Anyone who has ever been on a long voyage knows this. It's a virus for which there is no recovery except carry on. For me it's the same. In 2010, at the age of 25, I set out on my parents' boat to sail around the world within three years. And then to do "something sensible".
Martin Finkbeiner wants to know again. After his three-year circumnavigation of the world from 2010 to 2013, this time he and his wife Friederike cast off the lines
This common sense lasted for five years - although it was clear to me long before I returned home that the end of one journey is the beginning of new planning and that "common sense" is not my strength.
After the trip is before the trip. Now it starts again, this time together with my wife Friederike and with a much smaller boat.
Summer 2016. A sailing yacht is being offered on the Internet that initially does not really convince us from the pictures and is not exactly what we are looking for. But it is on Lake Constance and therefore only an hour's drive away from us. That's why we still make an appointment to view the property.
We are looking for a small blue water yacht between nine and ten meters in length. We visit a Lake Constance boat without water tanks, navigation or safety equipment. There isn't even a bilge pump. But: The yacht is very solidly built, has the basic requirements of a seaworthy boat and fits well into our budget. And, in contrast to the advertisement, we like it very much. After a second inspection, in which we inspect the little one down to every last corner, it is clear: the boat will be bought and consistently expanded and converted.
The Finkbeiners spent many hours in the boat shed working on their "Aracanga"
The conversion of a relatively "bare" yacht gives us the great advantage that we get to know it from masthead to bottom of the keel and really only build in what seems necessary and sensible to us. And since the experience of my first circumnavigation shows that everything that can break will break at some point and that too much technology and electronics does not necessarily mean a plus in safety, we concentrate on the essentials: only hand and foot pumps (apart from an electric one Bilge pump), no complex electronics, solid new sails, stays and shrouds, a non-slip deck, an Aries wind vane control, a long-term antifouling that should last for the next ten years, and a slightly oversized anchor gear.
Done, the "Aracanga" enters the water. The journey starts
In order not to strain our budget excessively, we try to buy used items where possible and save important pieces of equipment as searches in online platforms, which has saved us several thousand euros. The boat and all of its equipment only cost around 20,000 euros, although we didn't skimp on essentials such as all of the safety equipment or the standing goods. Here we have listed all expenses for the boat.
We are not high earners and we have not inherited fat either.
We plan the sailing trip according to our financial means and keep the costs within reasonable limits. True to the motto: "Keep it simple". In the last few years we have put everything aside and have consistently avoided expensive hobbies, going out and shopping. We save one salary, we live on the other and cover the ongoing expansion costs. Two years after buying the boat, we wanted to set sail. Now it's two years later.
Time and route planning are still open and flexible.
In winter it should go across the Atlantic, but everything is open up to and from there. Experience shows that the spontaneous detours are usually the most beautiful and too detailed route planning prevents many a nice experience and withholds some interesting areas that you may not even have on your screen.
Whereby, the first month of the trip is very precisely defined, because there is only one direction: inside with the mast down on the canals and rivers through France into the Mediterranean. We have a very simple motto for further route planning, which has also proven itself on the last trip:
First and foremost, we want to sail where few others sail.
These are mostly places where there is little infrastructure for sailors. In this way I got to know places like Easter Island, Pitcairn or Micronesia. You can also put it simply: places where there is no WiFi. WiFi means expensive marinas and internet cafés, lots of sailors and tourists instead of locals, smartphones instead of real get-togethers.
No WiFi means traditional celebrations with the locals, inviting and being invited and Snailmail instead of email. In Micronesia I have hardly left an island without letters for the neighboring island and thus immediately made new friends everywhere. There is nothing better than to be invited to traditional celebrations and meals and, in return, to ask for cheese spaetzle or bread dumplings on board. Many people plan their trips to the hotspots of this world and deprive themselves of the most beautiful experiences.
In six months in the island world of Micronesia I met three other yachts, in one week Tahiti 300.
The boat is ready to go. There is a lot of work in it. Visually and technically little is reminiscent of the Lake Constance boat from two years ago. We are ready too. Nevertheless, saying goodbye for such a long time is associated with a laughing and a crying eye, and at the beginning of the great adventure there is not only great anticipation but also a little sadness in the air.