to Istanbul . Again our Commodore was Teoman Arsay. Some people asked us whether it was boring the second time around. Our answer was no, it was totally different. With different boats, different friends, different context. A third time might be even more exciting.