It has been my dream since the first day we got on board the Search Projects sailboat. Like any new challenge, I was excited to start from level zero and keep getting better; learning how to sail to reach a point where I would be comfortable enough to set sail and cross the Atlantic Ocean by myself.
We were enjoying the Caribbean waters, but the month of June was approaching, and that only means one thing: hurricane season. Being in Antigua & Barbuda, we did not want to be stuck somewhere our boat (and ourselves) would be exposed to such risk. However, crossing the North Atlantic is already challenging enough and Sofia and I decided not to make this harder by sailing all the way back to Europe with Jack onboard (15 months). Therefore, Sofia & Jack managed to fly back home and I took this chance to accomplish my dream: cross the North Atlantic solo.
It has been one of the greatest experience of my life. During the whole crossing I felt calm and happy to be there. The fatigue was something I was used to manage, and after a couple of days I was caught up in the rhythm of the day and would only sleep through short periods of time throughout the day. The difficult part was the weather and the sea. I’ve had very strong conditions all the way to the Azores. The sea was rough and the constant noise was hard to get used to.
Once I arrived in the Azores, frontiers were still closed. Fortunately, a friend of mine was sending his boat back to Belgium with a crew on board. They were also in the Azores, waiting for the next good window to set sail and go up to Belgium. I managed to leave my sailboat at the Marina and jump on board their boat and after 12 more days at sea, I finally made it home to my family.
Total amount of days spent at sea: 30
The Search sailboat took us to extraordinary places. Exploring remote islands has been one of my favourite things! I love that there are still well-preserved places, almost untouched still. It’s like traveling back in time.
Our itinerary has been the following: sailing south from Martinique, then Sainte Lucie, Saint-Vincent & les Grenadines, we then sailed back north all the way to the Virgins Islands, stopping in Guadeloupe, Montserrat and Anguilla.
After 14 days at sea, we arrived in Martinique.
It was epic and challenging. Every difficult moment was worth it. Stay tuned to discover this beautiful adventure on video soon 😉
Before setting sails, I had a lot to do onboard. Starting by taking the mast down and replace the spreaders. This task took me at least three days. I spend hours fixing, replacing and cleaning until the final moment came. The only thing that was left was getting fresh food for my trip.
I went to the local market in Tenerife and got some veggies, fruits, pasta, rice, chocolate and granola, and basically, all my favorite snacks. Also, I counted on the sea to deliver one good fish or two 😉
On my first day at sea, I couldn’t help to look back at how everything started. I remember the first time I thought about getting a boat to sail around the world. That was 5 years ago! Time literally flies.
Five days at sea by yourself seems like a really long time. Yet, there is always something to do onboard and you have little time to get bored. When I’m not adjusting sails or checking the weather forecast, I tried to get as much sleep as possible. I listen to podcasts or music, I read a lot or I just sit outside and stare at the beautiful waves.
One night, half way through my crossing, I woke up suddenly feeling like the boat was out of control. The auto-pilot has stop working. I looked into the installation and luckily, found that it was a minor issue. The engine bolt broke, so I took a spare one and quickly replace it. Everything went back to normal and I went to get some rest.
I arrived to Santa Maria (Azores) five days later. It was 2 AM and Sofia and Jack were waiting for me. My heart was bursting with love and I felt proud of myself to have accomplished this dream.
Tom, Sofia, and their new little crew member Jack, spent a month in the Canary Islands. They sailed from La Gomera to El Hierro where Tom has been training hard for the toughest paragliding race, Red Bull X-Alps, which will be starting this June!
We arrived in Norway and spent more than a month sailing inside beautiful fjords, flying above outstanding mountains rising in the middle of the ocean, and kayaking in the clearest waters. Norway combines wilderness and authenticity. Because of its everlasting sunlight (during summer), we could produce eye-candy content and film at any time of the day.
Aboard our sailboat, we began to encounter the greenest spots! Europe still holds so many remote places. I felt as if I was reaching the end of the world. Nature is well preserved and I could fly my paraglider in places no one has ever flown before!
Every hill is a potential take off
The SEARCH has arrived to the Eden of the Atlantic and the most epic destinations for every sailor: the Azores.
This sustainable destination brought our team to deeply explore the peak of barely submerged volcanoes. Flying over the greenest lands and swimming with wild cetaceans.
3 months around the Canaries
The SEARCH team went on a three-month expedition to the seven islands of the Canaries. With spectacular views and good flying conditions, each island holds its secret spots and has its own characteristics that make your flights unique.
Using the Search sailboat as their base camp, the crew has anchored in the wildest spots of the Canary Islands.