10 October 2018 – Weather and Bureaucracy

10 October 2018 – Weather and Bureaucracy

Rio de Janeiro (BRA) – Rio Grande (BRA) “Your turn, it’s 4 o’clock” Ivar says. “Already? I feel like I fell asleep only seconds ago.” Floris grunts when Ivar wakes him for his night shift. “Everything is so quiet, are we moving at all?” Floris wonders as he puts on his clothes. “We were going […]

11 September 2018 – Connecting Brazilian Dots

11 September 2018 – Connecting Brazilian Dots

Ilhéus (BRA) – Rio de Janeiro (BRA) “What’s that high-pitched sound?” Floris asks. “It sounds like a whimpering dog.” Moments later a humpback whale surfaces right in front of the boat, followed by a second one. “Grab the camera!” Ivar shouts in excitement. For the next thirty minutes, we are treated to a whale sing […]

18 August 2018 – 50 Shades of Green

18 August 2018 – 50 Shades of Green

Salvador de Bahía (BRA) – Ilhéus (BRA) “It’s not safe to walk there, you will get robbed!” The restaurant owner’s face turns from cheerful to serious when we ask him directions to the supermarket. “Better take a taxi.” It’s a bright Sunday afternoon, so we’re a bit surprised. But he knows this city, and isn’t […]

14 July 2018 – Crossing the Blue Desert

14 July 2018 – Crossing the Blue Desert

Mindelo (CPV) – Salvador de Bahía (BRA) “Your turn, nothing to report!” Floris wakes up Ivar at 4 in the morning. It’s the first night of our Atlantic Ocean crossing and Floris can hardly keep his eyes open. “The first night is always the worst”, Ivar sighs while rubbing his eyes. A few minutes later, […]

23 June 2018 – A Taste of Africa

23 June 2018 – A Taste of Africa

El Hierro (ESP) – Mindelo (CPV) “Hold on, hold on…. Now!” Upon Ivar’s command Floris removes the last line to the pontoon. Ivar puts the engine in reverse and quickly manoeuvres Luci out of our berth before the next wind gust descends from the steep hills and pushes our boat sideways. He steers out of […]

31 May 2018 – Canary Island Hopping

31 May 2018 – Canary Island Hopping

Santa Cruz de Tenerife (ESP) – El Hierro (ESP) “We’re floating again!” The big blue boatlift of Varaderos Anaga has put Luci gently into the water. Is she as anxious as we are, after spending almost two months out of her element, high and dry on the wharf in Tenerife? During that time, we gave […]

4 May 2018 – Traveling Back in Time

4 May 2018 – Traveling Back in Time

Santa Cruz de Tenerife (ESP) “Lisbon! I think that’s Lisbon” Floris can’t hide the excitement in his voice. We squeeze our faces closer to the window. “Yes, I recognize the river Tejo,” Ivar replies. Seeing the city from above gives us flashbacks to Christmas 2016, when we stayed in the Alcantara docks, discovered the city […]

16 March 2018 – Volcanoes and Paint

16 March 2018 – Volcanoes and Paint

Agadir (MAR) – Santa Cruz de Tenerife (ESP) Boink! Cloonk! What’s that disturbing sound coming from the stern of the boat? Luci responds by changing course towards the wind. Ivar quickly attaches himself to the safety line on deck and makes his way towards Herbie, our windvane autopilot. “Sh*t, Herbie’s entire auxiliary rudder is gone!” […]

4 February 2018 – Another World

4 February 2018 – Another World

Palma de Mallorca (ESP)– Agadir (MAR) … 10, 11, 12! A large clock projected on the festival screen loudly strikes midnight. The people around us quickly swallow grapes in an attempt to keep up. Happy New Year! Eating 12 grapes at midnight on New Year’s Eve is both a tradition and a superstition in Spain. […]

27 December 2017 – Go West

27 December 2017 – Go West

Chania (GRC) – Palma de Mallorca (ESP) We won’t forget our last night in Chania easily. A depression brings strong westerly winds with heavy thunderstorms and wind gusts. They push Luci against the town quay, putting maximum pressure on our fenders. When the wind veers and becomes northerly, the swell enters the harbour. The pressure […]

21 November 2017 – Glorious Greece

21 November 2017 – Glorious Greece

Dubrovnik (HRV) – Chania (GRC) From Dubrovnik we set course for Greece and gently follow our genaker downwind. Stowaway great tits join us, and they prove to be great company as they explore our boat. Yet comfort levels on board plummet when we approach the Otranto Straight. It forms a bottleneck between the Adriatic and […]

11 October 2017 – Up and Down Croatia

11 October 2017 – Up and Down Croatia

Durrës (ALB) – Dubrovnik (HRV) Durrës disappears only slowly in the distance. The wind that was forecasted isn’t in a hurry and barely fills our genaker. A ferry is heading straight for us and doesn’t show any sign of changing course. We feel like a sitting duck. When it’s around 10 minutes away from running […]

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) Sleepless in Sixhaven 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 […]

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 in Lemmer Lucipara² is […]

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

Freezing Cold “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, […]

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 […]