‘Best Before’ After Cape Horn

As most people know I decided to join Alan to go around Cape Horn in his 12 meter yacht named Taya. In my last blog I wrote about the roller-coaster of emotions that didn’t really help me making a final decision. But after I decided not to go, I knew I had to change my mind about this. So after Alan his lovely wife Catherine left New Zealand to go back home I packed my bags and moved to my cabin at the boat. Since then it is mostly organizing the boat, planning and buying food, books, clothes, survival suits and of course we got some accessories for the go pro. I’m still thinking about getting a 360-degree camera. Maybe Nikon or Samsung can sponsor one 🙂 ?

Food is one of the biggest challenges. We need enough good food with ‘best before’ dates until after Cape Horn.  In our first plan we just calculated all the rice, pasta, potatoes, quinoa, nuts, wraps, bread, oats and cruesli (granola). The trip will take about 45 to 60 days so we calculate everything for 8 weeks and add a little on top of that, just to be safe. In one week we plan to eat: 1 x spaghetti, 1 x linguine, 1 x sweet potatoes, 1 x potatoes, 1 x couscous, 1 x quinoa, 1 x rice. For breakfast and lunch we plan to eat: 1 x granola, 2 x wraps, 4 x oats, 4 x crackers, 1 x tortellini and 2 x bread.

Here is our list:
– 1,2 kg quinoa (50 gr per serving = 24 servings / 2 = 12 servings per person)
– 1,2 kg rice (actually we have 5 kg rice because Alan wants to be sure we get enough)
– 1,5 kg couscous (60 gr per serving)
– 1,8 kg oats (75 gr per serving)
– 2,4 kg spaghetti (100 gr per serving = 24 servings / 2 = 12 servings per person)
– 2,4 kg linguine
– 2,4 kg wraps
– 2,4 kg tortellini
– 6 kg patatoes
– 6 kg sweet papatoes
– 12 packages of crackers and 2 packages of beschuit 😉 (4 crackers per serving)
– 12 kg flour (480 gr per bread = 12,5 breads per person)

Now we are trying to make sure we have enough veggies, (dried) fruit, canned food, nut-bars, protein-bars, chocolate, sauces, soups, yogurt, milk and eggs to make sure we will end up on 40% carbs, 30% fat and 30% protein. Alan has to get used to the fact that we are actually measuring the food but luckily he already recognized that it actually works quite good. Last Saturday I bought a lot of the food and that was quite a challenge too. The day before Christmas… I think I don’t have to explain myself here. The most fun part of it was the moment that I just filled up my cart with 10 6-packs of beer and all the guys started to look at me. After that I grabbed 16 bars of fair-trade chocolate and that made some woman look envious.


Last Sunday I took out all the food cans and wrote down exactly what we have. We are trying to find out what the most delicious food is with the right ‘best before’ dates that we can eat until after Cape Horn. Of course the fresh food would last for 2 to 4 weeks and then we have to switch to canned veggies, bolognese sauce, beans and dried fruit. So while Alan is getting the wind generator ready I’m making 18 pictures of Blue zone recipes that have a lot of beans in them. Hopefully we have enough to keep our food creative, delicious and fun. The kind Kiwi’s already brought us about 50 avocado’s so we don’t have to worry about that anymore.

Enough about buying food. Now we talk about eating food. Yesterday it was Christmas. On Christmas eve we had dinner with some friends of Alan and new friends from the marina in Opua where we stay. A lot of food, nice wines and I laughed so hard when Alan made an aboriginal noise in an orange cone that I got the hiccups. On Christmas day I was invited to join some new friends for a Christmas lunch in Russell. It was the best food I ever had on a Christmas day. A very big thanks to the chefs! Christmas is after all about eating good food with people you like. After this we went to the beach, had a swim and played some guitar. Not my first Christmas on the beach but my first Christmas on the beach when it’s actually warm enough to swim. Even though this day could make me miss my family, I actually had a perfect day with a lot of fun, craziness, love and happiness. Again easy to see that friends are all over the world. Just open your eyes and look into someone else’s.

Christmas is all about making someones world a better place. Hopefully you found someones world and made it better. 🙂

Oh yeah…. and I went sky- and scuba diving. My friend told me that the one place in the world where you should go skydiving is New Zealand. And it was really great!!! From 17000 ft high I jumped out of the airplane and had so much fun ‘flying’ like superman trough the air. And when the parachute opened I enjoyed the amazing view of the Bay of Islands. The scuba-diving was as a preparation for if something gets stuck under the boat and Alan has to go into the water. Then I can explain him how to use the BCD and diving computer. Because we bought all the gear at Paihia Dive they offered us a nice deal for a deep dive training. Thanks guys!

Our professional meteorologist Met Bob advised us to leave the 1st or the 2nd of January. That gives us a couple of days to practice here in the Bay Of Islands and buy the fresh food. To follow our position you can go to http://snap.ocens.com/ where you fill in the name of our boat ‘Taya’.

Decision making 2.0

Making an important decision. How do you do that? Yesterday I actually googled Ted talks about decision making and about doing dangerous things. It didn’t gave me more information than I already had and it didn’t help. I wrote down all the facts, all the risks, all possibilities and all reasons but it didn’t help me at all. This is a decision that will change my life or might become something I regret not doing when I’m older. Mostly I can use my well developed analyzing and reasoning skills but now I can’t use any of that.

When it feels like all the pieces of a puzzle fall into place, life brings you at a place where everything is perfectly organized, it’s just one step to jump and fly blind, you can freeze. Maybe it’s like bungee jumping. You know it’s safe, good organized and you can trust the bungee cord. Everything is there, you just have to make the jump. And no one will push you. You have to make the jump yourself but you can’t go forward or backwards.

I’m at the edge of a bridge and everything is ready. It’s just my choice if I take this step and jump or I don’t jump and it could become something that I could regret when I’m old. My heart beats faster, my mind is busy from morning to evening and I’m excited. Why?

I’m excited because I can go sailing as a crewmember of the 12 meter yacht Taya that is built to go around Cape Horn. The skipper Alan (right on the picture) wants to fulfill his old boys dream and has the right experience. He is prepared and the boat is more than prepared. This is confirmed by my new friend Jim Cottier, a man who went around Cape Horn three times. Alan and I go along good. He reminds me of my father and I am the same age as his daughter. Last monday I’ve met his lovely wife Catherine who told him to take a crewmember for safety reasons. If anything happens to Alan there’s someone to help him out.

DSCF9213Left Jim Cottier and right Alan Cresswell

Jumping on this boat would mean that I will be able to sail the boat alone after maybe two weeks, I would be able to write more, play more guitar, read more and make more photographs. I could write even more amazing stories about amazing people in this world. Not just Alan but also his wife. I could even make more people listen to what I have to say. That we should make the world a better place.

With this trip I could do what I planned to do before I left. Sailing on a boat to south America was something I wanted to do. And now the possibility is there, but I’m frozen. Why?

On this 45 to 60 days journey I could get seasick all the time, we will get storms and big waves, there can be ice bergs, the boat can role over if we get caught by a wave and worst case scenario we could lose our mast if that happens.  This is something like climbing the mount Everest. It’s not fun, it’s hard work, it’s scary, it’s crazy and there is no good reason for doing this.

I’ve told Alan yesterday that I’m not going.

I’ve never crossed an ocean. I’ve just been sailing a couple of times in the Netherlands, a long time ago. It would be crazy if I go. I just have one experience offshore in a storm on a big boat to England. I’m unexperienced. And still I think about it…

I’ve seen a Ted talk of solo sailor Dame Ellen MacArthur. She sailed around the world two times and now decided to focus on the future of our global economy. If someone with such a great passion for sailing stopped, why would I start?

There is no name for this feeling and there is no way to explain why. It is just there.


New Zealand is like paradise.
But I can’t stay forever.

My goal was to travel around the world, learn and share.
So that’s what I do. I want to go, learn more, see more and…….. move towards home :).


I’m scared, nervous, excited and more scared. But I think we are going together?