Couple completes 7-year world tour on boat
A Turkish couple has completed their world tour on a boat that they began seven years ago and are back in Antalya, where their journey first began.
Zehra Şirin, 67, and Hasan Şirin, 58, set sail from the city on the Mediterranean coast in August 2015 with their dog “Carlos” on board.
“It was a tough but very joyful trip,” the couple said, recalling that they had struggled with storms and many other problems.
They navigated through the Caribbean, Grenada, Fiji, New Caledonia and Malaysia on the 17-meter-long boat “Kandiba.”
“We knew almost nothing about sailing, but we wanted to pursue our dream. The worst part was the storms,” Zehra Şirin said.
“We have unforgettable memories now.”
She recalled that during a stop, they wanted to buy a loaf of bread. “We said ‘ok, let’s pick it up later’ and walked away. The shop owner apparently thought we did not have money and that’s why we changed our mind. This person gave us the bread for free. I was so touched.”
Hasan Şirin said they took a turn in steering the boat and doing all other work.
“Out in the open sea, pirates chased us. We turned the lights off to make us invisible. That’s how we escaped from them,” he remembered.
At one point during their journey, the boat’s engine failed, and they had to use the sail to navigate.
“We reached out to the [Turkish] embassy and the Foreign Ministry. They rescued us,” Hasan Şirin said.
They often took breaks in bays and set sail when the weather allowed.
In a symbolic gesture, the Şirin couple stepped onto the Antalya Port, where they were welcomed by their friends and beloved ones with the shoes they left behind when their world tour started.
Now they are planning to set sail again. This time, they want to visit every single bay along Turkey’s coastline.