Land, Ho!


“You can never cross the ocean until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore.”

kara gorunduAlthough the above aphorism means that risk taking is necessary to discover new worlds and achieve success in all aspects of life, it is also a perfect fit for weirdos like us actually crossing ocean. Are we weirdos? No, but it is obvious that we have the courage to cross the ocean. Moreover, the aphorism tells the same. Otherwise, I would have written this at a company in an office at Istanbul’s Central Business District working at God knows which job in spite of the Caribbean palm tree that I am under right now.

IMG_9178IMG_9261Yes, I am in the Caribbeans. We took off from Europe and arrived at St. Kitts and Nevis in the Caribbeans. I will write about this island next month. Let’s talk about Atlantic first. Also known as the Atlantic Ocean. A vast expanse of blue. I do not know whether you had studied any maps other than the ones you were taught in the elementary school or not, but I recommend that you should compare the Black Sea to the size of the ocean. This is the meaning of the word, vast!

This was my third Atlantic crossing. Although the boats and ship follow the same roots, I have not seen any other ships and boats.

IMG_9116IMG_9091After passing the Mediterranean in the middle of winter with winds up to 50 knots (don’t ever ask; it is disgusting to try to sleep or cook with that kind of shaking. Whatever you handle is stuck to the wall and even walking becomes hard. If our boat was not 60 meters long, I think I will be narrating a search and rescue mission), our first stop is always the Gibraltar. As the region is under English rule, it gives you a feeling of walking in a miniature England. For us chefs, it is our last chance to fill our boat with European, especially British products that we cannot find in the Caribbeans. I am fond of Gibraltar. The region is famous for its small paradise of restaurants called Ocean Village and monkeys continuously jumping on you trying to steal (yes, real monkeys).

IMG_9402Our next stop is the Canary Islands. This year, we again stopped at Tenerife for a few hours to take fuel, then we embarked on our journey. The rest is easy. The real deal is the Atlantic crossing. A continuous 11-12 days that the weather gradually warms, the sea does not get wild, we can take short sun baths on the deck and watch the sunsets on the bow while giant waves shake us. IMG_9452How I don’t know, but we are a little bit faster and after 9 days leaving Tenerife I had the chance to shout out “Land, Ho!!!”. And the most enjoyable part is what we do in every ocean crossing when we arrive exactly to the middle of the ocean – this time alongside with a pirate themed party: just a bit of relaxing and throwing a tightly waxed bottle with a note inside undersigned by the whole crew… Who knows, maybe someone will find the bottle 100 years later and the ones passed from this ocean will be remembered.

In April, I will be on your pages with Caribbean scenes that will warm your heart.