Ocean Nomads Member Spotlight: Pim van Hooff | Boathitchhiked 15000 Nautical Miles from Italy to Fiji crewing on different boats

a man sitting on top of a mountain overlooking the ocean.

Every other week we publish one in-depth story from an Ocean Nomads member. To learn more about each other, to learn from each other, inspire and be inspired, and to accelerate our journeys. 

This week we shine a light on Pim van Hooff. He sailed from Italy to Fiji as crew on multiple different sailing boats. He continued overland in Asia until Corona came. He dreamt it, and went for it! We’re super proud of his journey and curious to all that is to come. Here’s his story!

Read the Full Story and connect with Pim on our Membership portal. Not a member yet? Learn more and join our global network of impact-driven ocean adventurers here.

Pim! What’s your story?

I’ve had the dream to travel longterm for many years.  First I had to finish my studies and then work to fill up the adventure funds. At 28 years old I told my boss about my plans, he was jealous and wished me the best of luck. A little later I was standing next to the highway with my thumb out. First destination; Sicily to meet some ocean nomads.
At the time of writing this, a year later, I’ve sailed from Europe to Fiji, logging around 15.000NM. Most of the miles and time was spent on 4 different boats. 1 professional delivery of an Oyster46 from Greece to France. 1 Atlantic crossing on a Beneteau47 from the USA with the owner and his friend. From st Lucia to French Polynesia with a British family on a Hallberg Rassy 42 and from French Polynesia to Fiji with a British couple on a Boreal47. From the Caribbean onwards I was part of the World ARC.
After arriving in Fiji I felt it was time to do something else. The next goal is to travel from Asia to Europe over land. I’m on a holiday, but will tell anyone who wants to listen about taking care of our precious mother earth. Education is key. I’m sure that next year will be super special too!

What is your most memorable ocean adventure experience?

Countless things! Whales, the shadow that Venus casts, the vastness, the shooting stars, reefs, remote paradises with beautiful people and the intense relationship that the ocean creates amongst fellow sailors.

a person is standing in the middle of a cave.

What has nature taught you?

I am small and insignificant. I have the deepest respect for the big blue. I wish every day that more people get respect like that and let our mother nature flourish again. We are destroying her in ways that are difficult to comprehend. And we are doing it very fast. The lack of realization around the world astonishes and hurts me.

You’ve boat-hitchhiked half across the world! What’s your advice to others sharing the same dream?

Make your dream a goal, it is possible!!! Every day, every moment, be the best version of yourself. A smile and being positive can get you very far.

What does a typical day in the South Pacific look like? What’s the next plan?

Ha! Sleep, sail, snorkel, share, repeat!
As said above, travel from around China, Southeast Asia, India, Nepal, somehow to Europe. The route is still to be decided.

a man is taking a selfie in front of a boat in the ocean.

Why did you join Ocean Nomads?

I bought the book Ocean Nomad just after it got out and it was exactly what I needed for what I wanted to do. Before reading the book I wasn’t really sure how to organise a boat-hitchhiking around the world adventure but it turned out to be the perfect guide. There was an Ocean Nomads meet-up organised at the Volvo Ocean Summit in the Netherlands where I met Suzanne. She told me about the Ocean Nomads trip and I realised it was a good investment to increase chances of succeeding in my ocean travel plans.

Here’s a little interview with Pim at the beginning of his boathitchhiking around the world journey. We had some nomad challenges with the sound. Still, worth listening!

What did you get out of jumping on board the Ocean Nomads fleet?

Cliche but true; everything and more. I learned about sailing, living on a boat with complete strangers, hitch-sailing and how to do it. But mostly we just had an amazing time. The group consisted of beautiful individuals of which some I hope to remain lifelong friends with and we did really cool stuff. I don’t think I’ll ever forget!

a group of people posing for a photo on a boat.

When you hopped on board with us one year ago you said you were curious to find out about the current state of the oceans. So now 1 year and 15.000 NM later. What did you find out?

It is honestly really bad. I’ve been to places that not many people visit but there was plastic everywhere. Sometimes beaches were full of it. In many places the coral had died, especially close to villages and towns. And all the locals I have talked to, all of them, say that there is less fish now then some years ago. They have to go further and further to be able to feed their families. But more often they resort to more ‘western’ diets of which it is clear that this doesn’t do them much good.  The worst part for me is that many people just don’t know how, why and what to change. It is hard to start if you don’t have a place to begin.

Connect & Learn more

Follow and connect with Pim, and ask your nomad questions on our membership portal here. Not a member yet? Learn more here and apply to join.


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