Woman quits job after 20 years to become sailor
Ece Çelik- ISTANBUL
After building a successful career and working in a white-collar job in Istanbul for 20 years, a woman quit her job to pursue her childhood dream of becoming a sailor.
Başak Mineli, who first got introduced to sailing when she was 13, devoted all her spare time and all the money she earned to pursuing her dreams.
Though Mineli built a successful academic path after receiving education in the fields of psychology and sociology and a high-level career, she decided that she wanted to spend her life on the sea and went on a world tour when she turned 45.
Explaining the process of quitting her job to go on a world tour, Mineli said that her decision to leave the job did not go well with her relatives and friends, and it took her some time before she told her mother about it.
“Quitting a job is perceived as madness, but I am pleased with my decision. They tried to change my mind. The more we earn, the more we spend, and we become dependent on that work,” Mineli said.
“Marine life has taught that to me. You are trying to continue your life in the middle of the sea in limited conditions,” Mineli added.
After graduating from university, she also got inclined toward motorcycles. “I participated in off-road races. I became the first female driver to complete the seven-day Trans Taurus race in which you finish the tracks by riding a motorcycle on rough grounds,” Mineli expressed.
Mineli, who started a five-year world tour with her husband after countless training, is preparing to become the first Turkish woman to cross the Atlantic Ocean by sailing alone in mid-December.
“Though I hit the road with my husband, I want to cross the Atlantic Ocean alone,” Mineli stated.
“There are men who have done this, but no woman from Türkiye has ever sailed solo across the Atlantic Ocean. Many people got skeptical about my decision as many asked, ‘Why do you want to go through the journey alone?’”
“When a man goes down this road alone, no one asks, ‘Why are you going alone?’ With this motivation, I became clear in my decision,” Mineli added.
“I am sure that the women who will get inspired and pursue the same path as me will achieve great success,” she added.
Describing the most frightening moments she has ever experienced on a boat, Mineli said, “I feel myself in the most dangerous situation when the boat is drifting without wind. During a race, there is no wind in the Marmara Sea.”
“I found myself drifting among some tankers. Somehow, I reached the Ataköy coast. During this time, an unexpected sea flow occurred, and it began to drag my boat toward the beach at a great speed,” Mineli stated.
“People think sailors are afraid when there is a storm, but our nightmare begins when there is no wind,” she added.
Stating that though Türkiye is a country surrounded by seas, Mineli said the country is very inadequate in terms of maritime sports and that young people need to be supported.
“If support is provided, we can achieve great success in offshore yacht racing as the geography of our country is quite suitable for training in this field,” she added.