Where we sailed through summers and took the next steps in our life

Sailing into a dream

From April 2021 onwards, we spent our first summer as sailors on the Markermeer and the Gooimeer, both very friendly to sailors - and thus very busy during summers. It was the perfect place for Freek and me to practice sailing. I'll admit that I found it quite scary in the beginning and he had to trick me to join him, but once my confidence grew, my anxiety became less and I started enjoying the sailing side of me.

As someone who had never sailed before, being in and around water like that, working with the wind and currents and navigating a 2000 kilo boat came unnatural to me at first. But as my time on the water went on, I found out that I love being in and near water, and getting more back to nature through sailing, swimming and snorkeling.

The very first time we spent a night anchored at the Gooimeer was exciting.

We were both pretty anxious and kept checking on the anchor, but we stayed put. We drank some wine, ate some snacks and when nightfall came, we looked at more stars than we could normally see from our light-polluted home. In the morning we woke up to the sound of swans flying low over water, a slowly brewed cup of coffee and the summer sun slowly warming us. It felt like camping, but better, because there was no one around us.

In March 2022, we did a number of big reparations on Bolle. We took off all deck fittings, we sanded the entire deck and painted it again. It was brutal, with us spending our entire weekends sanding the deck, drinking beers and eating fries after we came home exhausted. But it was also very educational and cool to get to know your boat so much better.

During the summer of 2022, we took Bolle out for a 5 day sailing trip around the Markermeer, the second largest lake of the Netherlands and also the biggest sailing adventure until then. On the first day we sailed to an anchorage 5 hours sailing from us. Anchoring turned out to be a very stressful and impossible (to us) event, so luckily the harbour next to it offered some support. It is a weird sensation to sail for 5 hours and feel like an adventurer, when your home is a 45 minute drive away.

After that, we went to the Marker Wadden for two days. This was incredibly special. The Marker Wadden are manmade mudflats in the north of the Markermeer, specifically created to improve the water quality of the lake and to return wildlife to the area. It proved to be an awesome destination for sailboats and motor boats, yet still hidden from the population.

With our first morning waking up by swimming and the sound of birds, to the next morning taking walks on the bird islands and watching the sunset on the beach in the evenings. Truly a wonderful piece of nature.

We concluded our trip in Hoorn, in the 16th century one of the biggest and most important harbours in The Netherlands. With over 30 degree weather, we sailed to a small harbour and strolled around the city with its rich history. Visiting a harbour city as a sailor with your own boat adds to the magic of life on board. It just makes it cooler.

After 5 days, we had enough. Bolle is a wonderful boat, but cooking whilst sitting on my knees and mediocre sleep had broken us a bit. Time to sail on home.

After almost three years sailing with Bolle, the dream of sailing the world with which we started this all does not seem so weird and impossible anymore. That the tiny idea grew bigger. Our discussions about it became more substantial. Up until then, we had been saving to buy our first house, but the market was saturated, prices were skyrocketing and we quickly decided that we would not yet find our dream house. So we decided to take the next step: Search for a bigger boat. A sailboat big enough to take us somewhat comfortably at least to the Mediterranean Sea.

In October 2022 we officially started looking. We saw close to 20 sailboats in the first few weeks to give us a clear idea of what we were looking for. The entire next year we would watch potential new sailboats, even almost buying one. We saved up a lot of money, and meanwhile this idea of living aboard a boat for a while and traveling the world grew with our savings. We met strangers who did what we want to do, so as it turns out it is in fact not impossible at all. Now all we had to do was find the perfect boat.

Sailing into a dream

Where we sailed through summers, and formed our dream life

1/8/20244 min read