Having over 25 years of sailing experience, Tansel is the chief instructor of the school. You can frequently find him offering brief but wise advice about life, often in a creative and unexpected way; thus his nickname “Big Chief”. When asked about his past life, he always responds with a knowing grin: “Been there, done that. My life’s been a rollercoaster!” He is also known to always have a positive outlook on any situation and to regularly captivate people with short and funny stories from his colorful past.
People are always surprised by his patience level and some try to reach his limits… You can find a smile upon his face at any time, even when students destroy a 5000€ radar dome or repeat the same mistake for the hundredth time in the last 10 days. But somehow, he always finds a way to teach students the required subject, sometimes in a unique way.
He has lived and done business in Europe and the USA. He has owned both motor yachts and sailboats. Sailing more than 50,000 miles, he has sailed in the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian Oceans; not to mention countless passages around the Mediterranean Sea. Besides sailing, he is a qualified pilot (FAA Pilot License with High Speed Endorsement), PEDI Scuba Diving License (with SAR endorsement) and a Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical Engineering.
After the decision to escape corporate life, Tansel migrated to the beautiful seaside town of Marmaris and opened up the Smart Sailing Academy. Since then, he has focused on teaching sailing and its philosophy. “Sailing is not just a sport, it’s not just a theory,” he states, “It’s a way of life.”
Sailing since he was an infant, Ivan has called the sea his home, and that's in a literal sense, since he has never lived on land... Circumnavigating the globe with his parents, Ivan has lived a life others only dream about...and all before his 20th birthday. When asked what he thinks about this amazing feat, he just shrugs and replies, "It was a pretty normal life!"
This globe-trotting, wise-cracking, ruggedly handsome, all-around nice guy doesn't get called the "Iron Man" for nothing ("Iron Man" obviously referring to the Marvel comic character, Ivan just doesn't need the suit...). Some have claimed that he has the power of five men, while other witnesses have called him "not human". This is obviously due to the fact that he can found winching non-stop for a whole day in a wind-blown race, then being spotted at the local nightclub, throwing down some funky dance moves until 6AM...only to repeat it all the next day!
That having been said, Ivan has the sailing experience many hardened sailors only fantasize about... Getting caught in a massive storm off Cape of Good Hope, stuck in a dead calm for a month in the Pacific, weathering hurricanes in Bermuda or trying to navigate in a full-blown blizzard off Nova Scotia, he has witnessed the true power of the sea.
With over 60,000 nautical miles under his belt, most of those on the open ocean, it's not hard to see why Ivan decided to become a sailing instructor. After stopping in Marmaris on his 12m sailing yacht to spend the winter season of 2011, he joined some of the local races and was quickly spotted by the chief instructor of the Smart Sailing Academy, who then recruited him to be part of the Smart Sailing Team.
You can usually find "Iron Man Ivan" on one of the schools' yachts, teaching students how to sail and entertaining them with episodes from one of his vivid voyages. Always ready with a quick smile and a joke at hand, Ivan enjoys instructing as much as he does sailing. "People say you have to enjoy your work in order to excel in it", he says, "And sailing is what truly makes me happy!"
Gulen always wished she was born on a yacht, wished that she could sail upon those alluring expanses of water, that she could breathe the salty sea air every day; but alas those were just distant dreams… Her love for the sea started when she was just a child. She was born in the seaside town of Izmir, where the sea is an important part of daily life and culture. She could barely contain her excitement when her father took her fishing on his traditional fishing gulet. “I was never good at fishing,” she says, “But I was lucky, because when I was on that boat, I was close to the sea…” From then on, her love for the sea was insatiable. Her father used to say that genuine Izmirians have the sea flowing through their veins and cannot live without the sea.
Her love for the sea did not diminish as she grew up. When she bought a motor-yacht, she used every chance to go to sea and forget the stress of generic everyday life. She took extensive trips along the Turkish coast, enjoying the breath-taking beauty of the Aegean Sea. She was introduced to sailing yachts in 2007 but could not pursue this path due to work-related issues. “The best decision I ever made in my life was when I moved to Marmaris”, she claims happily. After her migration to Marmaris in 2011, she realized all the things she had been missing in life. She started working at the Smart Sailing Academy and progressed towards her goal: becoming a sailing instructor. Following all the necessary steps, she began with the Bareboat Skipper, Yachtmaster Coastal, Yachtmaster Offshore and finally the coveted Instructor License. Having worked for over two years at the school, sailing almost every day and teaching people to love the sea; she says that her dreams finally came true.
Living on a sailboat my whole life, I’ve haven’t spent more than 48 hours away from the sea. Sailing with my family around the world for my entire life, yachting is my lifestyle. Without water near me I don’t feel at home. I love all water sports, and I actively free-dive in the beautiful bays I frequently travel to when on sailing trips. With past experience working at dive centers, I now love the underwater world just as much as the surface. It just happens that my hobby, life, and job are all one and the same. Being at sea means freedom, excitement; the joy of the anchoring any place you want, catching fish, discovering secret coves, meeting interesting people, learning exotic cultures: that’s what I live for. I enjoy sharing my sailing passion, because I believe that the philosophy of sailing is getting people relaxed mentally, being in sync with nature and letting go of all worries and stress. Every day spent on the water teaches us something new and I believe that with each sunset at sea, I learn a little bit more about life. “I’m happy to be part of something that lets us enhance our lifestyle through sailing”, he says with a smile on his face, “I invite you to sail and share this journey!”
St. Petersburg, Leningrad, Petrograd … they are not different names of the city, they are different cities merged among themselves by history, people and water elements. Baltic Sea, Neva, Ladoga, Svir, Onega, Volkhov. It is music of water, it is magic of water which bewitches everyone who considers aura of St. Petersburg as part of their soul.
Majestic Neva that shows by its current as a tranquillity and a pressure can overcome any obstacle; Marquis's pool – the Gates of Baltic Sea, which due to its gentle breeze and palace coasts gives some romanticism capable to touch any impenitent heart; stormy Ladoga - the capricious sorcerer which great number of water dealers tried to bypass by channels.
We aren't dealers, for us water is not a trade way, but it is an element of life, salty as tears and pure as love! Once having tried to travel under a sail and having experienced energy of a wave and force of wind, we as well as our ancestors forever become servants of the Admiralty. Olga was named Aurora because the most difficult morning watch she meets with a smile of dawn. She knows what the sea is and as it differs from the ocean and where water hides the lake treasures. In St. Petersburg nowadays many people forget such mooring and halyard. But Olga was lucky, she got acquainted with Andrey (Free Dolphin) who, like herself, was sick and fascinated by the sea. The Dolphin discovered for Aurora overseas waters of Europe and Asia. Andrey was not alone, there was the whole cheerful team, which as a team helped each other in life with confidence of old salts. And thus Aurora became an employee of Smart Sailing Academy. Olga with pleasure will share with you secrets of water magic and learn those secrets which you share with her!