måndag 8 december 2014

Sweden-Tonga, one way

Sum up of this trip

The first of July last year was the day I set off on this little trip, heading for the open ocean and a vortex of uncertainty. I knew that an adventure was laying ahead but little did I know in what way it would occur and how it would effect me as a person. As a matter of fact, I didn't even know much about sailing at all.

The first lonely sailing was just out of the coast of Sweden and is probably the time that made the biggest influence on my life. The fact that I realized I could concur the ocean on my own with the little boat made my sailing confidence rise to an instinct that the rest of the trip actually became very laid back.

Through out Portugal and Spain I had an amazing time, changing crew all the time, getting to meet lovely people. I hanged around in a lot of hostels and became the center of attention without too much effort, just to mention what I was doing. Morocco was the first time outside Europe with the little vessel which was a very fulfilling feeling and a very interesting visit. '

In the Canary Islands I first came in contact with the real sailing community, which has later shown to be totally amazing. Like a little floating neighborhood we were moving from anchorage to anchorage and everyone helped each other out what ever it could be. Las Palmas was the place were I was preparing for the first ocean crossing. An indescribable  feeling to head out with the cognizance that a month of not seeing any land is laying ahead.

On the other side of the pond were the tropics. Trinidad and Tobago, the absolutely astonishing country in the south of the Caribbean treated me very well and the journey went on towards Panama. 

Panama was just a blur of mixed feeling. It was here I decided to take the big step and cross the trifling little canal with more authorities in control than you can imagine and set sails on the biggest ocean in the world. Despite a cup of coffee in the way and a load of other difficulties we managed to depart towards Colombia. 

I can not say I have seen a lot of South America but the little we saw in Tumaco, Colombia I believe is a good appetizer of what it is and I absolutely loved it.

Sailing the longest passage in the world became a real challenge due to the amount of problems occurred on the way and I asked myself a few times why on earth I was doing this. The second Island in the pacific, Taoata made me think twice and was probably the high light on this trip. With no worries in the world we lived on fruits and became one with the locals who taught us how to live with the nature in the absolute paradise.

The dreaded toamotoes, known for it's dangerous reefs, turned out to be a tropical wonder with the clearest waters I have seen and a plethora of sharks and fish in sparkling colours.

Every Island group in the pacific was completely different to each other and I am glad I got to see a few of them. In Tahiti we saw a bit of the society we know of from back home but it was not a great place. Though the sailing community was huge here and we met up with a lot of friends.

Autitaki in the cook Islands was another amazing Island and so was Niue a bit further west. I had now sailed half of the earth in the little 27 feet vessel and is hard not say I was a bit proud of this deed. 

Exploring caves and snorkel in Niue was a great break brake from the over populated boat and I had a great time there.

I have now moved out of the boat and am located in the capital of Tonga. This little sum up does not describe a pinch of the amazing trip that I have made. I would recommend anyone to the same as me and give sailing a chance, it gives you a feeling of that anything is possible. It has taught me an awful lot about life and I am probably not the same dude that left Sweden almost one and a half year ago.

I would like thank everyone who have support me before and during this trip. Every little bolt and every little word of wisdom has helped me achieve this incredible experience. Thank you every one who has been crew on Yoldia and every one I have met on the way, you have all contributed to make this trip awesome!

It is now time to put the sailing a side for a while and on Thursday I am flying to New Zeeland and from there go further on to Melbourne, Australia, where a new adventure starts.


Some pictures taken by Adeena Gerding: 
see also: http://barefootedgypsy.blogspot.com/

One of the wonderful snorkeling places (Makemo)
The passage in to Autitaki was both shallow and narrow, good visibility and look out helped
We have been catching a few of these during the passages, very tasty fish
Duty free can make anyone happy
I think I lost a bet, probably a bit disappointed about the size
Sail repair is something I got quite good at after crossing half the globe
Adeena and me chilling
An example of how nice the yachting community is, Tahiti

Gypsy boat number one, love it

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In the cooks the cooks they had strong feelings about flying on Sundays
In Nuie nudity was forbidden but it is hard to stop a hippie sailor

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