The Captain’s Journal
Dear Sea Lovers,
I met and fell in love with the Sea around 1975 along with my membership to İzmit Sailing club. I was trying to engage in Sailing at the Gulf of İzmit with my friends from İzmit under the conditions of those years. In time, due to the determined attitude of our beautiful İzmit to be an industrial city and the pollution of our gulf, I drifted away from the sea and started to work in one of the reputable industrial organizations. After the education and marriage affairs of my daughter Begüm, born in 1983 and my son Barış Can, born in 1987 were over, I realized it was 2014 and I was 60 years old. I was born in 1955 in İzmit. After I had had my elementary, secondary and high school education in İzmit, I have received my University degree from Germany under German discipline, I returned to my country to start a couple of commercial ventures, to work nearly in all positions at Industrial organizations; and I completed my Industrialist missions by being a Factory manager and working as a consultant. After the 00s, sometimes we used to escape from the city with my family to meet with the Aegean Sea, rent a boat and see the two shades of blue blend in, listen to the crickets who would not leave us alone at night, watch the stars admiringly and wish the time to stop. After making a point of receiving sailing trainings from various people and institutions during these getaways to the Aegean, starting from Basic Sailing Training and including sailing at night, trainer’s training, first aid training, avoiding conflict at sea, combating fire, I decided to marry the Sea with which I have fallen in love and we bought our 40 feet sailboat SU in 2014.
Dear Sea Lovers, our world has formed in billions of years, yet human life is short as a blink of an eye. Now I am kindly asking you to lay back and close your eyes and please ask yourself this question. What have I done for myself? When you ask this, think of how old you are, estimate how many years of healthy life you have left and more importantly plan what you can do for yourself from now on.
Dear Sea Lover, I invite you to Fethiye Ece Marina to spare time for yourself; to have a vacation at bays, which are more peaceful than you have ever seen before, filled with enough adrenalin and would ring with your laughter; to get accustomed to sailing; and to enjoy freedom…
May your foreship be clear and your wind plenty.
Uğur Bayram Biçer
I honestly could not even dream that I would carry my navy officer uniform, I wore timidly for the sake of my parents on the days towards manhood, with great pride and without taking it off for thirty five years after attending to Naval Academy years later.
How could I know when I was 8-9 years old that the pendants of various colors that I tried to wave at the boats without knowing their purpose with the joy of being able to comply with the instructions of our landlady, who was a sailing race referee, of our rented house at Salacak coast that had a boat house under it, during sailing races held between Fenerbahçe-Kalamış, to which our landlady took me nearly every weekend, would mean something one day in my life as a sailor.
How can I forget that with a few friends in front of our house we have sandpapered the must of the boat of our famous sailor Sadun BORA, who is the first Turkish sailor to sail around the world between 1965-1968 with 10.5 m sailboat “KISMET” together with his wife and his cat “Miço”, which he had picked up from Canary Islands, while he was sharing his extensive navigation experiences at the Naval Academy and teaching us the method of memorizing the meaning of signal flags, which are among the main communication methods of navigation, in a way we cannot ever forget.
On the other hand when I had read the journeys and adventures of Captain Nemo and Pierre Aronnax, involving the Red Sea, the Mediterranean Sea and the lost continent of Atlantis, while traveling with the submarine called “Nautilus” in the science fiction novel “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea” by Jules Verne, which had been one of the first novels I had read in my childhood; how could I think that such novel would be one of the most significant building blocks that transformed my interest in the sea into a passion.
However, nothing has influenced me to begin my navigation profession as the poem “I would have wanted my son to be a sailor” by “Nazım HİKMET” written on a withered away and pretty worn out newspaper clipping given to me by my father in one of the classrooms by the sea of my school, which enabled me to feel the beauty of the Bosporus as well as the smell of iodine within me.
I would have wanted my son to be a sailor.
The sea is an endless arena of fighting.
The sea is a fighter.
I would have wanted my son to be a fighter.
One thinks the best and the most clear while at sea.
I would have wanted that my son,
To be a man thinking within the fight,
Without leaving the fight.
The sea is brave.
The sailor is also fearless,
You fight head to head with the sea,
I would have wanted that my son,
Enjoyed fighting head to head.
You will say “You are in the wrong here!”
The ones who do not know how to throw knives from behind,
Would themselves tumble down
By receiving a blade to their back on this dark land.
That is why I would have wanted
My son not to be a runt fighting cowardly on the land,
But instead a GIANT fighting head to head on the sea.
So today I am saying; fortunately I have become a Navy Officer, a Sailor. My answer to those who ask whether I would become a sailor if I have come to earth again is Yes, Yes, Yes…
“May your foreship be clear and your wind convenient – May God Give You Health.”