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A couple of 6 years living on a sailing boat


SwitzerlandDarsy and Ellison decided to buy a sad boat and moved to live at sea in 2016, after 9 months of dating.

Sophie Darsy, 36, and Ryan Ellison, 40, an American, met on a dating app in 2015. Having known each other for 3 months, Ellison happened to read an article about a couple selling their entire property to live on a boat. “We all found it interesting and the idea of ​​leaving the land to live in the sea was born,” Darsy said.

At that time, Darsy was a sales consultant, and Ellison was a former military pilot, working as a consultant in the aviation industry in Sweden. The couple share a passion for endurance sports.

While recovering from a shoulder injury, Ellison wanted to try something new. He told his girlfriend living on the boat was great. “We just bought a boat and the wind carried us around without spending money on fuel,” he recalls.

Couple on the sailboat polar seal. Photo: ryan and sophie sailing

Sophie Darsy and Ryan Ellison on the sailboat Polar Seal. Image: Ryan and Sophie Sailing

In February 2016, they bought a 12-meter-long sailboat called Polar Seal for $95,000 with a mortgage on a house in Stockholm (Sweden). But in addition to the above amount, Darsy and Ellison had to spend more than 10,000 USD flying from Sweden to the UK, contacting experts to repair and upgrade the boat; Hire a professional team to sail back to Sweden for $4,200 and take a two-week speedboat course, which costs $2,000 for two people.

After two years of cohabitation at sea, in June 2018 they moved to live on the boat.

At first, the couple lived on their savings and rented an apartment in Sweden. But wanting to stabilize the economy, both returned to work. Ellison works for a startup, and his girlfriend develops their video channel and is a consultant, the couple’s monthly income is about 5,000 USD. They admit to working remotely and living on a boat with many inconveniences, as both work 8 hours a day, not to mention constantly meeting and chatting with customers.

The sailboat has accompanied the couple for the past 6 years. Photo: ryan and sophie sailing

The sailboat has accompanied the couple for the past 6 years. Image: Ryan and Sophie Sailing

“A few weeks ago we spent two days battling a tropical storm and staying awake for 24 hours,” Darsy said. Ellison insists the dream of free or cheap life on a boat is not true.

The 40-year-old says it costs about $500-1,000 a month to park a boat in the dock and can be three times as much in summer in Europe. When anchored, the cost of living and food may vary, depending on the destination. They also pay insurance and phone bills and the cost of maintaining the boat accounts for about 10-20% of the total value of the purchase.

During the journey, the couple witnessed the moving rescue of migrants’ floating rafts. They also participated in rescue assistance when crossing the Atlantic Ocean in January. This made the couple realize the big difference between the group that went to the sea to find joy and the group that tried to find a better life.

Life without friends, parties is also a challenge. “Ellison was my lover, friend, confidant, colleague, therapist and nurse at times,” Darsy said. Her boyfriend also affirmed that in a small space, they have to make sure they can work, keep their spirits up and maintain their emotional relationship.

To keep life on the boat interesting, the couple also collects artwork, decorated with souvenirs from the lands they’ve been to.

Having difficulty living on a sailboat, the couple insists they don't want to leave the land when they learn more about the world. Photo: ryan and sophie sailing

Having difficulty living on a sailboat, the couple insists they don’t want to leave the land when they learn more about the world. Image: Ryan and Sophie Sailing

“We crossed the Atlantic three times on this boat and had the opportunity to meet great friends on each stop,” Darsy said, recalling their most memorable moment when they left the Mediterranean after a stressful year. sail.

“The sea was calm. There was no wind. The water was clear and the sunset reflected a beautiful picture of red, orange and purple. Then the dolphin suddenly jumped onto the water. I didn’t have time to record it with my camera, but I did. It feels like being lost in the 2009 movie Avatar,” the 36-year-old said.

Love freedom and adventure, but Darsy and Ellison say life on the boat is physically and mentally exhausting. To keep their sanity, they both have to stay on land for 1-2 months each year. They also give each other space to maintain their relationship.

“We were apart for almost 2 months last year. Darsy went to Paris, and I went back to the US. We have explained to many people that being together for too long requires some privacy to balance,” the man said. 40 years old confided.

Going forward, the couple hope to balance life on board and land by buying a home on the east coast of the United States later this year. “There will be a time when we’ll be on land and next year we’ll be out at sea for a whole year. But at least we still have a place to return to after our days of drifting,” Ellison said.

Minh Phuong (According to Insider)

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