Hello, I am Minko and I love the sea!
What does sea mean?
Sea – ‘the expanse of salt water, part of the World Ocean, often separated from it through various forms of relief’.
But what is the sea for you?
The sea is a symbol! The sea is a memory! The sea is an ending! The sea is life! Once you allow it to enter into your heart, it will stay there forever.
My fate, related to the sea, began when I was very young, long before I started to realize it. Maybe it’s because my grandmother was born in Varna, the sea capital of Bulgaria, I used to spend all my summer days by the sea. Careless and happy, on the beaches, with my grandmothers, aunts, family friends and so on. To this day I remember the sadness I was feeling on the last day, when we were driving back to Sofia, back to school and I wouldn’t see the sea until next summer.
I think the year that marked my conscious life of carefree childhood game was the summer of 2005. That year my dad finally fulfilled his dream and became a shipowner. That year fate decided that it was time for the boy to become a man.
On the board of the ‘Iron Lady’ (12-metre-long iron homemade VanDeStadt) I met captain Kostadin Kostadinov, also known as Costa, Uncle Kotze, Chichi, or Chi. He is a good friend of my father from his youth in the yacht club, where they were learning to sail. This summer I met this man, who had tasted life, learned a lot of lessons, a veteran, hardworking and creative person with an artistic view of life and incredible flair in the kitchen. Actually, this man met a child, who had a slightly confused view of life and values, a child without a clear vision of the future and the potential of the opportunities, which fate had given to you.
Our common road was predetermined by the decision of my father – that summer he decided that the ‘Iron Lady’ would work nearby Golden Sands with tourists, with captain Costa and Minko, the cabin boy. I will not go further into detailed and boring stories, but that summer marked my life forever. That summer I met so many amazing people that I had never met. Sailors, sea wolves, yachtsmen, maniacs! I will never forget the enlightening conversations with Uncle Dobri on board of ‘Santa Maria’. I will never forget the tasty mackerel and the hospitality of Bobby and Evgeni of ‘Eco’, nor will I forget the imposing figure of Uncle Ivan – the Atlantic, with his experience and knowledge. All these people taught me lessons, introduced me to life that was beyond the protection of my family, they showed me the path they had been walking, a path that was calling me.
Over the next few summers I underwent the biggest metamorphosis and development of that part of my life. To be a sailor is not only about sailing under the white sails. To be a sailor means to take care, to breathe with your ship. My parents worked in Sofia and didn’t have the opportunity to spend more than a week or two, plus the weekends on our yacht. But for that reason, I was working full-time for the whole summer and was at the captain’s disposal. I say ‘working’, because for me it was a tedious job that they made me do during my summer vacation. Cleaning, painting, polishing, stacking, sanding, varnishing, cutting, gluing and so on and so forth. It took a while before I understood the lesson I had been taught on this ship.
The sea is an embodiment of fairness and balance of life. The sea takes, but it also gives! The sea can take life, but it can also give life, it can take your powers, but it can also give you pleasure, it can take your hat, but can also return an inflatable belt afterwards.
I am grateful to all the people on the way, who introduced me to this obsession. I am grateful for all the lessons I have learnt aboard. The sea taught me to respect. The ship taught me diligence, hard work and responsibility. The sailing taught me freedom and symbiosis with nature.
To be a maniac is not only about great pleasure that you feel about something. To be a real maniac means to feel and grow every day, marked by your obsession.