The road ahead

Six days till our departure date. We’ve done our practice pack, checked for excess weight, separated the unnecessary things and put them into a give- away pile.

 I was dreading this day, because the last time I found it hard to know what to pack and what not to, and even harder to let go of clothes and things I didn’t have the space to take with me. Luckily, this time was much easier and I managed to quickly decide what to take and what to leave behind. My bag got packed with little drama and with the correct weight.

Mick on the other hand was having a few more problems. These months on land, have allowed him to use the Alibaba site a bit too much and his bag is full of extra parts for the boat, the boards, the photography, the coconut oil making (don’t ask!) and of course the perfect coffee making (this time we’ll be taking a coffee grinder with us). Needless to say, it ended up being a bit heavier than mine.

We finished work a week ago and spent last week visiting friends and spending time with family. Yesterday and today we’ve been cleaning the apartment where we’ve lived for the last few months and later today we’ll be going to visit Mick’s mum and dad for a few days.

Our last weekend in Australia will be spent saying goodbye, re packing our bags and board bags and on Monday we’ll be flying to Sydney, from Sydney to Auckland, from Auckland to Papeete. The whole journey is going to take us more than 20 hours.

We’ll spend two days in Papeete and then take the ferry to Raiatea where Ondular has been for the last 15 months. We’ve booked an air bnb for the first two nights there so that we have a nice place to return to after spending, we assume, those two days cleaning her and getting rid of the unavoidable mould.

Once we make her liveable again, we’ll move in but we’ll still be at the boatyard doing the antifouling, getting the sails back up and setting her all up to be ready to be launched into the water again.  We hope this process won’t take more than 2 weeks, but hey! Who knows how long it’ll take.

Once in the water is another story; life will be more comfortable and we’ll also try to anchor near a motu (little island) with a nice passage (waves) nearby so that we can enjoy some surfing, snorkelling and all the things we like doing, while working on the boat jobs.

And that’s as far as we’ve got, after that is in the realm of the unknown. We’ll figure it all out once we’re there. We’ve got a one-year visa for French Polynesia so we’re in no rush. We haven’t seen much of the islands yet so this is a whole new part of the world for us to explore and we’re happy to not have a plan.

 We’re returning to Ondular with a different vision. It’s no longer a holiday; it’s our life and we’d like this life style to last for a while. So, we’re planning to be smarter with our money (yes, we’ll try to be even tighter than before and be even more self-sufficient) and we’d like to avoid any schedules or timelines. This would mean to be guided merely by the weather and by how we feel in the places we encounter.

We know how lucky we are to be doing this, to have the freedom and ability to leave everything behind, follow our passion and listen to our souls.  This is the beginning of our second chapter of being free in the sea and we’d like to share it with you so we can inspire, entertain, encourage, motivate or simply keep you posted.


Back to our home in the sea

And here we are a year later and we are still back on land. Here and then, we browse through our photos, those images that remind us that once upon a time, not so long ago, we were out there, floating amongst the ocean. It feels so distant now, so far away. But we keep going because we know that Ondular is still waiting for us and that there are still a few new adventures to be experienced together.
Feelings of exhilaration and freedom are slowly returning to us. We can see the light at the end of the tunnel because we have a return date and tickets have already been bought; on 16th October, we’ll be travelling back to French Polynesia where Ondular is patiently waiting, hopefully not so mouldy and smelly and with all its parts functioning well.
Although we are returning to continue our journey, it feels more like a new beginning. We are different people than when we first started. We’ve grown, our views of the world are more defined. This is not a holiday any more, we are not merely travelling, this is our life, this is who we are, whether is on a boat or on land, we want our lives to be like this: less things, less work, more time, more connections, more meaning.
In the next few weeks we’ll be applying for a long stay visa for French Polynesia so that we aren’t rushed and we can have a slow pace and take our time seeing all the beautiful islands of that part of the world.
We’ve got no set plan, no set journey, we’ll figured it out on the way. Like our good friends Fenja and Roberto once taught us, we’ll be navigating on trust, open to the new adventures and trusting that all is going to be ok. We are just so happy that very soon we’ll  be able to return to our home in the sea.

With a little bit of help from our friends

Dear all:

We launched a very successful  gofundme campaign 18 months ago when we first started our project in Ecuador called Mingas por el Mar and raised  $ AU 700 that we used to buy all the tools and things we needed to complete our beach clean ups, educational talks, murals and to provide some food for volunteers. Those funds have helped us run our project and we are so grateful to all the people who contributed to our cause.


Last week we launched another gofundme campaign this time to raise some funds to get our new project going.

ayni 2 (1)

This new campaign is aiming to raise $1300 AU to put together a one day event in Guayaquil which will provide a space for all the NGOs and initiatives in the country to come together and share with the community all their work.  It’s also a day to raise awareness about the importance of taking action for our environment and the centre piece of the event is constructing a big plastic mat made by people all over the country with a message of unity and working together. It’s going to be a day full of activities, talks, dance, art, music, yoga and much more.

What are the funds going to be destined for:

  • To pay for all the equipment: (speakers, microphones)to provide for the sound on the day ($400 US)
  • To pay for the printing of the photos for our photo exhibition and for all the materials to create an art instalment on the day ($200)
  • To pay for all the signage needed for the day ($150)
  • To pay for the tools and materials needed to put together the installation of the “big plastic mat” which will be the centre of the day.

This event is very important for us because it will help us raise funds for the rest of the year  to continue working on our beach clean ups and educational programs and we will also be raising funds to donate to a recycling project run by a foundation called Kahre which is helping the communities affected by the 2016 earthquake.

So far we’ve raised only 270 AU dollars out of the 1300 that we were aiming for ,so we need your help again. We were hoping to get some sponsors in Ecuador, but with the economic crisis that the country is going through, we haven’t been very successful there either.

If you could please spare some change and support our gofundme campaign , maybe share among your friends, we would appreciate it so much! I’ve shared the link of the campaign bellow. Thank you for following our journey and for all your support always.

Isabel and Mick

Changes are coming..

In a couple of weeks I’ll be flying to Ecuador (solo, Mick will stay in Oz this time 😦  ) and although the main reason for this trip is to spend time with family and friends the other reason is a project that we’ve been working  on for the last few months called Ayni 11×11.

This Project was born with the intention of sharing with more people how to make our doormats and to be able to create the biggest mat made out of plastic bottle lids which will share  a message of unity, solidarity and positive change for our planet. We’ve put together a video explaining the process as well as many step by step posts  at .

At the end of my visit we’ll be organizing an event to showcase the mat and create a space for all the NGOs working in Ecuador to come together as well as local eco friendly products and alternatives, entrepreneurs and all the people and organizations working in the country to make positive change.  It’ll be a day of talks, ocean conservation, yoga, music, food and community.

There’s still a lot of work ahead but I’m pretty excited to try and make it all happen. I’m very lucky to have a great team of people in Ecuador with the same beliefs and motivation as me, helping along the way. We’ll keep you posted on how everything goes!


Back on land

Nine months ago we left Ondular safely packed and out of the water in French Polynesia and we came back to Australia. It was a difficult decision to make but a necessary one, due to personal and financial reasons. We were confronted with having to resettle again, look for a place to live, look for work and change our mindsets of relaxation and enjoyment into productivity and routine.

The first few weeks or maybe months were a bit shocking. The Gold Coast seemed to have grown and changed so much; so many people everywhere, crowded surf, crowded shopping centres, busyness, everyone seemed trendy and in style and then there was us, trying to fit in again or at least function among it all.

It definitely was overwhelming. From our tranquil and easy-going life on the boat, in our little cocoon, just the two of us, spending everyday and all day together, to a full time job, sharing an apartment with a friend, having no time for anything.

But it has been a very positive time as well. We’ve been so lucky that we have such good friends; our friend Henk, letting us share his apartment with him for cheap rent, only a block and a half away from the ocean, simply priceless! Our friends Junior and Lisa, so thoughtfully kept their mother’s car which was going to go the wreckers, for us to use when we got home. And my friend Jenny, helping me get a job back at the school I used to work for, so yes, we’ve been so very lucky!

I started working a 10 hour day job straight away in a Language School teaching English to adults. Mick got jobs here and there, but nothing too good, until December when he landed a good job but unfortunately it was a  FIFO (fly in fly out) job, so since then we’ve only seen each other for 3 weeks because he comes home for one week and goes away again for three. It hasn’t been easy but it’s  a means to an end and it’s not forever.

On one hand, it’s been great because I really love my job. In the past, I used to teach children and although I love children for their innocence and creativity , I’m enjoying interacting with adult students so much and with this age group I don’t have to worry about behavior management which makes it all so much easier. I’ve been blessed with meeting some wonderful people who happened to be my students and to have some amazing co-workers.

On the other hand, it’s definitely hard to be apart from Mick  but we’re both so busy that time is flying by and we know that soon enough we’ll be able to be together again. This experience back on land has made our will even stronger that we definitely want to get back on Ondular and continue our journey and has made it even clearer for us that we’d like our time on board not only to be an adventure but our way of living.

Mick has been able to meet people that have been doing the same job that he’s doing now for years, spending more time apart from their families than with them, all because of money and having to pay bills; but wouldn’t you rather be broke and being able to spend time together than having money but being apart. What is life for if you’re not spending it with the people you love the most?

More and more I think the world is upside down. That our belief system is completely wrong and that we go on in life chasing the wrong things, not stopping to think for a minute and wonder, is this right? Could I do things differently?

This time on land has been testing and challenging but very enriching and has reassured us that we’d like to continue doing things differently and this time around we would see Ondular not only as a journey but as a long term lifestyle.

We get trapped by our own choices and without realizing we set ourselves for failure. The moment you make the decision that you don’t need all that stuff to be happy, that nothing that is outside of you will ever give you happiness, that’s the moment you become freer. When we stop wanting so much, we find contentment in little things and that in itself gives us freedom.

Our time on land is slowly coming to an end and soon enough we’ll be back among the ocean, falling asleep with the sound of the water caressing the hull of Ondular and rocked by the waves. We’ll be back to our simple life and away from the cars, the noise, the alarm clocks and the big shopping centres. It’ll be difficult to say good-bye to friends and family, the ones that we hold dear, but we can’t ignore our spirits calling, calling us back to sea.