“When a great adventure is launched with a powerful thrust, fatigue in the muscles and doubts in the mind are swept away by a fullness that moves life along like a breath from the depths of the soul.”,
Bernard Moitessier― Tamata and the Alliance
To all great sailors who devoted their lives to living their dreams.
All in for the Big Dream
No matter who you are, where and how did you grow up, most likely at some point you will face that silly question: who on Earth I am? What's the purpose of my life, who do I want to become and which path is going to bring me there? Where is my place on this planet and how do I find it? The moment of truth and possible take off towards the dreams or hard landing away from them on a comfortable pillow of lies.
For some people, the answer is simple, and the path becomes pretty apparent, some don't even need to bother to leave their neighbourhood. Dreams come in all possible shapes and colours... But what if you want to become a Pazzo Pirata, an adventurer who travels all over the world on fantastic sailing yachts, who wants to see and taste it all, who feeds on exploration, breathes with winds that take him towards the unknown, who expects only one thing – the unexpected?
The answer, in fact, isn't really that complicated. All you need to do is to go sailing, and then, just never stop... Dedicate your life into it, as easy as it sounds, as complicated as it gets. That's precisely what Pirata decided to do at the age of 19 – to leave everything behind and sail as much as possible, keep going, travel all over the world, do whatever it takes to become a great sailor. Taste the rum from every country that has access to the sea, and figure out if it was only a coincidence that he was born on September 19th.
Easier said than done, especially when you are 19 years old, your budget is 200$, you've got no qualifications and all your offshore sailing experience is just a couple of leisure journeys at sea on a small cruising yacht. But when the true dreams are at stake, there always has to be the way, and it's mainly a matter of determination.
As he was in Europe, and summer 2004 was reaching its end, one thing he knew for sure – winter is not a great time for sailing in this part of the world. The path has to lead somewhere else, USA, Caribbean, South America, Africa, Australia, anywhere but not Europe, and most likely on the other side of Atlantic.
Having figured that out, he set the goals – cross the ocean, get going towards unknown, gain decent sailing experience, and most importantly, leave Europe, burn all the bridges connecting him to whomever he used to be. Young Pirata would ask himself every day: "What more can I do to become a sailor?" Then, once he's done what he could, he kept asking himself the same question over and over again.
At the end of August, he met his brother - Kuba. It happened by coincidence that Kuba has been thinking about precisely the same thing, so naturally, they decided to try to go through it together. They both spent hundreds of hours searching the internet with hope to find an ad about that magic sailboat which is looking for a crew to cross Atlantic. There weren't really that many options, except those commercial ones that were way too expensive for their tiny budget. Paying guests were asked on average 5000$ for the experience of crossing Atlantic on a decent yacht. That was about 25 times more the price that Pirata could afford.
Nevertheless, they wouldn't give up the search, and after a couple of weeks, they found an ad about a 56ft expedition yacht on its way from Portugal to Brazil. To cut down the costs, the owners were looking for a volunteer crew to help with the delivery. It had a beautiful name – Solaris – and that's more or less all that Brothers needed to know to make a decision. Quick email exchange with the owners and it was all set – they had one week to prepare for the departure.
One evening they sat down in the tavern and studied Admiralty publication "Ocean Passages of the World," aiming to find an answer what to do after arrival in Brazil. As their budget was ridiculously low, the ideal solution would be to join another yacht straight after arrival and sail to the Caribbean. According to what they've read on the internet there should be zillions of boats up there, middle of the season, and definitely some great sailing opportunities. Pirata assumed that if they can only get there, finding a job should be super easy. At the end who wouldn't want to hire sailors who crossed the Atlantic...
They looked up the page in "Ocean Passages of the World" which explained common sailing routes of Atlantic Ocean and they were delighted to find out that there is one going from South Africa to the Caribbean and it has a stop in Recife – Brazilian port to which Solaris was heading. Instantly they imagined that there will be hundreds of yachts in Recife and finding a place on one of them should be super easy. The distance looked pretty short too, way shorter than Atlantic crossing. As most of the route lies in tradewinds, it should take week or two to get from Brazil to the Caribbean. In the best case, they might even arrive there by the end of the year and work the whole season on one of the zillions of yachts that need experienced sailors.
They've counted their budget, and in between two of them, they had around 400$ of savings... Not much for departing for such a long voyage, especially that they had no clue when exactly they will find the first job, and there was a good chance it could take at least 2-3 months. Pirata thought it would be wise to try to borrow from someone a bit of money, in case finding the boat in Brazil would take more time than what they expected. They asked around friends and family, but everyone seemed to be living on the super low budget, too low to support such pazzo idea, even if they wanted to.
Finally three days before the departure they managed to meet Zibi - a wealthy businessman who used to be a high-school friend of their father. They explained him the dream they were chasing and asked if he could support them by lending some backup cash. He liked the idea and said that he will be glad to support it, but max he can give them is 1500 USD. That was way more than what they were hoping for, and after many big thanks and even bigger promises to give it back as soon as they are back in Europe, Pirata and Kuba felt ready for whatever is coming, for the biggest adventure of their life. So far...
Soon after, in a big rush, Brothers said ciao ciao to all family and friends, and they hopped into the bus to Lisbon. It was the cheapest way to get there, and definitely the most uncomfortable one. But at least they could load as much luggage as they wished, which came very handy as their mother, grandma, and auntie prepared for their farewell a sizable bag filled with homemade jams, pickled veggies, honey and other delicious food that would become the only reminder of their roots for months to come.
The bus journey was around 3500km long and took a bit over 48h to pass. It took its toll on their culitos. Nevertheless, the pain in the back was quickly compensated by the excitement of living the dream, making that most important first step to let it go and just head straight into the unknown. Their imagination was erupting with limitless ideas that this was just the beginning, that they will travel all over the world, visit every country on every continent, that soon they will become fantastic sailors and everyone will want to have them onboard to share another great adventure with Pazzo Brothers.