In our most exciting days Captain Aydın and Captain Mithat were with us in the stormy and wavy sea of Altinova. Therefore it is our pleasure to introduce you to the brave captains who took the Su Ustunde team to take pictures of ships at Altınova.
Captain Aydın Erkoç lived in Kocaeli for 40 years and took us on boat tours to Altınova. We got used to calling him, “The Captain.” In reality, Captain Aydın, who is a carpenter in his profession deals with boat maintenance. The captain cleans the bottom of boats, performs engine maintenance, and completes the finishing touches of sanding, priming, painting and putty operations on boats.
Captain Aydın also mentioned how he exterminates shipworms that are small microorganisms that adhere to the formation of boats. The Captain explained that these microorganisms stay under the boat. They usually create friction and eventually lead the boat to slow down. He said he typically prevented small microorganisms from taking place on the bottom surface of the boat with anti fouling paint. It typically takes him 1 month on average with his workers to finish up to 15 meters of maintenance work on the boat. He also added that the trees usually used on wooden boats are oak, pine, mahogany, hornbeam and chestnut. Wooden boats made from oak and chestnut trees are the best boats. Captain Aydın said that his team performs maintenance of 15 boats per year.
Captain Aydın main hobby includes fishing and he has fished a variety of fish such as flounder, whiting, mullet, horse mackerel, swallow in Kocaeli. He held 2 kilos of fish in one go and kept 30 kilos of fish all together in one go.
Mithat Kaya is another Captain along with Captain Aydın. He is a father of 2 children and is a professional diver. He wants his 12-year-old son to follow in his footsteps and become a Captain as well. Captain Kaya was born in Mardin and spent his youth in Izmir. He has been diving since 2004. His hobbies include snail and sea eggplant hunting (during the period determined by the state) in Izmir in winter and in Marmara and Black Sea during the summer months. One time the captain who dived at 30 meters in Dikili lost oxygen and almost drowned. The captain, who soon regained consciousness, was able to surface from the help of the other diver. When we were talking about diving memories with Captain Mithat, he did not forget to face the shark in Mordogan. The Captain said that many shark species are not aggressive in the Turkish coasts. Therefore, the shark, he faced in Mordogan, continued its way in the sea. In addition, he dove in many shipwrecks. He mentioned that the shipwrecks have become a beautiful shelter for many fish and marine creatures throughout the Turkish seas.
We were grateful for our Captains for sharing many memories and experiences with us. Captains Aydın and Mithat, please stay well until the next Altinova expedition.