Wednesday 16th February 2022
Who are you personally – as a couple and in your working lives?
As the youngest child of the Head of Danish Maritime Education, I was brought up with sailing. I was only 8 years old when I got my first Optimist dinghy, so saltwater has always been running in my veins. For my wife, it was quite the opposite. She was raised in Beijing and could not even swim when she came to Scandinavia as a teenager. Already as a child, I was certain, that someday I had to do at least one Atlantic crossing. When the children had reached the age of 13, 11 and 5 I thought that now was the time to fulfil my dream. The oldest was not in high school yet and the youngest was old enough to appreciate a sailing life, so we took a year off to sail an Atlantic circuit. Onboard we probably did homeschooling for less than one hour a day, but that was more than enough to keep up with their friends at home.
The next 6 years, we only sailed in Scandinavian waters, with a detour to Scotland one summer – but then the sailing disease hit again, and we took a 3-year trip from Denmark to Australia. During the 3 years, we only sailed part-time. 4-5 months of sailing and then 6-7 months of work. As the owner of a dental clinic, I could organize so that my employees took care of my patients while I was away. The children participated probably half of the time because university studies and high school also demanded their attention.
When the Pacific adventure was over, and we were back working full time in Denmark we didn´t expect to do more ocean crossing. Now our life should be dedicated to grandchildren, children and work, but slowly we began to realize that you cannot forever take your good health for granted. I am 62 years old and my wife …… (no, she doesn´t want me to mention her age), so I sold my dental office and changed my title to senior dental consultant. My wife, who is a dental technician, got an agreement with her employer to work part-time (½ year at work and ½ year off) and off we went again for a circumnavigation.
What is your work balance like, when using the boat as a home for long periods?
We thought we have found an ideal balance where we sail for a period and when the season changes, we can leave the boat and return for work. We are both so lucky that our employers accept that strange kind of life. When cruising, the boat is a tough employer that demands quite some attention to keep her in a good shape, but because of the good quality of the Xc 50, we can still find plenty of time to socialize, swim, hike or just read a book. The cruising life as we do it is quite a treat!
You have been to oceans that many sailors only dream of; What have been the highlights of your Xc 50?
Oh, it is difficult to pick only a few. The joy of our Xc 50´s sailing performance is a highlight that we experience again and again, but except that, the hospitality and friendliness we have met from people on the remote islands in the Pacific and among sailors on remote anchorages have been amazing.
Snorkelling with Manta rays or walking hand in hand in the sunset on a palm-fringed beach, diving at the wall of sharks on Fakarava or sailing faster than a 75 feet one-of yacht, swimming with the curious sea lions at Galapagos or enjoying the view from the top of Mt. Rotui, Moorea, after a long and tough hike, eating sashimi made from a tuna you just caught or seeing the first look of Fatu Hiva after a long Pacific crossing. I could continue with highlight after highlight – so to put it short: Cruising the Pacific is one BIG highlight!
Why did you choose the Xc 50 and X-Yachts as your partner for your sailing dreams?
When we sail the way, we do and the places, we do, our boat must be safe, and it must be of good quality as repair facilities and spare parts are hard to find in remote places. On the passages we cover a lot of nautical miles, so speed matters, and finally it is a lot easier to fall in love with someone, who has an appealing look!
Our first X-Yacht was an X-442. The first year we had it, we became the most winning boat in our local area. It sailed like a dream and convinced us that we should stick to X-Yachts from then on. We could have sailed around the world in it, but with the Xc 50, we got a boat designed especially for long-range cruising. The well-shaped hull moves gently through the waves, the tank capacity is great, it has a size where two people can still handle it, it is not as spacy as cheaper production boats, but it looks so much better. From the days we saw the first drawings of the Xc 50 it became our dream boat – and it still is!
Would you recommend others to rethink their working life, and start this lifestyle?
In the cartoon Peanuts, Charlie Brown says: “Remember Snoopy, we only live once” and Snoopy replies: “Wrong! We only die once. We live every day!” It is so easy and feels very rewarding when you focus on work and career, but when you on your last day look back on your life, I don´t think that you will have to focus on your working days. I have had friends at my age that passed away or got ill, so if you have a dream, don´t postpone it till it is too late.
When we did our first Atlantic crossing, we did not meet any other young/middle-aged couple sailing. It was either very young people who headed out before they had started a career – or it was people, who had retired and now had the time to sail away. Today we meet lots of couples, who takes a break in the middle of their career and set off together with their children – and I can tell you that it is so rewarding for the future ties between parents and children.
What has been your best X-Moment so far?
There has been so many, but when the night before my youngest son became 13 arrived in Galapagos and the next morning could celebrate his first day as a teenager surrounded with sea lions everywhere around us, it became an X-traordinary day!