The Winded Voyage idea began mostly in my imagination. I’ve always dreamed of sailing the oceans, and when I’d be looking over Lac Léman from my apartment over to the French Alps I just dreamed of sailing around the lake. And finally I did. I brought my GoPros and Sony NEX-5 cameras along for a journey around the vast body of water also known as Lake Geneva. It happened to be the summer of 2015 which was a hot one, giving the feeling of being in the tropics. I set out for the trip to circumnavigate the 580 square kilometer giant to the pace and mood of the wind one town at a time.
When searching for something to watch on my computer, I stumbled on a series from a crew named S/V Delos. They had been sailing all over the Pacific from Seattle and their videos were a lot of fun to watch and yes, inspirational. So I decided to give it a try on a much smaller lake scale. I filmed my short journey which ended up to be nine days long and edited everything into a nine part series. I am surprised that it’s much better than expected, and watching myself doesn’t make me cringe, but rather makes me laugh. In short I can now laugh at myself. So The Winded Voyage started the summer of 2015 with the series entitled Le Tour Du Lac Léman | Sailing Around Lake Geneva.
But the thing that got me thinking that my dream could be real, was looking at sailboats for sale online. Thousands of them at a much lower price than I ever expected. I had saved an emergency escape fund of a few thousand Swiss Francs, and saw that this could buy me not only a boat but a house! So if the shit hit the fan in comfortable landlocked Switzerland – the most expensive nation in the world – I could use my parachute fund and sail away to more affordable lifestyle.
So the first Winded Voyage episode is about getting a better understanding of sailboats. I am – for the time being – a fresh water sailor with basic nautical knowledge. I know how to sail like I know how to ride a bike, instictively. To go sailing in the oceans, I need a bigger vessel. So I start to look around the web, at marinas around the lake and talk to local fresh water sailors. In episode two, I drive down to the Italian Riviera to the Salone Nautica Genova to go see my first boat show. Again I was inspired by the S/D Delos captain Bryan whom said he went to boat shows when looking for his voyaging vessel. Visiting the boats first hand at the show confirmed my decision to live on board or as it is called, Liveaboard. The boat interiors were like apartments. Albeit some were more like small studios and the bigger ships like modern lofts. None-the-less when standing inside a boat looking at the kitchen, living rooms and bedrooms it seemed like a very comfortable place to live. I would soon learn the nautical terms for the living areas as the galley, salon and berths.
Episode three gets more serious as I decide to go and see used boats for sale in my price range of €15’000 to €30’000 in the south of France. The dream is becoming very real and attainable. The decision to leave terra firma is utopic and also daunting. Many have considered it, but few will just do it. Perhaps as people watch me doing it they’ll also be inspired to untie the lines, and then again they may realize that life on land suits them just fine. I will probably live a Love Hate relationship with my boat, the weather and life aboard. But this is what the Winded Voyage idea is about, a living adventure series.