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Sailing Solo Around The World: Adventures on a 27-foot Boat

by Jacqueline Evers/Sailing Loveworkx 1 May 02:05 UTC
My first squall.. © Jacqueline Evers

Navigating the Highs and Lows: The Joys and Challenges of Solo Sailing

Sailing solo around the world is not for the faint of heart, but for those who dare to embark on this epic adventure, the rewards are boundless. As a solo sailor, navigating the vast expanse of the ocean in my 27-foot sailboat, I've not encountered moments of loneliness, but foremost experienced profound connection. There is a story to tell and I will take you with me on my journey.

Setting Sail: Introducing Myself as a Solo Sailor

My name is Jacqueline Evers from The Netherlands. Solo sailing around the world in my 27 foot sloop since July 2023, I have sailed 11.000 nautical miles in 9 months. I arrived in the Marquesas a couple of weeks ago and found some time to look back on my trip so far. My solo adventure around the world will take three years.

I am living on my tiny boat. I don't have a fridge, freezer, shower, water maker or roller furler. While my husband and son may have chosen a different path, their unwavering support fuels my solo pursuit of this lifelong dream. Not confined by age or the constraints of conventional life, in my 50s, I bravely departed from the rat race, trading it for the serenity of the open sea.

Sailing with Love around the globe: The Meaning Behind Loveworkx

A question that I often get is ‘why is your boat called Loveworkx?”. The name "Loveworkx" holds special significance for me as a solo sailor and couples therapist. It embodies the belief that love is not only a powerful force in relationships but also in the pursuit of adventure and personal growth. As a couples therapist, my practice, also called Loveworkx, focuses on fostering strong and healthy relationships through communication, empathy, and understanding.

Similarly, in sailing, treating my boat with love and care is essential to ensuring its seaworthiness and reliability on long journeys. The name serves as a reminder that love, in all its forms, is a driving force in both my professional and personal endeavors, from navigating the complexities of human connection to navigating the open sea.

Loneliness vs. Connectedness: Finding Balance at Sea

A lot of people tell me that they cannot see themselves sailing alone. One of the most common questions I'm asked is whether I feel lonely at sea. Surprisingly, the answer is no. In fact, I feel more connected than ever – to myself, to the people around me, to nature, and to the world as a whole.

While the solitude of the open ocean can be daunting, it also offers an opportunity for introspection and self-discovery. Through meditation and reflection, I've learned to embrace my own company and find solace in the rhythm of the waves.

Navigating Anxiety: Facing Challenges Head-On

Another question people often ask me is if I experience anxiety or fear while sailing solo. While it's natural to feel apprehensive at times, especially when faced with challenging conditions or unexpected obstacles, I've learned to confront these feelings head-on.

There's something within me that draws me to the sea, a deep-seated desire to explore and experience the world in all its beauty and complexity. And while there have been moments of uncertainty, I've found that my passion for sailing outweighs any fleeting feelings of anxiety.

In those rare instances when I do find myself questioning my decision to sail solo on a small boat, I connect with the feelings that brings. In no-time I fill peaceful again and feel gratefulness for this very special journey around the world. And ultimately, I'm filled with a sense of purpose and determination to continue pursuing my dreams, no matter the challenges that may lie ahead.

Living Simply: Embracing Minimalism on a 27-Foot Sailboat

In a world where bigger is often seen as better, my 27-foot sailboat may seem small by comparison. But for me, simplicity is key. With no fridge, freezer, shower, water maker or roller furler to worry about, I've learned to live off the grid and embrace the beauty of a minimalist lifestyle.

From bucket showers with seawater to storing fresh produce without refrigeration, I've found that simplicity breeds resilience and resourcefulness. Both sailors around me and locals add to that with nice conversations and offering me fruit and food.

Navigating Tight Quarters: Making the Most of Limited Space

Living on a small boat presents its own set of challenges, particularly when it comes to storage and organization. But with careful planning and a bit of creativity, I've managed to make the most of every inch of space. From creating maps of storage compartments to mastering the art of efficient packing, I've learned to navigate the tight quarters of my sailboat with ease.

Maintenance Matters: Keeping My Boat Shipshape

Maintaining a sailboat, especially one as small as mine, requires diligence and attention to detail. Keeping my boat simple and compact has its advantages, as I encounter small problems that are often easy to fix. However, even with meticulous preparation, the rigors of ocean sailing inevitably take their toll, requiring ongoing maintenance and repairs. In the three years leading up to my circumnavigation, I undertook a comprehensive refit to ensure that my boat was seaworthy and ready for the journey ahead.

Despite this preparation, the harsh conditions of the open sea demand constant vigilance and care. In Trinidad, where my boat was hauled out for a series of repairs, I was reminded of the importance of regular maintenance in ensuring the safety and integrity of my vessel.

Throughout my journey, I've been fortunate to receive assistance from fellow sailors who have generously offered their expertise in tackling smaller repairs, from welding to engine maintenance and beyond. Their support has been invaluable, underscoring the spirit of camaraderie and mutual aid that defines the sailing community.

Preparing for the Journey: Building Skills for Self-Reliance

In preparation for my solo sailing journey, I recognized the importance of being self-reliant at sea. Despite not being particularly technical, I dedicated myself to numerous workshops and training sessions to enhance my knowledge and skills.

From learning the intricacies of sail making and working with epoxy to understanding boat electricity and safety protocols, I immersed myself in every aspect of sailing life. Workshops on safety at sea, including the use of emergency beacons like EPIRB and SART, were crucial for my preparedness in case of emergencies.

Additionally, I delved into weather information tailored for ocean sailors, honing my ability to interpret forecasts and navigate safely through changing conditions. Each training session and workshop not only equipped me with practical skills but also instilled in me a sense of confidence and self-assurance as I embarked on this monumental journey.

Sailing Solo: Embracing Self-Reliance on the open sea

Solo sailing is as much about self-reliance as it is about adventure. As a solo sailor, I've come to rely on my own skills and resourcefulness to navigate the unpredictable waters of the open sea. From sail handling to maintenance tasks, I've learned to trust in my abilities and embrace the challenge of being solely responsible for my vessel.

While there are moments of solitude and self-reflection, there is also a sense of empowerment that comes from knowing that I can rely on myself to overcome whatever obstacles may arise. In the face of adversity, I've discovered a resilience and strength that I never knew I possessed, proving that true adventure lies in the journey of self-discovery.

The Value of Community: Finding Support Along the Way

Perhaps the greatest lesson I've learned on my journey is the value of community. From fellow sailors offering assistance with repairs to strangers welcoming me into their homes for dinner and drinks, I've been overwhelmed by the generosity and kindness of the sailing community. Whether in Trinidad, San Blas Islands or French Polynesia, I've found that no matter where I go, there's always someone willing to lend a helping hand.

Navigating the Panama Canal: A Test of Patience and Resourcefulness

One of the most challenging experiences of my journey was navigating the Panama Canal. With my 27-foot sailboat and a crew of four line handlers, space was at a premium. In the tropical heat of 38 degrees Celsius, I painstakingly rearranged my boat to accommodate my guests, taking everything out and putting it back in again to create sleeping quarters for all.

It was a test of patience and resourcefulness, but ultimately, we made it through, strengthened by the bonds forged in the crucible of adversity.

Sailing Solo: Embracing Self-Reliance on the Open Sea for a Greener Tomorrow

Sailing solo isn't just about navigating the waves; it's also an opportunity to contribute to a more conscious way of living. As I traverse the vast expanse of the ocean, I can't help but reflect on the importance of leading a minimalistic life and honoring the earth. Living on a small sailboat has taught me to appreciate the simple things and to tread lightly on the planet.

From conserving water and energy to reducing waste and embracing sustainable practices, I strive to minimize my impact on the environment while maximizing my connection to the natural world. Through my journey, I hope to inspire others to embrace a more minimalist lifestyle and to advocate for a green economy that values sustainability and stewardship of our precious planet.

Embracing the Unknown: Lessons Learned Along the Way

As I continue my solo sailing adventure, I'm constantly reminded of the importance of embracing the unknown. Each day brings new challenges, from navigating treacherous seas to weathering unexpected storms, providing ample opportunities for growth.

Through it all, I'm filled with gratitude for the experiences and connections that have shaped my journey thus far. Whether moments of solitude or acts of kindness from strangers, each day serves as a reminder of the richness of life and the depth of human connection.

Conclusion: A Journey of Self-Discovery and Adventure with Purpose

Reflecting on my solo sailing journey fills me with profound gratitude for the experiences and lessons learned. From the joys of self-reliance and simplicity to the connections forged with fellow sailors and local communities, each aspect of this adventure has left an indelible mark.

Through periods of solitude and self-reflection, I've uncovered resilience, strength, and a deeper understanding of my own feelings and intuition. As I navigate onward, guided by the wind and the stars, I do so with a heart full of gratitude and a spirit of purpose, eager to embrace whatever the ocean may bring.

Please follow me: join me on my voyage

My website is in English and full of information about my journey.

Through my unscripted videos, I offer a glimpse into the authentic tapestry of my sailing.

It would mean a lot to me if you can support me by subscribing to my YouTube channel and like and write nice comments. If you have any thoughts on making a connection between my sailing adventure and contributing to a greener world, please let me know.

• My YouTube Channel.

• You can support me here.

I’m looking forward to connect and to read all your lovely comments.

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