The Plan

Plans & dreams

Update January 2018

Well. We made it to the Canaries in April 2017. The engine operation took much longer than anticipated and we only left Sardinia end of January 2017. After that we sailed to Mallorca and cruised along the Spanish South coast. We stopped in Gibraltar (absolutely loved it), crossed over to Ceuta and zigzagged our way out of the Gibraltar Strait. We then spent a wonderful month in Morocco, exploring the country by rental car and meeting beautiful people.

Since April 2017 we have been in the Canaries, cruising around the islands – so far we have seen all islands except Tenerife. Our original plan to continue to West Africa and Cape Verde had to be postponed – we had run out of money! The new engine had eaten up all of our budget and we had to stop to earn some money. So we are living on and off Ponyo now (in the public marina of Las Palmas) and traveling back and forth to Germany for work.

Our latest plan is to either cross the Atlantic next season via Senegal and Cape Verde (after Yannick has passed his final school exams) and do an Atlantic circle, meeting up with more kids‘ boats in the Caribbean and visiting Ric’s brother in New York amongst other things and sail back to Europe next summer. Or (depending on the money situation) move Ponyo to a place where we can live, work and sail simultaneously. Like England, Ireland or some place else in the North Sea.

The big dream and our vision still is to sail to Japan and that will happen – sooner or later. But we have to take it step by step and catch whatever life throws at us.

If we’ve learned something from these one and a half years it’s that life happens while you are making plans. And that things just work out one way or another. So that’s what we are doing now: Playing by ear and making the best of it. For us the most important thing is to spend time together and give the boys as much as we can in terms of courage, openness, inspiration and optimism.

Update January 2017

Well so much to our plan! Our engine broke down beginning of November 2016 and instead of cruising the Canary Islands we are still stuck in a South Sardinian shipyard, getting a new engine and an auto pilot. Hopefully we will be able to leave next week, the weather has become quite difficult: storms, storms and storms.

So our (slightly altered) new plan looks like this:

Mid January 17: LEAVING Sardinia and getting out of the Mediterranean AS FAST AS POSSIBLE (cold! storms! ahhhh!)

Rest of January 17: Cruising along the South Spanish coast and potentially stopping for an inland trip to Granada and Sevilla

February – Mid February 17: Going to Gibraltar and going to Essaouira, Morocco; leaving Ponyo once again for an inland trip to Marrakesh and Fez

Mid February – March 17: Cruising the Canary Islands

March – April 17: Cape Verde

April – May 17: Senegal

Someday: Japan!

After that? Well, ask us again in a couple of months!

Boatnotes Ponyo Sailing with family

Ponyo in the boatyard in South West Sardinia’s S. Antioco after the installation of her new engine

Original plan

For now we are planning to do this for a year, at least we have sorted out the money for a year (well, let’s see about that).

The boys will be boat-schooled (about our education philosophy see here) and we are really looking forward to doing that! Ask us again in 3 months haha.. No really, there are many interesting projects where they can learn and experiment with all kinds of subjects: how strong needs the anchor chain to be to be holding a 15 ton boat in 35 knots of wind?? Now THAT’s physics.

Our route leads us through the Mediterranean up to Gibraltar where we are planning to turn South to the Moroccan Atlantic coast.

So our rough schedule is this:

August – Mid September 16: Greece

Mid September – Mid October 16: South Italy and Sicily

Mid October – November 16: the Baleares

November – Mid November 16: South Spain

Mid November – Mid December 16: Gibraltar and Morocco

Mid December 16 – January 17: Canary Islands

January – February 17: Cabo Verde

February – March 17: Senegal

After that we will see if we can go on or take Ponyo to England or back to Greece or who knows! The dream is to sail to Japan but is a long way to go…

All dates and destinations are subject to change since we heavily depend on weather, crew and boat.