This year several boats owned by young people under the age of 35 will be setting off on their first Atlantic crossing with the ARC. Many of these intrepid sailors have been lured by YouTube blogs of ocean adventures who have filmed their participation in the ARC. The ARC media team spoke to a few of these millennials around the docks in Las Palmas:-
Twenty-eight-year old Marte Løge and her 29-year old partner Håkon Åmdal from Norway are fulfilling one of their many dreams by taking part in the ARC this year on board Hello World
. They see it as a great way to travel and experience other countries. The young enthusiastic couple had little or no sailing experience and sold everything they own in order to make their sailing venture come true after watching sailing video bloggers on YouTube. They signed up for the ARC before they even owned a boat! Having left jobs as software developers and selling their flat in Oslo, they eventually came across a suitable boat online; a Hanse 430e which was already well equipped for bluewater cruising.
It’s been a steep learning curve for the couple who have mainly sailed doublehanded to get to Las Palmas, but will be joined by a high school friend for the Atlantic crossing. They have no set plans following their arrival in Saint Lucia, but will probably be away cruising for at least a year and are looking forward to relaxing in the Caribbean.
“After buying the boat, we had two weeks to prepare before making our way to the Canaries for the start. It’s been a lot of work but along the route, we experienced a lot of fun in great places and met up with a few ARC participants too,” explained Håkon.
“When we set out we said we don’t know a lot, but I think we know our own limitations, so using that as a basis, it has worked out pretty well. Day by day we are learning new stuff and by talking to people and asking questions, we have been able to learn so much. People are so nice and really want to help us,” says Marte. “I don’t know where the time goes on a boat and it’s a fulltime job. There’s so much to learn and you need to do repairs and so on,” continues Marte who says they are hoping to top up their savings as they sail by continuing their consultancy work, if they have time.
Both their parents were quite surprised that they were planning to do such a trip and initially, were not too happy about them leaving their jobs and going to sea, but now are booking flights to come out to see them at various places along the way.
Julia (26) and Markus Luckeneder (34) bought their 2014 Bavaria Vision 46, Insieme
(meaning together in Italian) last year. With no sailing experience at all and living in landlocked Austria, Markus convinced his new wife that it was a great idea to go sailing.
“It was originally Markus’ dream as he picked up on the idea by following various sailing blogs on YouTube. He was particularly interested in a German sailor in his little boat, crossing oceans and he thought ‘this is the best way to travel’,” said Julia who wasn’t keen on the whole idea at first.
Julia had just completed law school and Markus was a human resource consultant, and both decided it was best to learn how to sail first. They went to a sailing school in Croatia and loved it. They started researching boats and ended up flying to Greece to buy their 46ft Bavaria which is a two-cabin version with lots of storage and space. A couple they met at the sailing school helped them sail the boat to Dubrovnik to put her in drydock before returning to her in spring to make a few additions to the boat to make her more suitable for ocean crossings.
They gained experience by hiring skippers to show them how to get the best from their boat and to increase their confidence. They then rented out their apartment, quit their jobs and moved onto their boat. The first night on board, Markus proposed to Julia and their marriage was also a farewell party because a week later they left to head for the Canaries.
Various friends joined them in the Med, including the German YouTube sailor who had first sewn the seed for Markus! They will be joined by another crew for the Atlantic crossing who they found via a ‘shout out’ on their own social media channel, and received over 100 applications.
Recommended to join the ARC by the Australian couple who sold them the boat, they are:
“Very happy to be in this community and also learn so much from more experienced sailors. We have had the chance to go out with another ARC boat for some skipper training with and we were happy to watch and learn. One can draw a lot from how other crews handle their boat.”
The couple intend to spend two seasons in the Caribbean before heading through Panama into South Pacific: “We are luckily enough to be able to afford to do this and don’t have any responsibilities at the moment. We decided to just go for it and take this time for ourselves and see where it takes us. A journey like this changes you a lot and it’s great to be able to experience this at a young age,” says Julie.
She continues: “We are so super excited to get to the Caribbean. We still can’t believe we will be living there in a few of weeks and have set ourselves a time limit of five years to cruise, but then again, it’s a very long time so we will see what happens. The last couple of weeks have been all about prepping for the Atlantic and now, we are just ready to get going.”
Follow their adventures on their YouTube channel Sailing Insieme