Things change so rapidly in the world… And one thing that is constantly changing is the way people are travelling. My partner, John, and I are the perfect example of that with our recent decision to join the bluewater cruising world!
Yes, that’s right… We bought a sailboat to sail across the world and also started our blog entitled How Not To Sail A Boat.
Now, most people think that this is a crazy decision. However, once you join the ranks of those sailing around the world, you start to realise just how many people are actually travelling this way. Ages can range from old salty sailors in their eighties to parents travelling with infant children, and the nationalities and backgrounds are unbelievably diverse as well.
In fact, we find it so inspiring that we started interviewing other cruisers and sharing their stories on our blog in order to show how common this form of travel really is! Check out our recent interview with a family of five that has been sailing around the world for the last two years. Amazing right?!
So you might be wondering – what does this have to do with the environment?
There are a few reasons why we have found sailing to be one of the most eco-friendly forms of travel, and one that you could 100% participate in. So here goes… (We’ve also thrown in some beautiful pictures to tempt you to give it a go for your next holiday)!
The Power of the Wind
In a standard holiday, you may jump on a plane, a bus, in a taxi, on a train or even rent a car… You may even do each of these things multiple times depending on the trip. However, all of these can generate fossil fuels and increase your carbon footprint.
Now, what if you could take a vacation or a trip where you produced no fossil fuels at all? That is exactly what a sailing holiday can do!
Travelling by water and using the power of the wind to propel the boat means that you are not generating any fossil fuels whatsoever. You can see multiple countries, learn a new sport, get some time bathing in the sun or swimming in the sea, and all without having a negative impact on the environment.
Not to mention, many sailboats have wind generators… This means your electricity needs can be met by the power of the wind as well!
The Power of the Sun
The wind is not the only way to power your electronics… Many sailboats nowadays have solar panels on board.
This means that anything you need, from charging your camera for some beautiful sunset pictures to having a reading lamp on whilst you cosy up for bed with a new book… All can be achieved with the power of the sun whilst being surrounded by nothing but the peace and quiet of the ocean.
Alternatively, you may be so busy taking in all the incredible sights that you have a little less time for electronics!
Living on board a sailboat makes you very aware of how much garbage you produce. Everything that you carry on the boat and do not consume, is coming off the boat one way or another. Typically, as garbage.
While it may sometimes be recycling that comes off the boat, it still adds up and forces you to start considering other ways of producing less waste.
For example, instead of having a loaf of bread or two with each visit to a supermarket and then having unused extra plastic bags lying around, we buy one big bag of flour and a few other ingredients. This packaging is in bulk and made from recyclable materials, and means that we make our own fresh bread on board whenever we need it!
Even on a sailing holiday, when you might not be responsible for the provisioning, you may notice how efficiently the captain and crew utilise everything on board…
You can’t just throw your waste overboard, so living on a boat forces you to use everything you have!
For those that like fish, this also perfect for you… When you live at sea you also live off the sea.
However, you only eat what you catch and without extensive refrigerator and freezer space, you will worry less about current issues like overfishing. There are no supermarket aisles in the sailing world, nor is there a need for big fishing trawlers to catch enough for entire populations.
You eat what you catch yourself, nothing more and nothing less.
You may even help the environment by fishing, in the case of invasive species like the lionfish in the Caribbean, they were accidentally introduced. These do not naturally exist in this region and are unfortunately harming the reefs and other sea life that are endemic to the region!
So… Everything mentioned are solutions for the current concerns we face in the environment today. By being away and making eco-friendly choices we can drastically reduce our impact as travellers and help preserve Mother Earth!
Be wary though, the first time you travel by sailboat may leave you addicted to the feeling of freedom and the constant interaction with nature.
Whether it is the wind in your hair as you cruise, dolphins swimming alongside your boat or a hike at a new island you have never been to, there is so much of nature to be observed.
Better yet, you feel like you are preserving that nature in every way possible with every nautical mile you cover!
What could be better?
This is a guest post by CALLY & JOHN RIVETT
Cally & John are two people from opposite sides of the world with a whirlwind love story. They met in 2014, spent 3 years apart, and started dating in 2017. After spending only 20 days together and dating for a total of 9 weeks, they bought a boat together and decided to sail the world. Now, the rest is history!
Still need a bit more inspiration to consider a sailing holiday, check out the books about sailing that have inspired Cally and John to buy their sailboat or check out their YouTube channel to see videos of their journey – You can view their first episode below!
This was really interesting to read – I had never thought about how environmentally-friendly sailing can be. I don’t have the skills for it… but my brother does… hmm…..
Thanks for this great article!
I’m so glad you enjoyed it Rebecca! You should definitely follow Cally and John (the guest writers that wrote this article) – they have some great advice if it’s something you’re interested in 🙂 XX
This is such an inspiring post! I’d love nothing more than to sail for a while. I’ve neber done it. Pretty cool to think about how you could produce almost zero waste.
Right? It’s an amazing thought that you could travel the world without harming it – So cool! XX
This is amazing! I’ve always wanted to buy a boat and sail around the world but unfortunately I don’t know how to sail! One day for sure though I’m going to go on a sailing holiday even if I’m not the one in charge of the ship.
I’m the same, I don’t know how to sail at all… But I think we just have to remember that you can still do a sailing trip without being in charge. Pretty amazing! XX
I love sailing! There’s something about harnessing that wind and watching the sails puff out- knowing you are being carried by pure natural forces. It’s living art in motion. What an eco-friendly way to travel and live. Thanks for sharing!
This is a great post! I’m always thinking about how I can travel more responsibly and you’re right that sailing is a great way to do it!
This is a fascinating post, and it’s so great to hear people are willing to travel more ethically and sustainably! I’ve never thought of travelling on a boat on my own, but I’d be happy to do it as part of a group just in case things went wrong! I might do it in Egypt in a few years time just to get the taste of it 🙂
Sailing in Egypt sounds like an incredible idea! I bet you’d see things that many travellers normally wouldn’t – Enjoy XX
Wowo, I never thought about sailing as a sustainable way to travel. I don’t know why really, when I completely agree with this post. I went sailing once in the Solent in the UK and it was so much fun! Want to do more. Luckily my boyfriend is keen and he has a skipper license so this should be possible. 🙂
I’m very excited for you Eniko! I have my fingers crossed that you’ll be on the water with your partner in no time 😉 XX
Good luck with your adventure. I am not sure I could do it. Still, I am going to try and work on reducing the waste I produce. Making bread sounds like a great idea since I have a breadmaker we barely use!
Great blog and such a lovely way to travel. We have friends who are doing the same as you and have been living on board their catamaran for four years with their dog. they are currently in the Caribbean.
That is incredible Karen! Such an amazing way to travel, and it must be even better that you can bring your pet along on the journey too! I’m getting more and more convinced XX
Girl this is amazing! I never thought about sailing but you have convinced me to try sailing!
To be honest I had never considered it either! But Cally and John have definitely convinced me to try it one day – I’m always open to new ways of sustainable travel XX