SAILING AFTER OUR DREAMS
One day, 12 years ago, as I was working very hard at our highly dynamic and stressful family business in Ankara, I realized that I had had enough of stress and just by myself, I got away to Fethiye. I was staying in a hotel just behind Ece Saray Marina, but still working with my computer connecting to Ankara all the same. With one single difference though; my office, this time, was the “Mod Café” by the sea in the marina. Then I thought of the sailing trainers, whom I knew through my father; Captains Candan and Benhür Tokyürek. I felt like I was being ridiculous. I had changed my location for a better one, but my mind was still at the same place. So, when I realized that it could not go on like that, I called the captains. Back then, I was just subscribed to their mail group and following their cruises through their narratives. We were about to meet for the first time. So, I called them and we met the very same day at my office, Mod Café :) After that, I went on a 3-day cruise with them and let go of all my stress to the sea and the wind. When I left Fethiye, I was very happy, relieved and peaceful, and deep down I knew that it was all thanks to the sailing. When I got back to Ankara, I took courses and received the certificate of confidence for operators of pleasure craft. With my best friend Berrak, I participated in sailing races both with Captains Candan and Benhür in Fethiye and Göcek, and following their recommendations, with various amateur teams in Bodrum and made sailing a dear part of my life for 4-5 years. It was such a passion for me that almost every 3 weeks I was going to Bodrum and keeping up with my work in Ankara at the same time without whining.
Then, I met Emrah and my focus in life shifted. I started to spend most of my time with him and no longer wanted to spare any time for work at all :) Among all the other things we had done together; activities, travelling, etc.; I had cast a veil over sailing. Of course, I could have acquainted him this sports that I enjoyed very much, but somehow, I chose not to, still don’t know why. Anyways, towards the fourth year of our relationship we decided to move to Canada, acquire a new professional skill and take a break for three years. In the meantime, I was always in touch with my Captains and they knew about our plans. Then one day, Captain Candan called and said; “What the hell are you going to do in Canada, so cold and far away? We want to open a branch office in Montenegro, would you like to operate it?”, and all of a sudden, everything changed.
So, this is how “The Sailing Experience” got started. Well, neither the plans of the Captains, nor moving to Canada or Montenegro came true, but we launched into our sailing life. “Şahbaz”, a Bavaria 44, the host to my first training, became ours and of “The Sailing Experience” that we established to make a living. We moved to Fethiye obviously, which was one of the most correct decisions of our lives; although it was not that conscious and intentional back then. As I read through “our story” I had written during our days in lockdown, I am positive about this decision more than ever.
Our story started in Fethiye, in November 2018. We hope that it lasts for long years beyond our dreams, after the wind, the sea and the sun. Let it take us to new people, new places and new stories!
"We hope that it lasts for long years beyond our dreams, after the wind, the sea and the sun. Let it take us to new people, new places and new stories!"
ABOUT YASEMIN GÜNDÜZ
She was born in Ankara in 1984. She attended TED Ankara Private High School and studied Economics at Bilkent University. After graduation, in 2005, she went to Institut Paul Bocuse in France for culinary education. She had been interested in various fields all her life. At the age of 35, she decided to sail as a profession, which she had been involved in as a recreational activity for 10 years, and moved to Fethiye. Her aim is to bring together the passionate and amateurs of the sea and sailing at various activities, experiencing the pleasure of sailing through Aganta Yelken, which she co-founded with Emrah.
ABOUT EMRAH ARSLAN
He was born in 1981 in Ankara and spent most of his life there. Despite trying to fulfill his longing for the sea as a person living in Ankara by visiting coastal cities from time to time, it only helped to boost the feeling. The seeds of the thought being a captain to a sailboat, which had never occurred to him before, were first planted when he met Yasemin. Having not spent so much time at sea except for a couple of gulet cruises and short journeys in small boats in Kaş to Limanağzı, Emrah was just a listener of the sailing stories told by Yasemin. When they got down to dreaming about starting a new life with Yasemin, he did not know that the sea would be a big part of it. It was October 2018, when they quit their jobs in Ankara and took the road to Fethiye with Yasemin to get started with seafaring with Ankara Kaptan. Finally, at the end of the winter season of a highly intense training, in the summer of 2019 he was capable of setting sail to a new world. At the end of that summer full of unforgettable memories, experiences and teachings, he decided to go on their own journey with Yasemin with their own boat. He is now looking for fellow sailors and seafarers to write the rest of the story.