About Us – Ceylan & Alfie
Welcome to our Sailing Coco blog!
We are Alfie & Ceylan (pronounced Jaylan), two 30-year-olds (at the time of writing anyway) who, having decided it was time to strip back our ‘hectic’ lives in London, have finally set up home, on Mother Nature’s blue bath!
Whether you have been following us in the past or are new here, welcome. We are delighted to have you on board.
We currently publish vlogs on YouTube and have decided to write blogs as well. The main reason for this is for us to remember, reminisce and re-capture our lives, enabling us to look back in the future, whilst sharing our stories along the way.
Before I get started and try to capture our beginnings, I would like to start by saying that this is my first attempt to write a blog. It is probably the first time I have written a body of text since leaving school. With this in mind, please bear with me, this may not be at Charles Dickins level, but hopefully our blogs will improve with time!
Anyway, let’s get to it:
Ceylan and I met back in 2011 through mutual friends.
After a year of friendship, we started dating.
At the time, I was working as an Electrician after completing an apprenticeship. Ceylan was at university studying Graphic Design Communication. Apart from Cey hating her course, her lecturers and the university, she had a great time and came to the realisation that she never wanted to do anything involving Graphic Design Communication ever again!
This lead Ceylan to follow the path of her hobby and the part-time jobs she had and open a photography studio. Since Cey was 16, she had been working as a photographer and sales consultant, so she had all the experience and knowledge needed.
In 2013 “Hello Gorgeous Studios” opened and Ceylan was off and running with her new adventure.
Hello Gorgeous Studios is located in South London and initially opened in a very swanky shopping centre. With Cey’s fantastic eye for design and my technical experience with all things electrical, the studio had everything needed and business was blooming.
Seven years on and a relocation to the high street, Hello Gorgeous Studios is still going strong. We have since expanded the business and have now launched “Hello Gorgeous Beauty” a makeup line running alongside the photography business. Ceylan has worked so hard to create her vision and continues to do so.
hello gorgeous studios
As for me, I started my electrical apprenticeship as soon as I left school. I really didn’t know what I wanted to do and to tell you the truth, I can’t remember why I decided to become an electrician. Perhaps it was the only available college position to take at the time, I used to leave most things right up until the last minute.
Finally, my procrastination levels benefited me if this was the case, as I loved electrics and I stayed within the electrical industry for 15 years until it was time to move onboard Coco.
I won’t go into too much detail about our careers for now, maybe this will be something we can touch on later in another post.
A couple of years into our relationship, I took Ceylan to Hayling Island, which is on the South Coast of England, where we went sailing for the first time on my Grandad’s Westerly Berwick. Conditions were stunning that day, the sun was shining, the seas were mill pond flat aided by the protection that Chichester Harbour provides and the winds were on the beam blowing around 12 knots. A fantastic day was had by all and to top it off, Ceylan loved it and couldn’t wait to go sailing again.
The reaction, from Cey was the green light I needed and without hesitation, about five days later, we were the proud owners of a Snapdragon 27, which we had found at the back of the boatyard in a very sorry state.
The boat, which had a Welsh name, which neither of us could spell let alone pronounce, was holding 2ft of rainwater and had been neglected for five years. The fact the boat was storing rainwater was a result for me, if it was holding water, then surely it could keep the seawater out. We renamed the boat ‘Mushu’ (after a character from the Disney film Mulan) and spent the next few months renovating her.
A year into the renovation of Mushu and after a new set of boat sails, I secretly purchased another boat without telling Ceylan.
We were always speaking about sailing away and exploring destinations outside of the UK and when I saw this boat, I believed it would be the perfect purchase to enable us to do just that. Once I had purchased the boat, which I got for a great price, I had instant regrets! Not because I regretted buying the boat but I knew Cey would love the boat and would want to sail away immediately and I needed her to be the sensible one, to keep us on dry land Monday to Friday and leave the sailing to the weekends, around our full-time jobs!
I was also concerned that I had made this purchase without consulting her and now I had to tell her…………
Anyway, with my inability to keep a secret, combined with excitement and a little alcohol, I spilt the beans that very evening on a night out.
It was exactly the reaction I had expected and a slightly tipsy Ceylan fell in love with ‘her’ new boat and all that the rear cabin offered and the fact that I had made the purchase without consulting her, was never mentioned – I was off the hook!
We managed to sell Mushu to a friend a few weeks later and welcomed our new boat “Cygnus” into the family.
As we seemed professionals at avoiding the superstitious nautical bad luck in changing a boat’s name, Cygnus was eventually renamed, Coco.
We had five fantastic years with Coco and had a wonderful time sailing around the Med with her and making lots of memories along the way.
I will go through the reasoning for Coco’s name and our old boats’ adventures in another post.
As time went on, both still living with our parents, we decided it was time to commit to each other fully, so we bought a house and moved into our home. We managed to get a repossessed property that had been severely used and abused. The carpets had been stuck to the floorboards with some sort of new urine smelling glue. The woodwork had not seen a stroke of paint since the initial build and there was sexual paraphernalia scattered all over the house. I will leave the rest to your imagination. As the house was a repossession, we were only allowed to view the property once. Luckily for us, we had a vision, some would say a very blurry vision.
Nevertheless, we purchased the house and got our work boots on right away.
What we initially thought would be a 3-month project turned into a seven-month slog!
Still, with that vision in mind, we finally finished the house refurb on 24th December and had our first Christmas in our first house. The whisky was indeed flowing smoothly that night.
Fast forward a few years, and here we are, floating on a beautiful catamaran in the Med, anxiously waiting to see when and how covid restrictions will ease, so we can get exploring again.
We have so many stories to tell that have lead to this point in our lives.
We hope you enjoy reading them just as much as we enjoy reminiscing and writing them. As this is an “About Us” post, I wanted to keep it as basic as possible without going off-topic.
As this is our first blog, please leave a comment below on what you like, what you didn’t like and what you would like to hear more of. Feel free to reach out to us and get in touch if you have any questions about sailing, planning, what we did and why we did it or if you just want a chat.
Thanks for reading. Keep updated with our travels from our website, in the Crew Area. Access is gained through signing up to our website and becoming part of the Coco Crew. You can also follow us on Instagram and catch up with our latest vlogs on Youtube. All of our social links are listed below. Feel free to share this post if you think someone will benefit from, or enjoy reading this.
We hope to see you in the Crew. Stay safe.
Alfie & Ceylan