About

Tire-bouchon (aka Tirbuşon) is 38 foot sailboat, an Ericson 38 if you want the specifics. Born on the West Coast of the US in 1984, he has had many owners before us and already knows the way to Mexico, which is a bit of a comfort. Our paths crossed in San Diego in January 2019, when after drives up and down the coast and surveys of all kind, we ended up bringing him up with us (and a lot of good-hearted friends) from San Diego to Berkeley. Two years later, we are leaving our homey Berkeley dock, to San Diego once more, Mexico, and (hopefully) further South…

[Note: Tire-bouchon will be referred as a “he” throughout this blog. Reasons range from matching the gender of the French word bateau to a weak way of contesting the somewhat womanizing way to make boats “she”s, or just the absence of convincing reason that it should be one way or the other…]

The crew

Turkish guy (aka Yalçın) grew up in Istanbul and always wanted to learn how to sail. He got a chance to give it a try after finishing high-school and participated in a week-long keelboat class that only confirmed his crush for sailing. The sailing club of his University in Istanbul turned out to be the perfect place to perfect his sailing education and introduce him to cruising and skippering larger boats for a week at the time while instructing new students to sailing. That’s also where he developed his spoiled taste for turquoise warm waters in the beautiful bays of Southern Turkey. That’s also during college that he built his first boat, Zatarra, out of plywood, epoxy and long weekends of boat work. She sailed beautifully and hopefully still will, but her owner readily moved to the US and she was a little too long to fit in any suitcases so… After three and a half years far from any (decent) body of water, sailing crossed Yalçın’s path again as he moved to the San Francisco Bay: with dinghies first, at the legendary, fantastic, stunning, glorious (I can go on forever!) Cal Sailing Club, where he met the Frenchick and a lot of the friends that made this adventure possible; racing on the Bay on Ricochet, a renegade Santana 22, and finally on his first keel boat, the beautiful lady Avocet, a Canadian Sailcraft 30 who taught the couple a lot about avoiding crab pods, making pizzas while grounded at the entrance of a cove, chinese gibes, raftups and dipping outside the protective Bay for a couple of days here and there…

Frenchick (aka Marie-Cécilia, Marie, Marie-C, Cécilia… if you know, you know) is (big surprise!) from France. She learned how to sail optimists as a kid, and was skippering the little boat with as much pride as a 13 year old can put into something. When upgrading to cats (Hobbie 14), her favorite activities were trapping and capsize recovery. After a sweet taste of cruising at 18 on the lovely Alphée, which carried her from Naples to Tunisia, Frenchick was thrilled to finally go back to her first love as soon as she got a chance to live by the water. That chance turned out to be in the San Francisco Bay, in Berkeley more specifically, which as mentioned before, is home to the *insert the most positive adjective you can think of* Cal Sailing Club. She frenetically sailed dinghies there until her back told her to stop doing that everyday. The moral of the story was (1) always listen to your back, these body parts can be very opinionated! (2) keelboat sailing is a little less demanding and still get you on the Bay with the breeze on your face, whether it’s racing or crusing (3) teaching dinghies is also les demanding but yet very rewarding and (4) did I mention you need to listen to your back and do your exercices everyday? Before that though (and a couple of times after too to be entirely honest), she had some epic dinghy races (co?)-skippered with the Turkish guy and if you read his bio, you already know the rest of the story: Avocet, Tire-bouchon, still a bit of dinghy here and there, and trying to sail out of the country before the expiration of the grace period of a research visa (nothing better to add fun and dramatic tension of a sailing story, right?)…