How did I decided little by little to change my whole life and live on a sailboat?

Since I was little, I have always had an engaging activity, and I have never been able to practice it in a moderate way. Always at full speed, but when I feel I am at the end of the line I stop as suddenly as I started and begin something else: fishing, model aircraft, music, studies, music, paragliding, motorbikes, Norway, then nothing… What to do?

Music, I missed. Motorcycle, it’s not enough. Paragliding is great but no. Glider and plane are too expensive. Hiking yes, but not too much.

Sailing, I used to sail during my youth and I always wanted to do it again. I have indeed few memories from my youth but not that much. In addition of that it’s one of the last things I have not tried yet. If it ever does not suits me, then I’ll be screwed because after that I have no more idea about what to do in my life!

The beginning of an activity

I started sailing in November 2017 by taking courses at the French sailing school Les Glénans, starting from level 1 like everyone else. I was living in Oslo and working in robotics. The feeling was weired, forgotten memories popped up from the sound of water against the hull, the wind in the sails and the mast, the winches and smells. It was like a Proust’s madeleine!

I continued with Les Glénans until the 3rd level, that I validated in early April 2018. I already used a significant part of my holidays and money for these trips. Even though traveling to Brittany in France was still chipper than a three days course in Oslo, that was still a considerable budget. By these times I was not single and I heard few times “du er en egoistisk person”, and that was true, that was selfish.

The disadvantage of this sport is that it requires a boat to practice, or friends who own one. So I joined a regatta crew, the “onsdagsregatta” of Oslo. We did a test, the aim was to sail around between two buoys to arrive first. It sucks!

Then life brought me back to single life. I was looking for an appartment when I heard about a colleague who was living on his boat. If he can, then I can too!


A picture of my Maxi Fenix, the "Jori CPD"
Mai 5th, 2018 – Arrival at my place at Killingen harbor, Oslo, with my Maxi Fenix the “Jori CPD”

Two weeks later in April 2018 I bought a boat in order to move in it. It was a Maxi Fenix, a Swedish-built sailboat measuring 27.75 ft. Launched in 1984 he was ahead of his time at the time. It was easy to sail alone, had little space inside but enough to me, in short I could not have found better!

Initially, the idea was to minimize my rent while being able to sail during the week-end …

The revelation was complete: we actually work to pay rent, buy furniture, a car, go to the restaurant, the bar, in fact go around in circles.
Eventually we travel: from one AirBnb to another, by plane, by train, to see what there is to see and say that we did it without having experienced something somewhat memorable.
I have not been satisfied with this way of life until then.

A photograph exposing my motorcycle in front of Austrian montains.
July 29th 2018, in Austria

Another important experience, in July 2018 I decided to bring my motorcycle from Oslo to Nimes in south of France to sell it. I spent four days on the road, with my tent doing wilderness camping, visiting, visiting friends in Czech Republic and watching the landscapes. Once arrived, the mileage counter indicated 2777.5km; the distance between work and Mom. Arriving after so many kilometers and different landscapes brings another dimension to the trip, an impression of merit and satisfaction. The same trip is 2h by plane for much less expensive. It is fabulous on many aspects but the word “travel” loses much of its substance.
This trip helped a lot to make the decision to do this project. A much more interesting world separates Nîmes from Oslo, and it is from all this part of which our daily life deprives us that I want to get closer.

Yet, I have always loved and still love robotics. It’s the same for travel, concerts and bars.

What if instead of going back to work every Monday morning I bought myself a boat? I would travel slowly from one place to another, live truly memorable experiences, work from my boat that would be my home, learn anything about everything all the time?

That is the idea I had in June 2018. How not to give in to temptation? I was 30, I’m single without children, software engineer at a time when everyone is looking for it. This is a unique window that comes up here, gaping in front of me and that many others are not lucky enough to have. It would be a shame to let it go…

So I jumped off the bridge.

A picture of my friend by night, standing on a diving board in front of Killingen's harbor.
July 9th, 2018 at 00:33 – Drunk, Clea stands on the diving off the beach, in front of Killingen’s harbor, Oslo.

Not too high Icarus!

The boat is a cure for many people, a symbol and synonym of freedom, a reconciliation with nature.
The initial idea is certainly very naive and unoriginal, I was told many times “What you do is a dream that I always had”.

But why did not these people do it themselves?

It is a major investment:

  • Financial, already it is necessary to succeed to set aside enough.
  • Then become good enough sailor, it’s a matter of common sense and security.
  • Get the boat, and the good! Make the boat fit to the needs of the project.
  • And finally start the adventure! To eventually realize that “Weel actually it sucks, I’m bored and going to do something else”

From that perspective, I understand why they stopped there …
But not me. Even if it turns out that I do not fulfill all my initial ambitions, I want to give a try, just to see. It’s a lot of experience in itself to bring this project to maturity. In fact the goals are almost an excuse to cross all the challenges that arise on the road and prove to the potential skeptics that yes, it is possible look: I do what I want.

In these circumstances, it seems a little more rational… Anyway, I try and I’ll let you know.

Sailing the Oslo's fjord
Oslofjord, June 8th, 2018 – My first sailing trips alone happened on Oslofjord.
Nb.: The mainsail is not tautened enough since the halyards were twisted inside the mast.