after days of much anticipation and eagerly watching the forecast, this morning the predicted winds finally arrived, and the ladies couldn’t wait to hit the water. These winds have been absent for around two weeks and finally we can unpack the kites and cruise the crystal clear Maldivian waters. As we usually don’t get too much wind, we are super stoked and ready to go.
We have some kite guests on the island, as well as a visitor from our sister island Hurawalhi, so by the afternoon we can expect quite a few riders.
Our original plan was to go sail Croatia, which has many options for sailors of all levels. The bareboat charter industry is big business and the coast is a favourite destination for full-time cruises as well as short-term getaways. The prices are reasonable and all reviews describe a place of amazing beauty. There can also be wind in Croatia, so kitesurfing could also be a possibility.
We were super excited and started researching and planning the trip, which would have been a 2/3 week stay around May 2020. This would be our short break holiday and could give us an idea of what it’s like to sail solo, and live full-time in a cramped space. Before jumping head first into our venture, we had to first test the waters and confirm if this is what we both really wanted.
The process came to an abrubt halt when we got to visa applications. We are required to apply for visas in person, which is not out of the ordinary, and is considered usual procedure. However, we can not apply longer that 3 months before our intended visit. As we are living full time in Maldives, we would not be able to adhere to these conditions. There is a Croatian consulate in Sri Lanka, which is very close to us, but they cater for Sri Lankans and Croatians only. So that was the end of the Croatia dream, and we needed to find another solution and suitable destination.
This brought us to Turkey. Now we have changed our plans, and have started researching sailing options in Turkey, along the coast around places such as Marmaris and Bodrum, which apparently also has some kitesurf options. Visas are easily obtained and the bareboat charter industry is a healthy business with many affordable options.
Right now, our plan is to gain some extra mileage later this year (2019) back home in Cape Town, and then sail Turkey next year May 2020.
We have made some contact with charter companies and are considering some of their advice, such as the possibly of joining a flotilla, so that we can enjoy safety in numbers while we gain our experience.
That’s the plan in brief.
Now to do as much research as possible, plan plan plan… Looking for suggestions and input from anyone who has sailed this part of the world.
Our travel experiences have changed our vision for our future. There is so much of the world to see and experience, and together we have formulated a plan that could work for both of us.
I use the word “could” as we are not yet sure if this plan will work out, or if it’s something that we will both be happy doing. We will only continue the plan if we are both 100% in it, and I guess we will find out along the way.
We both agree that our current lives are exactly where we need to be right now. We have a steady income, travel twice a year and our apartment back home is being paid for. We still enjoy relatively good working and living conditions, and it would take something special to beat what we have now. Still, we know that we won’t stay here forever, and when we eventually go back home to South Africa, we do not want to end up with the same worries that we had before. With some luck and good planning, when we do return, we will spend our last years telling stories of adventures and misadventures, flipping through photo albums while laughing at good times experienced. Our goal in life would be to get the grand-kids off the tablets and out into the world, into the ocean, up in the mountains and through various cultures.
But we still have a few years left, so what’s the plan..? The one thing that we can agree on, is that we want a life that is not governed by any timetable. We don’t want to move on, see things, do activities or meet people according to any schedule. We want to be able to do these things at our own pace. We also want to live with as little financial commitments as possible, but I guess that’s everyone’s dream, and with our future plans, might be a little far-fetched.
The agreed plan is to sail.And while we sail, we want to kitesurf remote and beautiful parts of the world. To assist financially, we might offer this as a service if and when the need arises.
Now, we don’t have all the answers yet. We don’t even know if staying together in a cramped hotbox is something that our relationship will allow. We don’t really know what sort of challenges await in a life without hot showers, queen-size beds and cold beers. We’ve never made a lasagne in a gas oven, in a limited-size kitchen with no hot water, and a fridge that could suck your batteries dry.
It also helps to read. There are some great books available, written by people who have experienced the highs and lows of living on a sailboat.
Some highly recommended reads include the Quest series, which is available on Amazon Kindle.
You could also check out Get Real, Get Gone…
Now that our first two courses are behind us, we look forward to gaining some miles later this year, September 2019, which will be followed by our next planned adventure, to sail and kitesurf the coast of Turkey. The Turkey blueprint can be found here… We are looking at suggestions, tips and information to assist us in this venture. All input will be much appreciated. The trip and our preparations will be updated regularly.
Flysurfer recently re-launched their inflatable kite, appropriately known as the Stoke. After flying the Speed5 and Soul, appreciating the production quality coupled with first-class service, we decided to order a 9m and a 12m…
Our school now has two new family members and we are pleased to introduce you to “Cloudjumper” (12m) and “Stormfly” (9m)…
Cloudjumper was unpacked, pumped and eager to takes her first steps in Maldivian waters. She did not dissapoint and the awesome wind conditions provided a great sunset session. The kite is amazingly responsive and with the new Force bar it’s a dream combination.
Unfortunately, due to our wind conditions, Stormfly will probably have to stay zipped up and packed away for a while. The shorter flying lines are going to work out great for teaching so looking forward to that, and will keep updates coming in.