Many of you know that my husband and I have been living and traveling the world on our yacht for five years now, but not everyone knows how we decided on this and what everyday life on board our boat is.
Like all average Russian women, I worked 5/2 in the office (in my case, it was the bank). During weekends, I devoted time to my family, cleaning, cooking, and sometimes meeting friends. And so it was for 18 years.
How we decided to buy a yacht
One beautiful April day, my husband and I were coming back from a meeting with our good friend, and we were full of positive emotions from talking to her. The weather for this time of the year was surprisingly sunny, and we started dreaming about the future. Both of us were thinking about something quietly. And then, suddenly, I said something decisive for our future: «Let’s sell the apartment, buy a smaller one and rent it out, then buy a yacht and go traveling the world! I am tired of spending my life in the office; I want to start living, not existing!» From that moment on, everything around us started spinning: a bank, selling, buying, choosing a yacht, fixing it, and starting our journey. Since my husband has been sailing since the age of 14, choosing a yacht, preparing it for a trip, equipping it, was not new for him. But for me, a new episode began in my life, which I knew nothing about ...
The adventures begin
We bought our first yacht in Moscow. It was a Carter 30 sailing yacht, built based on an American project by Polish builders in 1980. It was in excellent condition, with native sails, new winches, and a mahogany inside. In two weeks, we brought it to the state necessary to live on it, and set off along canals, reservoirs, rivers, and locks to the Black Sea! We sailed past most of the cities in the Golden Ring of Russia, so it was a fascinating and eventful journey, which lasted 38 days. We could have walked from Moscow to Anapa much faster, but we wanted to walk around each city and see their beauty!
Like any housewife, I began to make our yacht cozy and think about how we will cook. The first difficulty I came across was that our first yacht did not have a refrigerator, but there was just a locker that kept the temperature of the products placed in it. I began to buy cheeses and sausages in vacuum packs and milk in bags. We started buying more cereals, pasta, and rice.
Before starting sailing, we went to the hypermarket and filled two trolleys to the top. In one, there were all kinds of cookies, canned food and cereals, and in the other one — pasta, vegetable oil, sauces, seasonings, and alcohol. Living on the water, you can often pay for any service, not only with money, so we stored several bottles of inexpensive vodka and cognac. The first time this type of payment was useful to us at the anchorage in the Rostov Region, when the cap decided to go ashore for meat for the barbecue, and we did not have a dinghy. It was also impossible to moor to the shore, and we asked the fisherwoman in a small boat to deliver the cap to the shore and back. A guy instantly put away his fishing rods when he saw the payment and worked as a cabman. And then we enjoyed a delicious barbecue that we prepared ourselves. So, onboard any alcohol will always come in handy.
How to store food
We have a large locker for food storage. It must be tight and dry. So that insects wouldn’t appear in cereals, we put them from bags into plastic bottles. In this way, they are tightly closed, do not deform and will not burst if they fall. Canned foods are good because they don’t need any special storage conditions. Some store them under floorboards and even in a raw locker. It is better to buy vegetable oil and all kinds of sauces in plastic containers. It is better to store potatoes, onions, garlic, carrots in nets, or ventilated lockers; otherwise, they can quickly get rotten on a yacht. The same goes for fruit. You can hang nets for storing fruit in the cockpit.
First aid kit and safety
Yachting is a traumatic type of recreation, especially for beginners, and you should always have first aid medications on the yacht: painkillers, antipyretic, nitroglycerin, antiseptic, poisoning medication, tourniquet, barbell, bandages, and adhesives in large quantities, motion sickness pills as well as antihistamines.
In addition to medicines, you need to have a good supply of fresh water, and ideally a desalination plant (since life on the yacht is unpredictable, and you don’t know what will happen tomorrow), a supply of gas and fuel, as well as sails, radio, navigation, life jackets for all crew members, signal flares, a life raft, kits for repairing sails and fixing holes in the hull, a sharp knife (keep it at the helm), essential tools (screwdrivers, etc.), a fire extinguisher, a working flashlight, some good ropes, and a compass.
Choosing clothes for yachting is quite simple, even for women! In the warm season, our wardrobe consists of several shorts, T-shirts, flip-flops, sneakers, yacht shoes, a baseball cap/hat, sunglasses, a swimsuit/swimming trunks, a pair of trousers and sweaters with long sleeves for the evening. In the cold season, we put away shorts and add fleece sweatshirts, waterproof insulated jackets, overalls, warm socks, hats, scarves, insulated sports pants, and gloves, as it becomes quite chilly during crossings and at night.
Leisure time on a yacht
Everyone has fun on a yacht in their own way, for example, we read books, play board games, watch movies and TV shows, sunbathe, fish and cook sashimi or other delicious dishes from fish, chat with friends online, write articles and fix the boat. When kids come to visit, they are happy to study the yacht, join fishing and watch dolphins, listen to interesting stories about pirates, and our adventures. For those especially moody, we have an album for drawing, a tablecloth for coloring, and a large collection of cartoons.
Making money on a yacht
You need to figure out how you will make money. For example, we take guests on board, and this provides us with money for the necessary food and clothing, the proper annual service of our yacht, and help to homeless animals in our Happy Way sailing-volunteers project. We also created a website on organizing cruises, where people can choose a route and region for vacation on our yacht.
If you have remote work, this will be a plus for you: blogging, YouTube channels, online courses, etc. You can rent out your house (if you have one after buying a yacht), earn extra money in the yacht service, or become a surveyor. So there are options, the main thing is to understand which one is more suitable for you.
Our everyday life when we are not at sea
When we do not have guests on board and are not on a cruise with them, we often stay on anchorage. Such anchorages in 90% of cases are free, and this saves the budget. But there are also paid moorings in marinas. As a rule, they are well protected, equipped with buoys, and for a small amount of money, you can safely anchor or stand on a buoy and enjoy all the benefits of the marina (shower, toilet, laundry room). Right now, we are in one of these mooring places in Gran Canaria for 4 euros per day. Unfortunately, in the Canaries, there are few anchorage sites protected from the waves, and therefore we have to look for the cheap options of mooring in a marina or at anchor.
In the morning, we wake up at about 8 o’clock, after a little exercise, we make tea or coffee and go out to have breakfast outside. At this time, people around do sports, walk with their dogs, all the neighbors at the anchorage, or the pontoon in the marina greet each other and also do some sports. After that, we usually go ashore for fresh bread, visit friends along the way, walk a bit along the promenade, and return to the yacht. I sit down to write articles, blog on social networks and weave bracelets, and the cap improves everything that he can, and helps inexperienced yachtsmen with advice, and sometimes with his hands. Next, there is lunch and a little «siesta» or fishing. And on May 7, 2020, we started our swimming season, and now in the afternoon, we go swimming. In the evening, we usually have dinner with friends, play board games and discuss plans for the future or have a meal together with a good TV show or movie, call our family and friends, and when the weather is calm, we can sit outside for a long time, enjoy the evening sky, moon and stars, city lights and their reflection in the water ...
How to understand whether this lifestyle is right for you
To decide whether all this is suitable for you, I advise you to first go on a cruise or regatta. On a cruise, you will see the everyday life on a yacht, in a regatta, you will feel the full speed and power of the sails, learn how to manage them. During crossings, you will understand whether you have a seasick disease, which yachts are more reliable and suitable for you, and how long you can live without the Internet. Having been in all three types of yachting, you will be able to decide on the further choice of your life path. If, after all, this lifestyle has not scared you off, you can study in the skippers’ school and choose the yacht. If you need help, please contact us, and we will gladly give you practical advice.
Why is life on a yacht good?
For us, first of all, it is freedom of movement. You can be in any place you want, and any time you can raise the anchor, open the sails, and sail further ... The yacht makes it possible to travel around the world even if you don’t have much money. And you are like a turtle — your house is always with you. You do not need suitcases, hotel reservations, airplane tickets, taxis, and buses. You just travel with your home. Among other things, life on a yacht helps you meet different and fascinating people. Here, you can find true friends who will not leave you in difficult times and will always come to the rescue! The sea brotherhood is very spiritual, and for the most part, all people here are very kind and interested, they live to travel and discover new places, and do not care about politics, religion, and wars.
Yes, now the world is collapsing, and even yachtsmen cannot enter/leave ports, but someday the quarantine will be over, the borders will open, and we will all be able to go sailing again, enjoy the wind and the feeling of unlimited freedom!