De fjerne farvann/ The distant waters
We love following this courageous duo, through their blog and social media channels. Life, love and everything in between, the girls do a great job sharing valuable and personal advice picked up while exploring the world. Emilie and Elise hope to inspire all of us to dream, just a little bit more. As a savings-app, we are obviously curios to learn more about how they planned this journey financially, and how they deal with money at sea!
Get to know captain Emilie Kreyberg in her brand new interview below. Ship O'hoy!
Who: Emilie / Kaptein Kreyberg
When did this journey start: July 2016
Current Location: Las Palmas, Canaries
Vision/motivation behind trip: Explore the world while looking for a meaning for life, perhaps?
Hello there impressive sailor ! How are you feeling today?
I’m feeling good, thank you! The sun is out and we’ve had a lazy, productive day. (Yes, such a thing exists in the tropics.) We recently decided we need to change our engine, so I’ve collected prices from different brands today. It’s ridiculously expensive, but the old one is thirty years old and just about to die.
Auch, best of luck with that… Now please tell us, how did you and Elise first meet?
I got to know Elise’s sister through studies in Brazil about ten years ago. They are close, so when Elise moved to Oslo in 2011, she immediately became a part of our crew. As most of the others had boyfriends (now husbands), we kind of ganged up and decided we were the fun part of the group!
Definitely still the fun part of the group! And further on, how did you decide to go on this amazing expedition together?Did you just discover a shared passion for traveling and sailing?
We have both always been adventurous, and we’ve both felt a longing for something that’s been missing in our everyday lives in Norway. Most of our friends are creatives, within music or visual arts, and their work is also their passion. They sacrifice so much to do what they love. We’ve always made more “reasonable” choices, always longing for passion. We are both the administrative type, more than we are creative. Deciding to do long distance sailing, was a spur of the moment decision. A guy asked us if we had any plans to sail far, and never having spoken or dreamt about long distance cruising, without hesitation, we answered in unison “yes, we’ll sail around the world!” And that was that. We later moderated the plan to only a year, to the Caribbean and back, but after leaving and realizing how much we love this – we’ve decided one year won’t suffice.
We simply need to sail around the globe for three years.
So inspiring! And then, how did everyone back home react when you first announced this upcoming trip?
Almost everyone seemed impressed and were very supportive! We decided to do this about two years before we left, and planned the departure for June/July 2016 from the beginning. Right at the start, several people expected one or both of us to meet the man of our lives, and decide not to go. We never doubted our determination to do this, and no guy could derail this adventure.
There was also some concern and genuine fear from close family, but they’ve eased up a bit after the crossing of the bay of Biscay.
How did you start the planning of this trip?
The day we accidently decided to cruise around the world, we spent the rest of that weekend googling and reading blogs by other sailors. We quickly discovered that we would need at least three years to do a circumnavigation because of winds, weather systems and hurricane seasons.
Next we bought the boat and went through the steepest learning curve I’ve ever experienced. Picking the boat apart and putting her back together more soundly. I’ve mostly spoken to other sailors to gain insight and experience before departure, while Elise has had more of an academic approach and read numerous books. We have an extensive library on board with books about world cruising routs, weather, sail trim, storm tactics, diesel engines, electricity and a hundred other topics that might come in handy.
Mind-blowing story, really! Now, at Spiff, we are always eager to talk about money. Budgeting is something you must have discussed prior to this journey? How did you plan everything?
As we started planning for this trip, we were quite anxious to get to know what other people had budgeted and spent. The most direct amount we could find, was that you could always do with more and always with less. We spoke with as many people we could about their trip, and then I made a budget. Prior to buying a boat, I put down a list of equipment we would need and the approximate price of each. As we looked at boats, we would look at what equipment came with the boat and what we could expect the total to amount to. When we fell in love with Paloma, our boat, all reason was lost deep at sea. We (unfortunately) spent almost the exact amount I had budgeted, which was at least a couple of hundred thousand NOK more than we wanted to.
How would you describe your relationship with money today, compared to before this trip?
I have always had three months’ rent in my account, in addition to emergency savings. Saving money to afford fun adventures, has always come naturally to me. However, Elise got sick a year before we left and didn’t qualify for any benefits, which has been a struggle. We are both relaxed about money, and care more about whether what we spend is worth it or not. As I’ve been working full time for several years in a “grown up job” and own an apartment, we quickly decided 50/50 split on costs wouldn’t make sense. I’ve spent considerably more, and we yet need to figure out how that will work out in the long run.
Any financial surprises (good and bad) so far on this journey? Are you on track?
We decided 150k NOK each to spend during the one year to the Caribbean and back would be comfortable. That would allow us to eat at restaurants occasionally, stay in marinas when we needed to and fix the bits and pieces that inevitably would brake during the sail. However so far we’ve spent considerably more fixing engine stuff, than we ever feared. It has amounted to more than all our other living costs. Lastly, changing the engine will cost about 100k NOK. In addition, as we have decided to sail for three years, rather than one, we’ll be short on cash at some point. We have gotten creative in finding ways for people who read our blog, www.fjernefarvann.no, to contribute. We both have a membership group, where they get access to our position and can text with us via satellite, and a donations option. More than half of our sponsors are strangers to us.
Best saving tip?
Find something worthwile as a goal, so that you have a reward in the end. One that’s worth it, to you. To get from there to the finish line, it helps to have a conciuous relationship to what one spends money on. I’ve written down everything time I’ve spent money for a few weeks, the little things one doesn’t register as you spend them but they add up to alot over the course of weeks and months.
What is the best and worst part about traveling around the world on a sailboat?
The hard part about picking the best thing, is that there are so many best things. We get to live in a fairytale for three years, we get to bring our home to beautiful places around the world, we get to actively look for the meaning of life, we get to live closer to nature, the sunrises and -sets, the waves, the winds, the dolphins – but the best of the best things is probably all the great people we meet and the immediate close friendships those chance encounters result in. The worst part is harder, because even the hard stuff are amazing experiences. But there are times when the boat is too small, the ocean is too big, the noises are too many, everything is wet, nothing stands still, and I can’t for the life of me grasp why we’re putting ourselves through this ordeal.
The two of you ever argue?
We don’t really, no. We do disagree and we do need to vent occasionally. But mostly we know that the differences between us that at times get annoying, are such a fundamental part of the other, so there is nothing to do except accept it and find a way to live with it. Neither of us know anyone else we could have done this with, although Elise is considerably more easygoing than I am. Also, back home we mostly realized the similarities between us, but getting ready for and leaving on this trip has also shown us that there are differences.
Is there anything you miss from back home?
We do miss people, especially the kids. They are also the ones who change the most during our time away. Other than that, not really.
Is there anything you hope to teach yourself during and after this experience?
So much of this trip is about new experiences and learning new things. Now our daily life involves trial and error trying to figure the engine out, rewiring electronics and other practical tasks. We’ve also had to learn all things sailing related, about sails, VHF, weather systems, storm tactics, weather forecast in the clouds, sail trim and a hundred other bits and pieces. These are all things we never would have had to approach without this trip. To broaden one’s bases of knowledge, makes it easier to learn even new things. This was not a part of our motivation, but it definitely is a bonus. We also get a lot of time to sit still and think, especially alone at nightshifts. During that time, we practice our patience and ask the wind and the waves all of life’s meaningful questions. Our goal is to have more meaningful knowledge than google, when we get back home. (Hehe.)
Thank you so much for updating your fans online along the way! Anything you would like to say to them?
We are forever grateful to get to do this trip. The fact that people at home enjoy reading about our adventure, adds to the experience. We truly love to share all the ups and downs, and per the feed-back we’re getting it seems we bring a little more color, fun and adventure into their everyday lives – and we hope to inspire some of our followers to dream a little more vividly, and perhaps to realize their dreams.
All the pictures in this article belong to Elise and Emilie, as well as Marie Lid Aske
Thanks for reading!