Globetrotter Echedey Weyland Cejudo, from Lanzarote, began his travels in 2008. After travelling around Spain in his van and visiting several countries by boat, travel has become his way of life
Friendly, outgoing, determined, skilful and enterprising, Chedey, now in his early 40s, swapped his dental technician’s chair for a locksmith’s toolbox and saved up to buy a boat he named El Gran Argonauta – 15 years on, he is a sea dog.
His travels began in 2008 aboard an 88 Ford Transit van that had once been an ambulance. He rescued it from a dump and spent a year restoring it. ‘Together with my partner at the time, we travelled around Spain several times, alternating with backpacking trips to Morocco, Gabon, and Senegal.
When I returned to Lanzarote, I soon realised dental surgery life wasn’t for me. So, to fuel my travel bug, I switched gears and became a craftsman. Then I learnt the locksmith’s trade and set up my own company ten years ago. For the first five years, I worked night and day, even weekends, to save and buy my boat.
Although I already had a skipper’s licence, I didn’t know how to manoeuvre it out of the harbour! My sailboat, El Gran Argonauta, is almost twelve metres, and it became my home from day one. That was six years ago!’
Thanks to his friends Rafa ‘el Chopa’, Charly Cazorla, and Fran Socas, he honed his sailing skills. His ability to repair sails and fix mechanical breakdowns has held him in good stead while serving as a crew member on various sailing boats. His ports of call include Cape Verde, Brazil, the Caribbean Virgin Islands, Bermuda, the Azores, the rest of the Canary Islands and Spain, Madeira, Portugal, Morocco, France, Italy, Greece, and more recently, Egypt.
‘I have done several solo crossings in the Canaries and Madeira. Sailing alone takes you on an inner journey. The vastness of the sea instils a sense of peace and tranquillity within me.
I have crossed the Atlantic several times on other yachts. The last trip was from the Virgin Islands to Barcelona in mid-hurricane season. I was in good company with my friend Fran Socas from Lanzarote, Lissy from Guatemala and the indispensable support, via satellite, of Norberto Delgado, also from Lanzarote.
In Bermuda, we got caught in a storm with fifty knots of wind and five-metre waves, which caused a lot of damage to the boat. In the Straits of Gibraltar, we endured attacks by killer whales and collisions with floating logs, but I got to see whales, sharks, huge turtles, marlins, and a magnificent sunfish.’
Chedey is aware that he is fulfilling a dream unattainable for many and leading a lifestyle he once thought was the stuff of dreams. But way back when ‘I knew it was a case of now or never!’