What's up with the environment across the world, seen from a keen environmental engineer's eyes? How is it to sail around the world in a tiny boat, for years on end? Nina's green travelogue is about just that. For now it's only in Norwegian, but if you'd like it to be in English as well, let us know by leaving a comment below.
The Norwegian version of this travelogue started back in 2005 when I left Norway - and my job as an environmental engineer in SAR - to sail around the world in an engineless 26 foot sailboat, together with my husband. After almost five years out there we're still cruising. We go back to Norway for short visits to see family and friends (this winter of 2009/10 I've been back at SAR environmental department), but we won't come back for good. We like life afloat. In March we'll return to our boat which awaits us in San Francisco. Our immediate plans are to sail south along California to Mexico, then turn North to explore Baja California. We'll store the boat in Mexico, as we plan to spend winter in Alaska. But plans may change. The vast Pacific ocean lies ahead of us. If we get a sudden urge to sail directly from San Francisco to Hawaii - well, we can, and that's the beauty of this lifestyle.
These photos are for real. This is a miniature version of our tiny boat.
During this time back in Norway we've lived nicely in a huge house with a garden full of fruit trees, we've enjoyed a king size bed, a fridge, running water and rooms upon rooms upon rooms. Our boat has no such creature comforts. There we share a living area of five square metres; in the house we have a floor each. We're asked again and again: Do we really want to go back? Isn't life on land much more comfortable and convenient?
Oh yes. It's more comfortable. And way more convenient. Life aboard a small and narrow sailboat is cramped, often cumbersome. We have to row ashore to fetch water. Our guests must to balance dinner plates on their laps. Every new harbour has us learning everything anew; where's the cyber cafe, what's the BBC World Service frequency, what's the local anchoring code? Our lives as a blue water cruisers does not have 24/7 convenience, still it's pure and simple bliss. If something breaks down, we repair it. If it's beyond repairs, we learn to live with out it. We may worry about the weather at times, but just have to take what comes. Life is calm enough for us to read and write (yes - we do work, this is a way of life, no permanent holiday) and slow enough for new experiences to really sink in. We're on an even keel, literary speaking. The freedom of living off the grid like this is quite intoxicating. It's intense and addictive. So yes, we want to go back. And March 1st 2010 we will.
If you want to read more about who we are (Nina Kristin Nilsen and Henrik Nor-Hansen), about our boat Bika, preparations, earlier articles, or see us interviewed on Discovery Channel (aired September 2008) you can follow the link of the red boat symbol to the right.
And if you'd like blog updates to be in English, as well as Norwegian, let us know by leaving a comment below. So long, Nina.