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Here’s the Wild Idea
Ryan and Nicole’s Wild Idea: To leave San Diego, their jobs and house to sail to French Polynesia. Now they are sharing their awesome story and you can find out how.
Ryan and Nicole Levinson of Two Afloat set sail for French Polynesia two years ago to pursue a dream. Taking on such a feat requires tons of preparation, but there’s only so much you can do on land to prepare for the unknown sea. Eventually, you just have to untie the dock lines and go, as they say. This episode explores how they untied the dock lines and set sail across the Pacific, with challenges and great feats they faced along the way. We also talk about Ryan’s own physical limits. Despite having FSHMD, a disease that literally eats away his muscles, he’s managed to defy doctors initial thoughts about his body and pursue the sports and activities, including sailing, that bring him joy. This is a story for anyone who has a dream, but has self-doubt and fear. It’s also a great episode for anyone wanting to set sail across the Pacific or even across their local bay.
The Deep Dive
- 00:55 – What it took to prepare for the trip and voyage across the Pacific.
- 03:10 – What it’s like to live on a boat for two years.
- 04:20 – The contrast in coming back to land after two years at sea.
- 08:15 – Everything you want to know about the boat they used to cross the Pacific.
- 09:45 – How Ryan and Nicole found their boat.
- 11:15 – Ryan has FSHMD. He explains what it is and how he adapted the boat to meet the physical limits of what he can do physically with the disease.
- 14:40 – Ryan shares the story of when he found out he had FSHMD and what advice doctors initially gave him.
- 17:25 – How Nicole and Ryan got interested in sailing.
- 22:35 – How long it took Ryan and Nicole to get from San Diego to French Polynesia.
- 22:55 – The scariest and most memorable moments on their boat.
- 29:15 – Ryan and Nicole share what someone with no sailing experience needs to know to do an adventure like this.
- 30:15 – Why many people never leave the dock, and how to avoid being one of them.
- 31:15 – What Ryan and Nicole have learned about fear.
- 32:50 – Why French Polynesia?
- 37:50 – How cool the kids are in French Polynesia.
- 42:00 – Ryan on surfing and equipment.
- 49:10 – Life on a boat.
- 53:40 – Ryan and Nicole’s morning routines.
- 55:30 – Nicole on confidence.
- 59:15 – Ryan and Nicole’s incredibly popular YouTubeChannel and the creative process behind it. How they got to 300K views.
- 01:03:25 – Ryan and Nicole biggest influences.
- 01:09:15 – Why humans crave challenges. There is such a thing as “too much comfort.”
- 01:09:20 – Advice Ryan and Nicole have for those who want to live more wildly.
- 01:16:10 – What food Ryan and Nicole looked forward to most back in San Diego.
- 01:17:20 – How Ryan and Nicole afford their trip.
Two Afloat Website
Two Afloat on Facebook
Two Afloat on YouTube
The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment, by Eckhart Tolle
Sailing Alone Around the World, by Joshua Slocum
Dove, by Robin Lee Graham and Derek L.T. Gill
Love with a Chance of Drowning: A Memoir, by Torre DeRoche
Deep, by James Nestor
Gracedbygrit.com — “WildIdeas” for 20% off
Surfdiva.com — “WildIdeas” for a $10 giftcard
Read the Transcript:
Welcome wild ideas worth living this is a podcast where we talk to experts who have taken a wild idea and made it a reality from sailing around the world to launching a thriving business for just standing up for what you believe in. Wow this is the most rewarding adventures you your host. Journalist Shelby Stanger.
This is episode five with a write in Nicole Levinson a San Diego couple who sailed in to their dreams to French Polynesia despite any limits and so much more. This episode is brought to you by graced by grid the women's fitness company was founded to help empower women cultivate their grit to find their grace I love their name and I love their yoga and running pants. Not only do they make my body look good which is always important but they offer classic styles and flattering fits made from the highest quality materials. They always look good on go to graced by grit dot com and check them out. And when you enter the code wild ideas you'll get 20 percent off your first order. This episode was also brought to you by surfer diva. The original all women surf school has been teaching group private all women and code lessons at their stunning Sandiego location for over 20 years. I've taught surf lessons there for years and seen hundreds of men and women come through learn to ride waves and it literally changes their lives. Go to surf diva dot com or give them a call and when you book a lesson in San Diego and mention this show or the code wild ideas you'll get a $10 gift card to use torture next lesson or in their store.
Hey everyone welcome to Episode 5. Ryan and Nicole Levinsohn left San Diego to have sailed a French Polynesia two years ago. They talk about what it takes to make a voyage across to the South Pacific and how you can do something wild like sailing across the ocean as well. They also share some great insights about getting over fear. Learning what it takes to sail a boat on such a journey. They share about swimming with sharks with the locals and some of the remote villages are like with the surf is like in French Polynesia. How long a typical grocery store run takes in French Polynesia on some of the remote islands getting naked. A time when they most scared. They talk about the cruiser boating community and so much more. I've known these two for quite some time and not only are they pretty entertaining but they have an incredibly inspiring story. Ryan has EFIS HMD a form of muscular dystrophy that slowly eats away his muscles. It he's chosen to pursue a life filled with adventure despite any limits. He's been an outside magazine and tons of other publications. Nicole and Ryan really opened up about their journey in this episode. A lot of friends and even guests have said hey I want to sail around the world. So this is at least how you sail across the Pacific and if you're looking to do some sort of adventure you want to take a leap you're not sure how. You have some limits. Listen all the way to the end we all open up.
I hope you enjoy this show and let me know what you think. So Nicole and Ryan from two afloat. Welcome to the show and glad to be here. Awesome. We're excited to have you. So you guys set sail about two years ago from San Diego to this day. You sailed all the way to French Polynesia. You're back on land for the first time in two years. What's it like to be back on land after living on a boat for two years in the middle of the South Pacific.
Everything is standing still. It. It's nice to have. We're lucky where we are because we've got a lot of trees and vegetation. So it's a beautiful place. It's peaceful and it's it's awesome to be around family and to get to see all our friends. It's really nice to take hot showers especially when you're at a cold area and to just press the button to flush the toilet because of flushing the toilet on a boat is a little different.
You know you get an arm workout with it involves an Chernov and find water to use in the whole thing.
And there's a refrigerator so you guys are home for the holidays just to put this in context to context.
Yes yes. Yeah. There was a functioning refrigerator with lots of food.
And you can get anything you need or want within a few minutes.
It's kind of ridiculous so there's some good things that I'm sure it's also probably a little weird being home.
You know it's a little weird that it's everything like stuff is familiar like stuff hasn't really changed.
Some stuff has changed a lot but I think the biggest thing we noticed was that we've changed a lot. So it's kind of interesting it's almost like we're seeing our whole from from an outside perspective.
You know because we've been gone for so long I almost feel like like we're on vacation exploring a new culture it's kind of fun that way.
Oh that's awesome. So let's go back to two years ago. What are you each doing for work at the time right before you left and what did it take to get ready for a voyage like that. I mean you were gone for two years so what skills did you have to learn and what did you have to do to get ready Well I left the we left in this voyage.
I was teaching in elementary school and then for a few summers I was ocean life died in San Diego.
I was right before we left. I was running I was captain of a large sailboat a 130 foot sailboat kind of like a luxury yacht and working on the boat mainly But before that I'd just finished it almost a decade working on an ambulance in the city of San Diego and doing some sort of specialized kind of water rescue stuff on the side. And that was great it helped a lot to prepare us for this trip because you know the ambulance job teaches you to deal with stress and uncertainty and to make decisions under pressure. And you know sometimes to be uncomfortable and still be able to function the captain job.
I sort of taught me to the this you know how important it was to maintain a boat and to operate systems and to work with the crew and plan ahead and all of that and combine those two and lots of studying online and lots of reading and learning about diesel engines and electrical systems and how to do rigging and the difference between the different kind of ropes on a boat and you know what sort of adhesives do you need to use to bond certain kinds of surfaces and how do you repair fiberglass and then just come on out. You know sewing and how to cook under way in dealing with propane and steering systems and navigation systems and then weather forecasting and route planning and you know all of all of that. So it was it was two years of of working on a boat and learning it was it was more intensive than anything I ever did in college or in any you know job training stuff. But it was also more rewarding in some senses because I knew that this was going to be stuff that I was relying on for our safety comfort and fun while we were underway. So there was this kind of like you know extra incentive to try to learn this stuff and and reward knowing that we were going to use it right away.
So you learn by watching YouTube videos learning from other sailors or indeed you're going to forums or all of the above kind of a mix of all the above.
I read a lot a lot of there are some really great sort of really detailed technical books that are out there. Those are useful. You know I grew up sailing so I kind of already had a really solid foundation and background. I knew the language and I understood the end result that these things were talking about achieving. I just needed to kind of fill in the blanks and the steps to get there for especially for stuff like you know diesel mechanics which seems funny on a sailboat but it does have an engine and the engine helps with charging electricity and all the rest and now is another thing I didn't know about. Really DC electronics about solar panels about wind generators. How do you tie it all together with the batteries and what kind of charging regime need. So a lot of that was was reading forums a lot of books a lot of that not not so much YouTube videos that few but there's a lot of incredible information out there. The challenge is sort of sorting through it and then obviously digesting it and applying it.
I remember you read a ton right before you left to write and tell me about your boat.
She's an Erickson 38 she's a 38 foot sloop meaning she has one mast.
And usually we sail with a main sail and then another sail on the front of the boat called a head sail.
She's she's comfortable she's she's kind of just the right size in my opinion or our opinion for two people. She is sort of a sporty boat like some boats are designed to be bulletproof and superstrong and all the rest and they tend to be usually a little bit slower heavier and all the rest and then some boats are ultralite weighed in really fast and you know tipped over easy and things like that. And those are usually more for racing and arbo kind of sits in the middle somewhere. So she's she's fast and she's sporty and she's fun to sail but she's well-built and strong and she's not she's not flashy she's she's just a solid well-built good performing boat for the money. But I can pretty much guarantee with you ask almost anyone who's been cruising along time about their boat they're going to give you pretty much the same answer.
What's your boat's name and how did you guys get. I love how you call your boat her.
How did you get her. Her name is Naomi and we chose that name for Ryons late grandma grandmother who was just a free spirit.
And how did you guys get your boat.
I think what deters a lot of people from sailing or getting in a sailing is boats are expensive or at least it appears they appear to be expensive.
Yeah we were lucky we had we had a small sailboat that we got for about $3000 and we were up and we sold her for about what nine eight thousand nine thousand nine over nine that that's not typical.
Usually you know when you buy a boat use you sell it for less than the cutter for. But we really put a lot of tension into this boat. And you know that sweat equity translated into some of the money for the boat and then the rest. We were fortunate to be able to secure a loan with some fairly good terms and that allowed us to afford the boat and plus Ericsson's the boat that we picked.
They're not expensive in the world of boats like boats can you know in the 38 foot range for cruising can range anywhere from a million dollars down to you know ten to fifteen thousand dollars really to still be adequate for the kind of voyage we did. But our boat was right around 55 something like that. Yeah thousand dollars to the $7000 she was built in 1988. And that's that's a that's a fairly inexpensive boat for what we're doing compared to a lot of the other boats we see out there. But again it's you know if somebody doesn't have a lot of money but they want a cruise they can get into a boat for much less money than what we have. They just might not have quite as many sort of you know bells and whistles for comfort and things like that but that's all that's all personal preference. It's not necessity.
Got it. So Ryan you have f s h m d a rare form of muscular dystrophy. Can you explain to people what that is how it affects you and how it affect how you outfitted your belt.
Shirt if SH muscular dystrophy is it's actually it's not common in you know the big realm of diseases but it's one of the most common types of muscular dystrophy but because it it affects adults and it tends to be slow progressing it doesn't get as much attention as some of the ones that are really rapid progressing like Alice Lou Gehrig's disease or disbands which generally affects children.
So it's not as well understood and generally you know at stage stands for facias scapula humoral. And what that means is the muscles in my face my shoulders were really kind of all over my body slowly disappear over time. It's genetic. If you had a child it would have a 50 percent chance of inheriting the disease. There's no known treatment or cure and it manifests in different people in different ways and it progresses at different speeds so some people by the time they're my age are already using a wheelchair and have lost all the muscles in their face and around their body. And other people you can barely even tell they they have the disease at all. Maybe they had a small symptom and they had the genetic test and realized they had it. So in my case right now I can't raise my arms. Can't hold them up over shoulder high. I can't do a sit up I can't do a push up my legs kind of buckle sometimes it's getting hard to walk especially upstairs or you know with with like carrying a heavy backpack or something like that when I'm tired I'm I'm very unstable. Sometimes I just fall over. But again I'm in sort of the middle of the of the spectrum long term progression. I might lose the ability to close my eyes to smile to kiss Nicole.
You know things like that but there's no way to know we know how rapidly it'll progress or when that will happen or all the rest so I just kind of focus on what am I able to do now and how can I continue doing the things I love to do and on the boat. What that means is modifying the systems that are required like strength like trimming a sail adjusting a sail or lifting something up like the engine off of our dinghy and we just use a lot of pulleys and ropes and levers and things like that to compensate for areas where I'm not as strong as somebody who has their normal muscles. And plus we have lots of handholds around the boat and things to help while I'm moving around and she's under way so that I'm less likely to kind of collapse and smash into stuff. But that's true for kind of a lot of people on boats. Maybe somebody is older or maybe some is just not as strong or maybe they're sailing in rough waters and they do a lot of the same modifications and adaptations that I do. I use them in and out on a distance as well as rough conditions.
I always love and I've interviewed Ryan for several stories and I've known him a nickel since I was in my Actually since I was a teenager. And you know I always love is you have a saying that you can't choose what happens to you in life but you can choose how you respond to it and I think that's just been such an awesome mangia. And for those of you listening Ryan was diagnosed when he was in his 20s he was a recreation major at San Diego State. He was an avid surfer. He competed competitively at top levels in cycling. And when he got diagnosed his doctors had said actually you tell this story in a way that is an idea that the first doctor diagnosed me.
He said you know what do you do. And I said well I am and I'll direct major I'm pretty much out in the wilderness every weekend and I love surfing and all this stuff and he says no no that's all unrealistic. He goes you can't do this physical stuff. You need to quit it all and basically like you know learn something useful like typing into a computer or something like that. He said Well you know your muscles are diseased and they're disappearing. So if you do anything strenuous and it causes any kind of damage to the muscles they cannot recover like it like a healthy person could. And you will you'll accelerate the muscle loss you'll end up you know catastrophic muscle loss I think was the word used. So you know it didn't take me long to process that. I was basically driving home from the doctor and on my. So here's my choices like wait around for the muscles to disappear any ways or keep doing the stuff I love and maybe they'll disappear more quickly but at least I'm still living my life. And to me that was kind of a no brainer. And I just kept doing the things I do and some muscles disappeared. And maybe even more quickly than they would have otherwise and other muscles got stronger. But most importantly me as a functioning organism was healthier and stronger and better and ultimately this doctor and others started kind of taking note of that. And you know what they couldn't sanction a research study to prove their hypothesis that I would get destroyed.
They were certainly interested in following along as I started creating really serious training again for triathlon and paddleboard racing and some other sports and ultimately not just because of me but but in part I think because of this example the prevailing advice now is for someone with at this age is to keep doing kind of what they can do what they want to do and just sort of be aware that there is a risk if they if they push too hard. So sort of a you know kind of fighting that balances is the challenge but it's it's accepted now to go out live your life and be physically active even encouraged even if you have at that stage muster dystrophy.
And what I love about seeing you over the years is you've you've really pushed sports in every sport you do you do it full on. So you raced triathlons for years and you compete in NextEra and you'd win. You wouldn't just get like you know your age group first place you'd win the whole thing and then when you couldn't do triathlons anymore you went into stand up paddling when it was too hard to stand up on a surfboard. And now you body board which I think is really cool. And
you got really into sailing which is such a unique sport hobby activity. What is it about sailing that lured you both in. I
think just starting off with the sailing and just going out and filling in the bay and the ocean. You are much closer to the water and the elements and feeling the feeling the wind on your face and hearing the water swishing by and the wind in the sails and it's just a bit. It's refreshing to be out on the water even if you just go for a game. They'll just kind of as you're in a different world you do experience and see and smell so many different things. And I think that was really the draw for me.
It's probably was quite a contrast. You were in a classroom with little kids all day long. Was there any just desire for that kind of sense of quiet compared to the classroom.
Oh yeah sure not having a bunch of shitty chatty kids. But it's definitely very quiet can be very quiet when you're out sailing.
And that's that's definitely that quietness and calmness is most of the time calmness is what a big lawyer was for me and for those of you listening the call I met your principal at your school the other day and he said that you got your job as a teacher at your school by writing a beach cruiser to his office dropping off your resume and saying hey I need a job. And he loved it.
He hired you. So you guys both have some sort of guts in you that has allowed you to do these crazy voyages.
It's a funny story that I hadn't heard but her teachers are by the way has little streamers trailing off.
But only in San Diego can you get a job like that. That's awesome right.
What is it about sailing that lured you in well you know I've been sailing most of my life but I didn't really get serious about it till college and part of it honestly initially was because I was working at this place that teaches sailing and I knew how to sail so it was I wanted to get better at sailing so that I could do better at teaching sailing and through that process I discovered Qaida. The thing that I love most about sailing which is the kind of a connection you have to sort of the forces of nature in a way kind of like when you're surfing you're riding a wave and it's it's a little bit different than skateboarding you know skateboarding you're on a half pipe and gravity's pushing you back and forth and so but when you're surfing you're riding this literally energy moving through the water. And if you can kind of you know there's something about it that that lets you kind of touch the storm that took place weeks earlier and set that pulse of energy across the ocean and finally you're writing it and saying it's kind of the same thing except not only are you riding the waves that are pushing you around in your boat but you're also feeling the wind.
And you know wind is generated by the sun heating up parts of the earth and other parts getting cool and then changing the pressure systems and this sort of interaction of of the air and landed in the sun and all these forces together is what generates the forces that allow you to move through through the ocean and when you're sailing you're in touch with all of that you're intimately in touch with all of that and you feel every little change and I know something about this connection to something bigger in and out learning how to you know pretty much dance with with that kind of energy is something that makes sailing I don't even know the word for it. You know just such a powerfully personal experience for me.
That's awesome. You guys left from San Diego. Where did you land and how long did your voyage take.
Well we went from San Diego to Mexico and kind of bounced down Baja into mainland Mexico staged in Puerto Vallarta waiting for good weather. And then from there we have to cross to them are cases islands pretty standard route for people crossing the Pacific Ocean. And there are cases islands we went to the Tulo too which are a series of ultra remote atolls. Many are uninhabited kind of in between them are cases in Tahiti which was our next destination. And then from Tahiti mahram or Wahine. And since then we've been bouncing back and forth between the more cases and you know the societies Tahiti that area that sounds lovely.
We're going to get into each of those places when you're in San Diego. Was there any hesitation about leaving and then or on tying the dock lines.
I don't have hesitations the right word but there was definitely trepidation. You know it was very very you know I mean I said this before but I was know more afraid of what it would mean if we didn't untie the dock lines. You know we we sort of committed to to this dream to this adventure it's a mental shift where you're just saying OK I'm going to surrender to what happens next. I know the direction I'm going to go but I don't know what it's going to bring. I just sort of know my next step and our next step was to untie the dock lines and go south. And then since then it's just been a series of next steps and you know but it was that first initial sort of you know on tying and going that was that was the the big shift between preparation and execution you know between anticipation and actually being on our own adventure.
Had another guest on who just said that starting lines were much more important than finish lines and just started. That's huge.
How long did it take to get across from San Diego to French Polynesia from Mexico it took us 21 $21 and at 21 days from Mexico to the markets cases 21 days on the open ocean. I'm guessing there had to be some scary times some really memorable times. Can you maybe give me an example of each.
We were about fifteen hundred 2000 miles from the nearest land in an area where where really no boats go other than the occasional sailboat between you know that sailing same route as we were. We hadn't come across any other boat traffic and you know over a week. So we were we were truly on our own. And when we were down below Nicole was asleep I was getting ready to try the long distance radio and our other crew was kind of relaxing and we heard this loud rumbling noise and then also we hear it is bam and it was a rogue wave like a breaking wave kind of randomly in the middle of the ocean that broadsided us. Hit us on the side of the boat and the force of that water tipped the boat over all the way on her side. So the mast the pole that holds the sails was actually in the water and a few things that weren't strapped down in the cabin fell. I remember seeing a jacket hanging on a hook pointing perpendicular to the old to the wall it was up against because we were just sideways and tightening You know the boat has a big heavy lead thing on the bottom called the keel and that fin helps keep her upright.
So it was it wasn't necessarily dangerous because we had the boat to be able to handle offshore conditions like this and she write it herself and you know some of the electronics were submerged and they shorted out and we had to fix that and there was certainly a lot of water everywhere specially because Nicole left one of the windows open got drenched but that's how she woke up feeling that we poured a bucket of water on.
It. Very happy. But I'm scared you know.
Yeah. But you know it was two things it was scary because OK now here we are in the middle of nowhere. But you know we were OK. So you learn not to dwell on what could happen and instead focus on what what is and what is is that the boat ride or cells and all the systems were repairable and things could dry. And we continued on our way. So it was also kind of like you know gave us more confidence as well.
You sound really calm and telling this story. I imagine when it was happening there was there was some adrenaline going.
You know it not really it was more like focus. That's kind of what I was getting to before. We're talking about preparation for this voyage like you know this stuff I did on the big wave tour and the stuff I did on the ambulance and and some other experiences in life kind of taught me that I work well under pressure I kind of I'm almost better when things are like that than I am when there's just sitting around with nothing to do. And and this was just another example of that. It was like we just kind of click into this mode and and execute and and it was fine. Like I honestly I was much more fearful when like confronted with you know thousands of sharks or whatever than I was getting knocked down in the middle of the ocean.
Although in retrospect it seems maybe a little bit more radical than it seemed at the time.
We need to get into this sharpening later. Well it was something or one of the most memorable times you had on your crossing you had another crew member with you. I mean it had been really fun at some points just being in the middle of absolutely nowhere.
We bonzer along Eileen. EILEEN.
Yeah I think definitely having a third crew member and having that rotation of on watch and off watch me me being able to get a bit more sleep was key and huge and having a successful passage. One of the most memorable for me too. Two times I thought for me were just awesome was won when we crossed the equator just knowing now that we were in the southern hemisphere which I've never been. So I was really slow down that. And another one was one of those quiet evenings Pelosi's and it was really really dark out. And all I could hear were the dolphins like many dolphins at the bow. And I couldn't really see them except for they were just glowing and and they had like this flow behind them and it was just for like an hour and it was just beautiful from the violin in essence right.
Pretty right. Any any memorable moments. You had two girls with you that were young and beautiful on a whole voyage.
What about when you're pretty and beautiful. Thank you.
Yeah I was. That was OK. It was definitely great having a lien on board.
She pulled her weight fairly well and made that trip that much more enjoyable because we were just completely exhausted the whole time. But remember soon after we left Mexico first of all I agree with Nicole the equator was was pretty insane in some of the wilderness experiences were obviously you know transformative. But just from a pure like adrenaline fun standpoint we looked into this giant yellowfin tuna off of Mexico the things massive You can see in one of our videos and we got that thing on board.
And how big do you think that thing was.
She got it filled when we full later it's filled with 40 30 40 Quartzsite for size.
Holy cow. It was almost it was a little bit taller. So I think it was almost six feet tall. Wow.
There's a photo of allien somewhere on our Facebook or something that you know listeners can check out but she's holding it up and she's she's really struggling and it's just we already filleted it so she's just holding up kind of the carcass of it and it reaches all the way from former head down to her feet.
I had a makeover.
But anyways while we were sort of dispatching the fish and getting ready to fly it kind of flailed a little bit and was flinging blood and fish everywhere everywhere everywhere so the girls they had to strip down. So there was a while there were like I had to run the boats they stripped down.
No one tried to get fresh blood out of clothing. Got it. Got it. Got it. OK. So you guys got they a goldfish.
Yeah. So I was running the boat and making sure everybody was safe while the girls were naked covered in blood.
You know flying this giant one with nature. Awesome. I'm going to do a lot of sympathy for in the audience so the audience knows that their Facebook is add to a float. We're going to get more into that later. But all of that in the show notes we actually have that whole scene a lot of it is on video.
Oh yeah. And they're on their YouTube video which is also at two afloat and we're talking about that more later as well.
So what would it take for anyone with no sailing experience to do a crossing like this they just have to decide that they truly want to do it and then just keep putting one foot in front of the other and see where that adventure leads. And I know that sounds flippant the right word that you like maybe like a oversimplification but that's really all it is like we came across people who had never sailed a day in their life. We came across boats that I probably wouldn't sail across you know a small lake for that.
But you know what before we left we had this sort of you know kind of understanding of what it would take to do this and in our minds it was all these redundant systems and safety gear and the ability to do navigation and forecasting and medical and you know there's a million things you consider forever and think of things that can go wrong and it's like chasing something that you can never reach because there's always something else that you could could prepare for. You know if you wanted to prepare for everything. And that's what trops a lot of people. They never leave because they're always preparing for every single possible what is. So at some point you have to accept that you're going to be going not prepared. You know there's actually a saying there's two kinds of sailors there's the ones who leave unprepared than the ones who never leave the dock. So you know if you keep in mind that really all you need to cross an ocean is something that'll stay afloat and then food and water and then everything else on top of that is just adding on layers of comfort and a lot of it is mental comfort security you know feeling like you're you've got this safety net. But I think that again the one thing that you need to do this is just know that you're going to go know that you're not going to be completely ready for every possible emergency or even a lot of emergencies depending on your time in you know knowledge and money and stuff.
And then just commit to keep putting one foot in front of the other until finally you on tribal lines in your underwear huts.
I love that. You talk a lot about fear on your YouTube videos. What have you learned about fear. Just how have your feelings changed about fear over the years as well.
I've learned to have a healthy respect for fear. Now fear is what keeps me sharp and keeps me focused and paying attention. You know fear is what helps us avoid potential problems but fear is also. You know I've learned to understand that all that fear is is it's kind of like a physical response to thoughts of what might happen. It's not actually something that's taking place you know at any given moment you're actually probably fine but you're afraid that you might not be fine in the future. So you're having these thoughts of what could happen what might happen. And then you're having is like visceral response to that. And I think that once you understand that you you cannot recognize that really it's kind of this cage that you're imposing on yourself. It's your mind you have the choice of what you're going to focus on and think about so is serious trapping you and keeping you from doing stuff or causing you to make a million excuses why you can't do something that that you're kind of drawn towards. That's something that I think is worth exploring and deciding how is it you to live your life. You know inside a cage both of you know fear of what might happen or embracing what actually is happening. And you know not just having a life but having an adventure.
I love that have an adventure not a life. So why French Polynesia you could have sailed anywhere you could just sailed to Hawaii and hung out in Mexico and surf empty waves.
There was no French Pania. Nicole I hear you answer this what is she just kind of looked at me and started goes why not. We like coconuts. No no.
The reason why French Polynesia is a couple of things one it's far it's a challenge you know mentally to get there because you have to cross you know almost 3000 miles of open ocean with no possible places to go in between. So it requires kind of a commitment that was appealing to us. You cross the equator you go through different zones of weather different trade wind belts. So that was kind of an interesting the challenge of the weather routing and all the rest appealed to us. And then French Polynesia itself as a destination is it's a you know if you're an ocean sports and and remote exploration and things like that it's especially if you like Polynesian culture it's a fantasy land for all those kinds of things so.
And there's also there's just such a variety. There's such a difference between the island so the more cases is totally different from the two to use them to most Jews are totally different from the society so you get to explore so many different types of islands battles and they offer so many different things. Just it's like never ending.
So tell me about it. Like what. What's it like there what's the landscape play. Especially I want to know what the people are like there. Yeah
sure. If I may there's one other main reason why we selected French Polynesia and that is because when you're sailing it's much easier to go with the wind than against the wind. And French Polynesia is a destination that can be reached almost entirely going with the wind. Yeah they call it the trade wind route and it's a very common use trade wind route for people who want to kind of. So why is also why is much closer than to get anywhere else from Halwai kind of is difficult. Requires going against the wind. So French Polynesia is kind of the gateway to the south pacific for anyone traveling from you know North or South America or Central America.
And in terms of what the place looks like it's kind of they're all different. The Marchesa's are the youngest of the islands so there's they're relatively I mean you know the zillions of years old still but less Brazilian's than than the tumultuous society. So it's like they're still rugged they still kind of look like big jagged volcanoes that are covered in lush green life. It's that rich fertile iron rich soil from the volcanoes and it's very remote. There's not a lot of people there and there's lots of kind of you know wild goats and wild boar fruit that just grows on every tree. You get hungry and just go walk on shore pick mangoes or coconuts. You know your and your sweet. Tons of fish in it. Every time you throw a line in the water you pull up a giant Wahoo or a tuna or you know local fish like a Chi-Chi. It's it's it's wild there's not a lot of really well protected anchorages because there hasn't been enough time to build up coral reefs and stuff to sort of create barriers like in the other parts of French Polynesia So the anchorages are there's a lot more rolling around in open swells that reach in there and you know bashed dramatically against the cliffs that shear cliffs and we have there's some areas where there's these like thousand foot tall cliffs with like waterfalls that shoot off them straight into the ocean.
It's that kind of Jurassic Park sort of you know it sounds stunning and your pictures are absolutely stunning. What are the people like there and the artists there.
How would you describe them.
Call it that but most generous people I've ever met I think a majority of the politicians and just always smiling and welcoming and they're very proud of their Polynesian heritage.
They still speak their original language Mark region which is somewhat similar to Hawaii and it's somewhat similar to tradition. There are cases where sort of the the start of it all a lot of ancient times a bazillion years ago. You know the Asians migrated across Polynesia kind of ended up in the more cases and from there branched off to Hawaii and to Tahiti. So in some ways the more cases was kind of this this kernel of Polynesian civilization and they still embrace and practice many of their traditions not not in a kind of you know like in like touristy way but it's it's just their way of life and always has been.
I know that you hear drumming all the time. I was playing their music and drumming and singing and I just really enjoy being with their their families and extended families and just singing and playing traditional songs and having a little dances around splashing around in the river the water I love on your YouTube videos when you have the kids in there the kids seem awesome in French Polynesia.
Everywhere you guys have been the kids then they seem to live a little bit more wild than than kids here.
Oh for sure. Not just the local kids but also the boat kids are incredible. But that's that's a whole other thing. Yeah I think that they're less coddled and there's no you know they're more sort of finding entertainment in the world around them instead of through their younger their gadgets. Yeah you know there's some people have cell phones but like a whole family might share a cell phone or they're there they might have a TV but there's only like two channels to watch.
I love that. Do you have any fun moments with some of the kids out there.
Then there are cases where you've been gone for two years you've met some really cool kids.
There's so many stories that are still all focused on them are cases here I guess. But there was this one kid named Hardy who didn't speak any English really and how it was hard to like say 11 but this was about like 11 doesn't speak a word of English we don't speak any Marcie's and barely but he used to love to come to the boat so he would go down to the dock kind of adjacent to where we were anchored in the bay in the cases with no other boats we were there for five months. I only saw maybe one or two other boats the whole time there was just locals No no internet no cell phone no no nothing.
The village had maybe what 50 100 Damron people were 50 maybe 50 families.
Yeah like nothing there anyway. So he would come in. Who would go pick him up in the day who just had a boat all day and one day I I was in the water and I'd been surfing and I cut myself. It's kind of a heavier wave and I screwed up and it was the big talk in the village how the you know the white guy was stupid enough to surf this way you know.
It was so hard he was on the boat and his dad rips his dad's like the best surfer in town. So I said in my best French I said you know Tupac boggo you know jumpy all the Bushies the champion of the left you know and Hardy goes oui oui yes yes. You know my father is a champion and then he looked at my at my cuts very serious like expression on his face and then he goes you know chanting.
Vinal a kid. So what was this surf like there. I mean you don't want to give away names of waves but just tell me about the surf where the waves and also with the locals were like in the water in them are cases.
The surf is very fickle. It's kind of not worth going to as a destination if you're into surfing. We just happened to get lucky and we were in a day that just happened to have waves a few times. And so that was it was kind of an added little treat. And you know when there's waves all the locals come out because they're it's such a rare thing and they do all throughout French Polynesia. There's this there's this great sort of tradition where when you paddle out the first thing you do is you go to everybody in the lineup and you shake their hands very welcoming almost you know the exceptions would be like the big cities in Tahiti but almost everywhere that you go in the water people you know are fairly friendly and respectful and everybody takes their turn and but if you don't if you cut line or if you you know dropped in on somebody. These are these this is a warrior culture. The politicians are pretty pretty proud strong. You know tradition driven people and you know that they might not necessarily just like pound you right away but it'll be pretty clear that you know cut or did something taboo you know. But it's but it's sort of it's not it's not just simply because you're there. It would be you'd have to really screw up. So it's it's kind of it's kind of a beautiful thing just to serve in French Polynesia.
And I think anybody who listens to this who goes there I hope that that you know if they do serve in these places that they do it with respect and love and and kind of absorb the culture rather than assuming it's just like wherever they're from and you know go with an open mind and an open heart I think that's good advice.
If you go anywhere in the world and if you follow those rules I think those are good rules to live by. What are you surfing on.
You've bodysurfing body boarded you've stand up paddled what you call these days you know it depends on the wave.
A lot of waves out in French Polynesia are really heavy. Cut to a break really fast over shallow coral reef in there. They're pretty hollow so to eat need to be able to ride in the pocket in the tube. And for me a body board is the best vehicle I have to access that right now. But if there are a few waves that are slightly softer and on those waves I like to mix it up between you know surf mats and body boards and stand up boards occasionally. And you know even bodysurfing but not a lot of that in the last year I guess. But also when it's windy I really like getting on the kite because the kite lets you kind of explore the surf zone in three dimensions. You know you can use the waves as ramps or ride them or zigzag around them. You know it's kind of like a mix between sort of a snowboarder's approach to a mountain in a server's approach to the lineup. And so that's kind of a you know I just basically everything but a surfboard at this point I guess is the short answer. Hemat so cool is that you're still keep warning love kiteboarding it's it's with a harness you know. Though most of the load is taken by my body instead of by my arm. So sometimes it's hard to edge against the force of the pull of the kite on those on the board.
But you know the new kites are so easy to use especially I have airbrush kites which is a company that makes these really high performance kites that that have a huge range of control and adjustability so I can make the kites not fall very hard or I can make them all hard when I need it to go faster. It's almost done compared to the stuff we used years ago it's almost cheating. It's so easy to tell you know what it's fun.
Lots of freedom. One of the times I did a story on Ryan was long time ago he owned a kite board school one of the first Keyport schools in San Diego. And actually Morley really wanted Kuyper lesson so I said hey I'll trade you I'll do a story on you but I really want keyboard lessons. And then I realized he had many more stories in just about kiteboarding.
I love that you're still kiteboarding you know you're not just kiteboarding but you guys have done a lot of exploring through just freediving scuba diving snorkeling and there was one YouTube video where you're swimming with so many sharks. Tell me about some of your experience swimming in the water out there especially with you know Zsa's Well they're much smaller than jobs.
There's definitely a lot of sharks out there black tips white tips great. And they seem to be at some level. They seem to be more in that but pass on that's a great spot to go and just kind of hang out and watch them and watch them in their own environment. They for the most part they really do ignore you. And but there are some that can can be a bit more curious especially we've experienced the juveniles and they like to sometimes kind of show a little but not too much aggression but kind of show that they are they're there.
And what does that mean. Because I mean of a shirt. Even if it's juvenile just takes a little nip at you. And it's serious.
That is true. And they don't they don't take a little bit. They don't get too close.
They just kind of arched their backs a little bit maybe like bridge which just a little towns horrifying.
There is it have the most sharks are the two most two Attles they're they're really untouched there's they're still left in much of their pristine state there's not overfishing there's not pollution and they're remote enough that that the oceans are very healthy and there's a lot of biodiversity and that includes sharks which are if you have a lot of sharks you have a healthy ecosystem generally. So it's it's a sign of that. So when Nicole was talking about fighting the Sharks and the passes the two motives are basically just coral reefs that that used to be islands and the islands eroded away because zillions of years ago and the coral reefs are made and they're only a few feet above sea level and they make a calm area that you can anchor your boat to get inside that coral reef. There has to be a little cut out and maybe too big a jillion years ago there used to be a river there or something but now it just makes a little sort of opening that you can get into these into these reefs and in those there's current flows in and out of that opening when the tides change and the Sharks and the tuna and the barracuda and the Wahoo and all these fish hanging out in these in these passes it's kind of kind of like a concentration of all this like. And there's times when you go in there and the currents flowing in the sharks will be swimming against the current staying in place like as though they're on a treadmill and you'll see literally thousands of sharks at a time when all the species Nicole mentioned in there sort of.
They call it like a wall of sharks. And like Nicole said generally they just maybe check you out or the younger ones are the ones where you are encroaching on their territory. Might make might make aggression displays towards you but the rest of them are are more just sharing space with you. You know they're well-fed they're not threatened and you feel that when you're experiencing them now there are exceptions. There was there was one time we were in one of the the Attles and some of the locals there had been fishing and they'd been feeding sharks. So Nicole and I didn't know this and we went swimming in and out some of the black tips approached me. Nicole is kind of a little bit away she saw there.
They approached me kind of more aggressively and you had to shovel them away and kick them and stuff. And you know so it always was kind of a little maid. You know it causes a little pause. But it was ha. But you know the whole time we were there there was only four or five maybe attacks on humans and spearfishing you know usually they were spearfishing except one Cuyp order got attacked because he ran into a brat into a blacktip took his leg.
It was pretty funny as you're laughing about this. OK. So you've definitely gotten a little seasoned with sharks. Tell me Tell me about the cruiser community.
Are they all salty sailors or are they straight out of a Jimmy Buffett song or more like Pirates of the Caribbean.
Such a mix of all the above and it's a little boy back earlier when you were talking about kids the boat kids are just like unreal. They're just they're not kids. They're not like the kids around here. They're just more self-sufficient take on a little bit more responsibility and are seem to be way more adventurous and parents allow them to be that and don't call them as much which is really nice.
The one time we were on a friend's boat and it was getting late in the evening we're kind of all watching a sunset and having a beer and these kids came by. They were maybe a seven or eight something like that. There's a group of them and their parents were like HATED YOU GUYS. Did you have lunch today and the kids are like yeah yeah and the moms. Well what did you have. He's like well I speared a fish and then we made a fire and cooked it on the beach. And you know had some coconuts with it and was like OK good. You know go play now.
That is that's refreshing. OK so if you guys are planning on having kids anybody listening go take a boat out. Raise them on a boat. Continue. So what's it like living on a boat. Is it is it is it living the dream or is it just a different lifestyle.
It it's a little bit of both. It's definitely a different lifestyle you're in a much smaller quarters. Things can things take a little bit longer. And you know you don't catch a story or close on a lottery machine you have to hand wash it the lot time and water or water and then rinse it with fresh water and you have to make that fresh water. Yeah. So things definitely take a lot longer when you need to go get food. You plan on that being a half a day versus hopping in your car running down to Trader Joe's wherever and and and within the hour you're back home with a fridge full of food.
We can we can we actually go to that nickel. I've heard you tell a grocery story before. Can you tell people what it's like to get groceries in French Polynesia especially in some of the more rural towns you visited.
Yeah a lot of times. You don't have a car so you're on foot. You got you. You grab the big backpack and you start taking it out to put your thumb up. People just stop.
But first you have to get off your boat take a dinghy to the shore and then do that.
Yes yes drop the Jimmy put the engine on most likely and don't usually ride on the shore. Jump back to the radio with me which is a challenge if there's waves. Yeah. Yeah. And then it's just all about hitchhiking and sometimes you meet some real characters and really cool people on the way in. Once you grab your food and heading back hitchhiking sometimes you are lucky and you get well actually that's a different perspective. I was really lucky when I would get picked up hitchhiking and then we had to do little tasks along the way which just made the adventure just so much more exciting. It was more of an adventure. For example stopping to gather a bunch of greens so that the lady could go and see her go bowling with your house and watch her call the goats off the mountain feeding them so stuff like that. You never have any where. I cherish those moments.
So how long would a grocery trip take. Particularly.
It really it really depends. My longest one was eight hours when we got you typed and went to grandma's house first for a few hours until we got another car to go back to the little village that we were at. So that took about eight hours. And then there's other times where the town is not too far away and you kind of figure out when the supply ship is coming and you make sure that you are there at the store like as they are unloading their fresh fruits and vegetables are mainly fresh vegetables so that you can at least get some stuff with the locals to the bay before they bite all out.
Well that's definitely different than a Trader Joe's around. But it sounds fascinating right. Any perspective from you.
Go ahead yeah buy fresh vegetables when you're in the atolls and the supply ships and you're dad you're sort of doing that we're talking like potatoes and some cabbage and carrots you know you don't really have like broccoli and moldy broccoli if you're lucky you don't have a huge variety of food choices in the two modes is when you're in the more cases the food shopping tends to look a lot more like you know like canned goods and ants you know rice and things like that because fruit is just such abundance that literally like would fall off people's trees and they didn't like. That was kind of a nuisance for them because the rats would come and eat the fruit and all the rest of what locals would do is put all through these giant sacks and then bring him down to the shoreline and then kind of call us out from the boat. We'd go to shore and they'd had us this giant I mean huge like this giant you know sacks of rice you see that they take on ships you know was like that size filled with bananas and pies and mangoes and whatever onesies and all kinds of local local tropical fruit more fruit than we could ever possibly. You know sometimes we been in Anchorage where there's no village and you know we'd make some old meal or something in the coal would swim ashore and grab some mangoes and come back to the boat. We just cut them up.
I mean there was like so grocery shopping varied you know food provisioning we should say barbed wire or widely depending on you know what sort of density of local population and which part of French Polynesia you were in. But it was always an adventure.
Sounds really fun. Do you guys have any routines you stick to every day you eat morning meditation's morning yoga things you do are kind of every day.
Definitely there's sort of two patterns there there's kind of the underweight pattern and there's that anger pattern and anger.
We usually get up kind of with the sunrise and almost always immediately launch into about an hour or so of yoga and then another 15 minutes to an hour's worth of meditation down if depending on the conditions. That's when we'll also go for a long caudal or sometimes a swim or do exercises around the boat and then we usually have breakfast and then after breakfast it depends if it's if there when does Apple go quiet if there's waves we're going to surf maybe the tides right we'll go have other lies the rest of our time is spent a lot of it maintaining the boat and at ourselves provisioning watching the weather interacting with locals or the other cruisers and so forth when we're under way. It's much different we have sort of a set schedule of you know because you have to always someone has to be running the boat so you take turns and you know the only things that are said are kind of like meal times and maybe there are certain times of day when you would go on to the satellite phone or the radio to to download weather or to see if there's any other boats in your area. But but you know it's kind of you get into this sort of rhythm where you're only awake for two or three hours at a time and then you sleep for two or three hours and you're awake for two or three hours and it goes like that around the clock for weeks on end sometimes. And yeah it takes couple of days to adjust and then you're just kind of cruising.
What are some of the things that you've noticed that are just different about you that you feel like you've really learned after two years sailing living in another culture crossing the Pacific Well I think for me I've definitely become more confident in myself.
Yes my ability to carry myself differently because you're a bad ass.
I like that it's awesome. It's awesome seeing you. This is.
This is a schoolteacher. I went out and you know became an ocean lifeguard but she handles a lot of the sailing on the boat and she's an amazing cook. I know you personally as a sorry audience but but Nicole cold really is bad ass. Ryan is too. But you know that goal. It's really cool seeing you.
Well Nicole is also charging that she's learned learning how to serve in some of the heaviest waves on the planet which is I know that she still scares me and I have to constantly remind myself don't look down.
Just look straight don't look.
Because when you look down it's sharp coral reef coming right out you.
That looks a lot closer than it really is. Just to watch yourself now.
I can only imagine. Wow. Good for you.
And I think for me I've learned I better understand fear more than I ever have before and I know I understand the grip that it's had on my life. And I think in many people's lives and I end by fear I also mean uncertainty. You know maybe trepidation is another word kind of the you know when when you focus when it when you lose focus of actually what's going on right now and you lose focus of the fact that at any given moment you're probably fine. And and if you really think about it you're fine right now right. Maybe you have a lot of fear and stuff but you're fine right now. And you know before you had a lot of fear. But that never manifested. It turns out you were fine. So you know there's there's really if you look at your whole life there's many more examples of being afraid and things being OK than the other way around. And you know I think you can learn to accept that things might happen that bad things might happen and then just to surrender to the adventure and say well if the bad thing happens then I can be afraid is something you know that causes pain happens well that I'll feel pain. And in the meantime I feel great and I'm going to embrace that and really be grateful and appreciate the fact that everything is rad right now and that is the main lesson I think that I've learned through two years of these kinds of experiences it's just sort of it's it's just changed.
You know we recalibrated kind of things that used to be such a big deal and used to bother us just kind of don't anymore. And I think we're much more grateful for the things that we have.
Yeah gratitude is is is everything. And it was it's been really good to see you both home for the holidays. And I I've just really enjoyed being around your energy it's just you guys are really calm you're really confident and travel does that to you especially travel that requires a lot of effort. So what advice can you guys give to people who want to take a trip like this.
You know what's what's the best piece advice advice you can give them on where to actually start I would say set a date and hold to it firmly. Again this goes back to that you'll never be fully ready but if you have a date and you just commit no matter what on that date I am leaving and and with the understanding that you will not be ready when you go. If you don't do that you're you won't go. And that's universal I think for everybody who is out there that will tell you something similar to that.
I think that's good advice on doing anything like like even launching a podcast. I set a date date. I definitely wasn't ready when we launched. And I don't think you. I don't know for crashing it but we're having fun. It's great to have guests like you guys on the show. Now you're doing YouTube videos which is totally different than anything you've done before. Tell me about the creative process of creating YouTube videos. I remember when you started you said you were kind of following a formula. Then he basically said F this sounds really weird. We're doing it our way. And you've we've only been doing it for less than a month and I just looked it up. You think you have over 300000 viewers in less than a month. That's an incredible amount of people. So what's the recipe that's causing so many people to kind of watch what you're creating and just tell me about that creative process.
Yeah I don't know what's causing people to watch what I'm doing but I'm grateful that they are. You know look with when we started the YouTube videos it was because we came across.
We met some people out there and they told us they were making videos and we were like OK interesting and then later when we got access to the Internet we looked it up and it turns out that they were reaching. You know they had something like over 300000 subscribers alone some of their videos had more than a million views and we realized wow people are really interested in what's going on out there and their videos are more of it's like a linear timeline. We you know it's it's sort of it follows their adventures as they go. Then when you hear them you won't hear them anyway. Here is what happened. We didn't have a lot of back footage from that because we weren't planning on making videos and we decided that instead we were just going to have each video stand alone and be a story that was kind of a snapshot of cruising life or thoughts that we had or an experience who wanted to share. And so we started making videos with that in mind and it turns out it's super hard because you have to come up with it's not just sort of light you know it's not just like a log of what happened you have to you know kind of create a theme in that film for all the rest and it's been a huge learning curve. Just like when we got ready for the boat we had to learn it all the systems. Now I have to learn about you know different focal lengths on lenses and how you light things correctly and added do post-production are really good at learning all that. Yeah.
So it's been fun it's been interesting and it's it's also it's another chapter in our adventure. You know I think getting to French Polynesia and exploring it for the first year was was it was sort of an adventure. And then now that we're in French Polish and we bounced around and we're starting to revisit some spots. It's sort of now we're sharing and on a platform that that reaches it's it's really actually pretty cool because once we find a little island that has Internet and we're able to upload a video that's a whole adventure in itself.
There's your time loading uploading uploading things in other countries at times can be pretty painful. We are really lucky in the United States. We have fast Internet relatively fast.
Yeah I almost it's it's an all night process. For me it usually takes about 20 hours to upload a six or seven minute video and it drops the connection a lot and all the rest so when it's video upload day that's usually I'm up for one to two days around the clock doing that. So we have to be in an acreage that secure and safe and has an internet connection and all the rest. But anyways the you know what I really like is that there's this interaction right. So I put up this video and we put up a video and then they'll be you know anywhere from 500 to 1000 something repeated comments that people will share. What about the video. The most responded to or they'll share a little bit of information or ask a question or whatever it is so we're kind of like in the middle of nowhere having a dialogue with the world and it's just like so surreal.
It's surreal but it's also amazing.
And you know it's like an honor to be able to share the adventure and have people actually follow along.
Yeah. If I may you know your videos are great for the audience listening. They show themselves swimming with sharks. They show a grocery run. They show a little kids birthday party and you get to pocket knife and he's really young. And of course the kids themselves. But they show they show the kids. They show a time when caught a staph infection in Ryan did surgery on her booty. You almost get naked in go in swimming. They show all sorts of great people that they meet beautiful landscapes and it's really coming into itself. I really love your youtube channel for those who are interested you can check out at two a float. We'll have that information on the show. It's who who are your biggest influences come who has influenced you the most on this voyage in life.
Nicole thank you. And I have to say Ryan as well. I've learned so much and most of the time he's very patient with me when I'm learning to stand on the boat. That's not for me. Nice.
So I appreciate that honesty. But I like the things that please nobody tell the other how it really is.
Like all couples I think what's interesting is you know there there is this I don't know I would have thought that you kind of would have gotten sick of each other after spending so much time on a boat in such close quarters. But it really seems like you've just gotten so much closer.
Yeah. We have we have spent literally around the clock almost every single moment together for two years. And I mean the only time we're apart is maybe when the call goes to the grocery store if I stay on the boat or something like that. Otherwise we are together literally around not just together but together working in.
You know what might be considered an uncomfortable environment facing challenges and stresses and all the rest around the clock 24 hours a day you know seven days a week for two years and definitely brought us immensely closer together and makes me just want to spend that much more time with her frankly Tom thanks that Rockall possible math.
If you guys could each go back in time and tell your teenage self one thing what would you tell him and her.
Nicole's teenage self wouldn't be listening because she'd be too stoned.
Oh no. Oh OK.
Yeah I wish I wish that I would tell myself to read more.
Write about you know I don't know what I would tell my teenage self.
I guess I would probably say you know if that that you know I guess my teenage self had all had big dreams but also it was conflicted with what was kind of you know quote code expected of him. And and it led to a lot of conflict. And I think at my teenage self had learned to surrender at a much earlier age and just you know that there is a lot more happiness when you're actually charging after what it is that you're kind of drawn to do and that it does. It just works out. It does. I don't know why I still don't know why. But over and over and over again throughout the last you know 20 30 years it's been that way and more so now than ever before.
So maybe I would have encouraged him to start that path at a younger age so I just want to get into this a little bit because I think a lot of people would relate to this was your teenage self expected to become a lawyer or a doctor. Like a lot of kids are.
Some of that and the stuff that I was doing was you know was not good.
You know the surfers were bad people and yeah you know it was the stuff that I'm sure you're right a lot of people can relate to but maybe you know it's anybody if if you're drawn to do something and maybe it's nonconventional or something there's going to be pressure on you to conform or our society tends to especially back then in the 90s and in the 80s was very much conformance driven you know.
But now it's kind of cool like kids these days like if they want to like you know dye their hair green and have spikes sticking out of their nose as we go for it you know. So I don't know that have to be like your gender or anything that you can do whatever you want on it.
And I think and I had a different upbringing and I think I was very lucky with what I experienced and I had parents that let me try out a lot of different activities.
And I wanted to be a teacher. They were like right on. And they gave they had a lot more that I think I was given a lot of responsibility and I didn't abuse that as much.
And so I was I had a lot of freedom a lot of freedom and it was it was nice to to explore and to grow up with something like that.
Yeah you know Shelby this is a really good question that you asked and I think not just for my young teenage self but I think all throughout life even even older people. I think a lot of times.
I mean obviously people are afraid of of trying something different because of them they're afraid they're going to miss out on something or that somehow it's a big mistake or you know what might happen if it's something that's not really well-defined clear path to follow. And that goes right back to all that stuff we talked about earlier about fear and surrender and adventure and all the rest. Do you embrace it as an adventure and you expect there to be unexpected turns and you don't measure your success based on did you achieve your initial goal or not but rather did you have an adventure while you were seeking that goal then it's a big perspective shift that I think can be transformative in somebody's life in a positive way.
I love that. I mean this is what wild ideas worth living is really all about. I think you even said some of the best you know the best adventures aren't always easy definitely that's for sure. But
it's it's you know easy isn't isn't always good on me you know like like our friend says you know too much comfort is caustic sometimes. I know you don't really like that saying but I do. That's
OK. We don't have to agree on everything. I
think we just have different interpretations of what that means. And it is true too much comfort as you know we as humans we crave challenges. I think that's that's true and it's good for us. So what advice we did kind of just talk to talk about this but what advice can you give to people who want to live more wildly. They want to pursue their passions. I
would say explore what it is that's preventing that from happening. You know like before you explore it let's say they want to explore the woods before you go into the woods explore inside your own mind you know understand what is it that's keeping you from doing that.
If there's an opportunity presented it for you to go out there and do something do it yet do it just do it. Yeah.
And I know I'm not supposed to and I'm not going to interject myself too much but Ryan you're really influential when I was painting on quitting a job that was very stable and really cool. And you just said what's holding you back. Go for it.
Yeah but you you. Thank you. But you're the one who did it. I mean it wasn't just that it was also your battles with depression. I'm sure you talk about that and all the rest I mean you are. It's like once you start living this way and I think you've talked about this before once you kind of understand this approach towards life you sort of end up it's almost like you're magnetically attracted to other people who kind of share you know similar outlooks in it. It's like you know it's almost like there's this tribe of like people like really living with a capital L then and then there's like these these masses of people who are just kind of like automatons you know and at it. Now I'm not saying that one way is better than the other or that one way leads to happiness or the other. But if you're compelled you're driven towards sort of a wild life you have these dreams and you have these things that you want to go do. I just know that you're not alone and that as you start doing these and you surrender to that and you just go and you actually take those steps you're you'll you'll find that there's a whole world opens up to you that you might not know even exists that reinforces it.
And that world brought together you and I for example and that world led you to do those things you did with your job and with your depression and with a bunch of other things that we could talk about that then reflect back to me because I go wow look at what she's doing she's charging and this is amazing. And it just kind of it's almost like I'm like a nuclear reaction just kind of builds and builds and builds and builds and builds and then and into this giant explosion of awesomeness you know.
Yes so this is episode five. I haven't totally talked about having depression but I did experience it pretty bad in 2009. And you know it was bidding on quitting a great job and I had to face it head on. I got help for it. I did a lot of things to deal with depression and ultimately surrendering to it finding love learning how to deal with my feelings. Facing them head on and making positive choices got me out of it. And it's interesting because the more I started talking about it the more I realized so many people especially a lot of the adventurers I spoke to had experienced something some sort of depression or health issue. And until they faced it head on and decided to move in a different positive direction. Were they able to kind of surrendered to it and in that that hardship lifted. And I'm really lucky. I mean I I just yeah I've had really great friends and family around me and been able to surround myself with positivity and had it's been a wild wild adventure and wild ride. And for those of you who experience depression or experienced mental health you are courageous to get help to do something about it. I know we're going off on a tangent but I think that something really important because I wasn't aware of how many adventures experienced that in a lot of them are drawn to adventure because they had that and it helps them. So you know there's all sorts of ways to be wild and to face your life and to do courageous things in life.
So this is about Ryan so we're going to go back to him. I appreciate you for bringing that up.
Well it it is. It is about me and you and everybody else because it goes back to what we were talking about earlier about taking that first step. I mean I've known you for a long long time. I've been lucky enough to know you for a long time and well and I remember you know early on it might have been just. Should I go surf on a day when the surf is a little bit bigger than I comfortable with. Should I go for you or even maybe you know approached this guy for a date or whatever.
That was never hard. Come on. Should I accept the guy who's approaching you for the day.
But I mean the point is is that these are all these little baby steps that we talked about earlier and just start taking steps and then the steps sometimes become bigger bigger bigger and they ultimately you know you have this positive feedback from him. But it starts with just taking that step in the first place. And I think what you're doing and what I'm doing and what a lot of the people listening are doing kind of follows the same thing and if somebody wants to go do something that is a huge step they have to understand that really it's not a big giant step it's a bunch of small steps that might have a bigger gap between them and that makes sense yeah.
So going back to reading which is completely unrelated What books do you love her recommend.
I think I'm the power now.
That's a good one. Eckart totally yeah.
I think if somebody is even a little bit interested in the concept of sailing as an adventure they should read sailing alone around the world by Joshua Slocum. They should read dove by Robin Lee Graham who's a 16 year old kid who sailed around the world alone in a small sailboat. Wow. Long time ago. There's a more recent book called Love with a chance of drowning.
That's a great bottle of that book factoid. ROACH Yeah.
It's written by a woman who falls in love with a guy she's terrified of the water and it doesn't know anything about sailing or boats and falls in love with a guy who's getting ready to sail around the world and she just decides to go with him kind of like right after they met.
She has a one night stand basically and he goes sailing with him. It's an awesome read.
And they follow the same route that we did. So it's it's interesting and it's written recently where a dove in around the world are much older. There's a book called endurance by I forget who wrote it but it's a it's about a sailing boat that was trapped in the ice in the Atlantic you know an Arctic Ocean. This is you know 100 years ago or more and they survived in these little rowboats. They sailed all the way from Antarctica to somewhere in South America basically in these little teeny rowboats in the worst weather you can imagine in the middle of winter with no supplies. And it's a true story. It's it's all documented Shackleton wrote in Ernest Shackleton and it kind of gives you some perspective on what's possible out there and what it. And then you know you're maybe you have a small sailboat that you don't really think is sea worthy and all the rest and you read our book and you think you just have like the Queen Mary.
You know after that it's awesome. And then you talked about once you read the book deep. That's a great book also deep by James Nestor. He's actually coming on the show that's about underwater exploration. Cool. So what is the best food he looked forward to when you came home.
That's going to Mexicans. That's right. Yeah.
Have you got your film yet.
Oh god no. But now we're in northern California so it's all we have to switch.
So tonight we're getting Chinese takeout Chinese food.
What's what's next in your life. Kind of where do you go back. What are you going to do.
I have to edit another video. We're not looking that far ahead yet.
We don't we're going back to French bondage you you're both in French bondage you're going to be there for at least another year right.
That right. We don't know if we're going to be.
I mean we know that when we get back we have to you know do some repairs on the boat. That'll take a week or two and then we'll just sort of look at the weather and what we feel like doing and then that's where we're going to go. But the whole thing will be filmed and you can you can find out the answer to your question if you had about a month.
How are you guys financing this trip. I think a lot of people are going to have that question.
Well good. Well that's a great question. We were fortunate enough to own a house and renting out that house provides a big bulk of the money that we needed for this trip. We're really grateful to have some incredibly supportive sponsors with equipment and such that made ne Ouma very comfortable capable boat. Again it's it's all extra stuff that we could do without it but we're grateful to have it. And that makes sense. I don't let lack of equipment stop me from going. Right now we're actually YouTube. When you make these videos they put ads in the videos at the beginning and the creators the people who make these videos get a little bit of a cut of the money from those ads so that helps us. That was kind of an added surprising little boost. And we have there's a site called patron where people like our videos or our dentures and they want to they can. It's kind of like leaving a tip for RBD as they sign up on Patriae on there's links on our all of our YouTube videos and the description and you know a lot of people donate $2 or $5 or whatever it is per video that we put up. And you know when when hundreds or thousands or whatever people do that it adds up to enough that that lets us continue to voyage and to continue. More importantly to share the adventures because it's it's expensive to film and upload and all this. When you are in a place is your remote is French Polynesia.
So can you tell people where they can find you all of your social media channels and your YouTube video.
Sure. If they go to to a float dot com t w o a float AFL o a t dot com that will automatically go to the YouTube channel and on any of our videos if they clip show more which sort of is the description of the video underneath where the video showing that has links to all kinds of stuff that Facebook Patry on information that might help them do their own adventure some day. Anything they could want or they could also if they want to contact us directly they can go to Facebook slash to afloat and reach us that way.
Awesome. Well you guys thank you so much for being on the show. It's been such a pleasure. You gave such great insightful advice. I think people are going to take a lot away from this office and more about what you guys talked about links to the books links here Web site links to Youtube in the show notes and any parting thoughts.
Just how stoked we are to be able to talk with you shall we thank you for creating these podcasts and giving us an exact wording for an end but just to share our story with you.
You're so welcome you guys will have an awesome day and we will we'll talk again soon. So check out to a float if you're listening and we'll have more on wild ideas worth living dot.com.
Welcome aboard everybody.
You Thanks again for listening to Episode 5. I hope you guys enjoyed the show. Definitely check out to float on YouTube. The videos are pretty short. They're only about 10 minutes or so long. They have great visuals awesome music and they're highly highly entertaining. You can also go to wild ideas worth living dot.com to check out the show notes. I'll post all the great things Nicole Ryan and I discussed on this episode including links to books. They recommended that you can buy right now. Next week we're featuring Kimberly and Kate two bad ass moms who started a fitness company called graced by grit. The company helps women cultivate their grit to find their grace. They've actually loved doing the show so much they decided to sponsor it so you may recognize the name of the brand. If you're a mom or you want to start a business or you just like fitness check out the episode next week.
Make sure you also go to wild ideas worth living to sign up for e-mail newsletter sharing awesome new Did you offer your support. I really appreciate it. Thanks to all my listeners. Thanks to all my subscribers. Thanks to all my sponsors. Don't forget some of the best adventures happen. Follow your wildest ideas. See next.