Meet Ocean Nomads Skipper: Eoin | Kayaker, Surfer & Professional Sea Hippy

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“The ocean is the boss; if it’s calm, it’s time to go freediving; if there’s wind, it’s time to go sailing; if it’s too rough to sail, then there’s probably surf somewhere.”

Eoin Keyes

“The ocean is my means of transport, accommodation, sustenance, employment, entertainment… For a long time now it’s been at the core of everything I do.”

Eoin! What’s your story? 

I grew up in Limerick, Ireland and was involved in outdoor sports from a young age. For as long as I can remember I’ve been surfing, hiking, camping and spending as much time as possible outdoors. I got involved in kayaking in a big way when I was a teenager and started travelling a lot, spending my summers on road trips across Europe to discover new rivers and work as a raft guide and kayaking instructor. Entering kayaking competitions was a good excuse to go traveling and see new places, but working in an office so that I could go on kayaking trips on my holidays got boring pretty fast. I wanted to kayak full-time, but kayaking just doesn’t have the industry behind it to allow that kind of thing. I discovered sailing in 2015 when I started crewing on boats in local regattas. I absolutely loved the buzz of racing, and immediately saw the potential alternative to the 9-5 engineering job that I was doing at the time.
I quit the office job and moved to Greece, where a company taught me to fix boats before putting me out on the water as a flotilla engineer, living on a little 30ft lead boat and doing all the maintenance on a flotilla of twelve charter yachts. I did that job for over a year before leaving to do some delivery work and then bought my own boat (a 1969 Hurley 22) and spent a summer sailing solo on the west coast of Ireland and crewing in as many regattas as I could. After that I started working as a skipper, starting off as a flotilla skipper in Greece and then spending the winter in the Caribbean doing engineering and skippering work for a small charter company. I also did some work in Croatia and Ireland, whenever the funds were running low. Since then I’ve spent three months sailing with friends around Spain/ Portugal/ Morocco and did another three months of solo sailing in Ireland. It’s starting to get pretty cold and wet in Ireland now so here I am, following the sun for another season.

Why are you excited about joining the OceanMinded – Ocean Nomads fleet?

After spending years seeing ocean pollution first-hand, witnessing the total lack of sub-marine life in certain areas and the continuing destruction of what remains in others, I am really looking forward to spending time with people who are passionate about solving these issues. Hopefully people who enjoy the simple life, and value sights and experiences over luxury. I am looking forward to being out of phone signal for days at a time, disconnecting from the online world and life revolving around the absolute basics of ‘when am I on watch again’ and ‘what is my next meal going to be’. These days, offshore sailing is an almost unique opportunity to escape the incessant flow of Facebook updates and Instagram stories for days at a time. …yes, I know I could just turn my phone off more often but I lack the self discipline, and I do enjoy seeing what my friends around the world are up to!

Why are you passionate about sailing?

Sailing offers the chance to travel to amazing places in relative comfort with surfboards and other toys, just like a camper van but causing no pollution and not spending loads of money on fuel, tax and insurance. Yacht racing is a great adrenaline buzz and offers great satisfaction when you get a whole crew of people working seamlessly together. And jobs on boats tend to be in amazing sunny places where you get to meet lots of like-minded people and have a lot of fun together. I can’t think of any other activity which combines so many amazing qualities so closely together.

What has been one of your most epic sailing adventure thus far?

In April this year I was put in touch with a friend of a friend who lives on board an old 33ft steel cruising boat. At the time she was in Portugal and was looking for some people people to go sailing with her. So me and one of my best friends who had never sailed before went and spent the next couple of months sailing with a crew of five amazing young people from Portugal, to Spain, to Morocco. We had our share of ups and downs along the way, including contrary weather around the straits of Gibraltar and getting caught in fishing nets along the west coast of Morocco, but everyone on board had a great attitude when things went wrong and the rough times were more than made up for by the surfing and the hiking, and the Moroccan people that we met along the way. Around the straits we saw more whales, dolphins, turtles, sunfish, bioluminescent jellyfish and tuna than I’ve ever seen before, and in Assilah we saw commercial swordfish and tuna fishing on a horrifying scale that I wouldn’t have believed possible. It was a trip of so many contrasts and intense, unique experiences that it will hold a special place in my memory for a long long time. There are many more stories from that trip which I’ll save for night watches somewhere between Gibraltar and the Canaries; see you there!

What does the ocean mean to you?

The ocean is life! The ocean is my means of transport, accommodation, sustenance, employment, entertainment… For a long time now it’s been at the core of everything I do. The ocean is the boss; if it’s calm, it’s time to go freediving; if there’s wind, it’s time to go sailing; if it’s too rough to sail, then there’s probably surf somewhere. If you want to go west and that’s where the wind is coming from; well, you had better have some good books on board because there’s no point fighting it. There’s no point making plans and then getting stressed because they’re not working out, you do that a few times before realising that there’s no point making solid plans because they’re just going to change anyway. Better to give yourself options; wake up in the morning, stick your head out of the boat and see what the ocean is telling you to do. If you keep doing that there’s no knowing where you’ll end up, or what adventures you’ll have along the way.

What’s your wildest ocean-related dream that you would love to experience in your lifetime?

Solo offshore racing! I love racing, and I love sailing solo. Someday I would love to combine the two and enter the Mini Transat race, or something like that. …it’s not that I don’t love crewed sailing too, but the feeling of independence that you get from sailing solo is pretty special; and entering a singlehanded race is something that I’m not sure I’ll ever have the funds to do.

Come and meet Eoin on departure, arrival or on the OceanMinded – Ocean Nomads fleet soon heading from Mallorca to Tenerife. 

Meet Ocean Nomads Captain Anna: Founder of SAILMATE – upcycled bags from old sails

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“To cross the ocean you first have to leave the shore” – Unknown

My motivation to go after new ideas and to try out new things

Anna Lena Bruchmann

I am passionate about sailing and sustainability. Sailing connects me to nature and become part of my life and lifestyle during the last 10 years.

Anna! What’s your story? 

I moved and travelled around during the last years and stranded in Amsterdam a few years ago to combine city and sealife. Currently, I am based partly in Hamburg and Amsterdam. 2 Years ago I started my brand SAILMATE where we create products out of used sails in local production. It’s my reaction to a career in traditional and commercial textile business, which made me wonder how we treat people and planet. Together with my partner and a small team we design individual products for business customer. With every product, we spread the message about sustainability and try to create awareness for a conscious consumer.

Why are you passionate about sailing?

When I got into sailing it was fascinated about this special way of travelling. Getting to hidden places, always be moving and the connection to the ocean. It’s a bit like falling in love and the more I got into it the more I started to like the actual sailing with all the techniques and strategy behind it. And that it is such a great team activity where you connect with people in a unique way.

Why are you excited about skippering a sailing & sustainability sail?

I think a sustainable lifestyle is soo much needed to protect our planet for us and for future generations. For me, it especially comes to life on sailing boats. In this microcosmos who get very aware of what nature offers, what you need, what you use and also your waste. That’s perfect to observe and adjust our behaviour.

Anna about the Ocean Nomads trip in Sicily:

 

What’s your wildest ocean-related dream that you would love to experience in your lifetime?

I always wanted to live on a boat, which I just started with a summer on a sailing yacht based in Amsterdam. So I guess I have to find another dream 😉

 

Come and meet Anna and her ocean dedication, ocean love and boat in Amsterdam during one of our eco-sails.

And learn more about her and her venture on her website,  Instagram and Linkedin

Meet Ocean Nomads skipper: Thomas van Thiel – By The Ocean We Unite

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“You can’t change the winds but you can adjust your sails.” 

Thomas van Thiel

Ocean Nomads Skipper

My Name is Thomas – ocean lover – who could sail almost earlier then walk. I have a big love and hunger for new adventures, traveling, nature, film, books, and chess or whatever game there is on the boat available.

Thomas! What’s your story? 

I started sailing in and around the lakes of my home town Almere in the Netherlands. When I got older I started working for Amorgos, a sailing school for yachts where I sailed a lot in and around the dutch waters and throughout the Croatian islands. In 2014, I did my first Atlantic crossing and opened my eyes for all the plastic pollution by seeing a plastic bottle 10 days away from the nearest land. Therefore I started By the Ocean we Unite when I came back home. By the Ocean we Unite is an organisation that spreads education and awareness trough organising sailing research expeditions on microplastics in the sea. We do a lot more so check out ByTheOceanWeUnite. Feel free to send me a message or ask me on the boat in Croatia. Last year I bought my beautiful 53ft steel ketch, Windfall, with whom I will leave for a circumnavigation to begin spring next year.

Why are you excited about joining the Ocean Nomads flotilla?

I met Suzanne in 2014 on the internet when we both were on a different ship and island in the Canarian Islands making our way to the Caribbean and we always kept in touch. I’ve been following ocean nomads for some while know and when Suzanne asked me whether I’d like to skipper one of the boats in September I could only say yes.

Connecting with each other on a boat is one of the big powers from sailing. Together with the crew, you make your own small community on the water with the boat and as our home, hopping from island to island. All together with all the small communities on all the other boats, we will be a moving village together. These are the ingredients of an awesome week where you make friends for a lifetime sharing the same experience. We combine this with aiming to keep our footprint as low as it can be and increasing our impact by learning and discussing the challenges and solutions the ocean is facing, I hope to find and share a lot of inspiration and good energy so together we will be the change.

Why are you passionate about sailing?

For me sailing is everything. It’s freedom in the purest of its word. Your compass is 360 degrees and you can go wherever the wind blows, working with the elements to navigate over this wild en tremendous blue dessert. You will get what you get and it comes how it comes. Over there, the here and now the only thing that counts and when you accept that you find freedom. At least I do. For me, that’s the most beautiful thing there is.

What’s your wildest ocean-related dream that you would love to experience in your lifetime?

Drop Anker in Polynesia!

Come and meet Thomas and his excitement about sailing and drive for ocean conservation at the next Ocean Nomads Flotilla in Croatia
And check him out in the trailer of ‘An Ocean Story’ below

An Ocean Story Trailer from Avalanche Film on Vimeo.

Meet Ocean Nomads skipper: OceanMinded Momo Markus Muttur

“I am a citizen of the most beautiful nation on earth, a nation whose laws are harsh yet simple, a nation that never cheats, which is immense and without borders, where life is lived in the present. In this limitless nation, this nation of wind, light, and peace, there is no other ruler besides the sea.” – (Bernard Moitessier)

Markus Muttur

Live-fanatic – Connector & Facilitator – Freediver – Sailor – Animal lover

& endlessly curious about how and where life is surprising me next.

Markus! What’s your story? 

Hola, I am Momo. Began checking this world out 35 years ago in Paris/France, then moved to Germany where I lived until my 20ies. I guess a healthy „unrest“ was always part of me, so I went to travel and work in Chile for 1 year, then moved to Madrid and studied, then to Hamburg where I started sailing and racing Laser’s and 470ies EVERY SINGLE DAY on the Alster in the middle of the city. During that time I also heavily trained Martial Arts and Yoga, which connected me deeply to my body and senses (and the feeling of flow). What more did I discover? That I can never seem to stay in one place longer than 3 years 😉 After quitting my job in Hamburg I moved to the island of the old cero-meridian (El Hierro), where I organized Yoga retreats and really really slowed life down big time in every conceivable way. Then one day got called up if I want to join a delivery from Barcelona to Lanzarote – JJJEP, why not? Through that delivery, I gained a new job as Sales Manager for a Charter Company on Lanzarote, did more deliveries, but also spend an unhealthy amount of time in the office. So, easy solution: QUIT JOB, start up your heart project!!

In my passions (Freediving / Sailing / Photography) and places (Ocean & rural land off the beaten path) I discovered new ways of understanding myself, my way of seeing the world and the ways in which I connect to my surroundings. OceanMinded (the mentioned heart project) was born out of a passion for the sea, lives through the activities I intend to create (Adventure Sailing Expeditions / Freediving Retreats) and grows via connecting and sharing beautiful ideas like waves.

Why are you excited about joining the Ocean Nomads flotilla?

The term “nomad” is usually equated with wanderer, drifter – a person who doesn’t stay long in one place, for whom change is the only constant. I would call myself a nomad in so far as I firmly believe that in yourself, right here, right now is all the place you’ve got… An attachment to places, in the end, is no different from an attachment to our material world – it sequesters you into a state, where you cease to live with the natural flow. I love to join the Ocean Nomads flotilla to connect with likeminded „Nomads“, to feel that our tribe of eco-positive people is huge (and growing), to dive, to sail, to laugh, to enjoy all the little marvelous moments which in the end is the purpose of life for me.

Why are you passionate about sailing?

Sailing is for me the most beautiful and magic way to travel – let the wind show you around. Furthermore, it is an activity that takes us outside our comfort zone, disrupting our pre-conceptions and the value we place on things around us.  We are obliged to be aware of our surroundings; constantly assessing our location, our heading and the risks associated with being out at sea, in this immense endless blue. Sailing reduces life to its bare essentials: Our collective well–being and capacity to achieve goals depend on the strength and cohesiveness of the team.

What’s your wildest ocean-related dream that you would love to experience in your lifetime? 

Freediving: Get to 100m deep in Freediving and dive with whales one day!

Sailing: Own a sailboat on which I live and sail from place to place
Other: To read „Breaking News – Global Fishing fleet stops plundering the oceans, Oil Drilling & seismic testing prohibited, majority of plastics in the Oceans seem to have disappeared, all oceans declared as a holy heritage of mankind, Marine Protected Areas spread like crazy!“ 🙂
Come an meet Markus and his abundance of energy, ocean dedication and ocean love at the next Ocean Nomads Flotilla in Croatia
And learn more about him on Facebook, Instagram and Flickr.