10 Questions about our Adventure

When we talk about our project, there are questions that we answer over and over again. We have put together the 10 most frequently asked questions and answers in the form of a short, classic dialogue.

Prologue

What started as a crazy idea in 2018 is now becoming reality for Dave and me – almost a year late due to Corona: We are starting our biggest adventure so far, together with our sailboat Milagros and with SY Anila and crew.

Milagros (in English “miracle”) is a 44 feet (approx. 13m) long Kelly Peterson blue water yacht that we bought on the Pacific coast in Mexico near Tijuana in August 2019. Anila is my sister’s and her partner’s (our sailing instructor to be) sailboat.

The 10 most frequently asked questions

Below are the most frequently asked questions about our adventure over the past 12 months.

1. How long do you want to travel?

I count on my hand, which shows the number 3, the following restraints: Until we either have no fun, no money or no sailboat anymore. So, for an unlimited time.

2. What does a sailboat actually cost?

We paid $ 71,000. That’s not that much when you consider that we virtually have our own home which we can move to wherever we want.

Milagros needs some attention on her hull
When buying a sailboat the work is never done

3. What does such an undertaking cost?

We’ve read various books and blogs and derived from them that we are on the safe side with $ 1,000 per person per month. That means that we expect around $ 24,000 per year for both of us. It is said that around 10% of the ship’s value, i.e. around $ 7,000 – 10,000, has to be invested in maintenance. This is rounded up to an average of $ 1,000 per month. That leaves around $ 1,000 per month for everything else.

Dave shopping in Ensenada
Availability is a major threat to our budget

4. Will you also work en route?

First of all, we focus on working on our boat and learning to be good and responsible sailors. After that we will surely try to make some money. Because the calculation is pretty simple: If we both earn $ 1,000 per month, we can theoretically be on the road (on the water) forever. We already have a few ideas.

Sunset on our way to Puerto Peñasco
We probably want to enjoy some work-free sunsets first…

5. Which route do you have in mind?

Well, let’s see how far we can get. First, we’ll be renovating our ship in Mexico in the Gulf of California. Then we might sail south to about Ecuador, then across the Pacific to the South Seas. From there we could go via Indonesia, Japan, Madagascar to South Africa and then up the west coast of Africa. Then we could continue to see whether we are crossing the Atlantic or taking the boat up the Rhine to Basel. Or maybe we’ll just sail to New Zealand and settle there. There are so many options that we let everything come our way.

6. Are you experienced sailors?

We have to evade this question a little and appease. Because we have both taken a “freshwater sailing license” on Lake Thun and passed the theory exams for the offshore license, but apart from that we are not very experienced. Our joker is our “private sailing instructor”, who can teach us everything we need to learn on site.

7. Isn’t that dangerous?

Hmm, well, we are taking a certain risk, but we can be run over by a bus here too. To the follow-up question “But what if you get into a storm?” we mostly answer that contrary to the assumption that a sailor spends all the time at sea with no land in sight, it is actually the case that about 80% of the time you are anchored somewhere (hopefully in a beautiful bay). And that a sailor spends an average of one day a year in a storm. There are also special storm tactics that we of course have to learn first.

Fish cleaning the bottom of Milagros
Cleaning crew at the diesel dock

8. How can you even know whether you will like it?

We don’t really know, because we have never lived permanently on a sailboat for a long time, but we hope so! And if we don’t like the sailing life, we’ll be back home quickly or travel the world in a different way.

9. Why do you decide to leave the life you have built behind?

Every now and then we ask ourselves this question, too. The answer is usually: “Because we can”.

10. I admire your courage, but I couldn’t do it.

While this is not a question, it is a common observation in this context. Since I often don’t know exactly what to answer, I like to quote Pippi Longstocking: “I’ve never tried that before, so I’m completely sure I can do it!” or something like “Yes, the need for security differs from person to person”.

It is how it is

In any case, we look forward to having all options open and having the luxury of simply letting things come to us.

Did we forget any questions? Ask us in the comments, we look forward to your input!

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11 Comments

Danke vielmals für die interessanten Antworten auf diese Fragen. Dies beantwortet defintiv auch einige meiner Fragen 🙂 freue mich auf weiteres

Liebe Pat

Herzlichen Dank für diese Zusammenstellung. Schöne und sehr eindrückliche Fotos! Und ja, ich bin neidisch und bewundere Dich immer wieder. Weisst Du, wie oft ich den Gedanken hege, alles hinter mir zu lassen und neu anzufangen? Solltet ihr euch in NZ niederlassen, so lass es mich wissen, dann weiss ich, wen ich besuchen werde 🙂

Alles Liebe,
Mila

Great update and information. I appreciated the financial information it helps me set up my sailing budget. Stay safe and well!

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