Updated: May 1
How a water bottle helped us sail to Norway and create a sustainable project for one of the coolest ships we know
A teacher once told me that "Life happens for you, and not to you". And I couldn`t agree more.
The last 'real life' proof of this quote was how we ended up being invited to sail from Enkhuizen to Norway with Tilvera Expeditions.
When we arrived in Enkhuizen October last year, one of the first ships that called my eyes was Anne-Marghareta, a 22-meter expedition vessel that was moored right next to the ship where we were living back then. Everytime I would walk by her, I said to Christof: "Wow, what a wonderful boat!", imagining how it would be to sail with them one day.
Without us knowing, Anne-Marghareta was just being sold, and her new owners are an inspiring couple called Belén and Heimir, who named their new home as Tilvera, which means "existence" in icelandic.
I guess everytime we walked by Tilvera we somehow threw an intention to the Universe, who gave us an answer two months later through a WATER BOTTLE.
How cheesy can the universe be: sending us a message in a bottle?
"Coincidencies are God`s way of remaining anonymous." Albert Einstein
Wait a minute: WATER BOTTLE?
Yes, more specifically: Christof's water bottle, which is actually a rum bottle used for water now, carrying our logo of Piratas do Amor.
On the day of our exams last year, Christof forgot this bottle on a table at school. A woman called Daiane saw it, and left me (Raíssa) a little message in the bottle with her name and phone number. She was attending the school online and heard my voice during the lessons, noticing that I was also a brazilian sailor, like her. Two brazilian woman studying at the Enkhuizer Zeevaartschool does not happen all the time. She reckoned that we needed to meet.
Two days later, I was having a coffee with her in the boat she works as a first mate: Anne-Margaretha, or as she is called now, Tilvera.
Did not take long until we realized that a friendship was starting there. And during that coffee, we shortly dreamt of sailing together one day.
Daiane told Belén about us, and on the 3rd of January 2023, she wrote me a message on whatsapp:
What would you answer? :-)
Well, I said YES without hesitating.
From that 'yes', another opportunity appeared: Belén and Heimir wanted to improve their sustainable practices aboard and asked if we could see us contributing to this mission somehow.
Once again we said YES.
Excited and inspired to put in practice some ideas that we always dreamt of, we designed a project called: Sustainable Provisioning for Tilvera Expeditions.
Basically, what we are offering them is to implement concrete, practical and easily replicable solutions that can improve the ships ecological footprint, adding to the wellbeing of crew and guests and sharing an inspiring message to the world.
Together, we want to find answers and solutions to the following questions:
How can we reduce trash?
How can we source organic food while staying within the ship's financial budget?
How can we add more nutritional value to the ship's daily meals?
How can we communicate Tilvera´s commitment to sustainability to their guests and beyond?
The road to sustainability is long and it is important to mention that in no way do we intend to be radical nor complete, but rather offer a starting point for discussion and most important: learn and have fun together.
As a first step, we suggested the following ideas:
Optimize shopping list to purchase in bulk;
Optimize Tilvera´s storage space for long term provisioning;
Purchase fresh foods from organic farms or from food-waste-initiatives;
Introduce sprouting as a daily source of fresh nutrients;
Start the Rescue-Soup-Project to substitute instant soup and create a fun way to engage with local communities;
Create a Tilvera soap & shampoo as a personalized gift for the ship´s guests.
Each one of this items have a whole description and process to be able to be implemented. All the details you can find it here:
We took some inspiration for this project from the links below. I highly recommend you to check them out, if you any interested in sailing, sustainable practices at sea and healthy food:
The amazing book “Sailing the Farm”
We already had a first call with Belén and Daiane to plan the next steps of implementing most (maybe even all) of these ideas. Most of it will be done the weeks before leaving Enkhuizen, which are also the weeks after our final exams at school (perfect timing).
We will be sharing more news about our project with Tilvera on the next new moon, which by the way, will be one day after my birthday.
New moon, new projects, new year of life, new destination: Norway.
I want to mention that Tilvera offers many spetacular voyages to the Arctic and if you ever dreamt of sailing to these waters, discovering the diverse arctic scenery and its wildlife, this is your chance.
Belén and Heimir also run two other increadible projects: Ocean Missions and North Sailing. Ocean Missions is an NGO with the mission to inspire people to take direct actions to protect our oceans, raising awareness through expeditions, science and education. And North Sailing offers whale watching and adventure voyages since 1995, having received numerous awards for entrepreneurship in environmental tourism and worldwide attention for innovation and conservation of nordic culture.
As I said, they are amazing and we feel very excited to learn with them and join forces for a common mission.
Just a final reminder:
Coincidencies are everywhere.
Maybe this text also reaches you like our message in the bottle from Daiane, where you see beyond these written words and receive the message that life wants to give you right now.
Stay open pirate, because life happens for you!
Salty kisses and see you soon!