How the pandemic can help to get a boat of your dream

How the pandemic can help to get a boat of your dream

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Meet Alkin, ambassador in Istanbul, Turkey. The pandemic helped him to get a 40-foot sailboat. We asked Alkin several questions about his story.

When did you start sailing?

As a kid I was totally impressed with the fact that you can move so quickly by means of the wind only. For many years I was a seaman more than a sailor. I’ve been boating, fishing, free and scuba diving.

Years later, a very close friend of mine bought a sailboat, and I became his crew and co-captain. My first journey started at the Aegean Sea ten years ago. I've been sailing ever after. Finally I've decided to have my own sailboat.

A great opportunity arose during the pandemic. This was a great time to get a good deal on a boat that I could not afford under normal conditions. The demand was very low, because the world tourism was nearly canceled for a period. So the price went down. I've managed to purchase the 40-foot sailboat and brought it to the home port in Istanbul. We've crossed four seas during this voyage, including Adriatic, Ionian, Aegean, and Marmara waters.

Photo: Alkin Tezuysal

What was the main reason why you decided to become a sailor?

What do you love the most about sailing? I've become a sailor because of the freedom it offers to a traveler. It also brings many things together as skills to navigate, sail and maintain a vessel. Sailing is also another way to get friends and families together as you can be in different locations worldwide and may know someone there.

All of the seaman skills can be trained during any sailing trip. You may need to dive to untangle a rope from propeller, you may have to climb the mast to fix the navigation light. There's always something unexpected to happen, good or bad. You are facing the adrenalin during the intense weather versus having a calm sunset at another quiet cove. It's a fantastic journey only achieved via individual determination.

What I love most about sailing is that I find myself free.

Photo: Alkin Tezuysal

How do you use Why do you prefer it?

I use almost daily. I check the seven-day forecast for the location I am at and check the three-day forecast for the place I'd like to go to next. I am a PRO user and have it on my mobile and Ipad. I've developed some techniques over the years to feel the pattern changes while monitoring other weather events.

Tell us more about the big trip you plan for this summer

My most significant plan is to visit as many locations as I can on South East Turkish coastline. Due to pandemic and travel restrictions, I have no plans to cross Greece or other countries. The trick is to travel and work at the same time. I'm also co-authoring a technical book and that requires time.

Photo: Alkin Tezuysal

What’s your advice for beginners?

Have experienced sailors around. Do not hesitate to go above and beyond to help and sail with them. Spend as much time as possible on the boat.

Sailing and weather forecasts are directly related. You'll need fair winds for a good sail, so you’ll have to face some rough conditions. Have your ready and keep monitoring patterns of weather events nearby.


Text: Alkin Tezuysal, ambassador in Istanbul, Turkey. Edited by Varvara Potekhina

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