1 September 2017 – Upwind into the Adriatic Sea

1 September 2017 – Upwind into the Adriatic Sea

Crotone (ITA) – Durrës (ALB) “Could you turn it up a notch?” Ivar sighs. We are in Crotone, huddled in front of our new fan, which provides a bit of relief from the relentless Italian heat. “May as well plan our passage to the Adriatic Sea while we wait for wind!” Ivar grabs our pilot […]

12 August 2017 – An Italian Summer

12 August 2017 – An Italian Summer

Isola di San Pietro (ITA) – Crotone (ITA) “How on earth are we going to make it through the peak summer season?” Ivar thinks out loud. “I have a nightmare vision of countless boats overcrowding expensive marinas, very few suitable anchorages, no wind to sail and bloody hot weather”. “No worries,” Floris replies, “we’ll manage. […]

13 July 2017 – Spoiled on Sardinia

13 July 2017 – Spoiled on Sardinia

Porto Liscia (ITA) – Isola di San Pietro (ITA) “I am going to scream. If you don’t back off, I swear I will.” Mirjam puts on a dead-serious face. The guy across the counter and the other lunch-time customers in the bar don’t look like they’re to be messed with, so Floris decides to avoid […]

17 May 2017 – Going Slow(ly)

17 May 2017 – Going Slow(ly)

Nice (FRA)– Le Grazie (ITA) “I’m sorry, but you really have to leave by noon. A superyacht has reserved your berth”. The harbourmaster is friendly but strict. The marina in Nice is fully booked, so we have to hurry. We drive our friends Evelyn and Fred to the airport, return the rental car and buy […]

22 March 2017 – Party Island?

22 March 2017 – Party Island?

Ibiza (ESP) Cala Talamanca The sun has started to warm the cockpit when we climb out of the cabin in the morning. The crystal clear water that surrounds us is tempting. We jump in, only to quickly climb out again. Wow, that’s chilly! We rinse off with fresh water from our deck shower and dry […]

28 February 2017 – Levant and an Emergency

28 February 2017 – Levant and an Emergency

Málaga (ESP) – Ibiza (ESP) Weather and money For once it’s not the weather that determines the course of our journey, but finances. With barely enough wind to sail we leave Málaga because the marina is so ridiculously expensive. Little did we know the conditions would soon be the exact opposite. It’s only 15nm to […]

8 February 2017 – Around the Rock

8 February 2017 – Around the Rock

Rio Guadiana (PRT) – Málaga (ESP) Stuck in the sand BAM! Luci’s keel hits the sand, we’re stuck. Behind us is the open Atlantic Ocean, in front of us the shallow entrance to the Rio Piedra. Our pilot book warned us about this shallow and potentially dangerous passage and in different circumstances it would have […]

16 January 2017 – Winter Sun in the Algarve

16 January 2017 – Winter Sun in the Algarve

Lisbon (PRT) – Rio Guadiana (PRT) Further South “Oh that awful smell… shall we sail on?” Ivar points to port. Tall chimneys with burning gas flares line the coast. We are a few miles from Sines, our envisaged stop for the night, but the fumes of Portugal’s fossil fuel industry cast doubts over our choice. “It […]

27 December 2016 – The Portuguese West Coast

27 December 2016 – The Portuguese West Coast

Islas Cíes (ESP) – Lisbon (PRT) Impressive speeds Countless stars brighten a clear sky over the Islas Cíes. A steady easterly wind starts to blow, perfect to sail south to Portugal. It is bedtime, but since the wind is our main power source, we adapt to its rhythm and lift the anchor instead of going […]

2 December 2016 – Hiking in the Spanish Rías

2 December 2016 – Hiking in the Spanish Rías

Cape Finisterre (ESP) – Islas Cíes (ESP) Exploring Finisterre Judging by the weather the non-stop trip from Santander to Finisterre was worth it. Grey skies have made way for a strong autumn sun. It’s warm enough to have breakfast outside. We can hardly believe that it’s already late November. In shorts and t-shirts we kayak […]

15 November 2016 – Bay of Biscay

15 November 2016 – Bay of Biscay

Falmouth (GBR) – Cape Finisterre (ESP) Back in autopilot business “There’s a package for you”, says Anne, the friendly harbour master in Falmouth Haven. She hands us a big cardboard box, which we open eagerly. Our autopilot computer! We had sent it for repair in Scotland after it seemed to have died completely. With great […]

20 October 2016 – Family, Friends and Dolphins

20 October 2016 – Family, Friends and Dolphins

Isle of Islay (GBR)– Falmouth (GBR) Bye Bye Scotland High pressure. Sailors love this meteorological phenomenon because it usually brings clear skies and fair winds. For Dutchmen a high-pressure area over Scandinavia is bliss. Sunny weather and easterly winds that allow for smooth sailing along the entire Dutch North-Sea coast. Being on the Scottish Isle […]

6 October 2016 – Scotland’s Isles and Lochs

6 October 2016 – Scotland’s Isles and Lochs

Bergen (NOR) – Isle of Islay (GBR) Trading trolls for ponies Our timing is perfect. The strong westerly winds that hammered the Norwegian West Coast for more than a week have abated. And just as Ivar steers Luci out of Bergen harbour, a bright rainbow appears in front of grey clouds that cover the dark green hills. The […]

3 September 2016 – Exploring the Fjords with Friends

3 September 2016 – Exploring the Fjords with Friends

Mandal (NOR) – Bergen (NOR) Sailing to Stavanger “Wow, already near Egersund! We’re really moving fast!” Floris is positively surprised by our progress when he enters the cockpit and takes the shift from 7-10am. Our speed over ground is 8 knots, partially helped by the current along the Norwegian West Coast. “Yes! With this speed, […]

11 August 2016 – The Norwegian Riviera Revisited

11 August 2016 – The Norwegian Riviera Revisited

Larvik (NOR) – Mandal (NOR) Underappreciated Larvik ‘If you don’t have a reason to be in Larvik, don’t go there’ our pilot books advise. We plan on taking the train from there to Oslo, so we venture to this unsung town to make it our first Norwegian port. As we tour the shore in search […]

29 July 2016 – Danish Ambitions and Swedish Nature

29 July 2016 – Danish Ambitions and Swedish Nature

Copenhagen (DNK) – Larvik (NOR) Walking and cycling the capital of climate ambitions “You should put your camera away or they will smash it, guaranteed.” A friendly Dane warns us that taking photographs is not appreciated, to put it mildly. On our stroll around Copenhagen on foot, by chance we find ourselves in Freetown Christiania, […]

8 July 2016 – German Food and Danish Energy

8 July 2016 – German Food and Danish Energy

Kiel (DEU) – Copenhagen (DNK) Kiel is the hometown of Germany’s first packaging-free grocery store. Reason for us to pay a visit to Marie Delaperrière and her store “Unverpackt”. We search the boat for empty containers and stack as many in our backpack as we can find. Inspired by the “zero waste” movement, Marie started […]

26 June 2016 – The Compass Leads the Way

26 June 2016 – The Compass Leads the Way

Enkhuizen (NLD) – Kiel (DEU) The “compass pole” in Harlingen’s harbour is notorious. According to our neighbours in the marina, sailing yachts that need their compass calibrated should only attempt to moor there at high tide, and even then it’s a challenge to throw a line around it because of its height and size. We […]

13 June 2016 – Our Departure!

13 June 2016 – Our Departure!

Amsterdam – Enkhuizen (NL) We cannot sleep. The adrenaline from our farewell party and the excitement about the imminent departure for our trip around the world keeps us awake all night. We fantasize about beautiful destinations, interesting people and sustainable solutions, while the day towards which we have worked so hard is slowly breaking. At […]

7 June 2016 – Final Preparations

7 June 2016 – Final Preparations

Less than one week before we leave Amsterdam! The last few weeks saw us visit potential partners, give media interviews, buy essential gear and say goodbye to some family and friends. Here’s a roundup. Sustainable solutions in the Netherlands During research for our upcoming article on plastic soup, we came across two Dutch initiatives that tackle plastic […]

16 May 2016 – Defying Lucipara’s Natural Condition 

16 May 2016 – Defying Lucipara’s Natural Condition 

“The natural condition of a sailing boat is that something is broken” Ivar likes to say.  “Only after investing lots of time and money in repairs and maintenance, with a bit of luck you could temporarily reach a state where everything works. Enjoy that moment – before you realize it, the boat falls back to its natural condition”. Lucipara² is no exception to […]

24 April 2016 – Sailing Doctors?

24 April 2016 – Sailing Doctors?

A large cut in my skin. I cringe as Floris pushes a razor-sharp needle deep into the flesh, underneath the wound and out on the other side. Just looking at his attempt at stitching me back together makes my hair stand up. I imagine the intense pain I would feel if it were a real wound and my […]

19 March 2016 – The Wonders of Weather Prediction

19 March 2016 – The Wonders of Weather Prediction

Why would we need a course on meteorology – all we need to do is check a weather app, right? It seems a bit of a waste of time and money, but we cannot ignore one thing: we will need a reliable and fast internet connection for our apps to work. A few miles off the coast and 4G rapidly […]

1 March 2016 – Surviving at Sea

1 March 2016 – Surviving at Sea

“What do you mean, we have to jump into 6º C North Sea water?” asks Floris after being told we are going outside to practice our survival skills. “It’s called ‘Survival at Sea’, not ‘Survival at the Pool’”, quips our instructor. Minutes later we find ourselves on the quay of Den Helder marina. It’s raining, it’s cold […]

1 January 2016 – Becoming Liveaboards

1 January 2016 – Becoming Liveaboards

“How on earth are we going to fit all this stuff onboard?” I’m asking Floris when I see the pile of things to move to the boat increasing. I would repeat this question many times on our packing day. However, I must admit that Floris is making sensible choices on what he moves to the boat, […]

11 December 2015 – Our Foundation

11 December 2015 – Our Foundation

As of 11 December 2015 we are officially a foundation: Stichting Sailors for Sustainability. This means that our efforts to find and share sustainable solutions will all be done under the umbrella of a foundation that exists for this specific purpose. By using a foundation we can assure that we do not pursue economic profits – all activities […]

10 December 2015 – Sewing Lessons

10 December 2015 – Sewing Lessons

Once we leave Amsterdam, our goal is to be as self-supporting as possible. Seasoned sailors will know that sails can and will tear on long sailing trips. We want to be able to repair our sails when that happens, so we call in the help of our friend Feitze, who co-runs a sailmaking business in Enkhuizen. […]

23 August 2015 – Sail Amsterdam

23 August 2015 – Sail Amsterdam

I was one year old when my parents took me to Sail Amsterdam – edition 1975. The city celebrated its 700th anniversary that year and decided to host a big maritime event. A fleet of historic tall sailing ships entered Amsterdam via the North Sea channel (Noordzeekanaal) in a parade. They moored in the IJ […]

7 August 2015 – Sailing Home

7 August 2015 – Sailing Home

“It looks like we’ll have a weather window with E wind in three days” says Ivar. Neither of us feels like going back, but our fourth and last holiday week has begun and we have commitments back home. We have been keeping an eye on the grib files from site windyty.com, which fairly accurately forecasts the wind for the […]

31 July 2015 – The Norwegian Riviera

31 July 2015 – The Norwegian Riviera

“A gift from the harbour master!” says Ivar when he finds a little bag in the cockpit that contains fresh bread and jam. Following a good night’s sleep after our 3-day journey, we enjoy a sunny breakfast in our first Norwegian town, Mandal. We quickly learn that Mandal is not just easy to sail to, it’s […]

14 July 2015 – Test Run to Norway

14 July 2015 – Test Run to Norway

“The wheel is not responding!” I panic a bit: we’re “not in command”. The autopilot continuously spins the steering wheel, which should stop after 3 cycles when the rudder has reached its maximum position. Did we lose the rudder? Is there a broken part in the steering system? We are around 100 miles NW of […]

1 June 2015 – History in Hoorn

1 June 2015 – History in Hoorn

Pinksteren (Pentecost) – another Dutch holiday (although few know why we get a day off)! After our wonderful lunch in Hoorn only a week earlier, we decide to sail to Hoorn again. This time with Ivar’s parents and for dinner. Exquisite, exceptionally tasty, and beautifully presented – once again Marque’s is a treat. Hoorn is lovely, too. […]

16 May 2015 – Reunion in Stavoren

16 May 2015 – Reunion in Stavoren

Ascension is one of the few public holidays in the Netherlands. As it’s always on a Thursday, it’s perfect for a short sailing trip. For Ivar’s friends from his days as a sailing instructor in Friesland Ascension is synonymous with Stavoren – the city in Friesland where the meet each year for a reunion. Ivar missed […]

4 April 2015 – Another New Home in Amsterdam

4 April 2015 – Another New Home in Amsterdam

Spring has come and it is time for us to leave the Sixhaven in Amsterdam. We are sad to say goodbye to our neighbours, who have also become our friends. Ivar spent the last 9 winters there, so it feels like leaving home. In his time there he witnessed the Sixhaven being transformed into energy-efficient and […]

5 January 2015 – “Maiden” Trip to Terschelling

5 January 2015 – “Maiden” Trip to Terschelling

Finally – after 15 months of renovations, we are sailing again! Our first trip is taking us to an old time favourite: the island of Terschelling. We leave from Enkhuizen on the 28th of December, where our friend Feitze and his colleague put the finishing touches to Lucipara² by adding new covers for the sails and […]