Boat HitchHiking the Atlantic with a Mission
Post written by Suzanne van der Veeken
A few years ago, I decided to take the dream to sail around the world into action mode and see if I could somehow do an ocean passage. I figured if I can successfully cross an ocean, I can continue chasing the dream to sail around the world.
I was curious what it would be like to be on a boat for a longer period. Are the waves as high as in the movies? What would it feel like to be disconnected from everything but nature? And to see land after weeks on the water?
There was only one way to find out: to go for it! There were no excuses: my studies were finished, I had no housing commitments, no boyfriend, no best friends’ wedding and the cold winter was approaching.
The timing for a big first ocean adventure was perfect!
There were just a few challenges to tackle. I had no boat, I had no idea about sailing, the adventure funds were pretty low, and I didn’t want to ‘just’ sail across the Atlantic.
As a nature lover and advocate, I felt the need to contribute, to attach a mission, an exploration, and meaningfulness to the adventure.
Fast forward three years later: I hitched a ride across the Atlantic three times now. And I figured out some things to be mindful of. Here’s a summary:
Sailing Travel as a Way of Life
I have made sailing travel a way of life. And a mission I created! I want to help you go on ocean adventures and experience the magic.
If two-thirds of our world is ocean, why do we spend most our lives on land?
There’s a whole watery world to be explored out there. Exploring by boat gives the ultimate feeling of freedom. You just go where the wind blows. It’s a sustainable and adventurous way to travel long distances.
A sailboat can bring you to places where no one else goes, while being surrounded by nature. You don’t have to imagine how Columbus felt when he saw land after weeks on the open water – you can experience it for yourself!
What has struck me most when sailing across is what I learned about the ocean itself, how important it is for us, and the serious state of decline it is in. In the middle of the Atlantic, far away from civilisation, I’ve seen it drifting. Plastic bags, bottles, straws. These things do not belong here.
Once a fellow crew member thought he caught a fish but it was a plastic bag. Every water sample that I took, every 200 miles, contained tiny pieces of plastic. With the naked eye, you could not see it, but the research results gave results I could not ignore.
This is just to name a few situations that make us globetrotters pause for a moment. In reality, though, that ‘moment’ is a constant. When you see what’s happening with your own eyes, talk face-to-face with people living on and for the ocean, and experience its value, it gives rise to an urge to do something.
The Ocean Needs You
The ocean is waiting to connect with you. The ocean would like you to become aware how much it needs you. And how much you need the ocean.
The ocean is the heart of the planet. It produces most of the oxygen we breathe, it regulates our climate and is home to magnificent wildlife and the biggest creatures on earth.
It gives us food, jobs, life and joy. Without it, we cannot survive. It gives us everything but what are we giving to the ocean? We’re taking what we want, and we’re giving what we don’t want.
I’m responsible for this. And you too. I have thrown ‘away’ dozens of ‘things’ in my life. But now I have learned, there is no ‘away.’ Every piece of plastic ever made is still out there in some form and eventually ends up in the ocean through our waterways.
I have eaten all sorts of fish in my life, not realizing these come with kilos of by catch or are endangered species.
I have been ignorant. But not anymore.
My ocean explorations have taught me about the magnitude of the challenges our oceans are facing and even more importantly – it’s urgency! It’s time to act.
Atlantic Ocean Crossing as a Journey of Inspiration
So get out there! The Atlantic Ocean crossing is a journey of inspiration, learning and gaining lots of new insights. Set out on adventures that may be for a greater purpose. Find your mission and see the world through a new set of eyes.
It makes you a more conscious consumer. It resets. And perhaps makes you an ocean leader!
That’s the mission I’m on now: helping you to go on ocean adventures so you can plot your course for positive change for the ocean. We have no time to lose. Step by step, I’ll continue chasing the dream to sail around the world.
With a mission and a vision: A healthy ocean for all of us.
You want to know more on how to catch a Sailboat Ride across the Atlantic AND Contribute to a Healthier Ocean?
Then I recommend Suzanne’s E-Book “Ocean Nomad”
Get an exclusive Discount of 10% with the code: PAULINEOTR
About the author…
Suzanne, aka Oceanpreneur, is an adventure-loving, curiousity seeking ocean adventurer and advocate.
For over ten years, she has been slow travelling around the world, of which last four years as a mostly under sail, while living a minimalistic nomad lifestyle as a social entrepreneur.
Suzanne is the author of Ocean Nomad – The complete guide on how to catch a sailboat ride and contribute to a healthier ocean.
Learn more about Suzanne and jump on board with the Oceanpreneur to become an ocean adventurer and change-maker. You can find her instant ocean explorations on the socials with @oceanpreneur and on Youtube with Ocean Nomad TV