She’s off! SV Twister and Ocean Nomads sail around the Atlantic Ocean | Departure Recap

a sailboat docked at a dock at sunset.

She’s off! This Tuesday 07 AM SV Twister set sail out of Amsterdam for a mission around the Atlantic Ocean 🙃 with a boat load of Ocean Nomads driven for an experience with full ON adventure, impact and community.


What a milestone already to reach this point. Thank you everyone involved for helping to make this happen. We have a big on land support team, professionally and mentally 🙂

Huge compliments to Robert, one of the owners of SV Twister who gave his all to prepare the vessel ocean worthy and a skilled experienced crew. Making the decision to go across oceans with your vessel and all that comes with it is quite something. She’s a 36 meter + 100 year old vessel sailing with up to 20 persons on board. It’s next level organization. I’m proud of Brianna and Jacky, ocean nomads community captains, who support greatly with the smooth sailing of ocean nomads community, the interviews, and getting those stories out. And I’m so grateful for the unconditional support of my family and friends. And of course, YOU the supportive ocean nomads family, cheering us on with this mission! 


I’m super excited for our courageous pioneers joining the first leg. The first leg, Netherlands – Madeira has 17 ocean adventurers (10 nationalities From 18 to 69). Each one them courageously joined alone.  Some of us will stay on board all the way to the Caribbean, but all we are heading south to follow the sun.



The last weeks prior to departure

Earlier this year we made the decision to go for it, a full Atlantic ocean circle. And with that decision the preparations, commitment, but above all the excitement started. We know sailing across oceans and seas comes with a serious responsibility and long preparation to do list, to be able to do this as safely and meaningfully as possible. And this week, that preparation list came to an actual end!

The last months we focused mostly on getting the ocean nomads crew teams together. We interview everyone for the offshore passages to align expectations and to create balanced diverse crew teams. It’s the people who make the trip! Legendary teams are complete up to the Caribbean. 

The last days prior departure

The last week the focus was on provisioning, boat tetris, setting up watch and cooking schedules, processes, finalizing bits and pieces, familiriazation, and most excitingly, welcoming the Ocean Nomads on board! And introducing everyone to the vessel, safety aspects, the way of doing things on board, 

Many of our family and friends also came for a visit! It’s cool to show the show in real time. The internet is great to get an idea what fellow human beings are up to but to see the essence you have to see for yourself. Like with a sailing adventure.

When we’re in port, you are welcome to come and visit! You can track us on the AIS and find the schedule here.


ecominded provisioning for a big crew 

Our trips are vegetarian and we aim to provision as zero waste, healthy, and local as we can. One of most proud sourcing has been the organic butter and cheese. By chance I discovered my home town (of 7000 people) actually has an organic cheese farm. We sourced 4 whole cheeses that if the first crew teams don’t get too addicted, should make it to the Caribbean. My ideal would be exchanging one big round cheese for a boatload of coconuts. The local market visit for the fruits and veggies was quite a good mission as well. Not a single item of packaging was involved with this part. To provision completely zero waste appeared to be practically impossible. We simply need to get some items that come with wrappers and bags and packaging. Like the ‘zoutestokjes aka salty sticks’ famous as being a good seasickness snack. The quantities we got on board this time were quite insane. We didn’t only provision for the first leg, Netherlands – Madeira. But we tried to anticipate the best we can with what’s ahead of us. 50 kilo’s of flour, rice, and other basics that are more challenging to source elsewhere when being more remote. Then, boats come with limited space, even a 36 meter vessel can only stock up so much. 

Not everything can be anticipated. There’ll always be last minute rans to the shop. We had a dozen of those and thankfully I had my campervan with me, and we had dear friends and family around for extra support. The last shop run I took Katie and Guido on the hunt for chocolate ice cream for the captain. His dad who also came to say hi, confirmed the essentialism of this element and we took that task very serious. 

Not to forget to boat toys. You cannot arrive in the Caribbean and not have snorkel gear, surfboards, or Stand up Paddle boards. It’s all on board! I basically put my whole house (read campervan) inventory on board, including books, guitar, surfboards, Freedive gear, games, and are to be used and shared with everyone joining.

In the ocean-kit department we made sure there are chemical free soaps, shampoos, sunscreens, as well as cleaning products. Trying our best we can to minimize our negative and maximize our positive impact.

The next chapter 

There’s much more I would like to share about the preparation stages, and other elements we created on board for an impactful and adventurous experience but the best is to simply jump on board and experience for yourself, and to live and share stories in real time.

For me the next event is on the horizon. My sister is getting married and I’m the witness. This is a once in a lifetime moment and I choose not to join the Twister personally (just yet). It’s strange I’m not joining but it’s all working well without me, and that’s a milestone too! I’m really happy that I have spent a few days with the crew prior to leaving. What a positive vibed happy bunch! Many beautiful stories, jokes, learnings, and musical talents have been thrown in the mix already. And the compliments on the food, organization and professionalism have been so motivating and rewarding! 


We literally walk extra miles to create a certain standard on board and it doesn’t seem to go unnoticed. That’s a huge compliment to me. These trips require quite an investment from everyone to make real, in terms of time, money, energy, and love. When you’re on board, you’ll also understand why a financial contribution is needed. We do this out of passion and do not have a philantrophic sponsor. Most were surprised their contribution was ‘only’ amount x, seeing the organization, vessel, and everything involved. As I wrote in my book Ocean Nomad – the Atlantic Sailing Crew Guide, finding a boat to sail across is easy, finding a happy, safe and meaningful one is not. You may be able to find a ‘free’ or cheap ride’ but research carefully at the cost of what… We also get that a trip like this is not within everyone’s financial reach, that’s why we facilitate scholarships where resources allow. Above all we would like to make ocean adventure accessible. And then we have of course the Ocean Nomads membership community with +300 member, +70 vessel for personal support and team-up and meet-upping. This only requires a small yearly fee to be part of. 

Stay updated on our sailing journey around the Atlantic

I just called with Captain Frans. They safely sailed into Cherbourg France last night to await the next weather window. Crew is happy, it hasn’t been too severe with the seasickness, and the first ‘sailing into a country’ experience is a fact!

There’s an onboard social media support team sometimes sharing instagram stories when connection allows. You can track SV Twister on Marine Traffic. Further we keep you updated once in a while via this blog and our newsletter. 

I cannot wait to jump on board in the Canary Islands, sail to Cape Verde and the Caribbean again. And to share the magic with you! 


With Ocean Love,

Captain, Ocean Nomads Community


Ps. There’s still space to join me and fellow ocean nomads for tropical exploration this winter! (And kitesurfing and freediving) And there’s a few spots left for the Atlantic crossing back to Europe spring 2023. Trips always have gone full. It will get full. Decide soon if you’ve been considering joining!


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