Thu 5th Apr 2018
See the full gallery below the interview.
Ricardo, Claudia and their 4 kids in the age of 6 to 14 years, decided to make a change, to leave the comfortable and regular life and leave for a trip that initially would take 13 months. They never thought that this would change their lives forever.
Below, the X-Yachts Dealer in Chile, Juan Eduardo Reid is interviewing Ricardo, owner of the X-50.
How did the idea for this journey idea ?
We have asked ourselves the same question, and the truth is that the idea was always there, thanks to the passion we got from our parents. We were raised in the respect for nature and beauty of the sea. When we were children, we sailed in different dinghies where we developed our skills and strength within sailing. As teenagers, we sailed along the 3500 km Chilean coast from Arica to Puerto Natales in Patagonia with our parents and brothers and enjoyed long family adventures onboard in a wooden 40’ boat, made in Argentina.
How did we prepare ourselves?
The kids prepared without knowing; They sailed in the optimist classes, participated in races and South American championships. I was taking part in the oceanic circuit for several years. 8 years of sailing while my wife was also taking sailing lessons and license to sail a boat.
3 years before we started, I made the decision with my wife Claudia to make the journey. With the intention of changing the way to perceive life. The most difficult for us was the fear of loosing our standard and comfortable lives, our safe normal life where everything was under control. We knew that it would be a jump into a total adventure.
The most difficult part was to take the decision, and afterwards we made a list of things that would supposedly keep us linked to the society and normal life:
Schools, money, work, family, home care, dogs, cars, etc. It was amazing to see how the problems started to disappear one by one – and the concrete actions we implemented to solve them.
We human beings of the civilisation have a tendency to making the problem bigger than the solution thus loosing or evading the possibility to achieve our personal dreams.
You all agreed to do the trip?
Yes and no. At the beginning, our children didn’t realize that this crazy idea of their parents was about to happen. However, getting closer to the date of the start, we all aligned. Javiera was the one that worried the most, she was afraid that she would deeply miss her school mates.
It was only intended to be 1 sabbatical year, why did you continue the journey?
True, but like in other times of life, when you do something, the result is not always what you expect. The experience of leaving with your family 24 hours a day, together for more than a year, is price-less.
I can’t even comprehend the many different countries, different cultures, more than 200 harbors or marinas we have seen – or for that matter all the lessons of the sea during a 2.5 years of sailing around the world and more than 25.000 miles.
So, the prolonged trip is a bit like not wanting to go back to vanilla when you have tried chocolate for the first time.
What was the route of the journey, and what are your future plans?
We started in Holland, then we went to Belgium, to England with the Thames and the Solent Coast, to France, to the Biscayan Golf, Spain, The Rías, Portugal, Gibraltar, Ceuta, Morocco, back to the Spanish Coast, Baleares, France, Italy, Greece, Sicily and Barcelona. This was the first trip that took us 13 months.
The second trip was from Barcelona, Gibraltar, Rabat, Agadir in Morocco, Lanzarote, Fuerteventura, Palma de Gran Canaria and Tenerife. Then we sailed to Mindelo in CaboVerde in front of the Dakar coasts. Noronha, Recife and the coast of different places in Uruguay to finally get to YCA, San Fernando in Buenos Aires where we received a warm welcome and stayed for a months’ period.
The trip continued to Piriápolis where we made the antifouling to proceed to Punta del Este, Mar del Plata, Madryn and Ushuaia. Ushuaia to Puerto William, and 2 success sailings out of 3 attempts to Cape Horn. After this, the wonderful fiords towards Puerto Montt in Chile. Then we moved the boat back to Puerto Williams, close to Cape Horn, to make her ready for the next adventure.
So, right now, we are preparing the next trip to Eastern Island, French Polynesia, New Zealand and Australia. We will see what is next after these destinations. The idea in not to come back…
How does a racing sailor experience this oceanic journey around the world with his family?
My racing profile and passion is expressed in the kind of boat we have chosen for this trip. We purchased an X-50; In one boat we have all the required qualities: stiffness, speed, comfort and safety. We learned to sail with less sail area and a little slower to improve the life onboard under deck for the family, especially during the longer trips.
Thankfully, the X-50 is a fast boat, so the speed reduction was not that much.
Inspirational words for people considering doing a similar trip?
My advise would be that you should write down all the facts that could interfere with an adventure like this.
The next day, you should write a 2-3 years’ plan with the actions needed to solve whatever problems foreseen. And then get to work and focus on the target with a clear plan and a set date for start-up.
Come on!!! Is not that hard. During these 3 years, we have met so many sailors around the world, and I have only met people who regret not to have started their adventure before.
/Ricardo Ramirez Estrada, the owner of an X-50, Patagonia