Photography by Meli Egyed
The concept was born alongside Ski & Soul in 2019 under my brand-that-time: Yogago Adventures. The intention was to give support and guidance for anyone to experience outdoor sports (even some sorts leaning to the extremes). But then the pandemic arrived so none of these could actually happen. Until this year, when I met Enikő from Sísuligánok and we decided to give it a go.
So we set sails on the 4th of June after a long day of traveling full of adventures: an unclosable roof rack box, a torn V-belt, a tow truck and a rental car, a false yacht booking and a hardcore migraine from my side. Thanks God it was a retreat not a regatta so we could have an easy morning to rest and leave all these challenges behind. So we thought … As an experienced sailor I was aware of other possible challenges we might face such as technical issues and personal difficulties – In fact the 9 of us is living on a 46 feet long floating object… And that is where the “Soul” comes into spotlight.
I have always felt the need of some sort of spiritual support in my sailing and skiing career. That I hardly ever had. Dealing with the everchanging conditions of Nature – trying to harness the power of the wind yet staying humble and enjoying the magical powder snow while being aware of the dangerous it carries – is not something we are used to. Humanity has found its ways to create shelters and tools that gives us the delusion of safety – but if you are trying to see the bigger picture you can realize: Nature rules.
Then how can we learn to deal with all the things that are not under our control? How to accept the fact that we can learn to ride the waves – as Jon Kabat-Zinn says – but cannot change the wave itself? Sailing is a great tool for that: harnessing the wind with our sails, anchoring in an uninhabited bay or eating fish from the sea below – meanwhile meditating, doing yoga, different workshops and sharing circles for discussing and understanding our experiences and behaviors.
It all sounds ideal. But how does it look like in practice?
For 5 to 8 days we all live together on a sailing boat as a little community. We share the daily chores such as cooking and cleaning – the average. Even though every 2 people have their own cabin for sleeping and usually there are 2 or 3 bathrooms available it is a tight space to live in. Here is challenge no. 1: adaptation. To each other, to the new situation, to the weather, etc. For emotional support we have each day a sharing circle where confidentiality, deep listening and non-judging are the guidelines.
During daytime – depending on the weather and the mood – either we sail or anchor in a bay where we explore the sea, the shore with forest bathing, do yoga or other activities that helps to connect. Connect to Nature, each other or ourselves. While sailing you will have the opportunity to learn steering the boat as well as setting the sails or navigating. Hopefully at the end of the trip you will know how to navigate on the sea as well as in your life.
As this writing turned out to be a mixture of a report and a general description I take the freedom now to introduce a third topic, an inner struggle arose during the trip: and this is the question of sustainability.
The amount of plastic bottles we have used offshore or the 50 liters of diesel we have used (even for charging the refrigerator) the luxury and squandering you can see in the yacht clubs hit me hard, almost made me cry. Question after question arose within me: all the effort I am doing in my daily life such as trying to run a zero waste household, buy locally produced food or reducing the use of my car – is lost for the sake of this little trip? So shall I quit my passion? Give up all the adventures I am dying for? Or just don’t give a ~ ~ ~? After 2 days of agonizing I understood: that is not me who doesn’t care nor I will give it up so checked out the opportunities I have:
- taking the train to Croatia is possible and seems like a comfortable night ride
- Renting a boat with solar panels would cost about 20 % more… but there is an option
- Buying a portable water filter or drinking from larger bottles would also decrease the amount of plastic we use
- Arranging the travel plan according to the wind. Anyway a sailing boat was not meant to be for transportation but to spend time on.
So here I finish my lines with hope and positivity that for the next time we could also be more climate friendly on our Sail & Soul retreat which might be already in the last week on September 2022. If you are interested, just get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org
P.s. Thank you for reading these long paragraphs, I really appreciate it – even though my intention was just to write it out of myself.