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Elena and Ryan they left the shore of the routine, ashore, setting sail for a life in sail boat. After Cornwall and France, they head for the Mediterranean to dive in, their "home" moves with the wind, feeds on the sunlight and teaches them freedom, simplicity, the possibility of living with a low environmental impact and happy.
When did you decide to leave?
We decided in May 2016, during a holiday in Spain. We wanted a radical change, an outdoor, green and adventurous life. The initial idea was to buy a ruin with adjoining land and restore it on our own, and then support us with a vegetable garden, solar panels and wind turbines. But we want to travel, so we thought of a camper, but petrol costs and pollutes. So, in Spain, seeing a boat while we were snorkeling, we got a flash of genius. There sailboat allows us to travel around the world at a low price, without polluting it! When we move we use the sails as much as possible, using the engine only for maneuvers and emergencies, our tender has one, small, inherited and rowed.
What did you do before leaving?
After a masters degree in England, I built a career in digital marketing, which is now allowing me to work on the laptop remotely. Ryan was a civil engineer and now works on projects like graphic designer and writer as a freelancer.
What stages have you done so far? The next ones?
For now we have turned a bit there Cornwall, especially the area of Falmouth and Helford, we made the transition between Cornwall and Isles of Scilly (15 hours in total) and from here we will continue towards France and the Mediterranean. We choose places based on the possibility of landing (bays sheltered from winds and high waves) and how much the destinations lend themselves to our passions: climbing, snorkeling, free diving, walking ...
How is the boat equipped for energy supply?
We only use solar energy. We have 6 solar panels. Two of them were already on the boat and are quite weak, so we installed 4 new, semi-flexible ones. In total they generate 540watts, they are connected to two 6v 225amp-hour batteries. The panels le they charge in about 3 hours when it's sunny. When it is cloudy they are full in the late morning. We are thus able to use mobile phones and tablets for navigation and light every day. Every 2/4 days we use cameras and PCs. We have never emptied the batteries. We use salt water as much as possible and we save fresh water - we have a total of 150 liters of fresh water on board and we use them in about 10/14 days. We buy around £ 30 a month of petrol, to make maneuvers or for emergencies, we use gas for cooking. We would like to use a solar oven but unfortunately the temperatures are too low here! We use solar showers, however - black bags to put water in and leave in the sun to warm up for 3/4 hours.
Food, clothes, detergents and other products / objects: do you choose them with an eye to the environment?
We only buy vegetarian food from shops, possibly local food from the local market. We fish fish a couple of times a week with the big hook fishing rod so as not to catch too small fish by mistake. In milder waters we will try to do spearfishing. We only use ecofriendly products for cleaning and personal hygiene, although it is not easy to find them while traveling on a sailboat. We buy few clothes, preferring those from Finisterre - a Cornish-based brand that creates clothes in an eco-sustainable way - they use recycled materials.
How much did you invest to leave, I also mean to equip yourself etc?
The boat cost us 9500 pounds. We invested around 3,000 pounds to equip it with solar panels, new rigging and buy a tender to row. We have made many improvements to the boat but we have done everything with the do-it-yourself - reading books or using the internet.
A typical day of yours?
There is no typical day! It all depends on the weather. It could be: wake up at 8, breakfast, two hours of PC work, preparation of the boat to change bay or port. A few hours (4/5) of sailing while we eat something on the fly. Landing and anchoring. Then we wait at least an hour to be sure that the anchor is safe - I take this opportunity to answer work emails. If it doesn't rain we jump on the tender and row ashore for explore the beach or rocks. Return to the boat and dinner in the cabin (it's cold!). If it doesn't rain, you can try a solar shower in the cockpit or we have to wash ourselves to pieces in the bath. After dinner you play backgammon or straight forty and then in bed with a book or podcast.
Three reasons to recommend a choice like yours?
1- living on a sailing boat teaches you how to live simpler and enjoy every moment - you don't get sucked into Netflix or the routine. Each day has a lot more meaning.
2- this lifestyle allows you to travel low cost if you use the anchor as much as possible and limit your dinner outings.
3- the magic of the sea captures you and you have time to find yourself.
To follow Elena's adventures, read her adventures on the blog Sailing Kittiwake
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